Get the best out of Windows 8

This article is the second in our series exploring Windows 8 and SkyDrive, read the first article here.

Windows 8 and Office 2013 are very much geared up to online data storage: you will need a Microsoft account (Hotmail or Outlook.com) to register your copy of Windows 8. With this account you get your own SkyDrive, and access to online email and calendar Outlook.com — much like iCloud and Google.

To get the very best out of Windows 8, embrace SkyDrive: sync all your email, calendars, and contacts to Outlook.com, and access them all on all your devices from there. You can also add your social network accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc) to the party and see all your information from one source, and on all your devices: phone, laptop, tablet.

Duplicate Contact cards can be linked, and any data available from Facebook friends will also be visible in the Contact card, plus birthdays will automatically appear in your calendar.

Apple iTech users: do not despair!

Traditionally Apple & Microsoft have not always seen eye to eye, and things are still less than perfect. However, by uploading all your stuff* to ‘the cloud’ (icloud, SkyDrive, Google…) it is much easier to synchronise your data between devices.

It is simple to add your Outlook.com account (and therefore all the calendars, contacts and emails synchronised with it) to each of your iDevices. This means that although technically it is not possible to fully sync your Apple calendar (iCal) to Outlook.com and have one port of call for your calendars, it is possible to view and use all your calendars on all your laptops, phones, tablets, etc.

Also, you can choose what to sync: not everyone wants emails from all accounts on all their devices! AND this means there need not be any messy calendar or contact transfer.

We will publish clear and simple step-by-step instructions for synchronising your Outlook.com with Gmail, Facebook, iCloud and other sources very soon, and help you troubleshoot ‘duplicate entries’…watch this space!

In our next article we will illustrate the benefits of synchronisation with SkyDrive.

* Whether uploading all your data to the cloud is a good idea, and who really owns it once it’s there needs a different discussion. However, unless you don’t have a FB account, and never buy anything online, and only have paper statements (utility or bank), and NEVER use any search engines without clearing ALL your cookies, your data is already in the cloud: this is Big Data.

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