Windows 8 for Students

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Whether you’re thinking of asking for a new laptop for Christmas or thinking of grabbing a cheap one in one of the Black Friday laptop deals, this article is about optimizing the new Microsoft operating system – Windows 8 – for your student lifestyle. Windows 8 brings the experience of ‘apps’ to the laptop, meaning that now there are many apps that can help you deal with everything that the student life throws at you.

Work

Yes, sadly, there is a small chance that, at some point, someone might require that you do some schoolwork. Luckily, Windows 8 has a host of apps to help shoulder this mighty burden.

First off, Free Books gives you exactly that: free books. Over 23,000 titles of mostly classic titles including every classic and most obscurities, it’s a godsend for arts students, particularly those focusing on literature.

One of the coolest new apps is OneNote MX. It lets you take handwritten notes (this is obviously better with a tablet or hybrid, although it does work on a laptop screen), letting you create as many different notebooks with as many pages as you like. This is perfect for lecture notes, and means you don’t have to remember to bring anything other than your Windows 8 device and don’t have to annoy others by tapping away on a keyboard. Even better, OneNote MX lets you save your notes onto the cloud, letting you share and collaborate with others.

For your other work needs, Wikipedia conveniently has its own app.

Money

Staying up-to-date with the status of your bank account is always difficult as a student. Economia Personale makes this easier, letting you input your budget and keep track of your expenses in a friendly and straightforward format.

Another nice idea is SplitTheBill, a simple app that helps determine what everyone owes at the end of a meal – perfect for when you’re counting the pennies.

Organisation

Staying on top of things is next to impossible as a student.

OneNote MX once again comes along to help you adjust to the real world. Notes can be turned into items on your To Do list, and can then be ticked off when done. A simple way to keep on top of chores and assignments.

Another simple but effective app is Clock, which puts a clock on your start screen and lets you set alarms, in case you (heaven forbid) get distracted while browsing on your laptop.

Social

Windows 8 comes with a built-in social app called People. This does the main tasks of showing you updates from and letting you post to Facebook and Twitter, while showing all your contacts from Skype and your email accounts as well as these sites.

There’s also a Skype app available, and Twitter one on the way (use MetroTwit, Gleek, or Tweetro in the meantime). For Reddit, you can use ReddHubb, and for Tumblr, Tumbukun.

And there’s a whole world of other apps for your every need, including ones with recipes, music, movies, games, and so on.

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