, Microsoft, Tech news, Windows 8, Windows 8.1

Easy Windows 8.1 is Ready for You!

My latest book, Easy Windows 8.1, is now available in print and various e-book versions. It offers full-color visual step-by-step instructions for Windows 8.1’s new and improved features (travel, search, digital photo shooting and editing, and more) along with instructions designed for both touchscreen and mouse/keyboard users. Grab a free sample chapter at the Que Publishing website, where you can also buy a print copy or watermarked PDF , ePUB, or MOBI versions.

Print and Kindle versions are also available at (and is offering a sweet $5.00 coupon off the print version right now!). Print and Nook versions are available at Barnes & Noble.
Cover of Easy Windows 8.1 by Mark Edward Soper

MaximumPC, Microsoft, Windows 7

Windows 7 Feature Focus: XP Mode

I’ve been spending a lot of time with Windows 7 lately, and my latest Windows 7 Feature Focus article, on Windows 7 Professional/Ultimate/Enterprise XP Mode, is now up at

If you need to run non-3D Windows XP applications and don’t want to worry about tinkering with them for Windows 7, take a close look at XP Mode.

Even if you think you know what XP Mode can do for you and how it works, be sure to check it out. It cuts through the misinformation and helps you deal with some of the trickier features of this new virtualization environment.

Microsoft, Offbeat, Technology history

Question: What do Mach 10, Booster and Bob Have in Common?

Answer: they’re three of the most obscure products developed by a certain West Coast technology company:

  • Mach 10 was a processor board upgrade for the IBM PC
  • Booster was a mouse, clock, and memory upgrade for the IBM PCjr
  • Bob was a short-lived friendly front-end for Windows 3.1 and Windows 95

And that company was Microsoft (or, as in early ads, MicroSoft). With Microsoft founder Bill Gates riding off into the sunset this week after his final keynote address at CES, I figured it was time to rediscover some of Microsoft’s strangest products ever. Have other nominees? Let us know.