How to tweak Windows 8 for business use

Anna D, Account Executive at Bryley Systems, reveals how she overcame some frustrations with Windows 8 and set it up for business use.

“My experience with Windows 8 started out a little bumpy, but with a few tweaks, I was able to customize the OS (operating system) to be more suitable for my business needs.

The first thing I noticed when I booted Windows 8 were the tiles, which can be compared to app icons for Android and Apple devices.  Personally, I only like navigating app icons on a touch-screen-capable device, and find it inefficient in my everyday business-computer needs.  For instance, when I am using an app on my phone, I am only using that one app.  At work, I am constantly multitasking, and moving back and forth from one application to another.  In order to solve this problem, I changed the settings so my computer will boot into desktop mode.  (For details on this procedure, please see Bryley Basics later in this post.)  I can still access the tiles with my Windows key, if I wish.

Once I changed the boot settings I came across another hurdle.  My Windows Start Button was missing and was replaced with a Windows key that brought me back to the tiles.  So, I went to Windows Store to restore the Windows Start Button.

The first option that was presented to me was Classic Start Button, but I decided to go with Classic Start 8, because it was the closest resemblance to the Windows 7 Start Button. (For details, see Bryley Basics later in this post.)  I have also tried Pokki, which is also nice, and which you can download directly on their website, or from the Windows Store.

I am now much happier with Windows 8.  I can understand the direction that Microsoft was going towards in creating a single operating system for all devices, but the OS still needs to be tweaked based on how you will use it.  The nice thing is I have the option and ability to customize Windows 8 for either business or fun.  At work I am more efficient using Windows 8 like a Windows 7 computer.  At home I much prefer the tiles, especially with a touch-screen-capable Ultrabook, which is how I imagine Microsoft envision we use it.

I have more tips on tweaking Windows 8.  Next month I’ll let you know how to change the default photo-viewing application, Photos, back to the old Photo Viewer.  Those of you running Windows 8 have probably experienced the new Photos app, which opens the image in the full-screen, hiding everything else on the screen.  It is really inconvenient for me, and I am guessing I am not the only one.”

Bryley Basics: Anna’s Windows 8 procedures

Setup your Windows 8 PC to boot to Desktop Mode:

    1. Click the “Windows” key on keyboard to access the “Start” screen.
    2. At the Start screen, select the tile named “Desktop”.
    3. Once at Desktop, go to the bottom taskbar (circled below), place your cursor on the taskbar, right-click, and then select properties.

  1. A pop-up screen named “Taskbar and Navigation Properties” will appear. Select the “Navigation” tab, check-on the desired items (and check-off the undesired items), and then click OK.

Add a Start Button to you Windows 8 Desktop Mode:

    1. Click the “Windows” key on keyboard.
    2. Go to “Store”.
    3. Type “start button” in the search bar at the top-right.
    4. Select “Classic Start 8”.
    5. Select “Get app from publisher” on the upper, left-hand side.
    6. Select the “FREE Download Now!” icon.
    7. Follow the prompts.
    8. The new Windows Start Button is now added to you Desktop!

98% of mobile-device malware attacking Android (DROID) phones

Worldwide, a significant portion of the population owns and uses a smartphone;  mobile users search Google over 5.9 Billion times daily while over 6 Billion hours of YouTube are watched each month on mobile devices.  (Statistics taken from a presentation by Intel Corporation at the MOBILE World Congress 2014.)

Since most smartphones are based on Google’s Android operating system, these are the primary targets of malicious attacks.  Kaspersky Labs, a prominent anti-virus software manufacturer, reports that 98% of malware targeted at mobile devices attacks Google’s Android (DROID), which confirms “both the popularity of this mobile OS and the vulnerability of its architecture”.

Suggestions for DROID (and other smartphone) owners to suppress malware:

  • Keep your mobile phone updated with the latest patches
  • Deploy an anti-malware application

Visit for the entire article by Darlene Storm at ComputerWorld.

Bryley Systems Ranks In World’s Top 501 Managed Service Providers

Nine Lives Media Names Bryley Systems Inc. of Hudson, MA to the MSPmentor 501 Global Edition – Seventh Annual Report Identifies World’s Top 501 Managed IT Service Providers (MSPs)

March 11, 2014: Bryley Systems Inc. ranked 440 on Nine Lives Media’s seventh-annual MSPmentor 501 Global Edition), a distinguished list and report identifying the world’s top 501 managed service providers.  (Managed service providers, MSPs, provide their clients with outsourced IT management and functions, typically at a predetermined cost.)

Gavin Livingstone, President of Bryley Systems Inc., said: “We are thrilled and honored to be recognized as one of the top 501 managed service providers in the world!  The credit belongs to the Bryley team; this is a dedicated group of long-term employees who work together to ensure that our clients are always happy.”

The MSPmentor 501 report is based on data from MSPmentor’s global online survey, conducted October-December 2013. The MSPmentor 501 report recognizes top managed service providers based on a range of metrics, including annual managed services revenue growth, revenue per employee, managed services offered and customer devices managed.

“MSPmentor congratulates Bryley Systems Inc. on this unique honor,” said Amy Katz, president of Nine Lives Media, a Penton business. “Qualifying for our MSPmentor 501 Global Edition puts Bryley Systems in rare company.”

MSPs on this year’s global 501 list lifted their combined annual recurring revenues $2.61 billion, continuing seven straight years of strong growth. Together, those MSPs now manage more than 700,000 servers, according to Jessica Davis, managing editor, MSPmentor.

MSPmentor, produced by Nine Lives Media, is the ultimate guide to managed services. MSPmentor features the industry’s top-ranked blog, research, Channel Expert Hour Webcasts and FastChat videos.

About Bryley Systems Inc.

Bryley Systems is a full-service partner, fulfilling the information-technology needs of its clients throughout central New England since 1987.  We provide dependable IT at a predictable cost.


Logo for MSP Mentor top 501 Managed Service Providers Wolrdwide

Gavin H. Livingstone, President
978.562.6077 x215


About Nine Lives Media

Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton (, defines emerging IT media markets and disrupts established IT media markets.

Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton
Jessica Davis, Managing Editor, MSPmentor