Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.3

Here is a third pre-release version of "Surface Pro 3 Field Guide."

With this update, the first chapter, Before you start, is complete.

As noted previously, this book is a companion guide of sorts to "Windows 8.1 Field Guide." Everyone who buys "Surface Pro 3 Field Guide" (whenever that option becomes available) will get "Windows 8.1 Field Guide" for free.

You can't buy it yet, however. For now, I'll just provide the first several updates publicly so you can see how it's developing.

More soon.

Download Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.3 in PDF

Download Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.3 in MOBI - Kindle

Download Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.3 in ePub – Nook, other eBooks

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.05

Here's an update to "Windows 8.1 Field Guide" that includes navigational bookmarks for PDF. This is already included in the MOBI (Kindle) and (I assume) the ePub versions automatically.

If you're using the PDF, that means you'll see a Bookmarks icon in the left-hand navigation pane in Adobe Reader.

Click that to see a bookmark for each Chapter and major content section.

If you read PDFs with the Reader app in Windows 8.1, this feature is a little less useful since each heading is listed. But you can access Bookmarks by displaying the app bar and then choosing More and the Bookmarks.

If you're using a Kindle device (or software), you can access Bookmarks through the Go To item in the menu. If you're using a NOOK ... actually, I'm not sure, sorry. I don't have my NOOK with me. But I assume it works similarly. (Let me know if you do have one.)

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Remember, you can download the latest version of the book, from the download page you have hopefully already bookmarked. If you haven't yet paid for the book, please get a copy of the book today. If you've lost your download link, please contact Paul or Rafael via email.

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.05 – 590 pages

Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.2

Here is a second pre-release and rough look at "Surface Pro 3 Field Guide."

This version includes a section on choosing Surface Pro 3 accessories. More important, perhaps, it also include the excellent new cover design by Martin McClean. In fact, you may notice that Martin's name is on the cover. I've asked him to collaborate with me on this one, and while I haven't added his even bigger contribution yet, I will do so soon. I think you're going to love what he's come up with.

As noted previously, this book is a companion guide of sorts to "Windows 8.1 Field Guide." Everyone who buys "Surface Pro 3 Field Guide" will get "Windows 8.1 Field Guide" for free.

You can't buy it yet, however. For now, I'll just provide the first several updates publicly so you can see how it's developing.

More soon.

Download Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.2 in PDF

Download Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.2 in MOBI - Kindle

Download Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.2 in ePub – Nook, other eBooks

Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.1

Here is a first peek at "Surface Pro 3 Field Guide," a shorter Field Guide book that I hope to finish late this summer. I'm posting this on the "Windows 8.1 Field Guide" site for a few reasons:

- I don't have a separate web site for "Surface Pro 3 Field Guide" and won't, since I'll be consolidating the book sites into a single site called Field Guide Books soon.

- This book is a companion guide of sorts to "Windows 8.1 Field Guide." In fact, everyone who buys "Surface Pro 3 Field Guide" will get "Windows 8.1 Field Guide" for free.

I'll try to get payments going for later, but the first few updates at least will just be "free" or at least not blocked by a paywall or whatever. I think this will be just $2, like "Windows 8.1 Field Guide." But I'll talk that over with Martin McClean, whose collaborating with me on this one. Martin did the covers for all the Field Guide books and he has some awesome graphical stuff coming for "Surface Pro 3 Field Guide," but I'll save that for a future update. You'll love it.

Anyway.

Here's what we've got now. Not much. :) Kind of the beginnings of the initial chapter of the book plus some rough ideas about what topics I'll be covering.

So take a look, tell me what you think, and I'll get cracking on more content.

Download Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.1 in PDF

Download Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.1 in MOBI - Kindle

Download Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.1 in ePub – Nook, other eBooks

Typo fixes

A reader was nice enough to send in a ton of typos fixes for the first part of the book, so here's a revised version of the full book document that reflects those changes.

It's a bit surprising to see these kinds of typos at this stage, but it's best to just get them fixed and moved on. And besides, that's what this publishing model is all about: The ability to fix mistakes (and add new content).

More soon.

Download

Remember, you can download the latest version of the book, from the download page you have hopefully already bookmarked. If you haven't yet paid for the book, please get a copy of the book today. If you've lost your download link, please contact Paul or Rafael via email.

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.04 – 590 pages

Book 1.02/1.03

Nothing major, just a revision of the current manuscript that includes the H2 and H3 resizing I mentioned in the previous post.

Looking ahead...

While I do have a number of topics to follow-up on for the post-1.0 versions of the book, I think the initial focus should be on desktop experiences. There are a few reasons for this. We ignored that for the most part in 1.0 because the Modern/Metro stuff was so new and unknown to most. Desktop is a focus for Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update 1 (and presumably Update 2 and Threshold/Windows 9). And like many of you, I actually spend most of my time in the desktop.

The question is how to approach this. There could be one big desktop chapter, of course. Or I could integrate desktop discussions throughout the book as needed (File chapter is an obvious place for OneDrive desktop and Storage Spaces type discussions, for example.) Will continue to think about this.

More soon.

Download

Remember, you can download the latest version of the book, from the download page you have hopefully already bookmarked. If you haven't yet paid for the book, please get a copy of the book today. If you've lost your download link, please contact Paul or Rafael via email.

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.03 – 590 pages

Note: There was a formatting glitch in 1.02 where the book cover design made its way into the Contents listing somehow. I fixed that and republished as version 1.03. --Paul

Moving "Windows 8.1 Field Guide" Past 1.0

Note: This was cross-posted to the SuperSite for Windows.

With Windows 8.1 Field Guide now published to Kindle, I've started thinking about some of the updates I'd like to make in the months ahead. Yes, I'll be updating the book to accommodate whatever changes Microsoft makes to Windows 8.1 and its bundled apps, but I'd also like to get the book out in a print version and update its look and feel. Here's a quick update.

First, if you've not yet purchased Windows 8.1 Field Guide, I'd really appreciate it if you did so: This book is only $2 if you purchase it directly from Rafael and me (or you can set your own price), or $4.99 at the Amazon Kindle Store. The version you get from us is in fact superior to the Kindle version, since it can be easily updated each time I make a change to the book. You can learn more about that in my previous post, "Field Guide Books" Update. But however you choose to do it, your support is absolutely appreciated.

The version that is currently available on Kindle is what we call the "1.0" version, or what you might think of as the first edition. I'll be updating the book on the Windows 8.1 Field Guide web site as I make changes, and incrementing the version number (1.01, 1.02 and so on), as I did before, and past that 1.0 version. In fact, if you did pay for the book, you can now get the 1.01 version from the site; this doesn't include any new content but it does have a single new style, discussed below, which somewhat changes the look and feel of the book.

Several days ago I went through the process of preparing the 1.0 version of the book for purchase as a print book through Amazon's CreateSpace service. This won't be ideal for the reasons listed below, but I'm curious to see what a print version of the book looks like and I know some readers prefer that.

As it turns, converting a Word document/PDF into a printable book has a few issues, which I discovered when I created and then ordered a proof of the book. It's pretty cool looking at first glance.

But some of the issues include:

Size. After fooling around with various book sizes, I found that this book will need to be printed in a 8.5 x 11-inch format that is identical to the PDF version. That's a bit huge, but smaller versions didn't look right.

Color. If a book is over 480 pages long, CreateSpace will not print it in color. Our book is bigger than that, so it's in grayscale. (Though the cover is full color and quite nice looking.)

Page numbers. I don't have page numbers in the manuscript, but I'll need to add those for the printed version of the book. Otherwise, the Table of Contents (which is interactive in the e-book versions) is pretty useless.

Style. The heading styles are clearly too small, especially the H1 headings I use for chapter names.

With this in mind, I decidedly I needed to restyle the headings. I started with just the H1 heading, removing the all-caps, making the font bigger, right-justifying it, and adding some white space above it to visually separate it from the end of the previous chapter. For example:

I may make the H2 and H3 headings bigger as well, but they won't be a dramatic as the H1 chapter titles. The 1.01 version of the book, which you can now download from the Windows 8.1 Field Guide web site if you bought the book already, includes this H1 change.

More soon.

Download

Remember, you can download the latest version of the book, from the download page you have hopefully already bookmarked. If you haven't yet paid for the book, please get a copy of the book today. If you've lost your download link, please contact Paul or Rafael via email.

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.01 – 585 pages

Windows 8.1 Field Guide is Available Now on Amazon Kindle

You can now buy Windows 8.1 Field Guide from the Amazon Kindle e-book store. This is the new 1.0 version of the book, which has received a few minor updates, mostly with regards to spelling and grammar mistakes.

If you have been waiting for that version for some reason, please read this post first. But if you already paid for the book here, there's no reason for you to buy the Kindle version.

Here's what's happening.

After a disappointing experience with Book Baby—which I used to publish Windows Phone 8 Field Guide to Amazon, Nook, and several other e-book platforms—I realized we'd need a different approach for this book. The problem is that Book Baby makes it impossible (or at least next to impossible) to update the book once it's published. This is contrary to one of the core goals of this enterprise. And I just can't agree to that.

So I decided to just publish directly to Amazon Kindle myself, using Kindle Direct Publishing. This comes with its own issues, of course. Some of which are worth noting:

Price. Because of the way the royalty breaks down, we had to price the book at $4.99 in order to make about the same per copy (less than $2) that we do here.

Updates. I can update the book through KDP. But it's not clear how often or whether there will be issues. If there are issues, remember that the version of the book on this site is always the most up-to-date, and we will give any Kindle purchasers free access to the download here. Also, since this was taking far too long, I've removed the in-progress "thanks" section and will add that in a coming update, both on Kindle and here.

Format. This is something I would really like readers/potential readers to understand: There is no inherent advantage to buying the book from Kindle (or whatever) beyond the convenience of Whispersync (which, by the way, Rafael and I pay for: That's why a $5 book nets us less than $2). In fact, the file you get from Amazon is no different from the one you get from us. It's not "better" or whatever. It's just stuck inside Amazon's ecosystem, is harder to update, and is more expensive.

Given all this, I'd much rather that people bought the book from us directly. I won't artificially hamstring the Kindle (or Nook, or whatever) version. But the one you get from us can be updated all the time, easily. You can pay what you want. You can give us feedback directly. Etc.

If you do want to buy the book directly from Amazon Kindle, however, you can do so now.

A few other related notes:

Print book. I can make printed copies of the book through an Amazon service called CreateSpace. However, I have to order books up front, so I'm curious if there is any demand for such a thing. Note that the printed book will have to be black and white, since CreateSpace limits full color books to 480 pages. Let me know

Nook. I'll work on Nook next. That will be probably be it if we just continue going the direct publishing route. But then, that's probably all the most people care about.

Versioning. Far too many people were confused over the 1.0 naming stuff, so this version (which would have really been version 0.93) was artificially bumped up to 1.0. So the next update will be 1.01 or similar, and I'll keep the versioning going from there.

OK, that's it for now.

Download

Remember, you can download the latest version of the book from the download page you have hopefully already bookmarked. If you haven't yet paid for the book, please get a copy of the book today. If you've lost your download link, please contact Paul or Rafael via email.

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.0 – 581 pages

Another small update

Thanks to some valuable reader feedback, I've updated the book again, to version 0.92.

This update includes a few additions and changes to the APP chapter. And I've change the name of a mentioned PC in the BEFORE YOU START chapter to "Lenovo Yoga Pro 2" (from "Lenovo IdeaPad Flip").

Download

Remember, you can download the latest version of the book from the download page you have hopefully already bookmarked. If you haven't yet paid for the book, please get a copy of the book today. If you've lost your download link, please contact Paul or Rafael via email.

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 0.92 – 581 pages

Book updated to cover the new Store app

I've uploaded a new version (0.91) of the book that addresses the changes in the new version of the Store app. This required a ton of new screenshots and some rewriting, but it's interesting that I was able to get it done in one day.

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Remember, you can download the latest version of this and other chapters, and the full book in progress, from the download page you have hopefully already bookmarked. If you haven't yet paid for the book, please get a copy of the book today. If you've lost your download link, please contact Paul or Rafael via email.

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 0.91 – 582 pages

Quick update

It's been a while since the last update, sorry about that. Here's what's happening.

Things are indeed moving slowly on the book front. This is something that seems to strike each time I "finish" a book: I can go and go and go for months while writing the book, but then it gets done and those remaining bits just never get completed. I can't explain the psychology of this, just tell you that's what happens and move on.

So, a couple of things.

Obviously, many of you are interested in seeing the Kindle version of the book. It's happening, but in examining the various choices for getting the book out into the world, I've decided to test a service called Book Baby that looks promising by using my previous book first, Windows Phone 8 Field Guide. This is a safe choice in that it's "done" (i.e. will not be updated again, though there will be a Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide to cover the new version of that OS). It took a while to prepare that book for Book Baby, but it's off to Amazon (and Nook and iBooks and several other platforms), so we'll know soon.

As for this book, two main things need to happen now before I will push it out to Kindle (via Book Baby hopefully):

1. The promised "thank you" stuff, which has proven ponderous and is part of the reason for the abrupt work stoppage. I think we were both a bit surprised by the some of the weird responses we got to this, and we're a bit nervous about not properly crediting people who really did help out and, likewise, leaving people off the list who requested it. The issue is that once this goes out to Kindle, etc., you can't really pull it back. This was one of those well-intentioned by ultimately misguided ideas, perhaps. We'll try to pull it together.

2. Microsoft this week updated the Store app for Windows 8.1. This is a rare event: The firm has never updated Store outside of an OS release (Windows 8 and then Windows 8.1), and the changes are good ones. So I'm going to update the APPS chapter to address this updated app. Hopefully, that won't take too long, he says with a straight face.

So, we'll get there. Sorry it's taking so long. But we want to get this one right.

Looking at the feedback

With the understanding that there's only so much time in the day, at some point we realized that much of the feedback we got thought UserVoice would need to be acted on for whatever post-1.0 releases. And while we can't fully resolve all of this immediately, let me quickly step through the list and see what we can do about this feedback.

Here's what we've gotten so far, and our proposals for dealing with this feedback. (Each has been edited for brevity, and I've removed a few that were duplicates or close enough.)

When to use a Modern app over other choices. If there is choice between a web App, a desktop application, or a Modern App, what are the benefits of using one over the other?

This will be covered in a future update to the book. For 1.0, we focused largely on what's new and most of that is of course the Modern apps. But we'll covering desktop and web-based replacements where possible/necessary in future updates.

Why people, why? Why do people think they need a start menu?

This is not really a topic for a book and is more of a commentary type topic. The goal of the book is to help people best use what's available.

Teach how to install, close and use Modern apps.

                We feel like a huge chunk of the book is already devoted to this topic.

Describe how to customize a Windows recovery image. I don't want the PC maker's crapware installed when I recover Windows.

This will absolutely be part of a future edition of the book.

Enterprise/business usage.

We originally intended to cover Windows 8.1 business topics in the book, and will be adding more of this content in future updates.

Usage scenarios. Add a chapter (or section) focusing on different W8.1 usage scenarios/use cases: Desktop Mostly, Start Screen mostly, Media consumption; touch-focused scenarios, Keyboard/Mouse focused, Other UX scenarios.

This is a great idea. We'll look at incorporating this kind of thing in future updates.

Navigation. I'll probably print the entire book when it's done but leaving it as a PDF On my iPad for now it would be nice to have a 'back to contents' button on each page.

Not sure about a specific navigation thing like that, as we're trying to keep the manuscript as clean as possible and not create various different versions that would have to be updated separately. But we are examining printed book options and will have something to share soon.

Speech Recognition How-to (Win vs Win RT?). If this works offline on tablets - that would influence my next tablet/laptop choice.

This isn't high on the list per se, but as we do fill in missing content in future updates, it makes sense to discuss all of the Ease of Access functionality, both in the Modern environment and on the desktop.

Start Button replacement/ Start8 and ModernMix. Take a look at StartIsBack as the replacement for the Start8 application. Have you included any info on using Windows 8.1 with Start8 and/or ModernMix installed?

We will be adding a minimal amount of content about Start button and Start menu replacements and other useful third party add-ons in a future update to the book.

More File History content. I'd love to learn more about the file history features of windows 8. I turned it on and can see some of what it's doing, but I'm sure it's doing stuff I don't see. How many previous versions does it store, when does it make the copies, what options are available for setting it up and recovering files?

We will look at expanding the File History content that is already in the book. Also will be adding a section about Storage Spaces.

Moving personal folders to a second hard drive. Including moving Public folders to a second hard drive.

This is covered but perhaps not deeply enough. There are two primary use cases here: A standard PC with two hard drives or a tablet with a micro-SD card. So we touch on both but maybe not completely. We'll look at this.

Keyboard shortcuts in Windows 8.1. A list of keyboard shortcuts that make windows 8.1 easier to navigate. I've got several, but I know there are some great time savers I'm missing out on.

We were careful to cover keyboard shortcuts throughout the book, but like the idea of a keyboard shortcut list, perhaps an appendix. We'll add this.

SkyDrive name change. Edit Files section to reflect SkyDrive name change to OneDrive.

This has been done.

How to avoid using Microsoft login to download games. I'd really like to know how to download the "free" games from the Microsoft store to my Win 8.1 surface Pro 2 without changing my login to my Microsoft login. I use a "local" login on purpose. Why can't I simply use my Microsoft login to connect?

Since there's no way to do that, we won't be covering it in the book.

Windows 8.1 recovery features. What recovery options exist for Windows 8.1. What tools does Microsoft provide users to recover from system crashes including a full hard drive crash. Can I make a bootable recovery DVD to reinstall on a new drive? Lots of questions here.

We feel like this is adequately covered in the Backup and Recovery chapter.

Section/Page direct access. Put section/page hyperlinks into PDF, Mobi and EPUB Table of Contents for easier access to what we're looking for.

This is already in the book.

Clean install details: Performing a clean install of 8.1 from DVD/USB. Unsure if you've already discussed this in great detail.

This is already in the book.

Customize the full apps list. On previous versions of Windows, it was possible to reorder, rename, delete, and generally organize the apps listed in the start menu. The same file structure seems to exist in Windows 8, but it doesn't seem to change the full apps list as it did the start menu in older releases. Is there a way to customize this list?

No, the Apps screen works differently than did the old Start menu.

System files fix when sfc fails. How can you repair system files when sfc cmd fails?

This is a pretty specific and esoteric question. We don't even cover the SFC in the book, let alone troubleshooting it. We'll look into this.

Close Metro Apps when Switcher is Disabled (Desktop). If one disables the Switcher, then it's really hard to close Metro apps. The only way I know is to use the Task Manager.

This has been improved in the Windows 8.1 Update, which his now covered in the book.

Not Obvious but useful and Cool things you can do with W8.1. A (not so obvious, but cool) Tips & Tricks treatment. This could be done as a separate chapter or as sidebars at appropriate points throughout the book, perhaps covering apps beyond the ones everybody talks about (FB, Twitter, Weather, Music, etc.) -- ones that are really useful cool, but may not be easy to find in the store.

We don't want to write too much about apps that are not included with Windows as the book is already long enough. That said, we do like the idea of "jazzing" up the book visually with tip boxes and so on. We'll look at doing so in future updates.

Windows 8.1 start screen organization. Show how to organize Start screen apps into groups and name them.

                This is already covered in the book.

Switching from Gmail to Outlook.com. I'd like to see a very balanced article on the pros and cons of WETHER I should switch from Gmail to Outlook.com: What do I gain? What do I lose? Is it worth it?

This is not a topic for a Windows book, sorry.

Restoring backups from Windows 7. If you can provide steps on how to recover files that were backed up using Windows 7 Backup to Windows 8.1, that'd be great. It isn't quite the no-brainer process I expected it to be. There doesn't seem to be an easy way to do this, which really surprises me.

This is a good idea for a topic addition. We'll try to add this in a future update.

Use a photo for your start screen background. A new feature I like is the ability to have my desktop wallpaper appear as background on the Start screen. Show people how this is done. Again a basic function but one that some people will love and is hard to discover.

This is already covered in the book.

Manage using the Windows 8.1 desktop without the help of Modern UI. Manage the desktop without dropping into the Modern UI.

This is already covered in the book, but with regards to a previous suggestion about scenarios/use cases, this would of course be a good addition there, so it will likely be added that way regardless.

You can see our formal responses to all of the feedback—remember, some have been merged here—on our UserVoice-based Windows 8.1 Field Guide Book Feedback site.

Lessons learned: Money

Well, if we've proven anything in writing this book it's that writing books is not a good way to make a living. But we're still hoping to turn this around in small ways over time as the book is distributed through traditional e-book platforms.

We introduced the web site for this book in early November 2013, about two months after we had started writing. That date is important, because that was the point at which we started accepting payments. As we noted at the time, we decided to let the reader the price they paid for the book, with a recommended price of just $2. Since then, we've created a fairly comprehensive 550-page book that is now called Windows 8.1 Field Guide. It's focused mostly on features are new to Windows 8/8.1, and so one might argue that there is plenty of content to add, but come on. It's $2. This is an incredible bargain. At least we think so. (And of course, it will only get better and more complete over time.)

Unfortunately, not many people opted to pay for the book over the ensuing 5 months. And that's especially surprising when you consider that Paul alone has 85,000 Twitter followers, between 1 million and 1.5 million regular monthly visitors to the SuperSite for Windows, and is co-host of two very popular tech podcasts, Windows Weekly and What the Tech. Convincing just 1 percent of that audience to pay for the book would have made Windows 8.1 Field Guide a resounding success.

But that hasn't happened, at least yet. So far, we've only sold about 3,500 copies of the book. That figure is less than one half of one percent of one million people. But, we earned about $12,700 before PayPal and Amazon fees (or about $11,900 after those fees), so the average price that readers paid was about $3.55.

That ~$12,000 is significantly less than what we made on books like Windows 8 Secrets (2012) and Windows 7 Secrets (2009), both of which were traditionally published and much more expensive to the reader. About ten times more expensive, in fact.

Is this a failure?

Not yet. Rafael and I hold out some hope that Kindle sales will help somewhat and that we can maybe double current sales of the book over time. But it's not clear yet if it will never reach the level of our previous books. No one understands better than us that the world has changed, but we are a bit surprised that it's not done better. Windows 8.1 Field Guide isn't a static paper book that can never be changed. This is a dynamic book in which we could receive an email complaint or suggestion and pump out a fix—and thus a new version of the book—that same day. That seems valuable to us. It seems to make sense.

So we'll see what happens with Kindle, Nook and other e-book platforms. It can only go up from here.

It's time to say thanks

In many ways, Windows 8.1 Field Guide was an experiment in e-publishing, a way to see whether our audiences of web site readers, podcast listeners and Twitter followers would show up to support an inexpensive, transparently-created, and comprehensive guide to Microsoft's latest operating system. Resoundingly, the answer to that question is no, and only a tiny portion of this audience ever paid for the book. We'll look more deeply at why that may be so in a future post—we've certainly learned a lot over the past several months—but for now, we just want to say thanks. Because a (small) number of you really did show up and support this effort. And we really appreciate it.

A bit over 3500 people paid for Windows 8.1 Field Guide when it was at some incomplete state, which is to say sometime before it hit the 1.0 milestone. And while this has always been vague, we'd always intended to thank those who took the risk to support us during the writing of the book. Buying the book, especially in an incomplete form, is one way of doing so, and paying more than is required is of course another.

Those who provided feedback also deserve special attention, and some really went above and beyond the call here. We realize that reaching out to us to describe something like a typo or grammar error is both time consuming and potentially awkward, but I can't stress enough how much that is appreciated. Always. And of course a handful of people really showed up with detailed feedback. You're amazing.

So here's the thing.

In the version of the book heading out to Kindle and other e-book systems, we will be including a kind of thank you/acknowledgments section that lists each of the people who has contributed. But we respect your privacy and so we will not simply list your full name unless you explicitly tell us that it is OK to do so. If we don't hear from you, a name like John Doe will be listed as John D.

At least it will be where it can be. Unfortunately, we have to get this information from PayPal and Amazon, and as we'll be explaining further in a later post, working with those guys has been pretty miserable. What they send us is the name and email address tied to the payment account, plus the amount paid, the date, and the transaction number. Some of the name information is incorrect or incomplete. So sometimes it's just a first name (e.g. "Sally") and sometimes it's an email address or not otherwise relatable to a name ("jt", "htc1" or whatever). We'll use what we can, but obviously won't be publishing any email addresses if that's what's there.

We'll group this list by level of engagement. Everyone who paid at least $2 for the book will be on the list, of course. And those who paid more than the minimum suggested amount will be in a separate group, as will those who provided feedback.

Thank you for supporting Windows 8.1 Field Guide and taking a chance that we'd ever actually finish it and create something that is both useful and valuable. We intend to keep supporting this book with updates, and of course there is more coming, though our experiences with this book may change the way we do some things going forward.

Anyway, if you would like your full name listed in the book, please click here.

OK, this could be it

With the understanding that Windows 8.1 Field Guide will never really be completed, we still need to sign off on a release that we can call the initial, 1.0, release. This could be it.

We started work on this book about 6 months ago. Since then, I've posted:

- Over 100 updates to various chapter documents (it's hard to count this one)

- 90 updates to the full book document

- 111 blog posts (including this one) describing these updates plus some other related topics

That's a lot of writing. The book is 582 pages long, but it's really less than that, probably 555 pages or whatever, without all the contents stuff. It's about 104,000 words in all. And a ton of shots, of course. I do like to be visual.

More to the point, it was a lot of work. But it's winding down.

Anyway. Here's what we could "sign off on" as the 1.0 release barring any major issues. This is the version we'll push out to Amazon Kindle and other e-book platforms. More on that when we know more. But once 1.0 does happen, we'll look at updating the book. We have a list of stuff we'd like to add, and of course many of you have written in with some ideas too. So that will be the focus after we get this milestone out of the way.

Feedback is always appreciated. Never more so than now.

Download

Remember, you can download the latest version of this and other chapters, and the full book in progress, from the download page you have hopefully already bookmarked. If you haven't yet paid for the book, please get a copy of the book today. If you've lost your download link, please contact Paul or Rafael via email.

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 0.90 – 582 pages

Getting close

We're obviously getting really close to 1.0. Here's an interim update that adds the final book cover design and the results of a ton of reader feedback. That feedback is all editing related, at this point I think we'll hold off on new content until post-1.0. But it's also only about half the feedback I've gotten in the past week, so I'll go through the rest and post another update soon. But I think we're closing in on the "final" release of 1.0.

Feedback is always appreciated. More soon.

Download

Remember, you can download the latest version of this and other chapters, and the full book in progress, from the download page you have hopefully already bookmarked. If you haven't yet paid for the book, please get a copy of the book today. If you've lost your download link, please contact Paul or Rafael via email.

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 0.89 – 581 pages

A quick peek at the cover design

I've been dying to share this one. Martin McClean—Microsoft's "poster guy" and the author of the Posterpedia app for Windows 8—has been working up an amazing cover design for Windows 8.1 Field Guide. We'll probably fiddle a bit with the compass design, but here is where he's at. As you can see, it's amazing!

Feedback is always appreciated. More soon.

Download

Remember, you can download the latest version of this and other chapters, and the full book in progress, from the download page you have hopefully already bookmarked. If you haven't yet paid for the book, please get a copy of the book today. If you've lost your download link, please contact Paul or Rafael via email.

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 0.88 – 581 pages

Winding down

OK, I think it's fair to say that the 1.0 version of Windows 8.1 Field Guide is very close.

This update includes a number of fixes, but the big change, I guess, falls under the consistency/naming correctness umbrella: I was previously using terms like landing page and home screen/page to describe various parts of Modern apps. It now uses the current terms, though I don't like the word "page" to describe a screen, so I've got hub view, section view and details view.

There are some other things I think I'd fix if this were heading to paper-only publication. But since the intent is to keep updating this, I'm going to draw the line sometime this weekend and see what we can do to get the book in the Kindle and Nook stores officially.

If you find anything wrong, now is the time to let me know. :)

Looking ahead, I'll try to prioritize the coming changes, including those that were recommended by readers, some to-do items I've listed while editing (a section on scanning, for example, disabling trackpad gestures, and so on; there's a bunch), and so.

We would also like to figure out a way to reward or least mention those people who did contribute with fixes and ideas. I'll write up something about that this coming week.

Almost home.

More soon.

Download

Remember, you can download the latest version of this and other chapters, and the full book in progress, from the download page you have hopefully already bookmarked. If you haven't yet paid for the book, please get a copy of the book today. If you've lost your download link, please contact Paul or Rafael via email.

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 0.87 – 581 pages

Now fortified with Update 1

As you might know, Microsoft is getting ready to deliver Update 1 for Windows 8.1 sometime in the next few weeks. As such, we've decided to make sure Windows 8.1 Field Guide is up to date with the changes that are coming in this update. So this update to the book includes a first pass at making that happen. I suspect it won't be the last.

But it's a start. Most of the new stuff, I think, will be relegated to the BASIC NAVIGATION and PERSONALIZE chapters, so I focused on updating those two chapters.

This update also includes a few more unrelated new sections and updated sections, plus a few more SkyDrive-to-OneDrive screenshot fixes. And some typo fixes sent in by readers, which is always appreciated.

More soon.

Download

Remember, you can download the latest version of this and other chapters, and the full book in progress, from the download page you have hopefully already bookmarked. If you haven't yet paid for the book, please get a copy of the book today. If you've lost your download link, please contact Paul or Rafael via email.

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 0.86 – 581 pages

A couple of content additions

Here's another update to the near-final version of Windows 8.1 Field Guide. This one includes two new sections: "Move the location of the OneDrive folder" in the FILES chapter and "Get app notifications from outside an app" in the APPS folder.

Both were your basic oversights, but I think the format of the book makes it easy to plug in new content, and while these don't "prove" that theory, they certainly help support it.

These new sections also added about 6 pages to the book.

Feedback is always appreciated. More soon.

Download

Remember, you can download the latest version of this and other chapters, and the full book in progress, from the download page you have hopefully already bookmarked. If you haven't yet paid for the book, please get a copy of the book today. If you've lost your download link, please contact Paul or Rafael via email.

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 0.85 – 575 pages