Maybe it is just me, but the majority of notifications that apps displays on Windows 8's new and shiny startpage are rather irritating and repetitive. Don't get me wrong. I can see where this may come in handy: a mail widget displaying the unread mail count, a weather app cycling through all weather conditions in selected places, or the finance app highlighting latest stock market happenings in realtime.
What I find most irritating is the frequency in which apps update their news. Some apps iterate between two notifications over and over again in five-or-so second intervals. That is not only useless from a usability point of view, but also unnerving as it is adding additional noise to the colorful startpage.
Before I look at options to turn notifications off for specific apps or for all apps, I'd like to write down how Microsoft or third party developers can improve the experience.
You can turn off notifications for individual tiles or for all tiles. If a particular tile is annoying you, simply right-click it and select the turn live tile off option from the bottom toolbar that is displayed as a consequence.
Note that you need to do that individually for each tile that you want to turn notifications off for. While you can select multiple tiles with a right-click, the turn live tile off option is removed when you have selected multiple tiles on the screen (why?).
If you do not like notifications at all, you can turn the feature off completely in the settings. Bring up the Charms Bar with Windows-C or by moving the mouse cursor to the lower or upper right corner of the screen. Select Settings here, and on the next screen change PC settings at the bottom. This opens the startpage control panel where you can make modifications to this part of the operating system.
Click on Notifications here. You know have the following options:
Microsoft needs to improve the usability of app notifications on the operating system's startscreen. For me, it is to limiting and annoying at the moment to be of any use.
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