Microsoft highlights Reading List ahead of Windows 8.1 launch

There are only three weeks to go until the release of Windows 8.1 and Microsoft is laying the groundwork by highlighting some of the new features and apps that are to be found in the update. The latest app to be picked out is Reading List -- Microsoft's answer to the list of Pocket and ReadItLater. The app has been designed to make it easier to save online articles to read at a later time without the need to bookmark it.

Reading List differs from RSS readers such as Feedly in that articles are stored on an individual basis. And while it is well suited to "bookmarking" articles you find on websites that you would like to return to, it can also be used to bookmark content from other apps. Just like other "read it later" tools, the real advantage comes from the fact that content is synchronized between devices.

If you're catching up on the news on your home PC before heading off to work, lengthy articles can be added to your Reading List so you can finish it off on your laptop or Surface on your journey to the office. Using Reading List means taking advantage of Windows 8.1's Charm bar. Swipe in from the right -- with a finger or mouse -- select the Share option and then choose Reading List.

But it's not just a handy way to sync articles between devices -- Reading List is also a great way to collate related information when researching a project. It's not an option that is going to completely replace the traditional idea of bookmarking sites, but it serves as an excellent complementary method.

Are there any particular features you're looking forward to in Windows 8.1? If you've already updated you operating system, how does Reading List compare to other similar tools you've used in the past?

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