Blog

April 15th, 2016

2016Apr15_Windows_CRecently, Windows 10’s Anniversary Update announced some pretty cool features that you didn’t even know you wanted. Some of these changes include making Cortana an even better personal assistant, automatically putting your laptop in battery saver mode, allowing you to choose for Windows to update, and more. Now how will these new features help small business owners? If you want to know more about the Windows 10 update, below are just some of the features that you can look forward to.

Cortana updates

One of Microsoft’s biggest announcements are the changes made to Cortana. Basically, cross-platform support for Cortana allows Android users to receive notifications on any Windows 10 devices and interact with them too. This means alerts from your phone can immediately be transmitted to your Windows 10 tablet or PC and you can send a quick text back, saving you the hassle of having to frequently pull out your phone at work. Even if you have low battery on your mobile devices, with Cortana installed, she’ll warn you on any device.

The update will also enable you to share directions across all devices. If you search up directions on your computer, Cortana will send those same directions to your phone. Additionally, if you ever lose your phone, you can locate it from your PC as long as Cortana is enabled on your phone.

Action center updates

Tired of getting notifications from unimportant applications? With the new Microsoft update, you can now prioritize the levels of notifications you want to see in your Action Center. Simply go to Settings > System > Notifications & Actions then click on a specific app and prioritize its alerts. You can set three levels of priority for each application: Normal, High, or Priority. Now you’ll only receive notifications that are important to you.

Microsoft Edge extensions

Microsoft’s web browsers have always lagged behind more popular browsers like Chrome or Firefox. However, Microsoft is hoping to entice people to use their web browsers by giving Windows users new and updated web extensions like OneNote Clipper and Pin It Button. Add-ons like Microsoft Translator and Mouse Gestures also received new upgrades for you to try out. To access these features, click on the dotted icon on the top right of the screen and select Extensions to find out how you can customize your Microsoft Edge browser.

Pin windows to virtual desktops

A small change for those who have grown accustomed to using virtual desktops at work. Virtual desktops allow you to separate how your windows are organized by creating an entirely new desktop to work with. Many people use this feature to separate their work files from their personal desktop to avoid confusion. The updates made it so that you can pin a window across all your virtual desktops by clicking Show this window on all desktops. What can this feature be used for? Suppose you wanted to have your favorite news website open at work and at home for personal use. With the new update, you avoid having to open another web browser just to access the same site on a different desktop.

Detailed battery use

Detailed battery use will temporarily stop high powered apps from running if your battery power is low. You can have your laptop immediately go to battery saver once it’s reached a certain percentage. Just go to Settings > Battery and slide what battery percentage you consider appropriate to automatically go on battery saver mode.

Customized update settings

Automatic Windows updates can be a real pain during inconvenient times. You’ll be glad to hear that you can now change that by going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. From here you can prevent Windows from automatically updating during business hours.

These are just a few of the exciting changes that are coming for Windows 10 users. We don’t know how many people will utilize these changes but, if we can expect one thing from the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, it definitely aims to make our lives a bit easier. Want to hear more of the latest Windows 10 news and updates? Contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
March 25th, 2016

2016Mar25_MicrosoftWindowsNewsAndTips_CWhether you want to have a darker color scheme, run several apps at the same time or have multiple desktop displays, Windows 10 gives you many options to personalize your PC. And while some customization options are less obvious than others, it is well worth the effort to get your Windows 10 to act and look the way you want it to. Here are just a few things you can do to personalize your PC.

Change your themes

Probably the most obvious way to personalize your Windows 10 is by changing your background and lock images by right-clicking on your desktop and going to the Personalization settings. Fiddle around with the different themes you want to see every time you minimize your windows or even add new themes by selecting your own or by clicking on the Get more themes online option.

Use dark mode

Want to give your Windows 10 an edgier feel? Replace those white backgrounds with dark mode. It does take a bit of effort to get to though. Open the run menu (Windows key + R) and type regedit to open the Registry. Then go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER> SOFTWARE> Microsoft> Windows> CurrentVersion> Themes> Personalize. On the right, you’ll notice an option called AppsUseLightTheme. Open up the box, and change Value Data from a 1 to 0.

Changing the value to 0 switches off the light theme and takes you to dark mode. To make sure the changes are made you need to logout of your PC and log back in. To switch the themes back to the Light theme just take the same steps but instead you need to switch the Data Value back to 1.

Virtual desktops

If you’re having trouble separating your work files from your personal files, try creating a virtual desktop. Press the Windows key + TAB to show all your open windows. At the bottom right corner of your screen you’ll notice an option to add a new desktop. Simply click on it to create a new desktop and immediately enjoy looking up your hobbies on one desktop while strictly doing business on the other.

To quickly switch between your desktops you can use the CTRL + Windows key + left/right arrow shortcut to maneuver between screens.

App snapping

App snapping is not exactly a new feature for experienced Windows users but with Windows 10, you can now snap any app in place. For people who like to multitask, this feature can be just for you. Snap any app window into one side or corner of your screen by simply dragging it into the desired area. You can have a maximum of 4 separate windows open in your monitor at the same time for when you want to browse the internet while you’re filling out spreadsheets.

Reorganize your Start Menu

To add a little more “you” into your Windows PC you can do a few things to customize how your apps are readied on your Start Menu. To begin with, you can resize the Start Menu by simply dragging the top or right side of the menu to resize.

You can choose to resize the live tiles by right-clicking on them and selecting the Resize option. You can also rearrange application tiles by dragging them anywhere around the Start Menu. Or if you don’t see yourself using a particular application simply right click the tile and select Unpin from Start. On the other hand, you can pin applications into the Start Menu by going to the All Apps tab, right-clicking and choosing Pin to Start. For even faster access to the apps that you like to go to, simply pin the program to the task bar.

Change color themes

Is plain black Start Menu color not doing it for you anymore? Just right-click on your desktop, choose Personalize> Color and select any accent color that suits you. Switch on the Show color on Start, taskbar, action center, and title option if you want this color applied to the entire menu. There are also various other options you can choose to display the Start Menu by going to the Start section of the Personalization settings.

Disable notifications

We don’t know where you stand on app notifications but if you absolutely hate it and wish to never hear that notification sound ever again, simply click Start> Setting> System> Notifications>Actions and switch off whatever app notifications you don’t want. Goodbye annoying reminders.

Switch up and personalize your Windows 10 how ever you like by using some or all of these options and hopefully you get the settings that’s just right for you. If you would like to know about more ways you can personalize your desktop or need information on anything Windows 10 related, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
March 3rd, 2016

2016Mar3_MicrosoftWindowsNewsAndTips_CYou’re likely a busy person. So the last thing you want to be bothered with is a slow computer. If you’ve recently upgraded to Windows 10, you may be surprised (and slightly annoyed) to discover that it’s running much slower than expected. So what can you do? Here are a few steps you can take to significantly speed up your new OS.

Prevent programs from launching at startup

Windows loads several programs at startup so they’re quickly available. While Microsoft likely has good intentions for doing this, the auto-launch can also slow down the speed of your computer. To fix this issue, you’ll need to make some manual adjustments in the settings.

To see what programs are launching during startup, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc. Next, click on the startup tab of the Task Manager window, where you can easily disable any programs you don’t want launching at startup. However, there will likely be a few programs you’re unsure about. For those, it’s best to play it safe and keep them enabled.

Get rid of useless applications

Having a large amount of programs on your computer takes up valuable memory and hard disk space. In other words, it slows your computer down and makes it work harder than necessary. To quickly clean out your unused programs, follow these steps:
  1. Type Change or remove a program into the taskbar search box (this will show you all the apps stored on your computer)
  2. Select the program/s you no longer want, and click Uninstall.
Once you do this, you’ll then be guided through a number of steps to complete the uninstallation process.

Tidy up your disks

While most people like to clean out their houses come Spring, why not do so with your computer sometime this month? Thankfully, Microsoft’s Disk Cleaner tool makes it easy to do so.

To find Disk Cleaner, right-click any drive in File Explorer and select Properties and Disk Cleanup under the General tab. Once open, it will automatically find files that may be taking up unnecessary space, such as temporary Internet and system memory dump files, and presents them to you for your review. Once you’ve looked them over, you can easily erase them by simply clicking OK.

Turn off apps running in the background

Much to your surprise, there are likely some programs running in the background of your Windows 10 OS that you’re completely unaware of. Microsoft has enabled their native universal apps to do this so you can quickly access their features. However, it also will cause some slow down to your CPU, so you might want to disable them.

To find out what programs are running in the background, navigate to Start Menu>Settings>Privacy>Background apps. Then, switch off the programs you don’t want running at all times.

By following these four steps, you are sure to see a noticeable difference in the speed of your PC. If you’d like to learn more about how to optimize your Windows system or need assistance with your other Microsoft products, feel free to give us a call.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
February 18th, 2016

2016Feb18_MicrosoftWindowsNewsAndTips_CIt takes seconds to infiltrate and obtain private information. And while it’s unlikely that Microsoft will cause your business financial ruin with their data collection, the fact is that Windows 10 gathers a ridiculous amount of private information from users. So here are some tips that will enhance your privacy when using the operating system.

Say goodbye to ad tracking

Every time you log on to surf the net, you are leaving a trail of breadcrumbs that lead directly to your online profile. This problem is easily solved by deactivating ad tracking. With Windows 10, however, it goes a tad further by using an advertising ID. They not only gather information based on web browsing but also when you use Windows 10 apps.

If you find this bothersome, launch the Settings app, go to General, and look for “Change privacy options”. You then move the slider from on to off, but if you want to make absolutely sure you have no virtual stalkers, head to choice.microsoft.com/en-us/opt-out and disable the “Personalized ads whenever I use my Microsoft account” tab.

Slip off the grid

Thanks to location tracking, nearby restaurants and future weather predictions are at your fingertips. While some might not mind this feature, there are others who wish to enjoy some privacy from their smartphones every once in awhile. To do so, launch the Settings app, then Privacy, and disable the Location tab.

But if you wish to share your location with certain apps, scroll down and activate the ‘Choose apps that can use your location’ tab, and choose your desired apps. Also, regularly clearing your location history doesn’t hurt either.

Cortana, why so clingy?

Albeit a very helpful digital assistant, Cortana requires access to your personal information. Turning it off completely just stops some of her data-collection, since whatever data she already knows, is stored in the cloud. So to break up for good, log into your Microsoft account and then clear all the information Cortana and other Microsoft services (ex. Bing maps) have gathered.

Other measures include clearing the information in your interests section or heading over to the “interest manager” tab and edit which interests you wish Cortana to track.

Disable Wi-Fi Sense?

This feature is designed to let you easily share Wi-Fi connections, but some have misunderstood it to be an opportunity to log onto your network and be naughty. Wi-Fi Sense allows you to share your network’s bandwidth with specific people while ensuring they can’t access your entire network. Vice versa, it lets you connect to Wi-Fi networks your friends share with you.

If it still worries you, launch the Setting app, go to Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > and click on Wi-Fi Sense. From there, deactivate two bars: “Connect to suggested open hotspots” and “Connect to networks shared my contacts”.

Prioritize privacy

All of the aforementioned tips should take about five to ten minutes to implement, but if you’d like to take it one step further, launch the Settings app, go to Privacy, and look on the left-hand side. Here, you will find various settings that allow you to make very detailed adjustments to your privacy. Enjoy!

We hope you find these five privacy protection tips helpful. If you need more help protecting your information or securing your network, give us a call.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
December 22nd, 2014

windows_Dec18_CLove it, or hate it, the Windows 8 and 8.1 Start Screen is here to stay. While many business users have selected to boot directly into Desktop mode with Windows 8.1, the Start Screen still has some great features to offer. For those who do decide to use it, actually finding your installed apps can be a bit tricky at first.

How to find all of your installed apps from the Start Screen

When you install a new app on your computer, regardless of whether it is a Metro style app, or a traditional desktop style app, you are going to need to be able to find and open it. Because we often install a large number of programs on our computers, it can be a challenge to actually locate these apps via the file explorer used in Windows.

The easiest way to do find your apps is to:

  1. Switch to the Start Screen if you are currently in Desktop mode. This can be done by tapping on the Windows key.
  2. Hover your mouse at the lower-left of your screen.
  3. Click the arrow that is pointing down.
You can also access the apps screen by hitting: Control + Tab from anywhere in the Start Screen. Once open, you should see a list of all the apps you have installed. Apps that have been recently installed will have a NEW tag beside the name.

If you would like to sort your apps differently, such as by name or date installed, click the drop-down arrow beside APPS at the top of your screen and select the sorting option you prefer. Should you have a large number of apps installed and want to quickly find an app, click on the magnifying glass at the top-right of your screen and enter the name of the app you are looking for.

Adding apps to the Taskbar or the Start Screen

When 8.1 was introduced, Microsoft removed the feature where tiles were automatically created in the Start Screen and apps were automatically pinned to the taskbar. If you would like to either pin an app to the Start Screen or the taskbar you can do so by:
  1. Opening the Apps menu via the Start Screen.
  2. Searching for the app you would like to pin, either by scrolling through the list, or clicking the magnifying glass and entering the name.
  3. Right-clicking on the app.
  4. Selecting either: Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar.
This will subsequently pin the app to the taskbar on the Desktop, or create a new tile on the Start Screen.

If you are looking to learn more about Windows 8.1, and how it can be used in your business effectively, contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
September 24th, 2014

Windows_Sep22_CWhile there are many great features included in Windows 8 and 8.1, one of the more useful, but hardly ever thought about, is the taskbar, which displays all of your useful apps and open apps. Any Windows user is familiar with the bar at the bottom of the screen, but did you know that you can change specific properties about it?

1. Add or remove programs from your taskbar

By default, there are usually two icons on your taskbar: Internet Explorer and File Explorer. When you open a program, the icon will pop up to the right of these icons and will remain there as long as the program is open. Close it however, and the icon will usually disappear.

If you use certain programs a lot, you can 'pin' the icon to your taskbar, making it easier to launch in the future. This can be done by first opening the program, then right-clicking on the icon and selecting Pin to Taskbar. You can unpin unused programs by right-clicking on the icon and selecting Unpin from Taskbar.

Alternatively, you can drag a program's icon onto the taskbar to add it. Just drag it from the folder or your desktop to where you would like it to be on the taskbar, and it should be added.

2. Locking the taskbar

If you have added the programs you use most, and would like to ensure that they stay on the taskbar, you can lock the bar to ensure that nothing can be added or deleted without first unlocking it. Locking will also ensure that the taskbar can't be accidentally moved.

Locking the taskbar is done by:

  1. Right-clicking on the taskbar.
  2. Selecting Lock the taskbar from the pop-up menu.
Note: When you install a new program, or would like to add/modify those on the taskbar you will need to unlock it first, which can be done by right-clicking on the taskbar and clicking Unlock Taskbar.

3. Hiding the taskbar

While the taskbar is useful, some users prefer that it isn't always showing at the bottom of the screen. You can actually enable hiding of the taskbar, so it will only show it when you hover your mouse over where it should be.

This can be done by:

  1. Right-clicking on an empty space on the taskbar.
  2. Selecting Properties. Note: Don't right-click on an app's icon, as it will open the properties related to the app, not the taskbar.
  3. Tick Auto-hide taskbar.
  4. Click Ok.

4. Move the location of the taskbar

If you have a large number of apps pinned to the taskbar, or don't like it's location at the bottom of the screen you can easily move it by either:
  1. Left-clicking on an empty area of the taskbar.
  2. Holding the mouse button down and moving the cursor to the side of the screen where you would like to move the bar to.
Or:
  1. Right-clicking on an empty area of the taskbar.
  2. Selecting Properties.
  3. Clicking on the drop-down box beside Taskbar location on screen:.
  4. Selecting the location.
If the bar does not move, be sure that it is not locked.

5. Preview open apps

One interesting feature of the taskbar is that it can offer a preview of your desktop from the tile-based screen. You can enable it by:
  1. Right-clicking on an empty area of the taskbar.
  2. Selecting Properties.
  3. Ticking Use Peek to preview the desktop when you move your mouse to the Show Desktop button at the end of the taskbar.

6. Pin apps to the taskbar from the metro (tile) screen

While the tile-based Start screen isn't the most popular with business users, it can be a good way to easily add programs to your taskbar. You can do so by:
  1. Scrolling through your tiles until you find the app you want to pin to the taskbar.
  2. Right-clicking on the app.
  3. Selecting Pin to taskbar from the menu bar that opens at the bottom of the screen.
If you are looking to learn more about using Windows in your office, contact us today to see how we can help.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
March 20th, 2013

Office_March26_CThink back to the last PowerPoint presentation you saw. Did it have charts, graphs or other figures obviously from Excel spreadsheets? Were they good? It’s not uncommon to see presentations with weak graphs, which can lead to the audience losing attention. While it may seem hard to get a good-looking graph into PowerPoint, it actually isn’t.

Here’s how you can take data from spreadsheets in Excel and turn it into graphs and charts in PowerPoint.

Before you start

Before you can transfer data from Excel, you should take a look at the spreadsheet. If you have a ton of data and only want to take a certain chunk to make your graph, it would be best to copy and paste it into a new Excel workbook. This way, you can get the data from Excel to PowerPoint easily and turn into a graph or chart.

The key idea here is that you don’t want to do a data-dump – putting every single number, most of which could be useless – into a slide. You want to take only the most relevant information from the spreadsheet. It’s easiest to do this on a slide-by-slide basis, after you have setup the presentation outline. Copy the information only pertaining to that one slide. If you’re not sure whether it will be useful or not, it likely isn’t, so don’t take it.

Create the graph/chart

Once you have only the data you are going to need for the chart, you can switch over to PowerPoint and go to the slide where you will put the chart. This can be done by:

  1. Clicking on the slide’s body field – where you enter the main text of the slide, below the title.
  2. Selecting the Insert tab from the top of the screen and clicking on Insert Chart. Note: This will only work if the slide’s layout supports Content. To change the layout of the slide, right-click on it and select Layout, then pick one that says Content.
  3. Choosing the type of graph that’s relevant to your data from the window that pops up and pressing OK.
  4. Deleting the information in the dummy Excel spreadsheet that comes up by left-clicking and dragging over the content. It will be highlighted and pressing Delete will get rid of it.
  5. Copying and pasting the information from the Excel spreadsheet you setup earlier into the window in PowerPoint. Be sure to click on A1 before you paste it.
  6. Renaming the chart by double-clicking on the title above the cells.

You can click back to the slide to look at the chart. Often times the data will be opposite. For example, the date will show on the X axis, when it should be on the Y. If you click on the chart, and select Switch Row/Column in the ribbon above the slide, you will be able to re-arrange the information.

Time to format

It’s highly unlikely that the graph you placed into the slide is formatted the way you want, or even optimized for your audience. Here are four tips to help you format it so it not only looks good, but can be seen when you give your presentation.

  1. Don’t get too flashy – Yes, there are a large number and variety of charts available. No, they are not all good for presentations. It’s best to pick a simple layout – stick with the classics: Pie, Bar and Line. Don’t pick 3-D charts as they are hard to read and can confuse the audience. Also pick colors that can be seen. For example, light green, yellow, grey, etc. can hardly be seen on most projectors.
  2. Use big text – It may look big enough on your screen, but you can be sure it isn’t going to be big enough for your audience. Use the biggest font size possible, and limit any explanation text.
  3. Remove Gridlines – But Gridlines make it easier to determine amounts don’t they? Yes, on reports. But this isn’t a report, it’s a presentation, so it’s ok to be general. Gridlines will just confuse your audience, and make graphs look cramped. Remove them by clicking on any grid line in the middle of the graph, and pressing Delete on your keyboard.
  4. Test it – Before you give the presentation, it would be a good idea to test the presentation on a screen that is similar to the size you will be presenting on. If that’s not possible, get a colleague to look over it. They will likely be able to point some changes out – if need be.

Having attractive graphs in your presentations can go a long way in keeping your audience engaged, and it could increase the chances of your message sinking in. If you would like to learn more about how you can leverage PowerPoint or any of Microsoft’s other programs in your office, please contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
September 19th, 2012

Technology is always changing, improving or adapting and companies, especially small businesses, have a hard time keeping up with the changes which can be quite costly. One solution to this is to allow employees the option of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to help with their job. Microsoft has picked up this trend and is set to introduce new features with the impending release of Windows 8.

Here are four features of Windows 8 that will help companies manage or implement a BYOD policy.

DirectAccess. DirectAccess (a feature of windows that allows users to connect to enterprise systems without the need for a Virtual Private Network), first introduced in Windows 7, has had some improvements. The goal of this feature is to allow users on their own devices, or who are out of the office, easier connectivity to the office, without the need for costly networking. Windows 8 Enterprise editions will come with this already installed, and the new version will make it easier to configure and monitor.

Windows To Go. For companies that have no assigned seats, or with consultants/remote workers, the need to use the same system as the office on their devices is important. With Windows To Go users can run their work PC from a USB drive. When a user connects the USB they can boot up an exact copy of their work PC, and continue working. This feature is a perfect match for BYOD, as users have a distinct solution to plug into the office, without needing to install extra software, and IT can manage the work PC without being too invasive.

More secure mobile platform. One of the biggest updates Windows 8 will bring will be closer integration of the OS between desktops and mobile devices. With the new platform, IT can set which mobile devices have access to different apps, encrypt hard drives on phones, and run more efficient security campaigns with the aim of keeping business data on personal devices secure.

One management tool, many systems. One of the hardest tasks IT has in relation to the monitoring of personal devices is managing the different systems employees use. Windows 8 will extend the current device management tools IT uses to monitor systems in the office to all devices using Windows. This means IT has one device management tool, not 3-4, and changes made to one system can, in theory, be applied to all devices.

Built in virus protection. When Windows 8 releases, it will come with built-in security and virus protection. While it can be guaranteed it won’t be perfect, hardly any anti-virus programs are. This is an added layer of protection if your users don’t have an antivirus program on their personal devices.

Windows 8 is still a month or so away from release, and many companies are preparing for an upgrade. If you’re interested in upgrading to Windows 8, or have concerns about BYOD, please contact us.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
August 30th, 2012

In the mid 2000s Microsoft was more or less stagnant. Windows, despite numerous releases, still looked more or less the same, and Office hadn’t received a decent upgrade in a long time. Things looked grim, but Microsoft has managed to turn things around. Windows 8 and related products are a drastic departure from the Microsoft look, even Hotmail has had a makeover.

In late July Microsoft quickly announced and released @outlook.com, their new cloud based email service. If a Web based email service from Microsoft sounds familar, it is, as Outlook.com is a reinvented and drastically improved version of Hotmail.

Outlook.com has completely ditched the clunky, outdated layout Microsoft has used for Hotmail for years and released something that looks 100% modern, and maybe even a little spaceage. The general opinion is that it looks fantastic. For Gmail users, it looks instantly familiar, with files and folders on the left-hand side of the window, your emails in the center and addons on the right-hand side of the screen.

Hold on, isn’t that exactly the same as Gmail? Yes, and for a reason: it works really, really well. However, Outlook.com does improve on Gmail with integration of a large number of features including:

  • Integration with Microsoft Office. All documents sent to you can be viewed and edited online.
  • Integration with SkyDrive. When you click the Outlook box at the top of the window, a drop-down menu opens with the ability to shift to your SkyDrive. This makes it easier to switch and share files between the two services. This also allows you to share larger files that don’t have to be sent via email, slowing down delivery. Just share the file on SkyDrive and link to it in the email.
  • Synchronized contacts. You can instantly synchronize your Facebook and LinkedIn contacts and chat with them directly from Outlook.com.
  • Skype. Experts wondered what Microsoft would do with Skype when they bought it last year. The answer is: integrate it with Outlook.com. While it isn’t active yet, Microsoft has noted it should be part of Outlook.com soon. When it’s activated, you’ll be able to call and chat with your Outlook.com contacts via Skype, directly from the Inbox. There will be no need to install Skype on systems.
  • Mobile support. You can access your account on nearly any mobile device that can connect to the Internet.
How do I get an Outlook.com account? If you’re interested in getting an outlook.com account, you can sign up for free at outlook.com. If you have an existing Hotmail account you can log in, select Options followed by Upgrade. All your contacts, emails, password and rules will be transferred over.

Outlook.com looks like a viable competitor to Gmail, and because it’s a Microsoft product, it’s a near certainty that it will be a heavily supported platform that can and will attract many businesses and other organizations. If you’re interested in learning more about Outlook.com, please contact us.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows
July 18th, 2012

One of the most highly anticipated software releases of 2012 is Windows 8, Microsoft’s new operating system. It promises to bring about a massive change in the way people use computers. Understandably, more than a few companies and users are excited for the release, however, until now, they had no idea how much it would cost to upgrade both the OS and their servers.

Microsoft has finally announced the cost to upgrade from previous versions of the Windows OS - XP and Windows 7 - and the cost of Windows server 2012.

Upgrade to Windows 8 Microsoft has announced that systems running Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 for as low as USD $40. Users will be able to download the upgrade from the Microsoft store at a cost of USD $40, until January 31 2013. The upgrade will also be available on DVD in retail stores at a cost of USD $69.99.

Microsoft also announced that users currently using personal versions of Windows 7 - Starter through Home Premium - will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro and keep their personal settings, files and applications. XP and Vista users can upgrade to both versions of Windows 8, but only personal files will be migrated over. If your business currently uses Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise, you can upgrade to Windows 8 Enterprise, and keep all files, applications and settings.

There are a few things to be aware of with the upgrade. The first is that users who want to upgrade from different architecture versions - 32 bit to 64 bit - will be able to do so, however, none of their files, applications or settings will remain. The second is, if you buy a copy of Windows 7 between June 2, 2012 and July 31, 2012, you can purchase Windows 8 Pro for USD $15.99.

Windows Server 2012 Anytime Microsoft releases a new operating system, they also release a version for servers that’s compatible with the new OS. Windows Server 2012, unofficially dubbed Windows Server 8, is the new server OS, and will be available in four versions.

  1. Datacenter. This version is aimed at companies that operate in “highly virtualized environments and hybrid cloud environments”. It can support an unlimited number of virtual instances and will cost USD $4,809.
  2. Standard. This version is exactly the same as the Datacenter version, only it’s for companies with light or no virtualization and will cost USD $882.
  3. Essentials. Essentials is for small business environments, supports up to 25 users, comes preconfigured to connect to cloud based services and will cost $425 USD.
  4. Foundation. Foundation is the most general version of Windows Server 2012, and will come preinstalled in general servers. At this time, it will only be available for server manufacturers, with no cost being announced.
With the announcement of the different versions of Windows Server 2012, Microsoft also announced that they will no longer be supporting Windows Small Business Server, thus, forcing users to upgrade. If your company is looking to upgrade to a Windows 8 environment, please contact us, we may have a solution for you.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Windows