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Use Start Screen Instead of Start Menu

In Windows 10, the Start menu is the default option for pressing the start button. However, many people are used to the full screen Start screen introduced in Windows 8. Here is how to change the default behavior of the […]

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Missing Graphics and Icons in Office 2013 – Solution

    We recently had a migration to Office 2013 at work. We had an issue on several PC’s where we would have missing graphics on the application – from missing icons, to missing arrows on pull down menus, even […]

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Change Temperature To Celsius in Outlook 2013

  The calendar in Outlook 2013 had a nice feature that lets you see the weather forecast. But, it defaults to Fahrenheit for its measure of temperature. Here is how you can change the measurement to Celsius, if you prefer. […]

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Adding an email Signature to Outlook 2013

Adding a signature to your outgoing emails is something many people do to save time when writing emails and not having to type the same contact information below your email. Here is how to set up a signature to Outlook […]

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What does my Excel Spreadsheet icon have an exclamation point?

With the introduction of Office 2007, Macro enabled worksheets saved as .XLSM files show the exclamation point as part of the icon. This is not to show that it is an error or that it is dangerous, only to inform […]

 

Office for Windows 10 Preview Available

Office for Windows 10 is a touch styled Office application for Windows 10. A much better interface for tablet users not wanting to use the standard desktop application, which is meant for mouse and keyboard users. For those wanting to give it a try and see how it works for you, there are some previews available today.

Give it a try:

Word Preview

Excel Preview

Powerpoint Preview

Office for Windows 10 offers touch-optimized versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook that work great on small screen devices like your phone and tablet—all the way up to the Microsoft Surface Hub. They are designed from the ground up to run on Windows 10, built for touch and offer the unmistakable Office experience you know and love. As “universal” Office apps, they truly are the same app across device size, providing a consistent way for independent software vendors and developers to extend and integrate with Office apps.

Bing Predicts Patriots Win Superbowl

Edit – Bing was correct this year. Great game… Not a fan of the last minute, but still a great game!

Bing predicts that the Patriots have a 51% chance to win the Superbowl. In the regular season, Big predictions have been pretty good. Right now, it looks like the odds are pretty good that it’s going to be a great, unpredictable game. 51% chance for the Pats and 49% of the Seahawks. Should be anyone’s game, and hopefully it’s a great one to watch! Do you think Bing predictions will be right?

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RSAT Tools Available for Windows 10

For those IT Pro’s out there testing Windows 10 and the new Windows Server Technical Preview, there is a new Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) available for Windows 10. Grab it if you need it.

    Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 Technical Preview includes Server Manager, Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins, consoles, Windows PowerShell cmdlets and providers, and command-line tools for managing roles and features that run on Windows Server Technical Preview.
    Note that this release of Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 Technical Preview does not run on Windows 10 Technical Preview builds that are older (lower-numbered) than build 9926. This download can only be installed on the January 21, 2015 release of Windows 10 Technical Preview.
    Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 Technical Preview can be used to manage roles and features that are running on Windows Server Technical Preview (October 2014), with the following exceptions:

    • DNS Tools. DNS Tools in this release of RSAT offer limited functionality managing DNS Server running on Windows Server Technical Preview. Use DNS Tools to manage DNS Server running on Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012.
    • IP Address Management (IPAM) Tools. You cannot use IPAM Tools in this release of RSAT to manage IPAM running on Windows Server Technical Preview. Use IPAM Tools in this release of RSAT to manage IPAM running on Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012.

    The following management tools are not available in this release of Remote Server Administration Tools.

    • Direct Access
    • Routing and Remote Access

Surface Pro 3 Update for Windows 10

For those running Windows 10 on your Surface Pro 3, Microsoft has posted an update to improve stability with the onboard graphics. While I haven’t run it on the SP3 (waiting for RTM), I have heard some reports of high CPU usage, etc. and I don’t think this will fix it, but as usual – I always expect some bugs and instability. Grab this if you need it!

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Surface Doing Well, Drops Surface 2

Microsoft’s Surface division is doing extremely well, earning the company $1.1 billion dollars last quarter. Microsoft is dropping the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 and focusing it’s efforts all on the Surface Pro 3 – which was the source of most of the revenue.

It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the Surface 2 is being retired. Besides the rather large difference in Surface sales by device, as well as Microsoft’s lack of plans to bring over Windows 10, stock of the computer has been drying up in several places, including the company’s own online store.

Windows 10 & Xbox One

A couple cool new things coming for Windows 10 and the Xbox One. First, the Xbox One is going to get an update to the Windows 10 kernel. This should help the Xbox with a lot more apps (universal apps), as well as bring DirectX 12 to the system.

"One of the monthly updates that you’ll get on [Xbox One] is gonna change from the Windows 8 kernel that’s in there now to the Windows 10 kernel," Microsoft Xbox lead Phil Spencer said during a group interview in Redmond, Washington, yesterday. "I know a lot of people are excited about things like Cortana and other features they see on Windows 10. Obviously getting on the Windows 10 kernel — well, it’s not really the kernel — but Windows 10 OS inside of Xbox One is an important first step to unlock a lot of what [Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore] showed."

Next is the Xbox One can stream to the PC. So, with an Xbox controller, you can play your Xbox One games on your PC display. That sounds neat, but what about the other way around? Can you play PC games on your Xbox One setup? Microsoft is investigating the possibilities of that. In theory, it could easily work. PC games on the big screen look great and play great. However, not everyone can have a PC in their living room or connected to their HDTV. Having the ability to stream it to your already connected Xbox One would be excellent.

But now the company has said that it is also looking into the reverse – streaming Windows 10 games from other devices to play on your Xbox One.

"We’re actively investigating that right now," Xbox exec Mike Ybarra explained during a roundtable interview attended by Eurogamer’s man on the ground Jeffrey Matulef.

Windows RT Not Getting Windows 10

Windows RT, the gimpy version of Windows for tablets, isn’t getting a full upgrade to Windows 10 as the desktop and phone are. Instead, they get “an update … which will have some of the functionality of Windows 10.”. Windows RT isn’t a bad OS. The Surface RT is a good device. However, when you compare it to the Surface Pro or some of the other (less expensive) Windows 8.1 devices running a full version of Windows 8.1, it really can’t compare.

I left the iPad due to it’s limitations. It’s strictly a tablet and has a productivity barrier. Even with some decent apps and a Bluetooth keyboard, I was limited quite a bit. The RT has the same limitations. Going to a full edition of Windows is an easy solution.

Honestly, I can’t say I’m surprised. If anything, I’m more surprised that it’s lasted this long. After third party OEM’s dropped RT, and the limited install base, I would have thought it’d be dropped a year ago. I’m glad they are supporting it for those users that did buy into it. I would love to have an RT device. I have a Surface Pro 3, which does great. But, I’d love a second device to use strictly as a tablet – e-reader, apps, some games, Office. Great battery life, and simple and sweet.

The company on Wednesday spent nearly two and a half hours at a press event talking up Windows 10, the latest version of its operating system that’s trying to fix the problems from Windows 8. But it devoted only a few seconds to Windows RT, saying during a Q&A with reporters that it is “working on an update for Windows RT as well.”

Windows 10 Presentation

For those that missed it, Microsoft has a blog update showing what was shown at today’s event for Windows 10. A lot of really cool stuff. Windows 10 Insiders get an update within the next week to showcase a lot of the new features. Should be extremely fun to play around with.

Some other excellent things were shown during the presentation: HoloLens, Surface Hub,  Windows 10 Phone, Xbox Streaming… A good presentation, for sure. I’m definitely impressed with the new Windows 10, and I knew a bit of this before hand. Seeing it in action made a big impression, as did some of the other technologies shown.

One big question answered – if you own Windows 7 or 8, you get a free upgrade to Windows 10 as long as you do it within a year of release. No, this isn’t a year free of a subscription service. This is a year long promotion to get it for free – for the life of the device.

Today was a monumental day for us on the Windows team because we shared our desire to redefine the relationship we have with you – our customers. We announced that a free upgrade for Windows 10 will be made available to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 who upgrade in the first year after launch.*

This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no additional charge. With Windows 10, the experience will evolve and get even better over time. We’ll deliver new features when they’re ready, not waiting for the next major release. We think of Windows as a Service – in fact, one could reasonably think of Windows in the next couple of years as one of the largest Internet services on the planet.

Windows 7 Mainstream Support Ends Today

Today means the end of free support for Windows 7. While this isn’t the end of the world, if you’re looking for free support for Windows 7 directly from Microsoft, you are now out of luck (although, myself and many others offer our assistance in the Microsoft Answers forums for consumers and Technet forums for IT Pro’s). Microsoft will continue to support Windows 7 with it’s Extended Support, which will offer patches and updates until 2020 when it reaches it’s end of life, similar to the recent Windows XP end of life.

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Microsoft Comments on Google Disclosure of Windows Flaw

Microsoft has blogged about a call for a better Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure in response to the recent Google fiasco (Google released information of a Windows flaw to the public before Microsoft had released a patch). I think there are times when open communication between even the biggest competitors is necessary, and security is one of those times. If you tarnish the security reputation of one product, consumer’s will view other products with a similar distrust.

Those in favor of full, public disclosure believe that this method pushes software vendors to fix vulnerabilities more quickly and makes customers develop and take actions to protect themselves. We disagree. Releasing information absent context or a stated path to further protections, unduly pressures an already complicated technical environment. It is necessary to fully assess the potential vulnerability, design and evaluate against the broader threat landscape, and issue a “fix” before it is disclosed to the public, including those who would use the vulnerability to orchestrate an attack. We are in this latter camp.