“The cloud” is something of a buzzword these days: there’s lots of talk about it, but not everyone knows what it means. Windows Live SkyDrive [http://explore.live.com/skydrive] is a cloud-based document storage service, and what that means is that it can keep your documents safe from damage or getting lost, allow you to copy those documents to any computer at any time, and enable you to share documents via email or collaborative editing. The cloud component refers to where these documents are stored; rather than keeping them on your computer, they are in a password-protected portion of the Microsoft servers, completely isolated from the various threats that go along with everyday internet usage.
SkyDrive is integrated directly with the latest version of Microsoft Office (Office 2010). What this means for the user is that files typed up in Office programs, like Word and Excel, can be saved directly to SkyDrive [http://explore.live.com/skydrive-get-started?T1=t2], saving you the hassle of uploading them yourself. In addition, new Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote documents can be created directly within SkyDrive, and the use of Office Web Apps allows said documents to be edited directly. The Web Apps also allow for collaborative editing [http://explore.live.com/skydrive-share-photos-files?T1=t4], so multiple people can work simultaneously on the same document without the clutter of multiple copies or edit merging.
Another use for SkyDrive is photo sharing [http://explore.live.com/skydrive-get-started?T1=t4]. Whereas normally sending photos in an email would require attaching them individually, and thus being subject to attachment size limits and inbox clutter, SkyDrive can be used to store entire albums of photos and then simply linked to in the email. The recipient can then browse and download photos from the SkyDrive at their leisure. At the same time, permissions can be set on the SkyDrive so as to keep some documents private while others are available to anyone.
While SkyDrive is currently somewhat of a standalone product, it will be much more heavily integrated in Windows 8 [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/02/20/connecting-your-apps_2c00_-files_2c00_-pcs-and-devices-to-the-cloud-with-skydrive-and-windows-8.aspx]. An app under the new Metro interface will allow SkyDrive files to be easily accessed and browsed outside of a browser, as well as making said files and the SkyDrive itself available from any other app. This is built-in alongside the open and save functions, so any app that can access files can access cloud storage through SkyDrive.
One of the greatest thing about Skydrive is the price – Skydrive is Free! 25GB of storage for your files for free! Skydrive apps are available for Windows Phone and iOS and there are currently a number of thrid part Android apps as well as the new OneNote for Android app just released from Microsoft that lets you access your notes on Skydrive from an Android phone.
Office 2010 officially came out last month to the public, and it is now appearing on many new computers as well as being installed by home users and businesses as an upgrade. When Office 2007 came out, many people hesitated to upgrade from Office 2003 due to the change in the user interface and cost, however for those who are still using Office 2003, now may be a good time to consider taking the plunge and going with Office 2010. There are quite a few revamped and new features in Office 2010 that really do increase the value, as well as make it more productive and easier to use. Both business and home users can find new features that help them do things better and faster, and while moving from Office 2003 to 2010 may take a bit of getting used to, it seems more than worth it. Also, for the most part, if your computer can run Office 2007 or Office 2003, it should be able to run Office 2010. For the tech specs, see here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/office2010/archive/2010/01/22/office-2010-system-requirements.aspx
** Note to the tech people at Office Depot on Fairfield Drive here in Pensacola: Office 2010 will run on Windows XP, you just need to have service pack 3 installed (if you aren’t sure about the specs, then just read the Office 2010 box before you tell people that their computer won’t run Office 2010!)
Here are some of my favorite new and improved features in Office 2010:
While upgrading to new software will take a bit of getting used to, I have found that the new and improved features in Office 2010 really help productivity and make a number of previously ‘hard to do’ tasks so much easier. As computers, the internet, and how we interact with technology changes, so must our software, and Office 2010 seems like a good step towards the future.
If you are interested in checking out more new features, or getting a free trial of Microsoft Office 2010, visit here: http://www.microsoft.com/office/make-it-great/en-us/for-home#demo
If you are a student and would like a fantastic deal from Microsoft on Office 2010, check out the Offers page at Pensacola Computers for details
Yesterday, Microsoft released Office 2010 to its partners and developers via MSDN and Technet, and it will soon be hitting the retail shelves for public consumption. This is looking to be the best version of Office ever with quite a few new and exciting features! Office 2010 bring more collaboration features which allow multiple users to edit documents simultaneously and a new cloud based offshoot – docs.com which is Microsofts shoot back at Google Docs (currently docs.com is in ‘beta’ and is available to Facebook users).
Some of the new features that I really like in Office 2010: The ribbon is now much more consistent in all Office Programs – including Outlook (this will certainly cause some confusion for longtime Outlook users, but in my opinion the ribbon is much more efficient once you get used to it), PowerPoint has some very cool new features including some great tools for integrating photos and videos into presentations, and an improved ability to publish to the web, or share through Windows Live spaces (expect more family albums to be shared this way in the future!). Microsoft is also planning on introducing a Free ‘lite’ version of Office which will replace the current ‘Works’ suite that is preinstalled on many new computers.
For more information on Office 2010 from Microsoft, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/2010office/Default.aspx
Stay tuned for a complete review and some tutorials on how to use the new features. For support, help, or questions on Office 2010, visit: Pensacola Computers at: http://pensacolacomputers.com
The past few weeks have certainly been quite active in the technology world. From the much overhyped release of apple’s ipad to the pending release of Microsoft Office 2010, the press has certainly been filled with reviews, opinions and a lot of conflicting reports. There has also been an increase in Malware and virus attacks on the web, with more people’s computers falling victim to them – yes, even Apple computers are not immune to the bad things, and I had a good laugh when I saw that someone had hacked the new ipad less than 24 hours after its release.
I got a chance to play around with an iPad, and overall I was underwhelmed and not very impressed. Although the touch features do seem to be quite good (something that Apple is great with), the things that the iPad lacks are just too much to make it anything but an overpriced toy. the iPad’s lack of Flash support means that a lot of sites on the web are unviewable, as are the majority of video’s and web based games – of course Apple would be more than glad to sell you apps for games and such (while taking a nice 30% profit from the developers pockets). Then there is the fact that there are no USB ports, no camera, and the Wifi and battery have some serious issues. Also, Apple has now announced that they are going to be even more godlike in their control of what you can do with the hardware that people spend so much money to ‘own’ – sure, you own it, but Apple decides what you can and can’t do with it and what you can and can’t run on it. Personally, I will wait to see what the HP Slate tablet and Dell’s new Android based tablets will do as they are much more likely to actually have a value in terms of usability.
Microsoft has officially RTM’d Office 2010 (RTM=Release to Manufacturing) and it is looking like a pretty good product – stay tuned for a review as soon as I get the final copy! Microsoft is currently offering a great deal where if you buy a copy of Office 2007 in the next few months, you are eligible to get a download copy of Office 2010 when it is released, see: http://www.microsoft.com/office/offers/home/2/
I have recently noticed a big bump in Pensacola computer malware infections, with fake Antivirus applications leading the pack. These kind of infections are what they call ‘ Scareware ‘ – malware that is designed to scare you into either buying a worthless product, or in some cases trying to get your credit card number for nefarious purposes, and I have seen quite a few of these infecting computers in Pensacola FL the past few weeks. These scareware infections are designed to look like common security applications and come with names like ‘ Antivirus 7 ‘ (which resembles AVG), ‘ Antivirus 360 ‘ (which resembles Norton’s 360).
One of the most common ways these applications are installed are when you are directed to a page, or get a popup warning you that you are infected with something nasty and to download a tool to help you – the tool of course is the infection and it completely takes over your computer with even more false scary warning on how badly your machine is infected. The real bad downside of these infections is that they open the door for even more infections that are even nastier in what they do. Many times if you catch these infections as soon as you get them, you can do a System Restore to help deactivate them. However, once they become rooted in your system they do all kinds of things to try to stop you from removing them like disabling system restore, disabling task manager, disabling your antivirus and also blocking you from downloading tools that can help kill them.
For links to free and paid for antivirus/antispyware/antimalware software that can help protect you and remove some of these nasty infections visit Pensacola Computers Tech Page