Friday October 26th is a big day for Microsoft with the release of Windows 8. Windows 8 is a big departure for Microsoft and has a lot of big changes in both appearance and in underlying code. We have been working with Windows 8 throughout the development cycle and have been running the final version on a number of systems for the past couple of months ever since its release to manufacturing and partners. The biggest difference off the bat is the new start screen which replaces the start menu – this is going to be one of the hardest things for users to adapt to, but it is a great feature that offers many advantages, especially for touch enabled devices.
On Friday October 26th, most major retailers will begin selling new computers with Windows 8 pre-installed, and you will also be able to upgrade many older machines with a download from Microsoft’s website ($40 until January 31st 2013). If you have or do purchase a Windows 7 machine between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 you can get upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $15 which is an excellent deal (*Note: only Windows 8 Pro with the media pack contains Windows Media Center which included codecs for DVD playing and an interface to watch TV if you have a compatible TV card).
Windows 8 is the first version of Windows that is truly designed for multiple device platforms and has a number of features which make using it on a touch enabled device much easier than on previous versions of Windows. Windows 8 comes in several different versions and it is important to understand the differences – especially between the standard/pro editions and the RT edition.
Windows RT is made especially for ARM based processors (the kind used in many smartphones and tablets), and while it shares some of the code and looks similar to the new start screen on the other versions of Windows 8, it does NOT run software that was designed for x86/x64 PC’s and previous versions of Windows. It does run Windows Apps, and comes with a somewhat stripped down version of Microsoft Office with Apps for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. (In our opinion, it will be better for many people to wait a bit and check out the Windows 8 Pro tablets that are coming out which will offer the full features of Windows and run legacy programs as well as new ones.
For a detailed explanation of the different Windows versions, see this blog post from Microsoft made earlier this year: http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/04/16/announcing-the-windows-8-editions.aspx
Windows 8 is tightly integrated with Windows Live services which allow you to logon to Windows using your Windows Live ID (hotmail, live.com, outlook.com email address), and also gives you direct access to Windows Live services like your Skydrive files. Using a Windows Live account will also allow you to synch your settings between multiple Windows 8 devices which is pretty cool.
THE START BUTTON ON THE DESKTOP IS GONE! This is one of the most apparent and controversial changes in Windows 8 and will probably cause a bit of confusion among new users. Windows 8 offers both the new Start Menu screen as well as the old desktop mode, however the old desktop mode is missing the familiar Start button. (it is easy to jump to the start screen by mousing to screen corners, and there are also several third party vendors which have made start button replacements. Using the new start screen takes a bit of getting used to, but the live tiles are very cool and once you play around with it for a while you will find that it has some really cool features.
Touch Gestures are amazing! Windows 8 is optimized for touch gestures and support 10 touch points (yes you can play a piano app with both hands and use all 10 fingers!). Getting around Windows 8 with a touch enabled screen is a breeze as it uses swipe gestures to do many things like open the start screen and move between apps. (*Note: beware on buying older or clearance touchscreen computers as many of the older ones only come with 2 touch points and you will not be able to take advantage of all of the new touch features!)
We have been using a Lenovo A720 27″ all in one touch screen to test Windows 8 and must say that it is amazing! Swiping through apps and using the touch enabled programs is a breeze and it changes the way you can use your computer. We highly recommend going to a store like BestBuy (don’t listen to the salespeople there though!) and trying out some of the newe touch enabled systems before you buy.
Windows 8 has a number of features which improve both performance and security, and it comes with Internet Explorer 10 (2 versions, one on the start screen for full screen only browsing with limited add-on support and the second full featured version available from the desktop)
For Windows 8 support, and help with upgrades and new Windows 8 installs, visit http://pensacolacomputers.com . We provide computer service and repair in the Pensacola Florida area for small businesses and home users
Microsoft is now offering an excellent deal for anyone who purchases a new PC with Windows 7 on it between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013. Basically the offer is: Buy a Windows 7 PC and get Windows 8 Pro for $ 14.99. This is good for any computer purchased new that has Windows 7 Basic, Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate.
After purchasing a new PC you will need to register it at: https://windowsupgradeoffer.com/ and when Windows 8 is released you will recieve an email with a promotion code and insturction for purchasing and downloading the software (the promotion code will allow you to purchase one copy at the promotional price). You can opt to receive a installation DVD for an additional price, but the downloadable version can be used to create your own installation media on a DVD or USB device.
Another cool thing about this offer is that you do not have to install the upgrade on the new computer, you can install it on any one computer that has a valid copy of Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista, or Windows 7 currently installed. This upgrade offer also includes 90 days of no-charge support from Microsoft that begins once Windows 8 is installed and activated.
Windows 8 is going to be a big change in many areas, and will bring a new level of computing to a wide array of hardware including tablets, touch screen PC’s as well as traditional desktops and laptops. With the new Windows Metro Apps, Microsoft’s aim is to make it easier to find and connect with the information and people you care most about.
At Pensacola Computers, we have been actively involved in testing Windows 8 since the early stages of development and will be available to help local small business and home users in upgrading or learning about Windows 8. For Pensacola computer service and repair, classes, networking, troubleshooting or just general computer questions, visit http://pensacolacomputers.com today. Our advice is always free, so call on us with any questions about your PC.
Continuing with my posts on OfficeMate installations, I will go over some things I learned doing the actual installations. **Note: Make sure to follow the official OfficeMate guide, though be aware that the official guide has a few mistakes and is misleading in a few places as well.
First, ensure that your systems meet the software pre-requisites (for hardware requirements see my first post: OfficeMate v 10.5 Software Upgrade and Installation – First Impressions) A couple things to note on the software pre-requisites – you must have ‘at least’ Windows Installer 4.5 (version 5 is fine and the guide note is wrong in saying that Windows Installer 4.5 is included with Windows 7 – it is version 5 – I had someone call me and tell me that they were trying to install version 4.5 on Windows 7 because that is what the guide said it needed). Also, note that you must be running at least SP2 on XP to install v4.5 of the Installer (SP3 is recommended of course).
.Net Framework 3.5 SP1 must be installed on the server and each workstation – .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 is included in Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2, though you should make sure that it is enabled (once again, the official installation guide is wrong in how to do this in Windows 7, the correct way is to go to Control Panel>Programs> Turn Windows features on or off, and ensure that there is checkbox next to the .Net Framework 3.5) If you need to install .Net framework 3.5 SP1, be aware that the link that is supplied in the OfficeMate installation guide is the link to the bootstrapper file which will download the reset of the file from the internet – if you are installing on multiple systems, I recommend getting the full install file then sharing it out on the network – you can get the full installation file here: http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/0/e/20e90413-712f-438c-988e-fdaa79a8ac3d/dotnetfx35.exe .
Once you have all the pre-req’s you will need to get the installation files from OfficeMate. **Note: The OfficeMate installation files are NOT digitally signed and you might get a warning when downloading and trying to install that the publisher could not be identified – IMO this is a serious security breach and there is no reasonable excuse why they don’t digitally sign their files!
You will need to download both the server and workstation installation files. I highly recommend sharing out the workstation installation files and copying it to each workstation and running it locally – I do NOT recommend running over the network, nor do I recommend what the OM official guide states about running it from a USB flash drive or CD/DVD – either one of those can cause issues if the installation stalls due to IO errors on the device.
As OfficeMate states “Prior to upgrading to OfficeMate Suite 10.5, you must set up security preferences. Security is required in OfficeMate and ExamWRITER 10.5.” This is NOT an option and is required! Follow the guide in regards to how to do this.
Prior to installing OfficeMate, ensure you have a validated backup of your Access or SQL database – if you are currently using a SQL database and are using SQL Express 2005, I highly recommend upgrading to SQL Express 2008 R2 (this allows a larger database size as well as includes a number of other enhancements). Also, ensure that your Server is running the latest patches and upgraded from Microsoft prior to proceeding with the server install. I would highly recommend that you take a full financial and inventory report prior to doing the upgrade and then rerun the report after the upgrade and do a compare before you start using OfficeMate again.
From my prior experiences with OfficeMate upgrades, I would personally recommend doing a full server backup prior to attempting the upgrade (bare metal or image) just in case something goes wrong and you need to roll everything back. If you are using an Access Database, you need to run the Repair utility (usually in C:\Omate32\repair.exe) – this will help correct any potential errors in the database that could cause the upgrade to fail. Once that is done, or if you don’t need to do that, restart your server. After the restart, you should disable all antivirus and screen saver programs. Also make sure that UAC is disabled (another security risk – I can’t believe that these software companies don’t know how to write a program that doesn’t make you disable a Windows security feature). To disable UAC in Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2, go to Control Panel > User Accounts > Change User Account Control settings > put the slider to the Never notify position (once again the ‘official’ guide is wrong – there is NO checkbox – do these people even try to do an install following their own guides???).
Once all of this is done, navigate to where you have saved the OM_Server.exe file, right click on the file, select properties, and then click the button that says Unblock. Once that is done, right click on the file and select Run as Administrator (though this may not be required, it can help eliminate some potential causes for failures). At this point, follow the official guide’s instructions, however be aware that you may or may not see all the screens they say that you will depending upon the type of install/upgrade you are doing.
Depending on the size/type of database you are using, as well as the server hardware, the upgrade process could take anywhere from 30 minutes to many hours – you can see what the upgrade is doing, but don’t be alarmed if something appears to freeze or not move for a few minutes at a time. Make sure you stay at the computer until the actual OfficeMate upgrade starts just in case there is an error in the SQL install/update part.
In the next post I will go through the Client installation as well as service releases and patches.
Feel free to contact me through my contact info at: http://pensacolacomputers.com – leaving comments here could take me a while to get back to.
* Pensacola Computers is not officially connected to OfficeMate software in any way, and all opinions stated are my own observations and you may experience different results. This guide is meant only as a narrative of my own experiences and is current as of the date posted.
I have been working as an IT consultant with Optometrists that use OfficeMate for over 5 years and have installed OfficeMate numerous times for 7 different practices. I have successfully upgraded 4 practices in the past couple of months to OfficeMate 10.5 and am currently working on getting 4 more done in the coming weeks. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Contact info is available at: http://pensacolacomputers.com
After performing numerous OfficeMate version 10.5 installations and upgrades, I have found a few issues that I would like to share that may help ensure a successful installation or upgrade.
First: Make sure to read all the ‘official documentation’, being aware that there are some ommisions and some mistakes, but overall the procedures should be followed as closely as possible. Especially important is to ensure that you have setup Security Preferences and that at least one user has checkmarks next to “Access All” AND “Maintain User Security”.
Second: Ensure that you have full backups – I personally recommend having both a full SQL (or access) database backup, as well as a full backup of the OfficeMate Data directory. In addition, it is highly recommended to do a full server bare metal backup, or similar backup image in case you have a conversion/upgrade error and need to roll back the server.
Third: It is highly recommended to install SQL server express 2008 R2 if at all possible before upgrading or installing OfficeMate v 10.5 as this version has a 10GB database size limit as opposed to the 4 GB limit in the defualt installed SQL server express 2005. (If upgrading, do a SQL upgrade from 2005 to 2008 R2). Also, if you are using an Access Database, ensure you backup your database BEFORE running the Repair utility.
When downloading the upgrade software there are a couple of things you should do which are not mentioned in the ‘official’ documentation: If using IE9 or other browser with security, you may get a warning regarding the OfficeMate installation files, unfortunately there is no way to verify the authenticity of the files - for some reason, OfficeMate did not digitally sign their installation files (in my opinion this is a serious security issue as there is no way to verify the authenticity of the installation files – as it is, the files have a Product name of Install Shield and copyright from Macrovision – the maker of the install packager they used) – most legitimate software makers digitally sign their installation packages to ensure their customers of the authenticity of the files. When I downloaded the files, they appear to be hosted on an Amazon server instead of directly from OfficeMate.net.
Once the files are downloaded you will need to right click on them, select properties, then click the ‘Unblock’ button. Also, when installing, when using Windows 7, Vista, Server 2008 (R2), right click on the installation file and select run as Administrator to ensure a smooth install.
Before installing there are still a few other issues to deal with such as User Account control, and firewalls, and proper configuration of your SQL database.
The user account section of the installation instructions is not quite complete or clear as with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 there is no “Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer” checkbox, instead there is a slider which you can set down to the “Never notify” position. **NOTE: unfortunately, turning off UAC on a workstation that is connected to the internet is not usually a good idea as the whole reason for UAC is to help PROTECT your computer from unauthorized changes and is a major defense against viruses and malware being installed (if OfficeMate had followed best practices guidelines for Windows Security, they probably could have programmed their software to not conflict so much with UAC).
Firewalls: If your systems are using an active firewall you may have to set some custom permissions to allow OfficeMate to function properly on your network – if you install OfficeMate and are having difficulty connecting to the SQL server, disable your firewall – if you are then able to connect, you will need to adjust your firewall settings to allow OfficeMate – as many firewalls have different ways of doing things, you will have to check the documentation of your firewall for how to do this.
If you are upgrading your SQL server to 2008 R2 Express, or you are moving your SQL database from one server to another, make sure you follow the instructions for OfficeMate SQL server installation – you can find a guide here ffor Reinstalling SQL server: http://www.officemate.net/omkb/Article.aspx?id=21190 - a couple things to note here: make sure that you enable named pipes and TCP/IP ports via the SQL Server Configuration Manager or you will not be able to connect from a client machine, also, I personally prefer to use the backup and restore method when moving a database rather than the detach and attach database method and have not had any problem doing it that way (there is issues with doing it each way – you decide which is best for you). Also make sure that you don’t forget to create the OM_USER using the link provided in the above instructions once you have your database restored or reattached to the new SQL installation/instance.
In Part 2 of the Guide, I will cover the installation procedures and how to deal with some of the issues I have run into.
Microsoft recently announced the return of the Windows 7 family pack for the 1 year birthday of Windows 7 – this is a 3 license package of Windows 7 Home Premium for $149.99 (usually one license is $99), and Dell is currently offering this with a $10 discount. For those people who have been thinking about upgrading to Windows 7, if you have a compatible computer, now is the time to take advantage of this low price! Take advantage of the Dell deal by clicking here: Dell Windows 7 Family Pack Offer
Of course, there are a few things to do before making the switch. First you need to make sure your computer is compatible with Windows 7 – almost all computers that have Vista installed on them can be upgraded, and some that have XP are compatible (although XP systems will need to do a fresh install of Windows 7). You can get the free Windows 7 upgrade advisor from Microsoft which will tell you if your computer hardware and software is compatible with Windows 7
Windows 7 is Microsoft’s latest operating system and is much improved over Windows Vista and XP. It contains features to help make your computer more productive, more secure, and easire to use. For more information on Windows 7, visit the Microsoft Windows 7 info page
Here in Pensacola, if you are thinking about taking the upgrade plunge, visit Pensacola Computers website for help and support. We are experienced in all aspects of Windows 7 upgrades for home and business users. Whether you want to upgrade your current system, do a fresh installation, or even get a new computer with Windows 7 preinstalled, PensacolaComputers.com can help. ALso check out our great Windows 7 video tutorials.
Many times I am faced with having to tell someone that their old computer needs to be replaced, and often it is hard to get some people to let go. But let’s look at things from a logical perspective. If you have a 4 or 5 year old computer (or even older in some cases), you have to think back in time to when you first got the computer, and look at how it was used (and what it was designed for). Going back to 2005 and a lot of people were still making the move to high speed internet, and even those with broadband were probably getting speeds of 1-3 Mbps download. Fast forward to 2010 and highspeed internet can easily reach between 10-30 Mbps. This means that when visiting some websites, your computer is getting 10 times+ the amount of information being fed to it every second during page downloads. Add to that the fact that 5 years ago, most websites were text based, whereas today we are bombarded with video, sound, animations etc, and you can see that computers of 5 years ago, even ones that were top of the line, really were not designed to handle what is here in 2010.
So the hard question sometimes is it worth it to upgrade, or is it better to just get a new computer. Generally if your computer is a couple of years old, adding some memory, or upgrading graphics (for desktops) may be a worthwhile option. For memory, 2-4 GB is about the norm today with higher end systems having 8GB or more. Increasing your memory can really help if you multi-task and/or do much with multi-media. Upgrading your graphics card in a desktop can also be a worthwhile option, especially if your computer is currently using onboard graphics. Many websites and programs today are very graphic intensive, and having a good graphics card can really enhance your computer experience – it can also help by taking some of the burden off of the processor. When upgrading graphics though, you have to make sure that your PSU (power supply unit) has enough juice to handle the upgrade.
For older computers, adding memory or upgrading the graphics, while sure to add a boost to the system, is not always a worthwhile investment. Most computers today run multi-core processors, and more and more programs are written to take advantage of this. If your computer has an older processor (CPU), even with more graphics and memory, the CPU may become the bottleneck. The other thing to consider with an older computer is that your Hard Drive will fail eventually, and it would be a real drag to spend a bunch of money on upgrades only to have your hard drive fail a short time later (or PSU fail, or CPU, or anything else in your system). The other thing about older systems, is that if during their lifetime they have been overheated (especially laptops), or subjected to power surges (common here in Pensacola), their parts have been stressed, and sometimes when you add fresh parts or increase the demands, the stressed parts can easily fail (sometimes taking the new parts with them).
Of course there are some things you can do to prolong the life of your computer (or at least its usable life). First, ensure that you keep it clean – get some computer/electronics approved compressed air (never EVER use an air compressor!) and carefully blow out the dust, dog hair, dirt etc from inside the case, paying special attention to the cooling assembly of the CPU and the fan assembly’s on the case and power supply (be careful not to tilt the compressed air cans when using!). Secondly, get rid of unneeded programs and startup entries, or if your computer is a number of years old, and full of unwanted programs, re-install Windows (make sure to back up important files first!).
With the great deals on computers these days, it is often better to go with a replacement, than try to prolong an aging system. While computers today don’t seem to last as long as old computers, due to their lower cost, their cost per year has remained about the same. For example, if you paid $1000 for a computer 4 years ago that is ready to be replaced, you spent $250. A $1000 computer 4 years ago was in the low-mid range of computers. Today you can get a low-midrange computer easily in the $500 range. If the new $500 computer only lasts 2 years, your price per year remains the same. Computers today are cheaper for two main reasons – one is that they are massed produced (mostly overseas), and the production costs are much lower, the second reason is that they are not made to last as long (because of cheaper construction as well as the fact that technology is changing so fast).
The best scenario is to know that you want to get a new computer, and shop around waiting for an excellent deal – this always beats waiting until a computer dies, then having to shell out money on whatever is available at the time. For information on upgrading your computer, or a helpful guide to buying a new computer, visit Pensacola Computers. Offering Computer Service, Computer Repair, Networking, Computer Classes, and general help on any computer related topic for Small business and home users, Pensacola Computers serves Pensacola Florida community
If you have been thinking about upgrading to Windows 7, but have been holding off due to the cost of the software, there is some good news from Microsoft. Beginning October 3, 2010 for a limited time (no end date announced), Microsoft will offer the Family pack upgrade for $149.99 – this includes three upgrade licenses for Windows 7 Home Premium. At $50 a license, this is a great deal. In order to be able to qualify for the upgrade, your computer must currently be running Windows XP or Windows Vista and be able to handle the hardware requirements for Windows 7.
To find out if your computer hardware/software is compatible with Windows 7, you can run the Windows Upgrade Advisor. Most systems that run Windows Vista should be able to upgrade to Windows 7 fairly easily. Windows XP users will need to ensure that there are adequate drivers for their hardware, and will have to do a clean install of Windows 7 (upgrading directly from Windows XP and keeping programs and settings is not supported). Windows Vista users can do an in place upgrade to keep their programs, files and settings, however it is generally better to do a clean install to elimate potential conflicts.
Windows 7 was released in October of 2009 and is a great operating system which offers many new and improved features that make using your computer easier and allows you to be more productive.
If you have questions about upgrading, or need some help with the upgrade process, contact Pensacola Computers. Offering computer service, repair and training for Windows 7 and other software, Pensacola Computers is ready to answer any of your Windows 7 or other Computer questions. Visit them on the web at http://pensacolacomputers.com
Wireless networks ( wifi or wi-fi) are everywhere these days with more and more people coming to depend on having an available signal for their laptops and portable devices such as smart phones and iType devices, but with this proliferation comes some issues that people need to be aware of. While it is admirable to want to share your wireless internet access with others, doing so caries a legal risk. Government and law enforcement tend to hold the owner of the internet connection responsible for what is transmitted over it and as such, if your neighbors are using your wireless to illegally download songs, movies or other material that is illegal, it is your door that gets pounded on by the law, putting you in the position of having to prove it wasn’t you. A quite simple solution is to ensure that you have wireless security enabled on your router (if you are unsure of how to do this, you can visit the manufacturers website of your router and check out their support section for directions, or talk to your local computer expert).
Then of course their is the initial purchase of the wireless hardware needed for your network. Wireless a, Wireless b, Wireless g, Wireless N, Wireless super G, MIMO, bgn, abg, dual band, multi band etc etc – it can get kind of confusing. A quick history on the wireless types as well as their basic specifications and uses:
Wireless a (802.11a) came out in 1999 and is one of the lesser used types of wireless due to the it’s higher initial price and the fact that its signal generally cannot penetrate as far as wireless b/g/n devices and its signals are abosobed more by walls and other objects. This type of wireless operates in the 5 GHz band with a data rate of 54 Mbit/s (realistically about 20 Mbit/s) which gives a big advantage when it comes to interference as the 5 GHz band is much less crowded than the 2.4 GHz band which is used by many other devices.
Wireless b (802.11b) came out in 199 as well and was the first widely adopted kind of wireless router device. With speeds of 11 Mbit/s (real world about 6 Mbit/s) and a typical indoor range of about 100 ft at the rated 11 Mbit/s speed and about 300 ft at 1 Mbit, wireless b was a great choice for early home and small office environments. Unfortunately, wireless b operates in the 2.4 GHz range which causes it to suffer from interference from other devices such as microwaves, bluetooth, older cordless telephones, baby monitors and of course other wireless routers that operate in this range. This kind of interference can get quite bad in populated areas and can cause a lot of frustration from dropped and poor quality wireless signals.
Wireless g (802.11g) came out in 2003 and operates in the same 2.4 GHz spectrum as wirelss b, but with a higher rated speed of 54 Mbit/s (around 20 Mbit/s real world). It is fully backward compatible with wireless b devices, however using mixed wireless g and wireless b devices will significantly reduce the overall speed of the wireless g network. Wireless g unfortunately also suffers from the crowded 2.4 GHz spectrum and is prone to interference issues in areas with other devices which operate in the same frequency. *Note: Super G wireless is a term that refers to a wireless device which uses to wireless g channels to achieve a rated speed of up to 108 Mbit/s, however these devices also have the potential to cause more interference.
Wireless n (802.11n) was released in its approved form in 2009, though many devices were sold before then as ‘pre-n’ devices. Wireless n has significantly higher potential data rates (up to 600 Mbit/s) and is backward compatible with previous wireless a, b, and g devices. Wireless N can operate on both the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz ranges, although it is quickest when operating in ‘pure’ wireless n mode at the 5 GHz mode (‘pure’ n mode being where there are only wireless n devices hooked into the network). Wireless n uses MIMO (technology which uses multiple antennas) to achieve greater data rates over greater distances. There are also now a number of Wireless n routers which offer multi-channel broadcasting which allows the router to actually have 2 wireless networks – one for legacy 2.4 GHz devices and one for 5 GHz devices.
So what does all this mean in a practical sense when trying to figure out what kind of equipment to get? While generally the older wireless b and g devices are cheaper by a few bucks, they are also much more prone to interference so it is recommended to go with wireless n devices whenever possible. Also, if you have an older laptop (or desktop) that is using a wireless b or g card, if you have a newer wireless n router, you might consider upgrading the wireless b and g devices with a wireless n card (you can easily install a wireless n usb dongle on either a laptop or desktop that is currently using wireless b or g, and then just disable the older device through your device manager). Be aware that wireless N devices come in many configurations and different speed ratings (some are rated at the a lower 150 Mbit/s while others are rated at 300 Mbit/s)>
So for a quick recap: If you are setting up your wireless network, or thinking about upgrading it, consider going with the newer wireless n devices. When setting up your wireless network, be sure to enable wireless security to ensure that only allowed people are using your wireless signal. For questions, or help setting up your home or office wireless network here in Pensacola FL, contact Pensacola Computers
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
Windows 7 has been out for a few months now, and most all new PC’s being sold include it. Here in Pensacola, the major retailers all have computers with Windows 7 pre-installed (beware of some of them trying to sell you the ‘added’ services like creating a backup disk for 30 bucks – anyone can do this easily themselves!)
Windows 7 brings a host of new features to the desktop and many people are unaware how to use all of them. Fear not, Microsoft has a great set of webpages that outline the new features of Windows 7, and include a number of how-to videos to help you get the most out of working with Windows 7. They also have a great help section to help with issues such as upgrades from Windows Vista, and making older programs run in Windows 7.
Here are some helpful links to get you started with Windows 7:
For general help and troubleshooting – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/help
Getting started with Windows 7 – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/help/getting-started
A great collection of Windows 7 how-to videos – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/help/videos
Install/reinstall/unistall tips for Windows – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/help/install-reinstall-uninstall
Windows 7 features – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/features
Windows 7 downloads Themes, Backgrounds, and Gadgets – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/downloads/personalize