New brand-name PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 7:43:05 PM America/Los_Angeles

Big-name PC makers can still install Windows 7 on new PCs. There's a catch, though: As of October 31, 2014 , any new PCs they offer must include the more expensive Windows 7 Professional. Machines that were manufactured before that date with Windows 7 Home Premium can still be sold.

Normally, the sales lifecycle for PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled would have ended long ago, but Microsoft extended that deadline in February 2014. PC manufacturers will no longer be able to sell new PCs with Windows 7 Pro as of October 31, 2016, (For details, see "What the cheap Windows 7 Pro sales lifecycle changes mean to consumers and business buyers.")

The trick in shopping for these machines is to skip the front door and go straight for the business section. Among online merchants, for example, Dell offers filters to show all available desktops and all-in-ones and laptops running Windows 7. HP has separate pages for business desktops and laptops, but you have to look at each model to find the models with Windows 7 available.

Big online retailers that serve business markets should have similar selections covering a wide range of brands and the full spectrum of prices.

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How can I stop Windows XP from showing Zipped files as folders?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 7:54:03 PM America/Los_Angeles

Windows XP will treat Zip files like folders, which is nice if you’ve got a fast machine or if you don’t have a registered version of a good archiving program (such as WinZip, WinRAR, WinACE and so on).

On slower machines you can make XP leave zip files well alone by going to the RUN command and typing

If you change your mind later, you can put things back as they were by typing

BTW, did you ever hear about a strange tool called IEXPRESS.EXE? Try it… Run it from the Run command. You’ll have a nice surprise… It’s strange how these little apps exist inside the Windows OS, yet no one really knows about them and no one ever bothers telling you about them.

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Windows XP is infected much more easily than Windows 8

Monday, October 24, 2016 7:29:02 PM America/Los_Angeles

According to a report from Microsoft itself, infection rates in computers running Windows XP SP3 are far higher than those running Windows 8, whose architecture is safer. And that's on the basis of an even numbers of encounters with malware.

The answer, according to Microsoft, is clear: you must abandon the good ship Windows XP before it sinks with all your data. For some, however, this is not a valid choice, partly for reasons of compatibility and partly because people are, quite simply, attached to it. On the other hand, those who do want to migrate to buy Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, but haven't done so already find themselves in a borderline situation: exposed to the elements of a vulnerable operating system and running the risk of losing data.

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Why should you use it on office 365?

Sunday, October 23, 2016 7:51:15 PM America/Los_Angeles

Check out Office 365, Microsoft’s subscription-only office suite, and see if it’s the tool for you.

Office 365 Home Premium is a subscription version of Microsoft Office. It includes the programs and apps that you’ll know from the software for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone and Android, like Word, Excel, PowerPoint.

In addition to having to pay, the main difference between Office 365 and the desktop suite, Office 2013, is the ability to install programs under different user accounts on more than one computer and to use the Office app on iPad. Office 365 Home Premium also includes extra cloud storage call credits for Skype.

Office 365 will appeal to a variety of users and offers several subscriptions to suit your needs. Many subscription plans are aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, but Home Premium is designed for families who want to use of the suite on several devices. In this article, we’ll focus on this type of subscription.

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In-depth look at the new features of PowerPoint 2013

Friday, October 21, 2016 6:57:02 PM America/Los_Angeles

Windows 8 is out and if you bought a Windows RT tablet, you’ll have early access to Office 2013. For the rest of us, Office 2013 will be released sometime early 2013 but is it worth the upgrade if you already have cheap Office 2010?

Of course many users will want to stay with their current Microsoft Office version to avoid re-learning how to do things but Office 2013 may just have enough compelling new features to convince them to upgrade.

What exactly has changed in PowerPoint 2013? If you make a lot of presentations with PowerPoint, I think the new features and level of polish that Microsoft has put into this product will be enough to make you want to upgrade.

Here’s my in-depth look at the new features of PowerPoint 2013.

In Office 2010, the welcome screen for PowerPoint wasn’t really useful. The first thing I did after getting Office 2010 was to disable that screen as it didn’t help speed up my workflow. In Office 2013, the welcome screen has been redesigned to be useful. You can choose the style of presentation you want and PowerPoint will give you variations on that theme. There is also a handy search at the top of the screen for you to browse themes and categories to download.

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Will Office 2010 break the Excel Demo Scene?

Thursday, October 20, 2016 7:53:47 PM America/Los_Angeles

I couldn’t sleep last night. I was tossing and turning all night, trying to remember if the web-based version of Excel for cheap Office 2010 supported the kind of powerful macro-creation needed to build a roaring fire and a rotating, 3D vector heart using only the spreadsheet cells and horrible, horrible techno.

Friends, I don’t know. If the Excel demo scene, whose members number in the high teens, is shut down by Microsoft’s shortsighted efforts at upgrading a perfectly stable platform for making graphics approximately as good as an Atari 800XL’s circa 1985 there will be hell to pay. They thought Bastille Day was rough: these people will unleash hell.

This demo was actually made for Breakpoint, a demo party in Germany where people get together and show off crazy graphics. And yes, that video was made entirely in Excel.

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Windows 7 Gadget – This gadget requires Microsoft Office Outlook 2007

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 7:38:44 PM America/Los_Angeles

When you attempt to use their provided plugin you receive an error message which says ‘This gadget requires Microsoft Office Outlook 2007’.

Microsoft no longer support the desktop gadgets for Outlook (2007, 2010 or 2013) and do not have a version available for download on their website.

Originally they provided a version of Outlook 2007 which you are able to customise to work with Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013.

Preconfigured versions of the gadget can be downloaded from here [DOWNLOAD] –

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How to Convert Emails to Plain Text in Outlook 2016 and 2013

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 7:52:29 PM America/Los_Angeles

I remember watching my favorite technology show The Screensavers which once aired on the defunct ZDTV back in the 90s. One of the common complaints I heard discussed on the show was Microsoft's Outlook and the security woes it brought users with its HTML-based mail. Back in the 90s it was really cool to have messages with animated gifs and the ability to embed content such as live links easily. At the same time, this was a security risk which was quickly exploited especially in the Outlook 2000 release.

For many years, this was a huge problem associated with the popular personal information manager. Outlook email messages became an easy vector for infecting your Windows PC. The only remedy for this was to convert your messages to plain text. Thankfully, recent revisions of Outlook added an option to disable this feature. Here's a look at how to do it in the two most recent versions Outlook 2013 and 2016.

Convert Email to Plain Text in Outlook 2013 or 2016

Step 1. Launch Outlook and click File > Options.

Step 2. Click Trust Center tab and then the Trust Center Settings button.

Step 3. Click Email Security tab then check the box Read all standard mail in plain text then click OK.

That's it! A few steps extra but not too much. If you're still running Outlook 2007 or earlier, read our step-by-step guide on how to do the same thing.

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Theare is 2 Reasons not to upgrade to Windows 10

Monday, October 17, 2016 8:05:03 PM America/Los_Angeles

The free to upgrade period to Windows 10 is almost at an end, and it is likely that many users who have not upgraded yet consider doing so.

The reason is simple: the upgrade is free, and it is possible to go back in the first month should things turn out not to your liking.

That's a pretty good incentive to try out the new operating system. There are other things that you may like about Windows 10, and I will reveal them in another article that I'll publish soon.

This article on the other hand concentrates on reasons why you may not want to upgrade to Windows 10.

Now, some may find these reasons insufficient while others that they are strong enough not to upgrade to Windows 10. I'd like to read what you have to say about them in the comment section below.

Reason 1: Time, effort and never change a running system

Microsoft tries to make it as easy as possible to upgrade to cheap Windows 10. You get notifications on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 powered by the Get Windows 10 application for instance.

Also, the upgrade downloads directly without you having to download an ISO image first, burn it to DVD or USB Flash drive, and start the installer manually afterwards.

While that is the case, it still requires time and effort to install the operating system. If things go right, you may spend a couple of hours at the very least setting up Windows 10 after the upgrade.

You need to learn to interact with new features, a new search, Cortana, Microsoft Edge instead of Internet Explorer, maybe the whole apps concept if you upgrade from Windows 7.

Also, some tools like Windows Media Center are not available anymore, so that you may need to look for alternatives.

But what if things go wrong? You might want to create a full system backup previously that you can restore, but you will lose quite a bit of time in this case.

Why bother if the current system runs well, and is configured the way you like it? Some new features, like DirectX 12 support may persuade you to give it a try despite the fact, but if you don't require those, there is little incentive to run the upgrade.

The only thing valid is that you will end up with an operating system that is supported longer than your current one. Windows 7 is supported for the next five years though, and Windows 8.1 for the next eight.

Reason 2: Compatibility

Software and hardware compatibility can block you from upgrading to Windows 10 even if you want to.

The upgrade installer runs a compatibility check to give you some reassurance in this regard. It does not check all components and programs though. For instance, it won't check portable software as well as many peripherals.

Generally, speaking, most software and hardware that runs on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 should also run on Windows 10.

The compatibility tool ensures that the core system will function properly after the upgrade.

I recommend you check your favorite search engine to find out whether important software is compatible with Windows 10.

Or, and that will surely add time to the whole upgrade process, use a virtual machine to run Windows 10 to see if hardware and software is compatible.

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Are You Using Windows 10?

Sunday, October 16, 2016 7:17:27 PM America/Los_Angeles

Windows 10 Anniversary Update launched this week. It was free for the past year but that offer ran out a couple of days ago. Windows 7 was released in 2009, yep, that long ago.

So our question is, have you upgraded to Windows 10 yet? Or, are you taking the position "If it ain't broken, don't fix it!"

Would love to hear from our readers and get a feel for what people are doing out there.

We've obviously been writing A LOT about Windows 10 this last year and would love to hear from our readers with how upgrades are going (or not!)…

So drop in your vote and feel free to add any color to the comments section with your upgrade story!

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Office 2016 - Is autocorrect back in MS Word?

Thursday, October 13, 2016 7:16:12 PM America/Los_Angeles

Well the title just says it:

In office 2013 the autocorrect disappeared (i.e. when actually carrying out the spell check you could no longer click 'autocorrect'.

This is the reason I'll stick to Office 2010 alap.

Is this feature back in cheap Office 2016?

On the Microsoft suggestion site, there is a request for restoring AutoCorrect to the right click menu. An admin said it would be restored in 2016. There has been no answer to the myriad of complaints since then. I would like to train Word the same way as I train Android.

This is no small matter. It takes a ton of time to set up AutoCorrect with the 6 clicks that requires. It is a huge interruption in my thought process as I write.

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How to Add Visual Effects To Images In Word 2010

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 7:52:41 PM America/Los_Angeles

Back in Word 2007, there was a great variety of effects you could add to images. With Office 2010, not only can you do more with images but the process is even easier!

To play around, just insert an image into your document and a new Format Ribbon will appear whenever you click on that image. From the Format Ribbon you can adjust whether your picture has borders, shadows, highlights, and a ton more.

Here’s a quick preview to get you started!

The format tab has a set of preset effects that are ready to go right out of the box, these are the default picture styles. The picture styles that come built-in are visually appealing and can add depth to your documents, but you may be thinking like I was and have a craving for something more original.

To the right of the preset looks are a few different options. You can add Borders, Shadows, Glow Effects, Bevels, Reflection, even 3-D rotation. While these effects are nice, most of them were already available back in Word 2007. In Word 2010 however we can get into advanced effects and customization.

On the left side of the Format Ribbon you’ll find the adjustment tab. Here you can adjust the brightness, contrast, overall color, and even add artistic effects. The effects range from minor differences to a full blown image modification. At the bottom of each of these 3 menu you will find a Options button. You can Click Options to go into further customization.

From the Options menu you can customize all the effects that you add to your image even the Artistic effects. If you were craving originality, you can edit your images to look like nothing ever done in Word before.

There are a ton more visual effects and features for images and pictures in office 2010. Try it out for yourself because I can guarantee it’s better than reading pages upon pages it would take to cover them all in a groovy article!

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How to Insert Online Videos in Word 2013

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 8:05:57 PM America/Los_Angeles

From the Ribbon, click the Insert tab then Online Video.

That gives you the option to search Bing or YouTube for a video, or paste in the embed code from the specific video.

You’ll get thumbnails from the online service you search videos for.

Then you can click to preview the video before inserting into the document.

After you have the video you want, just click the Insert button to add it to the document. Then you’ll get the Picture Tools menu on the Ribbon with different layout options for wrapping text around the video and more.

In Word 2013, the reader just needs to click the Play button to watch the video. It opens in the document with the background is shadowed out, and you’ll get the same video controls you’re used to. In older versions of Word or Office Web Apps via SkyDrive, the video will link to the service and open in a browser. Here I have it opened on a Surface RT.

This isn’t the same as embedding a video in your documents, but if both users have Word 2013, watching videos in your docs is a seamless experience.

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The Way That Change Page Color of OneNote 2010 Notebook

Monday, October 10, 2016 7:31:50 PM America/Los_Angeles

We have written lots of tips on getting the best out of OneNote 2010, which is by far one of the best note taking applications and is included in Office 2010 suite. Another feature available in OneNote is that you can change the page background color for each notebooks available in OneNote 2010. Changing the colore gives a better look than the plain white default background.

To change the page color, select the View tab on the ribbon in OneNote 2010.

Under the view tab, click on Page Color button and select the color of the notebook. There are quite a few colors available for selection.

When you click on the color, it is applied to the notebook currently selected.

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Downloading Office 365 Pro Plus Version 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016 7:44:37 PM America/Los_Angeles

Before you check if Office 2016 is available to you, I would recommend switching to your organization account first. If you use a personal account such as, or Hotmail account with Office 365 Pro Plus 2013, you might not see the latest updates. For example, I am currently only seeing incremental updates for version 2013 only.

In any of your Office application, click your account, located in the top right-hand corner of the screen, and then click Switch account.

Click the other account if listed, enter your credentials if prompted. If another account does not appear for you to sign into, click Add Account, then sign in with your credentials.

Click File > Accounts > Check for Updates or click Update now, if a banner appears in your Office 365 application. I also recommend if you are running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, disable Defer Updates, if you currently have it enabled, since this can also block Office 365 updates, I noticed. Click Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options, and then uncheck Defer upgrades, if it is enabled.

Install Office 365 2016 Manually

If you are still not getting the latest version, then try installing manually. Go to the Sign into Office 365 page, then sign in with your Office 365 account, and then click Other installs.

Scroll down to Install Office 365 ProPlus with the new 2016 apps, and then click Install. If you wish to install a different architecture, click Advanced button then choose the one you want.

You should now have Office 365 up and running.

If you continue to experience problems, you might need to contact your IT administrator for assistance. People that are running OS X can download Office 365 version 2016 for Mac, by signing from their Mac. Be sure to check out our article for more about the latest features in Office 2016. As an Office 365 Business subscriber, you should have access to free training, review our article for details how to sign up for it.

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