Microsoft

Microsoft Is Moving Past Windows

Microsoft stock price 2017

If you’re an individual or small business Windows user, you might have the wrong idea about how Microsoft is doing.

We all tend to generalize from our own experiences. You can be forgiven for thinking that Microsoft’s future is dim when Outlook has just crashed or you’re paralyzed by an unexpected and unwelcome Windows update. […] continued

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The Confusing Story Of OneDrive Files On-Demand

Microsoft OneDrive files on-demand

OneDrive Files On-Demand is a new feature being rolled out now to Windows 10 computers worldwide. It’s a valuable and welcome new feature that you should know about and that you might use. But this is from Microsoft, so you will not be surprised to find out that (1) it’s hard to predict when you’ll get the update that includes the new feature, (2) it’s confusing to set it up, and (3) it’s poorly documented. […] continued

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Why Is Microsoft Obsessed With Windows Store?

Windows Store

Microsoft has a modern platform for apps that would make your computer safer, more reliable, and perform better. All that’s needed is for you to give up everything that you do on your Windows computer today and start over again with new programs from the Windows Store that don’t look or work like the programs you’re using now. […] continued

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Windows Themes And The Failure Of The Windows Store

Windows 10 themes in the Store

Microsoft believes that Windows can return to its position at the center of our technology world if all of us begin to use the Windows Store to install programs.

It is a flawed, desperate vision. Windows is going through a slow, long-term decline. The Windows Store will not change that. The decline is broader than Windows, and it is permanent. […] continued

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Outlook Disconnected From Office 365? Try Disabling IPv6

Outlook disconnected? Try disabling IPv6

(This tip is for IT pros. Non-technical readers should still read this article because it involves a thrilling mystery, it teaches important lessons for healthy living, and it has a fresh minty aftertaste. But if you’re not sure, don’t do anything to your computer without the support of your trusted IT support person.)

Outlook 2013 and 2016 can occasionally lose their connection to an Office 365 hosted Exchange mailbox. […] continued

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Google Changes Its Programs For Storing Photos And Files Online

Google Backup and Sync

Google is changing the programs that Windows and Mac computers use to store photos and files online. You’re not required to do anything right away but some of you will be prompted to update to a new program in the next few months. Let’s see if we can unravel some of the details of Google Backup and Sync, and Drive File Stream. […] continued

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Do Not Call The 800 Number!

Do not call the 800 number for "tech support"!

(This is a slightly modified version of an article originally published on March 2, 2016. Phony warnings about viruses continue to be the most common online scam in 2017.)

If your computer displays a message while you are browsing the Internet claiming that you have been hacked or infected with a virus, it is a lie by criminals. […] continued

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Improved Calendar Sharing For Office 365 Users

Outlook - OWA webmail calendar sharing

Here’s a tip for business Office 365 users that I wish I’d known about sooner. Early this year, Microsoft significantly improved the experience of sharing Outlook calendars. The secret is to share your calendar in webmail instead of doing it from the Outlook desktop program.

Office 365 webmail (aka Outlook Web Access, OWA, “Outlook on the web,” and too many other names) can be viewed at https://mail.office365.com. […] continued

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Create PDFs With Your Phone

Scan documents and create PDFs with your phone

One of the technology challenges in 2017 is simply remembering what can be done with your phone or computer. It’s easy to add apps to your phone or install programs on your computer; it’s harder to remember them a few weeks later when you have something new to do.

There are several ways to create PDFs with your phone. […] continued

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The Latest Microsoft Branding Failures

How Microsoft chooses brand names

Every month at Microsoft, a team of highly paid professionals writes words on slips of paper. They always include “Microsoft,” “Windows,” “Office,” “365,” “Pro,” “Home,” “Business,” “Enterprise,” “Azure,” “Surface,” and “Online.” They put the slips of paper into a hat and jumble them around. Then they randomly pick out three or four and lay them on a table. […] continued

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Feel The Excitement Of Windows 10 Shared Experiences

Fix your account - Windows 10 Shared Experiences

Now that you’re finally getting the “Creators Update” for Windows 10 – you know, the one that was “released” in April – you might have seen the above window appear in the lower right corner. “You need to fix your Microsoft Account for apps on your other devices to be able to launch apps and continue experiences on this device.” In fact, some people are getting that message over and over and over and over until they want to scream. […] continued

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Outlook And The Never-Ending Password Prompt

Outlook password prompt

This is a frustrating story of a poorly-defined bug with no solution. Feel free to look away if this doesn’t apply to you.

Starting a month ago, Outlook began prompting a few of my clients for passwords. It has been prompting them a lot. At its worst, Outlook password prompts are popping up every ten or fifteen minutes. […] continued

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The Case Of The Missing Eye

Security - the case of the missing eye

Let’s track down a bad guy. Looking through the clues will help you catch the next criminal that tries to trick you with a malicious email message.

I received many reports last week of phony messages that appeared to be from Microsoft, Paypal, and others. There are some examples below. One of them was clever in an interesting way that will remind you of how careful you need to be. […] continued

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A Possible Fix For The Excel Slow File Opening Bug

Excel & the Realtek WavesMaxxAudio bug

Previously: What To Do When Excel Opens . . . Very . . . Slowly . . .

Windows is weird.

A year ago I wrote an article about an Excel bug: occasionally there is a 30-60 second delay after clicking on an .XLSX file before the Excel logo appears and the file opens. […] continued

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The Fast And The Slow Of Windows 10 Updates

Windows 10 updates - announce fast, deliver slow

A few months ago, Microsoft announced that there will be two major updates for Windows 10 every year, in March and September. These are the big updates that bring Exciting New Features™, in addition to the regular monthly or more-than-monthly security updates. Microsoft said it is committed to making the update process “predictable.” So you know we can count on it! […] continued

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