Office

Prepare Yourself (And Your Budget) For Subscription Fatigue

2019 will be the year of subscription fatigue

You’re going to be so fed up with subscriptions by the end of next year that you will want to scream.

Want to play a game? Before you read further, think about your recurring monthly expenses for digital services, devices, and subscription boxes. Write down a quick estimate of how much you spend each month. […] continued

Read more

Office Tip: How To Make Outlook Easier To Use On A Touchscreen

Outlook touch mode - Quick Access buttons

This tip is for anyone who uses the desktop version of Outlook on a laptop with a touchscreen. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, this is for you. If you’re not a touchscreen user – well, frankly, I like Outlook better with this turned on anyway, but you can go back to killing time with Instagram if you’re bored. […] continued

Read more

Store Your Files In The Server In The Sky

Box Dropbox OneDrive - file storage in the cloud

It’s time to move your files to the cloud.

Box, Dropbox, and OneDrive now all have plans that support an important feature: You can store your files online and access them with Windows File Explorer or Mac Finder, without syncing the files and without using space on your hard drive. Today I have to explain a bunch of stuff for that to make sense, but I think this will be our natural expectation without a second thought in a very short time. […] continued

Read more

Logging In To A PC With A Microsoft Account Is Overrated

Windows 10 - switch to local account

With the collapse of the Microsoft consumer ecosystem, there are fewer reasons all the time to sign into Windows 10 with a personal Microsoft account. I’m finding I frequently set up new computers with classic local accounts and bypass Microsoft’s push to connect the computer to an online account.

Let’s talk a little bit about the pros and cons of logging into Windows with a personal Microsoft account. […] continued

Read more

The Microsoft Ecosystem: Evolution And Extinction

Microsoft ecosystem - dead as a dodo for consumers

Microsoft does not have an ecosystem for consumers or small businesses in 2018. There is very little synergy between Microsoft products and almost nothing locks us into Microsoft products when we move from one category to another.

It makes old-timers sad to think of the past, because Microsoft had a successful ecosystem for decades. […] continued

Read more

Listen To Your Computer: New Read Aloud Options In Outlook, Word

New read aloud options in Outlook, Word

When you’ve finished talking to your computer, you can sit back and listen to it instead. Microsoft has improved the speech features in Word and Outlook for Office 365 subscribers, so the computer will read documents and messages out loud with more natural inflection and pauses. It’s still mechanical but it’s better mechanical. […] continued

Read more

Talk To Your Computer: Speech Recognition In Windows 10 And Office

Speech recognition in Windows 10 & Office

Microsoft has quietly improved the speech recognition features in Windows 10 and in the Office programs. They’re still not great but you might want to give them a try if you haven’t talked to your computer in a while.

One fundamental truth has not changed: If you are serious about dictating on a computer, there is no alternative to the Dragon Naturally Speaking products.  […] continued

Read more

Microsoft Is Running FAST Searches In Outlook 2016

Outlook 2016 FAST searches

Microsoft has changed the way we search for mail in Outlook 2016. The changes are almost (but not quite) invisible, so the details are only important if you’re an Outlook power searcher. The rest of you can take a day off and rest up for the next article.

 


TL;DR

Here’s the short version. […] continued

Read more

How To Use Google Maps In Outlook

Google Maps vs Bing Maps & Apple Maps

Here’s a tip for a few select people. Wonderful people. The best people. My people. All of you who use the desktop version of Outlook.

You also use Google Maps, because everyone uses Google Maps. That’s obvious, right? It has become so valuable, so rich, so far ahead of the competitors, that you are doing yourself a disservice if you use anything else. […] continued

Read more

Microsoft Is Cutting The Ribbon In Word, Excel & Outlook

Microsoft is cutting the Office ribbon

Microsoft intends to simplify the ribbon in Outlook, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. It’s possible that Microsoft will work thoughtfully and carefully and you will be happy with the result.

Oh, stop it. I hear you laughing. I’m serious. Microsoft is saying all the right words. They want to make the ribbons (the tabbed toolbars across the top) simpler and easier to use, but they say there will be an easy way to return to the way they look now for people with strong muscle memory who don’t want to change. […] continued

Read more

Could Microsoft Have Kept Windows Relevant?

Could Microsoft have chosen a different path?

We have arrived at a point where Microsoft no longer has a Windows division. To a generation of computer users, Windows was the product that defined Microsoft and defined our own relationship to technology. Now that defining product is a legacy, used by many but beloved by few.

In this article: Could Microsoft have done anything differently? […] continued

Read more

Microsoft Acknowledges The Inevitable: Windows Is Sailing Into The Sunset

Windows is sailing into the sunset

Microsoft announced an internal reorganization last week and raised the profile of its cloud, artificial intelligence, and enterprise teams.

This would not normally be an important event for us. Microsoft frequently reshuffles its employees. This reorganization, though, has major repercussions for every computer user.

Microsoft no longer has a Windows division. […] continued

Read more

Office 365 Tip: How To Turn Off Focused Inbox And Turn On Clutter

Outlook - clutter and focused inbox

I don’t like Focused Inbox. I want my Clutter back.

Focused Inbox is Microsoft’s new method of filtering mail for Office 365 business accounts. Here’s more info about Focused Inbox.

The short version:

•  Clutter and Focused Inbox are both ways to separate important messages from messages that are less likely to be important to you – newsletters, notifications, marketing and ads. […] continued

Read more

The 2017 Bruceb News Year In Review

The 2017 Bruceb News Year In Review

A year ago I wrote this prediction: “The word of the year for 2017 is “chaos.” Write it down, seal it in an envelope, open it up a year from now and see if I got it right.”

I think I get full marks. (Although Dictionary.com chose “complicit” as the word of the year, which has a certain snarky charm.)

We are in a transitional time in technology, with a handful of very large companies – Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft – accumulating power and wealth and dominating the landscape. […] continued

Read more

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: Focused Inbox Is Replacing Clutter In Outlook

Focused Inbox is replacing Clutter in Outlook

Microsoft just wants to be helpful. It’s eager to be helpful. It can’t stop itself from trying new things, just in case they’re a little bit better, even if you didn’t ask for any changes and you don’t really want new things.

Imagine that every six months you came home and Microsoft had rearranged your furniture without telling you. […] continued

Read more