Windows 8 Tip: What You Need To Know About Windows 8 Security

windowsdefenderlogo

Windows 8 includes antivirus software built into the operating system. You don’t have to install anything additional for malware protection on a Windows 8 computer.

Microsoft has been increasingly assertive about giving away antivirus software but this is the first time it has included this level of protection as part of the operating system. […] continued

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Happy Holidays From Bruceb Consulting!

xmastablet

Season’s greetings! I hope you all get lovely new technology for the holidays and have a wonderful time poking and clicking and pinching and zooming!

I’ve been looking ahead to 2013, trying to guess what will fill our time in the technology world next year. Here are some of the things that are coming, in no particular order. […] continued

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Clash Of The Titans: The War Of The Ecosystems

walledgardenbarbedwire

Previously: Clash Of The Titans – The Battle Over Skydrive On iOS

War has broken out.

Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon have been building walled gardens, ecosystems of services that work best if you have multiple devices on the same platform. Example: once you buy an iPad, it is far more likely that your next phone will be an iPhone, because you’ve become familiar with how iOS works, and because the Apple ecosystem will make the two devices work together. […] continued

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Clash Of The Titans: The Battle Over Skydrive On iOS

Microsoft Skydrive - Getting the app on iOS

Microsoft is embroiled in a conflict with Apple that is part of a bigger story. Today I’ll tell you about the details of the standoff over whether Microsoft will be allowed to keep giving away a Skydrive app for iPhones and iPads. In the next article, I’ll give you the bigger picture, which will help you understand some of the battles to come – and perhaps help you make decisions about what devices you buy. […] continued

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Microsoft Surface To Be Sold In Best Buy, Staples

surfacewinrttouchkeyboard

If you’re curious about the Microsoft Surface tablets, you’ll be able to look at them in Staples and Best Buy next week. Microsoft’s original plan was to sell them only online and in Microsoft-branded stores until early next year but something – probably slow sales – has inspired them to make the Windows RT tablets more widely available starting December 16. […] continued

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Gmail Goes Down! And Other Tales Of Outages

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Gmail was down today for most users for at least an hour, with Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Play and some other Google services remaining down for another hour or more. A side effect: attempts to access Google services during the outage was causing Google Chrome to crash.

Facebook was down today for about 15 minutes, following another brief outage on November 30. […] continued

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Verizon Brings 4G LTE Coverage To Santa Rosa

Verizon 4G LTE coverage in Sonoma County

An email arrived tonight from Verizon announcing that 4G LTE service has officially arrived in Santa Rosa and nearby areas in Sonoma County. Verizon actually turned on LTE up here about a month ago; I noticed the LTE indicator lighting up on my Verizon devices and loyal correspondents left comments about it on my earlier article about 4G. […] continued

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Microsoft Surface Pro And The Windows 8 Ecosystem

Microsoft Surface Pro

In late January Microsoft will start shipping the second version of the Surface tablet, the one with the full version of Windows 8 Pro. There are two models, a 64Gb version for $900 or a 128Gb version for $1000. A keyboard is not included so you’ll buy one separately, either the Touch cover (non-movable keys, very thin, cool colors) or Type cover (movable keys, slightly thicker, black), for another $120-$130. […] continued

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Windows 8 Tip: Turn On File History

Windows 8 File History - search on Start screen

Windows 8 includes a feature that lets you recover older versions of documents or photos easily and flexibly. File History is an improved version of “Previous Versions,” a feature of Windows 7 and Vista that almost no one ever discovered in its hiding place on the Properties menu of individual files. […] continued

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Windows 8 Tip: The Five Things You Need To Know For Your First Windows 8 Computer

Windows 8 - Windows key to return to Start screen

When you sit down at your first Windows 8 computer, you will be disoriented. Important controls are hidden, toolbars appear and disappear in ways that are unintuitive, and the Start button is missing from the desktop.

The learning curve is not steep! In fact, a Windows 7 user can be completely comfortable at a Windows 8 computer after learning only five things. […] continued

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Some Fine Print About Windows 8 Upgrades

Windows 8 Pro

Previously: Upgrading To Windows 8

For the next couple of months, the cost of a license to upgrade your existing computer to Windows 8 is almost nothing.

The real cost, though, is the time and effort involved, the possibility that the upgrade won’t go smoothly, and the risk that it will have unexpected side effects (like the loss of all your data if you make the wrong choice about how to upgrade). […] continued

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Upgrading To Windows 8

Windows 8 upgrade from Windows 7

Should you upgrade to Windows 8?

Funny you should ask. I’ve been hearing that a lot lately. Let’s see if we can figure out which question you’re really asking.

  — Does Windows 8 have enough exciting and interesting new features to be worth the effort to upgrade?

  –  Should you upgrade over your existing copy of Windows, or should an upgrade only be done by reformatting and installing from scratch – a “clean” install? […] continued

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Microsoft Responds To Office 365 Outage

Office 365

The engineering team at Microsoft responsible for Office 365 published a lengthy blog post about the outage on Tuesday. Microsoft is not always very transparent so it is refreshing to get an explanation and – more importantly – to get Promises To Do Better instead of defensiveness.

There is more in the blog post but here are the details about Tuesday’s outage:

“From 9:08AM to 2:10PM PST today, November 13th, some customers in North and South America were unable to access email services.  The service incident resulted from a combination of issues related to maintenance, network element failures, and increased load on the service.  This morning, the Office 365 team was performing planned non-impacting network maintenance by shifting some load out of the datacenters under maintenance.  In combination with this standard process, we experienced a ‘gray’ failure of some active network elements; the elements failed, but did not alert us to their failure.  Additionally, we have an increasing load of customers on-boarding to the service.  These three issues in combination caused customer access to email services to be degraded for an extended period of time.  By 10:42am PST, remediation work was underway to balance users to healthy sites, broaden the service access points and remediate the failed network devices.  At 2:10PM PST all services were fully restored.  Significant capacity increase has already been well underway, but we are also adding automated handling on these gray failures to speed recovery time.  Across the organization, we are executing a full review of our processes to proactively identify further actions needed to avoid these situations.”

Outages happen. […] continued

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Windows 8 Tip: Make Outlook The Default Program For Mail

Windows 8 - make Outlook the default program for mail

This tip is for Outlook users who want to use Outlook exclusively and bypass the Windows 8 Mail app on a desktop computer or notebook.


TIP

Open Default Programs and select Microsoft Outlook.

Click on: “Set this program as default – Use the selected program to open all file types and protocols it can open by default.”

Applies to: Outlook users on Windows 8


Windows 8 includes a simplified full-screen Mail app. […] continued

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Office 365 Mail Outage

Office 365 outage

Some Office 365 users are unable to access their mailbox this  morning, either in Outlook or in webmail.

Microsoft has acknowledged the problem but no details are yet available. There is a forum thread here where Microsoft promises to publish updates. There is a link for administrators in the left column of the Office 365 portal for “Service Health” which is frequently updated (but usually not very helpful). […] continued

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