Shared communication is one of the underpinnings of civilization. It sets humans apart from animals.
Microsoft is engaged in a long-term effort to prevent us from being able to understand each other. I don’t know why. The company doesn’t appear to be run by a super-villain, but that would fit the facts. […] continuedRead more
Two weeks ago, Google changed its web search results to fool you into clicking on paid ads by mistake.
Last week Microsoft announced that an upcoming update for Office will force web searches in Chrome to go through Bing instead of Google – without consent and with no notice.
These are both terrible ideas, the kind of thing that erodes public trust and makes us understandably angry. […] continuedRead more
(This will be the last Bruceb News article until I recover from an upcoming
business conference trip to Hawaii. Happy holidays!)
I think I accomplished two goals in 2019: writing articles about privacy and security that were so terrifying that they kept you awake at night; and making those articles so dull that they helped you sleep. […] continuedRead more
Need help with spelling and grammar? Of course you do!
You already get help with your spelling. Microsoft Word and Outlook automatically fix common errors on the fly as you type, and flag possible misspellings with the familiar wavy line. Your phone auto-corrects your errors, which of course works flawlessly.
Artificial intelligence now allows grammar to be checked just as easily as spelling – on the fly, with instant feedback. […] continuedRead more
Outlook has an Archive button, right next to the Delete button. You haven’t noticed it because we have trained ourselves for twenty years to let our eyes slide over anything in Outlook that we don’t use. The Archive button appeared a couple of years ago without any fanfare and, I’ll be damned, it’s pretty useful. […] continuedRead more
I wanted to love OneDrive for Business.
And it should have been a great relationship! There are lots of reasons to love OneDrive for Business. Although it had problems in the past, now the Windows app is stable and fast; I’ve got lots of storage space included with my Office 365 subscription; and OneDrive for Business includes features at no charge that cost extra from other services. […] continuedRead more
My Documents folder in Windows is a cluttered mess and there’s nothing I can do about it.
This is a picture of my Documents folder. You’ll see at least some of the same names in your Documents folder.
I created exactly two of those folders – Business and Personal. All of the rest are WindowsCrap™, created automatically by Windows and other programs, following guidelines from Microsoft that aren’t working out well. […] continuedRead more
Microsoft OneNote isn’t on the Office team these days, at least not like it has been for the last ten years when it was installed alongside Word and Excel as a full-fledged Office program. OneNote has been left to play by itself.
Oh, and if you’re a OneNote user, the version you’re almost certainly using on your PC is on its last legs and someday will be discontinued. […] continuedRead more
Google is trying to make the grass look greener in its walled garden, hoping to lure businesses that might otherwise stay loyal to Microsoft. The change it has announced sounds innocuous but might have big consequences in the long run.
Google is adding native support to Google Docs for editing, commenting, and collaborating on files in Microsoft Office file formats. […] continuedRead more
My new computer is simple and has relatively few confusing bits.
My new computer runs Windows and primarily relies on Microsoft services.
Those two sentences are not normally uttered together! Microsoft’s mish-mash of dueling and overlapping personal and business accounts is anything but simple. I continue to have conversations every day with people who are confused by Microsoft services. […] continuedRead more
Have you ever lost hours of work in a Word document because you closed it without saving? Of course you have. It’s happened to everyone.
That has never happened to you if you use Google Docs. In fact, you’ve forgotten about that problem because Google Docs automatically saves everything continuously. Now that you think about it, you’re feeling a bit superior, aren’t you? […] continuedRead more
I wrote an article a few years ago about how difficult it is for non-tech people to manage the fiddly bits required to run a Windows computer. It’s one of the things that drove the transition from computers to phone and tablets.
An interesting thing is happening today. The explosion of devices, products and services is causing just as much confusion and frustration in the world of mobile devices. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more