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
Remember when I wrote an article a year ago predicting that always-connected computers would be heavily promoted in 2018?
Yeah, about that: not even close. Nada. All the buzz died away when the first PCs in that category turned out to be underpowered and, well, pretty awful.
Okay, that prediction didn’t pan out. […] continuedRead more
Your Windows 10 computer is going to install a major update soon. Microsoft just began rolling out the “Windows 10 October 2018 Update,” bringing Windows 10 to version 1809.
The version number – 1809 – is a code for the year and month of the update. So the version number suggests September and the official name is the “October update” and it’s being released in November. […] 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
Microsoft has made it easier to protect your Documents, Pictures and Desktop folders using OneDrive. OneDrive has become more reliable and many of you already have enough storage space to make this protection free. I would encourage everyone to look into this.
This adds a feature to Windows that should have been there long ago. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
Adware has started to turn up again, using Chrome extensions and notifications as a way to display annoying ads and muck up the time we spend on our computers and phones – as if we didn’t have enough to worry about.
In the old days, we installed adware on our Windows computers when we clicked “yes” on the wrong website popup or as unwanted companions to “free” programs. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
This is a basic tip but it comes up all the time. Everyone needs a fast Internet connection. You might want to check your Internet speed out of curiosity, or because you suspect that your ISP is not delivering the connection that you were promised, or because some problem has developed with your equipment or your network. […] continuedRead more
This is why Microsoft doesn’t have any friends.
If you start seeing a barrage of notifications about “low disk space” on your Windows 10 computer, it is likely to be the result of a bug in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. There’s an easy fix – all you have to do is run a short, dangerous command that could potentially kill your computer if you mistype it. […] continuedRead more
Let’s start with the thrilling conclusion for readers with limited attention spans.
• There are some problems with the latest major Windows 10 update. Don’t panic – the problems will likely be fixed before the update is installed on your computer. I hope.
• For now, though, don’t click the “Check for updates” button in Windows 10 Settings. […] continuedRead more
The first thing everyone does with a new computer is install Google Chrome. That’s the last time we want to see Microsoft Edge, the uninspiring Windows 10 web browser.
At some point, though, you will click on a PDF and Edge will open up. You will wince and possibly scream involuntarily. […] continuedRead more
If you’re looking for a picture to use in a project – a Powerpoint presentation, Word document, blog post, whatever – you probably do a Google image search. Google has made that a bit more difficult.
A few weeks ago Google removed a button that made it easy to save images from a web search. […] continuedRead more
There was a time when Windows was cool. A long time ago, people lined up to get new versions of Windows when they went on sale. Maybe not quite the numbers of people outside of Apple stores at the height of iPhone madness, but still – Microsoft was pretty cool.
When the iPhone was released in 2007, Microsoft began its long decline with consumers. […] continuedRead more