Windows 10: What To Look Forward To

July 29th marks the release of Microsoft's Windows 10 to the general public. Anyone who is currently using Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows XP will be able utilize the free download for one year. 

According to PC World, here are the top features that users can anticipate upon its release:

The Start menu 

Windows 10 atones for one of Windows 8’s greatest sins by returning the Start menu to its rightful spot in the lower left-hand corner of the desktop. But rather than focusing on desktop apps alone, the Windows 10 Start Menu mixes in a dash of the Metro Start screen’s functionality, sprinkling Live Tiles of Windows 8-style apps next to shortcuts to more traditional PC software.

You can turn off that Live Tile functionality if you’d like, and even unpin all the Metro apps from the Start menu, returning it to purely desktop-focused glory. Or you can choose to have the Start menu expand to the full screen, and resize Metro apps to recreate a more Windows 8-like experience. The choice is yours.

 

Action Center notifications

Notifications are one of the coolest features of modern operating systems, with popups reminding you of all sorts of useful information—and Windows 10 has them, too.

As Cortana becomes more tightly integrated into Windows 10, expect to see the Action Center become a repository of useful information (rather than the somewhat barren wasteland that it is right now). As notifications slide into view, they’re archived here.

 

Project Spartan browser

Forget Internet Explorer. Well, don’t forget it entirely—it’s still tucked away in a corner of Windows 10 for legacy compatibility purposes. But the star of the Internet show in Microsoft’s new operating system is clearly Project Spartan, a brand-new browser built from the ground up for speed, slickness, and trawling the modern web.

Spartan uses Microsoft’s new Edge rendering engine—which isn’t being included in IE in Windows 10—and packs some nifty extras. Cortana pops up with supplementary information while you search the web, such as Yelp reviews and Bing Maps directions when you’re viewing a restaurant website. Digital inking tools let you easily mark up a website and share it with others. Finally, Spartan also includes an awesome clutter-stripping Reading View, and allows you to stash articles in the complementary Reading List app for later perusal.

 

Revamped Mail and Calendar apps

Windows 10 Preview build 10061 introduced overhauled Mail and Calendar apps that are vastly better than their Windows 8 counterparts. While the Windows 8 apps were pokey, the Windows 10 variants are speedy and responsive, and they manage to fit much more info on the screen while still being friendly to mice cursors and fat fingers alike. The new apps also dynamically shift their interfaces to fit nicely into windows of all shapes and sizes.

The Mail app adds swipe gesture controls so you can quickly sort your inbox with just a few swipes—and what each swipe does is user-configurable, too. But more important for practicality, the revamped apps include key functionality that was missing in their Windows 8 predecessors: POP email support in the Windows 10 Mail app, and Google Calendar support in Calendar.

 

Virtual desktops

The poor man’s multimonitor setup allows you to go back and forth between either apps or “desktops” of apps, organized how you like them. (You can either ALT-TAB through the apps themselves or else hit Windows + CTRL+ either the left or arrow to move between virtual desktops, and right-click and app to move it between virtual desktops, too.)

Either way, virtual desktops mean that you instantly know where things are.

 

Continuum

Yes, Windows 10 is vastly improved on PCs, but Microsoft didn’t forget about touchscreen users. As of Build 9926, Windows 10 includes a handy “Continuum” feature that dynamically switches the interface between the PC-friendly desktop and a Windows 8-like mode that’s better suited for fingers (pictured above), depending on how you’re using the device.

Windows tablets will default to the latter; PCs to the former. And hybrids will intelligently switch between the two modes depending on whether you have a keyboard attached. In tablet mode, the Start menu expands to fit the full screen, as do Metro apps. If you’d like to force a switch, the new Action Center has a dedicated “Tablet Mode” button that you can enable or disable at will.

 

Settings are solidified, while Charms vanish

One of the odder design decisions within Windows 8 was the separation of Settings into two buckets, one each for the Desktop and Modern/Metro interfaces. With Windows 10, that goes away. Now, there is one Settings menu, available from the Start button. As a bonus, the somewhat annoying Charms menu has vanished. Hurray!

10 Great Features in Microsoft Office 365

As you may already know, Microsoft has a new, Cloud version of Office called "Office 365". This version is both in the Cloud and installed directly on your PC so that you are able to use it either way. The Office 365 subscription can be paid for either monthly or annually and is filled with an array of pleasantly useful features. Here are 10 neat features included in Office 365, according to Business Insider:

 1 - Multiple people can edit the same document at once 

2 - Edit a PDF file

3 - Turn notes into calendar items

4 - Ignore annoying reply-all conversations

5 - Add a signature to an e-mail 

6 - Turn rows of data into a map

7 - Excel charts, graphs, pivot tables made easy 

8 -  Skype with co-workers while working on a document

9 - Let Excel reformat your data

10 - Teach your inbox to de-clutter itself 

 

To learn more about how these features can boost your business simply fill out the form below!




Tips to Protect Your Electronics from Heat

Source: EasyMyHome

Are you worried about your valuable electronics and want to protect them from the damaging heat? Appliances, electronic equipment and portable devices like laptop and smart phone often have the tendency to get heated when used for a long time. Here are some simple ways to protect your electronics this summer season:

  • Don’t leave your electronic products inside your car during summers. However, if you need to keep your device in the car, try to keep it underneath a seat where it is much cooler and is away from the direct sunlight.
  • Since the electronics can’t handle extreme temperature change, it’s good to take extra caution when transitioning the device between extreme temperatures.
  • While you are using your devices for a long time, take care when using them. Use a cooling pad or find a shady area is good to protect your device.
  • Never leave your device screen directly under the sun. Yes, there are some devices like Kindle e-readers which are glare-free and can be freely used in the sun. But when you are not using them as well, don’t let the screen sit out. Keeping too long in the sun can bleach the device’s screen.
  • We all know electronics and moisture don’t gel! Therefore, considering a “Ziplock” bag is a good idea while taking your device near a pool or a beach area.
  • You can use insulated cases for laptops, tablets and smartphones to protect them from the heat.

However, always remember two basic advices:

  • Never mix gadgets and water.
  • Never let your device sit in the direct sunlight.

4 Ways to Safeguard and Protect Your Small Business Data

4 Ways to Safeguard and Protect Your Small Business Data

Are you doing enough to safeguard and protect your small business data?

Small businesses are widely adopting data back-up practices to ensure data is retrievable should a disaster occur, but gaps remain. According to a July 2012 study by accounting software company Sage, the bulk of small businesses are backing up key data such as financial information, but most businesses back up that data on-site only. Furthermore, the study found that only 38 percent of surveyed small businesses have a formal emergency or disaster preparedness plan.

Windows XP: Time is running out, are you ready?

Windows XP: Time is running out, are you ready?

One of the most popular and longest lived Microsoft operating systems that we all know and love, Windows XP, has almost run its course. The clock is ticking... And on April 8, 2014, Windows XP will officially be “dead”, with no more extended support, and—more importantly—no more security patches. Hopefully, this news does not come as a surprise, as Microsoft has foretold the fate of XP since its release back in 2001. 

Welcome To 2015

Welcome To 2015

As a new year 2014 gets underway, we want to thank you for allowing us to serve you; in the past and the future. Looking forward to the new year, we want you to know that our team is committed to consistently providing you with the best IT service possible, while continuing to expand our services to fit your needs. Computer and Network Solutions is now expanding Cloud based services to include...