Windows Secrets

Skype kills third-party IM client support

It appears that Microsoft/Skype has dropped support for SkypeKit, the code that allows IM clients such as Trillian to connect to the Skype service.

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A Windows-patching December to remember

Despite how it might seem at times, flawed security updates are relatively rare. When there is a problem, Microsoft typically releases an update for the update. For example, this past December there was a bug in the patch Microsoft released to fix a font vulnerability. In this special New Year’s edition of Patch Watch, I review three problem updates released in December.

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Readers talk back to Windows Secrets

As noted in this week’s Introduction, Windows Secrets is launching a Letters column — reader e-mails that we think are especially interesting. Leading off this new column is a critical view of Microsoft’s Office Ribbon interface, discussed in a Woody Leonhard article.

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Learn to use the versatile Microsoft OneNote

OneNote might be one of the best apps you can put on your PC. Using Microsoft OneNote 2010, by Michael C. Oldenburg, shows you how to get the most from this surprisingly versatile digital organizer.

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A special offer for Windows Secrets subscribers

Through the end of 2011, you can purchase two e-books, the PC Maintenance Guide and the PC Security Guide, together for just $9.95. That’s half off our standard price.

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Working with formulas and charts in Excel 2010

Microsoft Excel 2010: Plain & Simple, by Curtis Frye, is a must-have, easily digested reference for anyone who’s recently upgraded to Excel 2010.

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The ultimate guide to fixing Windows 7 problems

Windows 7 is the best Windows ever, but no one calls it perfect. As with all operating systems, stuff happens.

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Working with images and text in Office 2010

Microsoft Office 2010: plain & simple, by Windows Secrets contributor Katherine Murray, can make that task considerably less intimidating. This thorough reference guide breaks down Office into easily digested sections filled with tips and illustrations.

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Get the most out of Windows Media Player 12

Setting up a complete home network can be both extremely frustrating and exceedingly rewarding. Well-designed home networks give quick access to documents, storage, printing, and the Internet from anywhere in your house.

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New Microsoft patch dedicated to Fred Langa

We’re all used to the constant stream of patches from Microsoft. Windows Secrets covers them in the twice-monthly Patch Watch column. Most of these patches are initiated by the diligent work of security specialists. But a recently released Microsoft Fix it patch, KB 2578723, springs from our very own ace writer Fred Langa, and his weekly LangaList Plus column. In his May 12 article, “Win7 network stuck in ‘Public’ mode,” Fred gave his steps for fixing network-location problems. Later, Fred wondered if those steps could be made more simply with a Microsoft Fix it button. So he contacted fellow columnist Woody Leonhard, a Microsoft Thailand MVP. Woody in turn passed the suggestion on to Microsoft, and the rest is, as they say, history. Congratulations Fred!