The best thing about Windows 10 is also the worst thing about Windows 10. The operating system is stuffed to overflowing with built-in features and apps, so many that the sheer volume can and does overwhelm most users, so many that most users will never find or use them. What a waste! But as I discovered, they don’t have to go to waste. Instead of letting the bountiful Windows 10 Starter apps go unused, I decided to see if they were robust enough to keep users like me self-sufficient without the need to use third-party programs. Could I forgo using Office apps or the other third-party apps I’ve come to rely on? Could we run our offices or personal tasks with just the Windows 10 Starter apps? So I took the self-imposed challenge for a one week trial. Read on to find out how it went. More Than Just Getting By with Windows Starter Apps Almost all the Starter apps in Windows 10 are easily found right on the Start menu, arranged in alphabetical order. A few others lay semi-hidden in sub-menus like Windows Accessories. Selecting the Starter apps I would use required first assessing the non-Starter apps I currently use — and … Read More
Hello everyone! I am taking a slightly different approach this week and not answering a question but talking about an event that happened this week — the introduction of the Microsoft Surface Go. The 10-inch tablet has a surprisingly low entry-level price of $399 – and that is before adding any accessories like a keyboard, pen and mouse. As a 10-inch tablet with full touch and inking support, it could be a very comfortable second screen for consumption, social media and light email, not unlike the capabilities inherent in the Apple iPad. Surface Go (Via Microsoft) This device is going to help grow the Surface brand because it is the first time Windows-oriented consumers can pick up a branded device at this price level. (Apple’s had a low-cost iPad since March 2018.) Even the high-end Surface Go, which based on its specs would be the performance buy, is listed at $549. For what it offers — and the ease with which it moves between light entertainment and serious productivity, thanks to the full Office 365 suite of software — that’s a great bargain. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Previously, I shared a process that allowed you to sync your Internet Explorer favorites using OneDrive. The premise behind the hack was to centrally store all your IE favorites in a single directory on OneDrive. Synching the favorite shortcuts this way tended to be much faster than depending on the built-in synching that IE itself performs. However, after writing that hack, I started to see an error on my bare metal test devices which were using that OneDrive sync method. OneDrive Folder Error Dialog This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Over the last year, Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service has gone through some significant changes. The first was the return of Files On-Demand, reviving end users’ ability to see their entire cloud storage file structure, then select whether files should be stored locally or in the cloud. The return of Files On-Demand also introduced a dynamic file management process that would adjust local storage of your cloud files based on how often you accessed those files on that system. Although OneDrive is deeply integrated into the Windows 10 operating system, the primary tool used to manage the syncing of your cloud storage is the OneDrive sync client. That piece of software is not tied to Microsoft’s semi-annual features updates for the OS, so the team can ship updates at any time to continue improving the service. Note: An additional benefit of the OneDrive sync client is that it is the only program needed to sync both consumer and OneDrive for Business files stored in the cloud service. This week Microsoft announced the initial rollout of a feature for OneDrive for Business users called Known Folder Move. This allows IT departments to redirect common user folders in Windows 10 such as Desktop, Documents, and … Read More
As we continue our trek through various enhancements and new capabilities in the recently released Windows 10 April 2018 Update (see here and here), we next stop at Focus Assist. Focus Assist is not new for Windows 10 – in previous feature updates for Windows 10, it was known as Quiet Hours. When this name change was announced, the general reception was that it made no sense and the Quiet Hours name was more than adequate for the feature. I have long felt that the April 2018 Update was focused — no pun intended — on productivity and that is how Microsoft explained this name change: Focus Assist helps you get more done by easily blocking notifications, sounds, and alerts to create distraction-free work times. This is helpful if you’re giving a presentation or trying to focus on a paper, you can use Focus Assist to block interruptions or distractions. While Quiet Hours also helped users by providing no interruptions when the feature was turned on, it also lacked in-depth management options of who or what could break through the silence. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
As file storage options become both less expensive and more varied, individuals and corporations have more power to customize their own storage system — and more chances to become confused and overwhelmed by their choices. “Once upon a time space and storage was costly and limited and required you to be very selective on where to put things and how to maintain a library and catalog of where to put things and how to maintain them,” Todd Pekats, vice president of Cloud and Services at PCM, Inc. Remember these? File management options have come a long way. Pekats once had riles living in multiple different places, on multiple different kinds of formats and devices: tap, floppy disks, SyQuest drives, etc. “Just keeping track of what you have and where it is being stored was a fulltime job.” This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
I’ll try not to make you envious. I have what is probably the fastest home Internet connection in the country – a theoretical gigabit: 1,000Mbps. And it’s synchronous, as fast going up as down. To add icing to the cake, my ISP bill is dropping almost by half while my speed increases exponentially. To make you feel better, let me tell you that my actual speeds aren’t anywhere near that. And yet the speeds I do get are many times faster than before. I’m here to discuss the experience of having a fiber to the home (FTTH) Internet service. I’ll tell you how I got this service, the experience of having it, and why you probably can’t get it where you live. Better Living With Fiber This is not the kind of fiber you want in your breakfast cereal. It’s made of glass. Fiber optic cables are extremely thin – almost a hair width – but they can handle huge amounts of data. Just one of these thin strands can carry a gigabit going down on one frequency, and another gigabit going up on another frequency. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here … Read More
Q. I am trying to install an app from the Microsoft Store on my computer, but I get an error that says I have exceeded my device limit. How do I fix this? A. This is an error that will pop up if you try to use more than 10 devices to download apps from the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 using the same Microsoft Account. There is no specific rhyme or reason to this number: Under Windows 8.1 this device limit was 81 and under Windows 10 it has dropped to just 10. OK – so maybe there is a connection between the operating system but that makes no sense at all to just change these limits from OS to OS. Note: Developers can often get this limit expanded so they can test their apps on multiple devices without any issues. Anyway, with just 10 devices allowed to install apps from the Microsoft Store, you could hit this limit very quickly. Devices are not automatically removed from your master device list so if you go through a couple of upgrade cycles you could hit this limit as well. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid … Read More
When Microsoft launched Windows 10 back in July 2015, they included a fledgling web browser called Microsoft Edge. Work has continued on Edge over the last three years and it has improved tremendously. However, there are still a lot of sites that do not work correctly with it. For some, Chrome and Firefox provide alternative browsers that can be used in these situations but there are also some folks who need to use Internet Explorer in certain circumstances. Over my time using Windows 10, I have occasionally pulled up IE 11, that is the version included in Windows 10, in order to check out certain sites. In fact, Edge has a shortcut in its sidebar menu that lets you directly open a site in IE that is displayed in Edge. While that shortcut is handy, I also use the Favorites Bar on all my browsers to have the same sites pinned across the different devices I use each day. As I have been working with IE over these last three years or so in Windows 10, I have noticed that the Favorites Bar is either not synching at all or is very slow to sync across devices. I tinkered around … Read More
Numbers make the world go round. Excel’s become indispensable for crunching numbers – so why not make the most of the application? This is part two of our collection on mastering Microsoft’s flagship spreadsheet program. (Part one is here.) Email subscribers will have the full text of all these articles: Avoid Copy and Paste Problems in Microsoft Excel Use Templates to Enhance Your Excel Spreadsheets”}”>Use Templates to Enhance Your Excel Spreadsheets How to Use Multiple Worksheets in a Microsoft Excel Workbook How to Work with Large Spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel We’re taking a quick summer break and will be back with new content on Tuesday, June 12, 2018.