Microsoft first announced their plans to build an ecosystem of devices around your Windows 10 system at BUILD 2017. Since then they have been testing several features to bring this ecosystem to life. The ultimate goal is to make it easier to pick up activities and work you have started on other devices in this ecosystem. Cortana, if you use the digital assistant on your compatible devices, will help you pick up where you left off on other Windows 10 devices. If you are using a Windows 10 based device and move to another Windows 10 device using the same Microsoft Account in about a 10-minute period, you will receive a notification in the Windows 10 Action Center. This notification will have shortcuts to websites that you were actively using on the other device. This is very handy as you move between Windows 10 devices but what about when you are on your mobile device and want to easily get a website to browse on a larger screen. That is where the Continue on PC feature in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update comes in handy. Updated versions of Microsoft Edge on Android and iOS devices now have a button … Read More
In last weeks’ newsletters (Tuesday and Thursday), we took a closer look at some of the new features of what we called the Productivity Update, i.e. the Windows 10 April 2018 Update aka Windows 10 Version 1803 (OS Build 17134.1). Note: If you are interested in seeing more about some of the enterprise/business related features in this update you can check out the review we posted at ITPro Today last week. This week, we are going to review the various methods for upgrading or clean installing your current Windows 10 installation to this fifth feature update for the operating system. Windows Update (Automatic) When Microsoft begins an automatic roll out of an update like this, they usually begin with known hardware configurations. That means targeting hardware such as first-party Surface devices, some of their OEM partners’ machines, or newer machines that are more likely to be compatible with the update to Windows 10. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Welcome back to our examination of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (also be known under its official name of Windows 10 Version 1803 (OS Build 17134.1). In part one of the review, I suggested it be called the Productivity Update. I’ll keep calling it that in this examination of some other highly useful features: Cortana, Startup Apps Control, Accessibility, Microsoft Edge and Security. Cortana Cortana has received a slight makeover with new information cards for both her Notebook and Skills areas when you click on the Cortana icon on the Windows 10 Taskbar. This makes these settings faster to access because they are just one level away when you open Cortana. There is also an edit icon next to your name so that you can adjust the Places which Cortana knows about such as Home and Work. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Now that it’s been released to the public, it’s time to take a closer look at the fifth major feature update to Microsoft’s latest operating system. This feature update has been in development since July 2017 and there have been 27 public development builds released to testers over that nearly nine-month period. Microsoft never formally named this feature update like they have done in the past with monikers like Anniversary, Creators, and Fall Creators Update. Instead, they have chosen to simply call it the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. It will also be known under its official name of Windows 10 Version 1803 (OS Build 17134.1). If I were providing suggestions for naming this feature update, then I would recommend calling it the Productivity Update. The key additional features in this package of updates really can help you be more productive. This release makes significant changes in how you access the data across your ecosystem of Windows 10 based devices. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Columns can be challenging, but you can master them with the right techniques. You’re creating a Microsoft Word document that you think may work better if formatted into columns. Fine, but columns can be tricky. You have to decide how many columns to use and how and where to apply them. And columns can often run amuck by breaking at the wrong places, not continuing correctly to the next page, or not stopping where you want them to stop. You often have to play around with the columns to coax them to come out right. Believe it or not. columns can be easier. If you know how to create and customize your columns, you should be able to get them to work and look the way you want. Why even fuss with columns? You may be creating a newsletter or brochure in Word and need to format your document in columns for printing. You may be writing a report that has to adhere to a column format. But even a regular document formatted in columns can be more inviting and easier to read than one in which the text stretches across the entire width of the page. The steps I … Read More
Last year during Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, I sat in on a presentation about a new collaborative tool for the Windows 10 desktop called Microsoft Whiteboard. Microsoft already had a collaboration tool for its Surface Hub line of devices; the idea behind this new app was to bring that level of group creativity from the conference room to the desktops, laptops, and tablets running Windows 10. In December of last year, the Microsoft Whiteboard App preview was released in the Microsoft Store. Since then it has been updated multiple times and continues to become more robust through bug fixes, performance enhancements, and feature additions. The app is reliable enough after five months of availability for daily use. So why not try it? Get started by downloading it from the Microsoft Store and then opening the app for the first time so it can be associated with your Microsoft Account. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
In this second in a series of articles I continue my in-depth examination of some of the features in Windows 10. Part one of this series appears in the March 27 issue. In a complex operating system like Windows 10, there are obviously features Microsoft got right and then some that still need tweaking. Now that we have lived with the various versions and updates of Microsoft’s OS, isn’t it time we conduct a sort of postmortem of all that Windows comprises? In this second installment of my feeature-by-feature overview, I examine what’s good and bad (or just plain ugly) about the Microsoft Store, the Command Prompt, and that mandatory, take-it-or-leave-it, Microsoft account for Windows 10. As in the previous installment, these assessments will be based on both my experience with the OS since its first release, plus composite of opinions from other users. The Microsoft Store When Microsoft first started their app store media pundits and consumers weighing in online were not too kind, rightfully calling it a “too little, too late” copycat of Apple’s tremendously successful App Store. In its first years the Microsoft Store displayed a puny selection of familiar games and productivity apps and seemed to be just begging to … Read More
With the right tools, you don’t need to open a file or its application to view it. You may work with a lot of different files in Windows — Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, OneNote notebooks, PDF files, graphic files, video files, audio files, and more. Sometimes you need to check out one file after another. That can be time-consuming since it means you need to launch each file’s native application to view it. Well, not necessarily. There are ways you can view a file without having to launch its application. Here are the five options we’ll be looking at: Windows itself offers a preview pane in File Explorer through which you can view a variety of file types. A free program called File Viewer Lite can display more than 150 different file types. If you need even more options and don’t mind spending some money, File Viewer Plus can display more than 300 different file types at a cost of $39.95. Free File Viewer is a simple and free program that can display more than 200 file types. Quick View Plus is a robust file viewer, one that can display more than 300 file types. The only downside … Read More
Microsoft will be wrapping up development of the fifth feature update for Windows 10 in the next couple of weeks. Even as it does, it’s already working on the fall update, known as Redstone 5. There are a couple of items that are already being tested in these early builds, so we can extrapolate some ideas about what new features we might see in Redstone 5 when it arrives this Fall. Let’s look at what those features might be. Sets The idea behind this feature is that you would open one window within an app — say a Word document — and then open other apps/browsers in tabs within the same UI for other research and content related to your current work project. Windows 10 would remember these various open tabs the next time you open that app to continue working on your project. We saw this feature previewed in the pending spring update a couple of months ago, but it was not tested across all Windows Insider devices, so Microsoft ultimately decided that this functionality would not be part of the spring update, aka the Redstone 4 feature update. It has now been re-introduced in the Redstone 5 builds and is being tested … Read More
Q. Can I postpone receiving the next feature update for Windows 10? Microsoft has been developing the fifth feature update for Windows 10 since late last year, and that work is now in the final stages as they stabilize the update and prepare for its general availability next month. When Windows 10 first came out almost three years ago, there were no official options for consumers to delay the installation of a new feature update. Once it arrived on Windows Update for your device there was no turning back from that upgrade cycle. However, if you are running Windows 10 Professional, settings have been built into the OS that will give you a couple of options for delaying the upgrade to the latest feature update. Note: This option is not available as part of Windows 10 Home. If you go into Windows Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and then click on Advanced Options under Update settings. This is where you have two options for postponing updates to Windows 10. Let’s take a closer look at what is at your disposal for delaying a feature update upgrade. First, let’s begin by looking at the last option on the page … Read More