Q. Is HomeGroup Really Leaving Windows 10? I can confirm that this is, in fact, happening. It’s been happening for a while: Microsoft notified testers during the Redstone 4 feature update development cycle when they released Build 17063 in December of last year. You must scroll almost all the way to the bottom of those very lengthy release notes to find the details about HomeGroup’s retirement under the Other notable changes section. I know many of you are still on Windows 7, which means you may also be using the HomeGroup features on your home network. (In fact, HomeGroup was introduced as part of Windows 7 when it was released to general availability in October 2009.) In those ensuing eight and a half years, technology has come along that really eliminates the need for HomeGroup as it was originally devised. When parallel services can adequately replace the feature in Windows 10, then it makes sense for the Redmond company to stop supporting that part of the code base. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
These tips and tricks can help you more easily handle a huuuuuge spreadsheet. You’ve created an Excel spreadsheet that stretches beyond what you can see on the screen, maybe one that encompasses hundreds of rows or columns. And now working with and navigating that spreadsheet has become slow and clumsy. Do you need to pare down your spreadsheet? Nope, don’t change it. Instead, you can tap into various tools and features in Excel to use and move around your big spreadsheet. Here’s what you can do: Certain keyboard shortcuts can hop around your spreadsheet in the blink of an eye. You can also name cells or ranges of cells to move to them by name. You can filter the data in a row to see only certain content. You can freeze specific rows and columns, such as header rows, so they’re always visible. And you can split your spreadsheet to see more than one area. Let’s check out the different ways to work with large Excel spreadsheets. I’m using Excel 2016 for the examples here, but you should be able to apply the same tricks in the past couple of versions of the program. To start, load Excel and create … 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.
My first version of Microsoft’s fledgling operating system was Windows 3.0. I had spent the previous years learning BASIC banging on the keyboard of my Commodore 64. This past week I got to go back in time: The original File Explorer program that was part of Windows in the 90’s was open sourced by Microsoft under the MIT Open Source Software license. Note: The MIT OSS license retains all original copyright and license notices but allows the code for commercial and private use, modification, and distribution. The WinFile source code is being hosted on GitHub and anyone can contribute and make pull requests. You can download the latest stable release, which runs as an x86/x64 desktop app. When I heard about this being available, I went to GitHub and downloaded the latest stable release, marked as version 10.0, and extracted it into a directory on a Windows 10 desktop PC. 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
Q. I heard that Microsoft is going to discontinue the desktop version of OneNote! Is this true? If so, what will take its place? You did hear correctly. This announcement was made within the last 24 hours by OneNote Program Manager William Devereux. He confirmed that active development of new features and capabilities is ending for OneNote 2016. This was the last version of OneNote built for the standard Windows desktop. It is compatible with the currently supported versions of Windows (7, 8.1, and 10.) Later this year, when Office 2019 is released as the last stand alone version of Office, there will not be a desktop version of OneNote included. However, there are still options for those of you who are fans of OneNote 2016 on the desktop. According to an FAQ posted by the OneNote team, this announcement does not mean the end of OneNote 2016 is imminent. OneNote 2016 will be under mainstream support until October 13, 2020, and extended support until October 14, 2025. You’ve got a little over seven years left with this product as-is. Installing Office 2019 when it is released later this year will not remove OneNote 2016 from your system. OneNote for … 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
You can beef up Outlook with the right programs. You may rely on Microsoft Outlook for your email, calendar, and contacts. And Outlook certainly offers a lot of features and flexibility. But you want more. Maybe you want a better way to search for emails and other information. Perhaps you’d like an easier method for accessing and modifying key Outlook settings. Maybe you need a good tool to find lost or unreadable emails. Perhaps you want to sync your Outlook calendar with your Google calendar. Never fear. Some top tools are here. We’re going to review: Email Insights, which tries to find more relevant emails based on your search parameters. OutlookTools, which provides a single place where you can view and change key settings and folder options in Outlook. Stellar PST Viewer, which can scan a corrupted PST file and help you access emails you may have thought lost. And Sync2, which syncs your Outlook calendar events with those in Google Calendar so you can easily view and update either calendar. I ran each of the tools in Outlook 2016 via my Office 365 subscription. But they should work as well in the past couple of versions of Outlook. Now, … Read More
Trying to get to inbox zero? Switching from conventional Gmail to Inbox can help you get there, thanks to features like bundling, snooze, and templates. Inbox by Gmail first appeared in 2014, when the vamped-up web-based email client was still invite only. But there are still people who haven’t switched over, and may not even be fully aware that they can. Those people are missing out. Inbox by Gmail takes what you already enjoy about Gmail — message sorting, filters, great archive search — and makes it even more useful. Its ethos and functionalities will feel familiar to fans of the Getting Things Done productivity approach, as Inbox works to make every email actionable, even if that action is merely to archive a message. This helps you clear things out of your inbox and focus in specifically on what you need to do with your email, when you need to do it. “It’s not an exaggeration to say Inbox literally transformed the way I use email,” said Vinay Pai, the founder of Unfake.us. “I used to be pretty dedicated to desktop-based clients like Thunderbird, Outlook, and Eudora but Inbox made me decide to switch my whole email workflow around it.” It might … Read More