Spotlight on 2016 World Cruise Ports

25 Apr

Hi there folks,


Kristin again, writing from the beautiful Amsterdam about to enter the final port of call of the  2016 World Cruise, Fort Lauderdale.  Yes that’s right, we have come full circle and are back in Florida having circumnavigated the globe in 115 days.  I can’t believe how fast time has flown by…in fact, lets turn around and go back the other way for another 115 days! Wait, no, we can’t do that….to many hour forwards.

But what an amazing and rewarding experience this has been. As I reflect back on the wondrous ports of call, the delightful guests and crew I have met and worked with, I can’t be anything but appreciative and grateful for these past 4 months and these once in a lifetime experiences.

In this post I wanted to share with you just a few of these remarkable locations that the Amsterdam has taken us to. And who knows, maybe this will inspire you to book one of these World Cruises on our beautiful ship and experience more of our incredible  world.  Just be sure to bring your computer and other Windows devices so that you can be able to learn how to use them to their full potential in the Digital Workshop.


Kristin Viotto

Happy Travels

2017 World Cruise


IMG_8786 IMG_8793

Moorea, French Polynesia              Sydney Opera House



Borobodour, Indonesia                              Hong Kong



Hoi An, Vietnam                            Jurong Bird Park, Singapore


IMG_9062         IMG_9077

Yala National Park,               Colombo, Sri Lanka

      Sri Lanka                       

IMG_9105   IMG_9117

Camels in the Arabian Desert             Burj Khalifa, Dubai


IMG_9172 IMG_9378

Muscat, Oman                                  Petra, Jordan


IMG_9383 IMG_9386

Suez Canal, Egypt                    Greek Food, Katakolon, Greece


IMG_9450 Stitch IMG_9468 Stitch

El Campo, Siena, Italy           Views of the Tuscan landscape


My Favorite Travel Apps

17 Apr

Hi there folks,

Kristin here, writing from the Digital Workshop of the Amsterdam, as we wind down the end of the 2016 Grand World Voyage.  We are currently on day 102 of our 115 day itinerary and are docking in Livorno, Italy. Livorno is the cruise ship gateway to magnificent Florence, which is  rated number 4 of World’s Top 10 Cities by Travel and Leisure.

Throughout this cruise, I have met many other congenial people, like myself, who have a passion for travel. There isn’t one among us who doesn’t have their own travel tips that they swear have gotten them out of some sticky situations or have helped them to better experience the destinations that they are visiting.  I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite travel apps that I use during my sea going ship contracts as well as apps/services that I like to use while traveling on vacation.


1.) XE Currency


The XE Currency App allows me to always make sure that when I make a purchase I am aware of the cost in dollars.  When your traveling by cruise ship to many different countries the exchange rates can get a little jumbled in your head, this in turn, might cause quite a surprise the next time you look at your credit card statement. I love that you can input many different currencies at one time which makes it easier if you are going to places where your not always able to stay connected to data or wifi.  Just make sure you input all the different currencies before you leave the ship.

xe full screen


2.) World Clock

world clock title

When traveling abroad for either a short or long period of time, at some point, you might need to call home.  Unless you want to accidentally wake someone up at their 4am, it’s always good to double check that your time calculations in your head are correct.  This app will let you know that current time of many different cities in different time zones. Never wake anyone up again!

world clock full screen


3.) Tripadvisor

tripadvisor title

I love to use TripAdvisor to get the most out of the destination.  Whether its looking for great restaurants or garnering opinions about hotels that I am interested in staying at.  Additionally, there are also useful links to blogs and others articles that might give you some further ideas about how best experience the city and its environs.  I’ve gotten many helpful hints from this service over the years on good tours as well as transportation tips.

Tripadvisor full screen


4.) Translator

Translator title

Every international travel is, at some point, going to come across a sign, menu, newspaper or person that they need to understand.  The Translator App from Microsoft can help you do just that.  The app has the ability to translate from pictures you take with you smartphone camera and translate them into one of 22 different languages right then and there.  You can also type text and translate that into over 51 different languages.  Voice translation, text to speech and the ability to save translations offline are also some of the features you will find with this app.  One neat addition is also a Word of the Day feature if you pin the app to your start screen, it’s a little mini language lesson!

Translator full screen



Uber title

Uber’s motto is “Everyone’s Personal Driver” and these personal drivers are currently in 407 cities worldwide.  I love Uber because sometimes you can just not find a cab and with this click of a button you are able to get a ride.  Not only is it usually a better deal than the traditional cab fare but your able to meet a local of the area and potentially have a nice little chat while they drive you to your end destination.  If its half an hour until all aboard time and you can’t find a cab open your Uber App to make sure you don’t miss the boat.  The only issue is that in order to use this app you must be connected to data or wifi. Can’t find a cab or open up your Uber?….start walking/running.


Uber full screen


Now these are just a few of my favorite apps that you can download from the Windows Store that will hopefully allow your next vacation to go more smoothly.  Always keep checking back on the windows store to see new apps arriving all the time!


Until next time folks,


Kristin Viotto

Techspert of the MS Amsterdam

Happy Travels

Hey, Cortana!

3 Feb

With the update to Windows 10, you may have noticed that directly to the right of your start button is something new. It’s generally a text box with “Ask me Anything” and may even have a little microphone icon directly to the right of it. What is this, you ask? Perhaps a better question would be, “Who is this?”

This is Cortana, your personal assistant in Windows 10. Now, you may be familiar with her if you’ve used Windows Phone 8 as well.

So here’s the big question: What does Cortana do?

Cortana can do a variety of functions. One of these, you’ve likely used before in a previous version of Windows. If you’ve ever searched for a file on your PC, or maybe a setting, this carries into Cortana. So, for example, let’s say that I need to find a Word document. I have a varieties of ways that I can search for this document. I would first tap or left click inside the text box, and then type the file name, or if I don’t remember the name, I can type a keyword that’s in the body text of the document.

You can also search for programs, applications, and settings this way. For example, if you want to find the setting to change the size of your mouse, you can type “mouse size” into the search box, and it will find the setting for you.

Searching for files and settings isn’t all that Cortana can do. She’s also able to help you set and manage reminders, check traffic, calculate math, track flights and packages, and even send emails. The best part about all of this is that she’s also voice activated, meaning that you can do all of this with a spoken phrase!

There are some things to keep in mind if you’re using Cortana’s voice activation. Firstly, she’s currently released to the countries of Spain, Italy, France, China, Germany, the United Kingdom, and of course the United States. The current languages available for Cortana are English (US), English (UK), Chinese (Simplified), Spanish, Italian, French, and German. If you want to use Cortana’s features in the additional countries and languages, you may need to complete the following steps.

  1. Go to Settings (Left click on your start button at the bottom left corner to open your start menu. Left click once on Settings.)
  2. Left click once on Time & Language.
  3. At the left edge, left click once on Region & Language
  4. Under Languages, select your current language
  5. Left click once on Options
  6. Left click once on Download Language Pack
  7. At the top left, left click the arrow to return to your Time & Language screen
  8. At the left edge, left click once on Speech
  9. The downloaded language pack should be available in the drop-down menu labelled Choose the language you speak with your device. Left click on the menu to open it, and left click on your chosen language.
  10. You may also need to check the box labelled Recognize non-native accents for this language if the chosen language is not your native language.
  11. Restart your device. (Left click on your start button to open the start menu – left click on power – left click restart.)

These steps should allow Cortana to become activated for her additional features. If you’re in a country where Cortana isn’t yet available, remember that you can still use her to search for files and settings in your PC.

Try these!

If you have full Cortana on your device, check and see if you have a microphone on your device. If not, you can find standalone microphones and headsets with microphones that plug in via USB port. If you have these features, try a few of these available options!

Set a Reminder

  • Left click on the microphone icon to the right of the Cortana text search box
  • Say, “Set a reminder for 3pm to do laundry”
  • When Cortana asks for confirmation, simply say, “yes.”
    • Bonus! If you go into Cortana’s Notebook at the left, you can select About Me and Edit Favorite Places to add locations such as “Home.” This plus GPS location features allow you to set a reminder for when you reach that location. Ie “Set a reminder for when I get home that I need to do laundry.” When you arrive at the location, the reminder will activate.

Send a voice-dictated email

  • Left click on the microphone icon to the right of the Cortana text search box
  • Say, “Send an email to <Contact>” <Contact> will be the name of the contact that you want to email.
  • Cortana will ask what you want to say. Dictate your message here.
  • Cortana will ask you for confirmation. Say yes.
    • Example: “Send an email to Mom, “
    • “Hi mom, just wanted to say hello. Love, Amanda.”
    • “Yes.”

Calculate a math problem

  • Left click on the microphone icon to the right of the Cortana text search box
  • Say, “What is 25% off of $41?”
  • See what Cortana answers.

Chat with Cortana

  • Left click on the microphone icon to the right of the Cortana text search box
  • Say, “Tell me a joke.”
  • See what Cortana says.
    • Additional chat options include:
      • “Sing something”
      • “What do you look like?”
      • “What are you wearing?”
      • “Who are you?”
      • “What do you do?”

These are just a few examples of what you can do with Cortana. She can recommend fitness workouts, she can check news, stocks, flights, facts, and more!

Even better, if you’re wondering, “How can I get Cortana on my smart phone?” Not only is Cortana available across all Windows 10 devices, including windows phones, she’s also available on iOS and Android as of December 2015.

Get to know Cortana, and she’ll act as your fully-voiced personal assistant!

Amanda Barham | Digital Workshop Host

5 Things to Do Before Upgrading to Windows 10

25 Nov

Windows 10 is a welcome upgrade . There are several improvements over the previous versions, like Windows 7 and 8, in terms of aesthetics, features, and functionality. Most of all, Windows 10 is free for all genuine Windows 7 and 8 users until July 29th, 2016. That being said, it has been well over three months since Windows 10 was released, and you might be considering an upgrade to Windows 10.

Though the process of upgrading is simple and straightforward, there are a few things that you should do before upgrading. This ensures a smooth upgrading experience and no waste of time after upgrading.

Check for Hardware Compatibility

This is a no-brainer, the first thing you should do before upgrading is to check to see if your system hardware can run Windows 10. Though the system requirements for Windows 10 are not that demanding, below are the minimum system requirements. In fact, if you are currently running Windows 7 or 8, then you are good to go.

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit or 20 GB for 64-bit
  • Graphics: DirectX 9 or later
  • Display: 800×600


Alternatively, if you have the “Get Windows 10” app installed, then you can check for both the software and hardware compatibility from it.

You can learn more about the requirements and other instructions from this official Windows 10 specifications page.

Uninstall Unwanted Programs and Free Up Space

Before upgrading to Windows 10, make sure that you uninstall any and all unnecessary applications, especially any antivirus, malware and firewall software. Because of how they work, security software can sometimes cause problems after upgrading. You can uninstall the programs from the “Programs and Features” in the Control Panel.

Moreover, depending on your current Windows installation, you will need extra space on your C drive so that Windows can back up your current version before upgrading to Windows 10. Make sure that you have at least 15 to 20GB of extra space on your C drive. This helps you downgrade to the previous version if you ever need to.


Back Up Your Files, Folders, and Product Keys

Although Windows lets you keep installed programs, personal files, and folders while upgrading, it is always a good thing to back up all your files and folders in the C drive. When I say C drive, I’m taking about all general locations like Desktop, Downloads, Documents, Music, Video, Pictures, etc. Just manually scan the drive and back up as necessary.

If you are using premium products like Microsoft Office, then back up the product keys using a free software like ProduKey, just in case. This lets you reinstall and register them quickly, if necessary.


Download Drivers Beforehand

Drivers are an important part of Windows, as they are responsible for the communications between the hardware and software. Before upgrading to Windows 10, check that your hardware vendor supports it and has released compatible drivers. You can check for the driver updates in the official vendor websites. If the drivers are available, then download them so that you can install them as soon as you are done upgrading.

This is an essential thing to do if you have a slow or unreliable Internet connection.

Remove or Disconnect Unnecessary Peripherals

This is one of the most ignored things, but you should always remove or disconnect any unnecessary peripherals, as they may sometimes interfere with the upgrading process which results in a failed upgrade. When I say unnecessary peripherals, I’m talking about things like attached Bluetooth devices, USB hubs, external hard disks, external keyboard and mouse (in case of laptops), etc.


Since the upgrading process has been improved so much, there shouldn’t be any problem(s), and I personally haven’t faced an issue while upgrading. That doesn’t mean you won’t face problems, so follow the above steps and always have a backup plan. If you’ve done everything as said, then you are good to upgrade your system to the all-new Windows 10.

For the Holland America Digital Workshop powered by Windows I am

Frank Barcelona DW host NODM

Better Browsing with Microsoft Edge

21 Nov

For years, Microsoft’s built-in option for browsing websites was Internet Explorer.  With the introduction of Windows 10, however, we now have a new built-in option, Microsoft Edge, for perusing all our favorite web content.  Here are some tips for making the most of Microsoft Edge, including a close-up look at some exciting new features that set Edge apart from other browsers.


Get access to the websites you want

As with Internet Explorer, if you find a website that you like and you want to access it in the future, you can add that website to your favorites list.  Simply go to that website and then click on the star at the right end of the address bar.  You’ll get an option to either add that website to your Favorites or to your Reading List.

01_Favorites (2)

Add a website to your Favorites

Already have a list of favorites in Internet Explorer that you’d like to see in Edge?  Open the Hub, look for “Import Favorites”, and you’ll be surfing your old websites in no time.


Import favorites from Internet Explorer

Another convenient option for accessing websites again in the future is to add a new tile to your Start menu.  The great thing about this is you’ll be able to arrange your tiles in groups, resize them, name them, and get them set up in whatever way is most efficient and effective for you.  The best part about pinning a website to Start, though? The website can take advantage of the live tile feature that allows content to be displayed on the surface of the tile, so you can get quick, easy access to the information you care about without even having to open up the website where the information is coming from.


Pin a website to Start

You Read My Mind…

One of the best things about accessing online content like news and articles is the amazing access to such a vast array of information.  Unfortunately, this great advantage is coupled with a major annoyance: all the ads, links, and other distracting content typically displayed around the news and articles.  Microsoft Edge includes an innovative Reading View feature that makes reading online much more enjoyable.  To activate Reading View, click on the book symbol at the right end of the address bar.


Activate Reading View with the book icon

You’ll immediately notice a number of significant changes to the layout of the website.  First, all of that extra fluff (to put it nicely) like ads and links is gone.  The background has been changed to off-white, instead of the typical harsh, bright white background that’s not so easy on the eyes.  Also, the article, if it wasn’t already, is centered on the page, and the text is in a different, clearer font, larger size, and wider spacing.  Overall, the page is optimized for reading, more like what you’d expect on an e-reader than a website.  You can even send the page to the printer as-is, to cut down on wasting ink, or liquid gold, as I like to call it.


Reading View looks more like an e-reader, less like a website

Still not exactly as you’d like it?  Click on the three little dots in the top right of Edge to access the menu, then click on Settings.  There, you’ll find options for customizing the Reading View, such as changing the background color or making the font larger or smaller.


Customize Reading View with a few easy clicks

I’ll make a note of it…

See something in the article that caught your eye and you want to make a note of it?  Now you can actually take notes right there on the screen thanks to Edge’s Web Note feature.  To access your tools, click on the icon that looks like a little piece of paper with a pencil near the top right of the window.


Activate Web Note by clicking the paper-&-pencil icon

A bar appears across the top of the screen with a number of tools, all for your note-taking pleasure.  You can choose different colors for the pen and the highlighter and use them to single out important parts of the article or write notes off to the side.  And we’re not saying you make mistakes, but just in case, there’s also an eraser to get rid of the evidence if you do.  You can also add a typed note somewhere on the screen, or use the snip tool to capture a specific part of the screen and then save it as a photo.


Web Note gives you several useful tools

If you have a touch-screen device, you can use a stylus or your finger to actually write right there on the screen, just as if it were a piece of paper in front of you.  Don’t have a touch screen?  No worries, as you’ll still be able to take full advantage of the Web Note feature just by clicking and dragging your mouse pointer to do your highlighting or trace out the notes you want to write.


Highlight and write your notes right on the webpage

Ready to save it all, or better yet, share the notes (and the article with it) with a friend?  Click or tap on Share in the top right of the window to see which options are available.


Select Share to see which options are available

Select Mail, and you’ll see a brand new email appear, already set up with an attachment that is a snapshot of the entire webpage that you were looking at.  The attachment is essentially just a photo, but it’s a long photo that contains not only the webpage but also all your notes that you added.  And the best part is that because it’s just photo, your recipient doesn’t need to be using Microsoft Edge, or even a Windows device, in order to receive and take a look at your notes.


Share your web notes by email


Whatever websites you enjoy surfing, hopefully you’ll find that the new features available in Microsoft Edge give you some great new options for accessing, reading, noting, and sharing the webpages that are important to you.

-Jessica Roehrig, on the beautiful Nieuw Amsterdam

Sync shared folders to your computer!

10 Oct

Sync shared folders to your computer!

Did you know that you can add folders shared with you to your OneDrive so they sync down to your computer?


They’ll look like any other folder, but when you edit files in shared folders the changes will show up to everyone else with permission for that folder.

Here’s how it works:

1 Go to your Shared list on to check if folder(s) have been shared to you with the ability to edit. (If there are none, create a folder and share it with edit permissions to your friends.)

2 From the Shared list, select the folder you want to sync and click ‘Add to my OneDrive’.

3 If you have the OneDrive app installed on your PC or Mac, the folder will also sync down unless you have opted to only sync some folders in OneDrive settings.

4 The folder will also be accessible from your main OneDrive folder on OneDrive?.com and on the OneDrive mobile app, if you have it installed.

Now you are all set up!

John Roberts – Techspert – ms Rotterdam

How to Customize the Lock Screen in Windows 10

3 Oct

Microsoft first introduced the new Lock Screen feature in Windows 8, it is one of those many welcomed features. The good thing about the new Lock Screen is that it is capable of showing widgets, quick notifications, and custom wallpapers. These widgets and quick notifications are possible because of the modern apps. In fact, Windows does have a few default widgets and quick notification apps like Email, Weather, Time, etc. Here is how you can customize the Windows 10 Lock Screen with just a few clicks.

Open Lock Screen Settings

Opening the Lock Screen settings in Windows 10 is straightforward. To start, click on the Notifications icon and then click on the “All Settings” button. clip_image001

Here in the Settings panel, select the option “Personalization.”


Once the personalization panel has been opened, select the “Lock Screen” option on the left panel.


Alternatively, you can also open the Lock Screen settings panel by searching for it in the Start menu. clip_image007


Configure Windows 10 Lock Screen

Configuring Windows 10 Lock Screen is easy. The first obvious thing to customize in the Lock Screen is the Wallpaper, and unlike in the previous version, Windows 10 has three different options for the wallpaper selection.

The first option under Background is the Windows Spotlight feature. When enabled, Spotlight grabs some of the best and most stunning wallpapers from Bing and shows them as your Lock Screen wallpaper. These wallpapers change in set intervals so that you won’t see the same Lock Screen wallpaper every day. To enable the Spotlight feature, simply select the “Windows Spotlight” option.


The good thing about this feature is that you get to say if you like the wallpaper or not. If you don’t like a displayed wallpaper, then simply select “No” from the upper right corner, and Windows will instantly change it to another one. The Spotlight feature also suggests some of the best or top-rated apps from time to time.


However, the Spotlight feature is missing from the Pro version of Windows 10, and I’m not so sure about the Enterprise version. Pro users may get the feature soon enough. Windows 10 will be upgraded regularly.

The next option is to set the Background to Picture so that you can select your favorite image as the Lock Screen wallpaper. You can select one of the predefined Windows wallpapers under “Choose your picture.” Alternatively, you can select your favorite wallpaper by clicking on the “Browse” button. clip_image013

While using Picture Mode as your background, Windows shows some random fun facts, tips and tricks on your Lock Screen. If you don’t want them, simply toggle the option.

The final option is to set the Background to Slideshow. To set it, simply select the “Slideshow” option from the drop-down menu.

By default, the Pictures folder is selected, and any pictures in it will be shown as a slideshow on your Lock Screen. If you want to set some other folder, then click on the “Add a Folder” option. You can add as many folders as you like.


If you want to remove a folder from the Slideshow, then select the folder and then click on the “Remove” button.


By clicking on the “Advanced Slideshow Settings” link, you can configure a few different options like Screen Off time, including Camera Roll in the slideshow, etc.


When it comes to widgets on the Lock Screen, you can choose one app that can show the detailed status and up to seven apps that can show quick status notifications. To set an app, click on the Add button and then select the app from the list.


If you install more modern apps that can integrate well with the Lock Screen, you will have more apps to choose from in the quick notification list.

We are excited to be conducting classes on Windows 10, if you have the chance to take a Holland America cruise, please drop by one of our Digital Workshops.

For the Holland America Digital Workshop, powered by Windows, I am;

Frank Barcelona Techspert Noordam

I’ve got Windows 10! Now what?

28 Sep

So you’ve got your hands on the latest Windows operating system, and you’re getting used to the changes you see here and there.  But you may be wondering what other features there are for you to explore, or how to make the most of features you are already using.  There are tons of places you can turn to find tips, tricks, and tutorials, but here’s a quick look at a few that should definitely be on your radar.

Get Started app: This resource is actually not online; it’s on your device!  Windows 10 comes with a great app that includes tons of helpful info that will allow you to hit the ground running.  With categories like “Cortana,” “Microsoft Edge,” and “Saving and Syncing content,” the Get Started app offers up easy-to-access, easy-to-understand information.  There are even step-by-step instructions and tutorials that will walk you through some aspects of the new features to help you explore and discover the best Windows 10 has to offer.

To find the Get Started app, you can click on the Start button, then click on “All Apps” and look through the alphabetized list, or you can simply type “Get started” in the search box on the Taskbar.

Windows Website: A lot of the content from the Get Started app, and more, is also available through Microsoft’s How-To Center.  Like the app, the How-To Center offers up step-by-step instructions and tutorials, all organized by category.  One valuable feature is the capability to switch between various operating systems, so you can easily research the same help topic for whatever version of Windows you’re curious about.

You’ll also find frequently asked questions, so you can see what sorts of topics your fellow Windows 10 users have been looking into.  Along the same lines, if you do not see the answers you’re looking for, you can tap into Microsoft’s great user community and ask and answer questions about Microsoft products.

One more resource easily accessible through the Windows website is their Answer Desk.  The Answer Desk is ready to help you with whatever you need, from questions about services and apps to troubleshooting problems, and more.

Microsoft Store Personal Training: If you’re a more hands-on kind of person and would like some interactive help, then you can head to a nearby Microsoft store and participate in the personal training courses offered there.  There are a couple sign-up options, depending on whether you’d like just one course or a whole year of courses, and there are a variety of topics available.

Don’t have a Microsoft store near you?  No problem!  Just book a cruise on any Holland America Line ship, and take advantage of our new Windows-10-based curriculum in our on-board Digital Workshops! 😉

-Techspert Jessica, writing from the Nieuw Amsterdam in the sunny Mediterranean

Get Ready!

26 Jul

On Wednesday, July 29, Microsoft will begin releasing Windows 10. Here are some facts you should know:

  • Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified new or existing, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices that upgrade in the first year following the availability of Windows 10.
  • The upgrade will be fulfilled digitally via Windows Update. The download size is approximately 3GB.
  • It is Microsoft’s intent that most Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 devices will qualify, but some hardware/software requirements apply and feature availability may vary by device.
  • Users will need to meet the device qualification and compatibility criteria, and also have the latest Windows Updates installed including Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 Update.
  • The upgrade rollout will take place over a period of time that begins on July 29, so not all computers will be upgraded immediately.
  • The Windows 10 upgrade comes with support from Microsoft.

It’s quite likely that your computer is already showing an upgrade icon in the lower-right notification area on your desktop like so:


Click there to learn more about the upgrade and get your computer ready.

Here are some of the terrific new features that Windows 10 will bring:

Cortana –This is a voice-activated personal assistant. You can already find it on a Windows phone but now it is available on Windows 10 computers. You can interact with it easily by talking or typing. You can use it to find things on your computer or on the Internet. Cortana learns about you and gets smarter the more you use it. It learns your preferences in order to provide relevant recommendations, fast access to information and important reminders.

Edge – Edge is the next-generation browser that delivers a better web experience that’s made for easy sharing, reading, researching and getting things done online. Advanced features include the ability to annotate by keyboard or pen directly on the web page and easily share with friends. There’s a reading view that can display articles free of distractions. It also integrates closely with Cortana for finding and doing things online.

Xbox – Xbox on Windows 10 lets gamers access the best of the expansive Xbox Live gaming network on both Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One. Players can capture, edit and share their greatest gaming moments with GameDVR and play new games with friends across devices. Players will also be able to play games on their PC, streamed directly from their Xbox One consoles to their Windows 10 tablets or PCs within their home.

Office – Office universal apps on Windows 10 offer a consistent, touch-first experience across phone, tablet and PC with new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook. They are designed from the ground up to run on Windows. You can easily create and edit Word documents, annotate PowerPoint slides in real time with new inking features and easily give presentations, and, with new touch-first controls in Excel, you can create or update spreadsheets without a keyboard or mouse.

Universal apps – Built-in Windows apps provide an updated experience for both large and small devices. Look for enhanced Music, Photos, Mail, and Calendar apps.

Windows logo

Windows 10 has been designed and developed differently from the way previous versions of Windows have been done. It makes it possible for Windows to empower people more than ever.

Techspert John
ms Amsterdam

Pinning Websites to Your Desktop

14 Jul

Greetings from the ms Rotterdam! This is your Techspert Amanda, and I want to go over a feature of Windows that not only gets overlooked, but can help keep your PC secure!

Consider the following scenario:

You’ve received an email claiming to be your bank, stating that there was unusual activity on your account, and they need to verify your identity. A link is provided to take you to the primary website where you would be asked to input information to verify your identity.

If this sends up red flags for you, that’s good. You should always be cautious of links in your emails, especially if they’re wanting you to provide personal information. So let’s learn about a way to quickly and easily access our commonly-used websites without using links in our emails, and always getting the proper website.

Let’s say that I want to pin the Digital Workshop blog to my Desktop or Taskbar. My first step would be to open the Digital Workshop blog in my browser, in this case Internet Explorer. When I open the website, in the address bar at the top is, of course, the web address. Directly to the left of the web address is what’s referred to as a “Favicon” which can be dragged to the location for pinning.

To make use of the Favicon, you’re going to use your mouse to drag the Favicon to either your desktop or your Taskbar.

Drag Link to Desktop
Figure 1a. Drag the Favicon to your desktop

Drag Link to Desktop2
Figure 1b. A shortcut appears to the website

Pin to TaskbarFigure 2a. Drag Favicon to your taskbar

Pin to Taskbar 2
Figure 2b. A shortcut appears on your taskbar for the website

Using these two methods will give you quick and easy access to your websites from your desktop view, and more importantly it will help enhance your security by giving you direct access, avoiding the potential of opening phishing websites.

  • Amanda Barham | ms Rotterdam