Archive | July, 2015

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