Windows 10 Features

With the recent press conference by Microsoft to announce Windows 10 features (yes they skipped 9) here are a couple of reasons why you should care. There are over 1.7 million people testing the pre-release version with Microsoft using that data to refine it.

windows 10 start menuProbably the most important feature for non touch enabled desktops and laptops the combined start menu. This provides the convenient single look at your tile updates at the same time as the start menu you are used to. The old start menu has been properly spaced for compatibility with touch enabled devices. All reviews of the new start menu are in favor of this solution. If you are using a non touch enabled computer Windows will automatically load the new / old start menu.

Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for one year for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users. You can upgrade and keep your programs or start from scratch and have a clean computer. I would apply for the free upgrade license early then perform the upgrade when its convenient for me. If you are upgrading Windows 8 you should install the 8.1 update through the Microsoft store. Here are the Windows 8.1 update instructions.

New Internet Explorer codenamed Project Spartan that is a completely new program versus a new revision of a previous release.

Play Xbox One games on your Windows 10 tablet, laptop and desktop and keep up with your gaming friends when you are away from home.

Integrated voice assistant named Cortana that can provide you with information, set schedules, and directions without you asking for it. Cortana monitors what you are searching for and offers a task for you to approve and sync across all Windows 10 devices.

A new way to handle old style programs and newer universal apps that can be split across the same screen. Universal apps work with all Windows 10 and devices no matter what screen size they are. Directx 12 that provides new features for graphics designers and gamers. OneDrive that can sync files and folders you want across all devices using the same account.



Convert word document to JPG

Did you ever want to create a jpeg (picture file) of a word document to post or share with other people? You can use the snipping tool in Windows Vista, 7 and 8 to do this. The snipping tool can be used for any document on your screen. One great use of this is to create a party invitation in word then create the JPG file and email it to people.

Share your photos not your phone with Xim

Did you ever want to show the photos on your phone with a bunch of people without them crowding around your phone? Download Microsoft’s Xim app, pick the photos you want to share then email them a link. They don’t need the app to participate and link gets deleted automatically after a little while. When everyone is viewing the slideshow and you move to the next photo they will see that same photo. This way you can tell them about a particular photo and when you are ready move on to the next one.



Microsoft Offers 30GB of Free OneDrive Storage Space for Photo Backups

Microsoft is offering users who backup their photos to OneDrive the opportunity to double their free online storage for a limited time. From now until the end of September, users can claim 30GB of space for saving twice as many photos in the cloud. Microsoft is marketing the offer at iPhone users who are upgrading to iOS 8 or purchasing a new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, but the extra space can be claimed by Android and Windows Phone users, too.

Just remember that you must sign up and activate automatic photo backups before the end of September, otherwise you’re going to miss out on the 15GB bonus.

You’ll find the camera backup option in the Settings section of the OneDrive app, or by heading to Charms Bar > Settings > Change PC Settings > OneDrive

You can create a new separate account for each device. You can also turn off the camera backup an hour after all your photos have been uploaded and still keep the 30GB of space. Then just delete the photos and use the space for other things if you like. Having a Microsoft account also allows you to use Office Online applications. On the webpage just click the down arrow on the upper left hand corner then select Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote.

Signup or use your existing Microsoft account and get the app below.

Facebook’s autoplay video feature is destroying cell phone bills

Smartphone users are at risk of maxing out their data plans if they don’t change this default setting in the Facebook app, which otherwise will automatically start streaming videos in the News Feed window.

If you’re an iPhone user, tap your “Settings” button and then scroll down and click “Facebook.” From there, click “Settings,” “Auto-play,” and then choose “Wi-Fi only” or “Off.”

On Android, bring up the Facebook app and go to your account settings. Click “App Settings,” and then choose ‘Auto-play only on Wi-Fi’ or ‘Off.’

Install the Windows 8.1 free update

There is an update for Windows 8 that makes it easier to use with computers that don’t have a touch screen. The update also makes the computer faster and improve stability. The recommended way to perform this update is to first download Windows 8.1 drivers and BIOS update from the manufacturer’s website. The important drivers are video, sound, networking and touchpad drivers. Then install the 8.1 update which takes about 2 hours to complete. You can of course install the update without updating the drivers first. After the update is installed it will ask you to create a Microsoft account using either your current email account or create a new one. You can also skip this but you miss out on some online sync features.

To see if your computer is ready for the update you click on the Microsoft store icon on the start menu. If your computer is ready for the update it will show you the screen below just click download and follow the instructions. If its not there either you have not installed the current windows updates or you already have 8.1 installed. Easiest way to check if you have 8.1 installed is look for the power and search icon on the start screen. We also provide a $100 flat fee service for dropoffs to perform driver updates and install the 8.1 update. For more information on Windows 8.1 can click the link below.