Everything Microsoft - Latest Microsoft News, Guides, Reviews & Themes » Software http://www.everything-microsoft.com Latest Microsoft Windows 8, Windows 7, Office, Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 7 & Xbox 360 News, W8 Beta, Rumors, Downloads, Themes, Wallpapers, Help & more Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:00:31 +0000 en-EN hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Microsoft Reveals Office 2013 and Offers Public Previewhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/17/microsoft-reveals-office-2013-offers-public-preview/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/07/17/microsoft-reveals-office-2013-offers-public-preview/#comments Tue, 17 Jul 2012 16:50:24 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=95056

Yesterday, Microsoft introduced the latest version of their popular Office suite of productivity applications. Office 2013 ushers in a new era of productivity computing for both Microsoft and the world. The new version of Office brings a subscription model, cloud integration, touch improvements and a new Metro-styled look.

 

New Look and Feel

Trying to figure out which change is the most drastic is a challenge. On one hand Microsoft completely revamped the UI. Improving touch input and flattening out the user interface, Microsoft created apps which now closely resemble the full screen Metro apps found in Windows 8, which is the point. The new Office apps take their cue from the Zune PC software, which Windows Phone users currently use to update, manage, download and upload their media to Windows Phone devices. The infamous ribbon UI is still present in the new version of Office, but can be hidden and is hidden by default.

Microsoft has also updated the icons for Office 2013. The new icons are flatter and more consistent with the metro style and theme in their new products.

 

Cloud Integration is Seamless

One could also argue that the new SkyDrive integration is the biggest change to Office. Office 2013 uses your SkyDrive or SharePoint accounts to store your documents. This way you’re always using the most up-to-date document and can access it from anywhere as long as you possess an internet connection. SkyDrive storage works just as a local drive does. When you first install and setup Office 2013, you will login with your Microsoft Account credentials and SkyDrive will be enabled by default. Of course, the user can change these defaults if they wish.

 

New Cloud-Based Delivery Method

Keeping with the cloud theme, I would submit that the greatest change in Office 2013 is the new delivery system for Office apps. The new system effectively streams a copy of Office to your computer, keeping all of your documents and settings intact. This ability would, for example, allow a user to log into their Office apps on a friend’s computer and continue working on a document that they started at home on their personal computer. The new system installs in minutes and is pretty impressive if I say so myself.

There are a ton of new and interesting features coming in the next version of Microsoft Office and this post is just the tip of the iceberg, so tune into the official Office Next blog for tons of news and information on the coming software.

Don’t take my word for it though. Microsoft is offering a public preview of their new suite of productivity apps for users to try for themselves. You can try Office 2013 for free here.

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Microsoft Releases Bing Desktop App for Windows 7http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/04/25/microsoft-releases-bing-desktop-app-windows-7/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/04/25/microsoft-releases-bing-desktop-app-windows-7/#comments Thu, 26 Apr 2012 04:05:22 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=93823 Microsoft’s Bing team has released a Windows 7 desktop app for their search engine Bing. The app features the daily, and usually spectacular, Bing wallpapers, which can be automatically used as your desktop wallpaper each day as well as the Bing search bar, which can be situated in the middle of the desktop or docked at the top of the screen.

The Bing search bar will disappear up into the top of the screen when the user clicks on something else or when the user has a window or program open.

For Google search users this may be a hard sell, but if you use Bing as your default search engine of choice then it may be worth your while. If nothing else, you can always use the app as a Bing desktop wallpaper rotator.

You can download the Bing desktop app here.

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Microsoft Drops Marketplace from Zune PC Softwarehttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/04/25/microsoft-drops-marketplace-zune-pc-software/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/04/25/microsoft-drops-marketplace-zune-pc-software/#comments Thu, 26 Apr 2012 03:17:37 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=93818 In an effort “to help pave the way for new store features and new apps in the months ahead”, Microsoft is making some changes to the Marketplace for Windows Phone.

In a post on the Windows Phone blog, Mazhar Mohammed explains the changes which have already begun as well as some which are coming in the weeks ahead:

The Zune PC Software & the Marketplace

The most significant change is Microsoft’s decision to remove Marketplace accessibility from the Zune PC software. Currently, there are a few different ways to search for and download apps for Windows Phone: the Zune PC software, the web Marketplace and the Marketplace on the device itself. As of last night, the Marketplace will no longer be an option for Windows Phone users. Microsoft’s reasoning for this change is that users, or the majority, simply do not use the local software for this practice, so they are focusing their resources on the two options that most users tend to use.

Note: The Zune HD app Marketplace will still be accessed through the Zune PC software.

Note II: If you must have the Marketplace functionality in the Zune PC software, check this out.

Windows Phone 7.5 & the Marketplace

Most users have been running Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone update, Mango (aka7.5), for quite some time, but there are those who have yet to update for one reason or another. For these people, Microsoft will be forcing their update by making it impossible to download new apps from the Marketplace unless their device is running at least v7.5. Microsoft explains their reasoning:

Marketplace is growing fast. It now has over 80,000 apps overall and is available in 54 (soon to be 63) countries around the world. Requiring Windows Phone 7.5 is part of a larger effort aimed at improving Marketplace performance and security, and paving the way for even faster growth and more new features.

While these changes may be a little shocking to some who don’t want Windows Phone 7.5 or currently use the PC software to browse the Marketplace, these changes make sense for most Windows Phone users and will help Microsoft to continue streamlining Windows Phone while the marketshare continues to increase.

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Hunger Games – Microsoft’s New Ad Connection With HTML5http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/03/22/hunger-games-microsofts-ad-connection-html5/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/03/22/hunger-games-microsofts-ad-connection-html5/#comments Thu, 22 Mar 2012 12:09:43 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=91906 Hunger Games, the Movie, is slated for release on March 23. In a typical situation advertisers go all out in the first week to make their movie known to the public, where after that, the advertisement is word of mouth. If people like it they say so, and if they don’t they say that also.

But advertisement has been tricky for various reasons; cost for one, and then also the type of advertisement on display is another. On computer systems, most commercial advertisement has come with the use of Adobe Flash. Now Microsoft is making a change with HTML5.  In a collaboration, Microsoft and Lionsgate are hoping to lead the industry down a new path. They’re partnering on a site that uses HTML5 and other web standards, without plugins, to create an environment for Hunger Games .

Hunger Games in the Control Room

The HTML5 based site shows a fluid design, which is functional in a variety of browsers (I looked at it in Firefox) , but Microsoft says IE9 offers a better experience because of the work the company has done in the browser to use a computer’s hardware to make visuals on screen more dynamic.

Hunger Games

The Hunger Games site presents some hidden features for fans of the novel to discover as they wait for the movie. It also uses HTML video in unique ways, skewing the video to fit the circle of screens in the Control Room for example.

IE9 and MarketShare

Microsoft hopes to use the Hunger Games experience to convince users to go back to Internet Explorer. This is due to the fact that other browsers have taken a bite out of the market that Microsoft once held in the 90% range. Not so now. It is more in the 60% range, and dropping.

But the new HTML5 experience should point out to users that the browser is presenting new features that other browsers aren’t capturing yet.

Source: Geek Wire

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First Windows 8 Codec Pack Releasedhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/03/17/windows-8-codec-pack-released/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/03/17/windows-8-codec-pack-released/#comments Sat, 17 Mar 2012 13:48:20 +0000 http://www.windows8news.com/?p=3014 While it is possible to play a certain number of files right away in the Windows operating systems, others are not supported by the default applications right out of the box. You can for instance play wmv videos directly, while you won’t be able to do the same with mkv files.

If you want to play unsupported formats, you have three options to do just that. You can try and convert the video format into a format supported by the operating system. That’s not an ideal solution though, as it takes time and system resources to convert, and becomes less practicable the more files you have that you need converted.

The second option is to install a program that is supporting the file format. As far as video is concerned, you could install the VLC media player which supports virtually all popular media formats.

But third party software does not help you if you prefer to use Windows Media Player or another software that ships with the operating system. That’s when you need to install codecs to add support for the formats system-wide. You could go codec hunting now to find the codecs that you need, or you could install a codec pack instead which installs codecs for all the popular formats in one go.

The first Windows 8 Codec Pack has just been released by the same author who has created codec packs for previous Windows operating systems as well. Pay close attention to the installation dialog though, as it will install third party software on your system if you do not uncheck it during setup.

windows 8 codec pack

The codec package adds support for a variety of media files, including divx, flac, flv, mkv, rmvb, xvid and more than a dozen other formats. These are system-wide codecs which means that any program can utilize them to play the files.

You can download the latest version of the codecs pack from the developer website.

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Microsoft Reveals Additional Details About Metro IE10http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/03/14/microsoft-reveals-additional-details-metro-ie10/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/03/14/microsoft-reveals-additional-details-metro-ie10/#comments Wed, 14 Mar 2012 13:33:07 +0000 http://www.windows8news.com/?p=2987 By now you know that Windows 8 will ship with two different versions of the Internet Explorer web browser. First the classic desktop version which is a direct upgrade of Internet Explorer 9 that is currently out and available, and then a modified Metro version that sports a minimalistic user interface and does away with plugins and browser add-ons.

We already mentioned that Mozilla and Google are working on Metro versions of their browsers, and that other companies like Opera are considering it. Microsoft recently revealed additional details about the Metro version of Internet Explorer 10 on the Building Windows 8 blog.

metro style internet explorer tabs

Metro IE10 comes with a chrome-less interface that displays interface elements only when they are needed. The browser will displays an address bar and a handful of interface elements at the bottom when you start typing.These icons include going back, reloading the page, using find on page, and opening a site in Internet Explorer for the desktop.

The most likely result is then auto-filled in the address bar, and all remaining sites in navigational tiles on the screen.

These tiles are divided into frequently visited sites, and pinned sites.

internet explorer favorites

You can pin sites easily with a click on the pin icon when the address bar element is visible on the screen. Pinning is the equivalent to adding the site to the favorites of the browser. There is however one core difference between the two. Pinned sites are automatically added to your Metro start page. While this may  not be a problem for users who use the feature sparingly, it may be a problem for users with hundreds of favorites.

With site pinning, you can personalize your Windows Start screen with the sites you use all the time. You can pin any website to the Start screen from IE10, so you have one place to access all the things you care about or need.

The tiles for pinned sites reflect the site’s color and icon. With IE10, sites can provide background notifications for new messages and other account activity on the website. The site can also program additional commands that appear in IE’s navigation bar in a touch-friendly way, the same way that sites can program jumplists for IE on the desktop.

Pinned sites use the dominating color of the website for the tile’s background color, and the favicon in the middle. Favicons look a bit small compared to the tab size though.

The Metro version of Internet Explorer supports tabs, but hides them away on the screen as well. The tab switcher appears when you right-click the mouse, use the windows-z shortcut or swipe from the bottom or top of the screen with touch.

With the address bar hidden, it becomes difficulty to identify secure sites. Microsoft displays badges when the address bar is displayed that indicate the type of connection a site uses.

Microsoft has posted a list of changes from the Developer Preview, which you find below.

  • Full, independent composition enables responsive, fast and fluid behavior on real websites (including pages with fixed elements, nested scrolling regions, animations, and video)
  • Back and forward swipe navigation with preview
  • Double-tap to zoom in on content
  • Fast back and forward navigation controls for mouse
  • Mouse (CTRL+scroll wheel) and keyboard methods for quickly zooming in and out to mirror touch interactions
  • Automatic domain suggestions for faster navigation and less typing
  • Share charm support for URLs, snippets, images and selection with Mail and other apps
  • Search charm with visual search suggestions
  • Devices charm for printing, projecting, and playing video to external devices like TVs
  • Plug-in free support: notifications for sites requiring activeX
  • Background notifications for pinned sites and other tile improvements
  • Jumplists for pinned sites
  • InPrivate tabs that are easier to open
  • Clean up tabs command, which quickly closes all but current tab

Have you had the time to work with the Metro version of Internet Explorer 10? If so, what is your impression of the browser?

 

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Google: We Are Working On A Chrome Metro Versionhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/03/13/google-working-chrome-metro-version/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/03/13/google-working-chrome-metro-version/#comments Tue, 13 Mar 2012 15:21:27 +0000 http://www.windows8news.com/?p=2979 If you have followed the Windows 8 development up to this point you know that the operating system will ship with two different interfaces. First the regular desktop interface, and then the Metro user interface, which Microsoft calls the start page. With these interfaces come two versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10. First the regular version and successor of Internet Explorer 9, and then a “bare-bones” version optimized for Metro.

The Metro version of Internet Explorer 10 will be plugin-free, fullscreen, and without other features that Windows users have come to expect from a browser. While sharing the same core, the browser’s are fundamentally different from each other.

Mozilla recently made the announcement that they have started to work on a Windows 8 version of the Firefox web browser. A Wiki at the official Mozilla website highlights the development status and intention.

The feature goal here is a new Gecko based browser built for and integrated with the Metro environment.

Firefox on Metro, like all other Metro apps will be full screen, focused on touch interactions, and connected to the rest of the Metro environment through Windows 8 contracts.

Google today confirmed that the company is also working on a Google Chrome Metro version of the browser. The Metro version of Chrome is based on the desktop version of the browser, and not the mobile client Google released some time ago.

According to Mashable, Google plans to include enhanced touch support in the release to go along with Microsoft’s touch-centric philosophy.  It is not clear at this point in time if Metro Chrome will have all the features of the desktop version, or if it will be limited just like Microsoft’s browser is.

It is likely that Google will implement a data synchronization feature to sync data between the Metro, desktop and mobile versions of the browser.

As far as major browser developers are concerned, only Opera and Apple have not yet announced a Metro version of their browsers. It is not clear if we will see Metro Opera or Metro Safari any time soon, or if the companies will pass and concentrate on a single desktop version instead.

What’s your take on the development? Let us know in the comments.

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Microsoft Not Happy With OnLive Streaming Windows 7http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/03/09/23152/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/03/09/23152/#comments Fri, 09 Mar 2012 22:52:01 +0000 http://www.windows7news.com/?p=23152 Over the past few months we’ve been covering OnLive, a great app that allows you to stream a full Windows 7 desktop to your iPad so that you can use it as well as Microsoft Office applications on your device. It’s been widely covered since it essentially allows you to have Windows 7 on Apple’s very locked down iPad. However it looks like OnLive may be running into some trouble over licensing agreements with Microsoft.

Microsoft recently published a blog post about volume licensing in which they make particular reference to OnLive and how they believe that it’s in breach of their licensing agreements.

Companies are allowed to offer some “desktop-like functionality” to users via remote hosting, however hosting Windows 7 itself and Office through an actual Windows 7 installation is excluded from this agreement. If OnLive wanted to continue with this setup, Microsoft are saying that the end user needs to hold a license with Microsoft for the relevant software that they are using on the remote hardware. Basically if you’re using OnLive, you’ll have to have a license for Windows 7 and Office if you’re using it.

At the moment OnLive’s services do not seem to meet these license requirements at all and Microsoft have said that they are “committed to seeing this issue is resolved”.

Some inquiries about these scenarios have been raised as a result of recent media coverage related to OnLive’s Desktop and Desktop Plus services. Additionally, the analyst firm Gartner raised questions regarding the compliance of these services last week. We are actively engaged with OnLive with the hope of bringing them into a properly licensed scenario, and we are committed to seeing this issue is resolved.

OnLive has proved quite popular recently, especially for businesses. They currently give 2 GB of cloud storage and full access to Microsoft Office and other apps as well as Windows 7. There’s also a Plus version with full flash support and faster Internet speeds that costs $4.99 per month. The premium version – OnLine Desktop Pro costs $10 per month and adds even more features to OnLive Desktop Plus.

OnLive will be surely missed if Microsoft put their license agreement into effect and prevent them from offering the service unless users have the correct licences. They might still be able to retain the service, but the price for the end user would go way up.

It will be interesting to see how this develops

 

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Office 15 Screenshots Show Metro-Style Simplificationhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/03/07/office-15-screenshots-show-metrostyle-simplification/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/03/07/office-15-screenshots-show-metrostyle-simplification/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2012 08:50:46 +0000 http://www.windows8news.com/?p=2873 It will never be possible to simplify productivity software as complex as Microsoft Office down to a Metro UI level, which is why it has been reported that the Office team at Microsoft aren’t keen to release a metro version.  However a new leaked series of screenshots published on The Verge seem to show that some Metro visual elements have indeed made the move from Windows.

This new cleaner interface is probably what we would expect but Microsoft have long worked to make Office easier to use and to make documents and features within it easier to find.

It is actually quite difficult to improve on Microsoft Office and this is a problem the company has faced for some years now.  For many people versions such as Office XP offered every feature they needed and many more consider Office 2003 to be the definitive version.  This being the last version before the introduction of the Ribbon interface in Office 2007.

The Ribbon still exists in Office 15 and is the one interface element that could port successfully to Windows 8′s new Metro UI.  In fact this blogger has been left wondering why it isn’t there already?  This alone could make for a reasonable version of Office for Metro.

With Office 15 Microsoft’s focus has been on productivity and helping people to get things done.  This is a much better approach then working on features.  As I mentioned earlier most people only use a tiny proportion of Office features and many people are content to use the stripped-down free Office 2010 Starter that ships with new Windows PCs or even the free Office web apps.  The ARM version of Windows 8 will also come with free desktop versions of Microsoft Office, though how usable they will be remains to be seen given the history Windows 7 has on tablets.

A public beta of Office 15, which does still not have a formal name, is expected to be released in the summer with a final version due at the end of the year or early next.

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Trinity – the New Microsoft Database Technologyhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/03/05/trinity-microsoft-database-technology-program/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/03/05/trinity-microsoft-database-technology-program/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 04:30:58 +0000 http://www.windows7news.com/?p=23080 Question, how do you access data from a large database collection, where there are no easy facts to search from? How many sales were in the 200,000 range or higher category? That question can be easily answered from a database because the collection of data is based on facts. But what if there are no easy facts to build your query? That’s where Trinity comes in.

The Trinity Graph Database

But Trinity is a graph database and graph computation platform. Central to Trinity is a distributed RAM-based key-value store. An example of a graph database is a social media system, like Linked in or Facebook. As a social graph it has over 800 million nodes and 104 billion edges. The World Wide Web contains over 50 billion web pages and one trillion unique links. But try to get facts from that collection of nodes is not easy, and it can be time consuming. So as an all-in-memory key-value process, Trinity provides fast random data access. This feature naturally makes Trinity suitable for large graph processing.

 

 


Trinity is a graph database from the perspective of data management. It is a parallel graph computation platform from the perspective of graph analytics. And as a database, it provides features such as data indexing, concurrent query processing, and concurrency control. As a computation platform, it provides vertex-based parallel graph computation on large scale graphs.

 

Data access on graphs has no locality meaning that the database system is not structured, like a SQL database. This means that graph exploration incurs massive random data access. And it makes large graph processing very challenging. To address this issue, Trinity makes graphs resident in a distributed memory storage. Then it optimizes the use of main memory and communication to deliver the best performance for both on-line query processing and off-line graph analytics.

The architecture looks like this.

What this portends for data analysis is the use of a new type of database system that has a large boundaries, not those formally created, but randomly created throughout the Internet, or on local applications.

Source The Insider, Microsoft Research

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Check For Program Updates With Secunia PSIhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/27/check-program-updates-secunia-psi/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/27/check-program-updates-secunia-psi/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2012 18:52:26 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=22938 Most Windows users know that they need to keep their system up to date with the latest patches to protect it from attacks that exploit known security vulnerabilities. Windows can handle the distribution and patching automatically in the background, which is also the default setting for new installations.

Making sure that third party software, like the Firefox or Chrome browser, Adobe Flash or the media player VLC are update to date falls into the responsibility of the user. Some programs make use of internal updaters to download and install patches automatically, while others do not come with those options at all.

That’s where a program like Secunia PSI (the PSI stands for Personal Software Inspector) come into play. PSI scans the system for software installations, and compares the installed version of the software with an up to date database.

Secunia today has released version 3.0 beta of their software updater. The interface is now as minimalistic as it gets, but that does not need to be a bad thing.

Once you have installed the program on the computer, you can run it to scan the system for programs that are not up to date.

secunia psi

All recognized programs that need to be updated are displayed in a list in the end. Each program is displayed with its program icon, name, version, and the course of actions. Some can be updated directly from within the program interface. All it takes for that is a few clicks to update to the latest version.

Others may require manual updating, which loads the program homepage where the latest version can be downloaded, while others may require to select an interface language first before the update can commence.

software update

Windows users who do not want to install a program to check for updates, can run the online version of the Software Inspector instead. It requires Java and a compatible web browser.

The Personal Software Inspector is a useful program to check a Windows PC for outdated software. Just keep in mind that programs need to be in Secunia’s program database to be checked for new versions. It will happen that you run programs on your system that are not covered by this. You need to manually check those to keep them up to date as well.

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OnLive Pushes Windows 7 to Your iPadhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/23/onlive-pushes-windows-7-ipad/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/23/onlive-pushes-windows-7-ipad/#comments Thu, 23 Feb 2012 16:32:19 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=22823 For many users, having a separate tablet and a PC experience might be enough. They can do their serious work on their Windows desktop or laptop and then when on-the-go, they can use some sort of tablet device for email, browsing and less-demanding computing tasks. For others, they would prefer to have their cake and eat it to, so to speak. And until Microsoft begins releasing their “no compromise” Windows 8 solution we’ll have to make due with what we have.

Solutions to bring the Windows desktop to devices like the iPad have been around for quite some time and have always seemed a bit slow and often clunky. OnLive seeks to remedy that with their latest offer to bring the desktop to your iPad tablet with their OnLive Desktop solutions.

OnLive became famous for their ability to bring cloud gaming to the masses. Essentially doing all the work up in the cloud on their servers, OnLive is able to provide users with a small, gateway device to access their gaming content. The company has taken this philosophy and applied their approach and experience to desktop computing.

There are currently two options for users: a free option, dubbed OnLive Desktop, features the ability to push the Windows desktop to your iPad along with access to popular Office applications. The free version comes with the ability to sync documents back and forth to your 2GB of free storage. The paid version, OnLive Desktop Plus, comes with a $5 per month subscription fee that brings a 1GB connection speed and adds Flash player support.

OnLive plans to expand their services with a pro version of the service for $10 a month which will give users access to 50GB of storage and the ability to install any Windows application. The expanded program is also coming to Android devices, iPhones, PCs and Macs. No word on whether Windows Phone will eventually be compatible, although if Microsoft truly integrates Windows Phone and Windows 8 together it may be unnecessary. 

Source: OnLive

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Hotmail – Best Spam Protection E-mail Programhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/14/hotmail-spam-protection-email-program/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/14/hotmail-spam-protection-email-program/#comments Tue, 14 Feb 2012 20:56:26 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=22415 Hotmail is among the best at spam protection. Late last year Microsoft hired Cascade Insights to hold a contest ranking the spam-stopping abilities of the big three Web e-mail providers. The test results put Microsoft’s Hotmail on top but almost tied with Google’s Gmail, while Yahoo Mail was a distant third. This is in contrast to the 2009 findings from Cascade. They ran the same study and at that time ranked Gmail first, followed by Hotmail.

Notes on Avoiding SPAM

 

While the SPAM-blocking capabilities of Web mail providers are good, they will never be perfect, and SPAMers can be expected to evolve their tactics in an attempt to circumvent SPAM filters. So to avoid spam there are some guidelines to follow on what users can do to minimize the amount of SPAM they receive:

Recognize suspicious sites.

How can you avoid spam? Consider some of the following items because it is usually an invitation for SPAM (or identity theft) to submit your email address and other information to sites that:

  • Request your email address on their home page.
  • Claim to be free but request your credit card information “for verification purposes.”
  • Make any claims that seem too good to be true.
  • Make it hard to leave by popping up “are you sure” types of notifications.
  • Open popup windows as soon as you visit them.
  • You can get something valuable for very little work (“get a free iPad just for filling out a survey”).
  • It claims that you are a randomly selected winner.
  • It claims that there is only a limited time to act on an offer.

Trying to avoid spam is one thing, trying to recognize it is another, so here are some items to consider.

Recognize SPAM.

Spam is often identifiable in your inbox, based on certain characteristics:

  • The content of the message is mostly in images.
  • The sender looks like something randomly generated, such as: 3489203490@cardinalproject.com.
  • The email is similar in content to suspicious Web sites (such as telling you have won, or promises an iPad for filling out a survey).
  • The email asks you to confirm your name, address, or other information.
  • The email claims you need to change your password at a legitimate site, such as PayPal or a banking site.
  • The email contains seemingly random or nonsensical text.

What to do with SPAM.

Here are some specific steps:

1. Delete the email.

2. Use your Web mail provider’s ability to mark it as junk. However, do not mark an email as SPAM if you have intentionally subscribed to it and no longer wish to receive it.

Here are things to avoid…Don’t:

  • Display the images in the email. Spamers will know that have a working email address.
  • Click on links. This also sends a signal to the spammer that they have a good email address.
  • Unsubscribe issues. If it’s legitimate email, you can unsubscribe, but if it’s truly unsolicited, then unsubscribing notifies the spammer they have a real email address.

Source: NYTimes

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Firefox For Windows 8 Metro On The Wayhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/13/firefox-windows-8-metro/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/13/firefox-windows-8-metro/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 20:42:57 +0000 http://www.windows8news.com/?p=1888 As I’m sure all of you know by now, Windows 8 has two very different interfaces. One of them is the traditional Windows desktop which we all know and then there’s the new Metro UI which is predominantly based around touch. The Metro UI is likely to be very popular amongst tablet users and people with touchscreens on their PC’s. Today Mozilla outlined in the 2012 road map plan that they hope to get Firefox working with the Metro UI as soon as possible.

Mozilla has quite a large amount of the browser market share so it 0nly makes sense that they’re looking to be ready to go on the Windows 8 Metro platform as well.

“The feature goal here is a new Gecko-based browser built for and integrated with the Metro environment, Firefox on Metro, like all other Metro apps will be full screen, focused on touch interactions, and connected to the rest of the Metro environment through Windows 8 contracts,”

If integrated properly with the Metro UI, Firefox will be paused and suspended in the background when not in use, but also able to interact with other aspects of Windows.The Firefox Metro browser will be a new Gecko-based browser focused on touch interactions. It  will have both full-screen and partial-screen modes to take advantage of the Snap feature. We might even see a live tile so users can see updates of the Start Screen.

The company wants to have a proof of concept ready for the second half of this year which will then be followed by Alpha and Beta builds. Mozilla say that a simple evolution of it’s existing code will mean that Firefox will work fine with the Windows 8 desktop, but the Metro UI requires a lot more work.

So it sure sounds like Mozilla’s coders will be very busy, but I’m sure that the Firefox community will be more than appreciative of their efforts when they get it done and dusted.

You can read more about this at Mozilla’s Windows 8 page

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Windows on Arm (WOA)http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/10/windows-arm-woa/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/10/windows-arm-woa/#comments Fri, 10 Feb 2012 17:01:54 +0000 http://www.windows8news.com/?p=1867 Windows on Arm (WOA) is the new member of the Windows family. Like Windows Server, Windows Embedded, or Windows Phone, WOA builds on the foundation of Windows, so this means that it has a commonality and shared code with Windows 8.

Two different Windows 8 products

One thing that became apparent with the blog post from Microsoft about WOA is that it is different from Windows 8.

Here are some of the main points from the post:

  • WOA PCs are still under development and our collective goal is for PC makers to ship them the same time as PCs designed for Windows 8 on x86/64.
  • Metro style apps in the Windows Store can support both WOA and Windows 8 on x86/64.
  • WOA can support all new Metro style apps, including apps from Microsoft for mail, calendaring, contacts, photos, and storage. WOA also includes industry-leading support for hardware-accelerated HTML5 with Internet Explorer 10.
  • Desktop support will be available WOA and Windows 8.

Here is what they are saying. WOA will have one set of PC’s, Windows 8 another. Metro Apps will be available on WOA and Windows 8.

Confusion?

It looks like the dynamics at Microsoft are in a compromised state. While some developers may have wanted to have just one version of Windows 8, the ARM version or WOA, others may have wanted a backward compatible version, using the DOS through Windows7 legacy. Neither side won, or rather both sides won. Each is keeping its own version, but not overlapping with the other.

 

Here is what one part of the blog says:

“The availability of the Windows desktop is an important part of WOA. The desktop offers you a familiar place to interact with PCs, particularly files, storage, and networking, as well as a range of peripherals.”

Then later they say:

“At the same time, WOA (as with Windows 8) is designed so that customers focused on Metro style apps don’t need to spend time in the desktop.”

Then they finish with:

“Some have suggested we might remove the desktop from WOA in an effort to be pure, to break from the past, or to be more simplistic or expeditious in our approach. To us, giving up something useful that has little cost to customers was a compromise that we didn’t want to see in the evolution of PCs.”

So you have two different development approaches to Windows 8, the traditional one, and the ARM one. This looks confusing to me because they will overlap and it will cause confusion for developers; which brand to develop for? That can’t be good.

Source Microsoft

 

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Metro is here to stayhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/09/metro-stay/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/02/09/metro-stay/#comments Thu, 09 Feb 2012 14:04:35 +0000 http://www.windows8news.com/?p=1813 Metro seems to have caught the fancy of Microsoft, the whole company. Recently, Steve Ballmer at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, touted the value and importance of this new User Interface (UI). When it is released it will go to the Windows Phones, and also to Windows 8. Ballmer hopes that this new UI will change users view of the Microsoft Smartphone, because it is so unlike iPhone or Android.

Origins of Metro

Going back to 2009, Ballmer put together a new design team to come up with something that could compete with appeal of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, but still be uniquely Microsoft. A new UI? Yes, that was expected, but they came up with new design principles as well, which are to become the new look and feel of Microsoft’s key consumer offerings.

Before that, its lineage goes back to the Zune digital music player, which foundered against Apple’s iPod. Nevertheless, the Zune user interface won kudos from reviewers when the Zune HD debuted, even though consumers largely ignored it. Next, the Metro designers also drew on work done years earlier in Microsoft’s Encarta encyclopedia s and its Windows Media Center interface.

How It Looks

So why does it look so different? Here, Metro takes its design cues from way-finding graphics used in transportation signs. With bold, clear lettering and iconography, this helps commuters find their way to subways and air travelers navigate to their boarding gates. The focus on clarity and readability would be crucial to the new interface.

The Metro interface

Then the group came up with a look using white space. This would eliminate clutter that they felt would only confuse users. This means also that the chrome frame that separates one app from another on a screen is gone, because the decoration around the app detracts from the experience of using the program. Instead, they implemented a newly developed typeface called Segoe because it is easy to read, and it relies on animations that roll screens away as users navigate through the interface, for example, giving them context about where they’re going or where they’ve been.

Other Microsoft Consumer products

For Microsoft, the big impact is that now they have a new design approach to their products. This will affect them as new upgrades or products are rolled out. Metro will be the universal interface for products at Microsoft.

Source: Cnet

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Windows SkyDrive and Microsoft Office – Project Collaborationhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/01/21/tips-windows-skydrive-microsoft-office/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/01/21/tips-windows-skydrive-microsoft-office/#comments Sat, 21 Jan 2012 14:33:47 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=21845 Problem: Say you are working on a project with several people who are located on a different city, or even a different state. Furthermore, some may be using a PC or a MAC. You put together a document and want to save it on the cloud, but will the others in the project access it? And what if others decide to modify the document and save it, will others be able to access the most current document?

SkyDrive and Office

Here is a solution, use SkyDrive. With it you can store all your files in one place, so everyone can access the latest version. You can also use free Office Web Apps for basic editing from any browser.

Here are some of the things you can do with Web Apps:

  • Upload documents to SkyDrive
  • Edit documents
  • Share your documents
  • Work with others on projects
  • Embed a presentation on a webpage
  • Embed a spreadsheet on a webpage

But what makes this solution even more inviting is that SkyDrive and Office Web Apps integrate with the Office apps installed on your PC or Mac so you can work together on documents in the cloud right from your desktop apps. With the right setup, you can work together on a Word doc or PowerPoint presentation with your teammates at the same time. Creating an account is easy and free. Start with a Windows Live account.

 

Next create a SkyDrive account and a Web Apps account. Then once you have the Web Apps and Windows SkyDrive, you can follow several tips to make your work easier.

  1. Add SkyDrive.com to your desktop for quick access
  2. Create one space for the team that’s easy to find
  3. Capture meeting notes, brainstorming notes, and to-do’s more efficiently than email.
  4. Access SkyDrive docs right from Word, Excel or PowerPoint—online or offline
  5. Use Word co-authoring to ensure your team’s plan flows nicely
  6. Use version history to avoid disasters

These tips can help you manage a project and keep the documentation easy to use. Plus because SkyDrive can be accessed anytime and anywhere you are not limited to when or where you can work on the project.

Note that you must have a Windows Live ID to access SkyDrive.

Source: Microsoft SkyDrive

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CodeFlow – Its development and Future in Visual Studiohttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/01/09/codeflow-development-future-visual-studio/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/01/09/codeflow-development-future-visual-studio/#comments Mon, 09 Jan 2012 14:00:02 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=21752 How did CodeFlow Develop?

CodeFlow? Yes, a developers code analysis tool. As most programmers will tell you, it’s not just developing the code, it is testing it and seeing it work correctly. It’s not like the old days of Cobol, or Pascal, coding is very sophisticated now, and the penchant for making mistakes is very high. So code analysis is important, and has to be done whenever a program is set for distribution.

How CodeFlow Started

Back in 2009 two coders at Microsoft, Clark Roberts and Mike Cook, went to a bar after work, and one of their discussions finally fell on the problem of code review.

They took their ideas and began to develop a project which would ultimately help other coders at Microsoft find it easier to review their own programs.

At the grassroots level, they began to discuss their ideas and made proposals to their managers about what they were doing and what they wanted to accomplish.

Good was the answer, enter the Developers App Idol code contest. They lost the first time but won first place the second time.

What is CodeFlow?

Thousands of software engineers at Microsoft do code reviews every day. The systematic analysis of lines of code helps find and fix bugs and improves the quality of software. Both CodeFlow developers agreed that the process was necessary and beneficial, but it was also tedious and time consuming.

CodeFlow is a systematic way of doing code reviews, and it is integrated into Visual Studio. This way, it becomes easy and a second nature to programmers.

Success at Microsoft

CodeFlow has improved the Visual Studios team’s day-to-day life, because for starters reviewing code isn’t such a pain anymore. Moreover, programmers learned skills they’ve wouldn’t have in their day jobs. Roberts and Cook have had broad exposure with senior engineers across the company. Now, over 28,000 programmers at Microsoft use CodeFlow.

Over a year and a half, developers from every division at Microsoft launched more than 2 million code reviews in CodeFlow.

Developers can expect to see the next version of Visual Studio have the CodeFlow application built in.

Source Microsoft

 

 

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Examples of Microsoft OneNote in usehttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/01/06/examples-microsoft-onenote/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2012/01/06/examples-microsoft-onenote/#comments Fri, 06 Jan 2012 14:40:33 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=21717 Some examples of Microsoft OneNote and how it has helped users

OneNote in Education: Oulujoki Comprehensive School in Finland

In 2008, Oulujoki became one of 12 schools participating in a pilot program sponsored by the Ubiquitous Information Society, a national organization that aims to transform Finland into an internationally recognized, competitive service society by using ICT in teaching and learning. During a recent project, some students were painting pictures while others were playing a traditional instrument. The class put all the parts of the story together to make an animated film, using Windows Movie Maker. There was collaboration as students who were interested in painting made the pictures, while those who were interested in music and computers played different roles. To make the system systematic and easy to use they began working with Office OneNote 2007, and used it to track the Microsoft Office Word 2007, Office PowerPoint 2007, or Windows Explorer documents that they took notes from.

Graduate Studies

Another case study involves a Graduate Student at MIT who uses OneNote to keep track of ideas and notes for use in the Ph.D. program he is involved in. He uses OneNote on a Tablet PC for several important tasks that include gathering research, brainstorming and creating design documents, taking lecture notes, and recording experiment data in the lab.

Northern Ireland Assembly

The Northern Ireland Assembly is the legislature responsible for making laws. The Assembly works with a significant amount of information, and it must make sure its members have the most relevant information. Paper notes systems were used, but they were inefficient. So after moving some of their services to Microsoft Office 365, they decided to make some other changes as well.

By using Office 2010, the Assembly collaborates and communicates more effectively among its members, and it can move toward its goal of a paperless office. Next, the Assembly began using Microsoft OneNote 2010 to pull together disparate information into a single notebook, making it easier for lawmakers and staff to have all relevant information in front of them while making legislation decisions.

Microsoft OneNote is a new collaboration tool, but it is a convenience program that can help keep track of information in one location, a OneNote location.

Learn more about OneNote see: OneNote Demo 

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Microsoft Office Starter 2010 Downloadshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/11/24/microsoft-office-starter-2010-downloads/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/11/24/microsoft-office-starter-2010-downloads/#comments Thu, 24 Nov 2011 08:40:57 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=21252 Microsoft Office 2010 ships in many different editions. There are two core groups, Home and Business, each with a distinct set of editions available. Each edition offers access to a set of Office programs, with the more expensive editions usually offering additional programs that go beyond the Excel, Word and PowerPoint set of tools.

And then there is Microsoft Office Starter 2010. Starter is the only Office version that is available for free. It is a limited edition that only contains versions of Microsoft Word and Excel. Considering that those two programs are the most used in Microsoft’s Office suite, it is fair to say that this could be quite sufficient for the majority of users.

The main limitations are that Office Starter is ad driven, and that both Word and Excel do not offer their complete feature set to the user. Most users on the other hand may not even notice that functionality is missing.

Microsoft Office Starter 2010 was up until now only supplied to OEM manufacturers who added it to some of their computer systems. The Office suite came preinstalled with those purchased computer systems. There was no option to download and install Office Starter as a end user. Until now, that is.

microsoft office word starter

Here are the Microsoft Office Starter 2010 downloads (please note that the installer needs to download files from the Internet during installation).

Microsoft Office Starter 2010 English [download]
Microsoft Office Starter 2010 French [download]
Microsoft Office Starter 2010 German [download]
Microsoft Office Starter 2010 Spanish [download]

The server stores other language versions as well, just replace the language identifier in the web address, e.g. en-us with another country language identifier like it-it to download the Italian version of Office Starter 2010.

You are not asked for a product key during or after installation. There are certainly alternatives, Libre Office for instance for desktops or Google Docs for users who prefer cloud based applications.

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Whose Computer is it!http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/10/13/computer/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/10/13/computer/#comments Thu, 13 Oct 2011 09:14:09 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20864 You, as the owner and user of your computer are supposed to be in charge of the situation but in reality unless you take certain precautions such as setting up a firewall and installing a decent antivirus program the hidden nasties – virus programs and other forms of malfeasance, will take over your computer unbeknown to you.

Having said that remember that there are other less hostile threats around. These sometimes occur when you download and install a new application. Some by design want to wrest control of certain vital functions on your computer such as add their version of Search or their own special Toolbar in Internet Explorer, while others are harmless.

While many of these freeware applications appear to have great potential, say an Internet Radio Player or something else, you are well-advised to keep your wits about you when installing the program to make sure you only let in what you want. Otherwise the damned thing will take over your computer.

Here are two examples of useful applications that try to take over the controls of Internet Explorer. The two are RadioRage and Crawler Radio. Both during the installation phase want to take over as your Search Engine and control your Homepage. Well, it’s up to you whether you let them (at least they ask for permission).

 

RadioRage Installation Options!

 

Radio Crawler Installation Options!

If you decide in their favour you could end up with your Internet Explorer looking somewhat cluttered with Toolbars all over the top!        

Toolbar's Galore!!!

                                                                                  

Both RadioRage and Crawler Radio applications are great for listening to Internet Radio stations but all free applications come with add-ons you may not want. So always read the information in each installation screen, “keep your wits about you” and uncheck any options you don’t want.

Now there’s nothing wrong with trying out different applications BUT you can take precautions by performing a System Restore prior to taking the plunge.

Pre-Installation Safeguard

1.      Click the Start button.

2.      In the Search box, typeCreate a system restore point”.

3.      The System Properties window opens. In the lower section, labelled “Create a restore point right now . . .”, click the Create button.

 

Creating a Restore Point

 4.      The System Protection window opens. In box, type in a suitable recognizable name.

 

Naming your Restore Point

5.      Next, click the Create button.

6.      Windows 7 gets cracking and creates a Restore Point.

 

Restore Point Created!

 

Coping with Post-Installation Blues

Well, you’ve installed that great new application and suddenly find it is a proverbial pain in the neck. Your next step is to get rid of it. Well there are two options. First of all you can uninstall it but you may find it leaves its imprint still on your computer. The second option is to Use System Restore. This is where it pays dividends to have taken this initial precaution.  Creating a Restore Point saves the day.

1.      Click the Start button.

2.      In the Search box, typeSystem Restore”.

3.      In the Search Results box, selectRestore your computer to an earlier time”.

 

Reversing the Installation!

4.      The System Restore Recovery window opens. Choose “Open System Restore”.

5.       The Restore System Files and Settings window opens, click the Next button.

6.      The System Restore window opens. In it you’ll see the Restore Point you created. Choose a point previous and click Next.

 

Choosing a previous Restore Point!

7.      System Restore gets to work repairing the error you made when installing that aberrant application.

Warning: When System Restore is at work don’t turn off the computer. Leave it to its own devices.

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Run Android Apps On Windows 7 With BlueStackshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/10/11/run-android-apps-windows-7-bluestacks/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/10/11/run-android-apps-windows-7-bluestacks/#comments Tue, 11 Oct 2011 18:01:17 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20846 Have you ever wanted to run Android apps on your Windows 7 desktop,laptop or tablet? Even just to try them out or play around with them? Well now you can thanks to a new program released today from BlueStacks. It’s called the BlueStacks App player and has just hit the Alpha stage of development. It’s taken 10 engineers 2 years to get the project this far. The basic player lets you run several preloaded Android apps and then install up to 26 others, as well as sync apps from an Android phone to your PC.

Some people have reported that the app doesn’t always work first time around, but eventually once you get it installed it places an Android Gadget on your desktop. Clicking on the gadget opens up a menu from which you can launch an array of the pre loaded Android apps, including Bloomberg News, Drag Racing, Talking Tom 2 and Alchemy amongst others.

The applications can run in full screen using a new type of virtualization technology. Of course, the problem with running Android apps on your desktop is that they’ve all been optimised for use on touch based devices, so unless your running Windows 7 with touchscreen, you’re going to find it a bit tricky using a mouse and keyboard. While the app is currently limited to just 26 apps, the company hopes to lift it in the future with a premium version, which will also allow for the installation of premium games like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and Dungeon Hunter 2, as well as apps which have been designed to run on ARM based devices.

Credit:Cnet

For now the app is only available on Windows, but they are working on an app for OS X as well

This is really a great little app and if it continues to develop I think you’ll find it’ll take off. Developers will be keen to get their apps in it as it will open up the whole Windows market for Android developers, it will also be especially good if they can get it working on Windows 8 as well which will probably find itself on a larger number of touch enabled devices.

It just goes to show, that by having an open OS like Android and Windows, developers really can do anything that they want.

You can download the app now for yourself at BlueStacks.com

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Metro UI Tweaker: Tweak The Windows 8 User Interfacehttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/10/03/metro-ui-tweaker-tweak-windows-8-user-interface/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/10/03/metro-ui-tweaker-tweak-windows-8-user-interface/#comments Mon, 03 Oct 2011 20:50:03 +0000 http://www.windows8news.com/?p=1231 The Windows 8 Developer Preview that Microsoft made available to a worldwide audience less than a month ago has sparked the creation of quite a few tweaking tools to modify specific features of the operating system. We here at Windows 8 News reviewed a program to disable the Metro UI and Ribbon Windows Explorer which allowed users to modify one of the most controversial features of Windows 8: The Metro user interface.

Metro UI Tweaker is a new portable tool that offers the same functionality as the previously reviewed program and then some.

When you first start the software you are presented with a screen where you can make all the modifications that the program has to offer.

metro ui tweaker

This includes Metro options at the top for one of the following options:

  • Disable Metro Start Menu
  • Disable Explorer Ribbon
  • Disable Metro Start Menu and Explorer Ribbon
  • Enable Metro Start Menu and Explorer ribbon

Below that you find the Power Options which you can use to add items to the Metro Start Menu. If you recall, the Metro Start Menu does not link to all power states that previous Microsoft operating systems offered. You can now enable some or all of the following states in the menu: Log Off, Sleep, Switch User, Restart, Lock and Shut Down.

Lastly, the program can be used to add applications or files to the Metro Start Menu for fast access.

Please note that the application will generate a folder in the Windows directory on first run labeled Metro UI Tools. The folder holds the power option apps and should not be removed.

Windows 8 users can download the latest version of Metro UI Tweaker from the Windows Club website. The software is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of the operating system.

Have you used tweaking software under Windows 8? If so, which did you use and for what purpose?

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Revisiting Dragon NaturallySpeakinghttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/09/27/revisiting-dragon-naturallyspeaking/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/09/27/revisiting-dragon-naturallyspeaking/#comments Tue, 27 Sep 2011 06:13:42 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20642

Utilising speech recognition is a great alternative to keyboarding, mousing, and using touchscreen technology. Each will have their advocates but I am firmly in the quarter of speech recognition.

For a long time now I have been using speech recognition to perform the majority of my tasks on my computer. My interest goes back to the very beginning when Kurzweil was the only player in the game.

After Kurzweil’s demise Dragon Naturally Speaking arrived on the scene. Back in 1997 I purchased Version 2 and was impressed. This program has a long history of updates. Each new version proved better than the previous one. The table below shows the developments over the years.

I am currently using Dragon 11. Nuance recently issued Dragon 11.5 SP 1 which can be downloaded from its website. This improves on the already excellent version 11. While I have tried Windows 7 Speech Recognition program, I prefer Dragon. At least Dragon’s maker, Nuance keeps improving their product, hence Dragon 11.5 SP1 while Windows 7′s version of Speech Recognition remains static. Maybe Microsoft are going to surprise us when they release Windows 8 but I’m betting they are hooked on Touch Screen Technology and will leave their speech recognition much the same. Who knows at this stage! Time will tell!

 

Dragon Timeline

 

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Editions

In Australia the following Windows editions are available:

  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium Mobile
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium Wireless
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 premium
  • Dragon 11 Legal Australia
  • Dragon 11 Professional with Bluetooth Headset

 In the United States and Canada there is a medical edition available. Mac users are not left out as there is a version for Mac computers called Dragon Dictate 2.5.

Dragon works with most applications. This Includes Internet Explorer, Live Mail, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, WordPerfect, and more. With Dragon you can send e-mail messages, create tasks, schedule meetings surf the Web, surf the Web; post to Facebook or Twitter, and more just by voice.

There seem to be few limitations to this valuable application.

Setting up Dragon

When you install Dragon 11 on your computer it takes you through a rather involve set up that covers many aspects.

  • Naming Your User Profile
  • Choosing Your Age Group
  • Choosing Your Region – there are seven regions – Australia, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
  • Selecting Your Speech Device  (I use a Logitech microphone headset)

 

Dragon English Dialects

 

Once this phase is completed Dragon creates your Speech Profile. You might think you are finished then but there but there are still more steps to follow.

These include positioning the microphone, checking the volume setting and testing the quality of your sound system. It is important to get a good pass in the latter. If the sound level is too low you’re in real trouble.

 

Next comes the training phase. You can choose not to do this but you will be better served by going through the process. In the training session you will be required to read the passage of text and when you complete the Dragon will spend some time adapting a voice profile.

 

Training Text Selection

 

The next stage is optional where Dragon wants to personalise your vocabulary. This involves searching through e-mails and My Documents folder.

When this is completed it asks for permission to improve your speech accuracy. Again take this option.

In the last screen Dragon asks for permission to perform a “data collection” which involves regular checking usage data back to Nuance’s home base. This is entirely optional.

Finally, you have reached the end of a lengthy setup procedure and you will now be able to put Dragon through its paces. Next month, I’ll put together an article showing some of Dragon 11.5′s features.

So why not give Dragon a go and I’m sure you’ll be delighted.

 

 

 

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Duplicate File Clutter – How Do You Deal with It!http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/09/22/duplicate-file-clutter-deal/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/09/22/duplicate-file-clutter-deal/#comments Thu, 22 Sep 2011 09:45:08 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20572 As most users work with their computer they create large documents, pictures, images, video files and audio files. The time will come when you will be hit by a sudden realisation that your system has slowed down due to the accumulation of duplicate files scattered throughout your hard disk.

The answer to this problem is to utilise duplicate file finder software to find duplicate files on your computer and eliminate them thus freeing up clogged hard disk space. This has an additional benefit of increasing the speed of your computer system.

To ensure you have a healthy operating system consider running duplicate file finder software.

After researching the Web, I have come across five free Duplicate File Finders that will find duplicate files on your hard drive. Some, in my opinion are better than others but nevertheless here is the list.

  •  Duplicate Cleaner
  • Fast Duplicate File Finder
  • CloneSpy
  • Duplicate File Finder
  • DoubleKiller

Here is a brief summary of what each of these applications do.

Duplicate Cleaner

This application helps you painlessly remove duplicate files from your computer. It has a well laid out easy-to-use interface.

This application is available from the following website:

http://www.ilovefreesoftware.com/20/windows/system-utils/duplicate-cleaner-find-duplicate-files-by-content.html

 

Fast Duplicate File Finder

This efficient and easy-to-use free application help you quickly remove duplicate files from your computer. It is well laid out easy-to-use interface is a good choice.

This application is available from the following website:

http://www.mindgems.com/products/Fast-Duplicate-File-Finder/Fast-Duplicate-File-Finder-About.htm

 

CloneSpy

If you indulge in a lot of Internet downloads the chances are you will duplicate files unwittingly. This application can be used to delete redundant files or move them to a specific folder or export them to another location.

This application is available from the following website:

http://www.clonespy.com/

 

Duplicate File Finder

This application has a friendly interface suitable for computer beginners. It searches for duplicate file contents irrespective of the file name. Once found duplicate files can be deleted or moved or copied.

This application is available from the following website:

http://www.ashisoft.com/

 

DoubleKiller

This application is fast, compact and easy to use. It removes people that files from your system. It finds files using the following criteria – name, size, modification date and content.

This application is available from the following website:

http://www.bigbangenterprises.de/en/doublekiller/

 

So there you have it, the choice is yours!

Having said that, my particular choice is Fast Duplicate File Finder. In my next blog, I will explain why I have chosen this one and will explain how it operates.

It will be interesting to hear other users’ opinions about finding and removing duplicate files from your computer system.

 

 

 

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SkyDrive Moving to Unlimited Storage Space for Photos and Docs?http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/09/10/skydrive-moving-unlimited-storage-space-photos-docs/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/09/10/skydrive-moving-unlimited-storage-space-photos-docs/#comments Sun, 11 Sep 2011 03:31:32 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20488 LiveSide.com is reporting that the SkyDrive service which is very much a part of both Microsoft’s and Windows Phone’s future is going to be changing their plan. Currently, Microsoft offers an unbelieveable 25 free Gigs of online storage for any type of file you wish. Microsoft’s plan, according to this report, includes changing the available storage for photos and documents to unlimited and the 25GB cap will only be for other files types which are uploaded by the user. This is all supposed to come about in the Wave 5 upgrade for Windows Live. So to summarize:

Unlimited storage space for all Office documents
Unlimited storage space for all photos
25 GB of free storage for everything else

Currently, SkyDrive has about 70 million users. Whose to say how many of them are active users or are even aware that the space is available online for their documents storage. Last year, I took the time and made the move to back up all of my documents and photos onto SkyDrive. It was one of the smartest things I have done because I reformat often and every time I do, I seem to lose a picture album or Word doc that I didn’t mean to delete. Now, all of my files are up in the cloud, so I can access them seamlessly from my Windows Phone, my work PC or my home PC anytime, anywhere. So, this change of available space to unlimited for pics and docs is definitely a welcome move and now I can start backing other important files up to SkyDrive without worrying about filling it up.

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Windows 7 Accuweather Tablet Apphttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/09/10/windows-7-accuweather-tablet-app/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/09/10/windows-7-accuweather-tablet-app/#comments Sun, 11 Sep 2011 03:12:28 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20485 What’s being touted as a possible new Windows 8 AccuWeather app is really a Windows 7 app. As we now know, Windows 8 is going to be a touch-first Windows OS with the classic desktop version of Windows baked in for users who wish to switch to the older interface. This is considered the “no compromise” Windows version and, I believe, is the right way to go for a software company that heavily relies on a ton of customers and businesses who need that backwards compatibility, but who need to move into the new era of computing.

That being said, a bunch of new Windows 8 apps are popping up here and there and this includes many speculating that the AccuWeather app is one of those coming apps for the new platform. Unfortunately, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the app in the video below is a Windows 7 slate silverlight-based app. This is not to say that AccuWeather isn’t working on an official Windows 8 app, they probably are as we speak.

The app does look like apps we’ve seen demoed for the new version of Windows and does heavily take its cues from the Metro design language. The AccuWeather app even looks and feels like the AccuWeather app on Windows Phone.

Click here to give the app a try on your Windows device and check out the incorrectly labeled YouTube video of the app in action:

 

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CCleaner’s Extra Toolshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/27/ccleaner-tool/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/27/ccleaner-tool/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 15:01:51 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20129 CCleaner is a free product from Piriform. It is an all-in-one application containing a set of useful tools for cleaning up your computer.  All of CCleaner’s tools are available by selecting the appropriate button from the button toolbar on the left. I have found the most useful ones were Cleaner (See my article: Spring Cleaning your Computer) and Registry (See my article: Defragmenting your Computer the Easy Way ).                                             ).

 

Accessing Tools

The Extra Tools

In addition to the aforementioned, check out the third button, Tools. This  contains four useful tools. They are:

  • Uninstall
  • Startup
  • System Restore
  • Drive Wiper

 

The Uninstall Tool 

 

The Uninstall Tool

This feature is quicker to use for uninstalling applications than going through the tedious process of Control Panel to get to Uninstall or Change a Program.

The Startup Tool 

 

The Startup Tool

 

This application takes you directly to the “Startup” folder where you can disable or enable programs. It is similar to using “msconfig’ to access the Startup folder the System Configuration tabbed window.

The System Restore Tool

 

The System Restore Tool

 

This feature lists all System Restore points and allows you to remove them. Of the four tools this is probably the least useful.

The Drive Wiper Tool

 

The Drive Wiper Tool

 

 

This feature can be used on a select drive to wipe free space or to completely wipe all files. I would urge caution when using Drive Wiper. See my article: Living Dangerously – Wiping Your Drives

So there you have it! A free application containing a useful set of tools. Think about downloading it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Attending to your Computer’s Registryhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/26/attending-computers-registry/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/26/attending-computers-registry/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2011 16:23:41 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20234 The Windows Registry is a hierarchical database that stores configuration settings and options on Microsoft Windows operating systems. It contains settings for much of the information and settings for software programs, hardware devices, user preferences, operating system configurations, and much more

It is the master control center for your PC’s operating system and all its applications. Many performance problems are caused by corruption within the Registry resulting in these sorts of problems – slow Windows start-up and shutdown, poor application startup times, just to name a few.

Cleaning, compacting, and optimizing your Windows registry can go a long way to improving your computer’s performance.

While it is inadvisable to go poking into the Registry unaided and there are a number of good applications that can do this for you, the simplest one I’ve found is a tool called Registry, part of Piriforms’ CCleaner.

Cleaning the Registry

Open CCleaner and then select the Registry button from the vertical toolbar.

The Registry Cleaner screen opens. You will see a series of checked boxes on the right of the toolbar. All of these are areas need checking.

Press the Scan for Issues button.

 

Opening screen for Registry

 

When the scan is over, all the issues are shown in the right-hand window.

 

Registry scanned displaying Issues

To fix them, press the Fix selected issues button.

 

Registry asks an important question!

Before any issues are fixed Registry asks you if you want to make a backup file.

When dealing with the Registry it is a good idea to make a Backup file.

To do this click the Yes button.

 

Creating a Registry Backup file

 

Next, My Documents folder opens displaying the backup file. Click the Save button.

Once you save the Backup files, Registry displays its Fix It dialog box. You then have the choice of fixing each individual flagged problem (tedious) or biting the bullet and selecting Fix All Selected Issues. This is your best choice.

 

Registry's Fix It dialog box

A new dialog box opens showing Registry has completed the job. Click the Close button to shut down Registry.

 

Registry finishes the task

The final window states there are no issues now in your Registry. You can now close CCleaner.

 

No issues left in your Registry

 

You have successfully cleaner “junk” out of your computer’s Registry.

Made a Big Mistake?

Having just cleaned your Registry you realize maybe you’ve made a big mistake. Well, it’s a simple matter to activate the “.reg” file you have created and restore the deleted values to the Registry.

Here’s how you do it!

  1. Go to the folder where you have saved the “.reg” file.
  2. Double click on it.
  3. Windows UAC will ask you to confirm. Click the Yes button.
  4. The Registry Editor opens asking if you wish to continue. Click the Yes button.
  5. The Registry Editor confirms that the “keys and values” have been added back to the Registry.
  6. Click the Ok button.

You have set matters right with the Registry restoring the deleted values.

 

 

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Spring Cleaning your Computer with Cleanerhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/25/spring-cleaning-computer/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/25/spring-cleaning-computer/#comments Thu, 25 Aug 2011 04:34:46 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20228 Using the Cleaner tool

As mentioned in previous articles, CCleaner is a free application from Piriform. In this article I’ll show you one of its major features, a useful cleaning application called Cleaner that you can use to rid your computer of redundant space wasting files.

When you open CCleaner, it defaults to its first feature, Cleaner. Its purpose is to locate unused and unwanted files on your computer within Windows and Applications directories.  

In the Cleaner window there are two tabs, Windows and Applications. To switch from one to the other, press the appropriate tab.

 

Locations for Cleaner to check

 

When you look at either the Windows or Applications window you will see a list of folders.  Some boxes are checked while others not. Cleaner automatically checks the checked folders searching for files that it considers redundant.

You can decide where you want Cleaner to search. Just uncheck any ticked box if you do not want that folder checked.

Note: You must uncheck folders you do not want checked before pressing the Analyze button.

Once you click the Analyze button, Cleaner begins analysing the files in the checked folders. It does Windows and Applications at the same time. When it finishes it displays a list of files to be removed.

      

Results of Analysis

                                                                                              

The next step is to press the Run Cleaner button. Before Cleaner removes the unwanted files, it displays a cautionary dialog box asking you to confirm your wish to proceed.

Clicking the Ok button gives Cleaner the go-ahead. Should you have a change of heart press the Cancel button.

Cleaner asks for permission to proceed

The final screen shows a list of removed files from both locations – Windows and Applications.

 

Cleaner has removed these files

Cleaner is a simple to use and a quick way to rid your computer of space wasting useless files.

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Living Dangerously – Wiping Your Driveshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/23/living-dangerously-wiping-drives/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/23/living-dangerously-wiping-drives/#comments Tue, 23 Aug 2011 23:06:01 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20217 Drive Wiper

In CCleaner, under Tools is a useful application called Drive Wiper. It enables you to completely wipe all, and I mean all data files and information on the drive. This type of application is not for the faint hearted.

Fearful of its consequences, I put it to the test using a 1 gig flash drive loaded with several types of files – documents, pictures and music clips.

After opening CCleaner, I selected Tools and clicked Drive Wiper. In its window I checked the Stick Drive (F:).

In Drive Wiper’s window I checked the box for the Removable Drive. This was my 1 gig flash drive loaded with files.

 

In the Wipe section, I clicked the arrow button and chose “All data will be erased”.

 

 

In the Security section, I left it at the default setting “Simple Overwrite (1 pass)”. There are other options. The illustration below shows them.

After these preparations, it was time to bite the bullet. I clicked the Wipe button and held my breath.

CCleaner blinked and issued a warning of imminent action. This safety device is well thought out, giving a faint hearted time to rethink.

Biting the bullet I typed “erase” in the box and pressed the Ok button.

 

I held my breath and the destruction of my files on the drive commenced. What happened next was a two-part operation. First of all, the drive was reformatted and in the second phase, it was wiped.

 

 

After Drive Wiper I checked the flash drive and it was ready to go. I was the able to begin re-using it.

So ended my venture into the unknown!

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Zune PC Software Updates to v4.8http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/23/zune-pc-software-updates-v48/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/23/zune-pc-software-updates-v48/#comments Tue, 23 Aug 2011 18:57:14 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20216 The Zune PC software acts as the companion application for Zune devices and Windows Phones. If you purchase a new ‘Mango’ Windows Phone or update your current phone to the 7.5 software, you’ll need to use the new Zune 4.8 PC software along with your device. I’ve been using the 4.8 software for a few months now along with the beta version of Mango and there are no noticeable differences that I can see.

The 4.8 version of the software is now available for download via Microsoft’s download center, so if you are dying to get a hold of the new client, you can find it here. To update your current Zune software version, click Settings > Software > General, and then click Check For Updates.

Here’s the changelog for the new software:

  • Progressive updates: In Zune 4.8, you only have to click the update button once for multiple updates. Once an update is finished, the software automatically checks for more and repeats the installation process until your phone is completely up to date.
  • Streamlined backup. By synching media separately from other phone content, we’ve lowered the overall time it takes to back up your phone. The backup file is also more compact, so it should take up less space on your computer.
  • Skip phone backup: If you don’t have enough room on your computer to store a phone backup file, you’ll now have the option to skip this step so you’re not blocked from updating your phone.
  • 48-hour movie rentals
  • Parental Controls now support M-rated (Mature) content
  • Option to hide purchase confirmation dialog for faster app checkout
  • See what apps are compatible with the Windows Phone you own.

The software also acts as an excellent Windows 7 media library organizer for your current music and video. If you haven’t yet tried the Zune PC client, I would highly recommend giving it a try.

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Finding and Recovering Deleted Fileshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/22/finding-recovering-lost-files/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/22/finding-recovering-lost-files/#comments Mon, 22 Aug 2011 07:41:42 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20173 Recuva, a File Recovery Application

Everyone, from time to time, has accidentally deleted files from their computer thus loosing valuable information. Well your worries are over! Piriform has created a free application called Recuva that can recover most deleted files.

To help you on the path of recovery Recuva provides a Wizard to guide you through the recovery process.

 

Recuva's Opening Screen

 

Once the Wizard opens, click the Next button to move onto the next screen.

The second screen, File Type, is where you choose the sort of files you want to recover. Select the appropriate radio button and then click Next.

 

Choosing a File Type

 

 

The next screen is File location. Here you need to choose the location where the lost files may be.

Choosing a File Location

After choosing the location the next screen offers you the choice of a “normal” scan or a “deep scan”. The latter takes a long time to complete.

 

Choosing the Scan

 

After scanning is complete the results window opens. Much in this recovery program depends on whether the file(s) are overwritten. If this is the case well it’s “too bad how sad!”.

 

Found Files window

 

In the example above, the files are colour codes – Green is recoverable, Orange a poor option for recovery and Red has been overwritten, thus unrecoverable.

Select the files you wish to recover by ticking the boxes. Then click the Recover button and Recuva opens the Browse to Folder window. Here you choose the location for the recovered files.

 

Placing the found files

Tip!  As I don’t like losing my recovered files again, I usually create a new folder on my Desktop for them.

Click the Ok button. Recuva deposits the recovered files in the appropriate folder.

Files recovered

Finally, click the Ok button to confirm. You have successfully recovered the deleted files.

Recuva for Advanced Users

Some users cannot be bothered with Wizards. If this is you, and you want to skip using Recuva’s Wizard, check the box in the opening screen and when Recuva re-opens taking you straight into file recovery.

 

Advanced User Screen 1

Recuva defaults to Drive C. So if you wish Recuva to search in another location click the down arrow button and choose the drive. You need to decide what sort of files you are searching for also.

The illustration below shows you what to do.

Advanced User Screen 2

 Once you have made these decisions, click the Search button and Recuva gets to work.

I’m sure you’ll find it a useful addition to your stable of enhancement applications for Windows 7.

 

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Defragmenting your Computer the Easy Wayhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/19/defragmenting-computer-easy/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/19/defragmenting-computer-easy/#comments Fri, 19 Aug 2011 05:28:00 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20137 Defraggler, a Useful Tool

A useful alternative to Windows 7′s Disk Defragmenter is Piriform’s Defraggler. This is a free application from Piriform (www.piriform.com). It provides an alternative to the inflexible Windows 7’s Disk Defragmenter which doesn’t go beyond defragmenting your entire hard drive at one go.

Defraggler allows you more flexibility. You can schedule it to operate late at night, early in the morning, or any time of day. In addition you can set it to defragment exactly what you want, an entire file, a folder, or a single file. This feature is available in the Settings menu.

Putting Defraggler to Work

If you are in a hurry, launch Defraggler, click the drive you want to defragment, and then click the big Defrag button.

 

Opening Screen

More Options

Other defragment options are found in the Action menu. These include the ability to perform a quick defrag, defrag individual folders or drives. To access this select Quick Defrag Drive from the Action menu.

 

Action Menu options

Defraggler provides a better choice. Think about giving it a go and I’m sure you’ll appreciate its useful features.

 

 

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Four Useful Products enhancing Windows 7http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/16/products-enhancing-windows-7/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/16/products-enhancing-windows-7/#comments Tue, 16 Aug 2011 12:39:49 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20116 It is ages since I’ve written a blog about Windows 7. Well, after this hiatus I decided to draw Windows 7 News & Tips readers attention to four useful little tools available from a website called Piriform. Its web address is as follows: www.piriform.com

They are:

  • CCleaner
  • Defraggler
  • Recuva
  • Speccy

Note: I’ve already dealt with Speccy in a previous blog. See “Ever wanted to check your Computer’s Hardware Components” Published 01/07/2010.

When you access Piriform’s website check out the four applications as per the illustration below:

Piriform 1

After you do that a larger screen opens providing details about each application. For more information just click the button labelled More Info. On the other hand if you want to take a punt on the program click the button labelled Download. I am sure you will find these applications of value.

Piriform 2

 

 

 

 

 

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Diagnose Windows Installing, Uninstalling Problemshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/16/diagnose-windows-installing-uninstalling-problems/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/16/diagnose-windows-installing-uninstalling-problems/#comments Tue, 16 Aug 2011 08:26:25 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20111 Microsoft has released a Fix-It to diagnose installing and uninstalling problems. While it is usually not a problem to install or uninstall most Windows programs, it can happen that programs will not install or uninstall properly.

Installation issues are often caused by missing dependencies, for instance when a program that requires the Microsoft .NET Framework needs to be installed without the proper Framework version installed on the system.

Problems uninstalling software can often be resolved with third party software like Revo Uninstaller which scan the system for leftovers after the uninstallation process.

Sometimes however it is not that easy to resolve those issues. Microsoft Fix-It programs are standalone applications designed to diagnose and resolve a specific problem. In this case, the Fix-It resolves the following issues related to installing or uninstalling software in the Windows operating system.

  • Removes bad registry key on 64 bit operating systems.
    Windows registry keys that control the upgrade (patching) data that become corrupted.
  • Resolves problems that prevent new programs from being installed.
  • Resolves problems that prevent programs from being completely uninstalled and blocking new installations and updates.
  • Use this troubleshooter for an uninstall only if the program fails to uninstall using the windows add/remove programs feature.

The program offers to diagnose and resolve issues automatically, or let the user fix the issues manually.

program-install-uninstall-troubleshooter

It then asks the user if the issue is installing or uninstalling related. For uninstalling related issues, a list of all installed programs are displayed in a list with an option to select the program causing the issues from that list. It is furthermore possible to select the not listed option if Windows was not able to find the program reference.

If that is the case, users can enter the product ID, a unique code, to uninstall the program.

Windows users who run into program install or uninstall troubles should definitely run the Microsoft Fix-It to see if it resolves the issue. The portable nature of the program makes it ideal for repair DVDs or application collections.

The program can be downloaded directly from the Microsoft Support website.

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XBox 360 Leads Sales for 7th Consecutive Monthhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/12/xbox-360-leads-sales-7th-consecutive-month/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/12/xbox-360-leads-sales-7th-consecutive-month/#comments Fri, 12 Aug 2011 12:16:48 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20062 The latest figures from Microsoft, about the Xbox 360, shows that it has led in sales in the console market for the seventh consecutive month.

Microsoft finds that Xbox 360 continues to have its biggest year in Xbox history despite the economic slowdown, which has also affected the video-game console market. However,  in July alone, the Xbox reached $250 million in sales, beating out the other game consoles.

XBox 360 with Kinect

At the market share level, the Xbox 360 holds 45% of the market, and selling more than 277,000 units in July. So for the fifth month in a row, Microsoft has held a market share number over 40%.

Kinect

Kinect for Xbox, the motion sensing input device is also making an impact. This technology is a webcam-style add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360 console, it enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller,

Download figures for Kinect Fun Labs show that it has garnered more than 1 million downloads in only two months.  Some games like “Fruit Ninja” are now part of the Kinect family as “Fruit Ninja Kinect.” Microsoft anticipates that by the end of 2011, the Kinect games library will triple and Xbox will debut new partnerships with the likes of Ultimate Fighting Championship and Disney to the platform.

The game, “Gears of War 3” will launch next month and more major launches to follow during the holiday season.

Kinect for Windows SDK

In February 2011, Microsoft released a non-commercial version of Kinect, the software development kit (SDK) for Windows. The release of a commercial version is set for later this year. The SDK includes ‘Windows 7′ compatible PC drivers for Kinect device. It provides Kinect capabilities to developers to build applications with C++, C#, or Visual Basic by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. With these tools, developers should be able to stretch their imaginations and produce more robust and fun games.

Source: Microsoft

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Windows 7 Pro Pack for SBS 2011 Essentialshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/11/windows-7-pro-pack-sbs-2011-essentials/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/11/windows-7-pro-pack-sbs-2011-essentials/#comments Thu, 11 Aug 2011 12:56:03 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20051 Keeping up with the security patches, upgrades, and other software features that Microsoft frequently provides can be daunting. This is especially so if you are an IT manager and must deploy the updates on many machines. Microsoft now has a solution.

Microsoft will release the Windows 7 Pro Pack for SBS 2011 Essentials add in to ensure a minimum level of security, threat and data protection on all deployed Windows machines. It will also provide folder redirection to simplify and improve reliability of backup for mobile users. This product is geared to those administrators who have the Microsoft Small Business Server 2011 essentials program.

SBS 2011 Essentials

Here are some of the features that come with SBS 2011 Essentials. Managers can:

  • Protect business data through automated backup and restore capabilities
  • Run both on-premise and on-line (cloud-based) software
  • Organize and access business information from almost anywhere

The Windows 7 Pro Pack Set up

It takes about six mouse clicks to set up the program and it enables an instant cache of folders when a user connects. All the folders that contain changes are to the server as backup. This way it protects people who move in and out of an office environment.

With the Pro Pack offline users save their material as they normally would, but the data is automatically replicated to the server when they are on the network and then backed up by the server. When users make changes, the information is also updated to the server as well.

Security Updates

The Pro Pack also makes it easy to deploy all upgrades and security features. By running the program, the administrator chooses which files to download and install. The baseline is set and a file is sent to all computers that allows them to install the downloaded file from the server.

Source: CRN

Microsoft Small Business Server

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Download MP3 Toolshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/08/download-mp3-tools/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/08/download-mp3-tools/#comments Mon, 08 Aug 2011 13:46:04 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20025 Here are some MP3 tools that are handy to have. They let you create your own playlists, audio stream, or rip songs to MP3 files.

 

Playlist Creator

Playlist Creator you can create playlists easily and quickly. This is a fast operation where the composition and creation of a playlist is done within seconds. All you have to do is add all desired files, enter the name of the playlist and save it to a location and one moment later your first playlist is already done. The easiest method for adding files to the playlist is by using drag and drop from Windows Explorer.

Download: oddgravity

http://www.oddgravity.de/app-opc.php

2. RipShout

RipShout is a program that reads a ShoutCast MP3 stream from Internet radio stations and rips the songs to MP3 files on the the user’s PC, and writes their IDv3 tag. While recording, RipShout can play the songs through it’s internal mp3 player or append the songs to Winamp’s playlist.

RipShout works with Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7. But it requires the .Net 3.5 framework from Microsoft.

http://www.rumandcode.com/RipShout/

3. Music NFO Builder

An ultimate freeware utility designed to automatically build: nfo, m3u, pls, sfv, md5 from mp3/mpc music files.
You can read files quickly and easily through selected drives and directory and also list them on listview style window.
It is very useful for make info files and checksums and playlist files to posting binary files to usenet.
Here are some of its features:
- Support for MPEG Audio, MPEGplus (MPC)
- File info: size, length, bit rate, sample rate, mode, version, layer
- Including ID3-tags (versions 1.0, 1.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4), APE-tags 2.0
- Generating nice NFO files, checksums (SFV/MD5), and winamp playlists (M3U, PLS)

http://nfobuilder.com/music/download/

MP3 VCR

This is a freeware Shoutcast / iTunes compatible Internet radio station and recorder.  It records MP3 streams easily and it comes with the drag and drop interface that is simple to use. It is also has an ICY-compatible title extraction . Plus it acts as a MP3 playback program too. Save your favorite radio stations as presets! It also comes with 18 pre-configured stations to chose from.


http://www.mp3vcr.com/

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DVBLink: Share Your TV Cards Between PCs and Onlinehttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/08/dvblink-share-tv-cards-pcs-online/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/08/dvblink-share-tv-cards-pcs-online/#comments Mon, 08 Aug 2011 10:49:13 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=20017 Normally if you want to watch digital TV in more than one room, you need to pay for multiple set-top boxes or build multiple media center PCs each with their own separate TV cards.

More hardware is usually needed if you want to stream live TV to another location or to your phone.  With DVBlink you can not only add these capabilities and more, but better still, it only costs 40 Euros.

With DVBlink, one Windows 7 media center PC can act as a server and any TV tuners in this machine can be shared with other Windows 7 PCs either via Windows 7 Media Center or Windows Media player, and the live TV stream can also be  viewed by any web browser, including mobile phone browsers.  The diagram below best shows how DVBlogic works:

In my DVBlogic setup, I have my main W7MC (depicted on the left) connected to my main TV.  Inside I have 4 DVB S2 cards (Hauppauge WinTV-Nova-HD-S2) cards, that allow me to watch and record up to four channels at a time (in the latest version of DVBlogic, W7MC’s limit of 4 tv cards is removed and up to 8 cards can be utilised by one machine).

DVBlogic allows me to share these cards with the devices on the right i.e. other PCs, mobiles, tablets, UPNP enabled devices like Playstation 3s – whatever.   Virtual tuners are also created for other PCs, so they can schedule their own recordings. The software uses smart tuner sharing, so if two or more devices are watching say the Discovery HD channel, then only one tuner is used rather than two or more.

Adding DVBlink has allowed me to significantly reduce my satellite TV costs.  In my home I have 4 media center PCs and using DVBlink has allowed me to do away with 3 additional set-top boxs and also the additional Sky multi-room fee – that’s nearly £600 for the extra 3 set-top boxes and £125/pa for the multiroom service.  For just over £300 I have 4 TV cards and the ability to watch TV wherever I want at anytime.

If you’re a Windows Phone 7  user, yopu can also download TW TeeVee that allows you to watch live TV on your handset.

More: DVblogic, TW TeeVee

 

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Upgrade “in-place” from XP to Windows 7 for under $1http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/02/upgrade-inplace-xp-windows-099/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/02/upgrade-inplace-xp-windows-099/#comments Tue, 02 Aug 2011 15:50:55 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=19839 Laplink software has reduced the cost of their PC Mover software to under $1.  With prices currently starting at $29.99 this is a significant discount for people still looking to upgrade Windows XP systems to Windows 7.

“We offer the fastest and easiest method to upgrade existing hardware from XP to Windows 7,” said Laplink CEO Thomas Koll. “And now we are removing any cost barrier.”  With PCmover, the upgrade process does not require external media, no programs need to be reinstalled after the upgrade and the PC’s “personality” remains intact.  “Windows XP will not be supported indefinitely by Microsoft,” continued Koll.  “Businesses will need to deploy Windows 7 and Laplink has a much-needed solution.”

The software doesn’t actually perform the Windows 7 installation for you, you still need to do this by installing Windows 7 over the top of your current copy of XP.  AT the installation screen DO NOT choose Upgrade.  Instead choose the Custom (Advanced) option.  Then install Windows 7 onto the same hard disk or partition where Windows XP resides without formatting the disk.  The installer will detect your old copy of Windows and move it, and all your files to a Windows.old folder.

When you have Windows 7 installed, install PC Mover which will find the Windows.old folder.  PCmover Windows 7 Upgrade Assistant will recognize what is in that folder and put it where it needs to go and install the software where it should go as well.

There are some caveats with this as not all your software will be compatible with Windows 7, and some could even cause problems with Windows 7 when migrated (this goes doubly so for hardware drivers).  You should download and run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor first to find any software that is not compatible with Windows 7 and uninstall it.

This is an excellent purchase for anyone still making the move to Windows 7 but worried about having to reinstall all their software.  At less than $1 it’s difficult to complain at this price.

You can buy and download PC Mover here.

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Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack Just Releasedhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/01/microsoft-desktop-optimization-pack-released/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/08/01/microsoft-desktop-optimization-pack-released/#comments Mon, 01 Aug 2011 18:20:13 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=19845 As of August 1, the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) is available for download. This is a suite of technologies that helps improve compatibility and increase asset management, reduce support costs, and improve policy control.

The MDOP technologies give customers’ better control of the desktop. This can significantly reduce the total cost of ownership of the operating system and entire application management lifecycle.

Features of MDOP 2011 R2

The New Main Elements include the

  • Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM)
  • Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolkit (DaRT) 7.0
  • Microsoft Asset Inventory Service (AIS) 2.0.

During an earlier release the elements then were:

  • Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 4.6 SP1
  • Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) 2.0
  • Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM) 4.0, AIS 1.5
  • DaRT 6.5
  • Microsoft Desktop Error Monitoring (DEM) 3.5.

 

Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM)

Here are the main features of the MBAM set of tools:

  1. Streamline BitLocker Provisioning:  Simplify BitLocker provisioning as part of their Windows 7 deployment or they can have the user enable it after their deployment.
  2. Generate out of box reports: Generate compliance reports with out of box reporting.
  3. Retrieve recovery keys: Quickly and easily retrieve recovery keys using a webpage specifically designed for helpdesk use.
  4. Protect recovery keys: Store recovery keys in an encrypted database to guarantee that they are protected.

Microsoft Diagnostic and Recovery Toolkit (DaRT) 7.0

This set of tools helps users easily recover unusable PCs, or rapidly diagnose problem causes of issues, and quickly repair unbootable or locked-out systems.

The key updates include:

  1. Remote diagnostics and recovery: Here software based remoting allows helpdesk staff to securely diagnose and recover PCs with DaRT without having to visit the user’s PC or having to reimage the PC.
  2. Flexible deployment option: You will have the option to choose the right deployment method, or combination of methods, to suit individual needs or requests.
  3. Increased customization: IT professionals have the ability to create DaRT images that restrict end-user access to tools while making these same tools available to Helpdesk and IT staff.

 

Microsoft Asset Inventory Service (AIS) 2.0

This cloud based asset management service can help IT managers make good inventory control decisions:

  1. Updated/localized UI and improved software reporting: Provides users improved inventory capabilities.
  2. Increased scalability and language support: Support for up to 100,000 clients to be supported per account and will also now be available in 11 different languages.
  3. Comprehensive view of software installation: Customers get a complete view of the software installed on enterprise PCs, manage software and hardware assets, and forecast future needs.

Source: Microsoft

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Pulmon, Windows 8 Tiles For Your Windows 7 Desktophttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/29/pulmon-windows-8-tiles-windows-7-desktop/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/29/pulmon-windows-8-tiles-windows-7-desktop/#comments Fri, 29 Jul 2011 18:47:23 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=19803 Metro UI. For all we know will be an integral part of the Windows 8 operating system. Part of Metro UI is a tile based design that you may have seen on one of the new Windows phones or on a screenshot of the new operating system. The tile based design is controversial, and it is not clear how it will be implemented in the new operating system.

Windows 7 users who like the idea of adding tiles to their operating system for easier access to features, information and programs can now download and run a program called Pulmon which brings the design to the Windows 7 operating system.

Pulmon is currently offered as a beta version. Make sure you create a backup of your important files before you run the program. While we did not experience any issues on our systems, it is still important to have the means to recover the OS if you should experience some on yours.

The program displays the available tiles in the upper half of the interface on first start. All tiles there are currently not displayed on the desktop. A click moves them to the lower half of the interface, and at the same time on the desktop. You can now move the tile freely on the desktop until you find a suitable location for it.

pulcom windows tiles

Here is a list of supported tiles in this version of Pulmon. The developer has made an announcement to add more features and tiles in future versions of the program.

  • Internet Explorer, Control Panel, Users – Open
  • Date and Time
  • System State – Shutdown, Restart, Hibernate and Lock
  • Webby – Tech site links
  • System Information

Pulmon needs to be running in the background. When you close the application, the tiles disappear as well. The biggest issues currently are the lack of customizations and the small selection of tiles available.

[Download not found]

The program is compatible with all 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7 versions. (via)

More: Pulmon

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SplashTop Remote for Windowshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/28/splashtop-remote-for-windows/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/28/splashtop-remote-for-windows/#comments Thu, 28 Jul 2011 13:30:59 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=19779 Splashtop, a San Jose California based company with offices in Asia, has a remote desktop product that makes connection to your PC from a remote location easy to use and fast.

Formed in 2006, Splashtop has a variety of products that allow fast remote connection to remote computers. Currently, Splashtop is installed on 40+million PCs around the world. and the hardware compatibility List covers over 600 platforms.

Windows Version

With Splashtop Remote Desktop for Windows you can connect either PC-to-PC or PC-to-Mac to provide remote access support including full audio and video. Here are the requirement to receive connections using Splashtop Remote Desktop app, your computer needs to have:

• Windows 7, Vista, XP, or Mac OS X 10.6+
• 1 GB of RAM
• 1.6 GHz or faster dual-core CPU

Features:

  • Watch high-definition movies and videos (up to 30 frames per second), streaming from PC or Mac
  • Play interactive 3D games with low latency such as World of Warcraft, StarCraft, or EA Sports games
  • Setup with ease through its simple, intuitive interface
  • Latency is low with access and video and audio streaming up to 15 times faster than other remote access systems.
XDisplay for iPad – Second Display
A new product that goes with the remote desktop connection, XDisplay was recently released. This is an app that turns your iPad into a wireless second display for Windows 7 PCs to enhance productivity. Using the iPad as a screen extender.  It is comprised of two components, an application that runs on the iPad and the free Windows Streamer running on the PC. (See Below)
Other Products
The company has other products that allow remote connection or interaction with devices:
  • Splashtop Connect
  • Splashtop OS
  • Splashtop Streamer
  • Splashtop Remote Browser
  • Splashtop Remote Desktop
  • Splashtop Touchpad
  • Splashtop Whiteboard
  • Splashtop XDisplay
Download the freeware Remote Desktop App or Streamer version.
Watch the Splashtop Video Below:
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IE9 a Better Malware Blocker than Other Browsershttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/19/ie9-malware-blocker-browsers/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/19/ie9-malware-blocker-browsers/#comments Wed, 20 Jul 2011 03:12:27 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=19697 Even though Microsoft’s IE9 is only a few months old, Microsoft has something it can claim that other browsers can’t. It is a good malware blocker; indeed, it is better than the other browsers.

What makes the IE9 Malware Blocker stand out is that it has two components for the SmartScreen Filter. One is URL Reputation, which is included in IE8 and Application Reputation, which is new to IE9.  IE9 caught an exceptional  92% of the live threats with SmartScreen  URL  reputation, and an additional 8% with Application Reputation.   IE9 with SmartScreen offers the best protection of any browser against socially engineered malware.  Protection against malware targeting European users matched broader findings from the Q3 2010 global test.

One of the biggest problems discovered in 2010 and going into 2011 are socially engineered malware URL. This is a web page link that directly leads to a download that delivers a malicious payload whose content type would lead to execution, or more generally a website known to host malware links. These downloads appear to be safe, like those for a screen saver application, video codec upgrade. They are designed to fool the user into taking action. Some security professionals refer to these threats as “consensual” or “dangerous” downloads.

One of the biggest problems discovered in 2010 and going into 2011 are socially engineered malware URL. This is a web page link that directly leads to a download that delivers a malicious payload whose content type would lead to execution, or more generally a website known to host malware links. These downloads appear to be safe, like those for a screen saver application, video codec upgrade. They are designed to fool the user into taking action. Some security professionals refer to these threats as “consensual” or “dangerous” downloads.

How does IE9 become a better malware blocker? Essentially, this is due to browser protection, which has two main functional components. The first is the foundation is an “in-the-cloud” reputation-based system which scours the Internet for malicious websites and categorizes content accordingly; either by adding it to a black or white list, or assigning a score (depending on the vendor’s approach). This categorization may be performed manually, automatically, or using both methods. Some vendors will utilize feedback from user agents on their customers’ endpoints to report back to the reputation system automatically, providing information relevant to the trustworthiness, or otherwise, of applications and files downloaded from the Internet.

The second functional component resides within the web browser and requests reputation information from the in-the-cloud systems about specific URLs and then enforces warning and blocking functions.

IE9 works better than the other browsers because of the in-the-cloud operation. Microsoft, with its search engine Bing, and now Azure, is constantly scouring the Internet for Malware sites. It then performs blocking functions as a result of the in-the-cloud operation.

Source:

NSS Report

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Swype Eyeing Windows 7 Tablets and Morehttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/18/swype-eyeing-windows-7-tablets/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/18/swype-eyeing-windows-7-tablets/#comments Mon, 18 Jul 2011 15:31:57 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=19656 Innovative keyboard input company Swype recently announced that they’ve received a great deal more funding from existing investors which will allow them to further expand their market for their innovative keyboard software. Swype keyboards are found in nearly 50% of all Android devices shipped and allow the user to “swype” through the letters of the words they wish to type.

The Swype method has proven to be a quicker way, in some scenarios, to type on a mobile device when compared to a more traditional tap-to-type method.

The additional $2.5 million in investments into the now-profitable company brings hopes that they can move their keyboard over to other platforms like iOS, Windows Phone and even Windows 7 tablets. While the company CEO, Mike Sherry, noted to AllThings D’s Ina Fried that Windows 7 tablets with Skype will definitely come to fruition very soon, Windows Phone handsets with Skype might need to come by other means. Microsoft has locked down the Windows Phone OS in many ways making it hard for software like Swype to break through, but Microsoft’s deal with Nokia, which allows Nokia to make greater changes to the OS creates a hopeful loophole for Swype to introduce its software into devices. It’s also worthy to note that Nokia is currently an investor in the Swype technology. 

Source: The Examiner

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Always Display All Right-Click Context Menu Items In Windows Explorerhttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/06/display-rightclick-context-menu-items-windows-7/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/06/display-rightclick-context-menu-items-windows-7/#comments Wed, 06 Jul 2011 21:29:38 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=19343 The Windows context menu that is displayed when you right-click on files for instance is automatically optimized by Microsoft. This basically means that you won’t see all available context menu items when you right-click. Items that are hidden by default can be displayed by holding down the Shift key while right-clicking.

When I right-click a program in the Windows 7 Start Menu, I see only six items in the menu. This includes options to Open the program, Run the program with administrative privileges, pin it to the taskbar or startmenu, remove the item from the list or open its properties.

By holding down Shift you get about four times the options. From scanning the program with antivirus software to troubleshooting compatibility, editing it or opening its file location.

Take a look at the two screenshots below. The first shows the standard right-click context menu, the second the menu when Shift is held down.

standard right click context menuadvanced right click context menu

The free software Always Full Context has one single purpose: To enable the enhanced context menu on all right-clicks. All a user needs to do is to run the program on the computer. Every right-click afterwards will always display all context menu items in Windows Explorer. It has to be noted that it only works in the default system file browser, and not on the desktop or the Windows start menu.

Some may see this as a limitation, and an option to make this the default setting everywhere would be welcome.

The program is currently in beta, and offered as an AutoHotkey script. Users who do not want to install AutoHotKey on their system can download a pre-compiled alpha version instead that they just need to execute after download.

AlwaysFullContext can be a handy addition for users who regularly have to hold down the shift key to access hidden context menu entries. The program is compatible with Windows 7, and should work under previous versions of Windows as well.

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6 Free Softwares To Manage Your Fileshttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/05/6-free-softwares-manage-your-files/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/07/05/6-free-softwares-manage-your-files/#comments Tue, 05 Jul 2011 10:57:58 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=19274 Are you annoyed at the disordered files of your computer? Are you driven mad by searching files without any results? Do you feel like you are at your breaking point when your files are missing? Can you bear that your secret files may be seen by others?

Take it easy. There are many methods to conquer these problems. We will introduce a series of files management softwares to help you manage your Windows 7 PC.

File Manager

This software is for file management in order to help users merge and cut mass files. You can index file names, add a word to the beginning of the file names and change file names extension.

Seeker

This is a file searching software with an ultra-Fast File Search engine. Searching for files or inside of files Seeker can handle it. All results from Seeker can be viewed in one of four advanced reporting modes.

BackUp Maker

This software is for files backup. BackUp Maker is the professional solution for creation of data-backups. The ease of use as well as the range of functions enables you to create backup tasks for saving files and folders with a lack of time.

Lock Folder

This software is for files encryption. Lock Folder is a new security tool that lets you lock your files and folders with your personal password. Now nobody but you can access your most sensitive information. Locking folders and files also effectively protects you from malicious programs.

ZipGenius

This is files compression software that can compress files in several compressed archive formats. ZipGenius can create and handle several archive formats, including ZIP, RAR, CAB, ACE, 7-Zip, ARC, SQX; also, it can read and decompress CD/DVD images in ISO9660 format.

DoubleKiller

This software is for files deletion. DoubleKiller searches duplicate files by comparing any Combination of file name, size, modification date and content. When the scan is finished, a list is displayed and you can manually or automatically select the files to be removed.

Do you have any other file managers you want to recommend to readers?

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3 Personal Information Manager Programs to Look Athttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/06/21/3-personal-information-manager-programs/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/06/21/3-personal-information-manager-programs/#comments Wed, 22 Jun 2011 00:10:54 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=18398 With so much information floating around your computer and your daily life, here are 3 personal information manager programs that can help you coordinate and plan your time effectively and efficiently.

Interactive Calendar

Interactive Calendar is a free but feature-packed desktop calendar that is customizable  which makes it great to use and look at. This calendar software, unlike those of its competitors, renders the calendar grid right on the wallpaper, which  integrates with your Windows theme. It also increases the speed of the refreshes and updates the material without a hitch.

Another advantage of Interactive Calendar is the degree of visual customization it supports. You can access and control many aspects of the calendar’s appearance such as cell spacing, font size, position on the screen, color, and opacity.  You can use a dozen skins that come with the program or load your own images to serve as background for the calendar. The program also supports three interface variations, which allows it to blend perfectly with any Windows theme

Download

Golden Rules Organizer

This is a well-structured personal organizer and goal system. It supports three planning levels: mission & values, projects, recurring and one-time activities. The organizer includes planner facility, a diary, time tracking, contact lists, hierarchical notes/bookmarks on any subject. Data is available to spreadsheets, printed, reported, and exported/imported. It provides backup and recovery facilities. Moreover, while it was designed for professionals, it is also suitable to novices.

 

Download

Typhoeus Stickies

Typhoeus Stickies is accessible by its icon in the  taskbar; so within a short period of time you can create or edit text notes utilizing color, formatting and even images. You can create lists or just create beautiful documents. The program allows for more than just the creation of useful stickies, you can organize your views, any way you want, and store small pieces of information or fully fledged documents.

Download

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How to Improve the Power Performance of Your Windows7 PChttp://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/06/10/improve-power-performance-windows7-pc/ http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2011/06/10/improve-power-performance-windows7-pc/#comments Fri, 10 Jun 2011 13:30:10 +0000 http://www.everything-microsoft.com/?p=11770 With all of the talk about going green, Microsoft has also joined in the technology by allowing the Windows7 OS to make power consumption choices. These features can help you maintain a well working computer system.

Step 1.

Go to the Control Panel and select System and Security.

Step 2.

Select Power Options

Step 3.

Here is where you can select your power plan.

There are two preferred plans, Balanced, which is the recommended one, and Power Saver.

There is also a high performance power plan, but that one may use more energy.

Step 4.

Change the plan settings.

Step 4a.

Go to Balanced, select Change plan settings.

Step 4b.

On the Turn of the display, click the drop down. Here you can select how long you can leave your display on. Remember, the display is one of the most energy consuming parts of your computer. So, if you are not in front of the display, you might consider turning it off.

Step 4c.

The other option is to put the computer to sleep. The same consideration should govern your computer operations. If you are not present on the computer, consider putting it to sleep.

Step 4d.

Click the Advanced settings. Here you can make additional custom changes. Notice the drop down also has the options for high performance and power saver.

Step 4e

For example, select Hard Disk, and expand the option. There you can turn off the hard disk, and set your time.

Step 5.

You can also change the settings for Power Saver. Here, like in the Balanced mode, you can turn off the display, or put the computer to sleep.

Step 5a.

Turn off the display

Step 5b.

Put the computer to sleep.

Step 6.

You can also change the settings for High Performance. Here, like in the two previous modes, you can turn off the display, or put the computer to sleep.

This option, however, is geared to having more power distributed to the computer components. It is not a power saver, just the opposite. So who would use something like this? Well gamers for one would use this option, or systems that have to do high database operations and calculations.

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