Microsoft Windows 10 is here!

Microsoft Windows 10 is here!

Windows 10 Opinion

Microsoft Windows 10 launched today. There has been a greater fanfare for this version of Windows than many before it. Here at CyberGuru, we have seen the launch of Windows 98, Windows Me (also known as Millennium edition), Windows Vista, Windows 7 and of course, Windows 8. There has been many editions and updates over this time. Whilst Windows 95 was prior to our official commencement, we were very much enjoying it as a hobby at that time! It is hard to believe that it has been 20 years since this operating system, which was the last operating system with such interest.

Perhaps the reason why Windows 95 had so much interest in it as the introduction of the Start menu. It was it was a revolutionary change over Windows 3.1 and Windows 3.11 at the time. Similarly, Windows XP improved the “experience” of those who were running Windows 95 and Windows 98. And sure enough, Windows 7 took the baton from Windows XP with many kicking and screaming to keep running it. Windows 8 removed the Start menu and introduced the full start screen, and caused many to turn their back on it.

It is often said every second release of Windows that is seen best to skip, for reasons such as bugs, compatibility and sometimes even one’s desire to upgrade, but often because the “skipped” releases are rushed out the door by Microsoft. So much so, Microsoft’s announcement that this would be the “last version of Windows” is been often reported with this release of Windows. Truth be told, we understand that Windows will still continue to be developed and likely to become a subscription (or “as a service”) product similar to many other products on the market today. We are hoping that Windows 10 is a product that is continued to be developed and maintained well into the future and from the looks of things it is going down this way.

As Microsoft rightly states, it brings the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8 together. It rightly brings back the Start Menu, as well as introducing a new web browser to replace Internet Explorer, known as Edge. Another new addition is Cortana, a personal digital assistant similar to Apple Siri and Google Now. This is not currently in Australia but is anticipated to be available later this year. Some of the other new features being introduced into Windows 10 include Continuum, which automatically adjusts Windows to the type of device you are using, Task View, which allows you to add virtual desktops, and finally Windows Hello, a new way of using facial recognition to log onto your computer.

At a time when many of our clients are considering to upgrade, we are suggesting a considered approach like any new product especially whilst it is still “version 1.0”. If you are using it on a personal tablet device or one that you are happy to experiment on, you may find the new features compelling to move to. However, if you are in an organisation reliant perhaps on legacy or Windows XP Mode applications (those not designed for Windows 7 or Windows 8), is a significant upgrade. To operate effectively, as such we would consider waiting for at least until the beginning of new year before considering upgrading. Most new computers running Windows 7 and Windows 8 will be compatible, however we encourage you to check with us and your Get Windows 10 application before going ahead.

Windows 10 isn’t as big as upgrade as previous upgrades have been. From moving to Windows 98 to Windows XP, or even Windows XP to Windows 7, we saw considerable resistance to change. As Microsoft is offering free perpetual upgrades from Windows 7 and Windows 8 until 29 July 2016, it will be of interest to see whether they achieve their desired take-up of the product and remove the memories of Windows 8 from as many as possible.

New computers with Windows 10 operating systems will become more commonplace over the coming year. A client I spoke to today when I advised it was the launch of Windows 10 this afternoon, said she never wants to move from Windows 7 – but over time this will become a necessity in order to keep operating. In business’ today, we see the take up of Windows 8 gathering more momentum. The opportunity to move straight from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is there, will this put a path in Windows 8 upgrades? Only time will tell.

Here at CyberGuru, we are preparing ourselves and equipping our knowledge and skills to be ready to help our clients with the transition to Windows 10. If you have any questions, require any consulting, support or training, please contact us today.

Windows 8.1 – Your questions answered

blog-windows81Due for release in a week’s time, CyberGuru has compiled a list of questions received from our clients and our CyberGuru Blog readers about Windows 8.1 and is providing answers to these questions (to the best of our knowledge).

If you have a question you’d like us to answer, please contact us and we’ll answer it for you.

 

What features have been added in Windows 8.1?

Microsoft announced a range of new features within Windows 8.1 that will be of immediate benefit to those currently with Windows 8 and those looking at upgrading. One of the most significant ones is the return of a “single search”, from files on your computer, to applications and the internet. This feature alone sold me – especially when trying decipher between where to find a particular app, setting or file!

 

Windows 8.1 - Search
Windows 8.1 – Search

The Start screen has also changed for the better. New applications will not be displayed in the screen but in a separate section and be able to view apps by their name, the date they were installed, by most used or by category. You can have larger and smaller tile sizes in addition to the current sizes in Windows 8. They will enable you to do more at once, such as select multiple apps, resize, rearrange and uninstall them. You can also personalise the Lock screen to contain a slideshow of photos.

Windows 8.1 - Start screen
Windows 8.1 – Start screen

SkyDrive is now integrated into Windows 8.1 without the need for a separate app to download, which will enable you to save files directly onto the cloud. There’s also a more integrated settings within the Start screen providing some of the features which were previously in the Control Panel.

Windows 8.1 - SkyDrive app
Windows 8.1 – SkyDrive app

What features have been removed in Windows 8.1?

One of the most critical features removed from Windows 8.1 is the Windows 7 File Recovery (Backup) and System Image Recovery. CyberGuru is currently evaluating our suggested replacement, as for our clients and many computer users, the ability to have this Backup feature provided a “certainty” of having this already in place. File History is available to provide similar functionality.

Windows 8.1 - File History
Windows 8.1 – File History

Some of the other features deprecated include the Windows Experience Index (a way to measure your computer’s specifications amongst others), libraries and the Messaging App (which is understood to be replaced by Skype in the final release of Windows 8.1).

Has the Start menu returned in Windows 8.1?

Unfortunately, the Start menu hasn’t returned in Windows 8.1. The button (previously located at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen). This means the alternatives which came out shortly after the release of Windows 8, including StartIsBack, Start8, ClassicShell and others may still be used to replace the Start screen.

Windows 8.1 - Desktop
Windows 8.1 – Desktop

What new apps are available in Windows 8.1?

The Windows Store itself has been in Windows 8.1 and provides some new categories, including Health & Fitness and Food & Drink. There are also some new apps including Alarms, Scan, Reading List, as well as some updated apps redesigned in the Modern user interface, such as Calculator and Sound Recorder. I expected other windows accessories and system tools will continue along this path in future Windows updates.

Windows 8.1 - Alarm app
Windows 8.1 – Alarm app
Windows 8.1 - Sound Recorder app
Windows 8.1 – Sound Recorder app
Windows 8.1 - Reading list app
Windows 8.1 – Reading list app
Windows 8.1 - Windows Store
Windows 8.1 – Windows Store

We are also happy to see some assistance for new users of Windows 8.1 through a Help & Tips app, which we understand will be providing information on how to use Windows for those not familiar with the new user interface.

Windows 8.1 - Help & Tips app
Windows 8.1 – Help & Tips app

What will be the price to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1?

Microsoft has announced that Windows 8.1 will be available for free via the Windows Store. The only cost will be your time and download allowance to download it.

When will Windows 8.1 be available?

Windows 8.1 will be available on 18 October 2013.

Do you have any screenshots available?

We have added our series of screenshots to our Windows 8.1 Screenshots page.

I have a question not answered here, will you please answer it for me?

If you have a question you’d like us to answer, please contact us and we’ll do our best to answer it for you.

What do you want to know about Windows 8.1?

blog-windows81CyberGuru is currently evaluating Windows 8.1, Microsoft’s update to Windows 8. As various products are about to launch, typically we post a blog article containing our opinion on the product, rather than a full review which are available from many online websites and news sources as well as technology magazines and other publications.

 

For this opinion paper, we’d like to know what you’d like to know about the product. If you see the reviews we’ve published for Windows 7 and Windows 8, we detail our first impressions with the product, the various flavours of the product and pricing, and provide many screenshots and the answering questions through our ask a question form and answer the questions as part of the frequently asked questions.

This time around, as Windows 8.1 is not a “major” version (although it is a major update!), we’d like to spend time answering your questions so when it comes time for your upgrade to Windows 8.1, you can be fully in the know.

Would you like to know what features have been added or removed in Windows 8.1, what new apps are available or even the price to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1?

Please feel free to either contact us with your question and we’ll answer it as part of series of future posts on Windows 8.1 on the CyberGuru Blog.

We look forward to receiving your questions and providing answers to these.

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Windows, Office and Internet Explorer

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Windows, Office and Internet ExplorerAs you become more proficient in any software, there are a number of ways you can be more efficient. If you prefer your keyboard over your mouse, one of these ways is to take advantage of keyboard shortcuts to enable you to open a menu, launch a command and a variety of other functions. Touch-typists and others who are using these Microsoft Windows, Office and Internet Explorer are well aware of the features and capabilities available.

To use keyboard shortcuts, you need to press one or two keys on your keyboard together, such as the [CTRL] and [C] keys for Copy and the [CTRL] and [V] keys for Paste. Did you know you can select all content of a document in Office by pressing [CTRL] and [A] keys? Or easily find a word on a web page by pressing [CTRL] and [F] keys?

The following are links to Microsoft’s pages providing these documented keyboard shortcuts for various Microsoft applications, including Windows, Office and Internet Explorer.

Windows

Microsoft Office 2013

  • Word (link opens in new window)
  • Excel (link opens in new window)
  • PowerPoint (link opens in new window)
  • Publisher (link opens in new window)
  • OneNote (link opens in new window)
  • Outlook (link opens in new window)
  • Access (link opens in new window)

Microsoft Office 2010

  • Word (link opens in new window)
  • Excel (link opens in new window)
  • PowerPoint (link opens in new window)
  • Publisher (link opens in new window)
  • OneNote (link opens in new window)
  • Outlook (link opens in new window)
  • Access (link opens in new window)

Internet Explorer

You can also customise your own keyboard shortcuts. This Office.com Word Help article (link opens in new window) applies to Microsoft Word 2010 but also works across the other products in the Office 2010 suite, as well as the 2013 version of Microsoft Office as well.

There are a number of other undocumented keyboard shortcuts, which you can find on third-party websites. These may or may not work depending on your system.

CyberGuru assists small businesses, not-for-profit organisations and individuals with our Training solution to provide you and your staff with more efficient and effective use of a wide range of computer applications. Please contact us today for more information.

Image credit: © Evolution1088 | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Microsoft Windows 8 Review – Blog Exclusive

Similar to our approach for previous Microsoft operating system launches, CyberGuru has released this opinion paper on Windows 8, rather than a full review of the product.

This review will detail our first impressions with the product, the various flavours of the product and pricing. A series of screenshots is also available. If you would like to ask a question about Windows 8, we would be more than willing to assist. We will be answering questions through our ask a question form and answer the questions as part of the frequently asked questions of the article and as part of an series of articles on Windows 8 in this blog.

Read more…