So today is the day that Office 2013 went on sale. And no, I didn’t rush out and buy a copy – mainly because I’ve been using it for quite a while since it was made available to Microsoft Partners. Lucky me, eh?
And it definitely has some nice features, works nicely with Windows 8, very nicely with Office365 and particularly good if you have a free Outlook.com account.
No doubt we will see it appearing on new PCs shortly and if you decide to go to certain computer stores at local retail parks they will be trying to convince you how vital it is with your new purchase.
And if you’d like to buy it now, I’ve even found the links for you and added them to the little Amazon widget here.
What a lovely geek I am.
About a year ago I went cold turkey with my email and stopped using Outlook. As a Google Apps user, my Outlook synchronised really nicely with my Google account. All my calendars, contacts, emails were all available in Outlook just as if I was still back in my corporate life, using Exchange.
And if you’re a power user, Outlook is a lot more than just an email program. But I was trying to encourage people to use Google Apps for their email so I thought I had better walk the walk. I thought I’d try to give it a go for a couple of weeks, just to prove you can, then come back to Outlook.
But I never came back. I have used Gmail ever since and it has made my email life so much easier. Labels are far more powerful than folders, searching is just incredibly fast and it just works.
Apologies for stealing “it just works” from Apple, but the Mac Mail client is just plain horrible so I really don’t think it can make that claim this time.
I’m going to stop using them.
Instead, I’m going to start using the documents capabilities in Google Drive more. I’ve had a few documents and spreadsheets in there for ages, I know it works and is capable of far more than I need.
One of my first tasks has been to switch over to two-step verification on my Google account. If you use Google, you should switch too. And I know I should have done it a year ago, but please remember to do as I say, not as I do.
So, here goes. Will I make it all the way through February? We shall see, and I will keep you posted along the way.
Apart from anything, I’d really like an excuse to get a Chromebook
Oh, Microsoft, you’ve disappointed me. And you were doing so well.
In the last few weeks I’ve enjoyed using Windows 8, moving to a Nokia Lumia 800 running Windows Phone 7.5 and even migrated a couple of clients from Google Apps to Office 365. Eek!
Microsoft Security Essentials continues to impress and recent events have even made them appear more clued up on security and patching than Apple. So, how have they spoilt this?
Well, it’s a little Optional Update they have sent out – Bing Desktop.
Now, it’s hard enough getting clients to click on the little update warnings and making sure they keep safe and sound by running them. So it really doesn’t help when they try to do the right thing and download something that completely confuses them.
The Bing Desktop installs a search box onto your desktop, changes your homepage and replaces your search defaults. Like most other annoying toolbars. However, It also changes your desktop background or ‘wallpaper’. So the client with best intentions ended up well and truly confused!
I know it was only ‘Optional’ but I don’t think it should have been there at all.
According to Ed Bott over at ZDNet, in the US the Microsoft Store are touting a new standard for PC images – the Microsoft Signature.
Anyone who has bought a PC in the last couple of decades will be well used to “crapware” – the rubbish bits of software that manufacturers install, not to make your life easier but to increase their income chances.
Microsoft Signature not only bans crapware, it has a few extra requirements:
In fact, they make sure the PCs are built, well, built the way we build new PCs at HDG for our customers of Computer Support in Whitstable!
I just hope the other manufacturers take note and start putting user experience higher up their priority list.
But then, nobody would be paying me to reset their new PCs when they buy them, so perhaps I should be hoping the opposite…
I received a phone call from Microsoft the other day, telling me I had all manner of problems with my PC. Something didn’t feel right, so I hung up. Was I right?
Concerned of Canterbury.
Over at Three Word Chant they have uncovered a Newsweek article from 1995 by Clifford Stoll, entitled “The Internet? Bah!” telling us why the internet would ultimately fail to fulfil all the predictions made about it.
Clifford was not some nay-saying crackpot, he knew his stuff, he was just wrong. Funny thing is, back then I probably would have agreed with him and I’m going to be a little bit controversial here – I think Microsoft played a big part in his predictions not coming true.