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Posts Tagged ‘Windows 10’

Those who toil daily on PCs know the frustration of working with computers that tend to slow down over time.  So today we share a few worthwhile tips from the editors of ComputerWorld detailing 6 ways to speed up your PC if you are running Windows 10.  Space prohibits sharing all six in depth, so we’ll share a few of the best here, and let you know that you can find the full text of the article here.

  1. Change your power settings. If you’re using Windows 10’s Power Saver feature, you’re losing performance to save energy which, particularly on a desktop PC, makes little sense.  Changing your power plan from Power saver to High performance or Balanced will give you an instant performance boost.  In Control Panel, select Hardware and Sound > Power Options.  There you can choose between Balanced and Power saver.  Click the down arrow over by Show additional plans, then choose the one you want.  Naturally, High performance gives you the biggest boost, but takes the most power, which might be a consideration if you’re running on a laptop battery.  Otherwise… go for it.

 

  1. Disable programs that run on Startup. Often, too many programs running in the background can slow you down.  Launch Task Manager with Shift-Ctrl-Esc.  Clicking on the Startup tab will display the programs launched when you start Windows.  You can right-click and then ‘disable’ programs you don’t really need to run all the time.  And you can always run the application after launch, or add it back to the list later.  (Tip: stick mostly to the ones with names or publishers you can recognize, at least to start.)

 

  1. Launch the Windows Troubleshooter. Type “troubleshooting” into your Windows search box then click the Troubleshooting Control Panel icon.  Click Run maintenance tasks under System and Security, then “Troubleshoot and help prevent computer problems” will appear. Click Next.  Troubleshooting will find files and shortcuts you don’t often use and identify other performance issues on your PC.  (You may need Administrator rights to run it.)

For info on three more tips, including the Performance Monitor, “Bloatware” and Disabling shadows and animation effects, check out the full ComputerWorld article we’ve captioned above.  Because as any power user knows, when it comes to performance, every little bit helps.

 

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win10picSince most companies run most of their business on the Windows operating system, we take note today of Microsoft’s progress in rolling out the new version, Windows 10, now at its six month mark, as described in a recent post from Gregg Keizer at ComputerWorld,

Keizer’s article, using data supplied by Net Applications, validates that Microsoft has already corralled almost 200 million users into its newest Windows operating system.  Growth took off in January, and Windows 10 now commands a 13% share of all Windows installations, while in January Microsoft saw its biggest month-over-month increase since the month following the product’s inception.

Six months in, Windows 10 is increasing its growth at a rate slightly better even than Windows 7 did six months after its introduction.

All told, Microsoft is 20% of its way to its overall goal of one billion Windows 10 users by mid-2018.

And the rate may accelerate soon: Three months ago Microsoft said that it would begin to automatically serve the Windows 10 upgrade to most consumer and small business Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs in “early 2016.”  Microsoft plans to start by adding the Windows 10 upgrade as an ‘optional item’ to the Windows Update tool.  That’s usually a first-step precursor to eventually listing the upgrade as an automatic download.

So far, neither step has been taken – yet.

And by the way, the product is still free.

 

 

 

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windows10picRecently, ComputerWorld published a list of six key reasons why companies should consider upgrading their current version of Microsoft Windows to the latest Windows 10 version.  While the information is provided by the folks at Dell Migration Services and might be viewed as self-serving, their key points do highlight some of the advantages of moving to Microsoft’s latest operating system.

In abbreviated form, we’ll recap their key takeaways here:

  1. Support for modern technology. When Windows XP debuted nearly 15 years ago, much of today’s technology was still years away: smart phones, tablets, virtualization, the cloud and so on.  Today’s more modern technologies, on the other hand, accommodate all the above, not to mention 64-bit technology, touch screens and a host of other advances.  Today’s hardware can’t even run XP for the most part (without some virtual PC shenanigans).  Today’s thinner, lighter hardware, equipped with solid state drives and faster processors requires a more modern operating system.
  2. Improved productivity. Windows 10 users receive the same user experience as Windows 7, so it’s familiar.  They also get a customizable Start menu, a new browser (Edge) and digital assistant (Cortana) that can help speed up work.  You can move more easily across devices.  It’s a nice combination of familiarity and flexibility.
  3. Enhanced security. Windows 10 is said to be their most secure ever.  It offers advanced secure authentication options – the two-factor, PIN based Microsoft Passport, or Windows Hello, which supports newer technologies like fingerprint and face/iris recognition.  It also provides updated security features (Enterprise Data Protection and Device Guard) to protect against the latest security threats.
  4. Better manageability. Windows 10 is easier to deploy than prior versions.  It has expanded mobile device capabilities and offers support for Azure (cloud) Active Directory.  IT administrators can work from a single console to manage widely dispersed clients.
  5. Improved stability. As the article’s authors note:  “With the Universal Windows Platform in Windows 10, enterprises can write one app that launches across every device but also tailors the user experience to the device based on screen size, input and accessories.”  Thus, companies derive more bang for the buck out of their app investments.
  6. One Windows. More than any prior version, Microsoft says that Windows 10 is built to run across the most platforms and form factors ever, including laptops, desktops, tablets, phones and so on.  It scales up to industrial-strength “ruggedized devices” and the Internet of Things… all the way up to 85” conference room displays.  One app platform, one security model and one deployment and management approach.  The idea is to save time and money across the enterprise.

Lest we sound like a shill for Dell or Microsoft… we’re not.  We just thought they provided some decent food for thought for those considering the upgrade within their own companies.  You can find access to the full text article here.

 

 

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win10sampleJuly 29th.  That’s the date Microsoft will release its long-awaited Windows 10 operating system (previously code-named Spartan).

Windows 10 will be free (for one year) to current users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users holding a “valid, genuine license.”  All told, there will be seven versions (mobile, home, enterprise, professional, etc.) of Windows 10 available.  Windows 10 will be “touch-friendly” and run across PCs, tablets and phones, and will include a new browser called “Edge” according to a Microsoft announcement released Monday.  This browser, by the way, is said to be a second browser, and not a replacement for Windows Explorer.  The actual retail price has not yet been announced.

As noted recently by Techradar.com: “Microsoft EVP of Operating Systems Terry Myerson surprised the crowd when he announced that Windows 10 will support apps written for iOS and Android. That is, with some reworking, of course. Still, this will undoubtedly blow the Windows 10 app store wide open.”

Among other new features…

  • A return to a bigger, strong Start menu, a hybrid of the Windows 7-style interface with Windows 8’s Live Tiles.
  • More powerful search capabilities from the Start menu for exploring your PC and the web.
  • The Live Tiles within the Start menu will now be animated (just like Microsoft Dynamics NAV now features live “cues” (tiles) in its ERP system, we might add).
  • The download process will be the result of four scheduled tasks from the Windows Update Tool within the Control Panel.
  • A Spotlight feature will suggest apps and tools you may have not used yet – like Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri’s voice-based assistant. Indeed Cortana’s voice-activated features will apparently loom large in this newest Windows version, in a move toward “machine learning,” where computers become smarter over time and more attuned to the user’s needs and search requests over time.
  • Cortana will also be released to iOS and Android devices as well.
  • There will be additional personalization features, like for example on the Lock screen.
  • Cortana will also learn to search the web and make suggestions based on how you use your PC.
  • Upgrades to Windows 10 are already in the works, including June and October of 2016.

 

You can learn many more details from Techradar here, or learn for yourself in about two months, on July 29th.

 

 

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windows10Last week, Microsoft Corporation unveiled its Windows 10 operating system as well as its new browser, which will succeed Internet Explorer, and is code-named Spartan.  Bloomberg, among other outlets, reported the news, which was relayed via a web posting at information-management.com on Wednesday.  We’ll reprise a few highlights to get you ready, since its actual release is not slated until sometime later this year.

  • The new Windows update will also bring “Cortana” a voice activated digital assistant (think: Siri).
  • It will have touch-enabled Office apps including Word and Excel built-in for phones and tablets.
  • Customers owning Windows 8.1, Phone 8.1, or Windows 7 will be entitled to a free copy.
  • A new photo app will aggregate your entire photo collection across devices and eliminate dups.
  • Microsoft will add support for storing music files in its One Drive cloud storage system, allowing access to one’s music from all devices.
  • Microsoft announced “Windows Holographic” and “Hololens” (a headset with glasses) that will enable a user to see holographs while tracking a user’s voice, actions and surroundings.
  • Users will be able to annotate websites using stylus, touch, mouse or keyboard and share comments via email or social media.
  • They also announced the Surface Hub, an 84 inch (!) touch-screen computer designed for workplace collaboration that will run Win10.
  • Microsoft will start delivering Windows “as a service” to keep customers’ versions up to date and supported. As one VP noted: “The question ‘what version are your running?’ will cease to make sense.”
  • A new Xbox app for Win10 will allow streaming of games from Xbox to PCs.

Those in the know say this whole initiative is an effort by Microsoft under new CEO Satya Nadella to “win back consumers and keep business customers happy” after the disappointing release of Windows 8 which, in its effort to please everyone as a cross-platform O/S, seemed to please few indeed.

No release date has been given officially for Windows 10 as yet, though many have hinted at late this year.   Test versions however are already being used at various beta sites.

Stay tuned, and we’ll let you know more as we learn more…

 

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win10Microsoft’s Terry Myerson, Executive VP for Windows, recently announced that “sometime late in the year” of 2015 they will be releasing the next version of Windows, number 10 – yes, they’re skipping the number ‘9’ entirely.

A recent preview demo shows that the new version is intent on giving users the best of both worlds – that is, the best of the much-loved Windows 7, PC-based operating paradigm and the best of the touch-based, more mobile-oriented look and feel of Windows 8.  That’s a tough combo to pair up.

The version we saw showed a pure mash-up: A Windows 7-like Start Menu arising from the bottom left of the screen set right up against a Windows 8-like screen full of Live Tiles.  From there, users can customize these elements to their liking.  [See image above.]

Other things you can expect from Windows 10 (parsed from an article by techradar.com entitled “10 great new features in Windows 10” that you can read here) include:

  1. It hasn’t given up on “touch” – at least not yet. Microsoft purports to want to ‘evolve’ touch (i.e., change it a lot).  Rumor has it those right-side-of-the-screen ‘charms’ may go away.
  2. The Start Menu is back. Paired with live tiles that can be resized.  This is the Windows 10 + 8 mash-up we mentioned earlier.
  3. Task Switcher will be dumped in favor of a new Task View, which you can use to switch between virtual desktops. Apparently, not enough folks knew about Alt+Tab, which will now switch between desktops.
  4. A new Snap Assist feature helps you figure out the best way to snap apps to, like new screens or tiles.
  5. The Command Prompt is getting keyboard shortcuts, so you can paste in your commands. Hardly groundbreaking, but handy.
  6. A new Home location is the default view in Windows Explorer.  There’s a new Share button too.
  7. Improved navigation without a keyboard (something called Continum). We’re waiting to hear more.
  8. New Universal Windows apps. They’ll run on phones as, by the way, will Windows 10, which is intended to be a cross-device platform from phones to servers.
  9. Modern (‘Universal’) apps will now float on the desktop. To quote techradar.com: “The new Universal apps also work on the desktop and ‘float’ in their own Windows. Microsoft wants to banish the separation between the Modern UI and the Desktop.”
  10. Win10 will have a lot for Business and Enterprise. Again, quoting techradar.com: “This version of Windows will have plenty of other features for enterprise, including a customized store and protection for corporate data. Mobile Device Management will be able to be used for all devices.”  Microsoft wants to appeal to business users and to show enterprises what this OS is capable of.

For a more in-depth review of Windows 10, also from techradar.com, go here.  No doubt you’ll be hearing lots more about Windows 10 in the months ahead.

 

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