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Our Latest Posts About: Microsoft

Microsoft Office Needs Changes

Why are there so many different versions of Microsoft Office?


What is Microsoft Office? Well, it depends on what version you buy. If you buy the "Home and Student Edition", it costs about $150 and it includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote.

By contrast, if you spend $99 (per year) for the "Office 365 Home" version, and it includes the same four programs... PLUS Outlook, Publisher, and Access, along with Skype and OneDrive services. That's odd. It's still the "Home Edition", but it costs you $50 less (up front), and they give you 3 more programs and 2 online services.

Meanwhile, if you're a business, you can't pay an upfront price, you can pick from 6 different monthly prices, and you get all sorts of combinations of software and online services, but once again..... [More]

Continue...Microsoft Office Needs Changes...

Paying as much as $130 for an "Upgrade" of Windows is just plain wrong.


One of the biggest mistakes Microsoft made over the years their policy of charging enormous prices for upgrades to Windows. This policy has stagnated the industry for decades as PC owners need to decide whether or not to pay for each upgrade. More often than not, they choose not to, which means that the majority of Windows owners are running outdated software.

By contrast, Apple's upgrades continue to be free.

While some may argue that Apple can justify giving MacOS upgrades for free, because unlike Microsoft, they rely on the sales of their Operating System as their primary source of income, but that's the wrong way to look at it. While it may be true that Microsoft makes the majority of their incom... [More]

Continue...Free Windows Upgrades For The Life of Your PC?...

What's Missing From Recovery Console?

The Recovery console is missing one critical feature, the ability to ACTUALLY recover YOUR files.


Windows PCs and Macs both have a feature that let you boot into a special Recovery Console, whenever your system has trouble. The idea behind the Recovery Console is to give the owner some options to fix their system.

Unfortunately, the Recovery Console doesn't always work, and you have no choice but to format the hard drive and reinstall the operating system. When that happens, you'd better have a backup, because the Recovery Console doesn't have any options to backup and recover YOUR files. That's pretty stupid!

Reinstalling the operating can be scary, especially without a backup of your own files, so what Apple and Microsoft need is an additional option that lets you back... [More]

Continue...What's Missing From Recovery Console?...

I wish Microsoft had a way to install Windows from the cloud.


Re-installing your OS on a fresh drive is so much easier on a Mac than on a Windows PC because Apple has the ability to install MacOS directly from the cloud, instead of fumbling around for either the original Windows CD or USB Flash Drive.

As a tech guy, this is something that drives me crazy, because whenever I need to replace a hard drive for a client, most of them don't even have the correct version of Windows on any media whatsoever. Since you can't use the Windows CD from another brand of PC, you waste your time trying to download it from the manufacturer (some don't even offer that), or buy a fresh copy of Windows.

I think Microsoft and PC makers should do what Apple does, create a way for the BIOS / Firm... [More]

Continue...Windows Should Have Cloud Based Installers, Like Apple...

Backup Windows System Folders

I WISH Windows had a way to keep backup copies of the Windows Boot Folders.


As a tech guy, people come to me all the time with their computer problems, and one of the most common problems is a system that won't boot because of a corrupt Windows system folder.

Wouldn't it be great if Microsoft kept a second copy of the entire Windows system folder from a snapshot taken when the system was working? The process would be pretty simple to implement. Basically, when you install a fresh copy of Windows, it creates two exact copies of the System folder. As you install new programs and drivers, those changes are only done to the "current" version.

If the system boots okay, those changes are then mirrored to the backup version, but if there is a problem, the system can boot from t... [More]

Continue...Backup Windows System Folders...

Mac vs Windows PC... Part 2

If you can't decide whether to get a Windows PC, or an Apple Mac... get the Mac. Here's why.


One of the most popular videos on my YouTube is about why I think a Mac is a better choice than a Windows PC. I received quite a lot of comments about that video, so I thought it would be a good idea to clarify my thoughts.

While the comments varied quite a bit, there were a quite a few people who were huge fans of Windows who wondered why I would want to run it on my Mac if I hated it so much. It's an interesting thought, but it's not accurate. I DO like Windows, and I DO run it every day, but I ALSO run a lot of Mac Apps and that's the essence of my point. I own a Mac because it is the only way I can (legally) run both Windows and Mac Apps on the same computer.

Simply stated... [More]

Continue...Mac vs Windows PC... Part 2...

I Wish Windows Updates Were Like Apple's

My MacOS is version 10.12.3. What's YOUR Windows version?


Microsoft and Apple have two entirely different ways to handle operating system versions and updates. Every time Apple updates iOS, MacOS, TVOS, and WatchOS, they update their version numbers to reflect the changes. This means that EVERY iPhone with version 10.2.1 has EXACTLY the same system files, and every MacOS version 10.2.3 has the same system files and capabilities.

This is particularly important for Application Developers. All they need to do is check the version number to know if their software is compatible, because they know every device with that particular version has the same capabilities and system files.

Microsoft on the other hand uses an altogether different approach to version numbers and update... [More]

Continue...I Wish Windows Updates Were Like Apple's...

A Hidden Windows Security Problem

One of the default settings in Windows is pretty dangerous.


Microsoft's default setting in their File Manager is to "HIDE the file extension of known types". While this sounds harmless, it's actually one of the most common sources of computer viruses, because it makes it hard to tell what kind of file you are actually opening.

Every file has an extension, and by now, most of us recognize the most common ones, such as:

.JPG for pictures
.PDF for printable documents
XLS and .XLSX for Microsoft Excel spreadsheets
.DOC and .DOCX for Microsoft Word files
.EXE for executable programs

Since those are "known types", Microsoft's default behavior is to "Hide" the extension. So a file called "FunnyCat.JPG" is shown simply as "FunnyCat". While that sounds harmless on the surf... [More]

Continue...A Hidden Windows Security Problem...

The 10 Cent Windows Solution

Why don't most Windows PC makers include a reinstallation CD in the box? It costs them pennies.


When a hard drive fails, it's a quick fix. A new drive costs about $50 - $100, and it takes seconds to install. You pop open the cover, unclip or unscrew the old drive, then plop in the new one and re-connect the cables. Easy peasy. Unfortunately, that's when your nightmare begins, because most PC manufacturers don't include the Windows reinstallation CD in the box, and without it, you can't restore your computer.

When you spend hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on a new PC, there's no excuse for the manufacturer to exclude the reinstallation discs in the box. It costs the manufacturer about 10 cents or less for the disc, and it saves the owner from the frustration of pay... [More]

Continue...The 10 Cent Windows Solution...

Why is a Mac More Secure Than a Windows PC?

If most Mac owners don't use an Anti-Virus, why do they have fewer viruses?


Billions of dollars are spent each year on Anti-Viruses and other Internet Security programs, yet almost none of it is from Apple Mac owners. Based on that, you might think that Macs would be less secure, but that's not the case. Even without anti-virus software, they rarely have to deal with viruses, malware, spyware, ransomware, trojans, and all sorts of nasty security problems.

While I can name quite a few reasons, there is one particular feature of a Mac that stands out above every other reason. There is a built-in feature in Apple's MacOS that specifically prevents you from installing programs from unknown publishers. Here's how it works.

When you buy a new Mac, the default setting in the s... [More]

Continue...Why is a Mac More Secure Than a Windows PC?...

The Print Screen Key... That Doesn't Print?

Shouldn't the PrintScreen Key... print the screen?


One of the most confusing things on a Windows PC is that stupid, Print Screen Key. People ask me about it all the time. It seems to just take up space, so why is it even there?

Ever since the first IBM PC in the early 80s, the keyboard has had a PrintScreen key. Back in those pre-Windows days, whenever you hit the key, the computer printed whatever was on the screen. It was pretty simple, and you didn't need to load any software to do it. It was built-in, so every DOS program could use it.

When you hit the Print Screen key in Windows, it doesn't print the screen, make any sounds, or even give you a message, so a lot of people assume it doesn't do anything at all, but what it actually does is COPY the screen to the CLIP... [More]

Continue...The Print Screen Key... That Doesn't Print?...

Why are File Searches So SLOW?

Why does it take so long to find a file... even when you know the name?


I'm a database guy, so it drives me crazy when it takes as much as 5 or 10 minutes to search for a file name on my computers. That's because most computers these days can have as many as a million or more files, and there is no real database storing all the filenames.

Because there's no built-in, always on database of filename, whenever you search for a file, the operating system needs to literally scan through each and every directory to find the file you're looking for. That's pretty crazy, considering how much larger today's hard drives are getting.

By contrast, if filenames were stored in a REAL database like SQL Server, you would be able to find any filename in a fraction of a second, even if the... [More]

Continue...Why are File Searches So SLOW?...

Better Software Subscription Ideas

The new trend in software is subscription based pricing, but is it right for everyone?


The software industry has changed quite a bit in the last few years. The biggest change is a shift from one price ownership to a monthly or annual subscription, which basically translates to software rentals.

Microsoft was one of the first companies to make the move, by giving customers two main pricing options, a one time price of $150 for one PC, or $99 per year for up to 5 PCs. The lower option for multiple PCs made the choice easier for households with multiple computers, giving Microsoft a good starting point for building their base of subscribers.

Around the same time, Adobe started selling their $2000 Creative Suite for an introductory price of just $49 per month. Like Microsoft,... [More]

Continue...Better Software Subscription Ideas...

What's a Microsoft Signature Edition PC?

Want to know how to get a Windows PC that doesn't SUCK? Get a Microsoft Signature Edition PC.


One of the most frustrating things about buying a new Windows PC is having to deal with all the bundled JUNK that comes with it. It doesn't matter what brand you buy. HP, Dell, Lenovo and just about every major brand today includes worthless programs that clutter your screen, and slow down your computer.

Unfortunately, most PC buyers are stuck with all that junk because they lack the skills to do anything about it. Even if they know how to uninstall programs, they can't tell which programs are safe to remove. For example, most of them come with a trial version of a major anti-virus, which they assume is essential, and they are warned they shouldn't remove them because they have a... [More]

Continue...What's a Microsoft Signature Edition PC?...

Standardized Windows Installer Discs

Why can't I use a Windows CD from a Dell on an HP and Vice Versa?


This has bugged me for years. If I have to replace a hard drive from an HP, Dell, or Lenovo, why must I somehow find the original HP, Dell, or Lenovo Windows Installation Disc? As it stands now, with most major brands whenever you need to reinstall Windows, you have to find a copy that matches the brand of your computer, or it will tell you it can't activate it with your serial number.

As long as it's the same version of Windows, you should be able to use ANY OEM Windows disc, regardless of the brand.


The problem was bad enough when each new PC at least came with a physical CD or DVD. Back then, you were told to put in a safe place, just in case you ever needed to reinstall Windows.

Unfortunately,... [More]

Continue...Standardized Windows Installer Discs...

What is ScareWare?

ScareWare is one of the biggest problems in the computer industry, but so many people have no idea what it is... or what to do about it.


If you're surfing the web, and all of a sudden a window pops up telling you that you've got some sort of problem or a virus on your computer, and it suggests that you click a button to remove it right away, what do you do?

When many people see a message like that, they immediately click the button to "remove" the problem. Unfortunately, they don't realize that the message is a complete fake. You don't actually have a virus. It's just "ScareWare", but if you are fooled into thinking it's real, and actually click the button to "fix" the problem, you are actually installing the real virus.

In some cases, they claim to be giving you a free... [More]

Continue...What is ScareWare?...

The ability to roll back and undo unwanted changes should be a built-in option on Windows and Mac.


Microsoft really, really, really wants you to run Windows 10.


Over a year ago, I created a post about why Microsoft should offer Windows Subscriptions, with free updates for life.. The main argument is that it's pointless for Microsoft to sell "upgrades" of Windows because the upgrade price wasn't worth it. To pay $100-$200 just to get the latest version of Windows was completely pointless.

As I mentioned last year, because of the high price to upgrade, most people stick with the version that came with their PC, until they get a new one. Because so few people have the latest version, there is little incentive for software and hardware companies to release products specifically designed for the newest versions of... [More]

Continue...Microsoft Shouldn't Force Windows 10 Down Your Throat...

Windows Remote Desktop Needs Improvements

Microsoft's Remote Desktop is a pain in the neck to use.


I hate the fact that Microsoft's Remote Desktop doesn't actually let you access your desktop from a REMOTE location. An even bigger problem is the fact that the majority of Windows PCs don't even have remote desktop software installed. There was a time when every version of Windows include remote desktop software, but for some reason Microsoft decided they would only include this feature in their more expensive versions of Windows.

What's even more frustrating is the fact that even the versions that include Remote Desktop don't have any functionality to let you FIND the address of your computer, which basically means that unless you're in the same building as your PC, chances are you won't be able to connect to it unle... [More]

Continue...Windows Remote Desktop Needs Improvements...

Can't get your team on the same page? Why not start by sharing a monitor?


It's not easy getting a team to work together. The larger the team, the harder it is for people to fully communicate ideas. Because of this, anything that improves communication is guaranteed to increase productivity.

My idea is to have shared second monitors, which means that each team member would have a second monitor that is shared, in real-time with everyone else on the team.

The second monitor could be centrally located on a large screen... or mirrored on individual monitors at each team member's desk. You would work with it just like a second monitor, except that whenever somebody interacts with it, everyone on the team sees it.

To make it happen, the each computer would have a virtual m... [More]

Continue...Shared Second Monitors. A New Spin On Collaborative Computing....

Install Windows From OneDrive (Cloud)

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There should be a way to install (or re-install) Windows from the cloud.


One of the my favorite things about the Mac is how you can install a brand new hard drive and install the entire system from the cloud. There's no need to find the original CDs, or even a USB drive. The firmware has everything it needs to download and install the entire operating system. All you need is an Internet connection. Why can't Windows do the same thing?

The concept is pretty simple. By adding simple networking to the firmware / BIOS of Windows PCs, even a system with a brand new hard drive should be able to connect to a server to download the Windows Installer that matches whichever version you use.

The main problem for Microsoft is financial. They want to be sure people download the

... [More]

Continue...Install Windows From OneDrive (Cloud)...

Microsoft Office Should Be Licensed By Activity

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A lot of people are paying for Office licenses that they rarely use.


For consumers and small companies, there are two ways to buy Microsoft Office. You can pay $150 and install Office on one computer, or pay a $100 annual fee and install it on up to 5 computers.

A lot of people who have a laptop and a desktop select the 5 computer license because paying $100 to install it on both is cheaper than paying $300 to get 2 copies, but in reality, they're overpaying, because chances are, they're only using it on one computer at any given time.

Big companies pay for Microsoft licenses based on the number of simultaneous users, but they don't offer that option for consumers and small businesses.


The corporate licensing model makes a lot of sense, because you are only paying... [More]

Continue...Microsoft Office Should Be Licensed By Activity...

Linkable Screens

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Computers with multiple monitors are pretty common, but you never see TVs linked together in a living room.


Connecting multiple monitors to a computer is relatively easy, but if your computer doesn't have the ability to plug in additional monitor, you need to use unreliable USB adapters that can be sluggish.

A more universal solution is to build monitors and TVs that can be linked together. You would simply plug one computer into your computer or cable converter, and then link additional screens to the first one using a wireless connection or another cable.

Your cable TV box or your computer would see your linked screens as one screen with a much higher resolution. So, two side by side 1920x1080 screens would look like one 3840x1080 screen... or if they are stacked top to... [More]

Continue...Linkable Screens...

Split Plane Side By Side Browsers

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Wide screens + narrow web pages = side by side browsing.


Just about every screen sold today has a wide screen. It's nearly impossible finding a TV or computer monitor that still has the old 4:3 square aspect ratio, so why not make a browser that actually takes advantage of the extra width by letting you view two web sites at the same time.

Although some web sites are look decent when you extend your browser window to it's widest size, most are still optimized for narrow screens. In fact, because of mobile devices, just about every web site today looks great even when the browser is squeezed into a very narrow space.

I love using browser tabs, but there are a lot of times when I'd rather have two browser windows side by side, so I can see them both at the same time. While... [More]

Continue...Split Plane Side By Side Browsers...

Windows Should Always Show Filename Extensions

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One of the biggest security flaws in Microsoft Windows is the caused by hiding file extensions.


Viruses spread when people accidentally run malicious programs that they thought were harmless non-executable media files, such as photos, videos, or music files.

Normally you can tell what a file is by it's extension, for example:

Most photo file names end with .JPG or .PNG.
Most video file names end with .MOV, .MP4, .M4V, or .AVI
Most music file names end with .MP3, .AAC, or .WAV

Unfortunately the default setting in Windows is configured to HIDE file extensions for known file types. This means you don't actually see the file extension, so you won't know if the file you're about to click is an executable program.


It's vital that people know WHAT a file is before t... [More]

Continue...Windows Should Always Show Filename Extensions...
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You will never find a more wretched hive of scum an villainy than inside the web browser on your computer.


As a tech guy, I get calls every day from people telling me their computer isn't working the way it should. More often than not, the problems are related to something that hijacked their web browser by adding either an extension, plug-in, or a toolbar.

Even when the problem has nothing to do with a virus, all those extensions, plug-ins and toolbars cause countless problems. The trouble is, typical computers are loaded with them and most people don't release how useless, if not harmful they are.

In the photo at the top of this post you'll see an actual screen capture of the extensions settings from my own web browser. The point is... there are no extensions, because... [More]

Continue...Browsers Without Extensions, Plug-ins, or Toolbars...

Multiple Boot Folders

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It's frustrating when a Windows PC won't boot.


I can't tell you how often clients contact me with a computer that won't boot. It's frustrating because in many cases, the only thing wrong with the computer is a missing or corrupt file in the Windows boot folder. It's a real mess. Not only can't you boot the computer, but you have no way to know which files are missing, deleted, or damaged.

Microsoft has some utilities that attempt to repair damaged boot files, but more often than not, they don't work. Most of the time, the only option is to do a complete re-installation, which normally means you lose everything on your drive.

One solution is for Windows to install multiple boot folders, each one with a fully functional copy of the operating system. Unlike the Recovery Pa... [More]

Continue...Multiple Boot Folders...
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Why is Windows so bloated?


Since I mainly use a Mac, I don't have ANY documents, photos, music or videos stored on my Documents folders on my Windows systems, yet my boot drive is reporting that it's using over 62 GB of data.

Each day, it keeps growing and growing, even though I never add any new programs or data.

Since I rarely install programs, and I don't have any data stored on my Windows systems, you may be wondering why it takes up so much space. It's because the c:\Windows folder takes up almost 50GB. That's 50 GB just for the operating system. That's crazy.

The reason for this is that every time Microsoft does a software update, it downloads the update to your computer in compressed form... after it archives the older versions, it expands the compressed downlo... [More]

Continue...Windows Updater Files Should Remain In The Cloud. They Take Up Too Much Space!...
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What were they thinking?


As a tech guy, there are many times when the only way to fix a client's computer is to boot in Safe Mode. Safe Mode is a feature that disables most startup items and special effects, giving you a chance to at least access to things like the Control Panel, so you can fix problems.

Getting into Safe Mode has always been very easy. All you need to do is hit the F8 button right after you turn the computer on, and it bypasses the regular startup. The only hard thing was making sure you hit the F8 before Windows starts the regular boot sequence, or you'll have to start over.

For technical reasons, the newer versions of Windows no longer use the F8 key to enter Safe Mode. They didn't get rid of Safe Mode, but they did eliminate the F8 Hot Key.

In

... [More]

Continue...Microsoft Should Bring Back The Safe Mode Hot Key....

Windows Should Include a Spreadsheet

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Why is Microsoft always two steps behind Apple?


Although many people don't use spreadsheets or word processing programs enough to justify the purchase price of Microsoft office, they may need to use one once in a while.

Microsoft does include a simple word processor called WordPad that can handle most word processing, but for some reason, they still don't include a spreadsheet program.

Apple includes a full featured suite of productivity programs with OS X but Microsoft still doesn't see the value. While some people debate whether it's better than Microsoft Office or not, the fact is, they include it for free, and it does include "Pages", "Numbers", and "Keynote", which are powerful word processor, spreadsheet, and slideshow programs.

Because Microsoft earns quite a lot... [More]

Continue...Windows Should Include a Spreadsheet...
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More often than not, the Recovery Partition is useless.


As a tech guy, people often come to me when their computers start acting up. Most of the time, I can fix their problems by removing a few programs and adjusting some settings. However, sometimes the problem simply can't be fixed that way, so the best solution is to simply wipe the computer clean and put everything back to the factory settings.

Sounds easy enough. After all, most Windows computers today have a Recovery Partition that is specifically designed to put everything back to the way it was from the factory.

Once I determine that they need to do a factory reset, my first question is always the same "When was your last backup?"

Sadly, the answer is always the same "I never back up."

That's when things ge... [More]

Continue...A Recovery Partition With Backup Options...
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Yes. I realize Windows already does automatic updates, but it's incomplete, and sloppy.


As a tech guy, it bugs me when I come across a Windows program that has a bloated and complicated installer that needs to install all sorts of runtime packages before it runs. There's no reason for this, especially when the system is running the latest version of Windows. Those runtimes should've been baked in from day one.

Windows is complex. Each program could potentially require a variety of technologies that may, or may not be built into the version of Windows you are running, so before you can run a new program, it's up to the installer program to determine if it needs to install additional runtimes. This could include various versions of the .Net Framework, Silverlight, or C++ lib... [More]

Continue...Windows Runtimes Should Be Built-In... and Automatically Update...
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Yes... it's true. They're finally making some Windows PCs that don't suck, but you need to know how to get one.


Until recently, if you told me you saw BigFoot coming out of a store, holding a new Windows PC that didn't suck, I'd have an easier time believing that you saw BigFoot than actually believing he was holding a new Windows PC that didn't suck. After all, every new Windows PC I've seen for at least 20 years has sucked, so why would I think otherwise.

As it turns out, a good friend of mine actually saw one. At first, I didn't believe him. But when I did my homework, it turns out he was right. It wasn't BigFoot, but it was actually a way to get a Windows PC that doesn't suck.

There is actually a way to get a Windows PC that doesn't suck... From Microsoft. Yes,

... [More]

Continue...How to finally get a Windows PC that doesn't suck!...
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Have you noticed that your Windows folders keep growing and growing? Blame Microsoft for that.


I'm venting again.

I remember the days before Windows, when the operating system was lean and mean. Back then, computers had very little disk space and even less RAM, so it was critical that the operating system be as small as possible. As memory, speed and disk space increased, companies like Microsoft have given up on efficiency and operating systems like Windows have become a bloated mess.

I've got several issues with Windows Bloat, but I'll focus on just one thing today... the way they handle temp files when doing updates. Here's what happens, step by step:


1. With every new update, your system downloads newer versions of many of the files in your system. That so... [More]

Continue...Microsoft Should Delete Temp Files After Every Update....
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Believe it or not, if Microsoft offered a strip down version of Office, there would be a lot fewer viruses.


As strange as that may sound, it's true. Let me explain.

The vast majority of people buy Microsoft Office users for two tasks... Spreadsheets and Word Processing. Deep down, that's all they need. In fact, to many people, that's all they think Microsoft Office is, Word and Excel.

The problem with Microsoft Office isn't just that they bundle these two essential programs with a bunch of other programs that most people never use. The bigger problem is that, Word and Excel are bloated with hundreds of features that slow them down, complicate the menus, and even make them unsafe.

The most dangerous problem is allowing Office Documents to contain and execute hidden

... [More]

Continue...Microsoft Office - Basic Edition - Safer. Easier. Cheaper....
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Only a very small percentage of all PC users have the latest versions of Windows.


Microsoft didn't become the world's biggest software company by offering Windows for free, but their upgrades are excessively expensive. The cost of an upgrade can be as much as $200, almost as expensive as a low end laptop or Chromebook.

As a result of the high price to upgrade... most people simply stick with the version that came with their PC, until they get a new one. That's why there are more PC users using Windows XP than Windows 8.


Because so few people have the latest version, there is little incentive for software and hardware companies to release products specifically designed for the newest versions of Windows.

I think an easy solution is to consider a subscription model.... [More]

Continue...Windows Subscriptions. Free Upgrades For The Life of Your PC...
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Microsoft Office has been available on the Mac since the 80s. Somehow, they still don't include Publisher.


Desktop publishing started on the Mac, so you understand why Microsoft didn't think Mac users would want to use Microsoft Publisher, their low end desktop publishing program. I think they are missing the bigger picture. Lack of Mac support killed Publisher's acceptance in both the Mac and Windows marketplace.

To justify the fact that Office For Mac doesn't include Publisher, Microsoft likes to point out that the latest version of Word includes desktop publishing features. The trouble is, although those features can do a lot of the things Publisher does, it doesn't read or write Publisher files.

So, if you design something on a Windows PC, then try to open it on a M... [More]

Continue...Microsoft Should Support Publisher Files on The Mac...
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If your laptop or desktop acted more like an iPad or Chromebook, you would never get a virus. Really? Yes.


The reason I write about this topic so often is that so many people contact me with computer problems related to crashes, unwanted popup ads, spyware, ransomware, malware, viruses, trojan horses and all sorts of horrible attacks on their computers that they can't seem to get rid of.

There are many ways to avoid this kind of problem, but most people simply don't have any idea what to do to prevent it, or how to clean up the mess when it happens.

What amazes me is that the problem is getting worse, much worse, and the stakes are getting higher. Today's attackers are not just a nuisance, but they are looking for ways to make money, at your expense. In some cases, by e... [More]

Continue...Cloud Only Mode For Windows and Mac. Nothing Is Saved Local....

A Firewall... for SOFTWARE.

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Why are there no firewalls for software on regular computers?


I've had a computer since the 70s, and I've seen so many people lose all their family photos, videos and other important files because they were too inexperienced to know when they were installing a malicious program.

I can't blame them. As doctors, lawyers, and business executives, they were all very intelligent people, but time and time again, they would come to me to help them get their files back. The reason they were victims of these kinds of software attacks was because they never imagined that the programs they were running were specifically designed to destroy their files, and in some cases steal information or money.

Don't most computers already have a Firewall?


No. What most computers have is... [More]

Continue...A Firewall... for SOFTWARE....
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Before tabbed browsers were first introduced in the late 90s, our desktops were filled with dozens of windows. Why don't we see tabs in other mainstream places, like Office and the desktop itself?


Before you read any further, look at the top of your browser. If you're like most people, you most likely have at least 4 tabs open in your browser. This window, your email, Facebook and / or Twitter, and possibly a blog or two. Could you imagine going back to the days before tabbed browsers, when each of those windows took up a separate space on the desktop?

But when we open more than one document in Excel or Microsoft Word... we don't have tabs there too? It's a pain in the neck moving from document to document in Office without tabs. Sure, they have tabs at the bottom of an... [More]

Continue...Tabbed Documents in Microsoft Office, Tabbed Desktops in Windows and Mac OSX...
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Client: I can't figure out how to turn on Remote Desktop? Me: That's because your version doesn't have it.


I can't tell you how many people ask me questions like that. Once again today's idea of the day is about something that bugs me.

Starting with Windows XP, Microsoft decided to release more than one version of Windows at different price points, with certain key features removed at the lower prices. This bone headed idea started with the idea that corporate users had different needs than home users, so they should have a different version. Sounds reasonable, but then again... it still sounds bone headed to me.

Here's why.

They took that simple premise and totally confused consumers. Over the years they cranked out confusing names like versions called Media Editi... [More]

Continue...Microsoft Should Release Just One Version of Windows...
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It bugs me that I need to buy third party software to access Windows drives on my Mac and vice versa.


Here's the issue in a nutshell.

If you own a Mac or share portable drives with somebody who has one, you need to buy third party software to fully access the drive. To me, that's pretty strange. It's not like there isn't a need for such a feature. Apple and Microsoft just don't want to pay a license fee to cross license their file systems. How petty.

Back in the old days, there was a happy medium. You could format your portable device using and extended version of Microsoft's older FAT, like FAT32 of exFAT. Both systems can read and write to disks in this format, but as portable drives got bigger, people like me stopped using it because it's not as robust or fault tol... [More]

Continue...Apple and Microsoft Need Better Support for Sharing Portable Drives....

Session Undo. Groundhog Day For Your Computer.

LARGE-137

Can I use your computer?


For many people, that's one of the scariest questions since cavemen first asked... "Does that tiger bite?"

Put it this way, even if you restrict access to your private files, there's a strong chance that giving access to your computer to a stranger, or even a close friend or family member can lead to more trouble than it's worth.

An inexperienced user may accidentally change settings, install unwanted programs, and even completely crash your system by moving or deleting system files.

Apple has a great "Guest Login" option, that pretty much gives your guest access to the Internet and not much else. I applaud them for that, because for many guests, that's all they need. However, some guests may require access to other programs and features. That... [More]

Continue...Session Undo. Groundhog Day For Your Computer....
LARGE-107

Have you noticed that there are now more programs available on Macs, iPhones and iPads than Microsoft? Here's one reason.


I'm venting again.

I've been writing software since 1979. In that time, I've paid tons of money to buy tools to write programs that run on DOS and Windows. The current price for writing programs using Visual Studio Pro is $499. Meanwhile, Apple gives away the software needed to write programs that run on iPhones, iPads and Macs.

When the iPhone came out, the ability to not only write programs, but have them made available in Apple's App Store was revolutionary. Suddenly, countless independent developers started to write software to run on Apple products.

Since the tools for writing iOS for devices (iPhone and iPad) and OSX (Mac) are FREE, ther

... [More]

Continue...Hey Microsoft, why do you still charge a fortune for programming tools... when Apple's are FREE? ...

How Microsoft can stop viruses forever.

LARGE-86 Every computer I've been asked to clean up has one of the mainstream Anti-Viruses installed. It doesn't seem to matter if it's McAfee, Norton, Kaspersky, AVG, Avast, Microsoft, MalwareBytes, or anything else. People still get viruses, regardless of the brand of Anti-Virus they use.

What bothers me most is that there are some very easy things Microsoft can do to virtually eliminate the need for an Anti-Virus.

Time and time again, Microsoft has used the wrong strategy to combat the threats. Here's what they need to do:

1. Follow Apple's lead by preventing programs from being installed by untrusted publishers by default.


Apple completely controls 100% of the programs that could be installed on iPhones and iPads. Simply stated, unless a program is installed from the App S... [More]

Continue...How Microsoft can stop viruses forever....

Top 25 Posts


* Note: The ideas on "Idea of the Day" were posted without any formal research into existing inventions.

In some cases, patents may already exist for these ideas, in other cases, there may not be any existing patents and you are free to develop and explore the viability of developing and patenting the ideas.

The authors make no claim that any of the ideas are safe, practical, or suitable for any particular purpose. You are responsible for the results of trying, developing, patenting or using any of the ideas on this site.

For some people, our ideas are just an interesting read, but our goal is to encourage you to take action. If you see an idea that you like, do something with it... Take action.


- Joe
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