Browsing Posts in Windows 8

Spring is upon us!  And that means…stay indoors, avoid the sun, and read up on technical stuff!

And of course Microsoft is there to make sure you don’t catch any of those pesky UV rays.

How so?  Why, by making a ton of technical eBooks on all aspects Microsoft available and free for the download.

SharePoint?  Check.  SQL?  Got it.  Azure?  Even so.  And it’s a combination of the latest versions (Windows Server 2012) as well as the more popular versions (Server 2008 R2).

Did I mention they’re free?

Click here, and thank Microsoft for helping you keep that tan-free body of yours as pasty as possible!

Windows TabletMicrosoft loves to name things and do it in a way that confuses the heck out of people (how do you shut your computer down?  First click on the button labelled “Start”).

Key Microsoft confusion this month?  Regarding Windows Tablets.  The terms “Surface,” “Pro,” and “RT.”

Here’s the simple explanation:

  • Surface:               A product line of Windows Tablets manufactured by Microsoft.
  • Windows Pro:    An edition of Windows that has full functionality.
  • Windows RT:      An edition of Windows, exclusively on Tablets, that has limited functionality.

So Dell makes Windows Pro Tablets and Windows RT Tablets.  But they can’t make a Windows Surface Tablet.

And Microsoft makes a Windows Surface Pro Tablet and a Windows Surface RT Tablet.

A Windows Tablet has the hardware capacity to be either Pro or RT.  Can’t do both.

Thank you Microsoft.

Once again, as he has done at the beginning of every year, Simplex-IT’s Bob Coppedge dusted off his magical crystal ball and peered into the future. Nearly 30 attendees of our January Lunchinar listened as he discussed his prognostications of the emerging IT technologies  he believes will have an impact on small-to-medium businesses in the coming year.

We are pleased to report that presentation is now available on our YouTube channel for you to enjoy from the privacy and comfort of your office.  Just click on the thumbnail below, kick up your feet and take a magic carpet ride with Bob. It’ll be just like you were there – except you won’t get to enjoy the free lunch! Enjoy!

Microsoft Store in BeachwoodBack in October, Microsoft opened a store (a kiosk on steroids, really) in Beachwood Place.  At the time it was identified as a temporary seasonal store.

Well, no longer (thanks to Jim Evans who pointed this out on Facebook).  Microsoft announced back on December 26th plans for opening full retail stores in six locations.

And you guessed it (or you figured it out from the title).  One of them is at Beachwood Place, replacing the “pop-up” store currently in place.

Later this month Microsoft is scheduled to be releasing their follow up to the Surface RT tablet.  The new tablet, named the Surface Pro, will feature a full Windows 8 Pro capacity.

Bob Talking Surface!Back on 8 December I had the fun experience of talking about Microsoft’s new Surface tablets at the GCPCUG monthly meeting.  Since the topic of the whole meeting was holiday gift ideas, folks wanted to know how the Surface stacked up as a stocking stuffer (ok, big stocking).

It does seem that whenever I talk about Windows 8, especially tablets, there are a few questions that always seem to come up.  Microsoft (I know this will come as a shock) seems to have a bit of difficulty effectively branding and communicating their product lines to the rest of us out here.

As I expected, these questions were brought up by interested folks:

  1. Is there a difference between a Windows 8 tablet and a Surface Tablet?
  2. Why did Microsoft make the change to the interface for my new laptop?  What did I ever do to them?
  3. When more than 2 people with Microsoft Surface Tablets get together, do they immediately start dancing and swapping their keyboards?

And the answers:

  1. Microsoft decided to make their own line of tablets running Windows 8.  They’re called Surface.  There are two versions, the Surface RT (running Windows RT) and the Surface Pro (running full Windows 8 Pro, not released yet).  But other manufacturers (Dell, Asus to name a couple) make their own tablets running Windows 8.
  2. The main reason is so the interface is the same, no matter what device (mobile phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, even server) you’re using.  Ok, you got me.  The real reason?  They don’t like you.  They never did.  Thanks for ruining it for the rest of us.
  3. Yes.  And that’s why whenever I see somebody get out a Surface tablet and I’ve got mine, I run away screaming.


With Christmas right around the corner and the suspicion that a lot of people may be going into withdrawal because Windows 8 that comes on their new computer lacks a Start menu, I thought this article might be of some help.

Much has been said and written about Windows 8 lack of a Start menu. Greg Schultz, in his Tech Republic blog (you can read the entire post HERE) gives a host of tips on how to navigate the new interface – using the mouse or the keyboard. If you really, really want to have a Start menu, he even points you to a few 3rd party replacement options (a couple he mentions are FREE!).

You’ll find several other links at the bottom of his post that will point you to Tips for Navigating Windows 8 With Your Mouse and How to Customize Tiles on the Start Screen.

And, if you’re hungry for even more, you’ll find a link where you can sign up for Tech Republic’s Windows and Office newsletter. That’s something that could come in handy when you’re trying to figure out that new computer Santa brought!

Bob here.  We’ve said it before, but we want to say it again:

Microsoft has programs through the end of the year that can save you over 15% of your software cost.  As we’ve said many times, Nov-Dec and May-June are the best times of the year to be purchasing Microsoft software.

But you need to act now to take advantage of it!  And we can help you determine the best program for you and your organization.

Whether you’re looking to:

  • Migrate your email to the cloud (Office 365)
  • Implement video conferencing through Lync (Office 365)
  • Upgrade your servers to Server 2008 or 2012
  • Upgrade your workstations to Office 2010 (get ready for Office 2013!)
  • Upgrade your workstations to Windows 7 (get ready for Windows 8!)
  • SharePoint 2013
  • SQL 2012

Between the Big Easy and other promotions, Microsoft has specials that can save you a chunk of change.  Think Microsoft licensing is tough?  Well, so do we<g>.  But we’ll help you through it.  Contact John here or call at 234.380.1277.

Microsoft Store in Beachwood

Can you spot the Logo?

Bob here.  Ok, the Microsoft store is now open.  And by open, I mean waaaaay open.  As in open in the middle of the floor of the mall open.

My wife and I visited the new Microsoft store in Beachwood Mall last weekend, just after it opened.  And it was packed, both with Microsoft folks and people interested in the new Surface RT tablet.  At least a dozen Surface RT tablets were available for test drives.

Yup, they had them in stock (I bought one), and the staff was pretty knowledgeable and not pushy.  Definitely more interested in me trying one out than in me buying one.

And right now, the focus is 100% on the Surface RT tablet.  No Xbox.  No regular laptops or desktops.  And the Surface Pro tablet isn’t due out for another month or two.

As we’ve mentioned, the store is slated as temporary for the holidays.  More permanent stores are planned by Microsoft, but the only one planned for Ohio is in Cincinnati.


Simplex-IT is happy to announce our October 2012 Lunchinar – “Intro to Windows 8!” – is now available for viewing on our YouTube channel. For your convenience, you can click on the thumbnail below and view the entire presentation through this blog post.

During the presentation, our own Bob Coppedge and Kevin Dutkiewicz review some of the more notable features of the latest new operating system to come out of Redmond. At the same time, they touch upon how Office 2013 and Office 365 Cloud Services are being tightly integrated into a platform that seems destined to propel office productivity to new levels.

And, of course, the impact of the new Windows 8 on the latest generation of tablets, led by the Microsoft Slate, will be discussed as well.

Join us for this entertaining and informative look at Windows 8: the new normal in operating systems for every device you own!

We hope you enjoy it!

Office 2013 announcementBob here.  We’ve been blogging about it, demoing it, talking about it at Lunchinars.

Microsoft is going to be rolling out a lot of stuff in the near future.  And changes, they are a-comin’.

The latest is Microsoft’s Office 2013, which just went RTM.  This (Release To Manufacturing) means that the coding and testing are done, now it’s time to get ready to deploy the product.

Well, sorta.  It depends on your current relationship with Microsoft.  If your organization has software assurance (which gives you access to the latest version of the software without additional cost) you’ll be able to get Office 2013 mid-November.

That’s the same timeframe as MSDN and TechNet subscribers.

The general release date hasn’t been specifically identified, but it’s expected to be mid-first quarter 2013.

Need Office sooner than that?  If you buy Office 2010 from resellers you’ll get the new Office when it becomes generally available at no additional charge.  I’m not sure whether that includes OEM copies (which are included with the purchase of a PC or laptop).

What about tablets?  Well, the new Windows RT tablets are slated to be released later this month (October 26th to be specific, same date as Microsoft’s Beachwood store opens).  They’ll actually come bundled with the RT version of Office 2013.  Initially it’ll be the Preview version, but that will be updated automatically to the final edition once it’s released.

Office 2013 RT, as we’ve explained before, will include Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.  However there are several features (macros, add-ins to name a couple) that won’t work on the Windows RT hardware.

Office 365 will start pushing out new features incorporating Office 2013 tools as soon as mid-November.

Windows 8.  Windows Tablets.  Office 2013.  SharePoint 2013.