Browsing Posts tagged Windows 8

OK, so maybe you’re using an earlier version of Microsoft’s venerable suite of Office applications and thinking about upgrading (special note: Office 2003 reaches its official “End of Support” soon, in April 2014). And you’re wondering what new features the latest version of Office 2013 offers that will make your life easier and more productive. Or maybe you have the latest version of Office and you want to find an easy way to explore its new features. Either way, I think I have what you’re looking for.

One of my favorite websites, MakeUseOf ( regularly amazes me with postings of all kinds of helpful information. A recent one I discovered is their “Office 2013 Guide and Review,” a collection of new features that are being introduced in all the Office apps – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, SkyDrive, etc. Even if you already have Office 2013 on your computer, I’m willing to bet you can find some bits and pieces in this downloadable guide that you weren’t even aware existed!

Go to for a downloadable guide you can save for reference in the days and weeks ahead.

And if you haven’t yet been exposed to the newest Microsoft Windows operating system, there’s a really good “Getting Started Guide to Windows 8” that should help you out. Just go to


We’ve been hearing a lot about Windows 8, Microsoft’s latest operating system, since its introduction last fall. And you’re going to be hearing a lot more about it, too, now that Microsoft has announced its plans for Windows 8.1, codenamed Windows Blue. Scheduled for release sometime before the end of this year (read before Christmas), Windows 8.1 will be a free upgrade to current Windows 8 owners.

The radical overhaul of Microsoft’s ubiquitous operating system has clearly “befuddled as many people as it has impressed,” according to a report by Michael Lledtke of the Associated Press. Many of the changes and updates in Windows 8.1 are designed to address those challenges.

Complaints notwithstanding, however, Brad Chacos states in a recent article in CIO magazine that there are at least 12 ways Windows 8 dominates the OS competition. He cites:
1) A vast software library
2) Backward compatibility
3) Games
4) Stellar syncing
5) IE, the native web browser
6) Browser security
7) Widespread peripheral compatibility
8) Multiple monitor support
9) System search
10) Multitasking
11) And my favorite, the new-car smell!

Ok, I know, that’s only 11. Did I miss one somewhere? I don’t think so. Check out the article yourself and see. But to keep the title accurate I’m going to add my own #12 item…Windows is still the dominant OS in the world, especially in the world of business. And that’s not likely to change any time soon.

As the world changes to a more mobile computing environment with tablets, laptops and mobile devices, the new Windows has been designed to be equally accessible across all of them. In the long run, Microsoft is betting that’s the approach that will pay off.

Only time will tell.

By now, you’ve heard at least something about the newest Microsoft operating system, Windows 8. This post is aimed at those who would like to know more!

First, I’ve discovered a great one-page resource that provides nearly a hundred informational links that cover such topics as:

  • What’s New in Windows 8 and why should I care?
  • Will Windows 8 work in my environment? How do I prepare?
  • How can I make deployment faster and easier?
  • How do I manage risk and maintain control?
  • Where can I find help and support?

Oh, and it’s free! To get your own Resource Guide for Windows 8, click here.

And if you’d like to get a 90-day trial of Windows 8 to test drive, click here.

Additional questions? That’s easy – call Simplex-IT at 234.380.1277! We’re always happy to help.

On April 8, 2014, official support for Microsoft’s highly successful XP operating system will end. As business and IT professionals, I’m going to suggest you spend a little time thinking about what this is going to mean for your organization – if you haven’t done so already.

In May, 2012, IDC (International Data Corporation) authored a White Paper with the above title, strongly suggesting that moving to a modern operating system like Windows 7, or even Windows 8, would be a smart idea from several perspectives, not the least of which is financial. As the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets, it’s fair to say they bring a lot of expertise to the table.

You can download the IDC White Paper here. Or, if you prefer, you can choose to watch a 15-minute video presentation by the paper’s author, Al Hillen, by clicking

To research how staying with Windows XP might financially impact YOUR organization, you can create and share your own free custom analysis here: In less than 2 minutes you can generate a free custom report tailored to your organization’s unique requirements.

Of course, when you’re ready to set your upgrade plans into motion, give Simplex-IT a call. We can help walk you through all the licensing options that are available and make the whole process much smoother.

That’s why we’re here!

The Ohio Society of CPAs has announced they will be hosting our own Bob Coppedge at their upcoming Akron CPE Day: Spring Conference on June 6, 2013. The conference is designed for CPAs, Managers and Controllers employed by private companies and explores diverse topics important to CPAs and other professional in the corporate arena, such as A&A, Tax, Management and Business trends.

Bob will be presenting two separate presentations which should be of general interest to everyone attending the event. They are TECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Tablets, Windows 8 and More!  and IT Trends in 2013. As is Bob’s typical style, both presentations will be geared to a general, non-technical audience and are designed to inform in a non-intimidating, entertaining and interactive manner.

If you would like more information on the Akron CPE Day: Spring Conference you can go to the Ohio Society of CPAs website For more information on Simplex-IT, of course, go to

If you haven’t noticed, the PC marketplace is changing. Desktop PCs with a Windows operating system are no longer king of the hill. Smartphones and tablets are the new ‘talk of the town’ and Ultrabooks are emerging as the sweetheart in the world of laptops.

Add to this mix the recent release of Windows 8 and the new Microsoft tablets, the Surface RT and the Surface Pro, and speculation is rampant on how the computing landscape is changing. The ‘Computer Games of 2013’ are off with a bang!

A February 5, 2013 article on titled “Surface Drumming Up More Demand with Global Mobile Workforce” by Rachel King is painting a bright future for Windows tablets with global information workers. Based on findings from Forrester Research’s second annual “Forrsights Workforce Employee Survey,” the report describes an employee of the mobile workforce as “someone working from multiple locations and using three or more devices for work.” It states that “29 percent of the global workforce now fits this description, up from 23 percent in 2011.” Working anywhere at any time is indeed “the new normal.”

The report goes on to report that 32 percent of respondents replied they would like a Windows tablet for their next work tablet. Applying the numbers, that suggests there is a potential for 200 million Windows tablets to be sold. This should be very good news for Microsoft.

On the other hand, the report is especially optimistic for the iPhone, suggesting 33 percent said it would be their next work phone, up from 16 percent who are using the iOS handheld now.

Let the games begin!

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!