There's more to Microsoft than Office 365

With all the bad news out there regarding Internet security, scams, and hacking, some of the "good stuff" gets left behind. This month, we're highlighting several of the "other" Microsoft products and services available through The Computing Center.

Most of us know about Windows 10 and Office 365, and rely on them daily.

But I’m here to tell you there’s a lot more going on at Microsoft.

Packed inside of Windows 10, packaged up with other offerings or simply available as standalone products, there’s a ton of business productivity just waiting to be unleashed on your business.

Recently I visited the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond for a tour with its crew of Small Business Ambassadors (I’m one of them). I discovered that Microsoft is innovating all over the place. Here are 10 highly useful Microsoft products and features that if you are not aware of, I suggest you explore:

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Windows Vista End of Life

 

Are you using Windows Vista, or know anyone who is still using this operating system?  The end is here. It's time - really! And with all the various security issues that we deal with daily, going bare is NOT an option.  


Windows Vista's lifecycle comes to an end on April 11, 2017. This date is the end of extended support and end of life.1 We strongly recommend that you upgrade or replace any personal and business Windows Vista machines to Windows 10.  

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Improve your eMails

Every day we see emails that we wish we could rewrite or not be included because of  a "reply all".  Read on for some tips on how to make your emails look more professional, more to the point, and increase the likelihood that they will be read.

Every day, inboxes are packed with more than one billion emails. For small businesses, the challenge to set yourself apart and establish what your business represents in a single email can feel daunting, but it’s easier than you think.

Follow these five simple—yet highly effective—strategies to convert the customer, close the sale, build your brand and continue to build your small business through effective use of business email.

  1. Create a custom email address for your business—Show you mean business, and get taken seriously with aproperly formatted email address. If you use your personal email, you’re not communicating all the potential your business has to offer. Instead, format your email asyourname@yourcompany.com.

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Microsoft Windows 95 - 20 Years Later

Twenty years ago, on August 24, 1995 Microsoft Windows 95 hit the market. It was perhaps the biggest Windows release of them all. This was the first Windows release that REALLY worked and worked well.  In many ways. it caught Microsoft up with what Apple had been doing for almost 10 years before. 

Windows 95— August 24,1995

When it came out, we were quite skeptical.  A number of our clients were very happy with Window 3.1 and didn't really want to change.  But Windows 95 was a lot faster and it wasn't long before many of the applications companies were rewriting their code to operate on their 32 bit platform. So somewhat grudgingly, we started seeing the move away from the older versions of Windows and those who were even further back still using MS-DOS (remember that).  So with WIndows 95, the vast majority of Microsoft users were finally brought into the graphical world.  

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Using Location Services Safely

Editors's Note - We speak with clients and friends all the time about their smartphones and tablets regarding the data on them and what might happen to important information should that device be lost or stolen.  In addition, it's possible that your phone may be giving away your location unbeknownst to you.  Something to think about.

Does your phone know where you are? If you've used your phone to find directions or locate a nearby restaurant, you've used its global positioning system (GPS) and it's likely that it would be able to pinpoint your location within a close range.

Location services can be convenient for automatically adding location information (geotags) to photos. Some people also use location services to post their locations to social networking sites, such as Facebook. Be aware, however, that others can use your location information, too.

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