Microsoft to End Support on XP, Office 2003 & 2008 in 2014

Image Credit: Microsoft Corporation

Image Credit: Microsoft Corporation

When purchasing software, do you ever think about the end-of-life cycle for that particular program? If you’re like everyone else, you probably don’t.

The thing is, all software has a cycle – a period of time when the company will support that particular version of the software.

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So what you purchase today won’t always be supported.

Typically software is no longer supported when there are several newer versions out, or when the software is so outdated that it no longer functions properly on newer computers, whichever comes first.

In early April, 2013, Microsoft announced its plans to phase out support for a few of their older software, a change that could leave businesses (and individuals) in the lurch.

Microsoft’s determination for phasing out software is fairly clear cut – they promise to support their products for a minimum of 10 years, with 5 years of mainstream support, and 5 years of extended support.

And next year, on April 8, 2014, Microsoft is phasing out support on a few (still) popular products:

  • Windows XP
  • Office 2003
  • Office 2008 – Mac Version – support ends April 9, 2014

So what does this change mean for businesses? Well, nothing and everything.

Of course you can continue to use your outdated products, as technically they will still work just like they did before. However, problems requiring support through Microsoft won’t be fixable, and over time you could see even bigger issues.

The larger reality is that if you’re still using these older operating systems and office products, you could probably stand for an update. Newer operating systems, though they require a small learning curve, run faster and help you produce more than their older counterparts. Additionally, newer software boasts better features, and increased security through patches, bug fixes, and software updates.

Though it would require a bit of an initial investment, upgrading your office, particularly if you are still using any of these programs, will end up saving you in the long run in time and money made back due to increased productivity.

If your business is still using these outdated software products, give us a call today. We can help you evaluate which newer versions are right for your business, and help get them implemented and installed so that you aren’t affected by this change.

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who likes to help you navigate through changes in your software. Email: [email protected]. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.

Microsoft Outlook Shortcut Keys

Microsoft Outlook

Image Credit: Microsoft Corporation

We may have written a few articles about common shortcut keys for various software, but it seems we missed Outlook. Since it is one of the more commonly used software for business email, we thought we’d take the time to share some keyboard shortcuts that will help you get around quicker, and get more out of Outlook.

Here are a few of our favorite shortcuts.

Note: * Denotes commonly used shortcuts for PC software.

  • Arrow Keys: Move throughout the navigation pane.
  • Left / Right Arrow Keys: Collapse / expand a group in the e-mail message list.
  • ALT + . (period): Opens the Address Book with the To: field selected.
  • ALT + B: Opens the Address Book with the BCC: field selected.
  • ALT + C: Select message recipients for CC: field.
  • ALT + D: Switch to Daily Calendar view.
  • ALT + E: Open the Edit drop down menu.
  • ALT + F: Open the File drop down menu.
  • ALT + K: Check names in the To:, CC:, or BCC: field against the Address Book. Note: Cursor must be in the corresponding field to check contacts.
  • ALT + L: Reply All, in an open message.
  • ALT + M: Switch to Monthly Calendar view.
  • ALT + R: Reply / Switch to Work Week Calendar view.
  • ALT + S: Sends an open message.
  • ALT + Y: Switch to Daily Calendar view.
  • ALT + F4: Close the active window.
  • CTRL + 1: Switch to Mail.
  • CTRL + 2: Switch to Calendar.
  • CTRL + 3: Switch to Contacts.
  • CTRL + 4: Switch to Tasks.
  • CTRL + 5: Switch to Notes
  • CTLR + 6: Switch to Folder list in Navigation Pane.
  • CTLR + 7: Switch to Shortcuts.
  • CTRL +A: Select all. *
  • CTRL + B: Bold selected text. *
  • CTRL + C: Copy selected text. *
  • CTRL + D: Delete an item (message, task, contact, etc.)
  • CTRL + F: Forward an item, must have a message open.
  • CTRL + J: Open a new Journal Entry for the selected item (message, task, contact, etc.)
  • CTRL + M: Send / Receive All.
  • CTRL + O: Open selected item. *
  • CTRL + P: Print selected item. Opens Print dialogue box. *
  • CTRL + Q: Mark the selected message as Read.
  • CTRL + R: Reply to selected / open message.
  • CTRL + T: Tab.
  • CTRL + U: Mark selected message as unread.
  • CTRL + V: Paste cut / copied information. *
  • CTRL + X: Cut selected information. *
  • CTRL + Y: Go to folder.
  • CTRL + , (comma): Switch to the next item. Note: must have an item open to use this command.
  • CTRL + . (period): Switch to previous item. Note: must have an item open to use this command.
  • CTRL + Shift + Tab (or F6): Switch between the Folder List and the main Outlook window.
  • CTRL + Shift + A: Open a new Appointment.
  • CTRL + Shift + B: Opens the Address Book.
  • CTRL + Shift + C: Create a new contact.
  • CTRL + Shift + E: Open a new folder.
  • CTRL + Shift + G: Flag selected message for follow up.
  • CTRL + Shift + J: Open a new Journal Entry.
  • CTRL + Shift + K: Open a new Task.
  • CTRL + Shift + L: Open a new Distribution List.
  • CTRL + Shift + M: Open a new Message.
  • CTRL + Shift + N: Open a new Note.
  • CTRL + Shift + O: Switch to the Outbox.
  • CTRL + Shift + P: Open the New Search Folder window.
  • CTRL + Shift + Q: Open a new Meeting Request.
  • CTRL + Shift + S: Open a new Discussion.
  • CTRL + Shift + U: Open a new Task Request.
  • CTRL + Shift + Y: Copy a folder.
  • Tab: Move throughout the navigation pane and reading pane in Outlook.
  • + or -: Expand or collapse a folder or selected group in the Navigation Pane.
  • F7: Spellcheck
  • F9: Send / Receive all.
  • F12: Save As.

If you want to learn shortcut keys for other software, checkout our other shortcut posts:

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who wants to help you use your technology smarter and faster. Email: [email protected]. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.


Year-End Wrap Up: Outlook, Windows 7 and 8, Word, and Other Microsoft Related Posts

Year End Round Up - Microsoft ArticlesIt’s almost the end of the year, so we thought we’d take a moment to reflect on some of the articles we’ve posted throughout the year about Microsoft products. Whether it involves Outlook, Windows 7 or 8, Word, Excel, One Note, or other Microsoft related products, we’ve probably written an article about it, packed full of tips, tricks, or other helpful information.

If you missed these posts throughout the year, now is a great time to catch up, and possibly learn something new, and maybe even carry those new skills into the New Year.

Windows Related Posts

4 Windows 7 Problems Solving Tips and Tricks

If you are having a problem with your computer, Windows 7 has many built into tools to help troubleshoot the issue. This article explores those tools, helping you understand not only what diagnostic to run, but also why you should run it.

Bitlocker Drive Encryption: What it is, Where to get it, and Why you need it

Bitlocker is a valuable built in encryption software available in newer versions of Windows (Vista and above), and available on Server 2008 and above. Read this article to learn more about how and why this built in software protects your data from offline hackers.

Pinning Items: A Way to Find Items Faster in Windows7

This article is full of tips and tricks about pinning items in Windows7, so that you can access your most frequently used items faster.

Which Version of Windows 7 Should You Choose: Part I

If you’ve decided to upgrade to Windows 7, but you don’t understand the options, then check out this article, which explores the differences between the versions.

Which Version of Windows 7 Should You Choose: Part II

The second half of the article exploring Windows 7 version options. If you’ve read part one, part II finalizes the discussion, so check it out.

Windows7 Calculator: More than Meets the Eye

Who knew the Windows7 calculator was so robust? This article explores the many features of the new calculator.

Windows 7 Shortcuts

This article contains lots of great shortcuts to help you use Windows7 better.

A Sneak Peak at Windows 8

Looking to discover how Windows 8 is different from previous versions? Then check this article out.

Exploring Windows 8: The Differences Between the Standard, Pro, and RT Versions

Want to understand the difference between the Windows 8 versions before you buy? Then read this article, and save yourself from getting a version that isn’t compatible with your needs.

Microsoft Office Related Articles

Reasons to Upgrade to Office 2010

Are you still using an older version of Microsoft Office? If you’re considering upgrading, check out this list of reasons why you should. There are many great tips packed into this article.

Excel Articles

10 Excel Shortcuts Meant to Save You Time

If you spend a lot of time in Excel, you should read this article chocked full of tips and tricks to help make you a better Excel user.

Using PivotTables in Excel

PivotTables are an easy but powerful way to arrange, organize, and display your data. Read this article to learn about PivotTables and how to set them up.

OneNote Articles

Microsoft OneNote: Powerful Note Taking Software

If you have been looking for a solution that allows you to keep your notes in one place, across multiple platforms (desktop, laptop, mobile device), consider using Microsoft One Note. This article explores why this is a MUST USE piece of software in the Microsoft Office suite.

Outlook Articles

How to Recall a Message in Microsoft Outlook 2010

Oops, did you accidentally send something you didn’t mean to send? Now you can recall the message, if you’re using Outlook 2010 or newer.

Outlook Productivity Tips: AutoArchive

Use Outlook’ AutoArchive features to keep large mailboxes running smoothly and efficiently. Read this article to learn how to update your settings and activate this feature.

Outlook Productivity Tip: Changing How Long it Takes to Mark Emails as Read

Tired of clicking on an email in Outlook, and then waiting a while for it to be marked as read? There’s an easy way to change the time it takes for Outlook to mark the item as read. Read this article to find out how.

Outlook Productivity Tip: How to Create Search Folders

Quickly locate commonly searched for items in Outlook by setting up search folders. Read this article to find out how to setup and use this feature.

Outlook Productivity Tips: How to Save Emails Quickly

Don’t waste time saving emails the hard way. Instead, read this article and learn to quickly save emails with ease, saving you loads of time in the long run.

Outlook Productivity Tips: Quick Access Tool Bar

Learn about the Quick Access tool bar in Outlook, and how it can help you make the most out of  your email software.

Outlook Productivity Tips: Quick Steps

Quickly accomplish multiple step tasks, like organizing emails into specific folders, with Quick Steps. This article explores what they are, and how to quickly and easily set them up.

Word Articles

Formatting Word Documents with Tab Stops

Each time you hit tab in a Word document, you could be messing up your formatting. This article explores how to use tab stops to properly format a document without having to space items manually (which can skew the spacing).

Microsoft Word: Other Document Formatting Tips

Need help adjusting the space between the lines of text in your Word document? Want to discover where that extra return is coming from? Read this article to discover ways to fix hidden formatting issues in your Word documents.

Julie Strier is a freelance writer who likes to help you use your software more efficiently. Email:[email protected]. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.