Software

Which Version of Windows 7 Should You Choose?: Part I

Windows 7

Image Credit: Masaru Kamikura

Would it surprise you to learn that over 44% of all Windows users are still using Windows XP, an operating system which is over 11 years old! If you one of the many who favor Windows XP, you may want to consider upgrading.

Leap Now, Instead of Later

If you have no other reason for upgrading, consider this scenario. Computers are constantly being upgraded and with these upgrades often come appearance changes.

Instead of being behind the curve, upgrading is a great way to ensure you adapt and learn the major changes, instead of feeling frustrated and lost when you finally decide to upgrade.

Reasons to Switch

Unlike previous versions of Windows, Microsoft finally did something right when they released Windows 7. It is packed full of rich features which makes computing easier.

Features like the upgraded Start Menu, which allows you to quickly call up programs and search for documents and emails, without having to look in a million different places.

Click on the Windows Icon in the bottom left corner, and when the Start Menu appears, just start typing. The system will automatically generate a list of items based upon criteria you’ve given.

We often post articles discussing the features of Windows 7, like these:

Windows 7 Shortcuts: Learn some useful tricks and keyboard commands.

Windows 7 Calculator: Even the calculator has some rich features in Windows 7.

Pinning in Windows 7: Never search for your frequently used folders or documents again.

Windows 7 Problem Solving Tips and Tricks: Learn about the ways Windows 7 can help you diagnose and fix problems.

There is so much more to deciding which edition of Windows 7 to use. Stay tuned for the second half of our article, which will be posted on Monday.

Are you already using Windows 7? Leave us a comment telling us what your upgrade experience was like.

Article Resource:

NetMarketshare Operating System Statistics


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who likes to help make your operating system choices easier. Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website:www.mybusinesswriter.com.

4 Windows 7 Problem Solving Tips and Tricks

Windows 7

Image Credit: Pritesh Gupta

Compared to previous versions, Windows 7 is a robust and feature-rich operating system with built-in tools and functions that help make using your computer a whole lot easier, even when it’s acting up.

Instead of getting exasperated and turning off your computer when it doesn’t work, Windows 7 gives you some useful features which allow you to solve problems long before they begin. If you do encounter problems, there are tools and utilities which can help you resolve these issues, often without calling tech support.

Calibrate Your Screen: You just posted a picture online, when your friend messages you saying she’d love to see it, but the picture is too dark. You open it on your screen and it looks fine. What gives?

It could be your screen settings. Every display is slightly different, and as such, not too displays look the same. Windows 7 tries to mitigate these differences by giving you tools to calibrate your screen.

To access these tools, click on Start, type in DCCW, and press Enter. Then, follow the wizard and directions for calibrating your screen. Your settings can sometimes make all the difference between what you see a picture on your screen, versus how the rest of the world sees that same picture.

Power Efficiency Report: Helpful for laptops, the Power Efficiency Report runs a utility to determine your power usage.

To analyze your laptop’s power consumption, click on Start, and type in CMD. When the CMD icon appears, right click on it, and select Run as Administrator. When prompted, say Yes to allow changes.

When the Command Window appears, make sure the root directory is your C: drive*. If it is not, type in cd c:\ and hit enter. The prompt should now say C:\. Then, type in ‘powercfg –energy’ (without quotes) and hit Enter.  After the analysis runs, a report will be generated. Follow the path to review the results, and recommended changes. *Note: The report may not display properly if it is generated in another location, such as C:\Windows\System-32 (the default directory).

To exit the Command Window, type in Exit and hit Enter.

Problem Steps Recorder: If you’ve ever had your computer act up for you, but work fine for tech support, then you need to use the Problem Steps Recorder. This is a small app, which when activated tracks your keystrokes and mouse actions, and records screen shots. It then packages the information up in an easy to email file, so that you can share exactly what’s happening with tech support.

To activate, click on Start, then type in PSR, and hit Enter. Click the down arrow next to the blue question mark to send the recordings to an email recipient.

Troubleshoot Problems: If you want to troubleshoot problems on your own, or if you would like to fix potential problems before they get out of hand, there are some built in utilities which will help. To access these utilities, click on Start, then go to Control Panel, and click on Troubleshooting. Then run through the wizards to troubleshoot all sorts of computer problems.

These are just four ways Windows 7 can help when there’s a problem. Do you have a favorite Windows 7 tip? Leave us a comment and share it with us.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who likes to help you solve computer problems before they start. Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website:www.mybusinesswriter.com.

Reasons to Upgrade to Office 2010

Microsoft Office 2010

Image Credit: Titanas

If you’re using an older version of Microsoft Office, you could be doing yourself a disservice. While Office 2010 came out two years ago, many people are still using the older versions.

Maybe you’re happy with the version you’re using, or maybe you don’t want to incur the cost of upgrading. Whatever the reason, it may be in your best interest to upgrade. Here’s why.

Reasons to Upgrade to Office 2010

Almost every application in the Office 2010 suite received some big upgrades. From Social Media connection features, to real time co-authoring and collaboration tools, to built-in PDF support, the new office suite has features galore and something for everyone.

We regularly post about changes and features in Office. Here are some of the neat things you can do in the newer version that you cannot do (or can’t easily do) in older versions.

10 Nifty Excel 2010 Shortcuts: Some easy keyboard commands and shortcuts geared to save you time when you’re working in Excel.

Microsoft OneNote: Think of it as your spiral bound notebook in the cloud. OneNote, virtual note taking software, first appeared in Office 2007, but really came into the spotlight with Office 2010.

Outlook 2010 Quick Access Tool Bar: Put the buttons and features you use the most at the top of Outlook, so that they are always available to you.

Outlook 2010 Search Folders: Outlook 2010 is packed full of great features, like Search Folders which let you categorize and save particular search criteria, so that you can always find important emails.

And these are only a small sampling of some of the great new features available in Office 2010.

What You Should Know Before Upgrading

First, you should be aware that Office 2010 is very different than earlier versions, particularly if you’ve been using Office 2003, and skipped over the 2007 version. One of the biggest things you’ll have to get used to is the Ribbon (the large bar at the top of the Microsoft Office Suite) which replaces the traditional menus.

The Ribbon can be a little cumbersome to get used to at first, but with a little time you’ll find that it actually makes life easier, because everything you need is right out in front. No more digging through various menus to try and find what you need.

And, once you get over the look, you’ll find your programs so packed full of features that you’ll soon wonder how you ever got along without them.

Do you have a favorite feature in Microsoft Office 2010? Leave us a comment and let us know.


Julie Strier is a

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freelance writer who wants to help you use your software more effectively. Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website:www.mybusinesswriter.com.