Software
Microsoft Temporarily Pulls Windows RT 8.1 Update
Monday, October 21, 2013 14:49

Tags: Microsoft Surface | Surface RT | Windows 8.1 | Windows RT 8.1

If you are searching for the Windows 8.1 update for your Surface RT tablet you won’t find it.  On Friday, October 18, Microsoft pulled the Windows RT 8.1 update from its Windows Store.  This response from Microsoft came after users reported trouble updating their tablets. 

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“Your PC needs to be repaired.  The Boot Configuration Data file is missing some required information.”  This was the message displayed to “a limited number of users” who were trying to update their Surface tablet to the new 8.1 operating system.  This error then left users with the “blue screen of death” that rendered their tablets unusable.  As per a Microsoft representative, “Microsoft is investigating a situation affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices to Windows RT 8.1.  As a result, we have temporarily removed the Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store.”  Microsoft has assured users that their engineers are working on the problem, but they are not giving a timeline for when the issue will be fixed.

 

If you were one of the unfortunate ones to get the “Blue Screen of Death” after trying to download Windows RT 8.1, Microsoft has released a fix.  To read Microsoft’s troubleshooting instructions:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40810

 

To read more about Windows RT 8.1:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2056295/microsoft-releases-fix-for-surface-rt-slates-borked-by-windows-rt-8-1-update.html

 

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9243368/Microsoft_yanks_Windows_8.1_update_for_Surface_RT_after_Blue_Screen_of_Death_reports

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Windows 8.1 Now Available; Should You Upgrade?
Thursday, October 17, 2013 09:42

Tags: microsoft | Operating Systems | windows 8

Windows 8.1 is avaialble. Should you upgrade?

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If you are running Windows XP, you pretty much have no choice but to upgrade to Windows 7 or the newer, Windows 8.1, operating system. XP is not going to be supported anymore by Microsoft. The fact that you have stuck with Windows XP even after Windows 7 and Windows 8 were released indicates that you're not a techie, don't care much about this stuff, or don't trust Microsoft.  

 

I've been using Windows 8 since Februrary 2013. Based on my personal experience and the many reviews I've read in the press, Windows 8 and 8.1 is solid. It does not crash. While I would not have suggested non-techies upgrade desktop machines from XP to Windows 8 until now, today's release of the 8.1 version of Windows addresses the useability issues that made Windows 8 confusing. The familiar "Start" button is back and there's a lot more help for new users in 8.1. So you'll be fine. 

 

If you are already running Windows 8 on a computer or tablet, you can now download the free update to Windows 8.1 online through the Windows Store. The update has been getting very good reviews and you'll only benefit from the improvements.

 

If you are on a device running Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, or the Windows 8.1 Preview, visit this page on Windows.com to detect your OS and get Windows 8.1 on your device.

 

To get the full benefit of Windows 8.1, you really need to use it on a device enabled for touch computing. Tablets, laptops, convertibles, and phones with touch screens are an inexpensive way to try out the touch-enabled operating system. This holiday season, a new generation of ultra-high resolution touch screen monitors will be debuting that will make the touch experience on desktops much better. Because these monitors are 2560 X 1440 resolution, they can be closer to you (18 inches) and you can comfortably reach out and touch the screen. With a high-definition 1080p monitor, everything displayed on the monitor is too large when it is only 18 inches away from you. Check out new Windows devices available now and coming in the holiday season.

 

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Google Outdoes Microsoft Office By Making Quickoffice For Android And iOS Free To All; Edit Microsoft Office Documents For Free Using This Mobile Platform
Thursday, September 19, 2013 17:16

Tags: google | microsoft | productivity

Google today said Quickoffice, will be free for everyone. That means Android and iOS users can edit Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, and presentations and not pay a penny. In contrast, Microsoft Office requires a license.   

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Quickoffice was purchased by Google in June 2012 and is expected to be the cornerstone application in Google Apps.
 
Google Apps and other productivity suites are looked on as inferior to Microsoft Office when you need to do special formatting or anything sophisticated in a word processing document, spreadsheet or presentation. Quickoffice is reportedly a significant upgrade and closes the gap in competing with Microsoft’s Office’s complex but powerful productivity suite.
TNW reports that if you sign in to Quickoffice using your Google Account by September 26th, Google will give you an extra 10GB of Google Drive storage for free for two years.
 
Microsoft is under siege but is not standing still. The vast majority of advisors are not interested in switching to Google’s suite because the cost of Microsoft is not that great and switching systems would be such a major headache for their offices. But the competition among Google and Microsoft is getting more heated and, at some point, we are bound to hear about advisors switching to Google’s platform.
 
If you are using Google Apps to run your business, please let us know how that’s going.

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The Microsoft Partnership With Chipmaker Intel Has Been Breached By Google's Chrome Operating System
Thursday, September 12, 2013 08:23

Tags: google | microsoft | Operating Systems

New Chromebooks announced this week signal Intel's willingness to broaden its horizons and work with companies like Google, at the expense of its long-standing Windows partnership with Microsoft.  For advisors, it means that Microsoft's hold on your office's desktop applcations will erode in the years ahead.

 

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Most RIAs are still locked into using Microsoft's operating system and its Office suite. However, Google, with its Chrome operating system amd Google Apps suite for word processing, spreadsheets and other core productivity apps has been making an effort to overtake Microsoft's OS and suite, but it has not made much progress in getting advisors to switch to its operatong system and apps. With release of a new generation of Chromebooks using Intel processors, Google has cracked the Microsoft-Intel partnership and Intel is signaling its willingness to support Chrome.

 

In the long run, it's good for businesses to have choices, and Microsoft's grip on business computing will weaken. But until advisors are not reliant on desktop apps using Mcirosoft's OS, they're stuck because apps like PortfolioCenter, Advent Axys and other desktop apps for Monte Carlo analysis, financial planning, and making tax calculations usually run only on the Windows operating system. Still, the slow steady progress of Google in  breaking the "Wintel" alliance is noteable.

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Adding SkyDrive Or Any Other Website To Your Taskbar
Sunday, August 18, 2013 11:56

Tags: how to | productivity

After using Windows 8 for seven months, I’m still finding new tricks all the time. This past week I found out how to pin SkyDrive to the taskbar. It’s easy to do and very convenient.

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SkyDrive makes sharing files over the Web very easy. Since SkyDrive allows you clients, professionals, and other people you collaborate with to edit files in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, it can be more convenient than Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and other file-sharing services, and Microsoft has a “Pro” version of SkyDrive with additional functionality that is slowly evolving.
 
 
Placing the SkyDrive icon in the taskbar, as shown in the screenshot, is as simple as dragging a browser tab from Internet Explorer into your taskbar. You must use Internet Explorer for the drag and drop to work, but once you’ve dragged and dropped any website into your taskbar, it will stay there and open a browser to that website.
 
While I’ m fearful of accidentally sharing something unintentionally, the benefits of easy sharing are significant. (If you’re an AdvisorVault user, by the way, dragging and dropping a vault page into your taskbar will open your browser to the log-in page and won’t automatically log you in, as it does with the SkyDrive.)

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