Microsoft on Wednesday announced that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for everyone running Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Phone, and even for Xbox. Microsoft has brought back a lot of the desktop interface from Windows 7, and when you move into a tablet-like environment, Windows will detect it and adjust itself accordingly. You can download the new Windows 10 now through the Windows Insider Program, but Leo doesn't recommend putting it on your primary system. Windows 10 will be available to consumers in the Fall.
Don wants to know what Leo thinks about Microsoft Office 365. Leo says it's a great idea. He uses it. And it's for a cheap monthly fee, especially for non profits. Go for it. You can install up to five copies and get access to your files on any platform anywhere thanks to its web based interface. Don isn't all that thrilled with Exchange for email. Leo says that's a huge commitment, but it does have more features than webmail.
Windows 10 will be revealed on Wednesday of this week, January 21. It probably won't be out until Fall, but we'll learn more about it. There is a public stream of the event Wednesday morning at 9am Pacific time, and you can find out more about it at blogs.windows.com. We'll also have coverage of the event at live.twit.tv starting Wednesday at about 8:45am Pacific time.
Emilio is looking for a good file management utility that has good accessibility features, chiefly via speech. He wants to be able to sort and make documents that are easily searchable. Evernote doesn't do it. Leo says they should.
Google has published news of a new vulnerability in Windows 8 that will allow hackers to create an administrator account and take control of the computer. Google let Microsoft know about it months ago and told them they would announce it after three months if Redmond didn't do anything. There's been no fix, so Google leaked the story as promised. Now Microsoft says they have a fix in the works. Meanwhile, hackers all over the world not only know about it, but Google has provided them with the suspect code to use. Swell.
Sam bought a new Sony Vaio with Windows 7. What should he do about antivirus software? Leo suggests going with Microsoft Security Essentials. It comes bundled as Windows Defender in Windows 8, but he'll have to download and install it separately for Windows 7. Antivirus software won't protect him from his own behavior, though.
Leo says yes, Microsoft requires an account. He can pay monthly or yearly. It's $69 for a year, which is very cheap. He could buy Office and not have an account, but in the long run, Office 365 is a good deal.
Richard just bought a new Dell computer and he wants to know if he should change his settings from administrator to standard user. Leo says that a bad guy has the same level of permissions as he has. So if he's an admin, he's letting a bad guy potentially do whatever he wants. If he runs as a limited user, then they can't do anything that an administrator password is required for. He will need to authenticate with the admin password. That's what being just a standard user buys him -- an extra level of protection. Leo says that the kids should definitely be standard users.
Rob is having an issue with his computer hanging only while Microsoft Outlook is open. Outlook displays his Exchange and Gmail accounts. He's tried several things, including running Outlook in Safe Mode, disabling his antivirus, and turning off add-ons. Leo says to look at the connection as it syncs. He should try changing the polling times. It also goes through the messages and indexes them, but he started with empty PST files which dramatically changes the time it would take to index them.
Earl has an old iMac and can't transfer his files to his new iMac. He wants to move the program from the old to the new, but he doesn't have any disks. Leo says that Microsoft Word for the Web, which is free, or Google Docs, would work great. He doesn't need new software. He can just backup his data with a USB key and then bring it to the new Mac and use Office for the Web or docs.google.com to open it.