Category archive - Microsoft

Windows 8 Review

In the past few months I had been hearing a lot of buzz about Windows 8 but hadn’t had the chance get my hands on it.  With the recent release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, I decided it was time to give it a try.  I created a virtual machine on my desktop system using the free VMware Player.  I set up the virtual machine to have 1 GB of memory, a single CPU core and 60GB of disk space.  It actually booted up and ran surprisingly quick given the limited hardware specs.
Windows 8 Consumer
The first thing I noticed is that it is a huge departure from previous versions of windows.  First of all it boots into what Microsoft calls the “Metro” interface.  This is a large full screen menu consisting of square tiles which are essentially application shortcuts.  Some of these tiles are “Live tiles” which means that they display up to date information right on the tile.  For instance, the Metro email app will display a preview of your most recent message right on the tile once you set it up.
When you click any of the built in metro tiles, it launches a nice pretty full screen “Metro” application.  The built in metro apps include, Mail, Calendar, Photos, People, Weather, Maps and more.  The windows desktop that you have come to know and love is not gone though.  There is a desktop tile which takes you to the classic windows 7 style desktop, but it is not exactly like the windows 7 desktop. Probably the first thing you will notice when you go to the windows 8 desktop is that there is no start menu.  The Metro home screen is essentially the replacement for the classic start menu.
There is also a different way to close apps and to navigate between them.  If you put you mouse in the upper left corner, you will see a thumbnail of your most recently open app, and if you roll your mouse down the left side of the screen you will see thumbnails of the rest of your open apps.  You can click on any of them to switch to it, or drag it down to the bottom of the screen to close it.  To return to the Metro home screen, put your mouse in the lower left corner and click on the icon that pops up.
I actually really like the look and feel of the new metro apps and the new home screen but at this beta stage, the navigation does feel a little clunky on a desktop PC using a keyboard and mouse.  I also think that you will find yourself spending most of your time on the classic desktop until more applications release a Metro styled version.
I cant help but notice that the new UI seems to be geared much more toward tablet or touch users.  And I bet it is very slick for a tablet environment, but I think for desktop PC users, it still need a little polishing.  Hopefully this will happen before the final version is released.

Windows 8 Is Here

I’ve mentioned Windows 8 before here at Most of you, all though assuredly not all, are likely running Windows 7 right now. I work for a slow adapting employer and we just recently upgraded to Windows 7 if you can believe it. I’m fairly certain the next time we upgrade it will be to Windows 9!

Yesterday Microsoft shipped the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, so it indeed is here. Windows 8 is upon us! The interesting thing about Windows 8 is how most of the talk is about how Microsoft is really banking everything on this upgrade. It’s not just a list of small tweaks and a reason to release something now. Windows 8 had been put together in a way to really try to capture the tablet market as well as the more traditional laptop/PC market. The question that remains to be answered is whether is going to be as nice and successful as Windows 7 was, or if the traditional users are going to be too frustrated with the new look and feel to end up hurting it’s market share. Time will tell.

In the mean time if you would like to download Windows 8 and get behind the test drivers wheel, then go to and download it today. Let me know what you think!

Microsoft Office 2007 – Free Download

Free Trial Microsoft Office 2007It seems like it really was just yesterday when Office 2007 came out. There are a few perks to 2007 that I really use quite a bit but my first impression was that it was the same thing only they moved all the buttons around and now it’s confusing to use instead of being user friendly! And that heartbeat button up at the top left just makes me feel like I have to rush, lol.

Well it’s been sometime now and I’ve gotten used to where everything is and that’s not longer and issue. There were some bug fixes and technical upgrades, but probably the number one upgrade that impacts my day to day work is that Excel no longer has the 65,000 line limitation. That really is a big one when you are playing around with data files. There is still a limitation but it’s more like a million lines depending on how many columns you have. That is much more manageable.

Microsoft Office 2007 Free Download

While I’m never an advocate of stealing or pirating software there are some legit places you get get a free copy of 2007 for legit reasons. The obvious one is that if you own a copy all ready and something happens to the install and you don’t have a backup disk of some kind, then Microsoft will usually allow you to download a free copy. I suppose that isn’t really like you can download Mircosoft Office for free because you originally paid for it but it counts.

If you really want Microsoft Office free then the best bet is to find a Microsoft Office free trial to get the ball rolling. Some new PC setups come with the trail version installed all ready, and you can also download this trail version Office 2007 as well. It basically it just like the full version except you have a limited number of uses before it locks you out and you have to enter a user key which you get when you go online and pay for it.


So if you don’t all ready have Microsoft Office 2007 then I definitely suggest getting a copy especially if you can find one for free, at least to try it out. If you are like me then it’ll take a little getting used to at first, but once you do it’ll feel as comfortable as previous versions and the new upgrades are worth the learning curve.