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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tip of the Week: Extremely Useful Word Tips

Microsoft Word is one of those computer applications that has so many tricks hidden in it that you constantly have opportunities to show off how much you’ve learned. These skills could make or break your job performance under the right conditions, and if you know how to use them efficiently, they can help you save your job if it’s in peril.

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Bing Offers Malware and Filth

With a meager market share that is one-third the size of Google’s, one would think that Bing would be trying to keep controversy away from a user’s search results. However, the Microsoft search engine has recently encountered a few notable PR disasters that may be enough to convince some not to use it - especially if it leads to a security breach.

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Tip of the Week: How OneNote Helps Your Project Management

Microsoft OneNote is an extremely useful application in the professional setting, with plenty of features and capabilities to assist in keeping you and your employees organized. These features are actually comprehensive enough that OneNote could feasibly serve as your project management tool. For this week’s tip, we’ll review how.

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Understanding the Importance of .Net Framework

If you’re a habitual user of the Microsoft Windows operating system, there’s a relatively good chance that you’ve been prompted to install something called “.NET framework.” Pronounced “dot-net,” this framework is most commonly used for Windows. In this blog, we’ll go over what a software framework is and is for, as well as examine what makes .NET stand out.

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Tip of the Week: Using Microsoft Word to Edit a PDF Document

In case you’re looking for a nice alternative PDF file-editing software, the most recent version of Microsoft Word can do so. Since the investment for Adobe Acrobat isn’t for everyone, you can instead turn to the tried-and-true all-purpose word processing software to edit your PDF files.

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Tip of the Week: Cortana Can Help You Cheer On Your Team

It’s football season once again, and this year, we want to show you how to set up Cortana to follow your favorite teams--football or otherwise. It’s actually easier than you might think! Before we begin, remember that this only works on devices that have Cortana, so it will likely need to be set up on your Windows PC.

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3 SharePoint Considerations Businesses Should Have

Businesses are always looking for a way to make their projects more successful. While many organizations have found success by integrating Microsoft SharePoint project collaboration software, some have found it to be a giant headache to manage, or even completely unnecessary. No matter where your business falls on this spectrum, there are some best practices in utilizing SharePoint to get the most out of the platform. Here are three considerations your team should make when you settle on SharePoint for project collaboration.

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Tip of the Week: 3 More Useful Microsoft Word Features

Microsoft Word has long since established itself as the primary word processing software in the business world, but even some power users don’t necessarily know about all of the hidden features that exist in it. Here are three of the best Word capabilities that you’ll be sure to use next time you’re in a pinch.

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Windows Ink Adds An Extra Dimension To Your Business Computing

Your technology is a gateway to productivity, and Microsoft has managed to put together a great way to use it with their latest operating system. In Windows 10, you can use Windows Ink to doodle or take notes on your screen while using a Microsoft application like Word, PowerPoint, or OneNote.

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Tip of the Week: Did You Know About These Windows Features?

Does your business use Windows 10? If so, there are all sorts of hidden tips and tricks that can help you gain even more value from your workstations that are running Windows 10. Here are a few of these secrets and how they can help your staff save time.

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Tip of the Week: How to Calculate Basic Math Problems Using Microsoft Word

You know Microsoft Word as the great word processor that your business relies on to compose documents of all kinds. However, Microsoft Word is much more flexible and versatile than you might think. Did you know that you can perform simple calculations in your Microsoft Word document in a quick and efficient way?

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Is the New, Stripped-Down Version of Windows 10 Practical for SMBs?

Google Chromebooks run a streamlined version of the Chrome OS to offer users a relatively decent browsing experience, despite the device’s limitations. But what if Microsoft created a similar operating system? Well, they did just that with Windows 10 S, which is designed to be used with less processing power than the current operating system.

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Reminder: Windows 10 Free Upgrade Period Ends July 29th

b2ap3_thumbnail_upgrade_today_400.jpgIt’s been over two years since Microsoft officially cut the cord on Windows XP. As the most popular Windows operating system at the time, it was a huge blow to both businesses and consumers alike. Thankfully, a migration to Windows 10 isn’t nearly as difficult as one from XP. What lessons can be learned from Windows XP’s end of life event that can be applied to upgrading to Windows 10?

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4 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade to Office 365 Business Premium

b2ap3_thumbnail_microsoft_office_365_400.jpgMicrosoft Office 365 offers many different solutions that allow your employees to be able to do their jobs, keep everything organized, and communicate efficiently. Although, it can be tricky to select a good Office 365 plan for your business. To help streamline operations, the Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium edition offers a versatile selection that can meet any needs your business may encounter.

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41 Microsoft Software Titles Reached Their End of Extend Support or End of Life - In April Alone!

b2ap3_thumbnail_microsoft_eol_400.jpgYou don’t need us to tell you that Microsoft has an extensive library of software products aimed at all kinds of businesses. But, of course, nothing good can last forever, and old solutions eventually give way to more versatile or efficient versions. When this happens, Microsoft stops supporting older software in order to provide better features and experiences to users of more recent versions.

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Sneaky: Some Microsoft Users are Reporting Unwanted Upgrades to Windows 10

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_10_updates_400.jpgWindows 10, the latest operating system in Microsoft’s repertoire, has several business-friendly features that can potentially improve your organization’s workflow. However, many users are reporting that Windows 10 is installing on their devices automatically without their consent. If this is true, and your organization’s software is upgraded without your consent, you could be facing a big issue.

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Tip of the Week: Access Windows 10 Safe Mode for PC Troubleshooting

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_10_safe_mode_400.jpgSafe Mode has long been a troubleshooting method for Windows operating systems, but Windows 10 has done away with the classic method of booting up in Safe Mode. Instead of simply pressing F8 during Windows startup, you now have to go into your settings and manually configure your computer to do so. Here’s how it’s done.

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Windows 8 Users Will No Longer Receive Patches and Security Updates

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_8_done_400.jpgIf you’re one of the unfortunate souls still using Windows 8 (as opposed to 8.1) on your business’s workstations, you should consider upgrading, and as soon as possible. Microsoft has cut off support for its infant operating system, so if you want patches, security updates, and just a better overall operating system, upgrading to Windows 8.1 or 10 is an ideal solution to this dilemma.

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Finally, Microsoft Cuts the Cord on Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10

b2ap3_thumbnail_ie_end_of_support_400.jpgInternet-users rejoice all over the world, for just last week, Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10, will no longer be supported by Microsoft. That’s right; no more patches or security updates for good old IE. This makes continuing to use older versions of Windows a cause for concern. Perhaps this is for the best, but in light of this news, users of IE will want to either update to IE 11, or switch to a new browser.

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It May Take a While For Windows 10 to Overtake Windows 7

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_10_now_400.jpgThe hype is still strong for Windows 10, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a great operating system that has the potential to change the way your business performs its daily duties. However, the monthly desktop operating system usage statistics released by NetMarketShare hint that Windows 10 adoption is starting to slow down and that many users are simply opting to keep using Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. What gives?

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Will the Surface Book Be Microsoft’s “MacBook Killer?” [Video]

b2ap3_thumbnail_the_surface_book_400.jpgOne of the most storied competitions in the technology industry comes from Apple vs Microsoft. For the past 35 years, they went back and forth by offering consumers their own twist on similar technologies. The latest chapter in this story comes from Microsoft’s new Surface Book, which aims to compete directly with Apple’s MacBook Pro.

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What’s New With Microsoft Office 2016?

b2ap3_thumbnail_office_2016_400.jpgJust months after releasing their newest operating system, Windows 10, Microsoft is now updating the world’s most popular productivity software. Office 2016 makes several improvements over the Office 2013 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and the other applications that businesses from all over the world rely on to stay productive. The software, which focuses on making productivity and cooperation possible, has gotten a substantial upgrade in collaborative features.

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Windows 10 Is Here - Everything Your Business Needs to Know

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_10.pngMicrosoft’s latest PC operating system arrived with fanfare yesterday, and has received overwhelmingly positive reviews so far, but is it ready for your business? Let’s take it for a spin and find out.

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US Navy to Pay Microsoft $9 Million to Keep Windows XP Going

b2ap3_thumbnail_logo_navy_windows_xp_400.jpgWith Windows 10 to be launched on July 29th, all thoughts are drifting toward the inevitable upgrade to Microsoft’s brand-new operating system. However, we’d like to take a moment to travel back in time to last spring, when Windows XP expired. Remember how we warned that your business would need to shell out big bucks for custom support if you want to keep running Windows XP? It turns out that there are some who just can’t let go of the expired OS; including the US Navy.

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Should You Upgrade to Windows 10 On Launch Day?

b2ap3_thumbnail_this_is_windows_10_400.jpgWho’s excited about the release of Windows 10 on July 29th? We sure are! After all, Microsoft’s new OS provides features and improvements that have many users planning on upgrading as soon as possible. However, as cool as Windows 10 looks to be, we don’t recommend that businesses blindly upgrade.

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How Windows Tablets Can Enhance Your Business, Part I

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_8.1_tablet_400.jpgSmartphones and tablets are the new norm. Most professionals have begun to utilize mobile devices to accomplish tasks when they are away from their work PC. Not to say that these devices offer all that much in the way of productivity. Sure, there are plenty of software titles either ported over from the PC or developed directly for the mobile environment, but sometimes these titles don’t offer the functionality, or they take up too many of the device’s resources to be of much use. With these variables to consider, manufacturers are searching for the best way to deliver devices with enhanced productivity capabilities, right out of the box. One of these manufacturers is Microsoft.

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Despite Windows 10’s Approach, Windows 7 is Still Going Strong

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_7_still_works_400.jpgWith Windows 10 on the horizon, you would think that users would flock toward Microsoft’s newest OS, Windows 8.1. However, this simply hasn’t been the case. If anything, Windows 7 has grown more popular while Windows 8 and 8.1’s sales have plateaued.

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Will Microsoft’s New Office App Sway Dethrone PowerPoint?

b2ap3_thumbnail_microsoft_sway_400.jpgMicrosoft’s latest Office application, MS Sway, is looking to make some big changes to the way professionals display presentations. Designed as a cross-platform content aggregation tool, Sway is capable of creating and sharing dynamic web-based presentations that are just bold enough to catch the eye. How is Microsoft Sway looking to change the way businesses present information?

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Windows Server 2003’s End of Support Date is Fast-Approaching

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_server_2003_400.jpgLast year, Microsoft pulled the plug on Windows XP’s support. Now, one year later, Windows Server 2003 is scheduled to meet its demise. If your servers are still running Windows Server 2003 as their operating system, it’s important to upgrade before the end of support date of July 14th. Otherwise, you could be running a server operating system without necessary patches and security updates.

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Microsoft PowerPoint is Useful, but Not In the Courtroom

b2ap3_thumbnail_powerpoint_no_courts_400.jpgWe all know Microsoft PowerPoint as a great presentation tool which can help you drive information home to the audience. Naturally, this makes it a great medium for use in more than one type of professional environment. It can be used for webinars, lectures, and even the courtrooms; but is a legal trial really a place for a slideshow?

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Tip of the Week: How to Go Back in Microsoft Word

b2ap3_thumbnail_ms_word_400.jpgWhen working on a project, it can be helpful to retrace your steps. This is especially true when using Microsoft Word. To help you find where you were last at in Word, Microsoft has a Go Back command that’s not very well known. For this week’s tip, we’ll show you how to use it.

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Windows Server 2003 End of Support Date is Fast Approaching

b2ap3_thumbnail_server_03_end_of_support_400.jpgTechnology has come a long way since 2003. It seems like just yesterday that Microsoft dropped support for Windows XP, and in just a few short months, they’ll be dropping support for Windows Server 2003, as well. If your business is one of the many still utilizing this server operating system, you’ll want to make sure that you upgrade away from it before July 14th, 2015. Otherwise, you’ll be running without security patches or updates.

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How to Prevent Your Computers from Inflating Your Electricity Bill

b2ap3_thumbnail_computer_electricity_costs_400.jpgTechnology is getting more powerful, but have you considered where all of that power comes from? Not many people actually take the time to understand how much energy their PC or workstation is using, but this could potentially be increasing your operating costs higher than they need to. Try taking the time to calculate your PC’s energy usage to get a feel for what your workstation is costing your business and the environment.

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Will You Make Microsoft’s Spartan Your Default Web-browsing Warrior?

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_10_400_20150119-134447_1.jpgIn addition to Microsoft’s upcoming new operating system, Windows 10, the software company has released that there is a new web browser in production. This new browser, code-named “Spartan,” is expected to have similar functionality to Mozilla’s Firefox and Google Chrome, and will be released alongside Windows 10.

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How to Prevent Email Spam

b2ap3_thumbnail_prevent_spam_400.jpgWhile email offers several great benefits to those willing to deal with it, the most popular method of communicating in the office has its flaws. One of the most crippling is spam, which can ruin your inbox and your productivity. The unfortunate truth is that even the most diligent workers get hit with spam, but that doesn’t mean that your business’s productivity needs to suffer from it.

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Tip of the Week: How to Find a Missing File

b2ap3_thumbnail_find_a_file_400.jpgWe all have forgetful moments when we misplace things like our car keys and wallet. Sometimes, we can even forget basic things like where we saved an important computer file. Thankfully, Windows understands these moments of forgetfulness and they’ve made it relatively easy for users to find what they’re searching for.

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Microsoft Fixes Vulnerability Going All the Way Back to Windows 95

b2ap3_thumbnail_vulverability_fixed_400.jpgWell, better late than never.
This is to be said of Microsoft after they recently patched a security flaw that’s come with every generation of its operating systems going all the way back to Windows 95.

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PowerPoint Rangers Lead the Way!

b2ap3_thumbnail_powerpoint_rangers_400.jpgOne would assume that being an officer in the military would require the ferociousness of a warrior and the mental fortitude to make split-second life-saving decisions on the battlefield. Surprisingly, in today’s modern military, there’s one skill that’s valued above the ability to fight: Microsoft PowerPoint proficiency.

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What do CIOs Really Think of Windows 10?

b2ap3_thumbnail_opinions_of_windows_10_400.jpgWindows 10, the next big Microsoft’s Windows operating system, has a lot to live up to, and enterprises have had the chance to experiment with the technical preview for the past month. While the operating system will still be in development for the better part of next year, some professionals are forming opinions of what to expect from it. From the technical preview, what do businesses think of Windows 10 so far?

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Should Windows Upgrades Be Free?

b2ap3_thumbnail_free_windows_updates_400.jpgAll operating systems change over time, and upgrades are eventually made available. But in light of Windows 10, Windows Threshold, or whatever their new OS’s final incarnation is going to be called, one has to wonder if Microsoft has ever considered free upgrades to the Windows operating system family tree.

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Microsoft Bites Back with Fix to POODLE SSL Vulnerability

b2ap3_thumbnail_poodle_ssl_vulnerable_400.jpgA few weeks ago, a new vulnerability was discovered in the Internet Explorer functionality of SSL 3.0. Due to the encompassing nature of the vulnerability, all operating systems are affected. This makes it a big problem that must be resolved. Thankfully, Microsoft has released a fix to the vulnerability, called Fix It, making it far easier to prevent the vulnerability from becoming an issue.

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Microsoft Pushes Back Windows 8.1 Update Deadline

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_8_point_1_update_400.jpgMicrosoft stated weeks ago that they would no longer support Windows 8.1, unless the operating system was updated to Windows 8.1 Update by May 13th. But one day before the deadline, Microsoft announced they have pushed the deadline back substantially. This update is crucial if you desire to continue receiving patches and updates from the company. Which you should!

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CTRL - One Key to Rule Them All

b2ap3_thumbnail_sb_meme_400.jpgLet's face it, no matter how quickly you can type, there is only so much you can accomplish without the use of keyboard shortcuts. Perhaps you never cared to learn them, or maybe you never had the opportunity. Now that you own a small business, your productivity and efficiency is at stake. Thankfully, some of the most useful shortcuts utilize one common key: the Control key.

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How to Properly Cite Sources in Microsoft Word 2013

b2ap3_thumbnail_word_2013_400.jpgMost people think of Microsoft Word as a normal word processor, and to an extent, that's exactly what it is. But did you know that Word 2013 has a built-in citation mechanism for your research needs? Say you are writing a white paper for marketing use, and you took specific statistics from a website. You want to make sure you cite these facts. Why? Because if you cite them, it makes your business look professional, and it looks good when you know how to credit someone else's work.

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Microsoft Patches Internet Explorer Bug--Even for Windows XP!

b2ap3_thumbnail_update_three_400.jpgMicrosoft put out the fire from the zero-day bug affecting users of its popular web browser Internet Explorer by releasing a security patch. This IE bug is a bad one that allows hackers to take over a PC. The patch was released on May 1st and if you haven't yet applied it to your PC, then you should do so right away!

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You Better Upgrade Windows 8.1...or Else!

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_eight_point_one_400.jpgWell, that didn't take long. Eight months ago Microsoft released Windows 8.1 and now they're sounding the alarm that users better comply and install the latest updates or lose security support from Microsoft. What makes this news peculiar is that it took 12 years for Microsoft to reach the same verdict with its popular Windows XP operating system. What gives, Microsoft?

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Alert! Major Bug in IE for XP is NOT Getting Fixed

b2ap3_thumbnail_alert_many_400.jpgA lot of people use Google Chrome or Firefox as their browser of choice, and it's easy to see why. They are updated constantly and have great features. However, a lot of people still stick to what they know and love - Internet Explorer. There are a lot of people out there that still use this browser, and they should be warned that a new vulnerability exists in the system.

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Don’t Get Trapped in PowerPoint Purgatory

b2ap3_thumbnail_powerpoint_skills_400.jpgEveryone dreads presentations, but for different reasons. Some people are just afraid of public speaking, or they are just overall unorganized. In the end, well designed presentations are essential for your company's success, whether they are given to clients or to your employees. Thankfully, there are ways to minimize the stress that giving a presentation can cause. One of the best ways to prepare a presentation is to use a Microsoft PowerPoint slideshow as an aid.

However, it's very easy to fall into "PowerPoint Purgatory", a place filled with overburdened slideshows that last for hours on end. The amount of professionals who don't use PowerPoint effectively far outweigh those who do. Directive is here to help by providing you with some useful tips to make your presentations both easy for the presenter and for the audience!

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Is Your Word Document Leaking Secrets?

b2ap3_thumbnail_word_tracking_400.jpgJust because you hit the delete button when using Microsoft Word doesn't necessarily mean that your information is gone forever. Thanks to Word's Track Changes feature, all of your deleted sentences can be easily retrieved. This is a very handy tool to help you out of a jam, but it can also be misused to leak secrets if you're not careful.

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Is There Any Good Reason to Stick with Windows XP?

b2ap3_thumbnail_end_of_support_400.jpgThe end-of-support date for Windows XP is April 8. If you're still running XP, then you likely have a strong reason for it. Although, your reason may not be strong enough in light of how big of a security risk XP will be. Let's dismantle three of the most common reasons people are choosing to stick with XP.

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3 Amazing Time-Saving Tips with Microsoft OneNote

b2ap3_thumbnail_onenote_is_great_for_business_96.jpgMicrosoft's Note-taking application is something of an enigma. Most of the time, Microsoft Office users have OneNote installed and don't even realize it or use it. This handly little secret has some pretty powerful features. Here are three tips that will change the way you take phone calls and write notes on your PC.

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Making a Graph in Microsoft Excel is as Easy as Pie

b2ap3_thumbnail_excel_400_20140224-133629_1.jpgWhen you need to make your point in a big way, you can make a sharp looking graph. You may think that graph making is difficult, but thanks to tools like Microsoft Excel, creating a convincing chart is as easy as pie! To help you out, we'll walk you through how to make a graph in Microsoft Excel.

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Microsoft Upgrades SkyDrive to OneDrive

b2ap3_thumbnail_skydrive_is_now_onedrive_400_20140221-134335_1.jpgMicrosoft has made significant upgrades to SkyDrive. In fact, the upgrades are such a big deal that Microsoft is rebranding their data hosting service as OneDrive. Microsoft is calling it OneDrive because it's the "one place for your photos, videos, documents, and files across all your devices."

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New Leadership at Microsoft can Change the Tech World

b2ap3_thumbnail_Satya_Nadella_CEO_400.jpgThe CEO baton at Microsoft has been passed from Steve Ballmer to Satya Nadella, making Nadella the third CEO in Microsoft's well-publicized history. You may not think that this will have an impact on your business, but considering how intertwined Microsoft is with the the global economy, you may be surprised to learn that this move will affect your company.

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The Time to Upgrade Windows Server 2003 is Now

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_server_2003_400.jpgBy now, you have hopefully heard about Windows XP being no longer supported by Microsoft come April, but what you may have missed is that there's another popular Windows OS, Windows Server 2003, that's also set to expire relatively soon. July 14, 2015 is the end of support date for Windows Server 2003. Have you made plans to upgrade?

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5 Tips to Upgrade from Windows XP

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_400.jpgIf you haven't done it already, then on the very top of your 2014 to-do list should be upgrading from Windows XP. Microsoft has scheduled to end support for its popular decade-old OS on April 8, 2014, which is only a few short months away. Here are five tips that will help you with upgrading from Windows XP.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Review

b2ap3_thumbnail_surface400.jpgMicrosoft is well known for their software, but manufacturing tablet computers is a new venture for the tech giant. It's been almost a year since Microsoft's signature tablet the Surface Pro was released, and now the second generation of Surface, the Surface Pro 2, is available. Here's an overview on how the new tablet stacks up.

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Businesses Still Prefer Windows 7

b2ap3_thumbnail_eightseveny400.jpgWe are in a unique time of Windows OS transitions. The redesigned Windows 8 has been out for one year, and the first major update to it (Windows 8.1) was just released. Additionally, the popular Windows XP expires in April, forcing everybody to upgrade and choose between Windows 7 and 8. Which OS will your business go with?

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Windows 8.1 Looks to Address User Issues

b2ap3_thumbnail_8point1-400.jpgOn October 17, Microsoft publicly released the Windows 8.1 update. It is the first major update for Windows 8 and Windows RT. The Windows 8.1 update was designed to confront some of the usability issues that Windows 8 PC users have encountered since the release of the OS, last year.

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Microsoft Gets Down to Business with Windows 8.1

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows81-400.jpgOne year ago, Microsoft took a big gamble when they released Windows 8 with a new user interface that strayed from their successful twenty year-old template. Throughout the year, Microsoft has been listening to user feedback and they have recently addressed the biggest issues with Windows 8.1, the first major upgrade to Microsoft's newest OS.

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Windows XP is a Liability for Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_xtothep400.jpgIf you are still running your business or home PC on Windows XP, then it's vital that you upgrade to a newer OS. Yes, your decade-old Windows XP system may be working just fine, and therefore, you may not feel the urgency to upgrade, but you will feel the heat next year when Microsoft stops supporting its popular operating system.

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It’s Time to Retire Windows XP

b2ap3_thumbnail_xp400.jpgIf you haven't yet upgraded from Windows XP, then you (and 500 million users) must have strong reasons for hanging on to a twelve year old product. Unfortunately, everybody's strong reasons won't hold water come April 8th, 2014 when Microsoft stops supporting XP with new security patches.

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Where Are They Now: Clippy

b2ap3_thumbnail_clippy400.jpgIt looks like you're trying to read a blog letter. Would you like help with that? If Microsoft's animated Office assistant Clippy were here, he would undoubtedly be on the corner of the page distracting you from getting anything done. The last time we saw Clippy was in 2003. What has Clippy been up these past ten years?

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End Your PowerPoint Presentation with Movie Credits!

b2ap3_thumbnail_ppcred400.jpgEverybody loves a pat on the back, especially after contributing to a great project. When you end your next PowerPoint presentation, don't just list your sources, give thanks to those who helped you in your research by epicly animating their names, movie credit style!

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What’s New with PowerPoint 2013 Presenter View?

b2ap3_thumbnail_pp400.jpgMicrosoft PowerPoint 2013 Presenter View has new improvements designed to enhance your presentation. Presenter View is a helpful feature that allows the presenter to see a separate screen that's different from what the audience sees. The presenter's screen is used to display notes, previews, and other helpful tools. Here's how you can take full advantage of this PowerPoint feature.

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Replace Your Soon-to-Be Drafty Windows

b2ap3_thumbnail_outwithxp400.jpgHow new are the windows in your home? Do you have problems when you're trying to open them, such as they don't stay up or simply won't budge? How about when you walk by them, do you feel a draft because their seals are shot? When this happens, what's the first thing you think? More than likely it's "I need to replace them ASAP". If you think this way when it comes to your home, then why not the same when it comes to your business?

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Microsoft Claims Xbox One is a “Justifiable Business Expense”

b2ap3_thumbnail_xboxone400.jpgSeriously. In a recent blog post, Microsoft makes the case that the upcoming Xbox One is more than a gaming console; it's actually a powerful business tool. The way Microsoft sees things, the $499 Xbox One is "entirely justifiable as a business expense." Before you laugh, consider the business friendly features of the Xbox One.

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New Software Precisely Predicts Your Future Location

b2ap3_thumbnail_location400.jpgBeing able to see the future is something that most people, meaning not everyone, would love to do. It would either provide comfort, or cause panic based on the results of such an inquiry. While some claim being able to look around the curve of time and space is theoretically possible, this new software doesn't use that approach. There is a new software, known as Far Out, doesn't use this approach.

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Don’t Trust Your Co-workers? Lock Your PC

b2ap3_thumbnail_lock400.jpgYour office might have the appearance of a warm and welcoming work environment, but deep down, you know that, behind the motivational posters and potted plants, your co-workers are dedicated to seeing your demise. To protect yourself, you will need to protect your workstation.

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Your Opinion Matters: Metro vs. Start Button

b2ap3_thumbnail_startbutton1.jpgOne of the most controversial decisions from Microsoft was the removal of the Start button with the Windows 8 operating system. Many longtime Windows users refused to upgrade, while others cheered the more mobile friendly touch-based Metro interface. Where do you land on this hot issue? Are you a hardcore Start button enthusiast, or do you think the Metro interface is better?

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Tip: Use Word to Fill in Scanned Documents

b2ap3_thumbnail_word400.pngHave you ever got stuck having to fill out a paper document, only to butcher it with your handwriting? Paper forms filled out with sloppy handwriting are unprofessional and may even miscommunicate an important detail. To help your paper forms look professional, Microsoft Word allows you to scan the doc and then enter text; we'll show you how!

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Windows 8 Behind the Scenes

b2ap3_thumbnail_W8-400.jpgWhen working on your PC, there's a lot more going on than what meets the eye. While working on a project, your operating system is simultaneously using resources to perform several tasks behind the scenes. When you pull the curtain on Windows 8, you may be surprised with all the activity that's going on.

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Windows is Feeling Blue about the Start Button

b2ap3_thumbnail_W8Blue400.jpgIt takes a big person to admit when they're wrong, and there's nothing bigger than Microsoft. Windows 8 hasn't sold like Microsoft anticipated, and users pin the blame solely on one little button, the Start button, or the lack thereof. With Windows Blue (officially previewing June 26), it's rumored that Microsoft is remorsefully bringing back the button.

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Tip: Launch Word with Your Recent Project

b2ap3_thumbnail_Bookmark400.jpgIf you have a big Microsoft Word document that you chip away on every day, then you can save time by opening up Word directly to your project. By doing this, you can get more out of your workday. Here’s how you do it.

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Tip: Use Word to Make Words More Better

b2ap3_thumbnail_WordLogo400.jpgFor as long as Microsoft Word has been around, it has been the preferred word processing application from people serious about writing. This is because Word is so much more than a typing app; Word is full of rich features that help writers be better at their craft. One helpful writing feature of Word is the Thesaurus, here's how to use it.

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Windows Blue: The Next Big Thing from Microsoft

b2ap3_thumbnail_WindowsBlue400---Windows-Blue-Upgrade.jpgWith Windows 8 firmly established and in full marketing mode, Microsoft is now preparing a major upgrade that they are calling Windows Blue. Microsoft will release full details about Windows Blue at the Build conference in June, and based on details that have been leaked, it looks like Blue will be Microsoft's next big thing.

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In Windows, Hibernation Isn’t Sleep

b2ap3_thumbnail_Sleep400.jpgThe Windows family of operating systems (OS) have different power-saving modes for users to take advantage of if they find themselves away from their workstation or mobile computing device. Windows 8 features three: Sleep, Hibernate, and Hybrid Sleep.

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Critical Updates on the Way for Windows, Office, and IE

b2ap3_thumbnail_Updates400.jpgMicrosoft will be dishing out multiple security updates this week, including four critical patches for Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, and SharePoint Server. Critical updates are considered Microsoft's highest threat rating, so installing these patches is important.

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Microsoft’s Surface Pro - a Full PC Experience in a Tablet

b2ap3_thumbnail_SurfacePro400.jpgUntil now, most tablets on the market only supported mobile operating systems, such as the Apple iPad or the Google Nexus 10. Even the Microsoft Surface tablet, released just a few months ago, uses a limited mobile version of Windows 8. In other words, while these devices have loads of great features and capabilities, it's not the same experience that you get from a laptop. The Surface Pro is the new exception.

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An Old Internet Explorer Can Harm Your PC

b2ap3_thumbnail_InternetExplorer-logo.jpgIf you never connected your PC to the internet, then you could get away with not updating any of your software. Do to the changing nature of the internet, new security threats are constantly attacking your computer. Internet browsers are your door to the internet and require constant updating in order to keep your PC protected from these threats.

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Tip: Download a Windows 8 Start Button for Free

b2ap3_thumbnail_Classic.jpgThe new Windows 8 OS has received strong reviews on performance, and complaints in regards to the new interface. The main gripe is that the new tile layout is too different than the older versions of Windows, due in no small part to the lack of a start button. Leave it to third party software developers to build a solution.

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5 New Features with Microsoft OneNote 2013

b2ap3_thumbnail_One-Note.jpgMicrosoft Office 2013 will be released during Q1 of 2013. The previews we have seen look promising, Office 365 has cloud-based services and touch screen features that work well with the new Windows 8 OS. We will highlight a few of these upgrades by looking at five new features with OneNote 2013.

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4 New Features of Microsoft Excel 2013

b2ap3_thumbnail_excel.jpgDoes it feel like your new Windows 8 OS is missing something? It might be because Microsoft Office 365 is not out yet; it is scheduled to be released Q1 of 2013. The updated Office applications have been overhauled to flow with Windows 8, and we want highlight five of these new features found specifically in Excel 2013.

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4 New Features for Microsoft Word 2013

b2ap3_thumbnail_word2013.jpgLike clockwork, the release of Windows 8 is accompanied by a new version of Microsoft Office. The new Office will not come out until Q1 of 2013, but many product details have already been revealed; and they are in keeping with the cleaner, sleeker design of Windows 8. Here is a look at a few new features for Word 2013.

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Microsoft Looks to Scratch the Surface

b2ap3_thumbnail_microsoftsurfacetablet10.jpgWindows has been on tablets for years. In fact, one of the first prototype tablets, the NCR-produced model 3125 notepad computer ran the Microsoft Windows for Pen Computing software for the Windows 3.1 operating system (OS). Today, 21 years later the software giant has ventured back into the portable-computing hardware arena with the Microsoft Surface Tablet.

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What’s New with Microsoft PowerPoint 2013

b2ap3_thumbnail_ppt20132.jpgRiding the hype wave from the launch of Windows 8 is the newest version of Microsoft Office. Scheduled for release during Q1 of 2013, Office 365 has significant upgrades and new features in line with the revamp of Windows 8. We will showcase a few of these improvements by looking at 5 new features for PowerPoint 2013.

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Windows 7, Your Days are Numbered

windows7deadlineThe week before the launch of Microsoft's Windows 8, Reuters reported that many businesses view the launch as a non-event. Corporations are generally slow to adopt new systems, taking 12-18 months to first test a new platform before implementing it. Many businesses do not see any additional business functionality with Windows 8, and write it off as a consumer product.

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The 3 Flavors of Windows 8

a1sx2_Original1_windows8icecream.jpgOctober 26th is the launch of Microsoft's new OS, Windows 8, and the world seems disoriented at the dramatic overhaul of a traditionally predictable product. To make things a bit more confusing, there are actually 3 different versions of Windows 8 being released. You should know the differences between each one before purchasing your next Windows operating system.

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Windows Gets a New Look

a1sx2_Original1_windows8bluelogo.jpgMicrosoft is gearing up to roll out Windows 8 on October 26th and if the early tests are any indication, the computing giant's latest operating system (OS) could change the face of cross-platform integration. There's always some consternation among business owners when having to decide to outfit their computers with the newest OS so here are a few things you should know about Windows 8.

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Collaborate and Share Notes with Microsoft OneNote

multiple people looking at printed out graphsIf you use Microsoft OneNote for jotting down quick meeting notes, phone calls, and personal memos, you've probably had information you needed to share with other co-workers in your OneNote Notebook. This quick walk-through will show you how to set up a Shared Notebook that others can access and modify.

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Microsoft Office 2013 Sneak Peak

microsoft office iconMicrosoft has released a preview of their highly anticipated Microsoft Office 2013, with features meant to coincide with their release of Windows 8 set to be released this fall. Like Windows 8, Office 2013 was designed to accommodate the needs of not only individuals but businesses, as well.

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Use Outlook Rules to Save Time when Managing your Inbox

Business owners and employees alike are inundated with email. According to a study done in 2011, as much as half of an employee's day is spent sifting through their email, and as the study puts it, "necessary, yet unproductive tasks." Freeing up that time and spending less time managing email can open a worker up to more productivity. Here's a quick and simple way to start organizing your inbox to free yourself from your email and get more done!

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Microsoft Rises to the Surface

microsoft surface tablet

June 18 marked a banner day for Microsoft as they unveiled their long-awaited tablet 'Surface'. Microsoft is hoping that the productive compatibility of Surface will make successful bid to unseat Apple's iPad as long reigning tablet-supreme.

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How to Create Amazing Document Templates with Microsoft Word Part 2

definition of the word SolutionLast time we talked about ways to standardize your Microsoft Word documents so the look and feel remains consistent throughout the document and between multiple documents. Today we are going to look at a more advanced trick that will let you take predefined content and data and allow yourself to pick and choose when you use it in a document.

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How to Create Amazing Document Templates with Microsoft Word Part 1

docx file iconDo your documents look a little bland? Representing your brand is important whenever you do any corresponding, whether you are just using letter heads or creating custom documentation or project proposals. Microsoft Word makes it simple to standardize the look of your documents so your brand can shine through no matter what type of document you are creating.

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Is it Time to Ditch Windows XP?

Windows XP was released back in October 2001, and still today, many users and businesses still use it every day. Even in 2012, XP's market share is around 27%. Is your business still using Windows XP? How much longer should XP be kept around?

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Top Ten Keyboard Shortcuts To Get Things Done

typing on keyboardMicrosoft Office and Windows 7 provide many keyboard shortcuts that can improve your ability to multitask and get things accomplished quickly. Most of these shortcuts will work in previous versions, like Windows XP, Vista and the Microsoft Server Operating Systems as well. Give them a try, and the next time your tech comes by, be sure to show off your new skills.

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Microsoft Word Basics: Line and Paragraph Spacing

microsoft logoKnowing how to adjust the line and paragraph spacing in Word can be very handy. Modifying these settings can really impact the presentation of your document and keep it from looking too cluttered. After reading this short tutorial you won't have any trouble adjusting these settings to your needs.

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Getting Excited for Windows 8

 

windows 8 dashboard

At Directive, we always look forward to checking out new gadgets and software, and since Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system is so fresh and unique compared with previous iterations, we are interested to see how it will impact businesses.

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At Long Last: Android Users get OneNote Mobile

android alien and OneNote logoFans of Microsoft's note taking application can now use OneNote on iOS devices, Windows Phone 7 Smartphones, and at long last, Android devices. Up until now, Android users have been left in the dark for synchronizing and managing their notes through an official OneNote app.

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