Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Don't Look Now, Here Comes Office 2013

As soon as we become comfortable with technology, we are probably behind. For example, many of you at Passaic and Bergen have just received training in the state of the art Office 2010. The biggest feature that will take some retraining is the touch-screen support. Windows 8 and Office 2013 will support touch-screen input, so if you have a touch-screen, you can use that instead of a mouse.

I am interested in seeing the changes they have made, so I will be downloading the free consumer preview and seeing how I like the changes.

Anyone can download and try out the consumer preview for free:

If you already have Office, I would not recommend removing your old version, as preview versions expire eventually. However, if you don't have Office at all and would like to play with it, or if you are a little more tech-savvy, here is your chance to be the first kid on the block to try it out.

That is my plan for Tuesday!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Evolution of an Operating System (and my Windows 8 book)

I am finishing up my second book, a Windows 8 book for Pearson/Prentice Hall. Apparently, it will be published on October 12, according to Amazon (Link to my Windows 8 book here).

Delving in to the new operating system has been instructive for a few reasons. First of all, this version of Windows is going to change things. This rivals Windows 95 as the biggest change I've seen to Windows. Short summary: they have removed the Start menu and replaced it with a Start screen.

Wait, no, that is the Partridge family bus. You can see my confusion.

Yep, that's the Start screen!

You can of course add and move tiles. Notice my user name is my Gmail account. You can sign in with a Microsoft account and keep your files and settings "in the cloud". In other words, if I design my Start screen on my desktop, I can log in to my laptop and have the same screen. If I add bookmarks and pictures, they can follow me as well! Microsoft has also added the ability to log in using picture passwords and PINs, much like some cell phones.

The Windows Explorer interface has changed to include the Ribbon, which is the interface you may be used to from Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010.

Other key points: Windows 8 supports touch-screen monitors, so I am guessing in five years or so most people will have touch-screen monitors at home.

They've added new searching functions, gestures (like "pinching" on the screen to zoom), and basically ripped the heart out of the operating system.

There are many changes to be discussed, and a blog entry just won't summarize this. Just prepare to retrain!