Get ready for Office 2016 – A Complete Guide

On Tuesday, 22nd September 2015, Microsoft officially announced the international roll out of its latest application suite product, Office 2016. The suite will be an addition to its Office 365 cloud-based application bundle service that aims to meet the contemporary needs of enterprises, at a low cost.

Microsoft has revealed that its Office 2016 application suite will offer a new desktop app version for its Windows apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook to foster better teamwork and facilitate collaboration needs and objectives.

“These latest innovations take another big step forward in transforming Office from a familiar set of individual productivity apps to a connected set of apps and services designed for modern working, collaboration and teamwork”

— Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

With its launch of the Windows 10 operating system, Microsoft is set to provide an ecosystem of different business solutions for enterprises. Businesses that are Office 365 subscribers can choose to download the new Office 2016 applications as part of their subscription.

What is new in Office 2016?

Team collaboration and productivity are at the forefront with the latest release of the Office suite. Businesses operate in a highly competitive environment and barriers to communication and agility usually prove to hinder greater profitability and business growth. Requirements such as the need to be constantly mobile and work remotely for instance, cannot be met by using older application bundles and suites. Office 2016, as an addition to Office 365, can help fulfill enterprise requirements better.

“The way people work has changed dramatically, and that’s why Microsoft is focused on reinventing productivity and business processes for the mobile-first, cloud-first world. These latest innovations take another big step forward in transforming Office from a familiar set of individual productivity apps to a connected set of apps and services designed for modern working, collaboration and teamwork”

–Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

Tools for team collaboration

The additions to Office 2016 allow for higher productivity with features such as co-authoring on Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote, which allows users to type in real-time in Word while others work on the same document, essentially facilitating editing as content is developed. Skype in-app integration is also included across the client apps, allowing you to talk, video chat, and message instantly. Furthermore, the new Office 2016 includes the Office 365 Groups, which can be accessed easily from your mobile devices via the Outlook Groups App. This shared consistency helps to keep time lost in business communication to an absolute minimum.

In addition, the newly introduced Office 365 Planner and GigJam offer unprecedented benefits for teams’ task organization, task management, and planning. This helps to remove communication barriers between different departments and across different teams, giving a significant boost to task completion.

 Additions to Windows apps

Microsoft had upgraded its apps to work smarter and faster, including better integration with cloud apps. The following are the changes introduced to each of its apps:

Word: Microsoft Word has been added with a number of features to provide better context for richer documents. As opposed to the limited number of options that would pop up when right clicking a highlighted word, the new Word 2016 displays options such as word translations, search for synonyms, and so on.

More importantly, Microsoft has introduced the Smart Lookup feature. This allows users to automatically look for relevant information in the Bing search engine by choosing the Smart Lookup option from the list of options presented when right clicking or typing Smart Lookup in the Tell Me box.  This feature allows users to benefit from a closely integrated Microsoft experience.

Excel: The Excel 2016 application has been integrated with the feature to publish large spreadsheet data for business intelligence purposes. This, along with new chart types, allows business users to make the most out of their data by scanning for important insights for better decision making.

Outlook: The Outlook application is adjusted for better email management, providing the smartest inbox coupled with lightning quick search tools, automatic deletion of unimportant and low priority e-mails via its Clutter tool. More importantly, the feature to include cloud-based attachments is another plus for businesses that can easily integrate their work from cloud services.

Security features

Enterprise security is the most important concern of CEOs and other executives owing to the intensity of data security threats and the number of data breaches faced by organizations in general. Microsoft has not neglected this concern with the recent release and has provided a range of capabilities for advanced data protection.

This consists of integrating built-in data loss prevention mechanism across Excel, Word, and PowerPoint to ensure that sensitive data does not leak easily. IT administrators are also provided with multifactor authentication tools that provide a far better data security than one-dimensional encryption tools. This will allow users to access their data anywhere in a secure manner without having to worry about data loss or theft.

Lastly, Microsoft is also expected to release Enterprise Data Protection for the Office Mobile apps for its latest Windows 10 operating system as well as for desktop use next year that will provide enterprises with exceptional data security protocols for safer business operations.


How To Master Cortana In One Hour

The new Windows 10 operating system, which is available for free download, comes with a range of new benefits and customization tools taking user experience to a whole new level. One of these features is none other than the highly acclaimed voice-responsive search program and tool, Cortana.

Here, we bring to you a guide to how to master Cortana within an hour and use it to its fullest.

Why Cortana is important in Windows 10?

Cortana, contrary to what people would think, is more than just a search tool. As a matter of fact, it has the features to rival Apple’s Siri. Named after the an AI character in the Halo game franchise, Cortana can be used to alert you of scheduled meetings, wake you using alarms, check your local weather, and even tell you a joke. Cortana is your personal administrative assistant or secretary.

“Windows has always been grounded in the idea that technology should help individuals and organizations do great things”

— Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President of operating systems, Microsoft

Setting up Cortana

Setting up Cortana is simply a matter of a few clicks. The operating system will ask you for your name or nickname which Cortana will call you. Give your first name or any other name you would like your AI secretary to call you, to proceed to the next step. It will then ask you for your location which you can either give or not give depending upon your privacy concerns. However, if you want to be able to benefit from personalized local results by Cortana, you will need to enter your geographic location.

Afterwards, you can search for ‘Cortana settings’ in the search bar on your taskbar and click on the first result to access a number of options. In the first option, you can disable the active part of Cortana entirely. So if you are tired of Cortana notifying you constantly of tips and alerts, then this how you turn it all off.

With the second option, you can configure Cortana to respond to you saying ‘Hey Cortana’. You can make this function work more accurately by clicking on the ‘learn my voice’ program. This will take you through a number of steps to ensure that your microphone is working correctly and literally ‘learn’ your voice patterns so you can instantly activate Cortana.

However, if you are using a laptop, it can use up a lot of the battery power. You can turn off this detection by toggling the ‘Hey, Cortana’ switch to ‘Off’.

Using the Cortana search button

Cortana is located on your desktop taskbar. You can either click it to give a voice command, or simply type in the information you wish to look for. If you want to hide the search box completely, simply right click on it, go to ‘Cortana’ and click on ‘hidden’. This will completely hide Cortana, though you will still be able to access keyboard searched by pressing the Windows button + S.

Cortana Home

When you search for anything, you will notice a home screen of Cortana which contains a summary of your personalized items and latest news stories. Think of it as Flipboard app but exclusively that of Microsoft. You can easily navigate to the different articles and news stories and expand by clicking on them. You also have the options of either removing a sub-section from the home page, hide it, or simply edit in Notebook.

Cortana Notebook

Cortana also offers Notebook, a feature which helps save your personalized searches on a variety of topics such as:

  • Eat & Drink
  • Events
  • Finance
  • Getting Around
  • Meetings & Reminders
  • Movies & TV
  • Music
  • News
  • Sports
  • Travel
  • Weather

These categories can also be removed if you feel they are not relevant and also manually tweak them to make changes. The Notebook feature is a useful feature for Cortana to learn more about you as a person and your personal preferences. For instance, in the case of Eat & Drink, Cortana can suggest you new deals at your favorite restaurants.


Windows 10 – A 5-minutes’ Overview That Saves You Hours of Testing and Guesswork

The new Windows 10, available as a free upgrade for existing Windows 7 and Windows 8 noncorporate users, is built from the ground up to realize Microsoft’s vision of “a platform for all”: a Windows OS that runs on all devices and works for universal apps. It is highly anticipated as well as controverted by users. And until so far, from what we learned at, Windows 10 is really worth a try giving the following reasons:

Better Testing and Deployment

If you’re a small business that makes software, you know of the difficulties involved with testing. Businesses are forced to test new versions of software on each operating system. This includes server operating systems for SaaS platforms. Microsoft promises that Windows 10 will have better support across all Microsoft Windows platforms.

Of course, you still need to update your operating system, including Windows 10, with the latest security updates and patches. ComputerSupport or another MSP can help you secure your systems.

Making Businesses More Mobile

There’s no doubt that mobility is the future. Working on mobile devices is more popular now than using desktops. Microsoft has been behind in the mobile market with Windows Phone not as popular as Android and iPhone.

Windows 10 includes Continuum, which seeks to blur the line between desktop and mobile devices. It’s especially useful for laptops and corresponding hybrids. When you remove a keyboard and mouse from a desktop, Windows 10 will ask you if you want to switch to tablet mode.  Conversely, if you insert a keyboard and mouse, Windows will ask you if you want to return to desktop mode. This is extremely useful for mobile employees who travel with Windows tablets.

Cortana: Siri’s Virtual Assistant Competitor

Apple’s Siri is a popular virtual assistant. Siri is the voice that speaks when you need help on your iPhone. Microsoft has its’ own virtual assistant – Cortana. The original test versions of Windows 10 had several bugs related to its virtual assistant. However, Microsoft has promised to address them. Cortana performs various tasks, such as schedule meetings, set alarms, take notes and call people on Skype. She can also interact with your OneDrive account.

The Start Menu is Back

Anyone who installed Windows 8 probably had the same reaction – where is the Start button? Microsoft made a critical design flaw when it redesigned its Windows 8 user interface. The uproar resulted in an upgrade that brought back the Start menu and its button. Microsoft heard the feedback, and it has promised to keep the Start menu and the Start button on the new Windows 10 interface.

Get Ready for the New Internet Explorer

Microsoft is also releasing a brand new web browser, Microsoft Edge (finally!!). Microsoft Edge, originally called “Spartan,” is said to be faster with fewer bulky features that slowed down older versions of Internet Explorer.

Best of all, it’s Free!

If you are currently running Windows 7 or 8 consumer or professional editions, you are in luck – your upgrade is completely free! If you are on the Enterprise edition, you will need to work with your Microsoft VAR to upgrade using Software Assurance.

If you are a current customer, please submit a helpdesk request today to get started with your upgrade!

Upgrade to Windows 10 – A How-To Guide For Busy People

The highly anticipated Windows 10 is finally here. It has been several years since the last time Windows released a new version, and Windows 8 wasn’t well received. The interface issues with Windows 8 probably make you wonder if it’s worth the hassle again. If you decide to proceed with the upgrade (if you are a current CS customer please make sure to let us know before you begin) here is a quick How To guide.

  1. Check System Requirements to make sure your device is compatible.
  2. Backup your data!
  3. Go to the Download Windows 10 If you are on a 32-bit version, then you need to download the 32-bit tool; if you’re on a 64-bit version then get the 64-bit tool.


If you need to check your Windows version:

Right click on My Computer or This PC in File Explorer ->

Go to Properties ->

Find it under System – System Type.

Upgrade to Windows 10 - Check Windows version 1

Upgrade to Windows 10 - Check Windows version 2

  1. Run the 32-bit tool or 64-bit tool, and select the Upgrade Your PC option. Windows 10 will begin downloading.
  2. Select Keep Personal files and Apps to ensure that you will have your files and applications in place after the upgrade.
  3. The installation will start and reboot automatically as needed.
  4. You will have a chance to customize system settings, depending on your preferences and needs.
  5. After the upgrades is done, you can enjoy the new Windows 10 immediately!


If you need to restore previous Windows version:

Go to Settings – Update & Security ->

Choose the option “Go Back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1”.