Preston Gralla

About the Author Preston Gralla


RIP, Windows Phone. Your demise could lead Microsoft to redemption.

Microsoft in early October finally did what it should have done years ago: It killed Windows Phone. The smartphone operating system’s fate was sealed when Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president in Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group, sent out this tweet: “Of course we’ll continue to support the platform.. bug fixes, security updates, etc. But building new features/hw aren’t the focus.”

That effectively pulled the plug on an unsuccessful, unloved operating system that was being kept on life support by Microsoft. Around the time Belfiore announced its demise, the operating system had a vanishingly small market share: 1.3% in the U.S., and lower than that in most other places around the world, including 1% in Great Britain and Mexico, 1.2% in Germany and 0% in China.

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OneNote vs. Evernote: A personal take on two great note-taking apps

What’s the king of the note-taking apps?

Is it Microsoft OneNote, launched in 2003, added to Microsoft Office starting in 2007 (and thus available to more than 1.2 billion users) and now offered for free as a standalone product? Or is it the independent Evernote, which launched back in 2008 and is estimated to have somewhere in the range of 200 million users by now?

OneNote and Evernote are available for all the major desktop and mobile OSes, they each sync your notes to all of your devices and the web, and both promise to be the only note-taking app you need. But they also have some very distinct differences. So which is better?

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Windows 10 quick tips: 7 ways to speed up your PC

Want Windows 10 to run faster? We’ve got help. Take a few minutes to try out these tips, and your machine will be zippier and less prone to performance and system issues.

1. Change your power settings

If you’re using Windows 10’s Power saver plan, you’re slowing down your PC. That plan reduces your PC’s performance in order to save energy. (Even desktop PCs typically have a Power saver plan.) Changing your power plan from Power saver to High performance or Balanced will give you an instant performance boost.

To do it, launch Control Panel, then select Hardware and Sound > Power Options. You’ll typically see two options: Balanced (recommended) and Power saver. (Depending on your make and model, you might see other plans here as well, including some branded by the manufacturer.) To see the High performance setting, click the down arrow by Show additional plans. 

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Review: Windows 10 Fall Creators Update from A to Zzzzzzzz

After six months of waiting, the next major upgrade to Windows 10 is almost here. Known as the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, it will begin rolling out to the public on October 17.

The upgrade touches countless parts of the operating system, from OneDrive file storage to Cortana, the Edge browser, security and more. I’ve been tracking its progress for the last half year and putting it to the test with serious use in the last several weeks. Here’s a deep-dive, hands-on look at what’s new. (IT pros: Don’t miss the “What IT needs to know about the Fall Creators Update” section.)

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Step aside, Windows! Open source and Linux are IT’s new security headache

Windows has long been the world’s biggest malware draw, exploited for decades by attackers. It continues today: The Carbon Black security firm analyzed 1,000 ransomware samples over the last six months and found that nearly 99% of them targeted Windows.

That’s not news for IT administrators, of course. But this might be: Linux and other open-source software are emerging as serious malware targets. Several recent highly publicized attacks exploit holes in open-source software that many enterprise admins once considered solidly safe.

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How to replace Edge as the default browser in Windows 10 — and why you should

Don’t like the Windows 10 Microsoft Edge browser? You’re not alone. Only 20% of all Windows 10 users ran Edge as their main browser as of August 2017, down from 24% a year earlier, reports Computerworld’s Gregg Keizer.

Still, that’s a lot of people running the browser, and many of them might run it only because Microsoft has made it the Windows 10 default. You might be one of them. There’s no doubt Edge has been an improvement over Internet Explorer. But it may not be improvement enough.

In this article, I’ll outline the reasons you may want to switch from Edge to Chrome, Firefox, Opera or another browser, and then show how you can replace Edge with any browser of your choice as your default.

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