Tag Archives: windows7

How to Add Email to Windows 7

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I asked my friends over on the Windows Twitter account what some of the questions are that they receive on a regular basis. One of the most common ones they are seeing fired at them lately from newcomers to the operating system is “How do I get my email on Windows 7?”

One of the key differences between Windows 7 and Windows XP and Vista is the lack of an email client. While past versions of Windows included Outlook Express or Windows Mail, depending on which operating system you upgraded from, Windows 7 lacks an email client as part of the install. You can, of course, use an online version of your mail client or even sign up for a free Gmail account. However, many of us still rely on our trusty desktop clients. What are you supposed to do in Windows 7 then?

If you want that desktop experience and liked Outlook Express in older versions of Windows, then you’ll likely enjoy Windows Live Mail. It’s a free download, but you will need to sign up for an account. When you complete your registration, you’ll have access to several different features and functions if you choose to use them:

  • Get 25 GB of free online storage on SkyDrive. Use it to save your files or share photos and videos.
  • Windows Live Photo Gallery can help you remove red eye, create amazing panoramas, and more.
  • Now you can stop emailing files to yourself. Keep docs, photos, and other files in sync across your PCs.
  • Hotmail to access your email anywhere you may be.
  • Windows Live Messenger helps you stay connected to friends.

Windows Live Mail helps you organize your life into one place on your computer. Add multiple accounts such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! and more. You can browse your email, calendars and contacts when your Internet connection isn’t on.

I remember using Internet Mail and News – MSIMN. That’s how many years I’ve been around online. That’s the first graphical email client released by Microsoft and it may still be something you can launch from your machine.

I’m a big email user and admit that I prefer OS X. However, I will admit that Windows Live Mail is beautiful. The layout is clean and awesome. It’s slick… it’s good. I definitely recommend it.

Which desktop mail application are you using?

Save $100 on Windows 7 Professional Upgrade

The Windows 7 Professional Upgrade will not be available until October 22, 2009. However, if you want to pre-order now, Amazon has a great deal, which saves you a hundred dollars.

Amazon even gives a price guarantee:

if the Amazon price decreases between your order time and the end of the day of the release date, you’ll receive the lowest price.

There is a limit of three (3) per customer, and is an excellent deal. At least, it provides some top-end insurance. The price may be lower, but it can’t go any higher than this if you order now.

There is a Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to see if your system can handle Windows 7. A small download is required in order to make use of this resource.

And finally, there is this stated caution on the Amazon page:

“We recommend that you experience Windows 7 on a new PC. While we don’t recommend it, you can opt to upgrade your current PC from Windows XP or another operating system to Windows 7…”

In this economy, there may not be the extra funds to go out and buy a “new PC,” as suggested. The upgrade may be the viable economic route to go – but do your homework. It seems that a hundred dollars (less a penny and with free shipping) is an economical way to have access to this new operating system.

Windows 7: Problem Steps Recorder

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I never thought I’d say this again – but I’m looking forward to the next version of Windows. In playing with Windows 7, I’ve discovered features that will prove very useful. You’ll definitely fall in love with this particular feature. The Problem Steps Recorder will come in quite handy and be something you’ll wonder how you ever lived without.

If you’ve ever been trying to do tech support to other users via the Internet or telephone, you know how difficult it can be. You may feel like you’re going crazy, trying to make them able to clearly define and describe the problems. Most of the time, it’s not the user’s fault – it’s just not easy to put the problems into words. The Problem Steps Recorder will change all of that.

The tool is an easy-to-use (yet advanced!) variation of screen capturing software. It’s almost like a print screen, of sorts. It has this little advantage of documenting all of the mouse clicks and key strokes that are being done. It grabs all of the technical mumbo jumbo, and ties it all together into a nice little report for you, the tech person, to read.

Ahhh, the report. The reports are amazing! It is actually an XML page which shows each step of the user’s actions, including screenshots with those items highlighted! You can look at the report “as is”, or in a slideshow. Heck, if you’re feeling really frisky, you can dig into the XML to look at every fine detail!

I just… can’t say enough about this feature. It’s practical. It’s useful. It’s easy to use. It’s about time! Kudos to the dev team at Microsoft. This is a definite win!

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What’s Shaking in the Windows 7 Beta: The Windows!

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I am running Windows 7 on my TouchSmart PC, as well as within a virtual machine on my Mac. I have the Aero Basic scheme going in the VM, sadly. However, even in Basic mode, I can still show you a feature that’ll have you jumping around. It’s called Aero Shake.

Not only has 7 been upgraded to give you more features from your taskbar, it also includes new ways to manage your workspace! You can shake the foreground window to minimize other open windows in the background. When you want to focus on a single task with a desktop filled with open windows, just grab the title bar of the frontmost window and shake it back and forth. It will minimize all of your other windows – freeing you from having to minimize them one-by-one. Another shake will restore all of those windows right back to where you had them before.

Remember, you can also drag and drop a window to the edge of the screen to maximize it, and click on the title bar again to restore it to the previous size. We covered that tip earlier.

There you have it… just one more way that Microsoft is scoring big with Windows 7.

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What’s New in Windows 7: The Taskbar!

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As you know, I’ve been playing with Windows 7 on my HP TouchSmart. So far, I’m enjoying the experience. One complaint I’ve always had about Windows through the years is that the task bar never changed much. Well, that is about to change with Windows 7!

If you’re a power user, you’re going to love this. If you want one reason to upgrade from XP to Windows 7 – this is the one. The taskbar is double the height, with good reason. We have bigger screens now than we used to! Of course, if you’ve always set your taskbar to double height, you’ll already know what you have to gain.

Your time and date are now stacked on top of one another. The system tray icons look much cleaner and crisper. The most dramatic change, though, is that the icons can be moved around. They’re managed in a different fashion, as well.

Once I had opened a few windows, I was able to show you how no new icons were added to my task bar at the bottom of the screen. The icons were stacked on top of each other over top of the default icon for the application. If I click that icon, I get thumbnail previews of all of the windows. If I right-click the icon, it pulled in the history from the window (Internet Explorer at this time).

If I don’t like where the icon is, I can drag it elsewhere on my task bar. No matter how many windows I open, the taskbar doesn’t really grow. The nice thing is that again, I can click my window icon once to get previews of where I’m going. So if I have several Windows Explorer windows open, I can can even right-click to get options like seeing what the most frequently-visited folders are.

By the way, the Windows Explorer has been completely rebuilt. I hope to get the developer in here with me to discuss all of those changes whenever he’s cleared to do so.

All-in-all, the taskbar in Windows 7 is definitely awesome. I love messing with it, and I know you will too. Make sure that you download your beta copy of Win 7 if you have a VM or testing box to put it on. Don’t use it as your primary operating system yet, as it IS still in beta version. I think once you start playing around with it, you’re going to be happily surprised at everything it brings to the table.

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What’s New in Windows 7: Window Management

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I’ve been playing with Windows 7 on my HP TouchSmart for a few days now. I have to admit – I really like it. One of the most interesting upgrades Microsoft has incorporated is the way windows are managed inside of the operating system.

I opened a Windows Explorer window, along with an IE8 window. Let’s say you want to have them running side-by-side. It’s kind of tricky to get them optimized to take up only part of the screen. Well, Microsoft has made it simple inside of Windows 7.

Simply grab one of the windows and drag it over to the left until a window skeleton appears, and drop it. Grab the other window and drag it to the right until the window skeleton appears again, and drop it. Now I can browse both. Windows 7 will automatically resize it. When I’m finished, I just drag-and-drop them away.

When I want to maximize, I could double-click the title bar, but that’s so old school. I just click and drag the window to the top of the screen and let go… or drag it away. If you want to go full-screen with an app, drag it to the top. If you want to minimize it to the task bar, just drag it there, as well.

No matter what kind of computer or screen you’re running, I think you’ll have an easier time managing your windows inside of Windows 7… especially if you’re using a smaller screen and trying to maximize your screen real estate.

If you know of any other cool shortcuts or upgrades inside of Windows 7, be sure to send me an email so I can check them out – and share them with the rest of the world!

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What’s New in Windows 7: Desktop Wallpaper!

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Traditionally speaking, Windows out of the box has sucked at wallpaper management. You could change the wallpaper, but that was about it. You could have obtained a program to help you manage your wallpapers, but that was a pain at times.

I wanted to show you the way that Windows 7 handles wallpaper. It’s about time Windows gave us a better experience in this area. By right-clicking the desktop and choosing “personalize”, then click on “desktop background”, I have several options that open up. I can choose from images in my library. I didn’t have to save anything, just click the picture. I can choose from several different options, including centering or tiling the image.

I can select more than one wallpaper, and choose to change the picture every ten seconds… or up to once a day. I can choose as many images as I want, shuffle them at a random interval, and wham. My desktop will no longer be boring.

If I get bored with what I’m using during the day, I can right-click on the desktop, and choose “Next Desktop Background Picture”. It will fade oh-so-nicely into the next background picture. You can continue doing that until you’re happy with the choice.

They’ve done a lot to enhance the desktop wallpaper experience within Windows. It’s certainly something that people will be welcoming with open pixels when Windows 7 ships. If you have other Win 7 tips or tricks, feel free to drop me a line so I can check them out.

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