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Archive for the ‘Microsoft’ Category

Microsoft reveals Windows 8

Windows 8
Article from BBC’s website:
Microsoft has taken the wraps off the next generation of its Windows operating system.

Windows 8 is designed to run on tablet computers, as well as desktop and laptop PCs.

The software, which is due to be released in 2012 will work on the popular ARM-designed low power processors for the first time.

Microsoft has been under pressure to come up with an answer to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms.

Unveiling Windows 8 at the Build developers’ conference in California, Windows division president Steven Sinofsky declared: “We re-imagined Windows.   From the chipset to the user experience.”

Another relevant article from SiliconValley:

Visio 2010 Step by Step

  Here’s an extract from the Microsoft Visio Newsletter announcing the launch of a new book to help everyone get the best out of Visio 2010.


“A new Visio 2010 book is hot off the presses! We’d like to congratulate Visio MVP Scott Helmers on the publication of Microsoft Visio 2010 Step by Step.The book can help you set your own pace in learning and practicing how to easily create professional-looking diagrams with Visio 2010. In addition to explaining how to take advantage of some of the new templates and ease-of-use features, Scott’s book also shows how and when to use some of the powerful new functionality (such as containers, sub-processes, diagram validation, and how to use Visio Services to share diagrams) in Visio 2010.”

Top 10 reasons to try Word 2010

Here’s an article from Microsoft which lists their “Top 10 reasons to try Word 2010“.


Discover an improved search and navigation experience.

Locating the information you need is faster and easier in
Word 2010. With the new and improved Find experience, you can now view a summary
of search results in a single pane, and click to access any individual result.
The improved Navigation Pane provides you a visual outline of your document so
you can browse, sort, and find what you need quickly.

Improved Navigation Pane and Find tools make it easier than ever to browse and search

Improved Navigation Pane and Find tools make it easier than ever to browse and search


Work  with others without having to wait your turn.

Word 2010 redefines the way people can work together on a
document. With co-authoring, you can edit papers and share ideas with others at
the same time.1 You can also view the availability of others who are
authoring a document with you and can easily initiate a conversation without
leaving Word.2

You can edit the same document at the same time as fellow team members in other locations


Access and share your documents from virtually anywhere.

Post your documents online and then access, view, and edit
them from most any computer or your Windows phone.3With
Word 2010, you can take advantage of a best-in-class document experience across
multiple locations and devices.

  • Microsoft
    Word Web App
    : Edit documents in a Web browser when you’re away from your
    office, home, or school without compromising the quality of your viewing
  • Microsoft
    Word Mobile
    : Stay current and take immediate action using an enhanced mobile
    version of Word on Windows Phone 7 devices.4


Add visual effects to your text.

With Word 2010, you can apply formatting effects such as
shadow, bevel, glow, and reflection to your document text as easily as applying
bold or underline. You can spell-check text that uses visual effects, and add
text effects to paragraph styles. Many of the same effects used for images are
now available to both text and shapes, enabling you to seamlessly coordinate all
of your content.

You can now apply many of the same effects to text that you might use for pictures and graphics


Turn your text into compelling diagrams.

Word 2010 offers you more options to add visual impact to
your documents. Choose from dozens of additional SmartArt® Graphics to build
impressive diagrams just by typing a bulleted list. Use SmartArt to transform
basic, bullet-point text into compelling visuals that better illustrate your

Word 2010 Composite Imaging


Add  visual impact to your document.

New picture-editing tools in Word 2010 enable you to add
special picture effects without additional photo-editing software. You can
easily adjust pictures with color saturation and temperature controls. You also
get improved tools for easier and more precise cropping and image correction, to
help you turn a simple document into a work of art.

New and improved picture-editing tools can fine-tune every picture in your document


Recover work you thought was lost.

After working on that document for awhile, did you
accidentally close it without saving? No problem. Word 2010 lets you recover
draft versions of recently edited files as easily as opening any file, even if
you never saved the document.


Transcend communication barriers.

Word 2010 helps you work and communicate effectively across
different languages.5 Translate a word, phrase, or document more
easily than before. Set separate language settings for ScreenTips, Help content,
and displays. And, get additional assistance for English as a second language
with English text-to-speech playback.


Insert screenshots and handwriting into your documents.

Capture and insert screenshots directly from Word 2010 to
quickly and easily incorporate visual illustrations into your work. When you use
a tablet-enabled device such as a Tablet PC or Wacom tablet, you get improved
tools for formatting ink as easily as you format shapes.


Accomplish more with an enhanced user experience.

Word 2010 simplifies how you access features. The new
Microsoft Office Backstage™ view replaces the traditional File menu to let you
save, share, print, and publish your documents with just a few clicks. With the
improved Ribbon, you can access your favorite commands even more quickly by
customizing tabs or creating your own to personalize the experience to your work

Backstage view lets you save, share, print, and publish documents with just a few clicks

1 Requires either Microsoft SharePoint
Foundation 2010 or a Windows Live account.

2 Instant messaging and presence requires one of the following:
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 with Microsoft
Lync 2010; Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2
with Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2; Windows Live Messenger, or another
instant messaging application that supports
IMessenger. Voice
calls require
Microsoft Lync Server 2010 with Microsoft
Lync 2010; Office Communications Server 2007 R2 with
Office Communicator 2007 R2 or an instant messaging application that supports

3 Web and smartphone access require an appropriate device and
some functionality requires an Internet co
nnection. Web functionality uses Office Web Apps, which
require a supported Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari browser and either
SharePoint Foundation 2010 or a Windows Live ID. Some mobile functionality
requires Office
Mobile which is not included in Office 2010
applications, suites, or Office Web Apps. There are some differences between the
features of the Office Web Apps, Office
Mobile and the Office 2010

4 Word Mobile is not included in the Office 2010
applications or suites

5 Translation features are free and do not require any add-ins.
The bilingual dictionary comes by default in the box (no download), and the
language and availability depends on the SKU version of your Office 2010
application. Internet service is required for machine translation, and languages
vary by provider; this will be determined automatically depending on your

What’s new in Project 2010?

Here’s an overview of Microsoft Project 2010 from Microsoft’s website where you will find further details

Microsoft Project 2010 has a shiny new interface, but that’s not all. Under the hood, it contains powerful new scheduling, task management, and view improvements that give you greater control over how you manage and present your projects.

The new version of Project Web Access also has a new look and many new features to help you collaborate with your team.

What’s new in Project 2010

Improved interface

Project 2010 introduces several features to dramatically enhance how you see and work with your project.

Introducing the ribbon

When you first start Project 2010, you may be surprised by what you see. The menus and toolbars have been replaced with the ribbon, which helps you quickly find the commands that you need to complete a task. Commands are organized in logical groups that are collected together under tabs.

Project ribbon

For Project 2010, all tabs and groups on the ribbon are fully customizable. If your organization has features unique to its business, you can group them on their own ribbon tab.

Welcome to the Backstage

Click the File tab and you are in the Backstage, a one-stop graphical destination for managing your project files. The Backstage contains the same basic commands available on the File menu in earlier versions of Microsoft Project to open, save, and print project files. Project Professional 2010 users can also use the Backstage to manage their Project Server connections, and to check out and publish projects.

Project Backstage.

The Options command that was on the Tools menu has been moved into the Backstage. This command opens the Project Options dialog box, where you can enter, review, or change preferences controlling how Microsoft Project works and appears.

Find commands quickly

The most commonly used commands can now be found with one click — one right-click, that is. When you right-click any item in a view, such as bar, table cell, or chart, a mini-toolbar with a list of commonly used commands is displayed. When you’re in a hurry, this is one way of using project that will pay you back in time saved.

Mini toolbar graphic

New viewing options

New viewing features have also been added to help you understand with greater clarity how your team is performing and where they are overallocated. Project can also help you and others in your organization see the big picture (and potentially major resource problems) with the Timeline view.

The team planner

Project Professional 2010 users now have the team planner, a resource scheduling view that lets you interact with your schedule in a way that hasn’t been possible before in earlier versions of Project. With the Team Planner view you can see at a glance what your team members are working on and move tasks from one person to another. You can also view and assign unassigned work, view overallocations, and see task names as well as resource names — all in one efficient view. Managing your task and resources has never been so easy. For example, if a resource is overallocated, all you need to do is drag a task from one resource to another, and the overallocation disappears.

Team Planner graphic

Fig. 1  A task that is behind schedule. This task could be dragged to Tom or Cheryl, who aren’t doing any work.
Fig. 2  A task that is on schedule.
Fig. 3  Tasks that are currently unassigned. These could be dragged to Tom or Cheryl, who aren’t doing any work.

The timeline

Project 2010 includes a timeline view that is automatically displayed above other views, showing a concise overview of the entire schedule. You can add tasks to the timeline and even print it for an attractive summary report of the entire project. Or you can paste it into an e-mail for an instant report with no fuss.

TImeline graphic

Easier view customization

Manipulating views has often been challenging in Project. No longer. Take a look at the new ways you can orchestrate how your project is presented and controlled.

Add new columns quickly

Adding new columns to Project is greatly simplified. Simply click the Add New Column heading at the right end of the sheet portion of a view, and type or select the name of a column. An existing column can also be quickly renamed by clicking on its title and typing a different column name. Customizing a column has never been so easy.

Add column graphic

The zoom slider

Project 2010 lets you quickly zoom the timephased part of a view using a zoom slider in the status bar. Simply move the slider to the right to move zoom in (show shorter time intervals, such as days or hours) on your schedule and to the left to zoom out (show longer intervals, such as weeks or months). The zoom slider works in the Gantt Chart, network diagram, and calendar views, as well as in all graph views.


User-controlled scheduling

Project 2010 has several scheduling enhancements to improve your control over your schedule. You can also create initial task lists in Microsoft Excel or Word and paste them into Project without having to reformat them.

Manual scheduling

Project 2010 introduces a major shift in how projects are scheduled. Changes to factors such as task dependencies (task dependencies: A relationship between two linked tasks; linked by a dependency between their finish and start dates. There are four kinds of task dependencies: Finish-to-start [FS], Start-to-start [SS], Finish-to-finish [FF], and Start-to-finish [SF].) and the project calendar (calendar: The scheduling mechanism that determines working time for resources and tasks. Project uses four types of calendars: the base calendar, project calendar, resource calendar, and task calendar.) no longer automatically adjust task dates when a task is manually scheduled.

You can place a manually scheduled task placed anywhere in your schedule, and Project won’t move it.

Project managers who are accustomed to automatic scheduling with past versions of Project can turn the new manually scheduling feature off for specific tasks or the entire project. Some projects, especially complicated ones, may require Project’s powerful scheduling engine to take care of scheduling for you.

Inactive tasks

With Microsoft Project Professional 2010, you can make tasks inactive and still retain them in the project. Inactive tasks often have critical information (such as actuals and cost information) that can be valuable for archival purposes.

Top-down summary tasks

Project managers are no longer restricted to creating subtasks and then rolling them up into summary tasks. For Project 2010, you can create summary tasks first, and they can have dates that don’t exactly match the roll-up dates of the subtasks.

At the beginning of the planning phase, project managers may only have some high-level information on key deliverables (deliverable: A tangible and measurable result, outcome, or item that must be produced to complete a project or part of a project. Typically, the project team and project stakeholders agree on project deliverables before the project begins.) and major milestones (milestone: A reference point marking a major event in a project and used to monitor the project’s progress. Any task with zero duration is automatically displayed as a milestone; you can also mark any other task of any duration as a milestone.) of their projects. Using Project, you can divide projects into high-level phases (phase: A group of related tasks that completes a major step in a project.) based on the overall timeline and budget (budget: The estimated cost of a project that you establish in Project with your baseline plan.). This means that dates for individual work items do not necessarily need to line up exactly with dates for the high-level phases.

Project version comparison

The compare versions feature in Project 2010 now includes Gantt bars and graphical images to help you more clearly see how one version of a project differs from another version.

Easier collaboration

Projects don’t exist well in isolation from other people in your organization. Project has improved ways in which you can share project information.

Improvements in collaboration through SharePoint list synchronization

Project Professional 2010 users can export project files to a SharePoint list, which provides a quick and simple way for a project manager to share status or create reports that can be viewed across the organization. You don’t need Project Web App to sync with a SharePoint list.

Enhanced copy and paste

You wouldn’t think that collaboration could increase through something as simple and ancient as copying and pasting Project information. With this new functionality, you can now copy and paste content to and from Office programs and Project 2010 and keep its formatting, outline levels, and column headers.

With two clicks of the mouse, you can generate an instant report and copy it to most Office programs.

Backwards compatibility

Project 2010 is compatible with previous versions of Microsoft Project.

You can create files in Project 2007 or earlier and then open and edit them in Project 2010 in a reduced-functionality mode. In addition, you can create files in Project 2010 and then convert them to the Project 2007 or Project 2000-2003 file formats. Either way, you don’t need a converter!

 Note   Features unique to Project 2010, such as manually-scheduled tasks and top-down summary tasks, may not appear as expected when viewed with earlier versions of Project.

Microsoft Office 2010 is launched

Office 2010 has been launched and is available as a trial download.  I like the fact that it looks like Office 2007 (so no major upgrade path) but it contains several excellent new features. 

I have been reviewing the Beta version for a few months so you’ll find some Posts if you select the Category “Microsoft Office 2010” on this Blog. 

Edit AND enhance photos in Word or PowerPoint® 2010
Put more visual impact into your documents or presentations with easy-to-use photo-editing tools that let you crop, control brightness AND contrast, sharpen or soften, AND add artistic visual effects without leaving Word 2010 or PowerPoint 2010.

Access, edit, AND share from virtually anywhere with Office Web Apps
Get things done when you’re away from the office. Create documents in Office 2010 desktop applications, then easily post them online to Windows Live® SkyDrive™ to access, view, AND edit with Office Web Apps from virtually anywhere you have Internet access.*

Organize all of your information in a single place in OneNote® 2010
Create a digital notebook in OneNote 2010 to capture AND share text, images, video, audio — all your thoughts, ideas, AND important information in a single, easy-to-access location.

Analyze finances easily at home AND at work with Excel® 2010
Use Sparklines in Excel 2010 to create mini-charts that make it easy to highlight trends in expenses at a glance. Use Slicers to dynamically segment AND filter PivotTable® data to display precisely what you need, AND improved Conditional Formatting to highlight specific items in your data set with just a few clicks.

Take control of email conversations with Outlook® 2010
Track AND manage your email easily with Conversation View in Outlook 2010, a feature that lets you condense, categorize, AND even ignore lengthy email exchanges with a single click.

Customize your email AND simplify communication in Outlook 2010
Use Quick Steps in Outlook 2010 to create AND save custom multi-step tasks that you can execute with a single click, including: Delete AND reply, move to specific folder, create a new email to your team, AND more.

To find out even more / download the Trial version, visit the Microsoft website

Office 2010: PowerPoint pictures

 Here’s another Tip from Microsoft about Office 2o10 (Beta).

” The new picture and video editing tools in Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 can help turn your next presentation into a real crowd-pleaser. You can quickly crop, add effects, or correct colors in your images without any additional photo-editing software. And adding cool special effects like fades, reflections, or 3-D rotation to embedded video clips is a great way to wow a crowd.

“Take a seat in the director’s chair.
It’s easy to give your presentation more cinematic quality with some eye-catching video.
1. Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon, and Video on the far right.
  Screenshot: Add video in Microsoft Office 2010 PowerPoint
2. Choose From File.
3. Click through the menu to insert your video, and select the commands in the View Tools tab of the Ribbon to Trim, Bookmark, Fade in, or Loop your video.”
Pictures speak a thousand words.
The picture-editing tools in PowerPoint 2010 can turn your presentation
into a work of art:
1. Insert a picture onto a slide, using the Insert tab on the Ribbon.
2. When the picture is inserted, the Picture Tools tab displays all of
the editing options available. If you already have a picture on your
slide, double-click it to display the Picture Tools tab.
  Screenshot: Artistic Effects in Microsoft Office 2010 PowerPoint
3. Click Artistic Effects to preview more than 20 effects to apply to
your photo right away.

Excel 2010: Sparklines turning information into insights

 Another tip from Microsoft about Excel 2010 BETA
  Microsoft Office
Turn information into insights. Visualize better decisions with Microsoft Excel 2010.
” Sparklines—miniature charts that fit into a single Excel cell—help you see individual trends quickly and make better decisions.”
Set off your data with Sparklines:
1. On the Insert tab on the Ribbon, locate the Sparklines group.
2. Select the type of Sparklines you want to insert, such as Line, Column, or Win/Loss.
3. In the Create Sparklines dialog box, define your Data Range and Location Range, and then click OK.
To discover more great ways to use Sparklines, see Getting Started: Use Sparklines to Show Data Trends.
Screenshot: Sparklines

What are sparklines?

Unlike charts on an Excel worksheet, sparklines are not objects — a sparkline is actually a tiny chart in the background of a cell. The following picture shows a column sparkline in cell F2 and a line sparkline in F3. Both of these sparklines get their data from cells A2 through E2 and display a chart inside a cell that shows the performance of a stock. The charts show the values by quarter, highlight the high value (3/31/08) and the low value (12/31/08), show all the data points, and show the downward trend for the year.

Sparklines and their data

A sparkline in cell F6 shows the 5-year performance for the same stock, but displays a Win/Loss bar chart that shows only whether the year had a gain (as in the years 2004 through 2007) or a loss (2008). This sparkline uses values from cells A6 through E6.

Because a sparkline is a tiny chart embedded in a cell, you can enter text in a cell and use a sparkline as its background, as shown in the following picture.

A cell containing a sparkline and text

In this sparkline, the high value marker is green, and the low value marker is orange. All other markers are shown in black.

You can apply a color scheme to your sparklines by choosing a built-in format from the Style gallery (Design tab, which becomes available when you select a cell that contains a sparkline). You can use the Sparkline Color or Marker Color commands to choose a color for the high, low, first, and last values (such as green for high, and orange for low).