Software http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/205/ en Buggy Microsoft Security Essentials Update Kicks XP Machines While Down http://www.maximumpc.com/buggy_microsoft_security_essentials_update_kicks_xp_machines_while_down_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/mse_devil.jpg" alt="MSE Devil" title="MSE Devil" width="228" height="138" style="float: right;" />Here come the conspiracy theories</h3> <p>After more than 12 years of service, Microsoft finally pulled the plug on Windows XP by ceasing to support the operating system last week. However, Microsoft did promise to keep doling out updates for its Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) software, including the version that runs on XP, but in doing so, the Redmond outfit only made things worse. That's because <strong>the latest MSE update is causing some XP machines to freeze up and run slow</strong>.</p> <p>Anyone with a tinfoil hat will tell you this is entirely intentional on Microsoft's part and nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to get users to upgrade. The real explanation is likely far less insidious, though equally annoying for XP users who had hopes of holding onto the legacy OS for at least a little while longer.</p> <p>"I am a professional computer engineer and maintain many desktops and laptops for my customers on a daily basis: as of today (April 16th) I have seen about 12 computers on which Windows XP - after every boot up - throws up an error message referring to MSE, stating: 'MsMpEng.exe application error. The instruction at 0x5a4d684d referenced memory at 0x00000000 The memory could not be read', leaving the computer in an unusable state," <a href="http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_xp-winapps/bug-in-microsoft-security-essentials-lames-windows/7e105845-e4e7-4b0d-b7f8-485ba538e3b2" target="_blank">a user wrote</a> on Microsoft's Windows forum.</p> <p>He goes on to say that "the only solution is to disable MSE or uninstall it completely." Doing so will restore performance, but it comes at the expense of security protection, which is now more important than ever for XP users.</p> <p>Microsoft has yet to acknowledge the situation or issue a fix. One is likely coming, but in the meantime, there are third-party AV vendors that still support XP.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/buggy_microsoft_security_essentials_update_kicks_xp_machines_while_down_2014#comments microsoft Microsoft Security Essentials mse operating system OS Security Software Windows XP News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:20:08 +0000 Paul Lilly 27655 at http://www.maximumpc.com Reports Shows Over a Third of Purchased Steam Games Haven't Been Played http://www.maximumpc.com/reports_shows_over_third_purchased_steam_games_havent_been_played_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/steam_3.jpg" alt="Steam" title="Steam" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Sales encourage gamers to stockpile more games than they have time to play</h3> <p>It seems like there's always a major Steam sale taking place. There isn't, but certainly Steam sales aren't exactly rare. These sales introduce big discounts to popular titles, both current and ones that are slightly older, and we often find ourselves stockpiling titles with plans to play them at a future date. Apparently that's a common practice, as a<strong> new report suggests that nearly 37 percent of registered Steam titles have never been loaded</strong>.</p> <p>Aurich Lawson at <a href="http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/introducing-steam-gauge-ars-reveals-steams-most-popular-games/" target="_blank"><em>ArsTechnica</em></a> did some digging and uncovered some interesting numbers. He didn't pull any of these figures out of a hat, all the estimates are based on publicly available information, he says. So, what exactly did he find?</p> <p>As stated above, over a third of the roughly 781 million games registered to different Steam accounts have never been played a single time. Steam is far from a ghost town, however, as Dota 2 alone currently accounts for around 3.8 billion hours of play time. Lawson also discovered that Steam users have logged 600 percent more time into Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer mode than the single player campaign.</p> <p>Another thing we found interesting is that 17 percent of registered games on Steam have logged less than an hour of play time. If you add that to the games that have never been loaded, it means that 53.4 percent -- a little over half -- of Steam games have either never been loaded or played for less than an hour.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/reports_shows_over_third_purchased_steam_games_havent_been_played_2014#comments games pc Software Steam News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:36:13 +0000 Paul Lilly 27654 at http://www.maximumpc.com IBM Posts Revenue Decline for Eighth Consecutive Quarter http://www.maximumpc.com/ibm_posts_revenue_decline_eighth_consecutive_quarter_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ibm_pc.jpg" alt="IBM PC" title="IBM PC" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Declining hardware sales and expensive layoffs hurt IBM's bottom line</h3> <p><strong>It was another rough quarter for IBM, which reported a drop in revenue</strong>. That marks eight quarters in a row of revenue declines. For the first quarter of 2014, IBM's total revenues reached $22.5 billion, down 4 percent from the first quarter of 2013. On the plus side, IBM is still making a profit -- $2.4 billion in Q1 2014, though even that figure is marred by the fact that it's down 21 percent year-over-year.</p> <p>Part of the reason why the numbers are down this time around is because of IBM's recent layoffs. The company took an $870 million "workforce rebalancing charge" as it makes changes and reductions to staff that it hopes will pay off in the long run.</p> <p>IBM's bottom line was also affected by a drop in hardware revenue. The company's Systems and Technology segment totaled $2.4 billion for the quarter, down 23 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. Total systems revenues decreased 24 percent, including a 40 percent reduction in revenues from its System z mainframe server products.</p> <p>"In the first quarter, we continued to take actions to transform parts of the business and to shift aggressively to our strategic growth areas including cloud, big data analytics, social, mobile and security," <a href="http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/43696.wss" target="_blank">said Ginni Rometty</a>, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer. "As we move through 2014, we will begin to see the benefits from these actions. Over the long term, they will position us to drive growth and higher value for our clients."</p> <p>IBM benefited from a bump in software sales. The company's Software segment generated $5.7 billion in Q1, up 2 percent year-over-year. Revenues from IBM's middleware products jumped 4 percent to $3.7 billion. Included in that is a 12 percent year-over-year jump in WebSphere sales.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/br1dotcom/4737099700/sizes/l" target="_blank">br1dotcom</a>)</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/ibm_posts_revenue_decline_eighth_consecutive_quarter_2014#comments financial report Hardware ibm revenue Software News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:02:20 +0000 Paul Lilly 27652 at http://www.maximumpc.com You'll Need a Burly PC to Run Watch Dogs at Ultra Settings http://www.maximumpc.com/youll_need_burly_pc_run_watch_dogs_ultra_settings_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/watch_dogs.jpg" alt="Watch Dogs" title="Watch Dogs" width="228" height="147" style="float: right;" />Watch Dogs creative director confirms specs for running title at Ultra settings</h3> <p>The minimum system requirements to run Watch Dogs on a Windows PC makes the game pretty accessible to anyone with a relatively modern PC (we're talking Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 or AMD Phenom II X4 940 era hardware). However, the recommended system requirements are quite a bit more demanding, and <strong>if you want to run Watch Dogs with Ultra settings, you'll need a GeForce GTX 780 graphics card</strong>.</p> <p>Watch Dogs creative director Johnathan Morin took to Twitter to announce the beefy hardware you'll need to run the game in all its visual glory.</p> <p>"Ultra specs: Intel Core i7 4770K with a GeForce 780. The PC video was recorded on an Intel Core i7 3930K with a GeForce Titan IIRC," <a href="https://twitter.com/Design_Cave/status/455476639083028481" target="_blank">Morin said</a>.</p> <p>As for the minimum requirements <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/243470/" target="_blank">listed on Steam</a>, you'll need one of the aforementioned processors or higher, 6GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 460 / AMD Radeon HD 5770 or higher, and 25GB of hard drive space. For the recommended requirements, hardware gets bumped up to an Intel Core i7 3770 / AMD FX-8350 X8 or higher, 8GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 560 Ti / AMD Radeon HD 7850 or higher, and the same amount of hard drive space (25GB).</p> <p>Watch Dogs will be available to play May 27, 2014. You can pre-purchase the game for $60, or snag the Deluxe Edition for $70.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/youll_need_burly_pc_run_watch_dogs_ultra_settings_2014#comments design cave games jonathan morin Software watch dogs News Mon, 14 Apr 2014 18:35:35 +0000 Paul Lilly 27636 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft's Offers Developers Early Look at Windows Phone 8.1 Update http://www.maximumpc.com/microsofts_offers_developers_early_look_windows_phone_81_update_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_phone_81.jpg" alt="Windows Phone 8.1" title="Windows Phone 8.1" width="228" height="166" style="float: right;" />Windows Phone 8.1 Preview is available for developers</h3> <p>Wondering if Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant software will live up to the hype? You can find out by downloading the <strong>Windows Phone 8.1 Preview, which is now available for third-party developers</strong>. This isn't intended for the general public, though if you just can't shake that curiosity and want to be one of the first to try out the new software, you can apply the update without writing apps. Here's what you need to know.</p> <p>Before you can download the update, you must be a registered developer or be running a "developer unlocked" phone. To become a registered developer, you need to fork over $19 and publish apps in the Windows Store, or register as a developer with App Studio.</p> <p>If you're going the "developer unlocked" route, you'll need to download the developer tools to register and unlock your handset.</p> <p>Keep in mind that you risk voiding your phone's warranty by fooling around with the preview update. You also need to be aware that the update only includes Microsoft's portion of the software -- mobile operator and OEM driver updates will be available when the official update for your phone is released.</p> <p>Finally, bear in mind that there's no going back. Microsoft says you can't revert or return to a prior OS release after you've updated your phone to a preview update.</p> <p>If none of that scares you away, you can download the preview update <a href="http://dev.windowsphone.com/en-us/featured/devpreview" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsofts_offers_developers_early_look_windows_phone_81_update_2014#comments microsoft mobile. operating system OS smartphone Software windows phone 8.1 News Mon, 14 Apr 2014 18:10:31 +0000 Paul Lilly 27635 at http://www.maximumpc.com IRS to Spend $30 Million on Upgrades and Post-Retirement XP Patches http://www.maximumpc.com/irs_spend_30_million_upgrades_and_post-retirement_xp_patches_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/irs.jpg" alt="IRS " title="IRS" width="228" height="165" style="float: right;" />IRS is paying Microsoft to recieve custom XP patches after failing to upgrade in time</h3> <p>Microsoft put the whole world on notice that it intended to end support for Windows XP, and as the deadline came closer into view, Redmond's attempt to get users to upgrade intensified. Unfortunately for taxpayers, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service ignored the warnings and watched the deadline come and go. As a result, <strong>the IRS will pay Microsoft hundreds of thousands of dollars to continue receiving out-of-retirement security patches</strong> for another year.</p> <p>An agency source <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9247634/Update_IRS_misses_XP_deadline_will_spend_30M_to_upgrade_remaining_PCs" target="_blank">told <em>Computerworld</em></a> that the amount it's paying Microsoft for its Custom Support option is "less than $500,000" and not in the millions of dollars range as originally reported. <em>Computerworld</em> had come up with a much higher estimate based on analysts saying Microsoft typically charges around $200 per PC for the first year of Custom Support. At that rate, the IRS would have been on the hook for $11.6 million for a single year of XP support for its remaining 58,000 XP machines. Apparently the IRS negotiated a much lower rate in the neighborhood of $9 per PC.</p> <p>In addition to post-XP support, the IRS still has the cost of migrating to Windows 7. Between the two, the IRS will spend $30 million. The good news for taxpayers is that none of this will affect tax filings or processing refunds.</p> <p>"None of our filing season systems or other major business operating systems for taxpayers use Windows XP," an IRS spokesperson said Friday. "The IRS emphasizes the situation involving Windows will have no impact on taxpayers, including people filing their tax returns in advance of the April 15 deadline."</p> <p>The migration to Windows 7 is expected to be complete by the end of the year.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/irs_spend_30_million_upgrades_and_post-retirement_xp_patches_2014#comments IRS operating system Software windows xp News Mon, 14 Apr 2014 15:13:48 +0000 Paul Lilly 27630 at http://www.maximumpc.com Google Beefs Up Android Security, Watches for Misbehaving Apps http://www.maximumpc.com/google_beefs_android_security_watches_misbehaving_apps_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nexus_verify.jpg" alt="Android Verify" title="Android Verify" width="228" height="161" style="float: right;" />New security measures keeps your installed Android apps in check</h3> <p>It's not unusual for a malicious Android app to sneak into Google Play, though they're obviously much more prevalent from third-party sources, especially from sketchy areas of the web. To help protect users from falling prey to an app's malicious intentions, <strong>Google is rolling out a new enhancement to its security scheme that will examine an app's behavior after it's been installed</strong>.</p> <p>The security scheme will continually check devices to make sure installed apps aren't misbehaving. It's part of Google's "Verify apps" security system, which also scans apps prior to installation.</p> <p>"Because potentially harmful applications are very rare, most people will never see a warning or any other indication that they have this additional layer of protection. But we do expect a small number of people to see warnings (which look similar to the existing Verify apps warnings) as a result of this new capability," Google stated in a <a href="http://officialandroid.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/expanding-googles-security-services-for.html" target="_blank">blog post</a>. "The good news is that very few people have ever encountered this; in fact, we’ve found that fewer than 0.18 percent of installs in the last year occurred after someone received a warning that the app was potentially harmful."</p> <p>This new measure will also protect against potentially malicious apps that might have been installed prior to Google's verification system going live in 2012. Either way, it's nice to have the extra layer of protection, especially as malware writers begin to pay more attention to Android.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/google_beefs_android_security_watches_misbehaving_apps_2014#comments android apps Google Security Software News Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:21:00 +0000 Paul Lilly 27605 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft's 'Escape from Windows XP' Game Caps the End of an Era http://www.maximumpc.com/microsofts_escape_windows_xp_game_caps_end_era_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/escape_from_xp.jpg" alt="Escape From XP" title="Escape From XP" width="228" height="173" style="float: right;" />Going out in style</h3> <p>Well, that's it folks. Support for Windows XP officially ended on Tuesday, marking the end of a run that lasted nearly 13 years. Some will inevitably cling to the dead operating system, though as <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/pc_market_starting_stabilize_after_eight_quarters_declining_shipments_2014" target="_blank">PC shipment data shows</a>, many have also chosen to migrate rather than risk running an abandoned OS. As a final reminder to those who have yet to upgrade -- and perhaps as a fitting homage -- <strong>Microsoft created "Escape from XP," a fun (and free) time waster</strong> that's available to play on modern browsers.</p> <p>It's a trip down memory lane that begins with booting into Windows XP from presumably an ancient PC with a CRT monitor. You're then thrust into an arcade-style shooter in which you move around blasting bits of XP era icons. In the game, you're the last person in the world still supporting IE6 on XP, and it's time to navigate away from what Microsoft now calls a "pestilence on the peaceful developer community." Controls are simple -- WAD to move, arrow keys to shoot in the desired direction, and Q to swtich weapons.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/escape_from_xp_clippy.jpg" alt="Escape From XP" title="Escape From XP" width="620" height="470" /></p> <p>Diehard XP fans might take exception to Microsoft painting their belove OS as a "pestilence," but hey, it's a fun way to remind people that the retro party's over. The only thing missing is a cameo from Kurt Russell, who starred in Escape from New York and Escape from L.A.</p> <p>You can play <a href="http://www.modern.ie/en-us/virtualization-tools#escape-from-xp" target="_blank">Escape from XP here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsofts_escape_windows_xp_game_caps_end_era_2014#comments escape from xp games microsoft operating system Software windows xp News Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:32:54 +0000 Paul Lilly 27603 at http://www.maximumpc.com Epic Wants Unreal Engine 4 to (Eventually) Support Windows Phone and Windows RT http://www.maximumpc.com/epic_wants_unreal_engine_4_eventually_support_windows_phone_and_windows_rt_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_phone_unreal.jpg" alt="Windows Phone Unreal Engine 4" title="Windows Phone Unreal Engine 4" width="228" height="214" style="float: right;" />Tim Sweeney confirms there's interest in porting Unreal Engine 4 to Windows Phone and RT</h3> <p>When the time is right, <strong>Epic will make its Unreal Engine 4 platform available on Windows Phone and Windows RT</strong>. Exactly when that time will be is still up in the air, but thanks to a forum post in which Epic co-founder and CEO Tim Sweeney responded to a user question, we at least know it's something the company is both interested in and has been working towards to some degree.</p> <p>"We have been doing some work in this direction (implementing various levels of Win RT API support) and we want to have Windows Phone support eventually, but we're a very long way from having a ship-quality implementation," <a href="https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?403-Is-Windows-Phone-support-planned&amp;p=2654&amp;viewfull=1#post2654" target="_blank">Sweeney said</a>.</p> <p>Given the disparity in market share between Windows Phone and other platforms, this isn't a high priority for Epic. Sweeney essentially says as much, adding that his company's "mobile efforts are really focused on iOS and Android based on their huge market sizes." He also added that there's a lot of work to be done on those two platforms before the development team can think about expanding its reach.</p> <p>Looking strictly at the U.S. market, Android holds a 52.1 percent share of the smartphone sector, followed by Apple at 41.3 percent, according to the <a href="http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press_Releases/2014/4/comScore_Reports_February_2014_US_Smartphone_Subscriber_Market_Share?ns_campaign=COM_NA_US_APR2014_PR_MONTHLY%20MOBILE%20FEBRUARY%20DATA&amp;ns_mchannel=email&amp;ns_source=comscore_elq_COM_NA_US_APR2014_PR_MONTHLY%20MOBILE%20FEBRUARY%20DATA&amp;ns_linkname=text_general&amp;ns_fee=0" target="_blank">latest data by comScore</a>. What that means is that more than 9 out of 10 smartphones in the U.S. are running either Android or iOS. For the sake of comparison, Microsoft holds a 3.4 percent share, meaning less than 4 out of 100 smartphones in the U.S. are running Windows Phone software.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/epic_wants_unreal_engine_4_eventually_support_windows_phone_and_windows_rt_2014#comments Epic Gaming operating system Software tim sweeney unreal engine 4 windows phone windows rt News Tue, 08 Apr 2014 18:47:52 +0000 Paul Lilly 27588 at http://www.maximumpc.com Nvidia GeForce Experience 2.0 Adds ShadowPlay Support for Notebooks http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_geforce_experience_20_adds_shadowplay_support_notebooks_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/geforce_experience_2.jpg" alt="Nvidia GeForce Experience 2.0" title="Nvidia GeForce Experience 2.0" width="228" height="149" style="float: right;" />Laptop gamers are invited to the ShadowPlay party</h3> <p>Today is a busy one for Nvidia. In addition to <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_takes_mantle_enhanced_dx11_driver_2014" target="_blank">launching new beta drivers</a> intended to steal some thunder away from AMD's Mantle API, <strong>Nvidia upgraded its GeForce Experience platform to version 2.0</strong>. The new release is described as a "major update" to the software that's been installed on 35 million PCs to date, and among the new features is ShadowPlay support for GeForce GTX notebooks.</p> <p>ShadowPlay will work on laptops rocking GeForce GTX 800M, GTX 700M, and select GTX 600M GPUs. In addition to adding laptop support, Nvidia's updated GeForce Experience software now allows for desktop capture. To take advantage of the feature, you'll need the latest GeForce driver with Aero mode enabled.</p> <p>Other additions to ShadowPlay include native 1920x1200 capture, the ability to pause via Alt-Tab (previously this would terminate a recording), advanced quality options for Twitch streaming, improved microphone audio quality, and a few other odds and ends.</p> <p>GeForce Experience 2.0 also adds remote GameStream support, meaning you can log into a locked PC from Shield no matter where you are and stream your games, provided you have enough bandwidth.</p> <p>You can find more information on <a href="http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/geforce-experience-2-0" target="_blank">GeForce Experience 2.0 here</a>, and you can download the software <a href="http://www.geforce.com/geforce-experience/download" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_geforce_experience_20_adds_shadowplay_support_notebooks_2014#comments gamestream Gaming geforce experience nvidia Software News Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:34:41 +0000 Paul Lilly 27579 at http://www.maximumpc.com 35 Cool Gmail Tips You Probably Don't Use (but Should!) - Updated! http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/20_essential_gmail <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u17625/gmail_logo_405.jpg" width="250" height="103" style="font-size: 10px; text-align: -webkit-center; float: right;" /></h3> <h3>35 awesome Gmail tips and tricks</h3> <p>To those of you who might have had this article bookmarked, you'll notice it's a bit longer than before. Why? Well, we originally wrote this piece back in 2009, and quite a bit has changed since then, so we thought we'd add to it. After all, it's been five years, which might as well be an eternity in technology time. For example, the amount of free space Google gave Gmail users to play with in 2009 was less than half of what it is today. That's partially the result of Google merging storage across Gmail, Google Drive, and Google+ Photos. Whereas you used to have 7GB of storage for Gmail, you now have 15GB per account, and you can spread it out through those three services however you wish.</p> <p>Storage isn't the only thing that's different. There are some new tips and tricks to share, like <a title="streak" href="http://www.streak.com/" target="_blank">Streak</a>, a Chrome extension that lets you see who viewed your email, at what time, and from where. We've added Streak to this article and cover it in a bit more detail on the following pages, as well as added other groovy tricks. We've also updated existing ones as needed. The bottom line is there's something here for everyone, whether you've read through this article before or this is the first time you're seeing it. Let's get started!</p> <h2>Learn to Use Keyboard Shortcuts</h2> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Kb_Shortcuts.jpg" width="405" height="245" /></p> <p>You've heard the expression that you need to learn to crawl before you can walk, and when it comes to Gmail, you'll be ahead of the game if you learn how to use keyboard shortcuts before diving into more advanced options. To enable keyboard shortcuts, click on Settings and mark the 'Keyboard shortcuts on' radial button.</p> <p>Now that you have this feature turned on, here's a sampling of what you can do with it:</p> <ul> <li><strong>c</strong>: Compose a new message. Hold <strong>Shift +c</strong> to compose a message in a new window </li> <li><strong>Tab+Enter</strong>: Send a message</li> <li><strong>k</strong>: Move cursor to a more recent conversation</li> <li><strong>j</strong>: Move cursor to the next oldest conversation</li> <li><strong>n</strong>: Move cursor to the next message</li> <li><strong>o</strong> <strong>or Enter</strong>: Opens your conversation</li> <li><strong>x</strong>: Selects the current conversation</li> <li><strong>e</strong>: Archives selected conversation</li> <li><strong>!</strong>: Marks current conversation as spam</li> <li><strong>r</strong>: Reply</li> <li><strong>a</strong>: Reply to all</li> <li><strong>g then i</strong>: Go to the Inbox</li> <li><strong>g then a</strong>: Go to "All mail"</li> <li><strong>g then k</strong>: Opens Tasks and switches the focus to it </li> </ul> <p>There's a lot more shortcuts to learn, all of which you can reference <a href="https://support.google.com/mail/answer/6594?hl=en">here</a>.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Old_Snakey.jpg" width="405" height="303" /></p> <p>In the original version of this article, we showed you how to fire up a game called Old Snakey using a Gmail shortcut after enabling it in Gmail Lab, a place where you can find "some crazy experimental stuff." Unfortunately, this fun little time waster slithered off into retirement a couple of years ago. The guy who wrote it -- <a href="https://plus.google.com/+DaveCohen/posts/bud7WG5Ya6V" target="_blank">Dave Cohen</a>, a developer at Google -- said too many people thought they had to beat it before getting to see their mail. Ah well, it was fun while it lasted!</p> <h2>Import Your Contacts from Outlook (and other Mail Apps)</h2> <p>Kudos to you if you can remember the email address for everyone in your Address Book. That gets pretty difficult when you start dealing with dozens of contacts, let alone hundreds or even thousands, and who wants to sit around and retype all that info? The good news is, in most cases you won't have to when making the switch to Gmail.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Export_File.jpg" width="405" height="309" /></p> <p>Like many email clients and services, Gmail supports the Comma Separated Values (CSV) file format. This makes it easy to transfer your Outlook contacts over to Gmail. In Outlook, click on File&gt;Import and Export. Choose 'Export to a file' and press Next. Choose 'Comma Separated Values (Windows),' which should be the second entry down, as depicted above.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Export_Contacts.jpg" width="405" height="309" /></p> <p>By default, Outlook seems to assume you want to export your mail and automatically scrolls down to your Inbox. But what we're after are all the email addresses, so scroll up and highlight Contacts, and then click on Next.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Export_Finish.jpg" width="405" height="309" /></p> <p>Choose a location for the file you're about to save and give it a name, like OutlookContacts. Click Next&gt;Finish and wait a few seconds while Outlook composes the file.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/import_contacts.jpg" alt="Import Contacts" title="Import Contacts" width="405" height="221" /></p> <p>Now that you have your CSV file, sign in to Gmail and click on Contacts. You'll see some buttons listed above your contact. Click on More and select Import. Then click on Choose File and locate the CSV file you saved from Outlook. Once you've found your file, just click on Import and let Gmail do the rest!</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/import_contacts_0.jpg" alt="Yahoo Export" title="Yahoo Export" width="405" height="221" /></p> <p>Use this same method for any service or client which allows you to export your contacts to a CSV file. If you have a Yahoo email account, for example, click on Contacts and then Actions&gt;Export. Select the Yahoo CSV radio button and press Export Now. Then it's just a matter of importing the file into Gmail as outlined above.</p> <h2>Sign Out Remotely (and Discover Who's Been Using Your Account)</h2> <p>It doesn't matter whether we're sitting at the library or fixing Uncle Pete's PC. If we're sitting in front of a computer, we're probably going to check our Gmail to see if we have any urgent messages. That's fine, but what if you forget to sign out? The next person that uses the PC will able to jump into your account and read all of your conversations. Even worse, that person could send out emails on your behalf and create all kinds of chaos. And all because you forgot to sign out.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Remote_Details.jpg" width="405" height="306" /></p> <p>Don't sweat it, Google has your back. Scroll down below your inbox and take note of the Details URL. Right next to it, Google tells you when the last account activity took place, and from which IP it originated from.</p> <p>When you click on the Details link, a new window pops up with more detailed information about any recent activity that occurred on your account, including the IP address, date and time, and even the access type (browser, mobile, POP3, SMTP, and so forth).</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Remote_SignOut.jpg" width="405" height="338" /></p> <p>In addition to your armchair investigation, this is also where you're able to sign out of your account remotely. Just click on the 'Sign out all other sessions' buttons and it will be like you never forgot to log off at all!</p> <hr /> <h2>Add Your AIM Buddies to Gmail</h2> <p>This one's a little tricky because Gmail no longer plays all that nice with AIM since Google decided to focus on its own Hangouts. If you're using Hangouts in Gmail, the first thing you need to do in Gmail is revert back to the old chat. You'll find the option to do that by clicking on your mug in the chat section on the left-hand side.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/revert.jpg" alt="Revert to old chat" title="Revert to old chat" width="405" height="277" /></p> <p>After you revert to the old chat, use AOL's import tool found here. It will ask you to log into AIM and then share your Gmail login information. After you do that, AIM will import your contacts. Leave the browser open as it's working -- it could take a minute or so to complete.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/aim.jpg" alt="AIM on web" title="AIM on web" width="405" height="272" /></p> <p>You can also chat with your Google buddies through AIM. To do that, log into AIM, click on Settings, and select Third Party Accounts. Next, select the Add Google Talk Contacts option and click Accept in the pop-up window.</p> <h2>Mute or Ignore Conversations the Polite Way</h2> <p>Ever get caught up in a lame group conversation that you want no part of? You basically have two options when this happens. First, you can send off an insulting email letting the other participants know you have no interest in their topic of conversations and to remove you from the current discussion. The problem in doing that is you're bound to piss someone off and it will all be for naught. Why? Because some bonehead will inevitably reply to an older email from which your name hasn't yet been removed, putting you right back in the thick of things.</p> <p>The other solution is to simply put up with it and delete the emails as they come in. If you're thinking there's got to be a better way, you're absolutely correct. One of the coolest features in Gmail is the ability to mute or flat-out ignore a conversation. Here's how you do it.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Mute.jpg" width="405" height="171" /></p> <p>First you need to turn on keyboard shortcuts as we outlined earlier (Settings, Keyboard shortcuts on, Save). Once this is enabled, simply press the 'm' key to mute a conversation. By doing so, new messages added the conversation skip your inbox and stay archived. That is, unless you're the direct recipient, in which case it will still show up in your inbox so you don't have to stress over missing any urgent emails.</p> <p>The downside to this is your muted messages can quickly become lost, making them difficult to track down if you ever need to reference one of them. However, there's an easy way to sort through them all. In the search field, type <strong>is:muted</strong>.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Unmute.jpg" width="405" height="171" /></p> <p>What you won't find is an unmute button, but that's okay, you don't need one. To unmute a conversation, open it up and click on Move to Inbox.</p> <h2>Configure Outlook to Access Gmail</h2> <p>We're not going to debate which is the better email protocol, IMAP or POP3. We don't need to, because Gmail supports them both, as does Outlook. So rather than spark a flame war over which one is better (*cough* IMAP *cough*), we'll show you how to configure each one.</p> <p><strong>Configure Gmail in Outlook with POP3</strong></p> <p>Before you do anything, sign in to your Gmail account and click on Forwarding and POP/IMAP. There are a few different options for enabling POP3, and we recommend checking the second one, 'Enable POP for mail that arrives from now on.' If you want Outlook to also download mail that you've already received and read, click the other radio button. Press Save Changes.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Forwarding_and_POP.jpg" width="405" height="303" /></p> <p>In the same section, decide and choose whether you want Gmail to keep a copy of messaged accessed via POP3 on Google's servers, archive them, or delete them.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Add_Email.jpg" width="405" height="305" /></p> <p>Now fire up Outlook and navigate to Tools&gt;Account Settings and be sure the Email tab is selected. Click on New, select the first radio button (Microsoft Exchange, POP3, IMAP, or HTTP), and press Next. Fill in the account setup form, including your Gmail email address and password. Once you're finished, click on Next and see if Outlook is able to automatically configure your account. If not, you'll need to go back and mark the 'Manually configure server settings or additional server types' checkbox.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/POP3_Settings.jpg" width="405" height="305" /></p> <p>Click Next and select the Internet E-mail radio button. In the next window, fill out the fields as follows:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Your Name</strong>: Your name, or a really witty alias</li> <li><strong>Email Address</strong>: Your Gmail email address</li> <li><strong>Account Type</strong>: POP3</li> <li><strong>Incoming Mail Server</strong>: pop.gmail.com</li> <li><strong>Outgoing mail server (SMTP)</strong>: smtp.gmail.com</li> <li><strong>User name</strong>: Your Gmail username</li> <li><strong>Password</strong>: Your Gmail password</li> <li><strong>Require logon using Secure Password Authentication (SPA)</strong>: Checked</li> </ul> <div style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/POP3_Settings2.jpg" width="402" height="442" /></div> <p>Now click on the More Settings button and select the Advanced tab. Fill out the following:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Incoming Server (POP3)</strong>: 995</li> <li><strong>This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL)</strong>: Checked </li> <li><strong>Outgoing server (SMTP)</strong>: 587</li> <li><strong>Use the folling type of encrypted connection</strong>: TLS</li> </ul> <p><strong>Configure Gmail in Outlook with IMAP</strong></p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/IMAP.jpg" width="405" height="191" /></p> <p>Sign into Gmail, click on Forwarding and POP/IMAP, and mark the Enable IMAP radio button. Press Save Changes.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/IMAP_Settings.jpg" width="405" height="305" /></p> <p>Load up Outlook and create a new account using the same steps above, only this time don't even attempt to let Google auto detect the settings. Mark the 'Manually configure server settings or additional server types' check box, click Next, and fill out the fields as follows:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Your Name</strong>" Your Name</li> <li><strong>Email Address</strong>: Your Gmail email address</li> <li><strong>Account Type</strong>: IMAP</li> <li><strong>Incoming mail server</strong>: imap.gmail.com</li> <li><strong>Outgoing mail server (SMTP)</strong>: smtp.gmail.com</li> <li><strong>User name</strong>: Your Gmail user name</li> <li><strong>Password</strong>: Your Gmail password</li> <li><strong>Require logon using Secure Password Authentication (SPA)</strong>: Unchecked</li> </ul> <p>Now click on the More Settings button and select the Advanced tab. Fill out the following:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Incoming Server (POP3)</strong>: 993</li> <li><strong>Use the following type of encrypted connection</strong>: SSL </li> <li><strong>Outgoing server (SMTP)</strong>: 25</li> <li><strong>Use the folling type of encrypted connection</strong>: TLS</li> </ul> <hr /> <h2>Back up and Use Gmail Offline</h2> <p>The reason it always seems like your Internet connection goes out at the worst possible time is because when you stop and think about it, there's really no good time to be without Internet access. Whether we're trying to play an online multiplayer game or collaborate on a cloud project, losing an internet connection sucks. That doesn't mean you can't still be productive, however, because Google has made it possible to use your Gmail account offline (provided you use Chrome). Here's what you need to do.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/gmail_offline_app.jpg" alt="Gmail Offline App" title="Gmail Offline App" width="405" height="271" /></p> <p>Log into your Gmail account, click on the Gear icon in the top-right corner and select Settings, and then click on the Offline link. If you see a blank page, select the Install Gmaill Offline option and proceed to do so.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/gmail_offline.jpg" alt="Gmail Offline" title="Gmail Offline" width="405" height="204" /></p> <p>After you install the app, launch it and follow the prompts. The first one will ask whether or not you want to allow offline mail. By choosing the Allow offline mail option, Gmail will save copies of recent mail for your account to your PC. You can then choose to download from the past week, 2 weeks, or month by clicking on the gear icon in the upper right corner.</p> <p>At this point, the synchronization process will kick in. Depending on how much email you've acquired through the years, this could take a long while, even on a fast connection. Once it's finished, however, you'll be able to access all your mail offline.</p> <p><strong>Gmail Backup</strong></p> <p>What if you're not using Google's Chrome browser? You can still backup your Gmail and view them offline in a third-party email client. Here's how:</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Gmail_Backup.jpg" width="405" height="400" /></p> <p>Download and install Gmail Backup from <a href="http://www.gmail-backup.com/download">here</a>. Run the program, input your username and password, and choose a directory to save your mail. When you're finished, click the Backup button and Gmail Backup will do the rest. Should you ever need to view these messages offline, you can do so in Outlook and other clients that support the .eml file format. But what's even cooler is that you can restore your local emails back into Gmail just by clicking on the Restore button.</p> <h2>Integrate Gmail into Google Apps</h2> <p>Google does a lot more than just email, and that can mean wielding different accounts, tabs, or browser windows. If you're heavy into Google Apps, that can quickly become a drag, so here are a few ways you can integrate Gmail with other Google services.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Google Calendar </strong></p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Gmail_Calendar.jpg" width="405" height="377" /></p> <p>To integrate Google Calendar with your Gmail account, log into Gmail, click on Settings, and select the Labs tab. Scroll down and enable the Google Calendar gadget, and then click Save.</p> <p><strong>Google Voice Player</strong></p> <p>There's no need to navigate back and forth from Gmail to Google Voice in order to play back your voicemails. Enable 'Google Voice player in mail' under the Labs stab and you'll be able to play back your voice messages from your email notification.</p> <hr /> <h2>Set up Automated Canned Responses for Quick Fire Emails</h2> <p>We admit it, we're hypocrites, but hear us out. Sure, we despise as much as the next person receiving an automated response to a customer support inquiry, so why in the world would we advocate setting up Google's so-called Canned Responses? Put simply, we can be much more efficient and less burnt out by composing pre-set replies to common questions we receive all the time.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Canned.jpg" width="405" height="284" /></p> <p>To take advantage of this feature, head back into the Labs tab (under Settings), enable Canned Responses, and mash the Save button. Now let's say you placed a For Sale ad on Craigslist or your local Classifieds and the item sold, but you continue to receive inquiries. It can get pretty old typing out the same response over and over, and it's bad etiquette to just ignore the email. After all, you may be shunning a future buyer for other items you may list for sale.</p> <p>This is where Canned Responses come in. Type in your response. In our example, we wrote, "The 2008 Pontiac GTO I listed on Craigslist is sold. Thank you for your interest." It's short, polite, and to the point, and it's also generic enough to be used no matter what the question is regarding the car that was recently sold. To save this message as a Canned Response, click on the Canned Respond link in the upper right corner, select Save, and give it a name.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Canned2.jpg" width="405" height="284" /></p> <p>The next time an email comes in asking about the car, we can simply click on the Canned Response link and insert our pre-composed reply.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Canned3.jpg" width="405" height="138" /></p> <p>To take it a step further, we can automate the process of sending Canned Responses by using Filters. To do this, click on the Create a Filter link next to the search box. In this example, we want to filter emails that contain the words 'Craigslist,' 'Pontiac,' or 'GTO.' We'll write these down in the 'Has the words' field with each word separated by the search operator '<strong>OR</strong>' (in all caps). When you're finished, click Next.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Canned4.jpg" width="405" height="287" /></p> <p>In the next step, mark the 'Send canned response' checkbox and select the appropriate one from the pull-down menu. You can also choose to mark the email as read, delete, archive it, and a few other options. When you have it configured the way you want, mash the Create Filter button and let Gmail handle the rest!</p> <h2>Send and Receive Blocked Files</h2> <p>Thank virus writers and malicious malware miscreants for the restrictions most ISPs and email services place on potentially dangerous file types. That includes Google, which blocks you from sending or receiving executables, as well as some other file formats, even if they're sent in a one of these compressed file types: .zip, .tar, .tgz, .taz. .z, and .gz.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Folder_View.jpg" width="396" height="481" /></p> <p>The easiest workaround is to amend the file extension to fool Gmail into allowing the file, and then let the recipient know they'll need to rename the file. For example, let's say you coded a simple app and wanted to share it with your mentor. Open up the directory where the file is located and press the Alt key to bring up the menu bar. Click on Tools&gt;Folder Options, select the View tab, and uncheck 'Hide extensions for known file types.' Hit OK.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Change_Extension.jpg" width="405" height="267" /></p> <p>Now you can edit your file's extension. Right- click the blocked file and select Rename. Add <strong>.REMOVE</strong> to the end of the file, so for example <strong>CustomApp.exe</strong> would become <strong>CustomApp.exe.REMOVE</strong>. A pop-up window will appear letting you know that if you change the extension, the file might become unusable. Click Yes, as once the recipient changes it back. it will be fully usable again. Now you're free to send your file!</p> <p><strong>Protip</strong>: If you have a lot of blocked file attachments to send, compress them into a single .zip file and then change the .zip extension in the same manner above.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/hightail.jpg" alt="HighTail" title="HighTail" width="405" height="287" /></p> <p>If you're not comfortable thwarting Gmail's virus scanner, you still have other options. One of our favorites is <a href="https://www.hightail.com/" target="_blank">Hightail</a> (formerly YouSendIt). Once you register, this free service will allow you to send any file type up to 250MB in size (by contrast, Gmail limits messages to 25MB). If you need more than that, there are also several subscription plans available starting at $16/month.</p> <p>To use the service, just log in, attach your file, and fire away!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Host Your Domain's Email at Gmail</h2> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/google_apps_business.jpg" alt="Google Apps for Business" title="Google Apps for Business" width="405" height="310" /></p> <p>If you own a website, chances are you also want to use your personalized email address (you@yourdomain.com, for example). At the same time, Gmail's feature set typically trounces all over most other email services, including the one that comes prepackaged with your domain. One solution is to simply forward your email to a Gmail account, but that isn't exactly elegant. Nor is it necessary, because Google allows you to host your domain email at Gmail, giving you the best of both worlds.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/gmail_email_domain.jpg" alt="Gmail Email Domain" title="Gmail Email Domain" width="405" height="310" /></p> <p>To get started, you need to register with Google Apps for business by following <a href="https://www.google.com/a/signup/u/0/#0" target="_blank">this link</a>. Fill in the required info and hit Next. Then, choose the "Use a domain name I have already purchased" radio button and type in your domain name in the specified field.</p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/gmail_email_username.jpg" alt="Gmail Email Username" title="Gmail Email Username" width="405" height="310" /></p> <p>Next you'll need to create a Google apps account by filling in the fields for your username and password, then click "Accept and signup." This will take you to the Google Admin Console, and thus begins your 30-day free trial to Google Apps for business.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u69/domain_verify.jpg" alt="Domain Verify" title="Domain Verify" width="405" height="311" /></p> <p>You still need to verify that you own the website you just registered. Start the process by clicking on the Gear icon and selecting "Setup," and then select the "Verify domain ownership" option on the left-hand side. You can do this in one of two ways - either by uploading an HTML file to your website, or changing the domain's CNAME records with your domain host. It doesn't matter which one you choose, though if you choose to go the CNAME route, Google provides specific instructions for several popular hosts <a href="http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&amp;answer=47283">here </a>(scroll down and expand 'Specific instructions for popular domain hosts).</p> <p>The easiest way is to upload an HTML file. Google holds your hands through the process. When prompted, download the HTML file Google provides and upload it where specified.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/sce3p2L4rq0" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Once you've verified your site, you'll need to configure your domain's MX (Mail Exchange) records. How you get there will depend on which host you're using, and so will the records you need to input. Find your host <a href="http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?%20%20answer=140034">here </a>and follow the instructions exactly as Google lays them out, or if you don't see your host listed, follow these general MX record instructions:</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/MX_Records.jpg" width="253" height="227" /></p> <ol> <li>Sign in to your hosting account and navigate to the MX record maintenance page</li> <li>Delete all existing MX entries</li> <li>Enter the MX records depicted above </li> </ol> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Gmail_Logon.jpg" width="405" height="308" /></p> <p>It might take a little while for all the changes to take effect, but when they do, you'll be able to log into your email account by navigating to <strong>http://mail.google.com/a/YOURWEBSITEHERE.COM/#inbox</strong>, where YOURWEBSITE.COM is the name of your domain.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Dashboard.jpg" width="405" height="308" /></p> <p>After you log in, spend some time familiarizing yourself with the Dashboard and the different settings available. For example, you can create up to 50 email accounts, set up groups, enable contact sharing, and more.</p> <h2>Track Which Sites are Sharing Your Email Address</h2> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Rolex.jpg" width="405" height="228" /></p> <p>Interested in learning which sites are sharing your email address? There's an easy way reveal which sites and services aren't living up their privacy promises. All you have to do is append your email address with +xxx, replacing xxx with whatever you want. For example, if your Gmail address is JohnDoe@gmail.com, you could use the email address JohnDoe+BestBuy@gmail.com when registering at Best Buy. Emails sent to JohnDoe +BestBuy@gmail.com will still show up in your regular inbox, and if you start receiving all kinds of unsolicited junk mail at that addy, you'll know the culprit.</p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Label.jpg" width="405" height="150" /></p> <p>Discovering who's sharing your email isn't the only thing this trick is good for. Pre-labeled emails also come in handy for sorting your messages and using a unified account in place of several email addys. If you wanted to keep your work messages separate from your day-to- day email, just append the word 'work' to your email addy. To use our above example, you would use JohnDoe+Work@gmail.com when communicating with co-workers. Take it a step further by creating labels and setting up filters to automatically sort your work, personal, and any other types of email addresses you set up.</p> <h2>Sorting with Labels and Filters</h2> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Labels.jpg" width="405" height="170" /></p> <p>Few email services come close to offering the same flexibility and management options as Gmail, and it's mostly due to Google's implementation of labels and filters. In short, labels act like folders, while filters act like, well, filters.</p> <p>If you're using Gmail, you've probably already created a few labels. Here are some good ways to utilize them:</p> <ol> <li>Create an 'Ideas' label and setup a filter to auto-archive any emails sent to JohnDoe+Ideas@gmail.com to the corresponding label. This will prevent you from cluttering up your inbox every time you email yourself a fantastic idea you want to be sure not to forget.</li> <li>Create a label called 'Needs Response' and attached it to any emails that you've sent out and, once you hear back from, will require another response. This way you can quickly and easily view which emails are still in need of a followup and not have to worry you'll forget about them. </li> <li>Gmail organizes labels in alphabetical order, but this may not always be the way you want them. Take control by adding a number or letter prefix in front of your labels. For example, if you want your 'Work' label to appear at the top, rename it to '1 Work' or 'a Work.' </li> <li>Color code your labels to better manage your email. Just click on the box next to the label and select a color. To make better use of this one, combine certain labels with filters so that incoming emails from work appear in one color, while emails from immediate family members appear in another. </li> <li>Still sporting a small monitor? Use the Labs feature 'Remove Labels from Subjects' so that emails in your inbox will have their labels hidden, leaving more room for the subject line.</li> </ol> <hr /> <h2>Our Top 5 Must-Have Labs Add- Ons</h2> <p>Gmail owes much of its flexibility to Gmail Labs. These add-ons are essentially beta services that, for one reason or another, haven't been implemented yet as a permanent feature. But don't let the experimental status fool you - there are a lot of good Labs features that both run stable and improve the overall Gmail experience. Here's a list of our favorite five, in addition to the ones we've already covered previously in this writeup (like Canned Responses).</p> <p><strong>Right-Side Chat<br /></strong></p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/gmail_chat.jpg" alt="Right-Side Chat" title="Right-Side Chat" width="405" height="271" /></p> <p>Don't like having your Hangouts on the left side of Gmail? Enable Right-Side Chat and it will appear on the right side instead. This isn't groundbreaking, by any means, though it does open up more space on the left side for custom labels without having to minimize your chat contacts.</p> <p><strong>Unread Messages Icon<br /></strong></p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/gmail_unread.jpg" alt="Unread Messages" title="Unread Messages" width="405" height="271" /></p> <p>It's been a couple of hours since you checked Gmail and the messages are starting to pile up. You can only put it off before there are so many messages that it becomes overwhelming. How long? That varies by user, but with this handy Lab enabled, you'll know exactly how many unread messages are waiting for you.</p> <p><strong>Mark as Read Button</strong></p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Mark_Read.jpg" width="405" height="370" /></p> <p>Buttons or pull-down menus? If you frequently perform a particular action, the button wins out every time. And if you find yourself marking emails as read on a consistent basis, this just might become your favorite add-on.</p> <p><strong>Custom Keyboard Shortcuts<br /></strong></p> <p align="center"><img src="/files/u69/gmail_shortcuts.jpg" alt="Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts" title="Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts" width="405" height="271" /></p> <p>We showed you how to enable keyboard shortcuts earlier in this article, but if you don't like the way Google has them configured, enable this Lab to make changes. Maybe you think "W" for "write email" is easier to remember than "C" for "Compose." Once you enable this Lab, you'll find a Keyboard Shortcuts option in Settings. Head over there and make any changes you want.</p> <p><strong>Undo Send</strong></p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Undo_Send.jpg" width="405" height="163" /></p> <p>Probably the best Labs feature ever, Undo Send gives you a moment to reflect on that angry email you just sent your boss, and should a cooler head prevail, unsend the message and maybe even save your job!</p> <p>Have a favorite Labs feature that didn't make the list? Be sure to post it in the comments section below!</p> <hr /> <h2>5 Essential Gmail Downloads</h2> <p><strong>Gmail Notifier</strong></p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Gmail_Notifier.jpg" width="405" height="268" /></p> <p>It's tough to imagine using Gmail without Gmail Notifier. This little utility sits unobtrusively in the systray and lets you know when there's a new message in your inbox. It also serves as a gateway to your inbox - just right-click and select View Inbox.</p> <p><strong>Free</strong>, <a href="http://toolbar.google.com/toolbar/gmail-helper/">toolbar.google.com/toolbar/gmail-helper/ </a></p> <p><strong>Fuser</strong></p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Fuser.jpg" width="405" height="301" /></p> <p>The hardest part about being a social butterfly in cyberspace is managing all those different accounts. It's easy to waste an entire morning just catching up on current events through Gmail, MySpace, LinkedIn, Friendster, and Twitter. That's where Fuser comes in, which is a catch-all front-end that combines all those accounts (including multiple accounts through the same service) into a single, manageable inbox.</p> <p><strong>Free</strong>, <a href="http://www.fuser.com/">www.fuser.com</a></p> <p><strong>Gmail S/MIME</strong></p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Encrypt.jpg" width="405" height="370" /></p> <p>Send and receive signed and encrypted messages in Gmail with this Firefox add-on. Once installed, you'll notice a padlock icon when composing an email. Give it a click to lock and encrypt your email, and rest easy knowing your top secret message will stay that way.</p> <p><strong>Free</strong>, <a href="https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/592">https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/592</a></p> <p><strong>Email This!</strong></p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Email_This.jpg" width="405" height="214" /></p> <p>We like any tool or service that makes our lives easier and streamlines common tasks, and one such utility that fits the bill is the Email This! Firefox add-on. Once installed, Email This! will appear in your right-click context menu making easy work out of emailing the title, link, and any highlighted text through your Gmail account.</p> <p><strong>Free</strong>, <a href="https://addons.mozilla.org/addons/previews/3102">https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3102</a></p> <p><strong>Gmail Manager</strong></p> <p align="center"><img src="http://dl.maximumpc.com/galleries/20gmail/Gmail_Manager.jpg" width="405" height="406" /></p> <p>This Firefox add-on is like a supercharged version of Gmail Notifier. Probably the best feature is the ability to add multiple accounts, but you can also configure how often Gmail Manager checks for new messages, display new mail snippets from the inbox, play a sound when new mail arrives, hide your email alias, and more.</p> <p><strong>Free</strong>, <a href="https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1320">https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1320</a></p> <hr /> <h2>Let's Streak!</h2> <p>Whoa, put your pants back on! We're not talking about that kind of streaking. No, the "Streak" we're referring to is a handy extension for Chrome that supercharges your Gmail experience. You can use Streak to schedule emails to send out later, create and add snippets of redundant text to emails, track bugs, and more. Have a look at one example:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1XpobUYYPUY" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>One of our favorite features of Streak is being able to track emails. If you enable this feature, you can tell when someone has read an email you sent, when they read it, and even where they were when they read it.</p> <h3>Get Creative with Capitizlization and Dots</h3> <p>Let's say your Gmail address is Username@gmail.com. If you don't like how that looks, feel free to tell people your email address is User.Name@gmail.com. You're probably already aware that capatilization doesn't matter, but did you know that the dots don't affect things as well? They don't, so even U.s.E.r.N.a.M.e@gmail.com will deliver email to username@gmail.com.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u69/dots.jpg" alt="Dots" title="Dots" width="405" height="304" /></p> <p>The dots are simply irrelevant.</p> <h2>Take Gmail to Tasks</h2> <p>It's hard to stay organized with to-do lists. Will you remember everything you're supposed to pick up at the store? What about little Johnny's concert -- will you remember that as well? You could tie a string to your finger, but a to-do list is even better.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u69/gmail_tasks.jpg" alt="Tasks" title="Tasks" width="405" height="271" /></p> <p>You can make them in Gmail using the Tasks function. You'll find Tasks by clicking on Gmail, or you can press the "G" key followed by the "K" key to open up a Tasks windows. You can also add to Tasks from within emails by pressing Shift+T.</p> <h2>Temporarily Hide Your Emails</h2> <p>Boomerangs are fun, and if you've never played with one, you're missing out. Equally awesome is Boomerang -- not the thing you throw, but an extension for Chrome and Firefox. With Boomerang, you can schedule an email to send out at a later time. Just write it up and tell Boomerang when it should send out. In the meantime, if you change your mind -- maybe it's a breakup letter -- you can always go back and nuke the email.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pCrN2OftU3g" width="620" height="465" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>The second thing Boomerang does is offer followup reminders by archiving your emails and bringing them back later. This gives you a cleaner inbox in the short term, but ensures you won't forget about an important email that may not be relevant until next week.</p> <h2>Use Advanced Search Parameters</h2> <p>Over the years, we tend to accumulate a lot of email. It can quickly become overwhelming trying to search for a particular email that may have been sent years ago and is now buried amid a sea of communications. What's a power user to do?</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u69/gmail_search.jpg" alt="Gmail Search" title="Gmail Search" width="405" height="271" /></p> <p>To start with, identify some distinct characaters of the email you're looking for. Once you've done that, use Google's advanced search terms to track it down based on specific criteria. For example, are you looking for an email that's larger than 1MB, older than two years, and isn't labled? Simple! Just search for: <strong>size:1000000 older_2y has:nouserlabels</strong></p> <h2>Check Multiple Gmail Accounts Using a Single Login</h2> <p>If you only have a single Gmail account, move along, there's nothing to see here. But if you have multiple Gmail accounts, this tip absolutely applies to you. By taking advantage Gmail Delegation, you can merge multiple accounts to a primary account and check all email at once. This feature is really intended for business types so that supervisors can share their inboxes with personal assistants, but it's also great for power users who own multiple Gmail accounts. Check it out.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1I5Xq69E0M8" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>If you're not able to view the embedded videw above for any reason, just follow these steps:</p> <ul> <li>Click the gear icon, select Settings, and head over to Accounts</li> <li>Navigate to the section that reads "Grant access to your account" and select Add another account</li> <li>Type the email address of the account you want to merge</li> <li>Click Send email to grant access</li> <li>Check for a confirmation email in the account you're trying to merge and click the link</li> </ul> <p>Be advised that it could take some time for Google to sync the accounts, so be patient.</p> <h3>Organize Your Labels</h3> <p>Using labels is a great way to organize your emails, but as the number of labels grow, they too may need organizing! Lucikly, Google makes this easy to do in Gmail.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u69/labels.jpg" alt="Gmail Labels" title="Gmail Labels" width="405" height="330" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Navigate to the Settings section (found withing the gear icon) and select Labels. This will show you all the default labels plus the ones you've created over the years. If you wish to keep certain labels to archive your mail but don't want them cluttering up your inbox, click on Hide and they'll disappear from view.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">You can also select which ones are viewable in IMAP. One in particular you may want to hid from view is All Mail, especially if you're setting up a new IMAP account in Thunderbird or Outlook for an email address that's been collecting email for several years.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/20_essential_gmail#comments email essentials features Gmail tips Google hacks how-tos Software Software How-Tos web Features Fri, 04 Apr 2014 21:38:07 +0000 Paul Lilly 9905 at http://www.maximumpc.com Brendan Eich's Short Stint as Mozilla CEO Comes to an Abrupt End http://www.maximumpc.com/brendan_eichs_short_stint_mozilla_ceo_comes_abrupt_end_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/brendan_eich.jpg" alt="Brendan Eich" title="Brendan Eich" width="228" height="212" style="float: right;" />Mozilla co-founder was pressured to resign due to his support of an anti-gay marriage law</h3> <p>After barely more than a week on the job, <strong>Brendan Eich has made the decision to resign as Chief Executive Officer of Mozilla</strong>, and is giving up his seat on the board as well. Eich was named CEO on March 24, 2014, which immediately drew the ire of several employees and members of the LGBT community over his support of California's anti-gay marriage law, otherwise famously known as Proposition 8.</p> <p>This has been a topic of controversy ever since Eich in 2008 donated $1,000 in support of the ballot measure to ban gay marriage, though it came under greater scrutiny when he was named CEO of Mozilla last week. Between then and up to today's surprise announcement Eich held firm in multiple interviews with various members of the press that he would not resign, nor would he speak about his personal beliefs, which he said weren't relevant to the job.</p> <p>Something changed his mind, and according to a <a href="https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/04/03/brendan-eich-steps-down-as-mozilla-ceo/" target="_blank">blog post</a> by Mozilla's Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker, Eich made the voluntary decision "for Mozilla and our community." Baker also used the opportunity to apologize.</p> <p>"Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves," Mitchell explained. "We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better."</p> <p>Eich, who's resume includes the creation of the JavaScript scripting language, and Baker have worked together for over 15 years. In an <a href="http://recode.net/2014/04/03/mozilla-co-founder-brendan-eich-resigns-as-ceo-and-also-from-foundation-board/" target="_blank">interview with <em>Recode</em></a>, Baker acknowledges that it's a tough situation due to Eich's founding status and contribution over the years, but that "making sure others continue to join and support Mozilla's efforts is even more important." Baker also stated that despite pressure coming in from all sides, it was Brendan's decision to step down.</p> <p>"What’s next for Mozilla’s leadership is still being discussed. We want to be open about where we are in deciding the future of the organization and will have more information next week," Baker added.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> brendan eich browser firefox Mozilla proposition 8 Software News Thu, 03 Apr 2014 20:35:20 +0000 Paul Lilly 27562 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft is Bringing Back the Start Menu and Catering to Mouse and Keyboard Users http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_bringing_back_start_menu_and_catering_mouse_and_keyboard_users_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/start_menu_0.jpg" alt="Windows 8.1 Start Menu" title="Windows 8.1 Start Menu" width="228" height="172" style="float: right;" />This is what Windows 8 should have been all along</h3> <p>Straight to the point, <strong>Microsoft is bringing back the Start menu to Windows</strong> via an upcoming update to Windows 8.1. Along with everything else that will be introduced, we feel like Brennan from Step Brothers after he and Dale received pirate hats, dirty magazines, and crossbows - "You guys finally came to your sense and got us something cool!" And yes, despite all the criticism up to this point, Windows 8.1 finally has a shot at being a cool OS.</p> <p>To anyone who's been paying attention, Windows 8/8.1 has been steadily getting better over time, though it hasn't been able to get over the hump where it's widely accepted as a worthy replacement for Windows 7, or even XP if you're a legacy holdout. Part of the reason why is Microsoft's stubbornness to alter its vision. For example, Microsoft already brought back the Start button, but stubbornly refused to include the Start menu. It's thereto toggle between Desktop and Metro, the latter of which is of little interest to power users, and offer up a few right-click shortcuts.</p> <p>In a video promoting the upcoming update, Joe Belfior, VP of Windows, finally acknowledges what we suspected all along. He says, "Lots of Windows 8.1 users are spending most of their time on the desktop." He also acknowledges the importance of the taskbar to users who don't have a touchscreen.</p> <p>Microsoft needed to make these epiphanies, and now that it has -- or at least admitted to knowing them -- Windows 8.1 is only going to get better. The forthcoming update goes beyond the return of the Start menu and focuses on mouse and keyboard input. You'll be able to pin Windows Store apps to the taskbar, and likewise it will be easy to switch between or close them with your mouse.</p> <p>"We’ve made it so your mouse works more consistently anywhere in Windows. If you move your mouse to the top of the screen when using a Windows Store app, you will see the familiar Close and Minimize buttons. And as I mentioned above, when you move your mouse to the bottom of the screen in a Windows Store app, the taskbar comes up," Microsoft explains in a <a href="http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/windowsexperience/archive/2014/04/02/windows-8-1-update-important-refinements-to-the-windows-experience.aspx" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>There's a lot more you can do with the mouse, both on the Desktop and the Start screen. You can right-click on app tiles for a context menu, select multiple tiles at once, and much more.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/QKTlOYjmiZo" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>In short, Windows 8.1 is transforming into what Windows 8 should have been at launch. For users who want the touch experience, it's there and it works magnificently. And for users who care about the traditional Desktop interface, you can boot directly to the Desktop and manipulate the OS like you're used to doing.</p> <p>The "Windows 8.1 Update" is available now for MSDN subscribers. For everyone else, Microsoft will start rolling it out for free to Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 customers via Windows Update on Tuesday, April 8th.</p> <h3>Update</h3> <p>Well, this stinks. Apparently Microsoft is indeed bringing back the Start menu that power users have demanded, just not with the Windows 8.1 Update 1 scheduled for April 8th -- <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/02/microsoft-will-soon-bring-back-the-start-menu-in-windows-8-1/" target="_blank">according to <em>TechCrunch</em></a>, it will be introduced in a future update of Windows 8.1, which means you won't have to wait until Windows 9, but you don't have wait longer than next week.</p> <p>On the plus side, the forthcoming update will introduce several other enhancements, including the expanded mouse and keyboard functionality.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_bringing_back_start_menu_and_catering_mouse_and_keyboard_users_2014#comments microsoft operating system Software Start Menu windows 8.1 News Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:28:26 +0000 Paul Lilly 27556 at http://www.maximumpc.com Windows 7 is Growing Too Fast for Windows 8 to Catch Up http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_7_growing_too_fast_windows_8_catch_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_signs.jpg" alt="Windows 8 Signs" title="Windows 8 Signs" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Will Windows 7 become the next XP?</h3> <p>With yet another month's worth of data to digest, it's becoming increasingly clear that <strong>Windows 8 might never catch up to Windows 7</strong>. How you want to view that is up to you -- it could mean that Microsoft hit it out of the park with Windows 7, making it exceedingly difficult on itself to duplicate that kind of success, or that Windows 8 is a foul ball off of a broken bat. Let's look at some numbers.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=11&amp;qpcustomb=0&amp;qptimeframe=M&amp;qpsp=172&amp;qpnp=11" target="_blank">NetMarketShare's data</a>, Windows 7 gained more than a percentage point in March, increasing its share of the desktop OS market from 47.31 percent to 48.77 percent (+1.46 percent). Meanwhile, Windows 8 and 8.1 grew from 10.68 percent to 11.3 percent, representing a 0.62 percent gain. As for XP, it's share of the market fell from 29.53 percent to 26.69 percent, a drop of 2.84 percent. What this appears to indicate is that twice as many people jumping ship from XP are going to Windows 7 instead of Windows 8/8.1.</p> <p>If we zoom out, it becomes increasingly clear that Windows 7 is a tough act to follow. In March 2013, Windows 7 accounted for 44.73 percent of all desktops. Minus a few minor blips along the way, it's been gaining share ever since.</p> <p>The good news for Windows 8/8.1 is that its share is in double digits. And as far as competing platforms go, both Windows 8 (6.41 percent) and Windows 8.1 (4.89 percent) individually account for more desktops than Mac OS X 10.9 (3.75 percent).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_7_growing_too_fast_windows_8_catch_2014#comments microsoft operating system OS Software windows 7 windows 8. windows 8.1 windows xp News Wed, 02 Apr 2014 18:29:45 +0000 Paul Lilly 27553 at http://www.maximumpc.com Dropping Support for Windows XP Could Drive Users to Chromebooks http://www.maximumpc.com/dropping_support_windows_xp_could_drive_users_chromebooks_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/samsung_chromebook_1.jpg" alt="Samsung Chromebook" title="Samsung Chromebook" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Don't be surprised if there's a surge in Chromebook sales</h3> <p>Windows XP is a dead OS walking and it's highly unlikely to get a last second reprieve. Instead, Microsoft is anxious to bury the legacy OS in the backyard in hopes that those still clinging to XP will opt for a newer, more secure version of Windows. Some inevitably will, but one thing that will be interesting to keep an eye on is <strong>how many users replace their aging XP machines with a Chromebook</strong>.</p> <p>This isn't just a theoretical thought -- the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is set to replace aging XP machines with Chromebooks, <a href="http://news.techeye.net/business/barking-councillors-opt-for-chromebook" target="_blank"><em>TechEye.net</em> reports</a>. By doing so, the council figures to save more than £200,000 (around $333,000 in U.S. currency) in hardware, plus an additional £200,000 in power savings over its desktop PCs.</p> <p>The council had 3,500 desktops and 800 laptops for its 3,500 employees. As part of the upgrade plan, they'll replace those machines with 2,000 Chromebooks and 500 Chromeboxes for reception desks and shared work areas. To maintain support for apps that can't be delivered through its Citrix network, the council will invest in 600 Windows 7 desktops and 1,000 Windows 7 laptops.</p> <p>Businesses that rely on Windows software aren't likely to switch to Chromebooks, which are limited in software support and raw computing power. However, it's conceivable that smaller firms and home users could replace their XP machines with Chromebooks. Despite Chrome OS's shortcomings, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Computers-Accessories-Laptop/zgbs/pc/565108" target="_blank">top two selling laptops on Amazon</a> are both Chromebooks, as are five of the top 10.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/dropping_support_windows_xp_could_drive_users_chromebooks_2014#comments chromebook Google Hardware laptop microsoft notebook Software windows xp News Wed, 02 Apr 2014 15:29:18 +0000 Paul Lilly 27550 at http://www.maximumpc.com