Microsoft Office 2010 Web Applications, Goodbye Google Docs

Microsoft Office has been the standard in creating office documents and organizing them for many years.  Google did release an online document editing software for free but it lacked many features, did not have good spell check, and ignored many formatting elements of documents you had created in other software.  In short, Google Docs was not very compatible with Microsoft Office; the standard.

With Office 2010, Microsoft has released an online version of Office for Free!  These Office web apps are great for doing quick editing and creating documents on the go or away from home or the office.

There are two ways of accessing the Office web apps, first if you already have a Hotmail email address (or Live, or MSN, or any other Windows Live ID) then you can already access them, just sign into you email and you will see Windows Live in the upper left-hand corner of the webpage.  Just click on that.

Hotmail interface showing Windows Live link in the upper left hand corner

Hotmail interface showing Windows Live link in the upper left-hand corner

 

Once you have clicked on that it will take you to the Windows Live home page, from there go to the top of the page and put the mouse pointer on Office and a menu will appear.  (if you click on Office it will take you to the Office Web Apps home page which I will show later)

Windows Live home page showing Office menu

Windows Live home page showing Office menu

 

Now you can select a few different options and web apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and One Note, or go to you documents stored in Windows Live Sky Drive. Once you click on an app, you will have to create a document name, if you want to open an existing document open the one you want from your Sky Drive.   Below is what the Word app looks like

Microsoft Office 2010 Word Web App

Microsoft Office 2010 Word Web App

 

You can see the now familiar Tab and Ribbon user interface.  It does not have as many options as the real version of Office but it is great and handy for quick editing or creating that document on the go.

Now if you do not have a Hotmail you can get access to the Web Apps directly by going to www.office.live.com

Windows Live login for Office Web Apps

Windows Live login for Office Web Apps

 

You can use an existing Windows Live ID or create a new one.  Once logged in it will take you directly to the Office Web Apps home page.

Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps home page

Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps home page

 

This new tool from Microsoft will no doubt be a big help for those that use Office every day or for people who can not afford Office but need to create a document.  I know I will be using it a lot going forward.

Also, students can take part of the student offer from Microsoft for Office 2010 Professional Academic and Windows 7 Professional, you can read more here

Get a @hotmail.com, @live.com, or @outlook.com email address

Microsoft Hotmail has been a great webmail provider for many years, but did you know you do not have to have the basic @hotmail.com, in fact, you can get both @live.com and the new @outlook.com.  I will show you how.

First I must say I have had Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, and Gmail over the years and Microsoft’s new Outlook.com is my favorite.  It is full-featured, easy to use, and looks great.

Now getting an @hotmail.com, @live.com, or @outlook.com is easy just go the Microsoft Account Sign Up Page and sign up normally but when you get down to where you need to type in the Hotmail address you want you will see that to the right is a drop down menu (shown below) that says outlook.com, click on it and you will see Live.com and Hotmail.com instead.  Simply choose the one you want Hotmail, Live, or Outlook, and finish the sign-up form.

 

But what about @msn.com well there was a different form but as of now the page is no longer active.  Looks like we can not sign up for new @msn.com email addresses anymore which is fine since we can sign up for @outlook.com, @Hotmail.com, or @live.com.  Below is a picture of the old @msn.com sign up page.

The Sign up for @msn.com email address

The Sign up for @msn.com email address

I think the @outlook.com email address looks more professional given the long history of the Outlook software with email.  I have changed my professional email addresses to Outlook.com.  I hope you find the email address you are looking for, I know I have.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows XP

Ah Windows XP, I still remember seeing it installed on new computers in late 2001 and I wanted a copy for myself, it was just a great OS.  Now in 2010 I would take Windows 7 over it any day, however, Windows XP is still being used a lot to this day.  That being said, a 9-year-old operating system in this modern-day of online trouble is just not up to the demands placed on it.  But all is not lost as there are many Internet Browsers out there that one can use.  Let’s take a look at them.

1. Firefox 3.6.3  Firefox seemed to load web pages the fastest and since the new version of Internet Explorer will not be available for Windows XP and that new version will support web standards, websites in the future will have some rendering issues in Internet Explorer 8.  Firefox is a great replacement for IE and offers a lot of customization.  you can get it at www.firefox.com

Firefox 3.6.3 in Windows XP

Firefox 3.6.3 in Windows XP

2. Internet Explorer 8.0.6001.18702  While there is a new version of Internet Explorer in the works and it will not be available for Windows XP Version 8 works fine for now.  It has a lot of nice features and is rather fast at loading web pages from my tests.  It seems too that computers running IE 8 are less likely to get viruses and spyware. Even if you decide to use a different browser you should keep IE updated in Windows XP it will help keep you safe as the operating system uses parts of IE.  You can download it at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer/default.aspx

Internet Explorer 8 in Windows XP

Internet Explorer 8 in Windows XP

3. Apple Safari 5.0 (7533.16)  Apple has done a great job at getting Safari turned around from the dud that version 3 was.  While version 4 finally looked like a normal Windows application version 5 has picked up speed.  I prefer its interface to Google Chrome, however, Chrome seems a little faster and is a little safer, however, those looking for something to replace Internet Explorer I would suggest Safari first.  You can get it at http://www.apple.com/safari/download/

Apple Safari 5 in Windows XP

Apple Safari 5 in Windows XP

4. Google Chrome 5.0.375.70  Google Chrome has gotten better with every release.  Version 5 gets some nice speed boosts.  While it is faster and safer than Apple Safari the user interface for Chrome is lacking, looking rather odd in Windows XP.  Still, if you want to check it out you can get it here at http://www.google.com/chrome

Google Chrome 5 in Windows XP

Google Chrome 5 in Windows XP

5. Opera 10.53  In Windows XP the other browsers leave Opera in the dust, and to make matters worse Opera changed the default user interface and it is not a win in my opinion.  It too looks out-of-place in Windows XP however if you click on the red Opera button in the upper left-hand corner and click on Show Menu Bar it will take it back to the older user interface that I like a lot.  The nice thing about Opera is that if you mouse over a tab it will show you a preview of that web page, something I think other browsers could use.  Oh if you have a mobile phone I would suggest getting their mobile version it is much better than any other mobile browsers out there.  You can get opera at www.opera.com

Opera 10.5 in Windows XP With the New User Interface

Opera 10.5 in Windows XP With the New User Interface

Opera 10.5 in Windows XP with the old user interface

Opera 10.5 in Windows XP with the old user interface

It is nice to see that there are still great internet browsers for the aging Windows XP.  I do suggest people start to upgrade to Windows 7 as soon as they can though as Windows 7 has a lot of great features like jump lists and the thumbnail previews in the start menu bar that makes it even easier to browse the internet.

Go back to Part 5 for Windows 7 32bit

Go on to Part 7 for Windows 7 64-Bit