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Microsoft’s New Chromium-Based Edge Browser Is Now Available

Microsoft’s new Edge browser is now finished and available for download. This new browser is based on Chromium, which forms the basis of Google Chrome. Windows 10 users will also get the new Edge browser automatically delivered via Windows Update in the next few months.

Edge is available for Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, macOS, iPhone, iPad, and Android. Microsoft has even promised Edge for Linux in the future—no surprise, as Chrome already runs on Linux.

The new Edge browser offers many of the features found in Google Chrome, features found in the older Edge like support for inking PDF files with a stylus, and new features like Internet Explorer Mode for accessing older websites without actually opening Internet Explorer. And yes, the new Edge works with Chrome extensions.

Microsoft is also betting hard on privacy protection with “tracking prevention,” which is enabled by default on Edge and blocks many types of trackers on the web.

After you install the new Edge, the old Edge browser will be hidden on your system. The new Edge browser can automatically import the old Edge browser’s data, so you won’t lose anything.

Microsoft has more information about Edge available in its announcement post. We look forward to using it more.

Even if you stick with Google Chrome, Microsoft’s cooperation will make Chrome better.

The new Microsoft Edge browser based on Chromium, showing a New Tab page.

Written by Joel Cornell. He is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. 

How to Enable a Single Click to Open Icons on Windows 10

Double-clicking is the standard method of opening a desktop icon in Windows. It’s meant to prevent “accidental opens.” However, some people might want to access files and apps with a single click instead. If you’re among them, here’s how you can change this setting.

Enabling the Single-Click Feature in Windows 10

To change the default to open files and folders from a double- to a single-click, head to the Start Menu. Search for “File Explorer,” and then either click it when it appears or press Enter.

Click "File Explorer."

In the window, head to View > Options > Change Folder and Search Options.

Click "View," select "Options," and then click "Change Folder and Search Options."

In the pop-up window, select the “Single-Click to Open an Item (Point to Select)” radio button.

After you select this option, icons will be underlined (like a hyperlink) when you hover over them. If you want the titles of icons to be underlined all the time, select the “Underline Icon Titles Consistent with My Browser” radio button.

Select the "Single-Click to Open an Item (Point to Select)" radio button. 

Now that you’ve enabled this setting, if you ever want to select an icon without opening it, just hover your mouse over it for a moment.

You can also tell Windows to present a checkbox over each item to allow you to select it. To enable this option, click the “View” tab in the “Folder Options” pop-up window, and scroll down to “Advanced Settings.” Click the checkbox next to “Use Check Boxes to Select Items,” and then click “OK.”

Click the checkbox next to "Use Check Boxes to Select Items."

These options should increase your efficiency and give you greater flexibility on your Windows 10 device.

Written by Joel Cornell. He is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. 

So you’ve switched to Windows 10. Now what?

So you’ve made the switch to Windows 10 and are ready to put its new features to work. But which handy new functions should you take advantage of first? Here are six important things you can do to get the show on the road:

1. Create a recovery plan

Setting up a recovery drive will be your magic key to getting your operating system back online if you encounter any startup problems. You’ll need a USB flash drive and administrator access to get started. Then simply search for the Recovery Drive desktop app and follow the prompts.

2. Check for updates

Run Windows Update (you’ll find it in: Settings > Update & Security) after you finish the initial Windows 10 install. You can set future updates to install after work hours to ensure minimal disruption to your day. In Windows Update, go to “Change active hours” and specify the hour range you don’t want to be interrupted by automatic updates.

3. Secure your account

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is vital to securing your account. Register for a free Microsoft or Azure Active Directory account to set up 2FA on your system. This will require login confirmation from your specified mobile device along with your Windows 10 password. Also consider turning on BitLocker Drive Encryption to protect your personal and business data.

4. Review privacy settings

Check out the “Privacy” menu (go to: Start > Settings) to review the default privacy settings. You can set which apps have access to your personal data, and disable camera access to certain apps. You can also set up a PIN that will be used only to log into Windows 10 on your PC. Go to: Start > Settings > Accounts > Sign-in Options.

5. Set up your Action Center

You can use the Action Center in Windows 10 to block certain apps from sending notifications and also customise pop-up messages. It’s a good idea to prioritise the Quick Action buttons to keep the tasks you complete most often up front.

Jump on the Windows 10 train before the end of the line

If your business hasn’t yet migrated to Windows 10, you’re potentially missing out on a range of new features and benefits. And if you’re still on Windows 7, you’ll run out of support very soon. 

Microsoft announced 14 January 2020 as the Windows 7 end-of-support (EOS) date some time ago. After that, no more functionality or security patches will be released, so those who continue to use it will do so at their own peril. 

You can still use Windows 7 after its EOS expires, you just won’t get any protection against new viruses and malware. It’s a double hazard: Not only will your Windows 7 hardware be vulnerable, but attackers often target EOS operating systems because they’ve stopped getting security fixes.

In other words, the benefits of migrating to the new OS in conjunction with the risks and potential costs of not migrating should make your decision a no-brainer.

Plenty of benefits 

Businesses that haven’t moved will find a raft of new features on Windows 10. These include new security and productivity tools, as well as features designed to enhance interoperability with other businesses. 

Windows 10 also contains Device Manager, which has been designed to unify Android and Apple devices across a common platform to maximise business productivity by making it easier for the end user to find, for example, a specific hardware device for a particular project.

Windows 10 maximises the potential of Microsoft’s cloud services.

Other features include Intune, which specifies which user groups belong to which projects, and Windows Information Protection, which enhances corporate security by ensuring staff are working in the right programs. 

Additionally, Windows 10 maximises the potential of Microsoft’s cloud services – the Azure directory syncs networks and intranets so staff can work together on projects anywhere at any time on a large range of devices. 

Pre-upgrade checklist

Before upgrading, you may want to consider a few things:

  • What’s Windows 10’s compatibility with your overall IT infrastructure?
  • What, if any, hardware will you need to replace? Some old legacy systems may have issues.
  • Are all of your mission-critical software applications, antivirus tools and devices like printers and other peripherals compatible? Some earlier versions of QuickBooks, for example, do not work on Windows 10.
  • What advantages will Windows 10 have for your current IT infrastructure? Modern PCs – desktop, laptop or hybrid – are equipped with hardware and software features that allows you to take advantage of Windows 10’s productivity and security capabilities, like touchscreens and styluses for system navigation and note-taking, or cameras and fingerprint scanners for biometric security.

At any rate, once you’ve checked for compatibility, it may be a good idea to contact your IT partner or an IT expert to discuss your options. Whether you need a bare-minimum upgrade or are taking the opportunity to review your entire IT architecture, you’ll want to know how finance, system design, staff training and support can be rolled into a deal that’ll keep your business in tip-top condition.

4 myths about PC tech small businesses need to reject

By Emporia State University | The Bulletin.

The PCs you choose to power your small business can dramatically impact your company’s productivity and competitiveness. However, many small businesses fall for common myths about computers, leading to poor purchasing decisions.

Here are four myths about PCs – and realities to help you make smarter technology decisions for your business.

Myth 1: Consumer PCs are interchangeable with business PCs

Reality: Because they’re built for activities like watching videos, checking email and surfing the web, PCs for the consumer market will not always have the computing power or security features sophisticated business applications demand. If a family laptop reluctantly boots up or crashes, it’s annoying, but not serious.

PCs for the consumer market will not always have the computing power or security features sophisticated business applications demand.

For a business, however, computers are mission-critical. Employees are more likely to run multiple applications simultaneously, use resource-heavy applications or use software as a service (SaaS). PCs built for consumers often lack the computing power to handle these tasks – resulting in lost productivity.

Consumer-level PCs may also lack built-in security features of computers designed for businesses, which could make your business – and sensitive customer data – vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Myth 2: RAM is the top factor in computer performance

Reality: Adding more random access memory usually allows a computer to manage more data. But RAM alone won’t improve a computer’s performance – unless the PC has sufficient processing power. To make a PC faster and more efficient, you need a powerful central processing unit to optimise the RAM. While RAM is the memory, the CPU (or processor) is the computer’s “brain,” receiving instructions, performing calculations and processing information. To run today’s resource-intensive business software efficiently, look for computers with plenty of RAM, plus processing power.

Myth 3: You can wait until PCs fail before replacing them

Reality: Long before a PC fails, its performance may suffer, costing your business time and money. Waiting for an older PC to start up every day can waste up to 11 hours a year. Crashing, freezing or slow computers can keep your employees from working efficiently, and may appear unprofessional to customers or clients. Sluggish, malfunctioning PCs can reduce employee satisfaction, as workers become frustrated with outdated technology.

Waiting for an older PC to start up every day can waste up to 11 hours a year.

Don’t wait until your business PCs slow to a crawl before upgrading. Be proactive. Look for hardware that exceeds your software vendor’s recommended system requirements. This will help ensure your PCs can handle future software upgrades. Then set a regular schedule for upgrading your hardware.

Myth 4: You’re saving money by repairing old PCs

Reality: Repairing or adding RAM to squeeze more life out of older computers may seem economical. But the cost of keeping older PCs running quickly adds up. According to research from J.Gold Associates, repairing breakdowns of a five-year-old computer costs an average of $662 per year. The same research found 43 percent of the small businesses surveyed had PCs that were over five years old – and malfunctioned each year. At that rate, you’d soon be spending more on repairs than on a brand new, more powerful computer.

Besides losing productivity during breakdowns and repairs, older computers are also slower. Using five-year-old PCs can make your employees up to 29 percent less productive, potentially costing your business up to $17,000 per year, per worker.

Small businesses estimated that 34.47 percent of their computers over five years old had been hacked.

Older PCs can also put your business at risk of cyberattacks. Per the J.Gold Associates survey, small businesses estimated that 34.47 percent of their computers over five years old had been hacked. With the average cost of a single data breach worldwide estimated at $35,745 per employee, an older PC rapidly becomes an expensive liability.

In the same survey, small businesses reported that just 5.92 percent of their PCs newer than one year old had experienced cyberattacks. Newer computers frequently offer built-in security features to reduce risk of cyberattacks.

Blindly accepting myths about PCs can be expensive for your small business. Upgrading to more powerful computers can optimise the performance of your business software, enhance your cybersecurity and boost employee productivity. The next time you’re making decisions about computer purchases, be sure you base your actions on reality. Then choose the right PCs to make your business more competitive.

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