Preston Gralla

About the Author Preston Gralla


Microsoft Excel vs. Google Sheets: Which works better for business?

Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are the two best-known spreadsheet applications available today. Both are polished and very useful — so much so that it’s easy to cling to the application you’re currently using without learning how the other has improved over the years. If you (or your business) chose one spreadsheet app and rejected the other years ago, there may be good reasons to reconsider.

To find out where Excel and Google Sheets stand today, both individually and compared to each other, I tested them by trying out the most common tasks users perform, including starting a new spreadsheet, inputting data and formulas, formatting cells, creating charts, adding extras such as links to external data sources, and collaborating with others.

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Review: In Office 2016 for Windows, collaboration takes center stage

If Microsoft were to have a motto for Office 2016, it could well be the old coaching adage “There is no ‘I’ in “team.” The suite offers considerable collaborative and teamwork features that turn Office from a tool for a single person into one that helps people work together.

If you work by yourself and will use Office as a standalone product, you’ll find far fewer changes from Office 2013. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – Office is already so stacked with features that adding new ones just for the sake of it could harm rather than help its usability.

How successful has Microsoft been in adding collaboration features? And how useful are the handful of non-collaborative features added to the core of Office? That’s what I’ll cover in the rest of this review.

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How to use Excel’s new live collaboration features

Ever since Microsoft introduced live collaboration to its Office suite with the release of Office 2016 in September 2015, Excel has been left out in the cold. Word, PowerPoint and OneNote were given collaborative editing tools, but Excel was not.

For nearly two years, Microsoft has been promising that Excel would get the capabilities as well. And now, finally, real-time collaboration is available in the desktop version of Excel — at least for those who have an Office 365 subscription and have updated to Version 1707 Build 8326.2058 or later.

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Can Microsoft lawyers defeat Putin’s most notorious spy-hackers?

Russian’s spy-hackers have taken on almost a mythical status as more details have emerged about how they hacked the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign and influenced the last presidential election. The National Security Agency and the entire U.S. intelligence community seem to be a step behind them, and the worst may be yet to come.

And now comes an unlikely potential savior: Microsoft’s lawyers. They’re using a combination of cyber-sleuthing and innovative legal filings to strike at one of Russia’s most dangerous cyber-espionage groups, Fancy Bear. So far, the tactic is paying off. But it’s not clear that Microsoft can defeat the hackers in the long run.

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The best enterprise tips and tricks for Windows 10

Tired of Windows 10 bossing you around? Want to master it instead of it letting it be the master of you? If so, you’re in luck, because I’ve got plenty of tips to help you get the most out of it. Whether you want to speed up the way Windows 10 works, fix its biggest headaches, protect your privacy, teach Cortana new tricks, or more, this article has what you need. Within minutes, you’ll be gleefully asking the operating system, “Who’s your daddy?”

Speed up Windows 10

No matter how fast your PC runs Windows 10, you want to run it faster. But there’s no need to upgrade to a new PC. Follow these tips to speed up Windows 10.

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The ancient Microsoft networking protocol at the core of the latest global malware attack

Another day, another global malware attack made possible by a Microsoft security hole. Once again, attackers used hacking tools developed by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), which were stolen and subsequently released by a group called Shadow Brokers.

This time around, though, the late-June attack apparently wasn’t ransomware with which the attackers hoped to make a killing. Instead, as The New York Times noted, it was likely an attack by Russia on Ukraine on the eve of a holiday celebrating the Ukrainian constitution, which was written after Ukraine broke away from Russia. According to the Times, the attack froze “computers in Ukrainian hospitals, supermarkets, and even the systems for radiation monitoring at the old Chernobyl nuclear plant.” After that, it spread worldwide. The rest of the world was nothing more than collateral damage.

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Office 365: A guide to the updates

Office 365 subscribers always have the latest version of Microsoft Office — currently Office 2016. They also get more frequent software updates than those who have purchased Office 2016 without a subscription, which means subscribers have access to the latest features, security patches and bug fixes. But it can be hard to keep track of the changes in each update and know when they’re available. We’re doing for you, so you don’t have to.

Following are key updates to Office 365 for Windows since Office 2016 was released in September 2015 — all the 2017 updates and the most important ones from 2016 and late 2015, with the latest releases shown first. We’ll add info about new updates as they’re rolled out.

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The Microsoft security hole at the heart of Russian election hacking

Russian hacking of the 2016 election went deeper than breaking into the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign — the Russians also hacked their way into getting information about election-related hardware and software shortly before voting began.

The Intercept published a top-secret National Security Agency document that shows exactly how the Russians did their dirty work in targeting election hardware and software. At the heart of the hack is a giant Microsoft security hole that has been around since before 2000 and still hasn’t been closed. And likely never will.

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Windows 10 quick tips: 6 ways to speed up your PC

Want Windows 10 to run faster? We’ve got help. Take a few minutes to try out these tips, and your machine will be zippier and less prone to performance and system issues.

1. Change your power settings

If you’re using Windows 10’s Power saver plan, you’re slowing down your PC. That plan reduces your PC’s performance in order to save energy. (Even desktop PCs typically have a Power saver plan.) Changing your power plan from Power saver to High performance or Balanced will give you an instant performance boost.

To do it, launch Control Panel, then select Hardware and Sound > Power Options. You’ll typically see two options: Balanced (recommended) and Power saver. (Depending on your make and model, you might see other plans here as well, including some branded by the manufacturer.) To see the High performance setting, click the down arrow by Show additional plans. 

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Windows 10: A guide to the updates

The launch of a big Microsoft Windows 10 update like the Creators Update isn’t the end of a process — it’s really just the beginning. As soon as a major update is released, Microsoft quickly gets to work on improving it by fixing bugs, releasing security patches, and occasionally adding new features.

Here we’ve summarized what you need to know about every Windows 10 update since the Creators Update, with the most recent on top. For each build, we’ve included the date of its release and a link to Microsoft’s announcement about it.

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5 ways to stop future global malware attacks

The global WannaCry ransomware attack, which crippled hospitals, government organizations, companies and individuals around the world, didn’t have to happen. It was no grand technological feat perpetrated by genius hacker masterminds. Instead, it took advantage of the lazy, patchwork way organizations handle security and the seamy roles that the National Security Agency (NSA) and big tech companies play in undermining security in the internet age.

And that, in fact, is a piece of good news. Because it means that stopping the next global malware attack needn’t be impossible. Here are five steps that can do it.

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