LoJack for Laptops
Tag Cloud
ComputerSpot on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘Free Tools’

Get all the features of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free plus:

The new evaluation of Malwarebytes Pro allows you to test the features of the Professional edition for 14 days before it  reverts to the feature set of the Free Edition. Malwarebytes Pro adds the following features to the set available in the Free Edition.

  • Realtime Proactive Protection
  • Blocks Malicious Websites
  • Stops Malicious Code
  • Scheduled Scanning & Updates

Malwarebytes products have a proven record of protecting computers by completely removing all forms of malware, including viruses, Trojans, spyware, adware and rootkits. When it comes to the safety of your computer, Malwarebytes provides the ultimate in protection from the cutting edge of technology!

The Free version of Malwarebytes is a great tool to deal with those after the fact issues, the Pro version ensures that you are protected in the first place so that you never get infected with Malware. Now you can try the Pro features as part of an evaluation.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO

Start a 14-day trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO and you can activate Realtime Proactive Protection. After your trial, purchase an upgrade and maintain your protection or simply wait and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will automatically return to Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free functionality.

Only the most sophisticated anti-malware techniques can detect and remove malicious programs from your computer. Malwarebytes Anti-Malwares PRO combines powerful new technologies designed to seek out, destroy and prevent malware.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO detects AND protects in an easy-to-use, straightforward, heavy-hitting but lightweight anti-malware application.

Capsule CRM add Mobile Support

Capsule CRMCapsule CRM have added Mobile support to their hugely successfully Cloud CRM Application.  If you already use Capsule CRM you can start using the Capsule CRM mobile application today.

Mobile Support with Capsule CRM

Capsule CRM Mobile supports the following mobile phones.

  • iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4
  • Android phones running Android 2.1+ such as Motorola Droid X, Motorola Droid 2, HTC Evo, Samsung Galaxy S
  • BlackBerry phones running BlackBerry OS 6 such as BlackBerry Bold and Torch

I am happily running Capsule CRM Mobile on my HTC Desire Z. It seems to work just fine, and the ability to call a contact by just clicking on the number is superb. If you have the customer address it will look up the location on Goggle Maps,another great edition.

How to Get Capsule CRM Mobile

Enter the the following URL into the browser on your phone to install Capsule Mobile:
https://[your-account].capsulecrm.com/m

Be sure to replace the [your-account] bit with the relevant part from your Capsule account URL. You’ll be prompted to enter your username and password and a pop-up message will ask your permission to allow additional storage space to be used on your phone. It may take several minutes for your contacts to be downloaded to your phone.

More about Capsule CRM

If you haven’t already tried Capsule CRM you can set up a trial in  just minutes. Just go to www.capsulecrm.com and sign up for a Free Trial. Unless you are a very small business its best to sign up for the Free 30 day Trial rather than the Free Account, as the 250 contacts in the Free account quickly disappear.

The Free Trial of the Professional edition supports unlimited users and 50,000 contacts, once your 30 day Free trial is up Capsule CRM costs just £8.00 a month per user

With Contact Manager, Accounts, Sales Pipeline, Opportunities and Task work-flows catered for Capsule is the ideal Small Business CRM.

Capsule CRM  has integration into several other cloud services, these include:

Capsule CRM allows you to integrate with Outlook other email services and also lets you put Web-to-Lead forms on your website, so you can capture sales opportunities direct into Capsule CRM.

We plan detailed articles about using Capsule CRM in future Posts. So do your business a favour and start using Cloud Based Sales automation with Capsule CRM today.

Create your own personal email signature

To help you generate your own personalised email signature for Outlook, or any other email client, we have put together a simple email form. The form will take the details that you provide and then generate four different email signature styles for you to try in your Outlook signature.

The signatures include the legally required information in the UK to comply with the Companies Act and ensure that your email signature is legally compliant. You can review the current UK legal requirements for email signatures in the attached post.

Simply provide the details requested below and we will email you a set of personalised email signatures for you to use. Complete the form below and we will email you a completed email signature.

Once you receive the emailed signatures just follow the instructions outlines in the article  adding an email signature in outlook and you will be able to start using them straight away.

email signature generator

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Phone Number

Your Job Title

Your Name Company Name

Company website address

Company Registration Number

Full Registered Office Address


To be kept updated with tips from ComputerSpot and to get your personalised email signatures sent direct to your inbox just click on the button.

You will receive your personalised email signature very soon, they will be sent to the email address that you give in the form above. If the email doesn’t appear in a few minutes check that the email hasn’t been caught in your Spam, or Junk Mail, Filter.

Don’t see the email signature that you are looking for?

If you would like a different format of email signature, or want other information added let us know though the comments form below and we will look to add it as another format for everyone.

If you like the email signature generator I suggest that you also download our complete Business email check list

Download Microsoft Security Essentials - The Best Free Anti virus product

Microsoft Security Essentials

If you are looking for the best free anti virus product on the Internet for your home PC, or Small Business, now you can work and play on your PC more safely. With Microsoft® Security Essentials, it’s easy to help protect your PC from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software for FREE* with the same award-winning technology used by millions of consumer and enterprise PCs around the world. Security Essentials provides Malware protection in addition to Anti-Virus protection, making it possibly the best free anti virus tool available.

Is Security Essentials the Best Free Anti Virus Product?

You don’t need to pay for Home, or Small Business, Anti Virus software

Microsoft are the latest company to to make their Anti Virus products free for home users. Several other anti-virus providers, probably the best knows is AVG Free, have a version of their Anti Virus software which can be used for free on Home PC’s. In a recent update Microsoft have now made Security Essentials available free of charge to Small Businesses with up to 10 PC’s.

Is Security Essentials the Best Free Anti Virus product?

Well its certainly at least as good as the other Free Anti Virus products, if not the best free anti virus product that we have tried. Security Essentials is based on the Forefront technology that is used by hundreds of thousands of Microsoft enterprise customers, so it has a lot of research behind it.

Installing Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials Website To get your copy of  the Free Anti Virus product from Microsoft click on the ‘Security Essentials, Free Download’ graphic above.

This connect to the Internet and display the Microsoft Security Essentials site, where you can either download and install Security Essentials or you can find out more about the product by watching the video.

Click on the Download Now button and follow the instructions to complete the installation.

You can see the steps outlined for the download and installation, for what is possibly the best free anti virus product available, in the process below:-

Download Security Essentials

Download Microsoft Security EssentialsAfter you have selected to Download Microsoft Security Essentials you will see the screen to the left.

Confirm the Language version that you want to download and then click on the Operating System Version that you are using. XP 32 bit, Vista/Windows 7 32 bit or 64 bit.

Once you have confirmed your Operating System Version, in the download screen,  then the download of Security Essentials will start automatically.

Note: you may get the ‘Standard’ Windows file download warning, you can safely ignore this warning message and proceed with the download.

The Download Process

Download  Microsoft Security Essentials for Free

The file will then be downloaded for you to save locally on your computer. Make sure that you note where the file is downloaded to, as you may need this information later on.

Once the download has completed you should select the option to run the installation file and then follow the detailed on-screen instructions. This will ensure that Microsoft Security Essentials is installed and configure correctly and that the latest updates are applied to ensure that your home computer  is protected by, what is possibly, the best free anti virus product available.

The instructions on screen will guide you though the installation process and make sure that Security Essentials has the latest updates installed.

Install Security Essentials

Accept the Security Essentials License TermsBefore you can proceed with the installation process You will need to accept the Microsoft End User License Agreement (EULA).

You should, of course, read the ELUA before you accept and agree to it, by pressing the I accept Button.

Once you have accepted the EULA then Microsoft Security Essentials will verify that you are using a genuine version of Windows before continuing the installation process.

Should you be  using a pirate, or unauthorised, version of Windows the installation will terminate at this point as Microsoft Security Essentials will only install on a system which passes the validation process.

Note: Microsoft does not collect any information during the Validation process which can be used to identify who you are, neither do they ask for any contact information such as an email address.

Operating System Validation

Remove other AV productsPress the Validate > Button to continue with the Validation process. This will verify that your versions of Microsoft Windows is a genuine version and that it has a valid license.

Once the validation of your Windows Operating System has been confirmed you can start the installation by pressing the Install > Button.

Once you have pressed the Install Button then the installation process will start and a Status Bar will be displayed, showing you the progress of the installation.

This will continue to update during the installation of Microsoft Security Essentials.

Security Definition Updates

Installed & ScanningAfter the installation process has completed the Computer Status will be set to ‘At Risk’ whilst the virus and spyware definitions are updated to the latest version.

Whilst your computer remains At Risk the Status Line will be bright red, to indicate that you are not currently fully protected.

This process will always happen as there will have been additional anti virus and anti malware updates which have been issued since Microsoft Security Essentials was packaged. The security updates will take a few moments to download and install.

Once the definitions have been updated the status line will change to Green and the status will be set to protected. At the same time a Quick Scan of the computer will be carried out. The status of the scan will be updated as things progress.

Updates

The Update Tab will show you the version of the virus and spyware definitions and also show when they were last updated. If you want you can manually update the definitions, or more likely you will set the updates to take place on a regular schedule.
Computer Protected

Once the initial scan is completed then you are protected from Viruses.  Security Essentials will automatically update the virus definitions on a regular basis.

One of the advantages of the Free Anti virus products is the fact there there isn’t a subscription which can expire. So the virus and spyware definitions should always be up to date, so it truly should be a ‘set it and forget it’ product.

In another post we will discuss how to configure and use Microsoft Security Essentials to ensure that you are always up to date and protected for viruses and malware. This will help you to get the most out of Microsoft Security Essentials and show you that it is, possibly, the best free anti virus product available.

Is Security Essentials the Best Free Anti Virus Product?

We certainly think its one of the Best Free Anti Virus products that you can get. Why not let us know your experiences with Security Essentials by filling out the Comments below.

* Microsoft Security Essentials is available at no charge for Home customers who are verified to have a copy of genuine Windows in select countries. No registration or personal information is required, only automatic verification of your genuine Windows installation.

Need security for your business?

Microsoft Security Essentials is now  available for small businesses with up to 10 PCs. If your business has more than 10 PCs, you can protect your computers with Microsoft Forefront Client Security.

Do you think that Microsoft Security Essentials is the Best Free Anti Virus Product available, let us know.

Have you ever wondered ‘Is my Website Effective?’


The Website Grade for www.computerspot.co.uk!

Having spent a lot of time and money on your website you probably look at the Google Analytics and think, ‘Is my Website Effective’? What do I need to do in order to make it more effective and to get more traffic. There are lots of people who do Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) who will tell you that they can get you to the top of Google.

The other week I came across Website Grader which gives your website a grade, between 0 and 100, to tell you how effective it is. The icon the the left shows the current grade, or effectiveness, of www.ComputerSpot.co.uk – it was 80% effective when I first came across WebsiteGrader. So you can see that by using the information in the Grader Report I have been able to improve the grade of ComputerSpot in a few short weeks and have helped to make my website effective.

Click on the Grade Icon and you can see the latest full report for ComputerSpot.

Is My Website Effective?

At the moment it is OK, it generates some traffic and it does what I wanted it to do, or so I thought. Now I have seen WebsiteGrader it has given me a lot of ideas of simple things that I can do to improve the effectiveness of the site and get more traffic.

At the moment I probably score round about  B-, OK but could improve if he put in some effort. (Sounds very much like my old school reports) So we know that I can do more to make my website effective and generate more traffic, the question is where to start.

How Does WebsiteGrader work?

The people at HubSpot, who run WebsiteGrader, say:

The website www.computerspot.co.uk ranks 514,158 of the 2,971,275 websites that have been ranked so far.

A website grade of 83/100 for www.computerspot.co.uk means that of the millions of websites that have previously been evaluated, our algorithm has calculated that this site scores higher than 83% of them in terms of its marketing effectiveness. The algorithm uses a proprietary blend of over 50 different variables, including search engine data , website structure, approximate traffic, site performance, and others.

So there are things that I can do to make my website effective. The good news is that WebsiteGrader shows you how well you are doing on the different scores that your site has for the 50 different checks that combine to grade the effectiveness of your site.

What do I need to do to make my website effective?

First thing  that you need is good content on your website. You can make your website more effective by including an active Blog, some of the items that add up in the grade of your site include:

  • The number of pages that Google has indexed
  • The Grade of the Blog, this gets run as part of the WebsiteGrader – Yes there is a BlogGrader
  • The frequency of Posts on the site
  • How easy the blog is to read – the simpler the content the better in this case
  • The number of back-links to your posts

Optimise to make my website effective

You still need to use traditional ‘On Page’ Search Engine Optimisation to make sure that when Google finds your web pages it find something that it likes. So that is the stuff that the SEO consultants will keep talking about. This includes getting the Meta data right, using the right keywords and phrases, etc.  All of these techniques will help me to make my website effective in attracting traffic.

If you are using WordPress for your website then plug-ins like SEOPressor and All in One SEO Pack will help you to improve your ‘On Page’ Search Engine Optimisation.

Domain Information to help make my website effective

Where your site is hosted, how long the site has existed and how long your before the domain is due for renewal all impact your website Grade. There isnt much that you can do about how old your domain is, but you can increase the time before your domain registration is due to expire. I hadn’t thought about either of these helping to make my website effective, but they all help.

Backlinks make my website effective

The other traditional item that helps me make my website effective is backlinks. Backlinks are simply links from other peoples websites back to your website. Historically Google used to just count the number of links pointing to your site, now they are much more clever about the use of Backlinks. This takes into account things like:-

  • The ranking of the site that is supplying the Backlinks
  • The domain type that is providing the Backlinks

Social Media helps make my website effective

If you have an active Twitter account that helps improve your website grade. Yes there is a Twitter Grader and this is one area where I need to do more work to improve and make my website effective. So why not go ahead and help by following ComputerSpot on Twitter

Traffic makes my website effective

This one is the obvious thing that will help me make my website effective. The more effective the website the more people will visit it and then it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. However people will only come back and visit your website again if you keep posting interesting material and keep informing them about the new articles that you have posted, using Twitter, email etc. So just writing good content is not enough to make my website effective, I need to make sure that its found and that people read what has been written.

Human Activity makes my website effective

The way that a webmaster or blogger can quickly and easily see that their blog is a success to by the comments the site receives. Google likes to see activity on a site, so go ahead and leave a comment at the base of this post.

Leaving comments on a site also helps your site, as what you are doing as part of your comment is creating a Backlink to your website.  So when you leave comments on a site you are helping 3 sets of people:-

  1. The visitors to the site – as they get to read your comments
  2. The owner of the site – as they get the activity and benefit from your comments
  3. Yourself – as your website now has another Backlink to it and Backlinks are a good thing

So when you visit a site and read an article go ahead and leave a comment and help everyone, including yourself.

So is my Website Effective?

You can see that WebsiteGrader will help you to see where your site is falling down and what you need to do in order to improve your site. Take a look at WebsiteGrader and enter your website details and see if you can get benefit from the Free Report.

If after looking at the report you know that your website needs some optimisation and traffic generating work then I suggest that you talk to my friend Raglan Tribe over at Clockwork Sales. After all WebsiteGrader just shows you how good a job you have done, it won’t necessarily tell you how to fix everything. You still need a good SEO consultant and Internet marketeer to do that.

Whilst all of the above are important the key thing that I can do to make my website effective is to provide regular good content, so that you keep coming back.

What is a good Password?

Put simply a good password for your computer is one that you can remember easily and that no one else knows, or can work out. So it needs to be both a secure password and memorable.

What do we need to do to ensure that we have a good password?

There are several rules that we can use to ensure that our passwords are not easily guessed, these include:-

  • Don’t use names
  • Don’t use days of the week or months
  • You should include some non alphabetic characters in your password (numbers and or symbols)
  • A password needs to have a minimum of 5 characters, preferably 8 or more, in order to make it more difficult to crack
  • It shouldn’t be the same as other passwords that you use
  • It shouldn’t be so complex that you have to write it down to make sure that you can remember it

So it can be easy to generate complex good passwords, to be honest that’s the easy part, almost anyone can create a complex password. The challenge is remembering the password.

Good Passwords and Social Engineering

Social engineering is a strange term but basically it refers to using what you know about people to work out what their passwords are. If you know that someone’s favourite football team is Liverpool then its amazing how simple it can be to guess their password, even bearing in mind our complexity guidelines above. So the obvious passwords are:-

  • L1verp001 (L one verp zero zero one)
  • Liverpool01 (Liverpool zero one)
  • 1iverp001 (one iverp zero zero one)

This shows why you shouldn’t use real words as part of your password, if you do it will never be a good password, as it will be simple for the Social Engineer to crack.

Good Passwords and Shoulder Surfing

If you have a good password you still need to type it into your computer to access your on-line banking site or Facebook etc. Shoulder Surfing is the term for gently looking over someone’s shoulder as they type in their password, as you slowly cruise past them. If its a complex password you probably recite it to your self as you slowly type it in or read it off  from your list, hopefully not written under the keyboard of your computer.

I have a good password now what?

Now that we know that our password is good what should you do to make sure that our data stays secure?

The first thing is make sure that you don’t use the same password everywhere. Some information is more important than other information, so you wouldn’t want to use the same password for you on-line banking as you do for your Facebook or LinkedIn account.  That brings us to the next problem, if you have too many different passwords you can’t remember them all, so what do people do, that’s right they get written down somewhere.

Lots of people store passwords as ‘phone numbers’ against contacts in an address book. i.e. Barclaycard 0207-54663 where the phone number is the password they they use to access the Barclaycard website. The slightly more ‘High Tech’ equivalent is to store them as a contact in your mobile phone, but its still just as obvious.

Keep that good password safe

You complex good password needs to be kept safe and secure. That means that you shouldn’t write it down, I don’t know about you but my memory just isn’t that good. I need to keep a copy of the passwords that I use stored somewhere. I use RoboForm a secure password application, to hold all of my good passwords, that way if I can’t remember a specific good password then I only need to remember one, very, complex password in order to get to my password store.

Take a look at RoboForm and you never need remember another password again. There are even versions of RoboForm for your mobile phone (iPhone, Android, etc), so you can keep  your passwords secure on the one device everyone always has with them.

RoboForm password security and generate good passwords

You can use the FREE version of RoboForm forever completely free of charge. You can go to the RoboForm website at www.roboform.com or download it direct from ComputerSpot. Using an application allows you to keep all of your passwords in one place, keep them secure and it allows you to use complex passwords without the headache  of having to remember them all. One of the joys of Secure Password Stores is not having to remember passwords when you visit websites, a prompt will pop up asking if you want to use the stored password.

There are lots of Secure Password Store applications if you don’t like RoboForm, just search with Google and choose your own favourite application to store your good password.

Microsoft Hosted Services

There is now a cost effective range of Microsoft Hosted Services, for both the business and home user. Some of the services are completely free and the others are available as a monthly subscription service.

Free – Microsoft Hosted Services

Currently the Free Microsoft Hosted Services include:-

  • Microsoft SkyDrive
  • Windows Live Office

Microsoft Hosted Services – SkyDrive

Microsoft SkyDrive is 25Gb of Free Online Storage, accessible over the web. You can save files securely, or share them with other users.

Microsoft Hosted Services – Windows Live Office

Windows Live Office provides you with Free access to the Microsoft Office Suite of tools. Used in conjunction with your SkyDrive account you have complete access to your Office Documents, along with the tools to edit them from any PC with an Internet connection.

Windows Live Office, or Office Web as it is sometimes called provides you with free access to:-

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft OneNote

Subscription – Microsoft Hosted Services

Business Productivity Online (BPOS) – Microsoft Hosted Services

Currently the Microsoft Hosted Services, available as part of a subscription include:-

  • Hosted Exchange
  • Hosted SharePoint
  • Hosted OCS
  • Hosted LiveMeeting

These services can be purchased either individually, or together as the Microsoft BPOS (Business Productivity Online Services) package. The BPOS Suite is available, in the UK for, £6.71 per user per month – with a minimum subscription of 5 users. You can either purchase BPOS online from the Microsoft website, or through your Microsoft Partner. The price is exactly the same whichever route you take. Generally you should purchase BPOS through your Microsoft Partner as they will provide advice, guidance and assistance on setting up and configuring your Microsoft Hosted Services.

Additional Options for Exchange – Microsoft Hosted Services

The optional Microsoft Hosted Services include:-

  • Email Spam & Virus Filtering
  • Email Archive
  • Email Encryption

These optional Microsoft Hosted Services for Exchange are designed so that they work with both hosted versions of Exchange and your local on-premise version of Exchange or Small Business Server (SBS). So if you have a local Exchange server you can start using Microsoft Hosted Services today to provide your business with a fully searchable email Archive and Spam protection.

Email Archive starts at only £3.00 per user per month and email Spam filtering and Virus protection starts at only £1.03 per user per month.

How can I get Microsoft Hosted Services?

Microsoft Hosted Services – Free

If you want to use the Free Microsoft Hosted Services of SkyDrive and Live Office, you can simply create yourself an account on the Microsoft Live website and start using them today.

Microsoft Hosted Services – BPOS

If you are interested in the subscription based Microsoft Hosted Services the best way to get a Free 30 day trail is to contact your Microsoft Partner, who can help you setup an account for your business.

If you don’t have a Microsoft Partner, and are located in the UK, then Contact us, via the SystemAssure website and  we can get you setup with a Free 30 day trail of any of the  Microsoft Hosted Services.

Where has my disk space gone?

At some point or another all of us have asked this question, or a variant of it. We all buy computers with lots of disk space, but the files seem to expand to occupy the available space. It doesnt seem to matter how large the disk is when you buy your computer, you quickly run out of space.

So how can you find out where your disk space has gone?

You may have struggled with file-manager and searched to try and find large files, but as they say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ .

Visualise disk space usage with WinDirStat

Use WinDirStat to find out where your disk space has goneWell now you can see a picture of how your disk space is being used. The big ‘blobs’ are the files that are taking up the space, so on my laptop the largest files are my Outlook PST file and my local email Archive.

The treemap represents each file as a colored rectangle, the area of which is proportional to the file’s size. The rectangles are arranged in such a way, that directories again make up rectangles, which contain all their files and sub-directories. So their area is proportional to the size of the sub-trees. The color of a rectangle indicates the type of the file, as shown in the extension list. The cushion shading additionally brings out the directory structure. The information is nicely colour coded so all of the files of the same type are the same colour. In my case the purple blobs in the middle of the screenshot are a collection of photos from my holiday last year.

WinDirStat will quickly show you where your disk space has gone, which applications are using the space,which file types are using most of your disk space. So you could see if the space is being used by graphics, MP3 file etc.

Where to get WinDirStat

WinDirStat is a tool released under the GNU General Public License, you can download a copy of it from http://windirstat.info/index.php.

If you want to find out where your disk space has gone get hold of a copy of WinDirStat today and see what the space hogs are.

What is Malware?

The term Malware is generally accepted to be a short form of the words Malicious software. This typically encompasses multiple categories of software such as viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, etc. The goal of malware is to install software that can destroy your data, effect your computer’s performance, cause a crash or allow spammers to send email through your account. Typically the authors of Malware want to use your computer to send spam or phishing emails that will ultimately generate money for them.

How do I know if my PC is infected with Malware?

“My Anti-Virus software doesn’t show any problems, so how do I know if I have any Malware installed?” Unfortunately most antivirus software doesn’t recognise malware, or if it does then it doesn’t do a good job of cleaning up the malware.

What is the best way to get rid of malware?

malware removal with malwarebytesThere are several good products available to identify and remove Malware from your computer. The best and most effective Anti Malware software that I am aware of is Malwarebytes which is available in 2 versions. Both versions of Malwarebytes are fully functional, the two versions are:-

  1. Malwarebytes Free edition
  2. Malwarebytes Full version (approx £16.00)

Both versions perform full scans and will remove malware from your computer, so you get to try the full capabilities of the product without having to hand over your credit card information. The main difference is that activating the full version unlocks real-time protection, scheduled scanning, and scheduled updating.

Note: Anti-Malware software isn’t intended to replace your anti-virus software, it should be used in conjunction with a traditional anti-virus product – like Microsoft Security Essentials.

Can I Automate Anti Malware Software?

The short answer is yes, you can automate anti malware scans and clean up. You can buy a full copy of Malwarebytes, so that you can schedule the scans and updates.

Another option is to use a Systems Management solution, like SystemAssure, which provides full automation for anti-virus and anti-malware scans and cleanup, alongside monitoring and management.

Windows Live Office

If you have a Windows Live Skydrive account then you now also get access to the applications included in Windows Live – Office, or Office Web. Windows Live Office allows you to create and update Microsoft Office documents on the web, without you having to have a copy of Microsoft Office installed on your PC, great for those last minute updates to your Word document or PowerPoint presentation.

What applications are included in Windows Live Office?

Windows Live Office comprises web based versions of:- 

Windows Live OfficeYou can create and save Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents to your SkyDrive and then upload or download them to your PC.

There is even an option to directly open your document using your local copy of Office if you want.

Creating a Word document in Windows Live

Windows Live - Save Document

When you click on the Word icon you are prompted for a name for your blank document, this saves a copy of your empty Word document to your SkyDrive, in Word 2007 (.docx) format.

Once the empty document has been saved then you are presented with the ‘standard’ Word interface within your web browser. This then allows you to work, pretty much, as you would with a local version of Word on your PC.

Using Word in Windows Live Office

Windows Live - Word User Interface

As you can see the Windows Live version of Word looks and acts very similar to a ‘real’ version of Microsoft Word.

The other applications in the Windows Live Office Suite function in a very similar fashion to Word. You can use normal Microsoft functions like ‘cut and paste’, Image insert, spell check and Clip Art.

So if you get sent a Microsoft Office document and don’t have a copy of Office installed you can now open the document and view, update. The one thing that you can’t do directly from the Windows Live version of Word is to print the document.

Windows Live Office, or Office Web

Depending on where you look the suite is referred to as both Office Web and Windows Live Office. I have even seen people referring to the suite as Office Web Applications (OWA), but this just confuses things with the original Microsoft OWA (Outlook Web Access). Personally I think that Office Web will stick as a short form for the suite as its just simpler than Windows Live Office.

You can use any of the Office Web applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for free and store your documents in your Windows Live SkyDrive. At the moment your SkyDrive account gives you 25GB of free online storage.