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Microsoft training courses

  • Hotmail to be replaced by Outlook.com in Microsoft switch

    06 August 2012

    Microsoft is revamping its free webmail service by ditching the Hotmail brand and replacing it with Outlook.com.

    The new service will automatically sort emails as they arrive in the inbox by recognising messages from listed contacts, identifying social media notifications, newsletters and other ‘labels’ assigned by the user.

    Links to social media accounts, Google and most excitingly, Skype are the main up-date of Outlook.com. It aims to bring relevant context and communications to your email experience. The Outlook.com inbox will “come alive with photos of friends, status updates, Tweets and the ability to video-call.” The service is kept up-to-date by linking to your email and social media contact lists.

    The move will see features of the desktop email program of the same name favoured by businesses now available as a personal email service. Its in-built Office apps are in answer to other web-based applications such as Google Docs and its cloud storage platform Skydrive also comes as standard, quashing attachment size limits and rivalling Google Drive and other document and photo sharing programs like Dropbox.

    On the surface the up-dated email program looks the part with a clean user interface but industry experts have given it mixed reviews.

    Microsoft claim Outlook.com is the first email service to connect to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like but others are sceptical of this statement and instead said it lacks innovation. One reviewer suggested there was in fact no new technology and that filtering tools and social network integration have been around for a while. Claims of reverse-consummation - essentially reworking the Outlook business tool for the mass market - have also been heard.

    By far its praises have been for its integration with Skype which is an industry first.

    You can sign up for a new Outlook.com email address now. Existing Microsoft email account holders with Hotmail, MSN or Live emails aren’t being forced to the new platform just yet and can continue using their email programs as normal.

    Anyone interested in learning more about the plethora of Microsoft business applications are invited to explore the range of courses offered by Total Training Solutions. To enquiry about a course or to book your place please call 0800 612 1299 or email info@tts-uk.com.

  • Exchange 2013 coming soon

    14 August 2012

    In a nutshell Exchange 2013 ensures your communications are always available.

    Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) was designed to sync Exchange-based data with mobile devices using the web. With Exchange 2013, Microsoft is now beginning to use EAS technology in its Windows-based email clients by providing push-based access to email, contacts and appointments.

    This new industry standard keeps your data on the server, in the cloud or somewhere in between where it can be accessed (synced) from anywhere at any time, using any connected EAS client (smart phones, tablets and PCs.) Should you choose to move your email and office features to the web, Exchange 2013 gives you the tools to manage and sync connected clients immediately using push. This includes calendars and documents as well as email.

    The web-based Exchange Administration Centre (EAC) provides role-based access control to users to perform specific tasks without requiring full administrative permissions. It allows you to manage powerful capabilities including Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and site mailboxes. Deep content analysis and PolicyTips inform users about policy violations before sensitive data is sent. Site mailboxes allow for collaborative work and shared information through co-authoring, document storage and versioning via SharePoint.

    Exchange archiving, large mailboxes and retention policies offer vast flexibility. With emails on demand in your primary mailbox or in clearly a defined archive, productivity is heightened and users are in control of their own storage.

    To learn more about Exchange 2013 and to get up-to-speed with Microsoft products and advancement please visit the Total Training Solutions course directory. If you need any help finding a qualification that is right for you, have any questions or would like to book your place on one of our courses, please email info@tts-uk.com or call 0800 612 1299.

  • Windows Server 2012 – are you ready?

    20 August 2012

    Even with the move to cloud computing, there is still a need for the small business server: enter Windows Server 2012.

    Microsoft’s latest product trumps its predecessor, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, which many believe fell short of expectation. The new version hosts applications, manages directory services and more. It mixes business and consumer features providing opportunity for resellers to combine the key elements of Office 365 (Microsoft’s cloud offering) and Windows Server 2012 Essentials as a small business package.

    Getting started is easy and the server experience simplified:

    • Easy installation that only requires an administrator and initial user account
    • A setup checklist helps you get a system ready for users and helps ensure you're ready to take a server live
    • Built-in Dashboard with tools for managing your server and your users
    • User accounts can be given different levels of access to the shared folders.

    The tie-up with Windows 8’s File History helps ensure files are backed-up. PC’s already running Windows 8 will automatically configure to store the history.

    To simplify access to shared resources and for remote access to a server, Windows Server 2012 still uses LaunchPad to handle full device backups. Watch out for Windows 8 Metro and Windows Phone client to support additional remote access.

    Windows Server 2012 in the Cloud
    Windows Server 2012 doesn’t come with an email server but is easily adaptable to any email program. It can quickly connect to Office 365 or an Exchange Server running on your network. Multiple server management is easy as long as Windows Server 2012 is the only Active Directory server in the network.

    The full Windows Server Manager is also available, complete with support for some of its more complex features including the ability to use PowerShell to create management scripts.

    Other features

    Moving away from the Server Manager, Windows Sever 2012 Essentials also provides storage support with Storage Spaces, Microsoft’s new storage solution. Using new technologies it builds thin storage pools to house data, much like the Drive Extender features of Windows Home Server, but with a simpler management system.

    Windows Server 2012 Essentials allows your network and business to grow and achieves this by growing with you; when you reach its 25-user limit, you can do an in-place upgrade to Windows Server 2012 Standard. The majority of the Essentials features continue to be supported (up 75 users), allowing you time to build a larger Windows network.

    Its flexibility is further highlighted by the addition of consumer features; a media server is included for you to store photos, videos and music and available to use via desktop music players and network connected devices.

    Find out more about Windows Server and other Microsoft products from Total Training Solutions. For up-to-the-minute information on course content and availability please call 0800 612 1299 or email info@tts-uk.com.

  • Microsoft announce release date for Windows 8

    28 August 2012

    Windows 8 is coming - 26th October 2012 is the date for your diary!

    Microsoft will launch their new OS system, an update described by the company as “the most important redesign of its interface in more than a decade.

    By far its most attractive feature is the touch-controlled interface known as Metro. It helps bring a fresh look and feel to OS functionality with Windows 8 appearing more like a mobile device with personalised apps dominating the desktop.

    This is a conscious move by Microsoft to place itself in the thick of the tablet revolution. Traditionally making software to install on PCs and operate computer networks, Microsoft has had to adjust its focus to the online software and storage and mobile device markets which are undoubtedly the future of personal and business IT.

    Windows 8 is a single system that can power both desktop PCs and mobile devices - allowing programs to work on both. Further to this movement, Microsoft has also announced its own hardware - the Surface tablet - to compete with other companies' products.

    More about Metro
    The tile-based applications run in full-screen or in docked modes and can share information between each other. They will only be available through the Windows Store.

    The traditional desktop environment for running desktop applications is accessed via a tile on the new Start screen. The Start button has been removed from the taskbar in favour of a Start button on the new charm bar, as well as a hotspot in the bottom-left corner. Both open the new Start screen, which replaces the Start menu.

    Other features include:
    Internet Explorer 10 is included as a desktop program and touch-optimized app.

    Picture password and PIN log-in authentication methods have been added.

    Doing away with Windows Live ID, it is now possible to log into Windows using a Microsoft account. This allows the user's profile and settings to be synced via the web and accessible from other computers running Windows 8. Integration with SkyDrive is also possible.

    Using hibernation technology in Hybrid Boot, Windows core memory is saved in the hard disk and reloaded upon boot allowing faster start-up times.

    Windows 8 Enterprise can boot and run from a bootable USB device, flash drive and the like via Windows To Go.

    File Explorer will have its own ribbon toolbar and file operation has been improved with the ability to pause transfers and better manage conflicts when copying files.

    Refresh and Reset recovery - Refresh restores all Windows files to their original state while keeping settings, files, and apps, Reset takes the computer back to factory default settings.

    To learn more about Windows and other Microsoft services you can ask the friendly team at Total Training Solutions. Available via phone on 0800 612 1299 or email at info@tts-uk.com you can book your place or enquire about any of their courses. Take a look at the course directory first to find the course to suit you.

  • Microsoft Office 2013 Revealed

    06 September 2012

    For this first time Microsoft is aiming its predominantly business tool at personal users, families and students as well as the professional market.

    Microsoft have found 60% of people use the same device to receive both personal and work-based information and as a result have developed Office 2013 which allows for easier integration of your home and work life.

    The new version has all the features you know and expect from a business application but with some noticeable advancements. Updates ensure Word, Outlook, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint work with the touch interface and across multiple synced devices; phones, tablets, PC’s and the like. This integration allows your business life to coordinate with your home life; keeping you in touch at all times (should you want to be of course).

    Improvements
    Synced editing and saving means you can work on a document on your PC and reopen it later on your phone or tablet and carry on where you left off. Furthermore Word can now edit PDF’s and embed YouTube links more easily and all Office programmes will integrate with SkyDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage system.

    Enhanced presentation modes in Outlook and PowerPoint contribute to a more satisfactory usability. Outlook can now be layered to feature the whole family of apps on one screen; view your email and on the same screen view highlights in your calendar and contacts. Add-on apps can go one step further and scan emails, detect addresses, suggest meetings and schedule appointments.

    PowerPoint can now be projected to a screen from one device and the notes read from another.

    OneNote adopts handwriting recognition. The touch interface means you can adjust font sizes etc with your fingers as opposed to mouse or keypad.

    Continuing the social media revolution, MS has developed social business tools allowing users to ‘follow’ colleagues and documents and tasks as they might follow friends or brands on Facebook or Twitter.

    The new Office features will also be available on the new Nokia Windows Phone 8 which was launched only yesterday (Wednesday 5th September 2012).

    Limitations
    The main drawback of Office 2013 is that it only works on Windows 7. For many businesses and home users with older versions of Windows, XP and the like, it will mean an initial outlay for a new PC.

    To learn more about Office and the larger Microsoft family including Windows, Exchange and Outlook please visit our course directory. To book you place on the course that is right for you call 0800 612 1299 or email info@tts-uk.com with any questions you may have.

  • Microsoft release NEW Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Courses and Certifications

    07 February 2013

    In January Microsoft released their new Technology Associate (or MTA) courses and certifications to go along with them. What does this mean for the IT industry and the skills that people can acquire?

    It has been noted by many people in the industry that there have not been enough certifications dedicated to fundamental IT and development skills, with many courses focusing on more complex aspects of IT, aimed at those who already possess a certain level of IT knowledge and expertise. The new MTA courses and certifications however should fill this gap.

    Unlike the more advanced Microsoft certifications the new MTA courses are for those who are looking for an entry point into the world of Microsoft technology. In other words, if you have no experience or knowledge whatsoever this is the starting point for you. Furthermore, the courses cover a wide range of IT skills from the most tech-savvy end of the spectrum, to non-technical IT project management.

    While the new courses will give people the chance to gain a basic certification for their CV, they also provide a stepping stone towards the more advanced Microsoft qualifications. A stepping stone that many believe was not there before the new MTA emerged.

    This has major implications for businesses. Should your business require somebody to have basic knowledge of Microsoft technology, there is no longer any need to find somebody new. With the new MTA courses, any employee, regardless of their IT experience can become knowledgeable in at least the basics.

    If you or one of your employees is keen to acquire knowledge and expertise in the area of Microsoft technology, please call Total Training Solutions today on 0800 612 1299, or contact us via the website.

  • What is Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)?

    13 February 2013

    Last week we looked at the release of Microsoft’s new MTA certification. But what is it and how can it help you or your business? We mentioned that the MTA is the first step into a career in IT, but this week we are going to take a look at the content of MTA courses.

    With the world heavily reliant on technology, the aim of the MTA course is to be the number one credential for individuals looking to pursue a career in technology. The MTA gives students a fundamental understanding of IT and how it can be applied to certain business processes in a meaningful and helpful way. Rather than simply teaching students how to perform IT functions, the MTA teaches how and why they are useful in a business context.

    Passing one MTA exam can open up a wider range of further specialist MTA courses to suit students’ aspirations and interests. There are three main tracks for students to pursue. The first is the IT infrastructure track, for those intending to build a career in desktop or server infrastructure or private cloud computing. Secondly, there is the MTA database track, for those intending to build a career in data platform administration or business intelligence. Finally, the MTA development track is for those intending to build a career as a software developer.

    So, whatever your IT career goals are, MTA is the first rung on the ladder, no matter what your past experience is. Each course is taught both in person and through the online learning environment and is assessed by a single exam at the end of the course.

    If you or one of your employees is keen to acquire knowledge and expertise in the area of Microsoft technology, please call Total Training Solutions today on 0800 612 1299, or contact us via the website.

  • Where can you study Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)?

    20 February 2013

    Last week we showed how studying for a Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) qualification is a great way to help you get to grips with IT. MTA courses provide the first step on the path to using Microsoft technology in business. Because it doesn’t just tell you how to perform basic IT functions, but teaches you why they are useful in business contexts, the MTA certification is a gateway to further professional development for students, employers, and employees alike.

    But where and how can you study for a MTA certification?

    MTA courses can be taught in person at affiliated learning centres throughout the world. A number of Total Training Solutions locations across the UK offer MTA courses taught by friendly and professional staff.

    But the great thing about courses in IT is that you can also study remotely from the comfort of your own home. Through e-Learning platforms such as those offered by TTS, you can enjoy a greater deal of flexibility, and still have a wealth of learning material at just the touch of a button.

    When you finish your course, whether it’s face-to-face or online, you only have to pass a single exam at a certified test centre, before you can become a member of the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) community and walk the pathway to IT success.

    If you or one of your employees is keen to acquire knowledge and expertise in the area of Microsoft technology, please call Total Training Solutions today on 0800 612 1299, or contact us via the website.

  • Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) is a fantastic entry point into IT certification and IT job preparation

    25 February 2013

    Whether you’re a student, an employee, or just keen to learn something new, a Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) qualification teaches you the basic skills you need to start a career in IT.  Last week we showed how companies such as Total Training Solutions make MTA courses to suit you, with a choice between face-to-face classes and e-Learning platforms.

    But what are the benefits of completing an MTA qualification?

    One advantage of an MTA qualification is that it prepares you for a career in IT.  MTA courses, including those offered by Total Training Solutions, teach you the fundamentals in information technology, which can be applied to key business areas such as IT infrastructure, database design and software development.  Recognised by employers worldwide, the courses teach you to apply the skills you learn to business situations, and they can be a great way to increase your job prospects and further your professional development.

    Another benefit of completing an MTA course is that it opens the door to further learning opportunities.  An MTA certification is the first rung on the ladder to studying for a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) or Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) certification.  But with your MTA certification you have the foundations to study for qualifications in a number of other areas of IT.

    And what’s more, when you pass the MTA exam, you become a member of the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) community.  This means you gain access to a number of great benefits including networking newsgroups, peer support, and members-only special offers.

    If you or one of your employees is keen to acquire knowledge and expertise in the area of Microsoft technology, please call Total Training Solutions today on 0800 612 1299, or contact us via the website.

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