Five Ways Outlook.com Beats Gmail -- and One Way it Doesn't

Outlook.com logo
As you'll recall from last week, Microsoft just took the wraps off Outlook.com, a.k.a. the Webmail service formerly known as Hotmail.

Yawn, right? After all, what could Outlook.com possibly bring to the table that Gmail doesn't already have -- or do better?

As it turns out, quite a bit. I've spent the last several days test-driving the new service, and while it's far from perfect, Outlook.com actually offers a number of features that could lure business users away from Gmail.

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How to Send Your Boss an Anonymous Email

What's the best way to communicate with your boss? Open, honest, face-to-face conversation, of course.

That would seem to fly in the face of Tell Your Boss Anything, a Web site designed expressly for sending anonymous messages. But it's not really about giving ol' Scrooge a piece of your mind; rather, the site appears to have constructive motives.

To get started, you enter your own "trusted" email address (more on that in a bit), then your boss' address. Next, you create a subject line by filling in the blanks: "I feel ____ about ____."

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Get Dozens of Free Business and IT Ebooks From Microsoft

The smartest folks I know are the ones who have bookshelves stacked with reference guides. Knowledge is power, and all that.

Of course, now that e-books are overtaking their print counterparts, it's getting harder to judge a businessperson or IT admin by his/her covers (so to speak).

Maybe the bookshelf is empty, but the Kindle/Nook/iPad/etc. might be loaded with tomes.

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Three Ways to Make Microsoft Word Easier to Live With

Last week you learned three ways to make Outlook easier to live with, and before that, Gmail. Now let's turn our attention to the world's most popular word processor: Microsoft Word.

I'll admit that I'm pretty fond of Word. It's been my primary word processor ever since I reluctantly relinquished WordPerfect -- for DOS. I've even come to appreciate the Ribbon interface that debuted in Word 2007, though it can be a difficult transition to make.

With issues like that in mind, I've compiled this list of three tips that can make Microsoft Word a little easier on the brain.

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Three Ways to Make Outlook Easier to Live With

Outlook
I've made no secret of my distaste for Microsoft Outlook. That said, it's a required piece of software for a lot of business users -- and even a desirable one for some.

Recently I've made peace with the program, as uninstalling and then reinstalling it (along with the rest of Microsoft Office 2010) solved a few of my more niggling issues.

Thus, having offered up three ways to make Gmail easier to live with, I now present my favorite tips for enhancing the Outlook experience.

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App Spotlight: MobileDay Lets You Join Conference Calls With Just One Tap

If you've ever tried to dial into a conference call from your smartphone, you know what a hassle it can be -- especially if you're behind the wheel of your car. (Forget hassle: That's downright dangerous.)

The problem is that you have to dial not only the conference service number (which you can potentially speed-dial or even voice-dial), but also access codes, PINs, and/or other numbers.

If this information is stored in your calendar, good luck bopping back and forth between that and your dialer -- and remembering every digit.

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