Microsoft Officially Ends Support for Windows 7, Win2PDF Doesn’t

Earlier this month Microsoft officially ended support for Windows 7.

“The specific end of support day for Windows 7 was January 14, 2020. Technical assistance and software updates from Windows Update that help protect your PC are no longer available for the product. Microsoft strongly recommends that you move to Windows 10 to avoid a situation where you need service or support that is no longer available.”

This will pose problems for many companies, especially considering the fact that this operating system is still being used on approximately one-third of PCs globally.

Many customers have been hesitant to move to Windows 10 for a variety of reasons, and one significant issue is that some software applications that worked in Windows 7 don’t work in Windows 10. Since upgrades to Windows 10 can break older versions of business applications, IT departments have been reluctant to make the changes so far until they work out solutions that are compatible.

The good news for Win2PDF users is that Win2PDF 10 fully supports both Windows 7 and Windows 10, so there should not be any issues as far as Win2PDF is concerned. And we plan to continue support of both operating systems as well as Windows XP and Windows Vista for the foreseeable future.

One note, however: Anyone using the older Win2PDF 3.5 or earlier versions (prior to 2009) will need to upgrade to the most recent Win2PDF 10 version to use the software with Windows 10.

Converting a PDF file to a Word Document (for free) using Google Docs

This article about Paul Manafort made the headlines the other day, and it got us wondering:  How many people know how to convert a PDF file to a Microsoft Word document?  Do you?

While there are some specialized commercial programs that do this conversion, there are also free alternatives available.  One of the easiest methods is to use Google Docs to do the conversion from PDF to Word.  Here are the basic steps:

 1. Open the PDF file in Google Drive

From a Gmail account or any other Google app, click on the Google Apps icon.  This will allow you to open another Google app associated with your account, including Google Drive.

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Once Google Drive is open, choose Upload files… from the My Drive drop-down menu.

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Then, choose the PDF file on your hard drive that you wish to convert to a Microsoft Word document.

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2. Right-mouse click on the PDF file in Google Drive, and open the file in Google Docs

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When you open with Google Docs, the PDF file will be converted to a Google doc.  And once it is a Google Doc, it can be saved as another format, including Microsoft Word.

3. Download the file as a Microsoft Word (.docx) formatted file

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And that’s it.  Currently, Google’s conversion process does seem somewhat limited and some formatting may be lost, but it will give you an editable Word document from the original PDF file.

Now, what if you don’t want your PDF files converted to Word, or modified in any way?

For that, you just need to encrypt the PDF file to prevent modifications.  And there’s an easy solution for this as well.  This can be done using our Win2PDF Pro software.

Microsoft 10 S – What you need to know

On May 2nd, Microsoft released a special version of its Windows 10 operating system called “Windows 10 S“.

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What is it?

Windows 10 S is essentially a special version of Windows 10 that is aimed primarily at the education market. Microsoft touts that Windows 10 S is streamlined for security and performance. It is available on many newer, lower-priced devices similar to the Chrome OS devices, which is what this version of Windows is designed to compete against.  For those of you that remember the short-lived Windows RT operating system, in many respects Windows 10 S seems like an updated version of RT.

If it’s more secure, is it better than Windows 10?

Not necessarily. It depends on who you are and what you need your operating system to support. Just like the Chrome OS devices, this version of Windows locks down the ability for users to install software outside of the Windows store. In doing so, Microsoft can prevent many types of viruses and malware from being introduced on the device.  It also, unfortunately, will block out useful utilities supported by Windows 10 that cannot be installed on the Windows 10 S desktop.

The cost the user pays, of course, is that they are limited to only apps available through the Microsoft Store. If you want to use the Chrome or Firefox web browsers, for example, you will not be able to in Windows 10 Syou’ll be limited to only using Microsoft’s Edge browser. Many other types of 3rd party desktop applications will not be available either.

Microsoft has also announced that users will not be able to use any other search engine than Bing within Windows 10 S, so that’s another major limitation.

Who would use Windows 10 S?

Microsoft is targeting Chrome OS users, and the education market in particular. These types of users generally are just running simple programs and using cloud-based applications and services for their primary computer needs.  In education markets in particular, this offers a fast and easy way to deploy devices and keep them relatively secure for basic applications.

Will Win2PDF work with Windows 10 S?

No, not at this time, for the reasons listed above. Win2PDF installs as a Windows printer, which allows it to be used from any application. Since it isn’t a typical standalone desktop application, it’s not possible to package Win2PDF to be available in the Microsoft Store.

What can I do if my laptop came installed with Windows 10 S?

Some devices, including the newest Microsoft Surface laptops, come pre-installed with Windows 10 S.  If you want to run applications such as Win2PDF, you can do so by upgrading to Windows 10 Pro from the Microsoft Store for $49.95.

We’ll continue to monitor the roll-out, but currently we do not see Windows 10 S as being a significant platform for business or many home users due to its limited application compatibility.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know by sending an email to [email protected].

Windows 10 Creators Update

If you are using Windows 10 on a newer PC, you may have noticed some new changes recently.  The Windows 10 Creators Update was released on April 11th and contains a series of updates and enhancements to the Windows 10 operating system.

What is it?

This update contains a series of user-based interface changes to the Windows operating system.  Most of the enhancements in the Windows 10 Creators Update are focused on 3D sketching, remixing and viewing, new gaming features, more expansive immersive headset support, better tab handling in Microsoft Edge, improvements to Cortana (Microsoft’s voice assistant), and several other privacy, security, and usability features.

 Newer Windows devices with touch-screen interfaces and VR headsets will likely get the most benefit from this operating system update.

To see a complete overview of the features, visit Microsoft’s blog post on Windows 10 Creators Update.  A short video describing the changes is also available on YouTube:

How do I get it?

This update will be automatically rolled out in a phased approach as a normal Windows update, starting with newer Windows 10 devices first, and then eventually pushed to everyone. You can manually download the update now, however, if you wish.  You can read more about getting the update at Microsoft’s blog.

How much does it cost?

The Windows 10 Creators Update is free for existing Windows 10 users.  Microsoft has previously made Windows 10 free for everyone, but that’s not the case now.  Windows 7 users have to pay to upgrade to Windows 10.

What impacts are there with Win2PDF or PDF?

There are no specific new features, but there were some changes needed for our installation program. We’ve updated our Win2PDF software to version 10.0.17 for full support and these are available now at our Win2PDF download page.

This is a free Win2PDF update for users of Win2PDF version 7 users and higher.  If you have any questions about this 10.0.17 update or observe any issues or problems, please let us know at [email protected].

Since we first introduced Win2PDF on Windows NT over 16 years ago, we have been committed to supporting new Windows operating system releases as soon as they are released.

How do I get more information?

If you visit the Microsoft Creators Update FAQ page there are more details on the features and topics related to this update.

Win2PDF 10: Adding new copies of the Win2PDF printer

In Win2PDF 10, there is a new Add Win2PDF Printer option in the Win2PDF program group (which is accessible from the Windows Start menu or Start screen).  This feature can be very useful if you want to dedicate a version of Win2PDF that has specific settings for a specific application, a type of company document, or a particular group of users.

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For instance, consider if you were a Win2PDF Pro 10 user and you wanted to have special Win2PDF printer created that would: ALWAYS create a PDF file with a company watermark.  ALWAYS password protect a document.  Or ALWAYS save certain file types (e.g., invoices or weekly reports) to a specific folder location without any user prompting.  And you could do all of this while still having the main Win2PDF printer reserved for normal interactive printing.

With Win2PDF 10’s Add Win2PDF Printer new menu item, you can easily make as many of these special-use PDF printers as you’d like. Here’s a short video showing how to add a new copy of the Win2PDF printer.

In an upcoming blog post, we’ll describe how to combine this and other new Win2PDF 10 features to automate tasks and improve your workflow with PDF files.

 

New Auto-name features in Win2PDF 10

One of the most significant improvements to Win2PDF 10 is the enhanced Auto-name options.  The Auto-name feature allows you to save a PDF file without being prompted for the file name.  You can simply print any document and the file will automatically be saved in a location of your choosing, with a file name that you’ve customized.  This Win2PDF 10 update improves the user-defined options that are available to use for the file name.

Here is a brief video that shows how to use this new feature.

For a complete description of the Auto-name feature, visit the Win2PDF online support guide sections on How to Automatically Name PDF Files.

Win2PDF 10 is now available for download!

We’ve just released our latest and greatest version of Win2PDF with some significant new features, and it’s available now at our Win2PDF 10 download page.

We’ll be covering these features in greater detail over the next several weeks, but here’s an overview:

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  • Win2PDF 10 makes it easier to add a new copy of the Win2PDF printer.  Auto-name and other settings are stored separately for each printer, so you can create different Win2PDF printers for specific settings.
  • Win2PDF 10 improves performance and reliability.

Win2PDF 10 is a free upgrade for Win2PDF 7 users.  If you purchased Win2PDF before October 2009, you can purchase an upgrade for Win2PDF 10 on the updates page.

We’ll be adding more updates on these new features in the coming weeks, but please download you copy today and get started.

Win2PDF Support for Windows 10 Editions and Release Date

Microsoft has announced the following planned editions of Windows 10, with each edition serving a core device and/or type of user.

Once Windows 10 is released, Win2PDF will support these editions of Windows 10 using the familiar ‘Print to PDF’ interface as in past editions.

  • Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Windows 10 Education

Win2PDF will NOT support these mobile editions of Windows 10, however.

  • Windows 10 Mobile
  • Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise

The mobile editions are designed primarily for phones and tablet devices that run on non-Intel processors, and will not have the same type of printing interface that the desktop operating systems have.

Microsoft also announced that Windows 10 will be available on July 29, 2015.  Get ready.  We’ll be posting more updates as the release date approaches.

Windows 10 – New Coke or Coca-Cola Classic?

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New Coke

Those of you of a certain age will likely remember one of the most controversial events of 1985 — the day when Coca-Cola changed its formula and rebranded its flagship product as New Coke.  This led to an inevitable customer backlash and the company re-introduced Coca-Cola Classic a mere 3 months later.  Many viewed this as one of the largest marketing blunders in history, but others saw it as a brilliant ploy.  When the classic version returned to the shelves, Coca-Cola sales surged, and it allowed Coca-cola to make one other change — the cane sugar ingredient in the original was replaced by high-fructose corn syrup in the re-introduced Coca-Cola Classic.

Why bring this up?  Well, we see some similarities with Microsoft’s recent operating systems changes.  As many know, Microsoft has had a bumpy road of it since the introduction of Windows 8 and 8.1.  Gone was the Start menu, the interface changed radically, and even basic things like printing changed dramatically with the introduction of a Charms bar.  Windows 8 added new interface support for tablets and touch-enabled PCs, but then forced these same (often non-intuitive changes) on regular desktop and laptop users as well.  Many businesses said, “No thanks,” and kept their users on Windows 7 or XP.

Cue the bugles, because now Microsoft intends to (hopefully) bring back some of the classic features in its upcoming Windows 10 operating system, scheduled to be released in the Spring of 2015.

Wait a minute?  Windows 8.1 is the current available operating system.  What happened to Windows 9?  There was actually a funny April Fool’s Day joke by Infoworld titled Microsoft skips ‘too good’ Windows 9, jumps to Windows 10.  But the truth is actually a little simpler but not too far off the mark.  According to this article in the Times of India:

Microsoft doesn’t want people to associate the next version of Windows with the unpopular Windows 8…  “Windows 10 is not going to be an incremental step from Window 8.1,” he explained. “Windows 10 is going to be a material step. We’re trying to create one platform, one eco-system that unites as many of the devices from the small embedded Internet of Things, through tablets, through phones, through PCs and, ultimately, into the Xbox.”

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Earlier this month, Microsoft released a public preview build of Windows 10 which we immediately downloaded and tested.  The most obvious addition to Windows 10 is the return of the Windows Start menu, which replaces the Start screen by default on desktop PCs.  And the whole Charms bar interface to access devices like printers (which includes access to PDF creators like Win2PDF)? Windows 10 disables the Charms bar on non-touch-enabled PCs.  The interface returns to a more Windows 7 friendly view of the desktop, which is what most business customers want.

And Win2PDF?  Well, good news there.  Win2PDF is currently working with Windows 10 with our Win2PDF 7 release without any code modifications, which is a good sign.  We’ll keep on top of developments to make sure Win2PDF will be fully supported by the time Windows 10 is released to the public.

If your business relies on PDF files, make sure you stay up-to-date with new developments.  We’ll be covering all of the news here.

P.S. If you want to try the Windows 10 Technical Preview, sign up at Microsoft’s web site.