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The last few years have seen the rise of closed platforms — operating systems that only allow you to install software approved by the operating system’s developer. However, many popular platforms — even mobile ones — are still open platforms.

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In recent years it has become common for Microsoft to release trial or preview versions of its big-name products. This has been the case with Windows 8 as well as Office 2013 giving consumer the chance to try before they buy. If you downloaded the trial version of the suite, you can gain some extra try-out time with this handy hack.

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Did you accidentally delete one of the default libraries by mistake? Here’s how to get it back.

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A watermark is a faded, background image that displays behind the text in a document. It can be used to indicate a document’s status (confidential, draft, etc.) or to add a company logo. We’ll show you how to add watermarks to documents in Word 2013.

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If you’re like most people, your Internet service provider hands you a single Internet Protocol address and your router shares it amongst all the connected devices in your home.

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The XPS format is Microsoft’s alternative to PDF. It was introduced in Windows Vista, but never gained much traction. However, modern versions of Windows continue to include better support for XPS files than PDF files.

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Taking photos with your Android phone is great, but there comes a time when you need to get those photos onto your computer. A little while back we took a look at SnapPea, a handy tool for managing phones and tablets from Windows; SnapPea Photos is a Chrome extension designed specifically with photo management in mind.

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Think you know the answer? Click through to see if you're right!

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Microsoft will be ending support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014 after 12 and a half years of supporting it. Microsoft has gone out of their way to extend support on several occasions, but the 2014 deadline looks like the final one.

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Our latest edition of WIG is filled with news link coverage on topics such as Windows XP now has less than a year of extended support remaining, Dropbox is now offering business customers an IT-friendly version, the Social Media widget for WordPress has been injecting spam advertisements into sites, and more.

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Phones have improved dramatically in the last ten years. Modern smartphones seem like a technology from an alien civilization when placed next to the original cell phones. But battery life hasn’t improved. In fact, battery life feels like it’s getting worse.

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The look and ‘mood’ of cities at night come in an infinite variety, but all have one thing in common…a unique and colorful beauty that begs to be captured in photos. Bring the ethereal beauty of urban night-life to your iPad with the first in our series of City Lights Wallpaper collections.

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While it does not happen often, every once in a while a security update to patch Windows causes more problems than it solves. Case in point, security update 2823324 that was a part of this month’s Patch Tuesday release for Windows 7. Some users have been experiencing endless rebooting or a failure of their system to restart after installing the update. To counteract the problem Microsoft has published a KB article to help get affected systems up and running again.

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Sure, anybody can end a process from the Task Manager, but did you know you can also do it from the command line?

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Have you upgraded to Windows 8 yet? We’ve published a lot of Windows 8 articles here at How-To Geek, and I’ve written many of them, but I haven’t. I still use Windows 7 on my PC.

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A few weeks ago, The Geek showed you how you can use the command prompt to find when your computer was started up last. In this last installation of Geek School for PowerShell, we are going to write a reusable PowerShell command to do the same thing.

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Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

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