techsoup's blog

Office 2016 is here!

Thu, 01/10/2015 - 09:54 - Anonymous

What's New in Office for Windows

Simplified sharing: Quickly and easily invite others to review or edit your document using the new Share button located on the Ribbon in Word, PowerPoint, or Excel doc.  With better integration in Office 2016, you can get more information and have more interactivity while working within documents.  Integration with Skype for Business incorporates instant messaging or live calls.


Real-time typing in Word: You can see where others are working and what they are typing as they type it in the Word desktop application. Just save a document to OneDrive for Business and invite your colleagues to join you in a simultaneous authoring session.



 Data analysis in Excel: New analysis capabilities are built into Excel, including one-click forecasting, so you can pull, map, analyze and visualize your data faster.



 Insights: Powered by Bing, this feature brings you contextual information from the web right into your Office experience when using Word, Excel, Outlook, or PowerPoint


 Data loss protection: IT admins can centrally create, manage, and enforce policies for content authoring and document sharing in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. End users will see policy tips or sharing restrictions when the apps detect a potential policy violation.


Google for Nonprofits is now available!

Wed, 03/06/2015 - 17:29 - Anonymous
g4np logo.jpg

Google for Nonprofits offers qualified organizations access to free versions of paid Google products and special features designed for nonprofits. These tools can help nonprofits find new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and get supporters to take action Read more




Google for Nonprofits launches in India!

Mon, 01/06/2015 - 14:09 - Anonymous

Great news! Indian charities are now able to join the Google for Nonprofits program for free access to a number of Google’s paid products, tools and nonprofit services.

These include:

·         Ad Grants provides a $10,000 grant for charities to raise awareness and target new audiences online through Google advertising.

·         YouTube for Nonprofits offers premium features for charities to make the most of their YouTube channel.

·         Google Apps provides a range of enterprise tools -- from email to Google Docs -- that reduce technology costs and encourage collaboration.


Each of these products offers exciting ways for charities to not only promote the work that they do, but also collaborate and work smarter by taking advantage of Google’s online services.


At BigTech, we are excited to be able to support the Google for Nonprofits program by validating Indian charities according to a global standard. By working with Google and TechSoup Global, we hope that many charities will be able to benefit from Google’s technology products to be more efficient in their work.


Getting started with Google for Nonprofits in India

To join the Google for Nonprofits program, apply at the Google for Nonprofits website (if you do not already have a Google account for your organisation, you will need to create one). Once your organisation has passed the validation process, you will be able to access the programme benefits through your organisation’s Google Account.

To help your charity learn more about Google for Nonprofits and how you can benefit from this programme, check out our Google for Nonprofits FAQ Page


Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements 13 Now Available

Wed, 06/05/2015 - 10:05 - Anonymous

BigTech is proud to announce the newest version of Adobe's Elements bundle, containing both Photoshop Elements 13 and Premiere Elements 13.

Both programs are lighter editions of Photoshop, Adobe's popular photo-editing application, and Premiere Pro, its robust video-editing application.

Is It Right for My Organization?    

The Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements bundle is ideal for organizations that want to quickly enhance photos and create movies to communicate their stories and their mission. Adobe designed this bundle for users who are just getting started with photo and video editing and want a simple way to edit and share photos and videos on their computers or mobile devices.

What Can I Do with the Elements Bundle?

The bundle includes a searchable organizer for photos and videos; red-eye removal; adjustable colors, lighting, contrast, shadowing, and highlights; the ability to fix problems with shaky footage, color and lighting, and audio errors; social media integration; compatibility with DVD and Blu-ray discs; and more.

A full list of features is available from Adobe.

What's New in Version 13?

The latest version includes:

·         Photomerge Compose: You can pull something out of one photo, place it in another, and blend the color and lighting for a realistic-looking scene.

·         Composition crops: When you crop a photo, Photoshop Elements will suggest four different options for a more seamless composition.

·         Video Story: You can pick the type of story to tell, grab clips for each chapter, and Premiere Elements will trim the video, transition between the clips, and pick the music, all based on the mood you chose.

·         Guided Edits: This feature allows you to add motion inside your movie titles and punch up the drama with effects or blurs that draw eyes to one part of your scene.

What's Different?

The Elements applications are simpler alternatives to Photoshop and Premiere Pro that share many of the features of the larger products. Photoshop Elements does not include certain advanced Photoshop features such as the Channel Mixer, Color Balance, scripting, or CMYK coloring. Premiere Elements offers fewer templates, transitions, and effects than Premiere Pro.

tags:  Adobe

Crashes Happen, So Back Up Your Network.

Tue, 12/08/2014 - 12:06 - Anonymous
Symantech spotlight.jpg
In the event of a catastrophe or data loss, Backup Exec 2014 lets you recover entire virtual machines and databases or individual files and granular data. For Windows, Mac, Linux, and virtual systems, it can be a central back up for multiple data sources.

Digital buzz in the mountains of Tehri

Thu, 10/04/2014 - 12:28 - Anonymous

Last week, NKN team visited Tehri Garhwal in
Uttrakhand to visit the NKN centers which are operational in remote locations
of this district. Tehri, now known as New Tehri is a mountainous town in
Tehri Garhwal District. Since 1988, Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC)
is working in the region for development of one of the highest dams in Asia and
for the resettlement & rehabilitation of local populations/communities.
During the construction of the Tehri Dam**, 125 villages were resettled from
their original places to several new places that came to be known as New Tehri.

Over a period of time, THDC realized that
rehabilitation alone does not mean fulfilling its mandate to work with the
people; and it goes beyond regular activity of resettlement &
rehabilitation. Keeping in line with the needs of communities and impactful
interventions, THDC has undertaken a huge initiative of bringing the change
among the affected population through its CSR division.

Simultaneously working on several issues such
as improved health care facilities, electricity facility, agricultural
practices support & livelihoods promotion, promoting disaster management
preparedness and running vocational training centers; THDC approached NASSCOM
Foundation to assist with their digital literacy and IT skills training centers
to run effectively & efficiently. They are running computer centers in
collaboration with other local NGOs which are rendering basic computer literacy
and digital learnings. In total, the team visited four centers situated at
remote mountainous locations. It took us four days to cover all the locations,
as the local commute in hills are always challenging. However, the distance
covered was absolutely worth it - to see the enthusiasm of students and how
much they have learned in a short period of time.

In an interaction’s with a student of the
center, Miss Priti Rana shared her life changing experience with us.

“I was a usual mountain girl; going to school
for studies. After school help my mother in household chores, getting demoted
over other male siblings. I always have been a good student. Though at times I
used to think what I am & what I want to become! However, I matriculated
with good grades & opted for science stream.

Last year, I joined the NKN center at
Ghansali with a vision to equip myself with computer learning’s as it is a
necessity of today’s age of information. After completing almost 5 months at
the center, I came across to the entire different world of which I was unaware
of. Despite the fact I have not crossed Tehri yet but now, I can communicate
through emails with my friends who moved out of Tehri and are living in other
parts of the country. I am well versed with MS Office, use Skype & Facebook
to connect with friends, take Google’s help in my routine studies. I feel
extremely empowered now. In future, I am focused to become a computer engineer
which has been only possible after joining the center as the stepping stone
else I would not think of it.”

With the help of our visit, we came to
understand that it will be great to start with existing context & hone the
talents of rural youth & students in a way that they should be prepared
enough to adapt & perform well in their higher studies & all future

About NKN:- The NASSCOM Knowledge Network
(NKN) is a network of 174+ community telecentres across 13 states of India, in
partnership with 30+ NGOs, providing access to information and services related
to education, health and livelihoods to marginalized communities. See more at: 

For more information please visit -

 - Hammad Abedin

NASSCOM Foundation 


Now Available on BiGTech: Adobe Acrobat XI Pro

posted  by Anonymous -  Mon, 05/11/2012 - 12:48  

We've just added Adobe Acrobat XI Pro, the newest version of Adobe's PDF-creation software, to our donation catalog. Eligible organizations can request it for Windows or Mac as a downloadable donation.

Most people are familiar with PDF documents, and if you don't use Acrobat, you've probably at least used the free Adobe Reader to view a PDF that someone else created. Acrobat's most notable feature is that it allows you to create PDF documents from a variety of source files, but there are a lot of other uses too.

• Create PDFs from other applications: With the Acrobat XI Pro, you can create PDF files from any application that can print, or natively from Microsoft Office. This facilitates information-sharing on any platforms that might be used by your stakeholders, as PDFs are one of the most widely used file formats.
• Convert to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint: Conversely, you may get PDFs from partners and allies where there's information that can be used, like for a grant report for example. Acrobat XI Pro lets you bring that content over easily by converting a PDF to a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation.
• Combine files in a PDF: You can merge multiple types of files -- like documents, spreadsheets, emails, and images -- into one PDF to more easily send related files. For professional projects, like an electronic annual report, you can combine several types of files (video included) as a PDF Portfolio. These might include pictures from an event, spreadsheets and charts for your financials, and multimedia for some client testimonials.
• Edit text or images directly in a PDF: The editing tools in Acrobat XI have been improved so that you can add or remove whole paragraphs or replace images directly in Acrobat without remaking the entire PDF. Edward Mendelson of says in his review of the software: "If you click a plus-sign icon next to the Format item on the editing menu, you get access to detailed typographic controls over kerning and spacing, just as in Adobe's high-end graphics and layout software. You get similar power over images. Right-click on an image and the menu offers options to flip or rotate the image, plus an option to replace the image entirely."
• Secure documents: If you don't want someone to be able to copy and paste from a PDF, you can specify this when creating a document in Acrobat XI Pro (or make copy and editing content password-restricted). For a higher level of security, you may choose to encrypt the file with its built-in security features. You can also sign documents with digital signatures to acknowledge readership and approvals.
• Scan to PDF and OCR: If you have mounds of paperwork that needs to be archived, the Acrobat XI Pro would allow you to scan to PDF and at the same time use optical character recognition (OCR) so that the text in those files is searchable. For many of us whose organizations started before today's technologies, this can be a helpful bridge to digitally store work you've done in the past and be able to easily search through it in the future.
• Create PDF and web forms: You can create clean and professional forms for events, employment records, and client intake; draft surveys for your program work; or easily digitize things like performance evaluations. While web forms and surveys are also popular, there may be programmatic or privacy reasons why hard-file forms are more suitable. Adobe Acrobat can convert Word or Excel documents into fillable forms, and the Form Tracker functionality allows you to conveniently collect data and export for further analysis. If desired, web-based forms can also be created within Acrobat through Adobe's subscription-based FormsCentral service, allowing you to link to the forms online like a standard online survey.

tags:  Adobe

Donations of Windows 8 Are Now Available!

posted  by Anonymous -  Mon, 29/10/2012 - 11:50  

Windows 8 is here! Eligible NGOs can now request donated upgrades of Windows 8 Professional and Enterprise editions through the Microsoft Software Donation Program at BiGTech Donations Program.

With a new mobile-friendly design that features sleek tiles in the place of conventional icons, Windows 8 Windows 8 features an updated representation of the traditional Windows environment. It keeps some aspects of what we’re all used to from Windows XP and Windows 7. But it drops the “Start” button in favor of a new, app-integrated look and easier syncing with cloud-based services. There are also numerous improvements “under the hood,” such as a smaller memory footprint, faster performance than Windows 7, and reduced disk-space requirements. 

If you have received a donation of a Windows operating system through BiGTech Donations Program that included Software Assurance (and it is still current), you can upgrade to Windows 8 for no additional cost. 

What’s New in Windows 8? 

  • SkyDrive sync: Microsoft’s cloud storage program is built in to just about every application in Windows 8. If you log in to Windows 8 using a Microsoft account, your apps and preferences are synced to the cloud. When you log in to Windows 8 on another computer, your settings and preferences will be available to you — so you get the same consistent Windows 8 experience, no matter where you are.
  • Energy efficient: Windows 8 saves battery life by dropping to a low-power state when you're not doing anything power-intensive. 
  • More secure: Windows 8 comes with Windows Defender malware and virus protection. It also provides better defense against malicious downloads through the SmartScreen filter, which is built into the operating system.

Plus: Windows 8 is good for multilingual organizations, as users can easily switch between display languages, and additional display languages are available. 

Is Windows 8 Right for You?

Windows 8 is unlike any operating system Microsoft has ever released. Many of the basic tenets of Windows — like the Start menu, desktop experience, and the eponymous windows — seem to be gone. Don’t worry! Below Windows 8’s new interface, you’ll find a desktop experience similar to Windows 7. And the new Windows 8 interface feels like the mobile tablet and phone interfaces most of us are now used to.

Plus, Windows 8 offers some new features that may help your staff's productivity as well as the performance and longevity of your organization's computers. To help you decide whether Windows 8 is a good fit for your organization, we’ve come up with four questions for you to consider.

Easily See What You Can Request 

To help you manage your Microsoft donations, we've created the Microsoft Donation Center. Organizations can easily track what donations they have received so far, what remains of their software allotment, when their cycle resets, and the value of their Microsoft software donations to date. 

Get Full Versions of Windows 8

In addition to upgrades, Microsoft has also made donations of full versions of its Windows 8 operating systems available through the Microsoft Get Genuine program.

Your organization might have PCs with illegal, free, or basic operating systems — either from accepting donated machines or buying the computers for bargain-basement prices. Microsoft's Get Genuine program offers your organization a one-time chance to get your existing computers running fully legitimate and upgradable Windows operating systems. This enables your organization to easily upgrade through BiGTech Donations Program when the next operating system version is released. Read more about the Microsoft Get Genuine Program.

tags:  Microsoft

IT Skills for Urban NGOs in #Mumbai!

posted  by Anonymous -  Tue, 23/10/2012 - 12:57  
The first ConnectIT workshop was held in Mumbai in 2009. So after 46 workshops in 9 states, we thought it was a perfect destination for a second workshop! Don Bosco Institute of Technology, an engineering college, agreed to lend their computer lab and thus on 26th September we started our three day journey into IT skills training for 32 participants from 20 NGOs.

NASSCOM Foundation in partnership with  Microsoft organizes these workshops for NGO & Government employees across the country to enable them to leverage technology for better impact.   NGO staff gets to improve their skills in documentation, project budgeting, marketing tools, social media and online tools for collaboration by using MS Office and Internet.
Although ConnectIT comes in with an agenda, we keep it quite open to make sure we cater to the audience. So when Nagabhusan from Annamitra asked about email marketing and project management tools, we included such discussions.
Zarine Gupta, Trustee of Salaam Balaak Trust, was amazed at the advanced features of Microsoft Office that can help NGOs save lot of design costs.  Many ideas were shared to help understand not only how IT can be used, but also where IT can be used. Her feedback on the workshop. 
Now about the big surprise. Who did we find in our audience? Chandni Parekh! For those of you who don’t know that name, you need to revise your  online outreach plan! Because Chandni is the person behind the Twitter handle, @FundACause, that has got itself almost 4000 followers. But it’s not just about numbers she said and went on to show the true potential of social media. We got to know  some inspiring stories of how she was able to connect with like-minded people and create impact. We couldn’t thank her enough for agreeing impromptu to be the guest-lecturer for our social media.  

While Excel and Word were the most popular topics, the participants were also excited to know about Moviemaker, Skydrive and Publisher. 
The Power of Internet was a new session introduced into the agenda to help participants independently handle their own queries using the internet. As always, the BiGTech session got many ‘wow!’s when they heard about how NGOs can receive software donations to compliment the training provided.
To know more about ConnectIT and to participate, write to us on
Supported By

Should You Upgrade to Windows 8? Questions to Consider

posted  by Anonymous -  Mon, 22/10/2012 - 11:58  

Windows 8 has a brand-new look and feel, so make sure it is right for your organization. 
By Ginny Mies
Windows 8 is unlike any operating system Microsoft has ever released — and that's a good thing. The bigger, bolder user interface is built for touchscreen tablets and PCs, as well as traditional desktop and laptop computers. The new Start screen resembles what you'd find on a smartphone or tablet with clean font, bright colors, and dynamic images. But Windows 8 also retains many of the features from Windows 7, so your staff should have no trouble getting used to the new interface. Looks aside, Windows 8 also offers some new features that may help your staff's productivity as well as the performance and longevity of your organization's computers. 
To help you decide whether Windows 8 is a good fit for your organization, we’ve come up with four questions for you to consider.
Will Your Organization Benefit from Windows 8’s New Features?
The new Start screen replaces the Start menu found in the lower-left corner of previous versions of Windows. You can "pin" apps, contacts, and favorite websites to the Start screen to quickly access them. Microsoft will also have a variety of special Start screen apps (both free and paid) through the Windows Store, which you can get to by clicking its dedicated tile on the Start screen. 
If you'd like the more traditional desktop view, you can click the "Desktop" tile. To switch back to the Start screen from the desktop, click in the lower left-hand corner where you'd expect to find the Start button in preceding versions of Windows. You can also toggle between the two views by pressing the Windows key, found on the lower left-hand side of your keyboard. It is easy to work strictly in the desktop if you can't get used to the new Start screen.  
One of the big design changes in Windows 8 is the addition of "charms" in both the desktop and Start screen views. Hover your mouse to the right edge of your screen, and you’ll see icons representing Search and Sharing functionality. Using the Search charm, you can easily search within a folder or application, or use it to prompt a Bing search in Internet Explorer. 
Here are a few more advantages of Windows 8 to consider:
  • Better performance: Windows 8 uses less RAM and CPU resources than Windows 7 and therefore runs faster. For more on Windows 8's performance, see this benchmark comparison between Windows 7 and Windows 8 from PCWorld. 
  • Works well on older machines: Windows 8 will not only work on your older IT equipment, but it runs faster than Windows 7.
  • Energy efficient: Windows 8 saves battery life by dropping to a low-power state when you're not doing anything power-intensive.
  • Security: Windows 8 comes with Windows Defender, which protects against malware and spyware. For more on Windows Defender and other security enhancements, read Windows 8 Security: What's New, What's Different.
  • Protection against hardware failure: Windows 8's Storage Spaces employs a software-based RAID system to protect data and ensure that it remains available in the event of a computer crash.
  • SkyDrive integration: Microsoft’s cloud storage program is built into just about every application in Windows 8. 
  • Multilingual: You can more easily switch between display languages, and additional display languages are available in Windows 8, which is of value to multilingual organizations. 

Does Your Hardware Support Windows 8?
Next, you should confirm that your computers can support Windows 8. If your hardware supports Windows 7, you should have no issues upgrading to Windows 8. Though Windows 8 is also designed for touch-friendly devices, you can comfortably operate it with just a mouse and keyboard.
Windows 8 is available in a 32-bit and a 64-bit version. These versions have different requirements. 





1 GHz or faster

1 GHz or faster


1 GB

2 GB

Hard disk space

16 GB

20 GB

Graphics card

Microsoft DirectX 9
graphics device with WDDM driver

Microsoft DirectX 9
graphics device with WDDM driver

Will Your Programs Run on Windows 8?
Before upgrading, you should also determine whether your programs are compatible with Windows 8. If you’re upgrading from Windows 7, you should be able to keep most of your existing software. 
First, evaluate what software you have. If your organization’s computers aren’t standardized (in other words, if not every computer in your office runs the same programs), you may need to survey your users or use a free auditing program like Spiceworks IT Desktop to determine which programs are running on your computers.
Next, check if your software is compatible with Windows 8. You can run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant before you install the operating system. Alternately, you can also check Microsoft’s Windows 8 Compatibility Center, which lists the compatibility status of Microsoft and third-party products and software. Don’t see your software listed? You can also check your software vendors' websites to make sure your programs run on Windows 8.
If you have programs that run only on Windows XP, you won't be able to run them on Windows 8. Unlike Windows 7, Windows 8 doesn’t have a special XP or Vista mode for running those programs. You also have the option to install Windows 8 on a virtual machine, like VirtualBox or the VMWare Player on an actual Windows XP machine. For more on virtualization, read TechSoup's Virtualization 101 article. 
Which Edition Should You Get?
Microsoft has simplified the Windows 8 editions line-up, giving customers four different versions to choose from: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise, and Windows 8 RT. Windows 8 Enterprise has the same features as Windows 8 Pro plus six additional features for businesses. Note that if you are currently running any Home edition of Windows 7, you will not be able to use the Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise upgrade software available from BiGTech Donations Program. However you may be eligible to request the Windows 8 Get Genuine full OS software. Read our article How to Upgrade to Windows 8 for more information. 
The following chart shows feature differences between Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.


8 Pro

8 Enterprise

Start screen, Live Tiles, Apps (Mail,
Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos , SkyDrive, Music, Video)





Windows To Go



BitLocker and BitLocker To Go



VPN client






Remote Desktop



Client Hyper-V built-in virtualization
(64-bit versions only)



Windows 8's revamped look will likely require a learning curve for your organization's employees. A brown bag workshop on Windows 8's new features and functionality might be useful for your staff before upgrading.
Note: As of April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP, so if your organization's systems are still running Windows XP you should start planning an upgrade to either Windows 8 or Windows 7 as soon as possible. Windows 7 and Vista support will continue until 2017, if you decide that now is not the right time to upgrade. 
tags:  Microsoft
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