Microsoft And Google Ditch Private Deal to Not Sue Each Other

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It is not uncommon for big tech companies to get into legal disputes. Over recent years, Microsoft has taken to courtrooms against Apple, Amazon, and several other tech companies. One company Microsoft has not had legal tussles with is Google (Alphabet), but that may be about to change soon.

You see, the reason Microsoft and Google have avoided legal wrangling is not because they love each other so much. Instead, the two Big Tech giants have been participating in a legal truce. This six-year pact is about to come to an end, so the floodgates may open.

The two companies privately entered a truce that means no direct legal actions against the other, according to the Financial Times. Of course, over the years since that 2015 deal, the companies have traded plenty of barbs, but they have been reserved for marketing campaigns.

It seems the specifics of the truce meant any issues one company had with another would be dealt with internally. In other words, Microsoft and Google agreed not to rat each other out to regulators but instead try to resolve their conflicts privately.

Broken Deal

As well as ensuring issues did not become public and reach courtrooms, the agreement allowed Microsoft and Google to build a decent collaborative relationship. The Financial Times reports the renewal term for the agreement was April this year and both companies passed on the deal.

While it would be fun to think the companies ditched the deal so they could engage in all-out wars in courtrooms, the decision is more practical. Congress is currently putting more scrutiny and regulations on Big Tech.

It is hardly a good look to have a locked in agreement between two companies that they will aim to avoid regulatory action by working together behind the scenes.

Tip of the day: Thanks to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) you can run complete Linux distributions within Windows 10. In our tutorial, we show you how to install Ubuntu or other Linux packages and how to activate the bash shell.

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How to Insert a Text Box in Google Docs or Sheets


If you’re a former Microsoft Word user, you’re probably quite familiar with text boxes. However, the process to insert a text box in Google Docs isn’t as intuitive. For whatever reason, Google has hidden the feature behind an entirely different menu that is rarely frequented.

Not to fear, though – if you’re scratching your head wondering where the hell the text box is in Google Docs, the answer is the drawing tool menu. It’s a bit of an inconvenient workflow, but the advantage lies in the ability to easily combine multiple types of media.

Before we show you how to insert a text box, it’s worth quickly covering what you can and can’t do with them. Specifically, you should be aware that you can’t place a text box over other text, nor can Google Docs add a text box over an existing image in your document. You can, however, add the image to your drawing and combine it with your text box to get around this.

With that said, let’s jump into the main tutorial. The content below is designed for Google Docs users, but if you’re wondering how to insert a text box in Google Sheets, the process is identical, so feel free to follow along anyway.

How to Insert a Text Box in Google Docs

As mentioned, you can create a textbox in Google Docs via the drawing tool. Below we’re going to show you how to use it to create, color, and format a text box.

  1. Create a new drawing

    With your Google Doc open, click “Insert” in the main toolbar, and then “Drawing > + New”. This will create a new transparent canvas from which you can work from.

  2. Create a Google text box

    In the “Drawing” pop-up, press the text box icon, which is a T surrounded by a square. A blank rectangle will appear for you to type your text in.

  3. Format your Google Docs text box

    Unfortunately, formatting your text box isn’t much more intuitive than creating it in the first place. You’ll find formatting options under the three dots in the top-right corner. There you can choose its color, add bold or italics, adjust line spacing, and more.

    You can also change the background of the box by pressing the paint bucket bottom back on the main toolbar.

  4. Add the text box to your document

    To add the box to your document, simply press “Save and Close”. It will be automatically inserted at your cursor, where you’re free to drag it around and position it wherever you like.

  5. How to edit a Google Docs text box

    If you need to make an adjustment to your text box, Google makes it extremely easy. Simply click it and press the “Edit” button.

    This is also how you put a text box over an image in Google Docs – press the picture icon to insert your image, then right-click it and press “Send to back”.

    In our case, we’re just going to create a second text box and hit “Save and Close”.

That’s all you need to know when it comes to text boxes in Google Docs and its drawing tool. If you’re still not a fan of this workflow, there are several other free Word processors you can try out. If you enjoy Google’s experience, however, consider following our other tutorials so you can edit offline or insert a table of contents. Happy editing!

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Google Search Gets Short Videos Feature on Mobile


Google has been testing its “Short Videos” feature in recent months, although it was limited to the Discover app. While Short Videos are remaining in preview, the testing has is now expending to include Google Search.

While it was exclusive to the Discover page, it would show short video content from apps such as TikTok and Instagram. These videos would be displayed on a carousel for Android users. Now that Short Videos is available in Google Search, users can now tap into the feature directly from the search feed.

On Google Search, the panel appears on the search pane, similar to items such as “Top Stories” and “Videos”.

The Short Videos panel displays on searches that have related visual content. Some outlets, such as TechCrunch have been able to trigger the Short Videos panel on some searches. However, in my testing I have been unable to see the panel for most searches. When I did trigger it, the panel was lower down the screen.

Still in Preview

Either way, when you do see a video you can click it to be taken to the relevant content app, which will open in a separate tab. Speaking to TechCrunch, a Google spokesperson said the “feature was currently being piloted on mobile devices”.

We expect Google to gradually roll this tool out considering the growing popularity of short video content apps. While it seems to be for mobile users so far, it could extend to Google Search on desktops in the future.

Let us know if you have seen the Short Videos panel on your search results.

Tip of the day:

Do you get flooded by notifications in Windows 10 from apps and want to disable them completely or just the notification sound? Our tutorial shows you how to do this. As an alternative you can also configure Windows 10 Focus Assist (Do Not Disturb Mode) and set quiet hours.

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Google Assistant Gets Family-Oriented Features


While Microsoft’s virtual assistant and smart home products have fallen by the wayside, Google Assistant remains ever popular. Increasingly used on smart home devices as well as smartphones, Google is consistently making the assistant more powerful.

In the latest update for Google Assistant, the company says some new Holiday tools are arriving for families.

First up is Family Notes, which is available for Smart Displays. Google Assistant will make it easier to keep users connected by making it more efficient to tap into entertainment and schedules. Available now, Family Notes allow sticky notes to be created through voice commands.

More New Features

Next on the list of new tools is Family Bell. Another feature that focuses on daily organization, Family Bell is essentially new sound effects for Google Assistant that will sound on smart speakers and Smart Displays. Families can hear reminders for schedules tasks by creating their own bells.

With Family Activities, Google Assistant helps users to come together to complete tasks together. For example, learning from Google search results, which appear on Smart Displays. For example, “Hey Google, tell me about ……” or “Google, let me know about my family.”

For parents, the most important feature is probably Family Tracking. As the name suggests, Google Assistant can update users on their family’s whereabouts. Up to 13 family members ca be tracked at one time through Google Maps.

Google likes to roll out Assistant features around the Holiday season and this year is a bumper update. There are a few more features besides the ones listed above, so head to the source below for all the details, including how to use the new tools.

Source Winbuzzer

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