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Document driver: MS Office vulnerabilities highlighted

When you dig deeper, it’s clear how much services like Microsoft are affecting the computer’s hardware.

A laptop being used for a presentation. — Image © Tim Sandle.
A laptop being used for a presentation. — Image © Tim Sandle.

Almost a billion people utilise MS Office worldwide, yet many are unaware of the potential hardware impacts of regular features. Researchers have recently identified for maintaining a high-performing computer.

Every essential part of the computer, from the CPU and GPU to RAM, is a performance powerhouse. Be it a desktop, laptop, or notebook, vigilance in maintenance is key to unlocking heart-thumping performance and achieving long-lasting durability.

Microsoft Word (MS) is one of the most utilized word-processing software worldwide. The latest report by the Financial Post revealed that almost a billion people use MS Office to complete various tasks. Despite its popularity, it’s essential to be aware that certain features (if used incorrectly) might strain your hardware.

According to Josh Gordon, a technology expert at Geonode: “People often focus on software and see hardware as a constant. But when you dig deeper, it’s clear how much services like Microsoft are affecting the computer’s hardware.”

Gordon has looked at these potential IT hazards and suggests expert tips to use MS functions safely and efficiently. The various functions and services provided by Microsoft (MS) significantly impact your hardware’s performance. So much focus is given to software updates, system optimization, and virus protection, that we sometimes forget how these services can impact the fundamental features of our computer – the hardware.

Gordon further emphasises: “Awareness is the first step on the road to optimization. Once you understand how MS functions impact your hardware, you can take steps to mitigate their effects and improve your system’s performance.”

Functions people need to aware of include:

Enhanced Graphics and Video Embedding

Applications like Word and PowerPoint allow seamless integration of high-resolution visuals into your projects. However, including heavy graphics, images, and videos in your document can considerably burden your system, which may result in slowing down, overheating, or even causing hardware damage over time.

Gordon recommends people to opt for compressed images and avoid excessive use of high-quality videos and visuals. Regularly clear cache and temporary files that Word creates each time you add images or videos.

Ambitious Documents

Typically, MS limits a Word file’s size to 512MB. Pushing to this limit, however, invites unwanted system crashes. The longer narratives, exhaustive reports, or comprehensive manuscripts, laden with intricate formatting, elaborate graphics, and extensive revisions, the heavier the load.

Gordon suggests burdensome files demand significant memory and processing power, which can strain the operating system, especially the CPU and GPU. Over time, this persistent strain can wear down critical system components, risking premature hardware failure and data loss.

In addition, Gordon recommends splitting large assignments into smaller, manageable documents. Uniform styles and simplified formatting strategies also ease system fatigue.

Multitasking Mayhem

Juggling multiple demanding Microsoft applications, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other resource-intensive programs, could lead to high CPU and RAM consumption, overloading the system. Overheating may occur as a result. Over time, this increased thermal stress can damage hardware components.

Gordon recommends closing surplus programs when working on sizable Word files. Also, regularly monitor your system’s RAM and processing capacity to prevent overload.

AutoSave/AutoRecover Functions

In applications like Word and Excel, the AutoSave/AutoRecover functions can be simultaneously a saviour and a nemesis. While they protect against data loss, they can also wear down your hard drive due to constant read/write operations.

Gordon recommends adjusting the AutoSave frequency to your work requirements to minimize potential hardware wear.

Macros & Add-ins

These functions can aid the Word experience but can consume significant system resources, slowing down your machine. In extreme cases, they can even introduce malware, harming your software and data. As such, Microsoft’s security advisory warns about the risks of unsolicited VBA macros.

Gordon recommends always ensuring you run macros/VBAs from trusted sources. Also, keep Microsoft software up-to-date to take advantage of security patches.

With the ever-evolving domain of technology, understanding the impact of MS functions on hardware will become increasingly essential. Gordon rightly adds: “As we move towards even more intricate technological systems, the interaction between software and hardware will become more significant. Awareness of these interactions could be vital for optimizing your personal and professional computer usage.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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