Microsoft shows off Office for Windows Phone 8, Hyland Software announces a new app for Windows 8, and then announces an entire new subsidiary in the UK, while Google makes Docs, Sheets and Slides available for Chromebook. Busy times in the document management industry.
Windows Phone 8 Office
More news from Office this week. According to a post on the Office blog by Bert Van Hoof, of Office Engineering, Microsoft has pre-installed Office on all Windows 8 phones, just as it said it would.
The objective, he said, when they started developing Office for Windows Phone 8 was to give business users access to their business documents whenever they wanted them, provide superior document rendering, provide access to all notes in one place and from anywhere, and to enable users to collaborate from any mobile device.
Seems they have achieved that -- or at least that’s what they are saying -- although ultimately it will be up to users to judge for themselves.
Van Hoof says Windows Phone 8 auto-discovery functionality connects users to their Office accounts, so they can access it anytime, as well as enabling access to any kind of document on top of that.
The Office Hub -- your go-to point for Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel -- has also been redesigned to give users easy navigation, which will also enable them to access all their business and personal documents on SkyDrive, Office 365 or SharePoint from their phone.
The idea of working in SharePoint from your phone is an interesting one that we’ll have to take a look at, but generally speaking, this release means that you can carry all your documents securely in your pocket as you travel.
For Office 365 users, it will offer access to everything stored there no matter what device you last accessed the files with, while email attachments you’ve opened in Outlook Mobile will also show up automatically in the Office Hub.
In fact, there’s a whole bunch of stuff there that will, if for no other reason at all, make Windows Phone 8 a purchase worth considering.
Hyland’s Windows 8 Mobile Apps
Also over the week, Hyland has been busy with its OnBase application and has just announced the release of a mobile app made specifically for Windows 8.
The new app is for insurance field adjusters and is built out of OnBase so not surprisingly is called the OnBaseField Insurance Adjuster App.
Clearly Hyland is expecting great things of Windows 8 to build an app just for that, but it has demonstrated a knack of hitting the market with products just where they are needed, an ability that has landed it in the Leaders Quadrant in Gartner’s MQ for Enterprise Content Management.
This app gives insurance claims adjusters instant access to the data and documents associated with a particular claim in the field, as well as providing signature capture on electronic forms. It also uses the native device's camera to capture photos and streamline the claims process.
While it looks at face value to be quite narrow in its market appeal, it seems the basic work has been done here for other apps for other verticals. More on this as Hyland provides new releases.
Also this week, Hyland announced that it has launched a new subsidiary in the UK that will be called Hyland Software UK Ltd, it will act as a contact point for Hyland's European markets.
The move may be a little bit surprising given that Hyland already has a presence in the UK, but clearly it is going well enough to create a larger subsidiary closer to its European customers.
For anyone watching Europe, the move makes sense, particularly for IT companies that have been suffering from weak sales in the region.
There are signs already of a small reprise, which is likely in the next couple of years to turn into a general reprise, barring certain very weak economies. The vendors that gain from this and the increased spending on IT that will have to come as enterprises look to replace old systems, are vendors that are close enough to sell not just products, but customer support too.
Hyland is making much of the fact that the new entity will provide local support and resources and that it is committed to providing those services into the future. A smart strategy, to say the least! The new subsidiary will remain part of the Hyland Software parent in the US.
Google’s Chrombook Doc, Sheets, Slides
Finally, this week, you can’t have Office without balancing it out with Google. So from Google this week, we have the announcement that it is making its productivity apps for Chromebook available through the Chrome Web store to make them easier to obtain and use.
It has also renamed the principal apps, according to a blog post form Jonathan Rochelle, Google Director of Product Management who says that Documents, Spreadsheets and Presentations, will in the future be called Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Google Web Apps on Chrome
Google Drive is a place where you can create, share, collaborate and keep all your stuff," wrote Rochelle. "Of course, there are times you want to start a new document right away—say, to take notes in class or prepare a last-minute presentation for your boss. To make it even easier for you to create stuff quickly, -- are now available as apps in the Chrome Web Store. Once installed, shortcuts to these apps will appear when you open a new tab in Chrome,” he said.
Currently, Chromebook users have access to a number of other apps from the app stored including Forms, Script and Fusion tables, with more on the way. Chromebook users will see Docs, Sheets and Slides in their apps list by default following the next update to Chrome OS in a few weeks.