Microsoft is struggling with its smartphone strategy, resulting in the expected layoffs of 7,800 employees. But it's business as usual in other Microsoft units, including Office.
The tech giant continues to tweak Office 2016, adding new features that are now accessible to everyone that has installed the public beta version.
There’s a heavy focus on real time collaboration functionality and contextual information gathering capabilities.
There are also a few other notable updates, including the extension of online real time co-authoring from Office.com to the desktop version. This means users will be able to collaborate across Office Online and Office 2016 on the desktop when it launches later this year.
Microsoft has also introduced support for Live Typing, which allows desktop users to see edits collaborators make to a shared document. This builds on a feature unveiled last month that let users see where collaborators are working within a document, but didn't immediately show their edits.
Similar features should be coming to other Office apps so that people can work in real time on Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.
Other updates look like they're aimed at giving Office 2016 a more flexible, collaborative feel, like — well, like Google Apps.
Everyone Wants to Be Productive
We just took an in-depth look at open source LibreOffice. Quip upped its game by moving its mobile productivity apps to the desktop and and Zoho is still working away with more apps for office productivity that you could throw a rubber band ball at. And Google Apps is on a perpetual upgrade cycle.
Office 2016 is an interesting release that will confirm whether Microsoft has the chops to stay the leader in the productivity space.
Nuxeo Gets Close with Google, Dropbox
Open source document management vendor Nuxeo just announced a new integration between its latest release — version 7.3 — and Google Drive and Dropbox. It also added automated Elasticsearch security.
The release is part of the Nuxeo fast track release program, which means users can get their hands on it now or can wait to install it with a more global release.
There's more here, too, including an addition to Nuxeo Studio, cloud media publishing and hierarchical storage management. But what Live Connect is what stands out for business users.
Live Connect allows the Nuxeo Platform to treat files in various cloud-based file sync and share systems as if they were part of the local file system or repository. This lets organizations take advantage of the collaboration features of Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) platforms and other features of the Nuxeo Platform.
By integrating assets from an EFSS platform with Nuxeo’s workflow, the company claims the users gain more context around the data, especially in relation to company processes and daily tasks.
As Eric Barroca, Nuxeo’s CEO, explained, “Even though EFSS revolutionized the way people work together, adding this benefit to your business processes has required a copy and paste approach or, at best, uploads to your ECM. The business part, the Information part hasn’t reacted. We are changing that.”
The new feature means options like Google Docs, Slides and Sheets can be viewed and accessed within the Nuxeo environment.
It also means enterprises can integrate business processes with the sharing and file storage capabilities of these EFSS platform.
Zoho’s Mobile Forms
Zoho claims it's "intuitive cloud-based application" enables non-programmers to create and share mobile and web forms.
Zoho Forms captures mobile and web user data — like customer registrations, orders, surveys and responses — and automatically stores it in the cloud, making it available from any device.
It's available on iOS and Android devices.
New Gmail Themes
Google continues to add all kinds of new baubles to make Gmail more attractive.
This offering gives users the ability to personalize their experience with the inbox by expanding its theme catalog.
Google noted in a blog post that it invested a lot of time and effort developing themes when it launched Gmail in 2008 but that it hasn’t done much to keep the collection current with new content.
"Themes can help you dress up your inbox, as well as distinguish between your home and work accounts," Google boasts.
Xerox’s New MPS Play
Xerox is back in its traditional stomping ground with an expansion of its managed print service portfolio, which offers SMB channel partners new assessment tools, an MPS API and workflow technology.
These new managed print services (MPS) aim to expand the company's reach in the small- and medium-sized business (SMB) market.
The MPS expansion includes just-in-time ink and toner replenishment, an application-programming interface that imports client MPS data into partner applications and workflow technology.
The new services are designed to give Xerox a foothold with new document management clients.