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Office News & Analysis

Office 365 Digs Deeper Into Lucrative Government Market

2014-24-November-Digging.jpgMicrosoft took a significant step forward late last week in overcoming security concerns related to cloud computing in government agencies. The step came in the form of an announcement that the watchdog body governing the Department of Health has given Office 365 the thumbs up to operate in the department.

Office 365 will be the first cloud based email and collaboration and communication product to obtain a FedRAMP authorization. The authorization could potentially open the doors to a rush of deployments across government services.

Microsoft Adds Office Dropbox Support for Android Devices

Microsoft is rounding off a busy month on the Office front with the release of Dropbox support for Android users.

According to an Office blog post, the updates will enable easier editing, access and sharing of Office files from an Android phone. It is also offers the ability to generate and share links to documents in One Drive and OneDrive for Business directly from inside the app itself.

Microsoft Offers Office 365 Refunds to Some iPad Users

Microsoft is making good on its promise to be more responsive to users' needs ... just not all of them. 

Last week the company released a preview version of Office for Android tablets, along with Office for iPad upgrades and new iPhone apps. Even better, it made all of the options free. You no longer need an Office 365 subscription to edit documents on mobile devices and store them in the cloud (whether it’s OneDrive or Dropbox).

But what about iPad users who enthusiastically signed up before that announcement — and are already locked in to spending $7 a month for an Office 365 subscription?

Want Microsoft Office on Your Mobile Devices? It's Free

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Microsoft wants Office to be at your fingertips at all times, regardless of where you are or what device you use. As a result it has been working at a furious rate to build out Office and Office 365, especially for mobile. Since the Office for iPad release last March, though, one of the glaring gaps has been the lack of an Android mobile edition.

Today Microsoft bridges that gap with the release of a preview version of Office for Android tablets, along with Office for iPad upgrades and new iPhone apps.

Office 365 Dominance Grows with New Markets

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Microsoft is releasing Office 365 into another nine countries, bringing its total market penetration to 140 of 196 countries worldwide.

The fact that you can now get Office 365 just about anywhere there is a business culture is not surprising. But the pace at which it has developed is startling.

When it launched just over two years ago, it was available in around 40 markets. A year later it was in 88 markets. By the end of 2013, it was up to 127 markets and now ... well, just about everywhere.

Microsoft Earnings Raised by the Cloud

In the same week that IBM stumbled on its road to the cloud, Microsoft’s journey skyward gave it a lift.

Enterprises are hungry for its heavenly products which include Office 365, Azure and Dynamics CRM. According to the company’s filing for the first fiscal quarter, revenues rose 128 percent year-over-year. Office 365, on the consumer side, by the way, now boasts an impressive 7 million subscribers to its Home and Personal software.

The company’s rapidly growing SQL Server business grew by double digits as did Lync, SharePoint and Exchange, its productivity products.

Microsoft Lync Can Spy on Enterprise BYOD Use

Microsoft claims it has a solution to some of the most common bring your own device (BYOD) concerns: A way to spy on enterprise workers. Through its Lync app, it's giving enterprises a way to monitor what devices workers are using to communicate.

Microsoft Makes Office 365 Cheap Enough That You Can Ignore Google

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Keeping a schedule set at its Worldwide Partner Conference in July, Microsoft has finally released service plans that will make it cheaper for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to use Office 365.

There is a small sting in the program, which went into effect last week. New customers can access the new and cheaper plans straight away, but those already signed up to Office 365 SMB plans will have to wait until late next year before they will transitioned to the new plans.

Parlez-Vous Windows 9? Microsoft French Exec Leaks Update

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The Microsoft rumor mill became reality in France.

Reports are blowing up on the Web that a French Microsoft executive revealed Microsoft will unveil Windows 9 next Tuesday.

"Last year we had Windows 8. In the next few minutes, the next few days, we'll be releasing Windows 9," Alain Crozier, president of Microsoft France and a vice president of Microsoft International, said during a company presentation.

Ever since Microsoft sent out invitations to a secret press event for Sept. 30 in San Francisco, rumors have been circulating that it would mark the next major release of Windows.

But no one wants to have the thunder of a secret press conference spontaneously dashed by the mutterings of an international VP. So naturally, the Redmond, Wa. software giant went into backtrack mode immediately, telling ZDNet in a statement, "We look forward to seeing you in late September in San Francisco for the future of Windows, which actually at this stage does not have a name as such."

Microsoft Puts Pieces Together with Office 365 Home Page

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Google has been making a lot of ground in recent months with the addition of lots of new functionality to Google Apps, now called Google Apps for Work.

And Microsoft hasn’t been slouching either. However, Microsoft upgrades have been a little more subtle — and it’s often hard to track what has been added or even what tools you have at your disposable.

But now we have something concrete: Microsoft just announced that it has upgraded the portal page for Office 365, which is being rolled out to current SharePoint and Exchange customers as of today.

Is Microsoft Going To Preview Windows 9, or Office 16?

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No sooner did the party invitations start landing in people’s mailboxes than the rumor mill cranked up a few gears and went into hyper drive.

According to the invites, which Microsoft started sending out yesterday, the September 30 event will be about Windows.

Speculation is rife already that what we might actually get is a technical preview of the long-awaited Windows 9, but that’s not all. There may also be news of a technical preview of Office.

In Boston, a Microsoft official at the SharePoint Technology Conference only confirmed there will be a September 30 announcement and declined to provide any details when asked by CMSWire. 

Is Microsoft Even Pushing SharePoint Users into the Cloud? #SPTechCon

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BOSTON -- The cloud. SharePoint.

Wait, what? Not me. Not us. Not anytime soon, if ever.

That captures some of the sentiment we heard here among the nearly 1,000 people at the SharePoint Technology Conference at the Boston Park Plaza hotel.

David Maldonado, an analyst programmer at the University of New Mexico's health division (pictured with co-worker Erin Youtzy), came up with a few words to answer the cloud proposition in SharePoint: "HIPAA. Personal information. Health records."

The Future of SharePoint is the Cloud #gartnerpcc

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It's not exactly ground-breaking, but Jim Murphy, a research director in Gartner's web and cloud group, thinks Microsoft is trying to lure its SharePoint users into the cloud, despite the number of enterprises that are still using it on-premises.

Speaking at this morning’s session on the future of SharePoint at Gartner’s Portals, Content and Collaboration Summit in London, Murphy reassured attendees that there is still plenty of time before time runs out on the on-premises version.

Microsoft Cushions Google's Blows with Cash

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Yes, Google is encroaching into Microsoft’s traditional business space in a vicious productivity fight. But Google's rebranding of its Enterprise Business as Google for Work yesterday seems to be a tacit acceptance — for the moment, at least — that Microsoft is the Enterprise Daddy.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has responded to Google's blows with a number of financial incentives that must have many Chief Financial Officers salivating over their ledgers.

Microsoft: Pimp Your Office 365 Ride

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When it comes to customer experience and engagement strategies, everyone knows appearance is everything. If that seems a bit shallow, Microsoft doesn’t seem to care. It just announced that it is allowing enterprises and users pimp their Office 365  — within reason, of course.

Starting this week, the new functionality will enable users to customize and personalize their Office 365 suite. The result: enterprises that deploy the platform will be able to give it a makeover to better reflect their corporate identities.

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