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Office News & Analysis

Office For Windows 10 Optimizes Mobile, Touchscreen

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During this week's Windows 10 reveal event, Microsoft gave a glimpse of the future. And yesterday Microsoft’s Julia White, general manager for Office Product Management, provided a few more details.

Here's what we know. In addition to the soon to be released Windows 10 Technical Preview, look for a touchscreen version of Office as well as Office for Windows 10, a suite of apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook and Calendar.

No Ticket Needed for the Office for Android Tablet Preview

There’s not going to be a device on the planet on which you can’t use Microsoft productivity tools. OK, maybe that’s pushing it a little too far. But that seems to be CEO Satya Nadella’s strategy and he’s executing on it one quick step after another.

Microsoft  just announced that the Office for Android tablet preview is generally available. Anyone can go to Google Play and download the Word, Excel and PowerPoint preview apps. There’s “No wait list. No requesting access. Just go and download the apps!” states the Office 365 blog.

A Look Back: The Continuing Evolution of SharePoint

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If we could really say what the future holds for SharePoint, we could probably sell the information back to Microsoft. All the signs point to major changes — but they also point to the fact that Microsoft is still dithering. While the company has committed to another on-premises version, after that all bets are off.

But let's speculate. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has made no bones about where he is talking Microsoft: “Mobile First, Cloud Frist.” There is no reason to think that he won’t do the same with SharePoint and certainly over the past months the developments around SharePoint Online have been mouthwatering.

A Look Back: Battling Information Management Chaos

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If ‘X’ represents the mass of information in your enterprise, it also represents the size of the problem that you currently have with information management. In other words, the more information you have in your enterprise, the bigger your problem. And odds are it has gotten worse in the past 12 months.

That's not to say that there hasn't been a flurry of new technologies available to help you deal with this information overload. In the big data space alone, the explosion in the number of solutions available is staggering. It's even more mind blowing if you add in all those that have emerged in content management, analytics, business intelligence, cloud storage, mobile and so forth.

Microsoft Shutters SharePoint Online Public Website

Microsoft is dropping its Public Website feature from SharePoint Online as of January, although it will continue maintenance for existing sites for two more years.

The service enables Office 365 users to build websites and customize them with in-browser tools. Using templates,companies can build public-facing websites with custom domain names, search engine optimization tools, social media integration and search-friendly URLs.

Microsoft Soups Up Office Online with Contextual Search

2014-11-December-Tall-Bicycle.jpgNo one likes dumb anything, least of all technology companies. In a move to smarten-up Hangouts, Google added "smart" suggestions yesterday. Microsoft is on the case as well, making its Office Online app a lot smarter with the addition of contextualized Bing search into documents.

If that sounds complicated, it’s not. The new feature, called Insights for Office, lets users search for information from an inline search box inside a document. The answers include information scraped from Bing Snapshot, Bing Image Search and Wikipedia, among others.

Will Microsoft Land the Federal Market with Azure Government?

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Remember when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced his Cloud First Mobile First strategy? He really wasn’t joking.

On Monday, he announced a new hybrid cloud initiative with Accenture. Last night, he announced that Microsoft’s Azure Government cloud is now generally available, and that Dynamics CRM Online for government will be available next month.

This follows hot on the heels of the recent announcement that Office 365 for Government has been awarded some major security certifications and that the Feds are now happy to work with it.  

Here's a Way to Pull Your Project Data Together in Office 365

Although Microsoft has been developing Office 365 at a ferocious rate recently, it still remains a suite of individual applications designed to accomplish specific tasks. To enhance user navigation, harmon.ie has developed a single screen view of those applications and what’s happening in them.

This week, it took that a step further with the launch of its new Project Management Solution, an extension of its harmon.ie email that enables users to pull together all the information that is passing through Office 365, OneDrive, Lync and Yammer on a given project for easy access on either mobile or desktop.

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.

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