Office 365 News & Analysis
| Wednesday Aug 27, 2014
Google quietly landed what could be a killer blow for Microsoft Apps with the release of a number of upgrades to Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.
The first piece of bad news for Microsoft: Google created a separate iOS app for Slides, its answer to Microsoft PowerPoint.
The rest of the bad news comes in the form of upgrades to the existing Google Docs and Sheets apps for iOS. With them, users can open, create and edit native Microsoft Office files on any iOS device for the first time.
Google Apps are platform and device neutral — and they are also cheaper than Microsoft's offerings.
| Wednesday Aug 20, 2014
If Steve Ballmer’s decision to step down from the board of Microsoft was sudden, it wasn’t a surprise.
Once Satya Nadella stepped in as CEO and started changing Microsoft from a devices and services company to one focused on productivity and platforms, Ballmer had to go. "Cloud first, mobile first," became the new mantra.
In an open letter to Nadella, Ballmer explained that he thinks it would be impractical for him to stay on the board. Ballmer's commitment to Microsoft is clear. “I bleed Microsoft — have for 34 years and I always will,” he said in the letter. Microsoft, though, doesn’t really care. It's already ancient history.
| Tuesday Aug 19, 2014
Microsoft just announced a service that will make it easier to manage storage for SharePoint Online within the Office 365 suite.
The move effectively tackles one of the big problems users were having with storage allocation to SharePoint site collections. It also makes the management of entire SharePoint environments easier.
The changes announced last night makes the storage limits associated with each group of sites more flexible. It means storage that is not used with one site collection can be moved to another to facilitate the development of that collection.
| Thursday Aug 14, 2014
Cheeky Google is stomping all over what has until recently been an exclusive Microsoft stomping ground. Well, nearly exclusive. Google has just announced the release of Google Classroom for anyone that is currently using Google Apps for Education.
Classroom is a collaboration tool that enables students keep track of what assignments are due, enable teachers to track what is happening in the physical classroom and provide direct, real-time feedback to students on their progress.
| Thursday Aug 7, 2014
It is frustrating to see the potential of technology and not have it realized. The solution is there but, as they say in New England, “you can’t get there from here.” Such is Office 365.
| Wednesday Aug 6, 2014
Question: When is an update not an update? Answer: When Microsoft says so.
If that seems a bit cryptic, consider this. Microsoft is releasing a number of updates to its Windows 8.1 operating system and Windows Server 2012 R2, but you’re not supposed to call them updates.
The thinking is simple. From here on, Microsoft will no longer be holding onto improvements and waiting for a major upgrade to release those updates, as it did in April with Windows 8.1. Instead, improvements will be released as they become available.
| Monday Aug 4, 2014
Microsoft Office is part of the iPad arsenal and 35 million users have downloaded since it was launched in March. Now Microsoft has issued several updates, which it describes as the features users request most often.
The upgrades — improvements for the Word, PowerPoint and Excel applications — are designed to enhance the user experience.
| Thursday Jul 31, 2014
Microsoft has just announced major upgrades for OneNote for Mac and iOS. They're interesting upgrades and point to a future where Microsoft works on cross-platform development, offering everyone access to everything.
It’s a great vision. And while Microsoft is making progress, it is still far from reality. While upgrades and access to OneNote will be a major plus for users, there’s still nothing for Office for Mac.
| Tuesday Jul 29, 2014
Google is making it even easier to move from Microsoft Office to Google Docs.
At last month’s Google I/O conference, Google gave Office users the ability to edit documents in Docs, which was one of the sticking points for those considering a jump to Google.
We didn’t think it could do much more to make Docs attractive, but it has. Like last month’s QuickOffice integration, this enhancement is small but significant. The upgrade comes in the shape of tracking changes.
| Monday Jul 28, 2014
Companies are still signing up for Yammer — despite the fact that user adoption remains a problem.
In fact, according to Yammer co-founder David Sacks, the British grocery retailing giant Tesco has just inked a 250, 000 seat deal with Yammer. The information was contained in a memo from Sacks to Microsoft employees.
Sacks announced on Twitter late last week that he is leaving Microsoft, but did not specify why.
| Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Yammer is being promoted as the new social layer of SharePoint. But Microsoft is also tying it tightly into Office 365. In the past two weeks, this has resulted in the packaging of Yammer with Office 365 small business plans, while the price of Office 365 is also about to be slashed.
There are problems with Yammer. But the problem lies not the product itself.
According to David Lavenda, vice president of product strategy at Harmon.ie, the real problem is that many people who have access to it just won’t use it — or any other social network for that matter.
| Tuesday Jul 22, 2014
You have SharePoint. You have Box. Theoretically, you have all your enterprise information management, governance and collaboration bases covered. Right?
Well, yes … if all your content silos are connected and operating seamlessly. Unfortunately, that's rarely the case.
While there is a lot of patching and connecting to be done to pull all your silos together, it’s a job that’s rarely finished. To help enterprises with two of the most important silos, AvePoint has just announced the release of DocAve Cloud Connect, which bridges Box and SharePoint.
| Thursday Jul 17, 2014
Microsoft announced a few weeks ago that it was going to provide transparency around its Office 365 business. — and also said it would be shaking up the price plans. It did just that at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) and the good news is that prices are going down August 1.
Before popping the champagne corks though. read on. The cheaper edition will be available to new midsize business customers next month. But existing customers will have to wait to the beginning of October 2015 before the full impact of the changes kick-in. So much for rewarding customer loyalty.
| Tuesday Jul 15, 2014
The file storage wars are over, at least for businesses leveraging Box’s Enterprise Content Collaboration platform.
“It’s no longer about how much content you can store, but what you can do with it,” says Aaron Levie, Box’s co-founder and CEO.
Truth be told, it was always about that, but file storage wasn’t always dirt cheap. Now it is. Levie says that the price has dropped by a factor of over 20,000 over the past two decades.
| Tuesday Jul 15, 2014
Much of what's going to be announced this week at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Washington, DC, is already known.
Satya Nadella underlined Microsoft’s commitment to cloud and mobile computing almost as soon as he took over the reins as CEO, so his message to partners yesterday about pushing cloud computing was not unexpected.
Microsoft is a cloud company and partners need to get on board. The whole focus of Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner's keynote, for example, was cloud, mobile and more cloud. The cloud isn’t the future, he said, it’s the present.