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Office News & Analysis

Google Makes it Easier to Dump Microsoft Office #io14

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If you’re one of the top cats in the Microsoft business division, the Google I/O conference must be one of the most irritating things of the year.

At I/O, Google always seems to find a way to squeeze the fun from Microsoft’s master plan to rule the business world. This year, the ‘something’ comes in the ability to edit Microsoft Office documents in Google Docs.

At face value, it doesn’t seem too serious. But when you stand back and look at it, it takes on far more significance than first impressions convey.
 

Microsoft Takes Productivity Suite Contest to Thailand

2014-22-May-Thai-Schoolkids.jpgThailand seems an unlikely place for competition in the productivity suite market to erupt. However, the announcement last night by Microsoft that it has signed a deal with the Thai government to provide 8 million students with Office 365 should stir things up in Asia.

According to the statement from the government, Microsoft has agreed to provide Microsoft Office 365 Education for the next five years.

Do You Really Need Microsoft Office?

Thumbnail image for SoftWatch Office licenses 28 4 2014.jpgTwo things are made clear in the new benchmark report from SoftWatch: 1. Business users spend a lot less time using their Office applications than might be thought. 2. If an organization did an in-depth analysis of Office usage across the enterprise, they might well find that dumping Office and moving to another, cheaper productivity suite could save them an awful lot of money.

Microsoft Pushes Analytics, Collaboration Into Office 'Mix'

Microsoft is on a roll with a fast and steady stream of upgrades and offerings for its Office suite. In the latest announcement yesterday, it offered a limited preview of its new PowerPoint ‘Mix.’

PowerPoint is unlikely to set anyone’s world on fire — but the enhancements may at least gain your attention if we told you this one includes basic analytics and interactive tools like video recording and document sharing. Oh, and one more thing. The upgrades are free of charge.

Microsoft Takes Office to the Chrome Store

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Only two weeks after Office landed on iPad and about eight weeks since it made it easy to find through the launch of Office.com, Microsoft is chasing users wherever it can find them -- and in this case it's Chrome Web Store, right in the middle of Google’s own stomping ground.

It also appears to have quietly retired its Scroogled campaign.

It would probably be a bit silly to overestimate the real impact of this, given that users were always able to access Office apps through the Office.com in the Chrome browser. But with a new CEO on board, any sign of changes in the way Microsoft is doing business should be paid attention to. 
 

Nadella Asks Microsoft Developers to 'Keep the Faith' #bldwin

Satya Nadella’s came close to calling for a return to Microsoft's founding principals during his keynote speech at the the company's Build 2014 conference in San Francisco yesterday. The speech by the newly appointed Microsoft CEO contained a lot for Windows lovers and mobile phone fans.  But it also contained repeated pleas for developers to keep the faith -- faith in Windows specifically and Microsoft generally. 

Nadella arrived at the conference facing a number of problems that have arisen from Microsoft’s previous lethargy in meeting new challenges, particularly the rise of mobile. 

Finally! Office for iPad: Still Want It?

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Let's cut to the chase. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s first press conference since he started 52 days ago was pretty underwhelming.

Yes, he finally announced the launch of Office for iPad, along with the new Enterprise Mobility Suite — surprising just about no one.

But all of those who expected something more from Nadella, like detailed insight about his plans for the company, left disappointed. Aside from discussing his Mobile First, Cloud First strategy and those plans to push all Microsoft customers into the cloud, he didn't say much.

But give him points for being poetic, in person and online. As he noted in a blog post, "As long as human curiosity and ambition drive us to create new things, capture moments and collaborate to get things done, we should expect the world of devices to follow suit."

Microsoft May Release Office for iPad

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If Microsoft press conferences are always a matter of intense speculation and conjecture, the conference that has been announced for next Thursday (March 27th) in San Francisco will be, by anyone’s standards, an exceptional event -- not least because it will be the first conference hosted by new CEO Satya Nadella. 

Of course, excitement is also being driven by speculation that, finally, Microsoft will be announcing Microsoft Office for iPad. 

Google Drive Offers Add-Ons, Cash to Microsoft Office Users

add-ons.jpgOne hit apparently deserves another. Just a few weeks after Microsoft Office dealt another blow in the ongoing slugfest with Google Drive, the Internet giant is fighting back.

In the past three days, Google has made two announcements that are creating new disruptions.  One of them — a new Office 365 to Google Apps referral program — seems specifically designed to annoy Microsoft,  while the  other, the release of third-party add-ons to Google Apps, adds additional functionality.

The Future of Office and Features to Use Today

During the Microsoft SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas the big emphasis was on -- to no one's surprise -- Office 365 rather than on-premises versions of SharePoint. While it was great to see the new features Microsoft unveiled, the conference also gave us time to look at existing features that you may or may not be aware of. Let's take a look.

Document Mgt Roll-up: Mostly SharePoint #SPC14

You can argue it if you want, but this week was all about SharePoint -- and little about Microsoft Dynamics CRM and AX. In fact, as one of our editors pointed out, there’s more SharePoint than you could shake a stick at — largely as a result of the SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas.

In no particular order, here are some of the items that either slipped under the radar or which caught our attention. There is also some mention of Microsoft Convergence Dynamics.

Office Online Sends Google Another Punch

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Microsoft Office has just dealt another blow in the ingoing slugfest with Google Drive. But it's far from a killer punch.

In a post on the Office blog , Office Online product marketing manager Amanda Lefebvre outlined a number of changes to Office Web Apps, including a name change and the addition of some new features.

Document Mgt Roll-up: A Win - and Possible Loss - for Office

This week there have been a number of interesting stories in the document management space, not least of which is the fact that the British government appears to be reconsidering its contracts with Microsoft. Meanwhile, Huddle has announced an integration with Office, while Box and KnowledgeTree have struck up a new partnership.

Is Huddle Still a SharePoint Alternative?

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Huddle talks a lot about being the "alternative to SharePoint." The company used the phrase today to launch a new offering. And it used it in December when it released Huddle Note, an iOS application that enables users to create content in the cloud, share it inside or outside of a company firewall and collaborate with other workers on documents — all from mobile devices.

So is it a viable alternative to SharePoint? "Sure, Huddle is legitimate competition to SharePoint," says Rob Koplowitz, SharePoint analyst for Forrester Research. "It doesn't do everything SharePoint does, but in the areas where there is overlap, Huddle is very robust." 

Will Huddle Note App Hammer Another Nail in SharePoint's Coffin?

Huddle has just announced the general release of Huddle Note, a new iOS application that enables users to create content in the cloud, share it inside or outside the firewall and collaborate with other workers on documents — all from a mobile device. Taking all Huddle’s functionality into account,  the company's management claims it provides a viable alternative to SharePoint.

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