office

Today, Microsoft announced plans to add enhancements and new features to their online Office Web Apps. The service is a direct competitor to Google’s Docs and Microsoft aims to overpower the service with tight SkyDrive integration and a larger feature set inherited from their full desktop Office suite.

New features include real-time co-authoring of documents and the ability for users to run Office Web apps on Android tablets via mobile Chrome web browser support. The new lineup of features aren’t scheduled to be released until a year from now.

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Windows Phone has always had the foundation to excel in every market. For example, with Xbox on board it could be the killer mobile gaming device – once they work out a few kinks. Same could be said for business, every device has the best Office experience built-in, but it’s not exactly taking over the corporate world by storm yet.

It’s not that the platform doesn’t have the chops, it could just be a lack of communication about what it can do. So Microsoft has gone and set up the Windows Phone business hub (www.windowsphone.com/business) – a place where you can learn all about business features of the operating system.

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If there were one area where Microsoft’s Windows Phone devices should be doing well it is within business. Nokia have just posted a new video extolling the headline features of Windows Phone 8 to the corporate crowd.

Even though Windows Phone has a whole feature set designed to be consumer friendly, it also has arguably the best office friendly apps too, mobile office anyone?

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Microsoft has published a video on its Windows Phone YouTube channel that shows off the new features in Windows Phone 8. Joe Belfiore from the Windows Phone team is the best choice to run viewers through everything, so be sure to check it out if you happened to miss yesterday's event.

Taking viewers through Live Tiles, Live Apps, Data Sense, Office, integration with Windows 8, as well as camera innovation in the Lumia 920, Belfiore ensures we're all eagerly wanting more.

Windows Phone 8 adds new functionality, as well as new hardware, to the platform. While there isn't a long list of new features available as many wanted to become reality, Microsoft has certainly delivered an alternative choice to Android and iOS.

Source: YouTube

 

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With the operating system juggernaut called Windows 8 looming closer by the day it seems everyone is talking about Windows. Is the conversation going to include Windows Phone more frequently too now?

Samsung’s UK vice president has dropped a few encouraging words about where the company sees opportunity in the business sector for an end-to-end solution for tablets and smartphones based on Windows 8.

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Oh, we certainly do love it, Microsoft.

Microsoft has announced today on its SkyDrive blog that the Office Web Apps Preview is finished, and the company has rolled out the latest updates across all SkyDrive and Outlook.com users. The preview programme, which saw more than 750,000 participants, has been running since July this year.

The updates that have been applied to the web apps include improvements that bring richer editing / format capabilities, co-authoring functionality for PowerPoint, and better support for touch-based devices - hello tablets / smartphones. So what do each of the improvements implemented mean for the consumer?

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The new version of Office was unveiled to the world on July16th, and has proven to be quite the upgrade when comparing it to the current version. With its slick “modern UI,” aka “Metro styling,” the price for Office has changed as well.

There are two ways you can purchase Office - buy the software at full price or with an annual subscription. With so many services being subscription based, Spotify, Rdio, Netflix, Adobe Creative Cloud and Zune pass to name but a few examples, why wouldn’t Microsoft adapt as well? These are modern times and consumers have learned that it is cheaper to pay annually for what they want.

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Looks like Microsoft might be trying its hand at a viral advertising campaign in the lead up to the release of its Surface tablet.  The advertising, in the form of hipster compatible urban art has been spotted in a couple of locations such as the one above in Brooklyn. The pseudo graffiti seems to continue with the imagery we first saw at the Surface reveal.  The theme is of an elegant two-part diagram, depicting tablet with detachable keyboard.

The Surface device is going to be big news for Microsoft on a number of levels. Surface is not only going to be the first Microsoft designed computer, it will be the poster child for Windows 8. When we see the new OS advertised and demoed, we can be pretty certain it will be on a Surface tablet. We’re expecting a marketing tsunami with the combined Windows 8 and Surface product launches. 

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Microsoft today blogged about their strategy for Skydrive and how its going to fit in with Office 2013. Skydrive is already the backbone for many MS services, everything from Xbox Cloud-saved games to providing a space to upload photos when sending from Hotmail. In this little preview, we get a look at how Office may look on WP8, complete with new style Windows logo.

This year will see Office 2013 released, as long as you're signed into your PC with your Live ID it will automatically save your documents to Skydrive as the default option. The post then goes on talk about the new feature of Office 2013 where it will remember the exact paragraph you were last reading so that when you pick up your next device you’ll be right where you left off.

Whilst a mockup - its showing off that new Windows Logo

The post goes on to state that those features will extend to the mobile device also. Synchronised reading position for a document being worked on certainly sounds very useful. What more can we speculate will be rolled into Windows Phone 8? If WP8 is going to be much more business friendly than Windows Phone 7 then I am expecting a good deal of features baked in.

We know that Skype is going to be first class citizen with Office 2013 but I would expect to see Lync thrown in here for good measure. If they are talking about synced reading views then I would expect the same form of touch based reading experience that is offered in Office 2013. Currently Windows Phone already has some nice touches in the Office Hub, recent documents  already exists but Office 2013 takes that slightly further by showing documents from all applications the the various storage locations you have been using.

What else might we expect? Well Word 2013 can now edit PDF documents. Perhaps WP8 will be able to dispense with a PDF viewer completely in favour of Word in reading mode. Presence is a huge thing in the corporate world so seeing who’s online for live document collaboration or chat using Lync or Skype? I don’t see why the already excellent Windows Phone version of Office can’t go on to be a real star in the Windows 8 story.

I’d love to know what you would like to see in Office 2013 on Windows Phone 8.

Source: Microsoft

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Microsoft has made the customer preview of the upcoming Office 2013 suite available for download. Being cloud based, Microsoft has decided to integrate both SkyDrive and Skype into the suite and offer more social functionality to end-users. Signing into your Live / Microsoft Account, you'll be able to store and access documents on the cloud from any supported platform, including Windows Phone.

As well as more optimisation, Office 2013 has also gone 'Metro' with emphasis on simplicity to create an immersive experience. We've installed Office 2013 on our machines and boy does it install promptly. We didn't even have time to make a second cup of tea before it was all set up and ready to go. The suite includes Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher and Word.

Be sure to head on over to Microsoft's website to check out the Office 2013 Customer Preview.

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On June 14th, rumors were circulating that Microsoft was poised to buy Yammer, a social-network and messaging service for enterprise, for at least $1 billion dollars. Speculation cooled down a bit as Microsoft intended to focus on the Surface and Windows Phone 8 announcements but a new week is upon us and so the deal is now official.

Microsoft has now purchased Yammer (www.yammer.com) for a massive $1.2 billion in cash and it will be folded into the Microsoft Office Division, led by division President Kurt DelBene. The team will continue to report to current CEO David Sacks to maintain continuity, at least for the near future.

A statement from Microsoft on the acquisition states

“The acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love. Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services.”

Yammer is only four years old but has nearly 5 million users including employees at 85 percent of the Fortune 500, making it an interesting and strategic purchase. So why the acquisition even though Microsoft has Lync and Sharepoint already? Mary Jo Foley (ZDNet) ruminates that Microsoft "...needed a cooler brand and wanted the cross-platform support" which sounds about right to us.

Here's to hopefully seeing Yammer built into Windows Phone 8.

Full press release after the break...

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TrueContext Mobile has announced that its ProntoForms (website) mobile business service now supports Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. The app, which is now available on the Marketplace, enables business employees to do away with paperwork and use smartphones to fill out forms while on the move and not in the office. Major platforms are already supported, including Android, BlackBerry, iOS and webOS.

TrueContext’s CEO Alvaro Pombo had the following to comment on the platform launch:

"ProntoForms from AT&T is one of our most popular mobile applications for businesses," said VP of advanced mobility solutions at AT&T, Chris Hill. The easy to use, yet highly scalable functionality of the application has been of interest to many different types of companies, from one person in operations using it for construction project cost estimates to large enterprises using it for facility management inspections, merchandising audits and insurance adjustments."

Text and numeric inputs include the following:

  • Drop downs and data source lookups
  • Signature Capture
  • Barcode Scanning
  • Photo Capture
  • Date/Time Selection & Stamps
  • Geostamps
  • Calculations
  • YouTube Video links

 

Service online portal feature list:

  • Organise FormSpaces by project, region, and department
  • Upload CSV data sources
  • Manage user form permissions
  • Configure Form E-mail Notifications
  • Plot Form Submissions on Google Maps
  • Chart your data questions and submission history
  • Export Form data into CSV data
  • Manage Users and Groups
  • Produce advanced activity reports

The features listed above are backed by further integration with Microsoft Office, cloud and management services including SharePoint and SkyDrive. The service as a whole improves productivity for employees, especially on Windows Phone with Microsoft's cloud infrastructure. Working while on the move is now that one step more convenient.

You can download ProntoForms from the Marketplace for free. Pricing for the server starts at $24/mo per user. 

via: ProactiveInvestors; thanks Gopalan for the tip!

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For all of those business folks out there waiting on the Lync Mobile client, your time is here. You can now download the app for the popular communications platform just in time for Monday morning. From the app description:

Lync 2010 for Windows Phone extends the power of Lync to your mobile device – including rich presence, instant messaging, audio conferencing, and calling features from a single, easy-to-use interface.

Key Features:

  • View colleagues’ availability in real time and select the best way to communicate – initiating an instant message (IM), email, or a phone call.
  • Connect to Lync conference calls with a single touch, without requiring long numeric passcodes or conference numbers.
  • Make and receive calls using your Enterprise Voice (Lync ID) number only, so you can connect with others using a single, consistent identity.
  • Lync 2010 for Windows Phone provides transport layer security (TLS) and perimeter/internal network protection without requiring a VPN, so your communications experience is safer no matter where you are or what network you use.

Update: Reader palaudawg let us know that resetting his MS Outlook Office 365 account on his phone resulted in a prompt to download the app--very cool. Head here to the Marketplace now to get it for your phone. Thanks, Alex B., for the tip!

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With the overhaul that mobile Office is getting in Mango, word has also come down that a mobile version of Lync, the inter-office communication and VOIP system, will be made available for users in the Fall.

But which features will be on board has been a bit of mystery, until Microsoft manager Paul Bryan discussed it a bit in an interview with ZDnet:

We're still working through some of the capabilities and we don't know exactly how far we'll be able to get in this release. IM and presence are the primary features. There may be more capabilities we can connect to over time.

If you know what Lync can do, you can kind of see the future beyond the first release of the app. We definitely see IM and presence as the core capabilities of the experience.

Reading between the lines, it sounds like Microsoft is juggling a lot with Mango and trying to get as much done as possible. But like all things, this v1.0 will be just the beginning of Lync for mobile and will have to go through revisions to get it up to full specs. Still, something is better than nothing and we think this will go a long way to win over corporate users. [See our hands on with Mango Office, from yesterday]

Added: Mary Jo Foley reports that Lync Online, a companion of sorts to Office 365, also won't launch with voice--making IM/presence the key features of Lync a certainty

Source: ZDNet

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Title says it all. We got a more detailed look at Office on the new version of Windows Phone. We knew about Skydrive expansion, better support, Office 365 integration and now we see it in action.

What's also nice, though not seen, is if you need an app e.g. Adobe for PDFs, the OS can now recognize file types and match them against supporting apps in the Marketplace, making the process of finding the right app to "handle' the task much more simple.

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WP7 Surprise TV Advertisement

This is a pretty neat advertisement on the WindowsPhoneUK channel, hoping to see it aired on ITV every three seconds (notably the worst TV channel on the planet for the sheer volume adverts inbetween programmes). Throw in a British accent that sounds similar to some video game podcasters and you got yourself a winner.

We also seem to be travelling down the route in having WP7 adverts for each network like the iPhone - same advert, but the ending is edited to included o2, Orange, T-Mobile, Three, Vodafone etc. Have you seen this aired on the big screen?

Via: Daily Mobile

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OneNote over the cloud synchronization [How To]

Do you find yourself using tabbed OneNote Notebook with Microsoft Office on your computer? Do you use a Windows Phone 7 device? Why not have your Notebook synchronized to your device and note on the go? Follow the below step-by-step instructions to get yourself set up.

  1. Go to office.live.com on your PC, and make sure that you have a OneNote file created. If you've used OneNote from your PC, there should be a Personal (Web) file. If not, create it..
  2. If you have OneNote on your PC, you can open it from office.live.com; just hover over the file, and click Open in OneNote. OneNote will save a book tab on the left side (in rotated print).
  3. On your phone, set OneNote sync on (from Settings / Applications / Office / OneNote). Make sure to set Internet Explorer to default to mobile version (important!) and navigate to office.live.com in the Browser.
  4. Go to the folder you have the OneNote Notebook, and tap it to open it. This automatically adds the Notebook to your OneNote on the phone, and opens it in OneNote. The tabs will all sync.

That's it complete! If you're like me who always forgets everything from passwords to your own name, this guide will come in handy indeed.

Source: Talys at XDA Forums

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One of the nice things about having Office Mobile is the ability to not only view those Office docs on the go, but to edit them as well. But getting those files to your device can be a challenge. We already saw one homebrew solution, which basically creates a local server for you to download files to your device.

Another, more simple solution is to just use Dropbox. While we still don't have a mobile application for the service (crosses fingers) you can use their site through Mobile Internet Explorer, which works just a well. In fact you can easily grab your files on the go this way. The only downside is you cannot upload Office documents, just photos, to Dropbox and for some that is a no-go. Then again, the free service "Send to Dropbox" allows you to easily email your modified files back to Dropbox, which we think is pretty darn cool.

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Microsoft’s PowerPoint is one of the most used applications in the business world (see our Office Hub review here). One of the newer features in PowerPoint is the ability to broadcast your presentation simultaneously to people in multiple locations. This facilitates conference calls and is of great use to businesses looking to enhance communication and maximize the use of available resources.

Hit the break for more details on what you need to make this work.

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