After a long wait, Microsoft announced today that the next version of Office for Mac will finally see the light of day in 2015. Mac users will be able to get their hands on a public beta in the first half of next year, with the final version to arrive before the end of 2015. The latest official version of Office for Mac, Office for Mac 2011, launched more than four years ago.
Microsoft does not reveal what the upcoming Office for Mac will be called, but, seeing as it launches in 2015, it is possible that the software giant will stick to the current naming scheme and call it Office for Mac 2015. What we do know is that it will include Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint and Word, which will make it less feature-rich than Office 2013, which has been available on Windows for nearly two years.
While some people find animated GIFs to be tacky and silly, I find them fun. Sure, many people use the images to flood social media with memes, but they also serve as a great way to show a short animation using a small file size. I often use them in things like PowerPoint presentations, as they jazz it up a bit and keep things exciting.
Searching for the perfect animated GIF can be problematic, as most images are not named as such, and unless the search engine gives an option, they may be mixed in with non-animated images too. Today, Bing gets even better, with the all-new option to filter image searches by animated GIF.
At the Inbox Love event in Mountain View, CA, Microsoft revealed the latest way for developers to bring extra functionality to the user. Starting next year, Outlook.com will support third-party apps, known -- uninspiringly -- as Apps for Outlook.com. Just a couple of days ago, Microsoft launched new APIs and SDKs to give developers new options for working with Office 365, and the latest announcement caters for development in the cloud.
Although Apps for Outlook.com will not officially launch until next year, Microsoft is giving developers the chance to start creating apps for the Outlook Web App. Those with a penchant for coding are invited to come up with new, exciting, and productivity-enhancing ways for users to interact with Outlook.com.
Aurélio "Baboo" knows what he wants to see in Microsoft’s next operating system, and has put together his own vision of Windows 10 "build 9928", spending over 50 hours on creating images in Photoshop that show the changes he thinks Microsoft should implement.
Top of his list, and that of many Windows users, is the return of Aero. Flat might be where it’s at right now, but there’s no question that adding some transparency effects to windows looks good, and I’d be happy to see Microsoft include this option in Windows 10. "I’m honestly not worried about the extra cents in energy consumption Aero that costs me when I’m using my desktop or laptop, because Windows is much more enjoyable with it", Baboo says.
Microsoft is getting into the wearables business, but not with a smartwatch as the rumors have suggested for more than a week. The software giant is actually approaching this market with a smart activity tracker called Band, and a dedicated platform called Health.
Like the rumored smartwatch, which could have competed with Android Wear devices and Apple Watch, Band works on all three major mobile platforms, Android, iOS and Windows Phone. It is designed for both fitness junkies as well as average folks who wish to keep track of their daily activity.
With every passing day, Microsoft's enterprise competition gets a bit stronger. Between OS X, Chrome OS and Linux distributions, Windows is under constant attack; however, the true threat to Microsoft is competing office suites and cloud solutions. While the business world will not largely be transitioning from Windows anytime soon, software like Google Docs and Drive are legitimate options.
Today, Google announces a new agreement with a company called PwC, which will bring Google's solutions, like Gmail, Hangouts, and Docs, to the company. Believe it or not, PwC has over 45,000 employees in both the USA and Australia which is a huge win for Google. In the grand scheme of things, it is not a huge number of users, but slowly and steadily, Google is accumulating these relationships and they add up. Should Microsoft be worried?
As if giving Office 365 subscribers unlimited OneDrive storage was not enough, Microsoft today has some more news relating to its office suite. Previously only available as previews, a batch of new Office 365 APIs open up new opportunities for developers to tap into Office with their own apps. With APIs available for mail, files, calendar and contacts, there's lots of potential for the future.
One of the first big names to take advantages of the new APIs is IFTTT, the online automation service. The new APIs mean that it is possible for IFTTT to react to things that happen in Office applications -- so it is possible to set up an alert when an email matching certain criteria arrives. There are also updates to the Android and iOS SDKs for developers to work with.
Anyone who has ever used a modern-day Mac will tell you that Apple gets its trackpads right. Sure, they look nice and feel great to the touch, but, most importantly, they are also properly supported in OS X. It offers myriad gestures to help users navigate as efficiently as if they were using a mouse. In fact, the trackpad is designed to feel like an integral part of the system, not as a bolt-on, as there are lots of things that can be done faster with it, like locating a window or opening the notifications panel.
The same cannot be said about Windows PC trackpads. They truly feel like bolt-ons. And it is not because they are poorly put together, but rather because the drivers never seem to be good enough to reveal the trackpads' true potential. Microsoft, however, wants to change that in Windows 10, as the upcoming operating system will support Mac-like trackpad gestures. Finally.
Everybody deserves the opportunity to compete and feel good about themselves. The Special Olympics is a great example of this; people with intellectual disabilities compete against each other in sports to build confidence, and most importantly, have fun. The non-profit organization is essential for many people the world over.
Today, Microsoft announces that it is partnering with the organization to modernize its technology with a big focus on the cloud. The Special Olympics will be getting all kinds of cool stuff, like Lumia smartphones and Surface tablets.
Just a few days ago Microsoft released its financial data for Q1 2015 (yeah, the timescale is weird) and we learned a little about where the company's money is coming from. According to data compiled by FactSet and published by USA Today Microsoft is in fact the tenth most profitable company in the world.
The list has been put together by taking into account companies' "net income before discontinued operations and extraordinary items for their latest fiscal year", and it finds Microsoft in interesting company. Sandwiched between oil giant BP and banking behemoth Wells Fargo & Company, Microsoft just managed to sneak into the top ten with $86.8 billion in revenue.
Microsoft just stoked the fires of the cloud storage wars once again. There have been various updates to OneDrive in recent months. Microsoft lifted the 2GB file size limit all the way up to 10GB, and we showed you how to up your free storage to 15GB. But if you’re an Office 365 subscriber, things just kicked off -- storage limitations are a thing of the past.
Starting today, Office 365 Home, Personal and University plan subscribers have unlimited OneDrive storage. Store as much as you like in the cloud for free. Well, free if you ignore the subscription you've paid, or continue to pay each month. The roll out to the consumer level subscriptions starts today, but you'll need to take action if you're interested.
You might think that you've already paid enough to get online. You bought your computer (or phone, tablet, whatever...), you pay line rental to your phone provider, you pay your monthly broadband charges, you pay the bill for electricity all of this requires. How does the idea of an extra charge on top of this sound? No? That's the general feeling in Hungary where an "internet tax" has been proposed by Viktor Orban's right wing government.
The Prime Minister proposes taxing internet usage in a similar way to mobile phone companies -- by tracking traffic levels. How much could this end up costing? Well, it could very quickly add up. The draft law suggests a fee of 150 forints (around $0.60) per gigabyte. To put that in perspective, it would cost more than $2 to download the Windows 10 Technical Preview, and around the same amount to upgrade to the latest build 9860.
There's a lot to like about Windows 10, particularly if you're already a fan of Windows 8.x -- there isn’t all that much that's new at this stage. It's not all good news however, and there's also quite a lot to dislike. One thing that has cropped up time and time again in user feedback is the fact that the Search and Task View buttons that appear in the taskbar cannot be removed.
At least, there is no built in option to remove them. Where there's a will, there's a way and some enterprising users of the Technical Preview have found ways to banish the buttons that are seen by many as being pointless.
Microsoft officially announced today that the Nokia branding will not be used in conjunction with its future Windows Phones. The software giant will sell its upcoming smartphones as Microsoft Lumias. However, it will continue to make use of Nokia's name for dumb phones.
The tech media may act surprised, but, in fact, we have known that this was bound to happen for more than a year. In early-September 2013, when the sale of Nokia's Devices & Services to Microsoft was announced, the terms revealed that the software giant would eventually have to drop the Nokia branding.
Anyone who was under the impression that Surface was a failure for Microsoft need look no further than the latest earnings release for proof that they're wrong. In the quarter ending September 30, Microsoft pulled in $23.20 billion in revenue, and $908 million of this came from the Surface division.
All told, FY15 Q1 represents record first quarter revenue for Microsoft, and it can be at least partly attributed to the influence of Satya Nadella, as well as the restructuring surrounding Nokia Devices and Services. There was a strong performance in the Devices and Consumer divisions, with revenue increasing 47% to $10.96 billion, while commercial revenue rose 10% to $12.28 billion.