Just three months ago we saw the start of the cloud storage price wars when Google slashed its prices. Today Microsoft has retaliated by offering a massive increase in the amount of free cloud storage available to OneDrive and Office 365 customers. The company's recently renamed storage service jumps from 7GB of free space to 15GB -- although those with reasonable memories will recall that it is not all that since SkyDrive customers were given 25GB free of charge. But it doesn’t end there. Every version of Office 365 will now come with 1TB of free space as standard.
The figure for OneDrive has not just been plucked out of the air. "Our data tells us that 3 out of 4 people have less than 15 GB of files stored on their PC. Factoring in what they may also have stored on other devices, we believe providing 15 GB for free right out of the gate – with no hoops to jump through – will make it much easier for people to have their documents, videos, and photos available in one place."
Microsoft's timing on a blog post released today, provocatively titled "Outlook Web App provides more efficient calendar delegation and management than Gmail," is rather ironic. That's because I was gathering some thoughts on the areas in which this tool still needs improvement and is lacking. So while Microsoft is busy tooting it's own horn, I'm going to turn up the heat a bit for a reality check on the part of 365 I spend the most time in daily, which is OWA.
Don't get me wrong -- I absolutely love OWA in Office 365 and have been using it primetime since my IT company ditched Google Apps late last year. But it's not without its rough edges.
Growing up, I watched a lot of television -- hey, thats what we American kids did in the 80s. One of my favorite things to watch was old episodes of the Andy Griffith Show. You see, it was fun to see how people lived in simpler times. Plus, it was interesting to see a sheriff and deputy keep the peace without hardly ever needing a gun.
Unfortunately for Andy and Barney, there were no computers back then in Mayberry. While the internet would have disrupted the simpler lifestyle, it also would have helped them solve crimes. Heck, they could have implanted GPS in Otis the Drunk to keep track of him. Today, technology is abundant and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has adopted Microsoft's Office 365 to assist them in official business. Yes, Office 365 has been deputized!
Microsoft’s new Office for iPad apps are very good, and hugely popular. A month after release and Word is still the number one free app in the App Store, with Excel sitting at number 8, and PowerPoint at number 16. If you own an iPad, and are an Office 365 subscriber, they’re pretty much essential downloads.
At launch we were promised additional features were on their way, and today Microsoft introduces the most requested one –- the ability to print Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations.
Today, after the closing bell, Microsoft disclosed results for fiscal third quarter, during most of which freshly-minted CEO Satya Nadella captained the ship. Of course, he carries a course set for him by predecessor Steve Ballmer, and his real impact is really quarters away. But there's a fresh presence behind the wheel and a new hat hanging in the captain's cabin. That's reason enough for Wall Street to forgive any storms the good ship Microsoft sales -- eh, sails.
For the three months ended March 31, Microsoft reports $20.4 billion revenue, flat year over year. Operating income: $6.97 billion. Net income: $5.66 billion, or 68 cents a share. All figures are GAAP.
Microsoft made Office Mobile available for free since launch, on both Android and iOS. But, in order to take advantage of its features, users had to tie the app to an Office 365 subscription. So it was free, but not void of additional costs.
Yesterday, Microsoft launched Office for iPad and announced a subscription is now no longer necessary to get the best out of Office Mobile, which was just updated on both platforms to reflect this decision. While this only applies to home users -- which means a subscription is still needed for non-personal (commercial) use -- it is certainly a welcome change. But, it also means Windows Phone just lost one of its most important advantages over its main rivals.
It’s taken a very long time, but today, finally, Microsoft unveiled Office for iPad. Despite the name, Office for iPad is three separate apps -- Word, Excel and PowerPoint -- which are individually available in the App store.
The apps have a familiar interface, with the same Ribbon interface and layout. But at the same time, they’re not just a port of the regular desktop version. Menus have been optimized for touch; objects can similarly be dragged, rotated or resized with a swipe; Excel has a special formula keyboard to help you enter data quickly, and everything scales properly in both portrait and landscape mode.
It's fun to remember. When old friends get together, nostalgia often takes over, and conversations turn to "remember when". Recalling years past can bring back feelings of yore -- old girlfriends, your first car, your first kiss -- all that jazz.
However, do people look back on old software with the same fondness? Microsoft seems to think so, as it looks back at Office 2003. The Office Suite will die the same day as Windows XP -- April 8th, 2014. You see, on that date, Office 2003 will still work, but the company will end support for the popular software. Microsoft would like Office 2003 users to switch to 365, but should they?
Choosing a large-scale software solution is a difficult thing. Obviously, in these tough economic times, cost savings are a huge deciding factor. However, saving money up front can lead to future headaches down the road. In other words, if the software causes the employees to be less productive, you may as well flush your cost savings down the toilet. Hell, it may cost you more in the long run.
Microsoft is a dependable name in software solutions, and Office is one of the most powerful software suites bar none. One county in the state of North Carolina has realized cost savings and increased productivity thanks to Office 365 and Surface tablets.
Successful people often go everywhere with a pad and pen. After all, you never know when an idea might materialize. However, as the technology age progresses, paper and pen is being replaced by smartphones and tablets. This is ideal, as it is easier to organize digital notes than paper ones -- syncing across devices and computers.
Many companies offer software solutions for idea retention and note taking. For example, Google offers Keep and let us not forget about the wildly popular Evernote. Microsoft also offers an amazing solution called OneNote, although it does not get the attention it deserves. Microsoft intends to change that, as today it announces a few major changes -- there is now a Mac version which will be free. Also free is the Windows version. Clearly, these moves signify Microsoft declaring war on competitors -- but is it enough?
Office 365 Home Premium is a great value product for families. For the Leave It To Beaver market, it is a great way to save money as it provides five licenses. Wally, Beaver, Mom and Dad can all have Microsoft Office for a paltry $99 per year. Hell, they can give Eddie Haskell the extra license.
However, what about the lonely bachelors and single ladies of the world that do not need five licenses? Maybe a person only owns one computer and only needs one license. It is a sin to pay for five licenses and have four go to waste. Today, Microsoft announces a new option for the Juan Pablo's of the world -- Office 365 Personal. It offers potential cost savings to individuals.
Service Pack 1 has just started to roll out to Office 2013 users, but Office 365 users have been left out in the cold. You might think that as a subscriber your software is kept constantly updated -- and this is true to a point. But talking to Paul Thurrott, Microsoft reveals that a "handful of updates are totally new in SP1" and these have not all made their way to Office 365 yet. Unless you follow the little trick that Paul has shared, that is.
Unlike many applications Office 365 does not have a built-in means of forcing an update check -- so we have to force a forced update! The steps are very quick and simple to follow, and you can grab yourself a copy of SP1 in next to no time.
Microsoft has released a service pack update for the latest version of Office. Service Pack 1 (SP1) promises greater stability, expanded functionality, and security enhancements for Office 2013, SharePoint 2013 and Exchange Server 2013, as well as improved compatibility with Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
The service pack contains all of the public and cumulative updates released since Office 2013 first became available, as well as numerous unreleased fixes and updates that reflect recent changes. SP1 improvements include:
The existence of a paperless office and the overall death of paper has been greatly exaggerated. Anyone who has been in an actual company office recently knows that paper is still haunting the corporate world. Sure, there is less of it being used, but even one sheet is too many.
What can be particularly annoying is signatures. Printing and signing something feels archaic. Hell, you might as well chisel your name into a cave wall. Today, however, Microsoft and DocuSign join forces to bring eSignature to Office 365. While the partnership won't single-handedly kill paper, it is a start.
It seems you can’t have a platform these days without an attached store, and Microsoft Office is no exception. There are many useful tools and templates that users can add to Word, Excel and other programs contained in the suite.
Now Access will be joining the party. A report today claims that as of February 3, Microsoft has given the green light to apps for the database program. Microsoft’s Matt Evans reports that “Access apps have been part of Office 365 subscriptions since Office 365 General Availability was announced in February 2013. Until now, Access apps were in preview and weren’t supported under the Office 365 service-level agreement (SLA) and compliance standards”.