Tag Archives | Office Suites

Office on the iPad?

Matt Hickey of The Daily is reporting that Microsoft is working on a version of Office for the iPad. His story isn’t the most compelling piece of writing and reporting I’ve ever read–he calls OS X “iOS” at one point and seems overly confident that some of his assumptions are likely true, such as the apps costing about $10 apiece.
I hope the rumor–which has existed as a bit of idle speculation for a long time–is true. It would be a smart, self-confident move on Microsoft’s part to reach out to all those iPad users rather than deny them a useful product in hopes of forcing them to buy Windows tablets. And even though there are scads of iPad productivity apps already, I haven’t found one I’d kill for: a word processor with an excellent user interface, a sophisticated word-count feature, support for hyperlinking, and built-in Dropbox capability. If Microsoft were to release a version of Word that did all that, I’d pay a lot more than ten bucks…

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Needed: A Great Office for Windows 8

My friend Jeremy Toeman says that it’s imperative that Microsoft come up with a great version of Office that uses Windows 8’s new Metro interface. He’s right, of course–without one, there’s little reason for any business to consider an upgrade, and a really good one could be a major selling point. And I’ll eat a Windows 8 tablet if Microsoft doesn’t have a pretty ambitious one ready by the time Windows 8 PCs go on sale.

I will quibble with one point in Jeremy’s post: He says that early demos of Windows Vista were “awesome.” I remember spending what seemed like eons running early versions of Vista and being briefed by Microsoft on them, and being consistently underwhelmed. I expressed some guardedVista skepticism well before the OS shipped, but to this day I wish I’d been even more skeptical even earlier. Then I could say “I told you so…”


Google Apps Gets Offline Access (And I Get Tablet Gmail on a PC)

Back in February of 2010, Google announced that it was giving up on Google Gears, its neat-but-ultimately-unsatisfying technology that helped make Web services work even when the Web wasn’t available. The company said that it made more sense to concentrate on using HTML5 technologies to build offline capabilities into its Web apps. And now it’s done so, with offline-capable versions of Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs.

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Office 365 Ships

Microsoft has officially shipped Office 365, its new offering that’s less of a product and more of a customizable set of building blocks that lets businesses assemble productivity suites that include both desktop software and Web-hosted components, and then pay for them month by month rather than in one big chunk. InfoWorld’s Woody Leonhard compared it to Google Apps and gave Office the edge. But I’m struck by how different the visions presented by Microsoft and Google are. Microsoft has no particular desire to encourage companies to ditch desktop software, but knows that the cloud is important. Google would love it if companies abandoned desktop software, but acknowledges that even most companies that see a world beyond Office aren’t ready to quit it cold turkey. More thoughts on this in a project I’ll tell you about in a little bit….


Apple’s iWork Apps Arrive on the iPhone

WWDC doesn’t start until Monday, but the news is overflowing into this week. Apple has announced that its iWork iOS apps–Pages, Numbers, and Keynote–are now available for the iPhone and iPod Touch as well as for the iPad. All three apps are now dual-platform ready, so if you’ve already shelled out the $9.99-per-app price for the iPad editions, you can get them on an iPhone at no extra price.

They haven’t quite shown up in the App Store on my iPhone yet, but I’m looking forward to trying them and comparing them to the two big players in iPhone office suites: Documents to Go and Quickoffice. The best thing about the iPad version by far s is that the user interfaces are so nicely tailored to the iPad; I’m curious to see how Apple reworked them for the iPhone’s screen size and resolution.

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Office 365 Public Beta: A Web-Based Way to “Go Microsoft”

Last October, Microsoft announced Office 365, a new product (replacing something called the Business Productivity Office Suite, or BPOS) that ties together an array of offerings into one Web-hosted service. Today, it’s launching a public beta, which you can sign up for at Office365.com. It’s letting folks into the service in batches, so expect a bit of a wait until you can try it out; the final version should go live later this year.

Office 365 enters the market as the instant archrival of Google’s Google Apps, but the two services are anything but exact counterparts. Philosophically, they’re at odds: Google Apps is based on the idea that you’ll do most or all of your work using Web-based apps, resorting to a traditional suite such as Microsoft Office either not at all or only in a pinch. (Google continues to acknowledge that many businesses aren’t ready to dump Office by introducing features designed to make Apps and Office work better together.)

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Microsoft Brings OneNote to the iPhone. Is the Rest of Office Next?

Microsoft apps for Apple’s iPhone aren’t new–there are already ones for Live Messenger and Bing, for instance–but it’s still noteworthy when the world’s biggest software company releases software for the phone made by its most venerable archrival. And today Microsoft is releasing a version of its OneNote note-taking app for the iPhone–the first time that any Microsoft Office program has arrived on iOS.

OneNote for iPhone syncs with OneNote’s other incarnations on Windows, on the Web, and on Windows Phone 7. (It does so using Microsoft’s SkyDrive online storage service, and you need a Live ID to use the app.) It’s easy to use and has basic note-taking features, including the ability to add photos and checklist items. It does feel more like a complement to OneNote’s other versions than a fully autonomous app–I don’t see any way to create a new notebook, for instance–and it certainly doesn’t compete with the 800-pound gorilla of note-taking, EverNote, in terms of features and supported platforms. But OneNote users who have iPhones should be pleased to have access to their jottings on the go, and it’s good to see the app arrive on the single most important smartphone platform. (Microsoft says it plans to update the software as time goes on.)

The most intriguing thing about OneNote for the iPhone is the fact that it brings a little bit of Microsoft Office to iOS for the first time. There have been rumors in the past that Microsoft was considering releasing a version of Office for the iPhone and/or iPad, but this is the first tangible proof that the company doesn’t think it’s self-destructive to put part of Office on an Apple mobile device rather than preserve it for Windows Phone 7, which includes mobile versions of OneNote, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook as standard equipment.

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