Since Microsoft seems intent on revamping most of its major products this year, it shouldn’t be surprising that the company will soon take the wraps off a big update to its Microsoft Office suite, perhaps as early as Monday. According to USA Today, Microsoft will show new features on July 16th intended to “jazz up” its ubiquitous Office suite in preparation for the launch of Windows 8-based computers in October. As USA Today notes, the stakes are very high for Microsoft in maintaining its dominant position in the productivity software market, as Office revenues “accounted for $22.2 billion of Microsoft’s nearly $70 billion in fiscal 2011 revenue and $14.1 billion of operating income, by far the most of any unit.”
“What happens when the world’s largest advertising business tries to sell productivity software on the side?” Microsoft asks users in its new Googlighting video. “Beware the Googlighting Stranger.” In response to what is undoubtedly increased pressure from Google’s cloud-based productivity suite, Microsoft has launched an all-out assault on Google and its cloud-based Google Apps product. According to Microsoft, Google’s productivity suite is a joke — a sad side project where Google moonlights in its downtime and uses unwitting corporations as guinea pigs — and businesses would be crazy to play Google’s game. “Google Apps is an ever-changing solution with experimental features that can increase complexity and the need for change management and training,” Microsoft wrote on its Why Microsoft site. “When your business needs help, Google Apps support falls short of delivering the kind and level of support you demand.” So what exactly does your business need to thrive? Microsoft is glad you asked: “Your organization has diverse needs. With Microsoft, you can deliver the right set of tools for the right users—all with appropriate layers of security and compliance technologies.” Microsoft’s no holds barred anti-Google Apps video follows below. More →
Microsoft is confirmed to be working on a version of its wildly popular Office productivity suite for Apple’s iPad, and The Daily managed to get some hands on time with the highly anticipated software ahead of its release. Microsoft Office for iPad will bring Word, Excel and PowerPoint functionality to Apple’s tablet — presuming the app is approved by Apple — and it is unclear if Microsoft has plans to add additional Office applications in the future. The app has a similar look to Microsoft’s OneNote app for iOS, which borrows largely from the Metro-themed Office software on the Windows Phone platform. The Daily’s report states that Microsoft plans to submit Office for iPad to Apple for approval in the coming weeks, though a firm time frame was not provided.
Microsoft may be working to develop a special version of its Office suite for Apple’s iPad. The company is also reportedly prepping an Office Suite update that will add official support for Lion and may be available from the Mac App Store, The Daily reported Tuesday. The new Office apps for Lion could cost as little as $10 each, or the same price Apple charges for its Keynote, Numbers and Pages titles, and they will also support sync with Office 365 and other mobile versions of the application. No additional details were reported regarding pricing or a release schedule for Microsoft’s Office for iPad. “We already deliver Office on multiple platforms and devices and are committed to expanding in the future, but have nothing further to share today,” Microsoft said in a statement to CNET, neglecting to confirm or deny the report. More →
Amazon on Thursday announced yet another online application store, this time for Mac OS X users. The Amazon Mac Download Store will compete directly with Apple’s own Mac App Store, and there will be no love lost between these two giants. There are currently 201 software titles and 51 different games available, including full blown apps like Microsoft Office and Intuit QuickBooks, and hit games such as Dragon Age: Origins. Customers can quickly purchase and download applications using their Amazon accounts, and purchases are automatically backed-up in case you need to reinstall the apps at a later date. More →
Sales of illegitimate copies of Microsoft programs may be doing more than just lining hackers’ pockets. According to Microsoft’s lawyers, notorious Mexican drug cartel La Familia Michoacana is selling counterfeit Microsoft software to help fund kidnappings, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and other criminal activities. David Finn, Microsoft’s Associate General Counsel dealing with Worldwide Anti-piracy and Anti-counterfeiting, wrote about the problem in a blog post on Thursday. “An important theme that resonated among the international groups is the number of organized criminal gangs that rely on the profits gleaned from pirated software to fund other crimes,” Finn wrote on a Microsoft blog. “Sophisticated criminal syndicates and drug cartels are building large scale counterfeiting operations and selling illegal software to consumers. These illegal enterprises have generated astronomical profits that the gangs funnel toward violent crimes such as drug trafficking, arms and weapons trafficking, kidnapping and extortion.” Finn went on to cite a study conducted by Mexico’s Attorney General stating that the Familia cartel earns more than $2.2 million each day — over $800 million annually — from sales of counterfeit goods. More →
Microsoft on Tuesday launched a new version of its OneNote mobile application for Apple’s iOS platform. Compatibile with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, OneNote allows iPhone users to create, edit and sync notes using Microsoft’s popular cloud-based note-taking solution. OneNote is part of Microsoft’s famed Office suite of products, and is the first Office application to be built by Microsoft for the iOS platform. Microsoft, which has launched several other apps for iOS in the past, has not specifically stated whether or not it intends to launch additional apps for iOS. Instead, a company executive said only that Microsoft would continue to expand Office across several platforms. Hit the break for a link to the Microsoft’s OneNote app in iTunes, which is available for free, though only for a limited time.
Microsoft announced Tuesday that its updated OS X productivity suite, Office for Mac 2011, is now available. Office for Mac consists of Microsoft’s class-leading productivity applications including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint. For the first time, the suite also includes Microsoft Outlook, which replaces the less popular Entourage email client. Mac users have been waiting for Microsoft to replace Entourage with Outlook for years now, and this switch alone is likely worth the price of admission. And as far as pricing is concerned, Office for Mac 2011 breaks down as follows:
- Microsoft Office for Home and Student 2011 (single license): $109.99 – $149.99
- Microsoft Office for Mac Home and Business (single license): $174.99 – $279.99
As is often the case, third-party retailers such as Amazon.com currently offer the best pricing on Microsoft’s new Office for Mac 2011 suite. More →
What do you get when you combine Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online? According to Microsoft, you get the “next generation in cloud productivity.” The Redmond giant’s much awaited cloud-based Office suite launches today as a limited beta spanning 13 countries. Those lucky enough to sample the offering at this stage will enjoy much of the functionality that makes Microsoft Office the global standard with none of the local software keeping the rest of us tethered to our PCs. Kurt DelBene, president of the Office Division at Microsoft, had this to say:
Office 365 is the best of everything we know about productivity, all in a single cloud service. With Office 365, your local bakery can get enterprise-caliber software and services for the first time, while a multinational pharmaceutical company can reduce costs and more easily stay current with the latest innovations. People can focus on their business, while we and our partners take care of the technology.
Microsoft’s Office 365 site will go live today at 3:00 p.m. EDT, and customers can sign up there to learn more. Microsoft hasn’t announced a firm public release date for Office 365, though it did say that the suite would be generally available in 40 countries next year. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Forrester Research, “an independent technology and market research company,” surveyed 115 American and European companies, in an effort to create metrics of the office software landscape in enterprise. The results of the May 11th report are in, and the winner, by a landslide, is Microsoft Office 2007. Of the companies surveyed, 81% are currently using MS Office 2007 with with a lowly 4% using the free, online alternative Google Apps. Also of note: 78% of those running Microsoft Office 2007 indicated they utilize SharePoint for collaboration, with 33% responding in the “affirmative” when asked if they had plans to upgrade to Office 2010. Forrester’s conclusions:
The alternatives to Microsoft Office today do not meet the needs of the enterprises Forrester surveyed. Common end user barriers to adoption of alternatives include lack of required functionality, third-party integration requirements, user acceptance, lack of seamless interoperability with Office, and legacy content support needs. These gaps will be bridged in the coming years as Google, OpenOffice.org, and others mature.
Alright corporate drones, what are you using in your office? Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, Google Apps, other?
Today Verizon took the wraps off of three devices we feel like we already know all too well. Starting off with the successor to the Voyager, the evV TOUCH features a 3-inch touchscreen display on the exterior, a non-touch 3-inch display on the interior, full-QWERTY keypad, 3.2 megapixel camera with a Schneider Kreuznach lens and auto-focus, 3.5mm headphone jack and the ability to view Microsoft Office documents from a microSD card. The enV 3 features a full-QWERTY keypad as well, but it has a 2.6-inch external display coupled with a 1.56-incher on the inside and support for microSD cards up to 16GB. Moving on to the Glance, not much to see here other than the 1.3 megapixel camera, 2.5mm headphone jack and slim silhouette. All three devices feature GPS by way of VZ Navigator, mobile email, web and IM in addition to threaded SMS and MMS. The enV TOUCH will be available on June 5th for $149.99 after a $70 MIR with the Glance coming out the same day for $49.99 after a $50 MIR. The enV 3 will be available tomorrow for $129.99 after a $50 MIR.
Well that didn’t take long at all. Microsoft just handed out the first round of Office 14 alphas to early testers and leaked images of the upcoming software have already surfaced. Originating from a Russian beta tester, the images show the updated UI Microsoft will be using in its Office 2007 successor. We also get a complete list of apps covered: Access 14, Excel 14, Groove 14, InfoPath Designer 14, InfoPath Filler 14, InterConnect 14, OneNote 14, Outlook 14, PowerPoint 14, Project 14, Publisher 14, SharePoint Designer 14, Visio 14 and Word 14. The overall look, though it certainly may not be what the release looks like, seems like a flattened version of Office 2007. The same two-tiered menu structure can be seen across the top of each application that we’ve grown accustomed to with the current Office version. According to Ars Technica’s sources, we should expect a beta release of 14 to drop sometime in May, followed by a launch near the end of the year. Hit the jump for a few more shots.