Being stuck in an office five days a week for at least eight hours a day doesn’t necessarily make you more productive, as there are plenty of ways to pretend you’re working when you really aren’t. In fact, it looks like more and more companies have come to realize that their employees might be better off working four-day work weeks since they’ll still be able to get the job done in spite of taking more personal time. More →
Apple on Tuesday officially announced that its iWork productivity applications, including Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, are now available for the iPhone and iPod touch. Apple has completely redesigned the applications to take advantage of iOS’s multitouch features. “Now you can use Keynote, Pages, and Numbers on iPhone and iPod touch to create amazing presentations, documents, and spreadsheets right in the palm of your hand,” Philip Shiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, said. “The incredible Retina display, revolutionary multi-touch interface and our powerful software make it easy to create, edit, organize, and share all of your documents from the iPhone 4 or iPod touch.” The applications offer improved document management and a tools button in the toolbar for quickly sharing documents without closing the application. Keynote, Pages, and Numbers are available in the iTunes App Store now for $9.99 each. Existing iWork for iPad users can upgrade for free, and the Keynote Remote is available for $0.99. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
A new page has been revealed on the Best Buy Mexico website that may shed light on the release date for Apple’s upcoming iWork refresh. According to the page, which has been pulled from Best Buy Mexico’s website, the company will be holding a launch event on February 19th to celebrate the arrival of iWork ’11. Apple has not yet announced a launch date for the new version of its iWork productivity suite, though this leak on the Best Buy Mexico site does line up well with earlier rumors. iWork competes with Microsoft’s Office suite and consists of Pages, Apple’s word processing application; Numbers, a spreadsheet app; and Keynote, a presentation tool akin to PowerPoint. More →
Google recently revamped its mobile Google Docs offering, providing more robust editing capabilities on several smartphone platforms. While the revised sites are quite useful on mobile devices like the iPhone and Android handsets, they’re hardly optimized for larger devices such as the iPad. As of Friday, however, the full desktop Google Docs experience is now available on Apple’s tablet, pushing third-party productivity suites one step further toward extinction. Users need only visit docs.google.com from the mobile Safari browser on their iPads to start using the Google Docs desktop editors for documents, spreadsheets and more. Google points out that because mobile browsers still aren’t as powerful as desktop browsers, iPad users can easily switch to the mobile-optimized editor if they so choose. 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 →
It’s all part of the natural progression; social networks developed to bring all our friends and family together into one place, and now we turn to new tools to bring all of our social networks into a single portal or hub application. The hub application, in this instance, is Microsoft Outlook and the new tool is the LinkedIn connector which brings your LinkedIn contacts into your favorite productivity application. The new LinkedIn Connector piggybacks upon the Outlook Social Connector and will display the profile picture and recent activity from any LinkedIn contact that you email. We can only hope that the next stop is MySpace — what corporate Exchange-lovin’ individuals wouldn’t want that? More →
Technology companies are scrambling to jump on the application store bandwagon which has blossomed in the mobile arena and is now moving into the netbook and desktop computing realm. The latest app store venture may be originating from Google, which is rumored to be developing its own suite of business applications designed to compliment its Google Apps service. Google already offers a solutions marketplace with tools and add-ons for Google Apps, but this new business pursuit would expand upon this solutions marketplace and offer applications from Google’s software partners in an attempt to deliver its partner’s products and additional services more easily to paying Google App customers. Business productivity would be the focus of this venture and its crosshair would be aimed squarely at Microsoft. More →
Last week, Microsoft and Nokia announced a partnership that will bring native Office support to Symbian handsets. Considering the terrific third-party options currently available for S60 however, it was a bit hard to get excited to be honest. We would hope Microsoft has some amazing new features it will be adding to Symbian’s Office support, but all things considered… Meh. This past week however, a mobile-related tidbit has us truly excited about the future of Office. Microsoft has confirmed that its Office Web Applications will support mobile devices:
Yes, mobile browsers will be supported for Office Web applications. We are still in early phases of development and will share additional details around specific browsers and functionality at a later date.
Boom. While this initial confirmation is lacking in terms of details, the very fact that mobile browsers will be supported by Office Web Apps is huge news. Google Docs currently offers limited mobile browser support — and it’s only usable on a few platforms — but functionality is limited at best. In short, a solid showing from the Ballmer Bunch could easily make us forget all about Google’s offering. Microsoft, the reigning king of the productivity suite, is seemingly attacking the Web app space with guns blazing and we can’t wait to see what Redmond comes up; especially where mobile Web support is concerned.
It seems like it has been forever since Google first unveiled its Google Docs online productivity suite and popularized the concept of working in the cloud, so to speak. Sure it was embraced by many, businesses around the world were generally hesitant to stray from the addiction that Microsoft Office has become. Since then, a number of additional players have joined the fray and released online suites of their own. Among them are Adobe’s relatively new Acrobat online suite focused on word processing and collaboration, and what is likely the most extensive collection of online productivity applications, the Zoho suite. Despite extensive functionality, user-friendly interfaces and superior portability, Microsoft Office still owns the lion’s share of the enterprise productivity market. Beyond the Google Docs solution which Google doesn’t focus on nearly enough to make it a true player, one of the biggest barriers for these online suites is exposure. Microsoft has already flooded the market so completely that most businesses simply aren’t seeking out an alternative productivity suite. As such, it is quite likely that the first provider to find a path into offices around the world will be the first to potentially displace a more significant percentage of MS Office users. But what happens if that MS Office suite competitor who finally garners this exposure is Microsoft? It looks like that just might be the case as Microsoft has now formally but the online productivity world on notice. The next update of Office will indeed be launched along side a new collection of online “light” Microsoft Office applications – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. A few of the bigger competitors may still hang around for a while after this release, but “Office Web applications” likely mean doomsday for the bulk of competitors hoping to take a bite out of MS Office business. As far as timing Microsoft hasn’t been overly clear on a time line for the next Office release, leaving the competitive stay of execution open-ended at this point.