News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Eliminate costly downtime!
Find out how with Free White Paper
& enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note
Tame your scariest paperwork. Find Out How
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Are Microsoft
Are Microsoft's 'Radical' Office Changes Enough to Entice?

By Barry Levine
July 17, 2012 10:59AM

    Bookmark and Share
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Office is available online as Office 365, which has been completely rebuilt for online use, as well as in the more traditional shrink-wrapped version of Office for local installation. In the new online Microsoft Office, documents are automatically saved to the cloud-based SkyDrive by default.

Get ready for the new Microsoft Office. On Monday, the technology giant unveiled a customer preview of its Office productivity suite, designed for the coming Windows 8 operating system and offering such new features as a full touch-based interface and integrated social media.

The new Office can be controlled via touchscreen, keyboard and mouse, or by a stylus whose handwriting is converted to text. The product is available as the online Office 365, which CEO Steve Ballmer said has been completely rebuilt for online use, as well as in the more traditional shrink-wrapped version for local installation.

SkyDrive, Skype, People Card

In the new online Office, documents are automatically saved to cloud-based SkyDrive by default, and signed-in users can have their settings saved when moving to another device.

As a cloud-based subscription service, Office includes 60 free Skype voice minutes per month as well as extra storage on SkyDrive. The business-oriented Yammer social network, which Microsoft recently purchased, is integrated into Office, and the People Card provides pictures, status updates, contact info, and Facebook or LinkedIn activity feeds for contacts.

OneNote offers digital note-taking -- via touch controls, pen or keyboard input -- and PowerPoint offers a new Presenter View with current and upcoming slides, presentation time, and speaker notes in one place. In presentation mode, a user can zoom or mark up slides.

The interface is streamlined, with more space, support of pinch-to-zoom and other swiping gestures, and less clutter by the ribbon menu, which is now semi-hidden until needed. Collaboration is emphasized, such as the ability to tap on a sentence in a collaborative document and see who made an edit in that sentence. If a user is currently online, their presence is indicated so that communication can take place if needed.

Office 365 Levels

Although pricing details will not be announced until the fall, the company did unveil three levels of Office 365 subscription services. Each will provide 2013 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access, and each subscriber will have per use-rights on as many as five PCs or Macs and mobile devices.

The levels are Office 365 Home Premium for families and consumers; Small Business Premium with business-grade e-mail, shared calendars, Web site tools and HD Web conferencing; and ProPlus for enterprise users.

One of the most frequently used words being used by Microsoft-watchers to describe the new Office is "radical." We asked Laura DiDio, an analyst with industry research firm Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, if the new release, with its many changes, would provide enough compelling reasons for users to upgrade.

"It depends on the price," she said, adding that the company is "saying to Apple and Google and the industry that we're equal to you in innovation, and we're keeping up with, or ahead of, everyone."

DiDio also noted some of the many new features, such as integration with Yammer, Skype, SharePoint, and Dynamics CRM, as possible drivers for users to upgrade, as well as the appeal of a full cloud-based service in which upgrades are automatic.

Given the many new capabilities for the productivity suite, she said, there are now three keys to persuading people to upgrade: "marketing, marketing, and marketing."

Tell Us What You Think


Get Powerful App Acceleration with Cisco. In a world where time is money, you need to accelerate the speed at which data moves through your data center. Cisco UCS Invicta delivers powerful, easy-to-manage application acceleration for data-intensive workloads. So you can make decisions faster and outpace the competition. Learn More.

1.   Hangouts Now More Business Friendly
2.   Oracle Updates Database, Linux Products
3.   China Puts Microsoft Under the Lens
4.   Rhapsody Hits 2 Million Subscribers
5.   Salesforce App Personalizes the Sale

China Puts Microsoft Under the Lens
Official anti-monopoly probe launched.
Average Rating:
Salesforce App Personalizes the Sale
New CRM and sales automation tools.
Average Rating:
Cisco Woos More Devs with DevNet
To create new network-aware apps.
Average Rating:

Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Tor Internet Privacy Service Warns Users It Was Breached
You may never have heard of the Tor Project, but the Internet privacy service is making headlines. Tor’s devs say users might be victims of an attack launched against the project earlier this year.
Canadian Government Charges China With Cyberattack
The government of Canada is not happy with China. Canadian officials have accused "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" of launching a cyberattack on its National Research Council.
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
AMD's ARM-Based Opteron Out in $3K Dev Kit
It's dubbed "Seattle" and it's AMD's first 64-bit ARM-based Opteron processor. The low-power chip is being released as part of AMD’s Opteron A1100-series developer kit, and aimed at high-end data center needs.
Apple Updates MacBook Pros, Cuts Prices Up to $100
The popular MacBook Pro laptop line just got an update and a price cut of as much as $100. The MacBook Pro with Retina display now includes faster processors and double the memory.
Dell, BlackBerry Not Sweating Apple-IBM Alliance
IBM's recent move to partner with Apple to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with corporate applications has excited investors in both companies, but two rivals say they are unperturbed for now.

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Virgin Mobile Offers Custom Smartphone Plans
As the wireless carrier wars continue heating up, Virgin Mobile just threw the customization coal onto the fire. The firm has debuted a no-annual-contract plan with rates based on individual use.
Collaboration Provider Asana Revamps Mobile App
Asana, a collaboration software provider started by a Facebook founder, is now out with a rebuilt native iOS mobile app. It replaces one that even the company admits was not up to par.
Facebook: You Will Use Messenger, and You Will Like It
Starting this week, Facebook users with Android and iOS phones will be forced to use the separate Messenger app to send Facebook messages. Pending messages will still be visible in the main app.

NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.