Microsoft today announced the expanded availability of Office 365 to 17 new countries and 4 new languages. With this expansion, Office 365 is now available in 123 markets, additionally 120-day trials are available in 18 markets where paid subscriptions may become available in the future. The new languages are Indonesian, Kazakh, Hindi, and Hebrew, bringing the number of Office 365 languages to 40, including English. New trial markets include: Palestinian Territories, Congo (DRC), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Botswana, Namibia, Curaçao, Faroe Islands, Monaco, St. Kitts and Nevis, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia, Afghanistan, and Tanzania. New markets with paid subscriptions include: Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Lebanon, Jamaica, Bolivia, Brunei, Nicaragua, Honduras, Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Georgia, Ghana, Mauritius, Iraq, Bermuda, Rwanda, Belize, Cameroon, Moldova, Mongolia, Zimbabwe, Cape Verde, Fiji, Kyrgyzstan, Virgin Islands (U.S.), Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Angola, and Libya. You can find the full list of countries available here. Source: Office Blog ...

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Along with the announcement about availability of real-time co-authoring in Office Web Apps, Microsoft also announced bunch of new features on Word Web App. It includes some of the most requested features such as Header, footer support, Find and replace, Automatic document saving and more. Real Time Markers: When many people are simultaneously collaborating it can difficult to follow who’s changing what. To make real-time collaboration simpler, now your peers’ cursor location in the document is marked with small indicators so you can always see where others are working in the document. Save as you go: Life is full of worries. We’ve brought Auto-Save into the Word Web App because losing your work shouldn’t be one of them. With this update, the Word Web App automatically saves your documents when you make changes, so the next time you’re focusing on your report, remembering to hit save can be the last thing on your mind. Headers, ...

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Microsoft today announced that real-time co-authoring is now available in Office Web Apps. So, now you can contribute and edit documents simultaneously with your friends and family in the Word Web App, PowerPoint Web App or Excel Web App. You can now see the real-time presence which helps you see where your co-authors are working in the document. Also, there is a new ability to see changes to text and formatting as they happen which will help you and your co-authors stay on the same page. For example, your whole team can choose to work in the Web Apps for a highly collaborative working meeting to get a shared project done. But what if somebody on your team isn’t available? That teammate can choose to make revisions when he’s able, even from the Office applications on his computer. His changes will sync up to the document stored in the cloud ...

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Microsoft announced its company wide reorganization to transform into a devices and services company few months back. Since then, there are lots of changes happening within the company. Mary Jo Foley today reported three such changes today, 1) Windows Embedded team is now part of the unified operating system division under Terry Myerson. 2) The Outlook.com, Windows Mail and Calendar app teams which were initially part of the unified OS group are now part of the Applications and Services group under Qi Lu. Mary Jo Foley also reported that Windows Mail and Calendar apps might get replaced with the Outlook app that is now available for Windows RT. 3) Perceptive Pixel software team is now part of the unified operating system group under Terry Myerson. Microsoft also has some Perceptive Pixel software updates planned in April 2014. Read more from the link below. Source: ZDNet ...

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Microsoft today announced the new Office Dev Center (http://dev.office.com), a central hub for developers Office, SharePoint, Exchange, and Lync. This new developer portal helps developers find top development tasks, including information, resources, and tools for app development in the cloud. Microsoft is in the progress of unifying their platform and providing one consistent experience for developers across our various workloads, and this newly streamlined Office Dev Center (http://dev.office.com) is one of the main steps. The previous MSDN experience was the result of various projects and technologies growing somewhat independently, and as a result, we were maintaining six different developer centers dedicated to various Office products and the cloud app model. In this redesign, we’ve consolidated 198 landing and resource pages from across six sites into 25 strategically curated pages. The new experience is much closer to the way that we on the engineering team vision the platform moving forward. I’ve stressed ...

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  Microsoft is celebrating the 1oth birthday of OneNote this month. OneNote has evolved from being a simple Windows note taking application to a cross platform tool which millions rely on everyday. David Rasmussen is the Partner Group Program Manager of OneNote and coincidentally has been working on OneNote for almost exactly 10 years. This month OneNote celebrates 10 years of helping users capture notes at home, school, work and anywhere in between. In that time, OneNote has grown and added features for managing everything from recipe collections, to class notes, to projects and events–across phones and tablets, as well as the PC. Source: OneNote ...

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Our very own Pradeep penned an excellent post yesterday: Reality Distortion Field: How Apple Assaulted Microsoft At Its Media Event It’s a great look at how Apple distorts the truth and blatantly lies at their press event.  This generally would not be a problem if you have unbiased and responsible press core.  But sadly this is of course not the case, and the majority of tech press has a love for Apple that is second only to their own ego. Apple’s announced yesterday that the next update to their OS, Maverick would be free.  You might think this is the first time a major technology has ever done this, if you ignore Android and Windows 8.1.  Apple also announced that the next iteration to the iWorks suite would be free to with the purchase of new Apple hardware.  Reading the mainstream tech press you may think this is the first time a major technology company has made some software ...

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  Apple had a media event yesterday in the US where it announced a new wave of updated products across its portfolio. During its presentation, Apple executives compared Microsoft’s strategy with theirs to make their point. I disagree with all three cases they made against Microsoft. Here are they, 1) Apple CEO Tim Cook made the following statement to make the point that they are clearly focused on developing MacOS and MacBooks. “Our competition is different: They’re confused. They chased after netbooks. Now they’re trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they’ll do next? I can’t answer that question, but I can tell you that we’re focused.” My take on it: Windows OEMs were focused on selling netbooks because it really sold well. In fact, totally 40 million netbooks were sold in 2008. Netbooks defined the category of companion device which will go along ...

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Microsoft today won a major public sector contract in the US for its subscription based productivity suite Office 365. The U.S. Army PEO EIS has awarded 50,000 seats of Microsoft Office 365 to Microsoft and Dell for Cloud Services, including e-mail and calendaring, Office Web Apps, unified capabilities like Microsoft Lync, and collaboration tools like SharePoint. Public sector enterprise mainly demands enterprise and security-ready solutions in which Microsoft clearly has advantage over other cloud players like Google. The Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) is available to any Department of Defense (DoD) Service, agency and mission partner without additional competitive process. This opportunity gives Microsoft the ability to work with civilian agencies and federal entities at all levels to provide commercial cloud services, opening up new mobile opportunities. Adopting Office 365 is a significant step forward for the Department of Defense in fulfilling the DoD Cloud Computing Strategy of leveraging commercial cloud services. ...

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Even though Microsoft’s stranglehold in Operating Systems for computing devices has faded over the past few years, Microsoft continues to have a stranglehold on Office productivity suite in the enterprise. According to a recent report from Forrester, more than 85% of respondents continues to use Microsoft Office in their enterprise and the only notable competitor is Google Apps which is few percentage points. One in five firms uses email in the cloud. Another quarter plans to move at some point. More are using Office 365 (14%) than Google Apps (9%). Just 22% of respondents are on Office 2013. Another 36% have plans to be on it. Office 2013′s uptake will be slower than Office 2010 because fewer firms plan to combine the rollout of Office 2013 with Windows 8 as they combined Office 2010 with Windows 7. Alternatives to Microsoft Office show little traction. In 2011, 13% of respondents supported ...

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Microsoft today announced a new program called Student Advantage that will allow students in schools to enjoy full Office 365 ProPlus for free. From 1st December, 2013, any institutions worldwide that licenses Office for staff and faculty can provide access to Office 365 ProPlus for students at no additional cost. Office 365 ProPlus includes the following, Office suite included Always have the latest versions of: Capture your ideas however you work best—using a keyboard, pen, or a touchscreen. Open PDFs and edit paragraphs, lists, and tables just as you do in familiar Word documents. Keep track of comments in Word documents and mark them as done with the new reply button. Convert your data into a chart or table in two steps or less so you can analyze it faster, and then preview it with different formatting. Embed Excel spreadsheets, Visio diagrams, photos, and almost any other kind of computer ...

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, speaking at the Gartner conference in Orlando, hinted about the future of Office.  As a ‘Devices & Services’ company it only makes sense that Office would be on multiple platforms.  However, a touch optimized version of Office would likely hit Windows devices first (i.e. Surface etc) and later on to other platforms, iPad & Android tablets.  Use of Office on an iPad will most likely require an Office 365 subscription.  “Word, PowerPoint and Excel are all sort of authoring tools. They are optimized for use with keyboards and mice. The last time I checked, the iPad didn’t have a paradigm for keyboard and mice,” Ballmer said. “So iPad will be picked up when we do what I would call not just a touch-enabled but a touch-first user interface for Word, Excel and PowerPoint.” The touch-first interface of those programs “is in progress, for both Windows 8 ...

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At their annual company meeting, Microsoft’s Kirk Koenigsbauer demonstrated an upcoming Windows 8 app from the Office team codenamed ‘Office Reader’. Office Reader is supposed to be a cross format tool for consuming different types of content. He also demoed no.of updates coming to Office in the upcoming “Gemini” wave. Recently, Microsoft described the below in their re-org memo. “We will ensure that the tools handle multimedia (photos, videos, text, charts and slides) in an integrated way and natively online. These documents/websites will be easily sharable and easily included in meetings. They will offer complex options such as imbedded logic and yet be easy to author, search and view. These documents will be readable from a browser, but the experience will be infinitely better if read, annotated or presented with our tools.” I guess the Office Reader exactly does the same. Office Reader app will support web pages, Office documents, ...

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At FAM held yesterday, Microsoft revealed some new stats regarding its revenue. While tech press is arguing whether Microsoft is a consumer company or an enterprise company, the actual number speaks for itself. Microsoft revealed that 55% of its revenue comes from the Enterprise, 19% from OEMs and 20% from consumer and services. Also they have 5 diverse business groups each contributing revenue significantly except Bing & Online. too often for you by customer segment. But if you look at our business and the makeup of the company today, well over 55 percent of the business is enterprise, and additionally, there’s some OEM business there that belongs in enterprise, but that’s how we count it, and market it. 19 percent is OEM. 20 percent is consumer and online. And a fair piece of the OEM is also consumer and online. And 6 percent is our small and midsize business. And ...

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As with every second Tuesday of the month, Microsoft released its regularly scheduled Windows updates yesterday.   Update KB2817630 for Outlook 2013 caused issues for a number of people, and Microsoft has pulled the patch. Microsoft posted an explanation of what went wrong on their Office Blog today: Due to a version incompatibility between outlook.exe and mso.dll, a mismatched reference to a data structure causes the “Minimize” button in the navigation pane to render incorrectly, typically extremely large to the point that the navigation pane is “invisible” to the user.  The issue only manifests when incompatible versions of outlook.exe and mso.dll exist on the system. If both versions are earlier (lower) than 4535.1000, or both versions are later (higher) than 4535.1000, the problem does not manifest.  If one file is updated but the other is not, the problem is evident.  The incompatible state is created by installing either the September Public Update OR the August ...

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Microsoft has released couple of new ads for Office 365 to promote it among consumers targeting the back to school season. In one ad, a dad gives his son a laptop with Office 365 University installed, and in another a mother presents her daughter a laptop with Office 365 University installed. Even though both the ads involves Office 365, they don’t show any new features and capabilities of the Office 365. Instead, they focus on what parents and children really think about at that moment. Check out the both the videos. ...

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