Speaking to The Guardian, UK Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude revealed that UK government is planning to switch its productivity suite from Microsoft Office to some Open source solutions. UK government spends tens of millions of pounds a year to Microsoft and other software companies for using their software and they are looking to cut those costs. He believes that costs would come down by switching to software which can produce open-source files in the “open document format” (ODF), such as OpenOffice and Google Docs. I agree with OpenOffice in his argument, but Google Docs? Speaking at a cross-government event showcasing new online services on Wednesday, Maude will say: “The software we use in government is still supplied by just a few large companies. A tiny oligopoly dominates the marketplace. “I want to see a greater range of software used, so civil servants have access to the information they need ...

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At the World Economic Forum, Microsoft is releasing the results of a Microsoft survey of 10,000 Internet users in 10 countries which focuses on how personal technology is changing lives of people. The survey was taken between Dec. 26, 2013 and Jan. 3, 2014. The 10 countries surveyed include the U.S., France, Germany, Brazil, Russia, China, India, Japan, Mexico and Turkey. In both the developed and the developing economies we surveyed, people overwhelmingly told us that personal technology is transforming their lives in a variety of sectors, including business, education, transportation, social bonds, arts and culture and other areas. Each country may prioritize differently the sector they feel has benefited most, but all agree that personal technology has made important changes possible. Notably, people around the world perceive personal technology to be driving innovations across all sectors. This phenomenon is particularly true in the developing world, where people see personal technology ...

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  Following official Microsoft social media accounts and Xbox social media accounts, Syrian Electronic Army today gained access over official Microsoft Office blogs. As usual, they posted some illegal content to prove that they have hacked. However, Microsoft has now restored their blog. This hacking comes after few hours of re-design of Office blogs by Microsoft. It now has modern, more visual appeal to it. I think its time for Microsoft to revisit their official social media account usage policy. May be changing strong passwords often with knowledge social media managers should avoid this sort of embarrassing moments. Microsoft’s Office blog ...

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After hacking official Xbox and Xbox support twitter accounts, official SyrianElectronicArmy has hacked the official Microsoft Twitter account. As you can see in the image above, they have tweeted about Microsoft email accounts being monitored by governments and top websites visited on IE is for downloading other browsers. Don’t use Microsoft emails(hotmail,outlook),They are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments. #SEA @Official_SEA16 Leak: The top two visited links from @IE: http://www.google.com/chrome  and http://www.mozilla.org/firefox/  #SEA Syrian Electronic Army Was Here via @Official_SEA16 #SEA pic.twitter.com/MDxQXK6CIJ I think its time for Microsoft to revisit their official social media account usage policy. May be changing strong passwords often with knowledge social media managers should avoid this sort of embarrassing moments. Update: A Microsoft Spokesperson confirmed the hacking with the following statement, “Microsoft is aware of targeted cyberattacks that temporarily affected the Xbox Support and Microsoft News Twitter accounts. The accounts were quickly reset ...

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The White House is tapping the private sector for its next point man to fix the troubled Obamacare website. The administration is set to announce that Kurt DelBene, an executive at Microsoft, will succeed Jeff Zients in leading the overhaul of the embattled HealthCare.gov, according to four sources with knowledge of the decision. DelBene was most recently the president of the Microsoft Office Division and has been with the company since 1992. He is also the husband of freshman Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.).  It was announced he would retire from the company after Ballmer’s re-org. “I’ve long said that we need more people to enter public service who are focused on delivering results,” Suzan DelBene said in a statement. “Kurt has demonstrated throughout his career that he is about results, and his decision to join the administration will be extremely valuable to their efforts to improve the website.” Led by ...

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Microsoft has released Office 365 Admin app for Android and iOS devices.  Office 365 Admin app enables administrators to view the service health of their Office 365 environment on-the-go. You need to have an active Office 365 subscription with administrator user rights to use this app. The Office 365 Admin mobile app empowers IT service administrators to connect to their organizations’ Office 365 service status on the go. The Office 365 Admin mobile app enables administrators to view service health information and maintenance status updates. In addition, administrators can filter information by service subscriptions and configure app data refresh interval. For Android (4.2.1 and up), download the app from Google Play.  For iOS 7, download the app from the Apple App Store.   Source: Office 365 ...

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According to a 2013 study by IDC, employers are looking for candidates that have 20 specific skills for high-growth, high-wage occupations. Coming in at number 3 on this list is proficiency with Microsoft Office, with proficiency with PowerPoint and Word specifically highlighted at #11 and #13 on the list. In fact, Microsoft Office skills were sought after five times more than any other productivity tools. Even Google’s own job postings require competency with Microsoft Office tools. In October, Microsoft announced a new benefit called Student Advantage, making it easy for students to get access to the latest version of Microsoft Office and better prepare themselves for the tools used in modern day workplaces. Today, Student Advantage is available to more than 35,000 educational institutions worldwide. All schools and universities that license Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus for staff and faculty can now also provide access to Office 365 ...

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Microsoft today announced the upcoming release of Office 365 Message Encryption, a new service that lets you send encrypted emails to people outside your company. You can now send sensitive business communications with an additional level of protection against unauthorized access. Office 365 Message Encryption is the new version of Exchange Hosted Encryption (EHE) which includes all of the capabilities of EHE plus new features, such as the ability to apply your company’s branding to encrypted messages. Office 365 Message Encryption works with both Office 365 mailboxes and on-premises mailboxes. Office 365 Message Encryption will be available as part of Windows Azure Rights Management. Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E4 users will get Office 365 Message Encryption at no extra cost. Office 365 Message Encryption will be available for purchase during the first quarter of 2014, and customers who are currently using Exchange Hosted Encryption (EHE) will be upgraded to ...

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Microsoft today announced the launch of Microsoft Store on eBay in the US. It is basically Microsoftstore.com within eBay. Microsoft is expanding their online retail presence with this move. As you can expect, all Microsoft products from Xbox to Surface are available. Our customers continue to tell us they want more choice, value and service and appreciate how our stores connect them to the best of Microsoft. This delights us to no end. By working with eBay, a top global shopping destination with more than 124 million active users globally, even more customers can now purchase their favorite Microsoft first-party products including Surface and Xbox, as well as accessories. Our customers can expect the same safe online shopping experience, return policy and free shipping from the Microsoft Store on eBay that they’ve come to expect on microsoftstore.com. Visit Microsoft Store on eBay. ...

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Microsoft today announced a new project called Office Remote. It is a collaboration between Microsoft Research and the Microsoft Office engineering team that will allow you to control Office apps on your PC from your Windows Phone device. “Office Remote turns your phone into a smart remote that interacts with Microsoft Office on your PC,” says Bert Van Hoof, an Office group program manager. “The app lets you control Word, Excel, and PowerPoint from across the room so you can walk around freely during presentations.” “With Office Remote,” Van Hoof adds, “you can start your PowerPoint presentation, advance the slides, see your speaker notes, and control an on-screen laser pointer with a touch of your finger—all from your phone. You can also navigate between Excel worksheets and graphs, and control data slicers from the palm of your hand. And you can scroll through a Word document or quickly jump to specific sections ...

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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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