Microsoft Releases Office Apps for Apple’s iPad

In a bold move yesterday, Microsoft, lead by their new CEO Satya Nadella, launched Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for the Apple iPad.

I’m not talking about watered down, half-hearted, sort-kinda Office applications, I’m talking about the real, full blown, well featured, iOS native Office applications for the iPad.  Did I mention this is Microsoft’s Office on the iOS platform?!

To see Office in action on an iPad, you can watch Microsoft’s introductory video.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frpsGFQ4AIY?rel=0]
I’m really excited about having Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on my iPad.  The apps look and feel great!  Taken together with the already released OneNote and OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive), Microsoft has seemingly overnight, empowered millions of iPad owning Office users around the world.
So what do you get?  Available now in the iOS App Store, users can download, free of charge, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for the iPad.  The apps are free and will enable anyone who installs them to read Office documents.  If you just happen to be an Office 365 customer, you can sign in to your account from the Office apps on your iPad and instantly have the ability to edit your documents.
You will need to have an iPad running iOS 7.0 or later and to edit documents, a Microsoft Office 365 Home subscription.

Microsoft’s Office Apps for iPad are available now on the App Store, or you can use these handy download links.

You can read more about Microsoft’s Office Apps for the Apple iPad on the Microsoft blog.

Microsoft Brings OneNote to OS X

Earlier today, Microsoft released OneNote for Macintosh OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

To use OneNote, you need a free Microsoft account.  If you have a OneDrive account, formerly known as SkyDrive, or a subscription to the company’s Office 365 Home Premium, you’re good to go.
To install OneNote for Macintosh, you need to be running the aforementioned OS X Mavericks.  You also need 235MB of disk space.  OneDrive is compatible with OneNote 2010 and later for Windows, and the pre-existing OneNote and OneDrive for iOS devices.
OneNote for OS X with OneNote 2013 in the Background
I’m excited about OneNote coming to the Macintosh because I can see myself using it for personal digital notes.  (In the corporate environment I work in, there is virtually no one using OneNote for Windows.)
I really hope that OneNote for OS X, with it’s features mirroring the Windows functionality, is a sign of things to come.  As someone who’s been using Office for Windows and Mac OS X over the last 20 years, it has been really frustrating to have two products that are only the same in name only.  Hopefully, we will finally see a Microsoft that lets Office be Office, and not an expensive Windows-only add on.
According to Microsoft, OneNote is “free for a limited time,” however, there is no mention of when this offer will expire.  OneNote is available now from the Mac App Store.

Mary Jo Foley on Office for iOS

Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet.com the other day:

“A month ago, Microsoft execs basically confirmed Office for iPad exists, but said it wouldn’t be released until after Microsoft delivers its own, touch-first set of core Office apps, which I’ve been calling “Gemini.” 

I’ve been wondering whether Microsoft was simply sitting on Office for iPad, delaying it to give its own Surface tablets a leg up. A year ago, Microsoft’s ARM-based Surface RT shipped with Office RT bundled for free, and this October, the ARM-based Surface 2 shipped with Office RT plus Outlook RT, bundled for free. 

After digging a bit, I’ve heard from my sources that Microsoft’s “delay” in releasing both its own “Gemini” apps, as well as touch-centric versions for the iPad and Android tablets may be about a new and evolving product strategy as much (if not more than) about internal politics.”

Microsoft is clearly a company in desperate need of a strong corporate leader and visionary.

Quickoffice Coming Bundled With KitKat, Trouble for Microsoft Office?

Yesterday I was poking around the Google Android website for an updated version of their SDK, and stumbled across the KitKat features page.  Starting with Android 4.4 KitKat, Google will begin bundling their Quickoffice software into the update.

Quickoffice is Google’s mobile productivity office suite for the Android operating system.  With the current version of Quickoffice, available from the Google Play Store, you can read and edit Microsoft Office documents from your smartphone or table.

So the question I have is: With free office productivity suites available for both Google Android and Apple iOS, why is Microsoft waiting to get the real deal Office on to people’s devices?  Sure there is an Office Mobile application for the iPhone, but you must already have a subscription to Microsoft’s Office 365 service to use it.  And what about a version optimized for the iPad?

If anything, the automatic deployment of Quickoffice to any Android device that receives the 4.4 KitKat upgrade is putting even more pressure on Microsoft to get Office on more devices.  In the past, Microsoft’s our-platform-or-no-one-elses strategy for Office is really hurting them.  As a business customer, I rely on Microsoft’s Office suite to get my job done, but on smartphones and tablets, I hardly miss them.

And that, I feel, is Microsoft’s problem.  The inclusion of Quickoffice with KitKat alongside of the free Google Docs web application, Google isn’t just going after a mobile productivity suite for mobile, they are working to actively destroy Microsoft’s long establish revenue staple – Office.

Only time will tell if mobile Office document editing will gain any real traction with prosumers or not.

Gates: Microsoft Surface Has “Richness”

Yesterday, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates appears with Warren Buffett on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

During the program, it wasn’t surprising that Gates was bullish on the prospects of the Surface family of tablet computers and Windows 8.

There are two quotes that everyone is talking about.  Here’s the first:

“”If you have Surface or Surface Pro, you have got the portability of the tablet but the richness of terms of the keyboard, Microsoft Office, of the PC,” Gates said.”

And now, the second:

“”With Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to gain market share in what has been dominated by the iPad-type device,” Gates said. “But a lot those users are frustrated. They can’t type. They can’t create documents. They don’t have Office there. So we’re providing them something with the benefits they’ve seen that has made that a big category but without giving up what they expect in a PC.””

Both of these quotes have Apple fanboys crying foul.  For staters, Mr. Gates has better head over to a local Best Buy or Staples.  Assuming that he does, he will see the myriad of keyboard solutions for the Apple iPad.  So as far as I’m concerned, the keyboards for the Surface and Surface Pro are accessories, just like the keyboards for iPads, and as a result, is a wash.  If Microsoft put one of those Surface keyboards in the box as standard hardware, I’d give him the point over Apple.

But the second quote, some would say — and I agree with — is a little self serving and misleading.

First of all, I’m not frustrated with my iPad.  I love it.

Second of all, I can type.  The iPad has a large on screen keyboard, assuming that you are using a full size iPad.  And even if you don’t want to use the on screen keyboard, Apple and others make full size keyboards that connect via Bluetooth.  I choose to use the Apple mini keyboard with my iPad.  But, fine, I really don’t care.

Thirdly, and this is the misleading part in my opinion, we can create content on our iPads.  We don’t need Windows 8 PCs and we sure don’t need Surface tablets.  For people who want to create general productivity content, that is to say word processing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, there are at least three very good options.

There is Apple’s own iWork products: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.  Not to mention, iPhoto, Garage Band, iMovie, and even Cards if you are into that sort of thing.  (Cards is the weakest of Apple apps in the list, but I have used it a few times, so I’ve included it here.)

If you want to be able to work with real Microsoft Office documents, you don’t have to wait for Microsoft to eventually get around to releasing a native iOS version of Office.  You can create and edit Office documents — in their native formats — right now with Documents To Go from BlackBerry and QuickOffice from Google.  I’ve used both apps in the past on other mobile platforms and still use Documents To Go occasionally on my iPad.

So is looks like Gates was doing a lot of squawking and not much in the way of persuading the educated consumer about the merits of Windows 8 and Surface tablets.  The numbers are clear.  iPad sales continue to climb with millions of units sold each quarter.  So do the numbers of units sold for the Microsoft Surface.  With 1.6 million units sold, maybe they will reach 2 million this year.

[Via ComputerWorld.com…]

Office 365: Office on Demand

Now that Microsoft has rolled out Office 365 Home Premium the free beta trial period is over.  (You still get the first month free.)

Unlike previous retail versions of Office, Office 365 is a subscription service.  You pay a monthly or annual fee to use Office and you can install Office 365 on up to any combination of five Windows PCs or Macs.

One of the new features of Office 365 is that you can “stream” the applications you subscribe to using a feature called “Office on Demand.”  Office on Demand works with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Publisher and works with any PC that allows you to login to your Microsoft account that has a persistent Internet connection.

The video below gives you all the details to get started.

http://hub.video.msn.com/embed/735797f4-8163-46f6-b275-e3a1046e7e6b/?vars=bWt0PWVuLXVzJmNvbmZpZ05hbWU9c3luZGljYXRpb25wbGF5ZXImZnI9c2hhcmVlbWJlZC1zeW5kaWNhdGlvbiZsaW5rb3ZlcnJpZGUyPWh0dHAlM0ElMkYlMkZvZmZpY2UubWljcm9zb2Z0LmNvbSUyRmVuLXVzJTJGc3VwcG9ydCUyRnVzZS1vZmZpY2Utb24tYW55LXBjLXdpdGgtb2ZmaWNlLW9uLWRlbWFuZC1IQTEwMjg0MDIwMi5hc3B4JTNGdmlkZW9JZCUzRCU3QjAlN0QlMjZmcm9tJTNEJmxpbmtiYWNrPWh0dHAlM0ElMkYlMkZ3d3cuYmluZy5jb20lMkZ2aWRlb3Mmc3luZGljYXRpb249dGFnJmNvbmZpZ0NzaWQ9TVNOVmlkZW8%3D

For more information, head over to the Microsoft website.

Starting Up My Office 365 Home Premium Subscription [Updated]

Now that Microsoft has made Office 365 Home Premium official, I’m going to jump in and start my subscription for my Windows 8 Pro install.

Unlike the traditional retail versions of Office, Office 365 Home Premium is a subscription service that you must pay for monthly, $9.99, or annually, $99.99.  The first month is free. If this works out like I think it will, I’ll be purchasing the annual subscription next month.

You can also install Office 365 on a mix of up to 5 Windows and Mac OS X PCs.  You should also be able to upgrade Office on your Surface RT or Surface Pro, but I’m not 100% sure on that just yet.  If you’re on a Mac like me, your Office 365 subscription also gives you access to Office 2011: Mac Edition.  (It counts toward one of your 5 installs.)

For more details, check the Microsoft Office website.

Update

Here are a few additional screen shots after having installed Office 365 on Windows 8 Pro.

 

Microsoft Office 365 Subscriptions Now Available

Today, Microsoft has launched the next version of their popular productivity suite, Office 365 Home Premium.  Unlike previous versions of Office, Office 365 Home Premium allows you to install Office 365 on Windows PCs and Macs for a combined total of five installs.
Since Office 365 is a subscription service, you have to renew your subscription plan.  Microsoft is offering Office 365 for $9.99/month or $99.99/year.  I’m planning on buying the annual subscription.
Windows users will get access to the Office 2013 software that has also gone live today for business customers.  If you are installing Office on your Mac, you will get Microsoft Office: Mac 2011, the latest version of Office for Mac OS X.
Also, since this is a subscription service, any updates to Office, are available to you at no additional cost.  (Surface and iPad users should take note of that point as we know that there will be updates to Office on Surface Pro, Surface RT, and very likely, the iPad too.)
For more information, and to purchase a subscription, visit the Microsoft Office website.

Microsoft Office 365 Now Live On Staples Website

Last night I put up a post that I had found Office 365 Home Premium on Staples website.  I stumbled across it looking for prices on the Mac edition of Microsoft Office.

As you can see from the photo above, Office 365 Home Premium for Windows/Mac is now up, live, and ready for purchase.

Unlike other retail box and download versions of Microsoft Office, Office 365 is a subscription service.  That means you will be able to use the latest version of the Office software on up to 5 Macs or Windows PCs, that’s the cool part, but you have to pay an annual subscription maintenance fee of $100 annually.  That’s the not-so-cool-but-kinda-worth-it part.

I need to install Office, specifically PowerPoint, my kids Compaq laptop that they use for school.  I also need to install Office on my Windows 8 Pro box, so I’m excited about this new version of Office.  I get to install/upgrade Office on two PCs, with Outlook, for less than the price of one Office 2010 Home and Business license that I was looking at a few days ago.

Sound good?  What do you think?

[Via Staples.com…]

Microsoft’s Office 365 Subscription Service Coming Soon

I just found this on the Staples website while searching for “mac office”.  Looks like we can expect the new Office 365 subscription service to go live in the very near future.

Below are the product details taken from the Staples website.

Product Details

You’ll get more done when you can work from anywhere with Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium for Windows/Mac.

What’s Office 365?

Office 365 has the latest version of all the Office applications you know and love, plus cloud services so you can have Office when and where you need it. Just sign in and you can get to your Office files, applications, and settings from virtually anywhere.

Office 365 is an annual subscription. Microsoft and your Office retailer will let you know when it’s time to renew.
One convenient annual subscription for the whole household with automatic upgrades included so you’re always up to date with the latest features and services.
Install on up to 5 PCs, Macs, and Windows 8 tablets.*
The latest versions of: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access.**
An extra 20 GB of online storage in SkyDrive (27 GB total) for anywhere access to your documents.***
60 minutes of Skype™ calls each month to phones in 40+ countries.****

You’ll get more done when you can work from anywhere with Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium for Windows/Mac. All of your favorite Office programs are available for immediate access whenever and wherever you need them, and all of your settings stay stored in the cloud so that you don’t have to alter your preferences every time you log on. Whether you’re sharing a grocery list with family members or working on a project that needs input from coworkers across the country, convenient sharing tools will help keep everyone on the same page.

Create Documents and Presentations
Use streaming full versions of Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and Publisher to create the presentation or document you envision on up to five PCs or Macs. New templates, including wide-screen documents and new PowerPoint themes, give you more options than ever before. You can also edit PDFs, embed videos, analyze data, and add photos and links to your projects.

Get Access Anywhere
Because all your work is stored in the cloud, you can sign into your account from anywhere and get instant access to your documents and files. You can also share your files with others and easily view any changes that are made, so collaboration is simple. Use OneNote to store clips, links, and anything else you come across so you can incorporate these items into future projects.

Now your Office is there whenever you need it.

-Be more productive with a full version of Office, no matter where you are.
-Sign in to get Office on your PC and Windows 8 tablet, Mac.*
-Each user can sign in to their Microsoft account to get to their documents, applications, and settings.
-You’ll always have the latest features and services, thanks to automatic version upgrades.

Sharing and communicating is easier.

-Get all the latest email, scheduling, and task tools for the entire household.
-Use OneNote to capture and share notes, pictures, web pages, voice memos, and more.2
-Allow others to read and scroll through your Word docs in real time through a browser, even if they don’t have Word.

Your favorite applications are smarter, too.

-Incorporate content from PDFs into Word documents quickly and easily.
-Add pictures, videos, or online media to your Word documents with a simple drag and drop.
-Create more visually compelling presentations with widescreen themes in PowerPoint.
-Find meaning in numbers faster with the Quick Analysis and Chart Animations in Excel.

What it includes:

-Office for the entire household on up to 5 PCs and Windows 8 tablets, Macs.*
-The latest versions of: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access.**
-An extra 20 GB of online storage in SkyDrive (27 GB total) for anywhere access to your documents.***
-60 minutes of Skype™ calls each month to phones in 40+ countries.****
-One convenient annual subscription for the whole household with automatic upgrades included so you’re always up to date with the latest features and services.

System Requirements:
Computer and Processor

1 GHz or faster x86 or 64-bit processor with SSE2 instruction set

Memory
1 GB RAM (32 Bit) /2 GB RAM (64 Bit)

Hard Disk
3.0 GB of available disk space

Operating System
Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 2008 R2 with .NET 3.5 or greater

Graphics
Graphics hardware acceleration requires DirectX10 graphics card

Additional Requirements
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, or 10; Mozilla Firefox 10.x or a later version; Apple Safari 5; or Google Chrome 17.x.

Other

Internet connection. Fees may apply.
Microsoft and Skype Accounts.
A touch-enabled device is required to use any multi-touch functionality. However, all features and functionality are always available by using a keyboard, mouse, or other standard or accessible input device. New touch features are optimized for use with Windows 8.
Product functionality and graphics may vary based on your system configuration. Some features may require additional or advanced hardware or server connectivity.

*Windows 7, Windows 8 OS, Windows Phone 7.5, Mac OS X version 10.5.8 required. Additional devices will be added in the future. Internet connection required. Internet and mobile telephone usage charges may apply.
**Access and Publisher available on PC only. OneNote not available on Mac OS.
***PC running Windows 7 or 8 and Internet connection required.
****See office.com/information for details. Skype account required. Excludes special, premium, and non-geographic numbers. Calls to mobile phones are for select countries only. Skype available only in select countries.
*****Internet and/or carrier network connectivity required; charges may apply.


[Via Staples.com…]