This week the folks at Microsoft responsible for keeping Office at the head of every office’s mind have made clear their intent to move forward with signatures. In this case, this means that they’ve signed a deal with DocuSign so that their reputable electronic signature authorization - eSignature - will work with Office 365.
Since the August announcement that Steve Ballmer was out as CEO of Microsoft, more than a few rumors have surfaced on who would take his place - one of the more titalating of these being former Nokia head Stephen Elop. Today's suggestion from anonymous sources speaking with Bloomberg is that Elop has a non-finalized strategy for the company which includes two major changes. One of these changes is a refocusing of efforts for the company: away from Office software for Windows and towards Office for Apple's iOS and Google's Android.
One day after the newest Apple event in which they showed off a set of new iPads and desktop machines and Microsoft has fired back at Apple's most interesting move: free software. Apple turned the latest release of their desktop operating system (OS X Mavericks) as well as their iWork and iLife suites of apps into free releases. Microsoft's own Corporate Vice President of Communications, Frank Shaw, today suggested that the public's response to this set of freebies were all due to the so-called Apple RDF (Reality Distortion Field).
Microsoft Office for iPad is in the pipeline, CEO Steve Ballmer has confirmed, though the software's release may not take place until 2014 when the company has a "touch first" interface for tablets. Revealing the long-anticipated app plans at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo today, Ballmer said that "iPad will be picked up when there's a touch-first user interface" available, likely to hit Windows 8 tablets first. However, leaked roadmaps earlier in the year suggest we could still be waiting some time.
Cloud company Box has announced its new Box Notes service, a cloud-based document creation and collaboration tool that allows multiple users to join forces on projects. The service pits itself against certain other competitors, not the least of which is Google Docs, with the service being completely integrated into Box's platform.
We've been enjoying Microsoft Office on the iPhone for a little while now, but it has finally arrived on Android smartphones, with support for tablets still MIA, just as with the iPad on iOS. Office Mobile for Android brings cloud-based office suite fun to Google's mobile platform in the form of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Microsoft is looking to appeal to the number crunchers who also might be gamers in their spare time. The company is bundling a whole year of Xbox Live Gold with their Office 365 service for free. Anyone that buys and activates an Office 365 Home Premium or Office 365 University annual subscription before September 28 will be able to get a free year of Xbox Live Gold.
Those paying close attention to Google's pre-final releases of the operating system iteration of Google's Chrome will have noticed the addition of some rather important abilities to Chromium code. Noting the discovery of this addition well before Google made such a thing public was developer François Beaufort. As a Google open-source evangelist himself, Beaufort was more than a little joyous to find the words in code as follows: “Improved Quickoffice editing about:flag.”
Coming out of BUILD 2013, Microsoft has been talking about Metro-styled Office apps. They have gone as far as saying these apps will be available by way of the Windows Store, however they have yet to say when they are expected to arrive for download. Not to mention, they have yet to share many details or screenshots of what can be expected once they do arrive.
Office 365 has finally landed on iPhone, with Microsoft releasing a version of its Office Mobile package for Apple's iOS smartphone. Currently available for iPhone though not iPad, "Office Mobile for Office 365 subscribers" is a free download from the App Store from today, though requires an active subscription to Office 365, and gives access to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint document viewing and editing. It's also possible to create new Word and Excel files directly from the iPhone.