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Hands On: Microsoft Office 2016 Preview (OS X)

03/06, 3:14pm

The behemoth of office data processing returns -- and it is very good

We're not going to judge Microsoft Office for Mac 2016 in the detail or the depth that we will when it finally ships as a finished product. However, Microsoft has made it available in preview beta form, and it is irresistible. It's also very good, and if you have even a modicum of interest in Microsoft Office, you should try it now - though there are one or two caveats you'll want to keep in mind.

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Microsoft releases public preview of Office 2016 for Mac

03/05, 12:43pm

Building iPad version assisted in Mac rebuild and rethink of programs, company says

Microsoft on Thursday released a public preview beta of the programs that make up the forthcoming Office 2016 for Mac. The new versions, which inherit many of the features from the last Windows release, offer a Yosemite-inspired look that support Retina displays, full-screen mode, and other modern Mac and OS X features. The preview versions are completely free to download and use, but are intended to give customers a sneak peek and to gather feedback from users ahead of the final release.

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Briefly: Microsoft Office 365 in Education, Pingit pays Twitter names

02/25, 6:58am

Microsoft simplifies student enrollment process for free Office 365 subscription

Microsoft is offering a simpler way for students around the world to check their eligibility for a free Office 365 license. While free subscriptions have been around for a while, it typically involved a lengthy process to check for eligibility. Now, students and teachers need to just sign up with a valid school email address to receive their subscription, which includes installation of Office apps on up to five computers and up to five mobile devices, as well as 1TB of OneDrive storage.

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Briefly: Google kills Sparrow; iOS Office adds iCloud; iOS 8 Dropbox

02/17, 7:10pm

Google drops IMAP client Sparrow for Inbox Gmail/Google Now hybrid

Once again, a popular Mac product originally developed independently and later bought by Google, has been discontinued. Like Snapseed before it, Google has decided to kill off popular email client Sparrow for both Mac and iOS in favor of its own Inbox product. The former program has been removed from both the iOS and Mac App Stores. The Mac program never received an update after Google's purchase of Sparrow in 2012, while the iOS one has languished since October of 2013.

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Microsoft confirms acquisition of cross-platform calendar app Sunrise

02/12, 6:31am

Sunrise purchase believed to cost Microsoft at least $100M

Microsoft has confirmed it has acquired calendar app creator Sunrise. Rumored last week, the purchase provides Microsoft with a powerful calendar tool for iOS, Mac, Android, and a web-based version, and when combined with the earlier deal to buy Acompli, appears to show Microsoft is trying to improve its Office suite by incorporating already-successful third-party apps, rather than developing its own solutions.

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Microsoft releases Outlook preview, ships Office for Android apps

01/29, 7:36am

Outlook preview edition for iOS, Android rebrands existing Acompli app

Microsoft has made its Office apps available to all Android users, following the limited preview release and the iOS version. The apps, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, are accompanied by a new preview of another Office app, with a rebranded version of email app Acompli as Outlook downloadable from both Google Play and the iTunes App Store.

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Microsoft creates $199 Office 365, Xbox, Skype subscription bundle

11/11, 10:22am

Year-long subscriptions for Office 365 Home, Skype, Xbox Live, Xbox Music included

Microsoft has created a bundle for customers in the United States, collecting together subscriptions for the company's various online services. The Work & Play Bundle, sold through Microsoft Stores in the United States for a limited time, gives users an entire year of usage for its entertainment and productivity-related services at a discount.

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Microsoft updates iOS Office, adds free document editing and creation

11/06, 10:13am

Basic editing now open to users without Office 365 subscriptions

Microsoft has updated its previously iPad-only iOS Office apps with iPhone support. Although the iPhone interfaces are said to have full feature parity with the iPad, Microsoft has made various changes to accommodate a smaller screen. Chief among these is the "vertical ribbon," designed to keep editing tools within thumb reach at the bottom of the screen. In addition, Microsoft has decided to drop the Office365 subscription requirement previously needed to do anything more with the suite than read Office documents.

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Microsoft Office apps for iOS, Android to get Dropbox integration

11/04, 11:49am

Updates arriving in 'the coming weeks'

Microsoft has announced a partnership with Dropbox that will bring the latter's cloud service into Office apps for iOS and Android. Integration is promised with updates in "the coming weeks" that will let people browse, edit, and share Dropbox files from within Office apps. Inside of Dropbox's proprietary app, people browsing Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files will see an option to edit them in the appropriate software.

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Outlook for Mac gets revamp, MS lays out Office for Mac roadmap

10/31, 11:07am

Next Office for Mac due in late 2015

Confirming recent leaks, Microsoft has announced a new version of Outlook for Mac, incorporating several significant changes. The update includes a "modern," revamped user interface, with touches such as better scrolling and switching between Ribbon tabs. The underlying engine has also been made faster and more reliable, thanks to improvements in threading and database code.

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Next Office for Mac due in first half of 2015 with Retina support

10/28, 1:31pm

Leak identifies coming changes to Mac suite

Following up on an earlier glimpse at a new Outlook, Chinese site cnBeta has produced even more information on Microsoft's plans for Office on the Mac. Leaked presentation slides suggest that it will ship in the first half of 2015, and that all apps will include full Retina support as well as an aesthetic matching OS X Yosemite. At the same time, the suite should more closely hew to the "look and feel" of Office for Windows. One such change is the use of the Quick Access Toolbar throughout the suite.

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Alleged new version of Outlook for Mac leaks on Chinese site

10/27, 8:32pm

Shows Yosemite styling, Notification Center support, more

Images claiming to be from a leaked copy of the next version of Outlook for Mac have appeared on the Chinese site cnBeta, which may hint at an impending release for the long-awaited update to the Microsoft Office suite. The program is said to be called "Outlook for Mac 16," and may suggest that the next major Office revision for Mac may be be released alongside a new Windows version. The program appears to take on the design language of OS X Yosemite, and is said to be more unified with the Windows version.

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Microsoft Sway introduced as simplified web project creation app

10/01, 12:39pm

Sway combines content from multiple sources, offers layout assistance

Microsoft has added a new app to Office, one which may help users create and share projects or documents for reading online. Sway is a simplified webpage creation tool that allows for content to be collected from a variety of sources and formatted in an attractive manner on a cloud-hosted page, without needing the user to have prior web development experience.

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Microsoft Delve adds Google Now-style search to Office 365

09/09, 6:57am

Cards in Office Delve show related contacts, documents

Microsoft is introducing a new search system to Office 365, which aims to provide information to the user just as they need it. Office Delve, previously codenamed "Oslo," will operate similar to Google now in pulling content from various online services and files stored in the cloud, in order to try and find relationships between documents, messages, and contacts.

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Office for iPad updates with support for monthly subscriptions

09/02, 1:40pm

Includes Home, Personal tiers

Microsoft has today updated the Office iPad apps -- including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint -- with in-app purchases of monthly Office 365 subscriptions. These are divided into Personal and Home tiers. The first costs $7 per month, and is limited to one iPad and one PC/Mac. It does, however, come with 1TB of cloud storage, and 60 minutes of Skype calling to cellphones and landlines.

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Microsoft updates Office for Mac 2011 to version 14.4.4

08/28, 1:06am

Improves language detection, complex object handling, Outlook accounts

On Wednesday, Microsoft updated its standalone version of Office for Mac, Office 2011, to version 14.4.4. The update provides the latest fixes for Office, and includes general functionality improvements in Microsoft Word, particularly with keyboard language detection. For PowerPoint, it improves handling of certain complex objects, and in Outlook the update includes new descriptions for supported account types.

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Office for iPad gets PDF export, new fonts and Picture tools

07/31, 3:32pm

Excel, PowerPoint get custom improvements

Microsoft has updated its trio of Office apps for the iPad -- Word, Excel, and PowerPoint -- adding a number of significant features. Perhaps the biggest addition is support for PDF export, but new third-party fonts have also been added, as have new Picture tools that let people crop an image or reset it to an unaltered state. Other changes are specific to Excel and PowerPoint.

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Microsoft reportedly starts testing Office for Android apps

07/02, 1:53pm

Android version of Office apps allegedly scheduled for release later this year

Microsoft is building a full suite of Office apps for Android, a report claims. Following the official port to the iPad it launched in March, Microsoft is said to be privately testing separate apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for the mobile operating system, with the company apparently seeking businesses and individuals to provide feedback on pre-release versions.

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Outlook.com receives advances rules update, additional features

05/13, 9:28pm

E-mail sorting, an undo feature, in-line replies and chat options among updates

Microsoft spelled out some new features for Outlook.com today on their Office blog page about improvements to e-mail features and other connectivity. An advanced rules feature to sort e-mails and three other updates made their way to the online e-mail client ahead of Office 365 adoption.

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Office for iPad downloads top 27 million

05/12, 2:46pm

Stats doubled in one month, says Microsoft

Downloads of Office for iPad have exceeded 27 million, according to the general manager for Microsoft's Office division, Julia White. White made the comment today during a keynote at Microsoft's TechEd conference in Houston. The figure is more than twice the 12 million Microsoft quoted on April 3rd, just a week after the suite reached the App Store.

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Microsoft updates Office for iPad with AirPrint support

04/29, 1:17pm

Excel gets improved AutoFit, PowerPoint gets SmartGuides

Microsoft has released its first update for Office for iPad, introducing AirPrint support to all three apps. Word lets users print files with or without markup. Excel gives options to print a whole workbook, a single sheet, or a selected range, and all three apps let users print specific pages or slides.

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Microsoft creates Office 365 Personal subscription for individuals

04/15, 11:37am

Cheaper Office 365 subscription lowers computer, tablet, user count

Microsoft has launched a new cheaper tier of its Office 365 subscription service, aimed at individuals wanting to use the productivity suite. Hinted at last month, Office 365 Personal allows for the software to be installed and used on one PC or Mac and one tablet, including the iPad version, rather than the five computers and five tablets provided in the more expensive Office 365 Home Premium, renamed to Home, subscription plan.

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Microsoft updates Office Online, adds apps to Chrome Web Store

04/15, 6:36am

Excel Online adds comments, OneNote gains printing options

Microsoft has made a number of updates to its Office Online web apps, just over a month after its rebranding and relaunch. Changes to the online versions of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote apply to all users of the online productivity suite, with Chrome users also benefiting from the addition of the Office Online apps to the Chrome Web Store.

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Office for iPad to get printing, serve as basis for Office for Mac

04/08, 2:44pm

Technical limitations partly blamed for suite's delay

The recently-launched Office for iPad will get printing support "in due course," according to a Reddit AMA conducted by members of the software's engineering team. The team says it is also considering mathematical notation in OneNote, and working on implementation of comments and add/change conditional formatting in Excel. Something the suite won't support, though, is third-party Office apps, despite the fact that Microsoft allows desktop developers to hook into Office 365. Microsoft blames the situation on Apple's App Store policies, which block apps from installing code other than their own.

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Briefly: Fifth 10.9.3 beta, Office for iPad hits 12M downloads

04/03, 9:45pm

Testing continues with new OS X 10.9.3 beta, adds back local contact, calendar sync

On Thursday, Apple issued its fifth weekly beta of the forthcoming OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 to developers. In addition to the usual areas of testing focus -- graphics, audio, Mail and Safari -- the company also requested testing on the ability in iTunes to sync Calendar and Contact entries locally over USB. In earlier versions of iTunes 11, syncing was exclusively handled by iCloud. The new build, 13D33, contains no new known issues.

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Office for iPad apps grab top spots in App Store charts

03/28, 3:12pm

Word only Office app in Grossing category's top 10

Just a day after their release, the Office for iPad apps are already in high positions in the Top Free and Top Grossing charts at the App Store. The top three Free apps are currently Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, in that order; a related Microsoft app, OneNote, is in fourth. Word is #5 on the Top Grossing chart, while Excel is 12th, and PowerPoint is 29th.

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Apple taking 30 percent cut from in-app Office 365 subscriptions

03/28, 10:21am

Microsoft sacrifices profits to reach iPad users

Apple is claiming a 30 percent cut of Office 365 subscriptions bought through Microsoft's Office for iPad, as usual at the App Store, an Apple spokesperson confirms. Although people can sign up for Office 365 outside of the iPad apps, a $100 in-app purchase provides a one-year plan. That suggests that Microsoft is sacrificing a significant amount of revenue to one of its rivals in order to attract iPad users.

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Hands-on: Microsoft Office for iPad

03/27, 5:18pm

Microsoft brings industry-standard document editing to iOS

Although a lot of apps have tried to fill the gap with degrees of success, there's always been an undercurrent of demand for a full-scale iPad version of Office. Even if you can escape using Office personally, it's the workplace standard -- it just makes sense to have the suite on the world's most popular tablet. Now Office for iPad is here, and it's time to share some first impressions.

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Microsoft launches long-awaited Office for iPad [u]

03/27, 1:34pm

Carries over editing, ribbon interface, other features

(Updated with app download links, dropping of subscription requirement for Office Mobile for iPhone)) Microsoft is today officially releasing Office for iPad, a long-rumored port of its Windows and Mac work suite. The trio of apps let people do full editing of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, while preserving the same formatting seen on the desktop. Each app uses a custom touch-tailored interface, for instance offering a special numerical/symbolic keyboard for Excel. The apps do however make use of the same "ribbon" interface scheme.

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MS Enterprise Mobility Suite may debut today next to Office for iPad

03/27, 9:18am

Suite would improve current multiplatform support

Alongside Office for iPad, Microsoft may also be preparing to launch a new licensing bundle today called the Enterprise Mobility Suite, sources say. The bundle is reportedly aimed at large-scale customers who need a way of managing Windows, iOS, and/or Android devices. While cross-platform support has been available from Microsoft for a while, EMS is expected to include Windows Intune, a new Azure Active Directory "Premium" option, and Azure Rights Management Services. Active Directory Premium is described as a paid version of Azure Active Directory with features like group-based app access, and self-service password resets and group management.

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PC and Mac versions of Office subject to RTF privilege boosting attack

03/24, 4:08pm

No patch currently available, but mitigation of the problem possible

Microsoft has issued an advisory to users of its Microsoft Word application. In the note, the company says that remote code execution is possible if users open a maliciously crafted rich-text format (RTF) file, or open the same maliciously-crafted file in Outlook while using Microsoft Word as the email viewer. Outlook 2010 through 2013 default to using Microsoft Word as the email viewer, making users more vulnerable to attack.

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Microsoft launches OneNote for Mac

03/17, 11:10am

Software a free download, as expected

As anticipated last week, Microsoft has launched a free Mac version of OneNote at the Mac App Store. The software stores notes, lists, receipts, and other data. Most significantly it syncs the data across multiple platforms, including Windows, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and the web.

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Reuters: Microsoft Office for iOS exists, waiting on release date

03/14, 10:54pm

Politics over Surface causing lost revenue; alternatives being adopted

Tired of waiting for Microsoft's flagship suite, Office, to be ported to iOS devices like the iPad, companies have turned to alternative means to create, revise and distribute documents in increasingly-mobile enterprise, institutional, small-business and collaborative workflows -- costing the Windows maker an estimated $2.5 billion annually in potential revenue. Sources say iPad and iPhone versions exist and are ready to go -- simply awaiting a release date complicated by politics.

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Microsoft to bring free OneNote to Mac later in March

03/12, 12:17pm

Windows version should also go free

Microsoft is planning to launch a free version of OneNote for the Mac later this month as part of a plan to expand the functionality of the platform, sources say. The company currently has a paid version for Office for Windows, and free iOS, Android, and web apps, but has so far left OS X alone in the software's decade-plus history. Like the Mac version, the Windows title is also expected to become free.

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Office for Mac to get new version this year, says Microsoft exec

03/11, 3:12pm

More news promised soon

A new edition of Office for Mac will ship later this year, says Microsoft Business Group Lead Thorsten Hübschen. The executive made the comment at this week's CeBIT expo in Hannover, Germany. No details about planned upgrades are available, but development teams are said to be at work, and more news is due to be announced in the second quarter of the year. iOS and Android tablet versions of Office are described as possibilities; an Office for iPad has been rumored for years.

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Microsoft rebrands Office Web Apps as Office Online

02/20, 5:24am

Repurposes Office domain for online productivity suite

One day after renaming its SkyDrive cloud storage to OneDrive, Microsoft has performed a second rebranding effort, this time on its online productivity suite. Office Web Apps is being renamed as "Office Online," and in an effort to make the service easier for users to discover and move away from Google Docs, Microsoft is now using the Office.com domain name for the web apps.

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Office for iPad coming sooner than expected, sources say

02/14, 4:06pm

May beat touch-oriented Office interface to market

Microsoft's long-delayed Office for iPad may actually arrive sooner than people are anticipating, sources suggest. In October, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer indicated that the iPad software wouldn't arrive until after a touch-oriented version of Office -- allegedly codenamed "Gemini" -- was launched for Windows. Toward the end of 2013, though, Ballmer and other executives are said to have changed their minds, and approved a recommendation from the Office team that the iPad suite -- codenamed "Miramar" -- go to market as soon as it's ready, even though that might mean eclipsing the Windows release.

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Apple, MS, others pledge to help get more US students on Internet

02/04, 11:16am

Obama initiative valued at about $750 million

US President Barack Obama is today announcing commitments from several US corporations towards connecting more students to high-speed Internet, says the Associated Press. In all, about $750 million has been pledged; Apple is offering $100 million in iPads, computers, and other tools, while Verizon is providing the same amount in straight cash and in-kind contributions. AT&T and Sprint are offering free Internet access; Microsoft is promising copies of Windows at discounted rates, and 12 million free copies of Microsoft Office.

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Report: Elop could spin off Xbox, Bing, push Office on iOS, Android

11/08, 11:36am

Elop would shift Office tactics as MS CEO

Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, if named as the next Microsoft CEO, would reportedly consider spinning off the company's Xbox and Bing divisions. A report from Bloomberg cites sources familiar with Elop's thinking in claiming that he would strike out in a direction quite different from that of outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer. Under Elop, the report holds, Microsoft would refocus on its popular Office suite, but with the aim of pushing Office onto as many platforms as possible.

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Microsoft revamps free Office Web Apps amid iWork rivalry

11/07, 2:30pm

Real-time collaboration competes with Google

Microsoft has introduced a range of new features to its Office 365 web apps, strengthening the free productivity tools amid a growing rivalry with Apple's iWork suite. Real-time co-authoring is the focal point for the web-based utilities, enabling multiple users to simultaneously collaborate on the same project. The feature essentially catches up with the capabilities of iWork and Google Docs.

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Office for iPad waiting for 'touch-first' Office UI, says Ballmer

10/08, 1:25pm

Spells further delays for long-awaited iPad apps

Office for iPad "will be picked up when there's a touch-first user interface [for Office]," according to outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The comment was made at a Gartner event in Florida earlier today. Ballmer didn't elaborate, however, except to say that the touch-first UI is "in progress."

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Microsoft working on 'Office Reader' for Win 8, 'Lens' app as well

09/27, 10:24am

New software under Gemeni codename

Microsoft is reportedly working on a new series of Office utilities for Windows 8 and the Windows Phone mobile platform. Office division VP Kirk Koenigsbauer reportedly demonstrated one of the new apps, Office Reader for Windows 8, at an internal meeting yesterday, unnamed sources have told The Verge. The software is said to serve as a universal reader with support for Office documents, PDFs, e-books, textbooks and web pages.

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Office for Mac 2011 14.3.7 makes bugfixes, minor upgrades

09/11, 10:57am

Adds features to Outlook

Microsoft has released a new patch for Office for Mac, v14.3.7. The code is primarily a maintenance release, cleaning up bugs in the software. It does however add a collection of improvements to Outlook, such as pane navigation, item sort order in the View menu, and the ability to insert images via the Format menu.

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Microsoft launches Office Mobile app on Android smartphones

07/31, 10:14am

Android launch follows iPhone version, unusable on tablets

Microsoft has released a version of its Office Mobile app for Android smartphones, following a similar release on iPhone last month. The new app, usable on Android smartphones running version 4.0 or later of the mobile operating system, will be free to use for subscribers of Office 365 Home Premium and Office 365 ProPlus.

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Microsoft launches Outlook Web Apps for iPhone, iPad

07/16, 2:55pm

Native apps carry over browser features

Microsoft has rolled out native iPhone and iPad versions of Outlook Web App. The iOS apps are aimed at organizations using Office 365 subscriptions with Exchange Online support, and replicate the features of the browser interface while implementing some functionality only possible with native code.

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Windows Store close to 100,000 apps, Metro Office demonstrated

06/26, 2:12pm

Facebook, Flipboard, NFL Fantasy Football apps for Windows 8 in future

Microsoft revealed a number of details relating to the Windows Store and Metro apps at its Build 2013 developer conference, at the same time as showing off the Windows 8.1 update. New apps heading to the store were mentioned in the keynote presentation, along with the adoption of the app store by developers and users, and the future addition of Metro-style Office applications to the store in the future.

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Microsoft debuts Office Mobile app for iPhone

06/14, 9:21am

Serves as companion for Office 365 subscribers

Microsoft has released Office Mobile, a companion iPhone app for Office 365 subscribers. The app lets users access and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents hosted on SkyDrive or SharePoint, or else attached to email messages. Documents can also be created wholesale and/or commented on, but only in the case of Word and Excel.

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Briefly: AirPort Extreme teardown, Microsoft updates Office for Mac

06/12, 2:20pm

iFixit's tear down reveals one of Apple's most repairable products

Tech site iFixit has uploaded a new teardown for the latest AirPort Extreme, Apple's first 802.11ac wireless base station. Opening the device revealed an interior space to allow for a hard drive to be installed, however hopes of at-home storage upgrades were dashed by no available plug-in options on the logic board. The AirPort Extreme offers a Delta Electronics 12V, 5A power supply, much akin to Mac Mini technology. Thanks to a simply disassembly iFixit staff have categorized the wireless base station, along with Apple TV and Mac Mini, as the most repairable Apple product in recent history.

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Microsoft confirms Outlook for Windows RT, Office for small tablets

06/05, 6:59am

Sub ten-inch Windows 8 tablets to gain Office Home and Student 2013

Microsoft has confirmed it will be releasing a version of Outlook for Windows RT tablets later this year, during its Computex Keynote address. At the same time, Microsoft advised that the new wave of tablets with screens measuring under 10 inches will be shipping with Office Home and Student 2013 preinstalled.

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Microsoft outlines Office Web Apps future, social features, Android

05/08, 12:21pm

Switch to subscription-based software suites could take ten years

Microsoft has laid out the various changes the company will make to Office Web Apps in the future, with a focus on social features, partly confirming a previously leak. It has also revealed that, unlike Adobe's recent announcement of switching focus to providing subscription-based products, Microsoft will continue to release packaged versions of Office for the next few years.

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