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.
Patch fixes numerous bugs, requires OS X 10.5.8 or higher
A new update is available for Microsoft Office 2011, the most recent version of the widely-used office suite. Version 14.3.4 addresses numerous issues and bugs, adds a needed font for sharing documents, and most importantly further refines the interoperability of the Office 365 initiative, allowing the option for users to jump to the subscription version of Office if they want. In addition, the new version adds the built-in option of saving files to SkyDrive and SharePoint in Microsoft Word.
Free 3-month offer extendable by Facebook sharing
Microsoft is offering students in US colleges access to the educational version of Office 365 at no charge. The free three months of access Office 365 University, doubled to six months after sharing the offer on Facebook, also includes an extra 20GB allocation of SkyDrive cloud-based storage and 60 minutes of Skype calls each month.
Office for Mac 14.3 available as standalone or as subscription
Following the release of Office 2013 earlier today, Microsoft has released an update for Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. In addition to resolving several outstanding bugs in the application, Office for Mac 2011 is now also available on a subscription basis in Microsoft's Office 365 offering. While Office for Mac 2011 still works with 10.5.8 or later, Office 365 Home Premium now requires OS X 10.6 or greater. The hard-drive based Office copy must be upgraded to 14.2.3 before application of the 14.3 patch.
Renewable four-year package to cost $80
Microsoft has announced a new Office package aimed at students. Office 365 University, set to be released in the first quarter of 2013, will offer a slightly altered version of the Office 365 suite. It will be priced low enough to appease most of those spending, and possibly borrowing, considerable sums to go into higher education, and could cut piracy of the Microsoft productivity tool.
Subscription-based model may become the norm for PC users
Microsoft will offer new buyers (as of October 19) of its existing Office 2011 standalone software for Macs the option of receiving either a free year's worth of the newly-announced Office 365 Home Premium -- a new consumer version of the online edition of Office that runs by subscription -- or a free upgrade to the next version of Microsoft Office for Mac. The promotion appears to be an either-or offer, but may give Mac users (for the first time) access to the entire suite of Office applications -- and a better look at the previously business-only Office 365.
MS to offer Mac users software update for Office for Mac 2011
In the aftermath of Microsoft's big Office 15 announcement this week it has emerged that there will be no new version of Office for Mac 2013 edition. The Next Web has received confirmation from Microsoft that instead, users of Office for Mac 2011 can expect a software update around the same time that the new version of Office 2013 launches. The update will bring tighter integration with SkyDrive and Office 365 enabling Mac users to access their documents from the cloud.
Some agencies remain leery of cloud migration, holding off
Microsofthas announced Office 365 for Government, its version of cloud productivity software. The specific government version of the suite released in July 2011 uses specific government-only encryption and storage to help soothe concerns about privacy and data security. Other than the government-level encrypted storage, Office 365 for Government is the same as regular Office 365, keeping Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, and the other Office web apps in the cloud, but giving the option of installing a desktop version of the Office 2010 suite as well.
Microsoft full-page ad tackles Google policy swap
Microsoft has started running a slew of full-page newspaper ads in an attempt to scare users over Google's simpler privacy policies. It claims that Google's attempts to simplify and clarify its policies are disingenuous and that the real goal is to "connect the dots" between Google's services and track users. It goes on to insist that the policy makes it difficult to back out.
UC Berkeley says Gmail faster, more flexible
The University of California in Berkeley has posted a full breakdown of a recent decision to pick Google's Gmail and Google Apps over Microsoft's Office 365 in what represented a changing of the guard. Although not an unambiguous win, Google pulled ahead by being free, taking a fast six to ten weeks to implement, and popular. Using its system would require much less of an overhaul than Microsoft's, Berkeley said, and majority of the students and staff alike already knew the apps.
Cloud-based service leaves users stranded
In June, Microsoft launched its cloud-based Office 365 service in 40 markets worldwide. For $6 per month, Microsoft touted that with the service, apps and documents could always be up to date. Today, that cloud experienced an outage until shortly after 7PM Eastern, handing Microsoft a major embarrassment for its fledgling cloud service.
Office 365 service now available in 40 markets
Microsoft on Tuesday announced the launch of its cloud-based Office 365. Available in 40 markets, it includes Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online. All apps are always up to date and accessing them costs $6 per month, though service plans range from $2 to $27 per user per month. This full-blown launch follows a beta release launched last fall.
Microsoft and Toyota to have April 6 event
Microsoft and Toyota late Tuesday organized a special event for April 6 at 4PM Eastern. The two said little about what it would involve but alluded to a "collaboration" between them. It was important enough that Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer and his Toyota equivalent, Akio Toyoda, would both be present.