Microsoft outs business apps for Nokia Belle
Nokia and Microsoft this week released the first batch of productivity apps for the former's handsets running on Nokia Belle phones. Called Microsoft Apps, the free productivity suite includes four programs usually only found on Microsoft's own platforms. A common thread with multiple smartphone OS bases is OneNote, which lets users create documents containing text and images.
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.
Adds support for SkyDrive cloud storage
Microsoft has released a new version of Office 2008 for Mac, 12.2.9. The patch is mostly a maintenance update, fixing security vulnerabilities in Excel, PowerPoint and the suite as whole. It likewise copes with issues that can potentially trigger program crashes.
Drobo for business targets big users
Drobo on Tuesday brought out its first range of Drobo business drives aimed both at companies and at home users with very high demands. The eight-bay B800fs and B800i, as well as the 12-bay B1200i, are speed-optimized beyond their regular counterparts and have new management tools along with extra after-the-sale support and services. All have been greenlit to work with Citrix, Exchange, SharePoint, Symantec backup, and VMware.
Google sues US Interior Dept for Microsoft deals
Google today sued the US Department of the Interior for alleged favoritism in picking Microsoft over others for contracts (document below). The complaint accused the government of automatically ruling out Google Apps and other products by requiring that any solution for its messaging service use the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite, excluding Google entirely. Limiting the choices to Microsoft was "unduly restrictive" and limited competition, the search firm said.
Ray Ozzie leaves Microsoft
Microsoft was dealt a hit to its long-term plans as its Chief Software Architect today said he was retiring from the company. The veteran planned to move to the "broader area of entertainment" where Microsoft was still involved, CEO Steve Ballmer wrote in an e-mail. He would stay with the company for an unspecified amount of time to help oversee transitions among various projects.
EU approves Windows 7 browser ballot
The European Commission on Wednesday greenlit Microsoft's updated proposal for a browser ballot within Windows 7. Now referred to as a "choice screen," the ballot will give EU users what the Commission says is as neutral a choice as possible for their browser. Those first booting a Windows PC will get a neutral window to pick their browser and will see the browsers presented in a random order that gives equal weight to Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari.
MS at Macworld 2009
Using Macworld as a jumping point, Microsoft has announced two new pieces of Mac software. The first is the Document Collaboration Companion, a Cocoa-based tool which should simplify uploading and downloading to Office Live Workspaces as well as SharePoint-based collaboration utilities. Users will be able to check documents in and out, cache them offline, and access services such as a Document Library plus the SharePoint and Office Live Workspaces. A private beta is expected to become available in February, followed by a final release later this year.
MS Office, Exchange guides
Microsoft has laid bare the internal workings of several key formats, according to an announcement. As a part of its Interoperability Principles program, the company has released v1.0 technical documentation for the protocols in several of its programs, primarily the Office 2007 suite. Some 5,000 pages are said to be available on the binary file formats for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, including DOC, XLS, XLSB and PPT files.