Office 2013 & Office 365

So today’s secret announcement is what we all thought it would be – Ballmer announcing the public preview of Office 2013. It’s available to download here:

or for more choices head to:

where you can find:

  • Office 365 Small Business Premium
  • Office 365 Enterprise
  • Project Online

I’m just getting everything installed right now so will be back later with a more in-depth look at the new features but for now here are some screenshots of the install process:


Notice the great new logo below:


Notice the “Streaming Applications” feature in the installation shot below, this will allow you to stream Office components to devices that don’t have it installed!


Here’s how it looks pinned to a Windows 7 desktop.


and here you can see the start of how tightly integrated the Cloud is into the new release of Office:


There is also…wait for it…Project Online!

This is going to be interesting…especially to see if the full Project Server will be made available online or just the desktop app equivalent.

I’m just installing the Project bits now…head over to the links and get playing!

Microsoft buy Yammer

It first came to light when a couple of Yammer employees got a little TOO carried away with the caramel in their lattes in a Seattle coffee-house and now it’s been made official…Microsoft are buying Yammer for $1.2 billion.

Yammer will join the Office division, headed up by Kurt DelBene, which is a great move as it will surely be integrated into Sharepoint, Outlook and Lync as soon as possible. There was talk that it would be moved into the Dynamics team which, while logical, would have limited the reach of Yammer among Microsoft’s install base.

Microsoft have crafted that most current of crazes, the InfoGraphic, to help explain the rationale behind the purchase:


You can see a bigger version here.

I’ve never had a chance to use Yammer but I’ve always been very intrigued by it, I can see it being a great addition to a lot of companies. I’ll be keeping my eye on out internal use rights at work to see when Yammer pops up Winking smile

Microsoft begin Office 15 Technical Preview

The latest edition of Microsoft’s flagship Office Suite has entered the Technical Preview stage. Currently known as “Office 15” (being the 15th “wave” of productivity products”*) the current beta edition has been released to selected customers, of course under NDA.

PJ Hough, Corporate Vice President of Development, Office Division said:

“Office 15 is the most ambitious undertaking yet for the Office Division”

and also:

“With Office 15, for the first time ever, we will simultaneously update our cloud services, servers, and mobile and PC clients for Office, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and Visio. Quite simply”

This second point appears to indicate that there will no longer be a gap between new editions, and thus features, arriving on-premise and them being available to cloud users…a view which ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley seems to share:


If this is the case then it’s good news for partners & customers alike.

There will be a public beta in the summer so only 5 or so months to wait to see what’s going to be in there:

  • Will there be a “Microsoft Accounting”?
  • Will there be an Office Suite that includes Visio and/or Project?
  • Will Word easily allow centralised building blocks for document creation?

Check out the Office blog post here:

*Well actually the 14th as they skipped 13 for reasons of superstition. So Office 2007 = Wave 12 and Office 2010 = Wave 14

Skype will come to Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft’s recent $8.5 billion purchase of Skype is close to being officially completed (pending international anti-trust go-ahead) and it’s first appearance will be in Office 365, Microsoft’s just launched cloud offering.


Kurt Delbene, MS Business Division President said:

“Office 365 will be the lead offering along with the client that should drive parity”

Client, in this case, means Office so does that mean there will be a separate “Skype” component in Office 15 or, more likely, will “Lync” simply connect to both?

Talking of the next version of Office, Mr Delbene had some info on that too.

Talking about when we can expect the next version of Microsoft’s desktop productivity suite, he said:

“We’re typically in a 2 1/2 year cycle”

which would put Office 15 (as I’m calling it for now) at June-December 2012. I’m not too sure about that as it is likely that will be the release schedule for Windows 8 too…I feel that trying to promote new versions of their 2 biggest products at the same time could be tricky.

Although if my prediction that Windows 8 will have a much bigger consumer focus is right,that could make it easier for Redmond’s marketing teams. Predominantly push Windows to consumers and predominantly push Office to enterprises…do you think that could work?

Wikipedia, via Neowin, also tells us that:

“notable changes in Excel include a tool for filtering data in a storm, the ability to convert Roman numerals to Arabic numerals, and the integration of advanced trigonometric functions. In Word, the capability of inserting video and audio online as well as the broadcasting of documents on the Web were implemented”

For more info, head over to the Seattle Times sites here.

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