Tag Archives | microsoft

Office 365 FTW

Microsoft’s Office 365 is growing into becoming a very impressive cloud based solution platform. I’m kind of rediscovering Office these days.

Sure, we’re getting the relevant (and at times cool) “typical Office program” improvements. But mostly, we’re getting cloud based Enterprise class features for the digital workplace, which competes well with niche players across the board. It also, in most respects, compares favourably with Google’s G Suite…

Office 365 connects the dots between team collaboration (Sharepoint), file storage (OneDrive), real time communication (Skype, Yammer), analytics (Power BI), and so on. I’ve been a loyal user of Dropbox, Slack, Whatsapp, and our organization currently uses IBM Connections for team collaboration. The past couple of months, as we’re rolling out Office 365, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Microsoft has come a very long way on its transition into the clouds, and it’s time to re-calibrate my toolbox.

Office 365 is evolving rapidly as well. I recently discovered StaffHub, a new tool for team planning and scheduling. Free in the Office 365 license we have at work. And saving the best for last… more and more Office 365 APIs are getting published, making the platform excellent in terms of building custom built solutions that still integrates into core cloud features. On that note… if I were to add/integrate any features to Office 365 in anyway, it would be using the nifty collaboration platform Incentive.

So, this Sunday evening recommendation is to continue exploring the new side(s) of Office 365 and don’t forget to check out Incentive.

Shocked and surprised boy on the internet with laptop computer concept for amazement, astonishment, making a mistake, stunned and speechless or seeing something he shouldn't see

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The Microsoft event highlights in bullet points

The Microsoft event held on Oct 25 included a number of announcements. In bullet points:

  • Info: 670 million licenses of Windows 7
  • Info: Microsoft’s consumer cloud, Skydrive, has 200 million users
  • Info: 16 million installs of pre-releases of Windows 8
  • Product: Windows Store announced, a store of Windows 8 apps
  • Product: Windows 8 versions: Windows RT (ARM), Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Product: Windows RT is the “Windows 8 experience optimized for PCs built with the ARM processor”
  • Product: Battery life, boot time, memory usage said to be improved on PCs that are updated with Windows 8
  • Product: Asus, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, and Microsoft will make Windows RT (ARM) tablets
  • Product: Wi-Fi reconnect is improved, from 15 seconds to around 1 second
  • Product: Windows 8 PCs begin under $300

 

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What Nokia + Microsoft means

Today’s announcement about the strategic alliance between Microsoft and Nokia is an interesting move. Both companies have been suffering on the phone market and will now join forces. The alliance is important for both. Microsoft gets a premium phone maker and Nokia gets a global app platform. The following are the key points in the alliance:

  • Nokia brings its expertise on hardware design and its reach into a broader price range.
  • The two companies will collaborate on product development and have a common roadmap.
  • Bing will power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services.
  • Nokia Maps will be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services.
  • Nokia’s content and application store will be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace

My guess is that we will see the first Nokia phone running Windows Phone in time for Christmas 2011. In the meantime, the Windows Phone platform has got a vital energy boost.

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Microsoft KIN-phones Dead on Arrival?

Microsoft released two new phones a few weeks ago, the KIN One and KIN Two. The KIN release is likely to go down as one of the worst in the company’s history. Rumors, true or false, state that only a few hundred phones are sold to date.
The company is positioning these phones to the younger audience, and focuses feature set around social networking.
That might sound like a good idea, but the market moved from feature phones to platform phones years ago.
The fact that it’s Microsoft that misses this point is indicative of its current leadership, in my opinion.
In early April I wrote about the KIN release:
I seriously doubt the long term relevancy in the business strategy. I don’t see that any Apple competitor has the luxury of diverging its focus into multiple arenas.
The more I think about this, the more I see evidence of the company’s divergence from its platform first-philosophy. Microsoft was always a platform company, and its products always had clear threads tying them together. There were solid architectural thoughts overarching product strategies. I doubt an off platform device like the KIN would see the light of day under the leadership that made Microsoft’s successes.
I could see a potential rationale behind trying an off platform path if the product would be extremely well designed, complete, and in all aspects awesome. But to release devices in 2010 that is both off platform and having its quality/usability questioned is a mystery to me.
For the sake of giving Apple- and the Android-teams a run for the money, I hope the KIN experiment is halted and that all energy and focus is put into making Windows Phone 7 and beyond substantially competitive.

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#imissbillgates (so does @FastCompany)

I’ve been using the tag #imissbillgates a number of times recently. The reason is that without him, I think Microsoft has gone astray. In the past few years without its founder, Microsoft has lost an unbelievable amount of ground.

Internet Explorer is suffering badly, Windows Mobile went terribly wrong, Sharepoint is nowhere near its Enterprise 2.0 competitors, and I won’t even mention the harm Windows Vista caused the company. We are still waiting for Windows Phone 7, and while waiting for the phones, the company releases two totally unrelated phones that seems to be rushed out the door way too quickly. I doubt any of this would have happened under its founders wings.

The FastCompany article “Microsoft Needs Bill Gates Back” is on the same lines and starts out with a blunt statement:

Steve Ballmer needs to be replaced as Microsoft CEO … by Bill Gates.

I admire Steve Ballmer for his energy and passion, but #imissbillgates.

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