PowerPoint for iOS now works in portrait

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 17, 2014

Software maker Microsoft this morning issued a minor update to its mobile Office apps available in the App Store. Word, Excel and PowerPoint for the iPhone and iPad have received a few bug fixes and one new feature.

Specifically, PowerPoint for iOS has finally introduced support for portrait orientation so you can now view and edit your presentation no matter which way you hold your device. Read More

 

Microsoft releases MSN-branded News, Money, Sports, Health & Fitness and Food & Drink apps

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 11, 2014

Microsoft on Thursday released five new applications for the iPhone and iPad. Available free of charge in the App Store, the News, Money, Sports, Health & Fitness and Food & Drink apps have been created under the MSN brand.

As a bonus, a Weather app from MSN will be hitting iOS later this year. It’s interesting that the MSN Health app syncs its data with iOS 8’s Health database.

It has pedometer functions to continuously track, analyze and receive insights on your daily steps taken on the iPhone and tracks your runs (record your time, distance, pace and calories burned while you run, bike and do other outdoor activities).

Additionally, the app contains a Diet tracker (there’s a database of over 300 thousand to track your daily calorie intake) and a Cardio tracker to monitor your cardio training and analyze progress over time.

Jump past the fold for the full rundown of each app. Read More

 

Microsoft buys email app Acompli for $200+ million

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 1, 2014

Confirming an inadvertent leak last month, Windows and Office maker Microsoft on Monday said it’s buying Acompli for more than $200 million. For those who haven’t heard about Acompli, it’s an efficient email app for iOS and Android that features an integrated calendar.

Framed as “part of our company-wide effort to help people accomplish more with their mobile devices,” the deal will bring San Francisco-based Acompli team together with work currently in progress by the Outlook team.

Microsoft’s stated goal is to“ deliver fantastic cross-platform apps that support the variety of email services” people use today to help them accomplish more and Acompli seems to fit the bill nicely.

“It will expedite our work to deliver the full power of Office to mobile devices,” said the software giant. Read More

 

Dropbox rolling out ability to edit Microsoft Office documents

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2014

Following Microsoft-issued updates to itsWord, Excel and PowerPoint mobile apps for iOS with native Dropbox integration, the popular cloud storage startup on Tuesday announced it is adding the ability to edit Microsoft Office documents to its free iOS client.

That’s right, both iOS and Android users can take advantage of the newly refreshed Dropbox mobile client with Microsoft Office integration to work on the Office files stored in your Dropbox even when you’re on the go.

In addition to editing your Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents from the Dropbox app, you can also access them directly from Microsoft’s mobile Office apps. Read More

 

Report: Yahoo and Microsoft fighting to supplant Google search on iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2014

According to a report Tuesday by The Information, a technology website started by The Wall Street Journal writer Jessica Lessin, both Microsoft and Google are “fighting” to boot Google search from the iPhone and other Apple devices.

If true, the move wouldn’t be unheard of: Apple teams up with alternate search providers in markets like China.

Apple earns a small commission from search ad revenue each time a user performs a Google search from Safari’s address bar on the Mac, iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

With that deal expiring sometime in 2015, Microsoft and Yahoo are now hoping the Cupertino firm won’t renew it and will instead make their respective service the default search choice on iOS. Read More

 

New Microsoft ad says iPhone 6 Plus only makes Siri bigger, not smarter

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2014

Friday, Windows giant Microsoft published a new Apple-bashing ad on its YouTube channel.

The 30-second television commercial shows off the latest version of Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri-like personal assistant, running on the Lumia 830 and interacting with a bunch of built-in applications.

Cortana amusingly brags to Siri about being able to perform functions Apple’s personal assistant can’t, like alert users to leave early for an appointment using traffic alerts, remind them of things based on who calls or texts and more. Read More

 

Microsoft disses Apple in Christmas Surface ad

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2014

Software giant Microsoft is no stranger to Apple bashing. Every once in a while, the Redmond giant take aim at Apple’s iPad tablets and MacBook Air ultra-thin notebooks by putting out aggressively conceived television commercials for its Surface tablets.

Just in time for the looming holiday shopping season, Microsoft started airing a brand new Surface Pro ad that argues that its tablet convertible with a kickstand, keyboard cover and desktop apps is a better deal than the MacBook Air. Read More

 

Microsoft’s latest Skype ad promotes Apple gear

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 14, 2014

Microsoft Canada on Friday published an interesting commercial on its Facebook Page depicting “the world’s first wireless orchestra” comprised of New York City’s celebrated subway musicians kept in sync with a remote conductor thanks to Skype.

The video features a bunch of Apple’s MacBook Pro notebooks that run the Skype software, while iPhones make a few notable appearances as well.

Someone in Cupertino should send marketing wizards in Redmond a thank you note for advertising for Apple. Read More

 

Details of Telltale’s upcoming game based on HBO’s Game of Thrones series leak

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 14, 2014

Before revealing the first story details and premier trailer of “Tales from the Borderlands”, its upcoming adventure game based on on Gearbox and 2K’s Borderlands 2, Telltale yesterday offered a glimpse into an upcoming “Game of Thrones” game based on HBO’s award-winning fantasy drama television series, itself adapted from of “A Song of Ice and Fire”, George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels.

Filing as another episodic adventure game, the game follows the storyline of House Forrester detailed in the book “A Dance with Dragons,” the fifth book of the series, with an interesting twist: players will be permitted to assume the role of any of the five members of House Forrester in various locations around Westeros and Essos.

Needless to say, your actions affect the rest of House Forrester. “Multiply the actions of one character by five, and you’re truly playing the Game of Thrones … where you win, or you die,” notes the blurb. Read More

 

Microsoft launches Skype for Web beta

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 14, 2014

In a pretty significant move Microsoft on Friday announced Skype for Web, an upcoming web application that lets the popular instant messaging and VoIP service run directly in a desktop browser, no plug-in needed, making Skype readily available across desktop, mobile and on the web.

Supported browsers include Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10, Google’s Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox or Apple’s Safari 6.

Unfortunately, Chrome for Windows is the only supported version of Chrome so Mac users on Google’s browser (and Chromebook owners) are left out in the cold for the time being. Chatting and video/voice messaging don’t require a browser plug-in. “With WebRTC, there won’t be any downloads or installs – you can just get straight to your conversation”, the software giant said. Read More

 

Word, Excel and PowerPoint hit iPhone: Dropbox support, new features, basic editing now free

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 6, 2014

Thursday, software maker Microsoft announced immediate availability of Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for the iPhone following the release of Office for iPad applications back in March 2014.

Moreover, the company has refreshed the entire iOS Office suite with Dropbox integration and adding other new features to “ensure a consistently beautiful and productive Office experience on every device”.

In addition to the new Office for iPhone and update iPad apps, Word, Excel and PowerPoint are coming to Android tablets with the start of Microsoft’s Office for Android tablet Preview program. Finally, brand new, touch-optimized Office apps for Windows 10 are in the works and “we’ll have more to share soon”.

Universal Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps are free in the App Store. Read More

 

Office mobile apps will soon sync to Dropbox

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 4, 2014

Software giant Microsoft has partnered with Dropbox, the hot cloud-storage startup that Steve Jobs once wanted to buy for $800+ million, to give Office users across desktop, mobile and the web built-in access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint files in their Dropbox, the firms said Tuesday.

Soon, Dropbox users will be able to link their account directly to the Word, Excel and PowerPoint iPad apps.

As a result, customers will be able to edit Office documents right from their Dropbox mobile app, and access their Dropbox from within their mobile Office apps. Read More

 

Rumor: Microsoft developing next-generation Surface Pro with 13″ to 14″ screen

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 4, 2014

Software giant Microsoft is reportedly considering developing a bigger Surface Pro tablet with a thirteen to fourteen-inch screen that should appeal to business users for whom productivity is the chief concern, according to a rumor Tuesday out of Taiwan.

As reported by DigiTimes, a Taiwanese trade publication, success of the current twelve-inch Surface Pro 3 — Surface business revenues surged 127 percent to $908 million in the third quarter of 2014 — has encouraged decisions makers at the Redmond firm to consider an even bigger tablet. Read More

 

Microsoft starts signing up early adopters for Skype Translator early preview

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 3, 2014

Windows giant Microsoft, which owns the popular VoIP platform Skype, on Monday announced it’s started taking sign-ups for an early preview of Skype Translator, an awesome real-time voice translation feature coming to Skype that was shown off at Recode’s Code Conference back in May 2014.

The Redmond headquartered software giant said that it’s started accepting submissions for a Skype Translator Early Preview, which will be released later this year, via a sign-up page. Read More

 

New Microsoft ad pits Lenovo’s Yoga 3 Pro convertible to MacBook Air

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 3, 2014

Microsoft’s Windows channel on YouTube yesterday released a new commercial painting Lenovo’s Yoga Pro 3 convertible laptop as a better portable computer overall than Apple’s ultra-thin MacBook Air.

Titled ‘Let’s Dance’, the 30-second commercial is critical of the Apple machine’s lack of a touchscreen while praising multi-mode flexibility of the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, concluding that once you add the touchscreen to the mix, “it’s game over” because the Yoga 3 Pro proves there’s “more than one way to do what you want”. Read More

 

Microsoft revamps Outlook for OS X ahead of new Office for Mac version in H2 2015

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 31, 2014

Microsoft in a post Friday over at the official Office blog announced immediate availability of a redesigned version of Outlook for Mac while confirming that a new version of Office for Mac will be ready in the first half of 2015 as a public beta, and in the second half of 2015 for public consumption.

Office 365 subscribers will get the next version of Office (which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote) at no additional cost, the Windows giant said and added that it will release a perpetual license of Office for Mac in the same timeframe. Read More

 

Skype for iPhone updated with avatar sync, ability to save and delete photos from chats and more

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 30, 2014

After updating Skype for Mac with Yosemite support earlier this morning, Microsoft on Thursday issued a new Skype for iPhone refresh. Now sitting at version 5.7, the app finally makes it easy to save and delete images from chats.

People who roam between devices and platforms will notice that chat avatars now stay in perfect sync when picking up on one device where they left on another.

You should also notice faster performance, especially when opening chats from a notification, and improvements to Skype’s contact filters such as All Contacts, Skype and Online.

Skype for iPhone is available free in the App Store. Read More

 

Microsoft launches $199 fitness band with 10 sensors

By Cody Lee on Oct 30, 2014

Microsoft this morning unveiled its long-rumored wearable: the Microsoft Band. With a design resembling Samsung’s Gear Fit, the fitness-tracking wristband features 10 sensors, supports all major mobile platforms, and integrates with Microsoft’s new cloud-based Health service.

Interestingly enough, Microsoft decided to skip any kind of media event or press release, opting instead to reveal the device to Recode following the discovery of new Health apps on iOS and Android last night. So was this meant to downplay an insignificant launch? Let’s find out. Read More

 

Microsoft outs upcoming ‘Band’ wearable in new Health app

By Cody Lee on Oct 29, 2014

Microsoft has outed its upcoming ‘Band’ wearable in what appears to be the premature release of multiple applications. This evening, ‘Microsoft Health’ landed in iPhone, Android and Windows stores, and a Microsoft Band Sync client popped up in the Mac App Store.

It’s unknown at this time if the releases were unintentional, or part of a cheeky PR stunt, but it’s likely the former, given the scope of the apps. Microsoft has long been rumored to be working on a cross-platform wearable, and recent reports say it’s preparing for launch. Read More

 

Leaked slide shows Office for Mac going Retina in Q1 2015 with new design

By Jake Smith on Oct 28, 2014

A new version of Microsoft’s Office for Mac software is set to be released in early 2015, adding support for Apple’s Mac Retina displays and packing a new design, a leaked slide from Microsoft claims. Read More

 
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