May 12 2010

Microsoft and Google Feud Over Office

Microsoft has apparently taken offense to Google’s recent suggestion that users not upgrade to Microsoft Office 2010. Google’s logic was that Google Docs makes Office 2003 and 2007 better because users can share documents in their original formats in a cloud. Google is also planning to add real-time collaboration in a few months.

Microsoft has said that Office 2003 and 2007 cannot work properly together because Google Docs converts documents to different formats, which strips out certain page elements. Microsoft Office 2010 allegedly makes documents appear almost identically when they are viewed through a web browser.

Using Google Docs is certainly a cheaper option for businesses: $50 per year vs. $499 plus other costs for the professional version of Office. Though Microsoft Office is a trusted product for businesses, Google Docs would save companies a huge amount of money, which is always a concern for companies.

Via CRN.

Feb 12 2010

Microsoft Office May be Available on the iPad

Just like the possibility of Bing on the iPhone, this is wrong on so many different levels. Microsoft is apparently considering releasing an iPad version of Microsoft Office.

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 is due out later this year. Mike Tedesco, Microsoft’s Senior Product Manager for the Macintosh business unit, said in an interview with Macworld that an iPad version of Office is something that Microsoft is seriously considering. This really isn’t too surprising, considering the hype surrounding the iPad. If the iPad is popular, Microsoft could potentially make quite a bit of money from selling Office.

It really depends on how Microsoft decides to price of iPad version of Office. Apple has an Office competitor called iWork that it will be selling for the iPad. Each component of iWork (there are three in all) will cost $9.99. Even if Microsoft is able to offer competitive pricing, will anyone actually want to buy Office for iPad? I know I certainly would not—I am still using Office 2004 on my Mac and when the time comes to upgrade, I plan on switching over to iWork.

Via TFTS, image via TFTS.

Jan 29 2010

Microsoft’s Sales Increase

Apple is not the only company that is having great sales. Microsoft has seen a 60 percent increase in profit, due largely to “exceptional demand” for Windows 7, which was released in October 2009. (Windows 7 is in high demand probably because Windows Vista was just so bad.) Microsoft’s net profit for the last three months of 2009 was $6.66 billion, up from $4.18 billion at that same time of year in 2008. Its revenues were $19.2 billion, beating analysts’ predictions.

The company’s profits were probably helped by an increase in computer sales leading up to Christmas. A large portion of Microsoft’s profit comes from the Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office software. The sales in these two areas were higher than expected, but Xbox sales were below expectations.

Chief operating officer Kevin Turner said he was thrilled by the response to Windows 7, adding that, “This is a record quarter for Windows units.”

Via BBC News, image via Microsoft.

Dec 25 2009

Beware: Microsoft Word Patch Disables Features

Microsoft has issued a patch for Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft Office 2007 that disables certain features. These features were actually patented by a small company in Canada.

Microsoft said they have been preparing for this possibility since August of this year, since the court issued an injunction. The patch is mandatory for users and will remove Word’s ability to read custom XML elements in .docx, .docm, and .xml files.

When I first read about this, I thought it was a great victory for the company, i4i, that sued Microsoft. They went up against this huge monolith and actually managed to win, and are supposed to be paid $290 million from Microsoft. But some people seem to think otherwise.

Why? Microsoft could conceivably release another patch in the future that restores the removed features to Word without violating i4i’s patent. Microsoft also intends to continue fighting, which could result in them eventually wearing i4i down and settling out of court for a much smaller amount than $290 million.

Via eWeek Microsoft Watch.

Mar 4 2009

Microsoft To Make Netbook Version of Office

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Microsoft won’t be giving us a netbook-specific Windows 7 any time soon, but we will be getting a concession prize of sorts – a new version of Office focused on netbooks.

Microsoft Office

Stephen Elop of Microsoft’s business division said this Wave 14 of Office will intimately involve netbooks: “I won’t get precise with details, but I think we can do better with netbook attach.”

He hit the nail on the head as he continued, mentioning the lack of incentives for netbookers to use the expensive program when they’re only spending a few hundred dollars on their computer.

“There are new ways to package and monetize SKUs that are unique to the netbook market. From the Office perspective if someone is spending just a few hundred dollars on a netbook, how much will they spend on productivity software?”

With Windows now running on between 80-90% of netbooks, depending on your source, Microsoft has quite a bit of interest in the fate of the market. While it disappointed many with its announcement to ditch Windows 7 for netbooks (encouraging netbookers to use Windows 7 Ultimate instead), this new development may be a boon to consumers swiftly tending towards Linux.

In addition, it’s been noted that Microsoft will also be delivering cloud versions of its most popular Office applications. These Web-based Office tools should lure consumers away from free netbook apps like Open Office, which take some potential purchases away from the company.

Via NetworkWorld.

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