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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

Topic: office

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February 17, 2015 at 9:20 AM

Microsoft, Apple, broaden access to their productivity apps

Cooperation is the word of the day in office applications.

Apple recently opened up its iWork word processing and spreadsheet applications to consumers who don’t own an iPhone or Mac. On Tuesday, Microsoft continued its own effort to broaden the reach of Office, announcing that users of the productivity suite on Apple devices will be able to store their documents with a variety of cloud storage providers.

“We want Office to be the preferred way to work with documents no matter where they’re stored,” Microsoft’s Kirk Koenigsbauer said in a blog post.

Koenigsbauer also announced a program allowing users of cloud services like Citrix, and Box to edit and save Office files stored on those platforms.


Comments | More in Office | Topics: apple, microsoft, office

February 11, 2015 at 12:38 PM

Microsoft buys calendar app Sunrise

Microsoft is adding another mobile productivity app to its quiver.

The company says it has acquired Sunrise, a maker of calendar apps for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android mobile operating systems. The deal comes two months after the purchase of Acompli, a popular builder of email apps that Microsoft later used as the base for new Outlook email apps for those operating systems.

Microsoft, whose Windows platform accounts for a tiny share of the global tablet and smartphone markets, has been trying reaching customers on competing platforms. In November, the company unveiled free versions of some of its Office productivity suite for iOS and Android, and has since completed the Acompli and Sunrise deals to bolster its ability to build products for those platforms.

Rajesh Jha, a vice president with Microsoft’s Outlook and Office group, said in a blog post that the company planned to keep Sunrise free of charge and available to download. Jha didn’t disclose the terms of the purchase.


Comments | More in Deals | Topics: apps, deals, microsoft

January 26, 2015 at 6:06 PM

Microsoft’s earnings: Looking under the hood

Microsoft’s most recent quarter was a good news, bad news affair.

The company’s business-focused cloud-computing unit continued its pattern of double-digit sales growth, weighing in as a $5.5-billion-a-year business. But Microsoft’s biggest moneymaker — its commercial licensing group, which sells businesses Windows, server products, and Office — stumbled a bit. One-time charges, from employee severance bills to a tax adjustment from the IRS to the pain of a stronger dollar, wiped out a few hundred million dollars in profit.

Our big-picture story on the 11% drop in Microsoft profit during the three months ended in December lives here. For a geekier take on how Microsoft’s two main business units fared, read on.


Comments | More in Financial | Topics: earnings, microsoft, office

December 5, 2014 at 12:21 PM

No, Microsoft doesn’t plan to lose money on Windows 10

Microsoft seems to be giving a lot of things away for free these days.

Free versions of Microsoft Office for Android and Apple mobile devices. Free access to a more-powerful version of its developer tools. Free Windows licenses on consumer devices with screens smaller than 9 inches.

Executives from Satya Nadella on down have emphasized getting Microsoft products in front of users on whatever device they happen to be using. The embedded bet is that customers and businesses will spend money for Microsoft services once they get hooked on Redmond’s ecosystem of programs.

Take that strategy a couple steps further, and could Microsoft be planning for a future in which Windows becomes a money-losing tool to get users to pay for subscriptions to Office or data storage? That question was put to Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner at the Credit Suisse technology conference yesterday. 


Comments | More in Windows | Topics: kevin turner, microsoft, office

November 14, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Microsoft’s free streak a cultural, not financial shift

The past couple of weeks have given plenty of ammunition to Microsoft watchers who sense a major shift in direction under chief executive Satya Nadella.

Microsoft is offering free mobile versions of its Office suite to individual customers with Apple- and Google-powered phones. The company Wednesday said it would release a more powerful set of free developer tools for its .NET programming framework.

Is Microsoft, kingdom of the sky-high profit margins, giving away the keys to the castle?


Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: .net, developers, microsoft

November 4, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Microsoft and Dropbox partnering up

When Microsoft launched Office for iPad, one of complaints users had about it was that their files couldn’t be stored in Dropbox, a rival to Microsoft’s own OneDrive online storage service.

That’s changing now, with the announcement Tuesday that Microsoft and Dropbox are partnering to integrate Dropbox and Office services on phones, tablets and the web.


Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: dropbox, office, office for ipad

November 6, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Office gets some new features

Microsoft announced several updates to Office that bring the following features:  Office Web Apps now automatically saves in the Word Web App and allows for real-time co-authoring in the Word, PowerPoint and Excel Web Apps.  Yammer Enterprise is now being included on all Office 365 Enterprise plans, rather than just in the top-end enterprise SKUs. And all…


Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: office, office 365, office web apps

August 27, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Parallels launches iPad app that makes your PC or Mac apps run like iOS apps

Could Parallels’ new app make the question of whether Microsoft will release Office on iPad a moot one?

Renton-based Parallels is launching Parallels Access, an iPad app that allows users to tunnel into their Mac or Windows-based PC, and then remotely use those apps on the iPad as if those apps were made for the iPad.


Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: ipad, mac, office

August 26, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Five challenges and five advantages facing Microsoft’s new CEO

[In case you missed it, this story ran Sunday in the print edition of The Seattle Times. Also, here is my colleague, Brier Dudley’s column on retiring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s legacy.] There was Windows Vista, but then came Windows 7. There was the Kin, but there was also the Xbox. The company fell way behind…


Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: ceo, cloud, office

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