There has been a growing sense of obsession here at Eyeful Towers regarding Office 15. We’ve been blogging and prodding since we first heard the whispers of its existence and there’s a lot of stuff that we can now share with you over the coming weeks. First things first, though – let’s ease you in with the headlines.
Microsoft are keen to reposition Office as a service rather than just a software package. In order to achieve this they have embarked on an impressive integration and acquisition campaign.
The overriding theme of Office 15 is cloud computing with all ‘save’ settings automatically accessing Skydrive. Document storage, access and collaboration are the three key areas that have been targeted and Microsoft is pulling no punches when it comes to the sort of high level integration that this entails.
Office 365 with Lync functionality for businesses (which we love here at Eyeful – video conference, screen share and file transfer that works seamlessly) and built in Skype for home users is making collaboration both integrated and instinctive. Working on documents with remote colleagues in real time is going to be a big bonus in version control negating the need for people to open ‘copies’ and then reintegrate to the main document.
Microsoft have also put a real emphasis on providing full software functionality to mobile devices – providing your phone or tablet is running Windows 8 you can access undiluted versions of Office programmes wherever you are. With this innovation comes touch screen response throughout Office. Linked to this, Microsoft have also used their purchasing power to bring PPI (a specialist producer of large touchscreens) into the Microsoft family.
Social networking is also being bought into the fold following Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer. And there are some interesting promises regarding the integration of Xbox into the whole kit and caboodle.
Microsoft has made a huge investment and has unashamedly left no stone unturned in the quest to make Office the only ‘all inclusive’ way forward for both business and home use.