It will let users add live-updating spreadsheets to documentsCredit: QuipQuip, a Silicon Valley startup that s taking on the giants of the productivity software market, announced a major update to its spreadsheet capabilities Wednesday that s aimed at bringing its service more in line with Microsoft Excel.The service s spreadsheets now include features like the ability to merge cells, validate data and filter information in a sheet.These updates are key to helping Quip compete with its biggest rivals in the cloud productivity suite space: Microsoft s Office 365 and Google Apps for Work.That means the executive summary of a report can have the same data in a spreadsheet table and in a paragraph, because they re linked together.Taylor estimates they make up 80 percent to 90 percent of the users in a company.Of course, Quip s competitors aren t standing still.
It will let users add live-updating spreadsheets to documentsCredit: QuipQuip, a Silicon Valley startup that s taking on the giants of the productivity software market, announced a major update to its spreadsheet capabilities Wednesday that s aimed at bringing its service more in line with Microsoft Excel.The service s spreadsheets now include features like the ability to merge cells, validate data and filter information in a sheet.These updates are key to helping Quip compete with its biggest rivals in the cloud productivity suite space: Microsoft s Office 365 and Google Apps for Work.That means the executive summary of a report can have the same data in a spreadsheet table and in a paragraph, because they re linked together.Taylor estimates they make up 80 percent to 90 percent of the users in a company.Of course, Quip s competitors aren t standing still.
New APIs make it possible to programmatically create spreadsheets and presentationsAn integration between Salesforce and Google Slides makes it easier to create a presentation using data people already have.Google is updating the developer tools for its Docs productivity suite in an effort to make it easier for companies to integrate third-party applications with its presentation, spreadsheet and word processing software.In addition, Google also announced a new Slides API that will allow users to automatically populate slide decks with information from outside sources.That's useful for making sure that information shared within an organization using Google Sheets is up to date and accurate.For example, Trello is working on a feature that would let users take items stored on a "board" in its application and turn them into slides with a couple of clicks, without having to go through all the trouble of building a slide deck by hand.Security-conscious businesses might not be a fan of these integrations yet.
Microsoft takes another swing at Google's productivity suite with the new featureA new Skype for Business integration makes it possible for users to hold live chats to discuss documents stored in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online.Microsoft's attempts to catch up with Google in the online collaboration space took a step forward Wednesday, when the company announced that it's giving business users live chat in Office Online.When more than one person is working on a shared document inside Word, Excel, OneNote or PowerPoint Online, they'll see a chat button show up in the Web app's toolbar.The chats aren't designed to replace traditional document collaboration tools like leaving comments and tracking changes, but they can help a team of people all looking at the same document to better work together in a more rapid-fire way.It's a feature that has been core to Google's Docs productivity suite for quite some time, and this update means that businesses using Office 365 have another reason to consider sticking with Microsoft rather than switching to one of its competitors.Microsoft has recently rolled out a number of other updates to Office, including new watch face support in Outlook on Android Wear and the launch of SharePoint for iOS, which the company announced earlier this month.
Xiaomi has purchased nearly 1,500 technology patents from Microsoft.Photo: SCMP PicturesHigh-flying Chinese smartphone supplier Xiaomi is bulking up on its patents for smoother international expansion by forming a partnership with software giant Microsoft, the company said Wednesday.Microsoft transferred to Xiaomi patents to help ease the firm s operations in new markets, according to a spokesman from Microsoft.Intellectual property is something that Xiaomi is lacking inTay Xiaohan, IDC It is definitely a move to help them with their international expansion plans, especially as it seems to move beyond developing markets and to one day see them enter the US market, Tay said.Part of the partnership will see Microsoft s productivity software suite Microsoft Office and voice call and messaging software Skype pre-installed on Xiaomi smartphones including its Mi 5, Mi Max, Mi 4s, Redmi Note 3 and Redmi 3, starting from this September.Xiaomi, the fifth largest company in the sector last year, has been overtaken by domestic rivals OPPO and Vivo.
Microsoft's new premium security product is aimed at guarding companies while getting them into Office 365.Credit: Blair Hanley FrankEnterprises using Microsoft s Office 365 have a new security product that they can use to better lock down their organizations—for a price.The company introduced a new Advanced Security Management service on Wednesday that gives companies a trio of tools aimed at helping detect security threats, provide granular controls and let IT administrators track if people in their organization are using unauthorized services.It s another part of Microsoft s push to lure businesses over to its subscription-based productivity suite.As more end users bring outside, unapproved software into the work environment, it can be important for IT administrators to at least monitor what services are being used without their say-so.Advanced Security Management will monitor the usage of about 1,000 different applications at a company, including productivity and online storage apps.That detection is important to help IT departments clamp down on unauthorized apps and services, or figure out how they can secure those applications alongside their existing infrastructure.
Microsoft Corp. isn't building its own self-driving car, but is bullish on helping others with related technology, a senior executive said.We won t be building our own autonomous vehicle but we would like to enable autonomous vehicles and assisted driving as well, said Peggy Johnson, who heads business development for the Redmond, Wash., tech titan, speaking at the Converge technology conference hosted by The Wall Street Journal and f.ounders in Hong Kong Friday.Ms. Johnson said Microsoft has asked various auto makers what kind of technological applications they are looking for, whether it is working with Azure, its cloud-based service for businesses, Office 365, the cloud version of its productivity software suite, or its Windows operating system.Auto makers are all looking to differentiate in the space, she said, with Microsoft having had discussions with about seven or eight different auto makers and tier one vendors to the auto community about potential applications.However, she said, auto makers generally will come to us with a specific focus.Google s parent company and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV last month said they have agreed to incorporate Alphabet s self-driving technology into 100 Chrysler minivans, significantly expanding Alphabet s test fleet of driverless vehicles and marking its first partnership with a major auto maker.
This is a question that has persistently hovered over the tech industry for years.And while it may be too soon to make a bold proclamation in any particular direction, there s a lot of evidence suggesting that self-driving cars will represent the next tectonic shift in how we live our lives.And though the folks at Redmond have no desire to manufacture a car themselves, in contrast to the rumors we ve heard about Apple, they re nonetheless interested in working on the underlying technology.And lest anyone think that Microsoft is merely paying lip service to the idea, Johnson relayed that Microsoft has already engaged in talks with various car companies about the technologies they d like to see in cars of the future.Sounds intriguing, to be sure, but Microsoft, not surprisingly, seems particularly eager to get its productivity software into cars.Ms. Johnson said Microsoft has asked various auto makers what kind of technological applications they are looking for, whether it is working with Azure, its cloud-based service for businesses, Office 365, the cloud version of its productivity software suite, or its Windows operating system.
After launching a preview for select customers last September, Microsoft is now rolling out free access to Planner, its project management app, to all users of its Office 365 productivity suite.The tool lets you plan projects for your team, whether it s for your business, school or non-profit organization.Once you ve added collaborators, you can assign them tasks with due dates, share files and get a visual overview of everyone s progress.The board-based interface is similar to apps like Trello and Asana, but the obvious advantage here is that it will instantly become available to the numerous companies and teams that have already adopted Microsoft s popular Office 365 suite.However, it s still early days for Planner – unlike its rivals, it doesn t have native mobile apps and you ll instead have to log in to the service through your browser, and rely on email notifications to know when you ve been assigned a new task.Microsoft says it s working on apps for Android, iOS and Windows, as well as features like reusable plan templates, an option to grant external users access to your boards and the ability to assign a task to multiple users.
As it stands now, LinkedIn is generally a place where people go when they re looking for work, and Microsoft Office is a tool they use to actually do work.LinkedIn has information that can help Microsoft Outlook users do last-minute prep for meetings.In theory, it s the perfect fit, because both are focused tightly on the working world.The collaboration could get people to use Microsoft software more often, making it less likely that they ll cancel their subscriptions at the end of the year.Microsoft gives the example of the virtual assistant telling someone that the person she s meeting with went to the same college she did, and giving her a quick update on how the school s sport's team did, presumably to give her some easy fodder for chitchat.While many people use LinkedIn now, fewer than a quarter of those with accounts actually sign into the service on any given month.
The $26.2bn £18.3bn values LinkedIn at $196 a share – a 50pc premium on its price before the deal was announced, and welcome relief for those investors who had seen shares plummet in recent months.Reid Hoffman, a PayPal alumnus who founded the company 14 years ago, stands to personally make $2.8bn from his 11pc.In his two-and-a-half-year tenure in charge of Microsoft, Nadella has shown he is not afraid to deal with the misguided attempts of his predecessor Steve Ballmer to compete with Apple and Google.Microsoft s smartphone division, swollen by the €5.4bn £4.3bn acquisition of Nokia s mobile business, has been all but shut down, and Nadella has focused on two key areas – its productivity software Office 365 and the cloud computing division, Azure.From: Hyderabad, IndiaJob: Microsoft CEOEducation: Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and communication from Manipal University; Masters in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee; Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of BusinessEarly career: Started his extensive career in tech at internet software pioneer Sun Microsystems, before joining Microsoft in 1992Microsoft: His roles have included:Recent acquisitions: LinkedIn $26.2bn , Swiftkey $250m , Mojang/Minecraft $2.5bn , Nokia $7.2bn In doing so, Nadella has focused on Microsoft s strengths, but buying LinkedIn counts as the riskiest move yet from the soft-spoken computer programmer from Hyderabad.Maintaining an updated database of people is extremely attractive.
Google has announced that it s currently trialing Springboard, a new search service for enterprise users of its Google Apps productivity suite.Details about Springboard s capabilities are sparse, but it seems like it will be aimed at companies who need to be able to comb through large libraries of shared documents and files.The company says that Springboard searches quickly and easily across all of your information in Google Apps including Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Drive, Contacts and more.It will also Springboard also proactively surface useful and actionable information and recommendations.Google has also redesigned Sites, its tool for creating web pages.The updated app now supports collaboration between users and lets you add content from services like Google Docs, Calendar and Maps.
Twitter has named former Facebook technology chief Bret Taylor to its board of directors.Mr. Taylor is the latest in a series of new appointments joining the social media company s board as it struggles to reignite growth under co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey.Mr. Taylor brings with him a unique skill set yet to be found on Twitter s board: experience at another social media company.The 35-year-old co-founded FriendFeed, which was sold to Facebook in 2009.Mr. Taylor worked at Facebook in the hypergrowth period leading up to its 2012 initial public offering, at a time when the company was building out its social graph, the friend lists, interests and likes that link Facebook users together.After leaving Facebook, Mr. Taylor co-founded Quip Inc., the collaborative productivity software company where he is now CEO.
Although Microsoft has had apps on iOS for a long time now, most of those have revolved around its Office productivity suite and related products.Of late, however, it has dabbled in rather strange new ventures, like the Selfie app, literally its name.Now it has another oddly named app, again for iOS only, called Thinga.me.Of course, Pinterest doesn't have a monopoly on services that let users collect digital representations of objects, or even digital only objects, into themed groups for showing off and sharing with others.Even Google, with its much maligned Google , tried something similar, to somewhat no effect.What makes Thinga.me different, however, is its sole focus on capturing physical things and then displaying them as on a rack or table, like what you might do with those physical things in the real world.
Facebook's staff of 13,000 employees are now Microsoft Office 365 users, the social networking giant announced Tuesday."Do you want to know why we chose Office 365?It's because of Microsoft," Facebook CIO Tim Campos said in a video.This is a big customer win for Microsoft because tech companies are often the core domain of Google's productivity suite.The news comes as Google has been pushing harder to try and pick up enterprise customers from Microsoft with offers aimed at getting them way from long-term contracts with the company.Office 365 met the company's needs for an office suite that is cross-platform, mobile, and secure, Campos said during a presentation at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto.
Mobile note-taking apps are a dime a dozen these days; iOS has one baked in, and so does practically every flavor of Android.Then there are heavy hitters like Evernote, Microsoft s OneNote and Google Keep.So why look at another one of them?Everyone s note-taking needs and styles are different, and there probably isn t a single app that satisfies them all.To that end, I was pleasantly surprised to see productivity software maker Zoho take a crack at this with its new Notebook app for iOS and Android.Notebook is drop-dead gorgeous, with a simple interface and a visual organization system that lets you choose covers for your various notebooks and group related notes into stacks.
As the heart of Google s productivity suite, Drive is the tool you access most.So why not make it easier to get to when you need it?These Chrome extensions will let you save emails, upload images, and create new Google documents all without leaving your current browser tab.Saving web content typically requires you to download a file locally and then find it and upload it to Drive.You can save entire webpages or just select elements with Save to Google Drive.Developed by the Google Drive team, this extension allows you to save virtually any web content with just a mouse click or two.
Office 365 is going from strength to strength, according to some new numbers released along with Microsoft's latest fiscal results.The cloud-based productivity suite now has 23.1 million subscribers, no less – not bad considering that at the end of 2014, just a year and a half ago, the number of Office 365 users was 9.2 million.Redmond also said that revenue from Office consumer products and cloud services was up 19% year-on-year, making a worthy contribution to the company's total revenue of $20.6 billion around £15.7 billion, AU$27.5 billion for the quarter running up to the end of June.Office commercial products and cloud services picked up 5% growth, which Microsoft says was driven by Office 365's commercial revenue growth of 54%.Azure revenue was also very healthy, more than doubling up with a rise of 102% year-on-year – and Azure compute usage also doubled.These hybrids saw revenue increase 9% year-on-year, mainly driven by sales of the new pieces of hardware Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 which made up for the fizzling Surface 3.
Google has introduced a new training scheme for its Apps for Work online productivity suite.Going by the commendably straightforward name of Training for Google Apps, it's an interactive tutorial experience that's built right into the suite, with Google noting that it acts like a 'virtual coach' to help users discover how to do stuff when IT staff aren't around or don't want to be bogged down with questions .The training system is fully searchable and consists of various modules both text-based and voice covering Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, along with social network Google and other bits and pieces.You can, for example, discover how to craft an email signature, or to set an expiry date when you share a document with others.The training modules aren't just in English either, also being available in French, Chinese, German and Japanese to name a few additional languages.Google has done some research into how effective this training can be, and it reckons that companies which use the system see, on average, 35% higher adoption of Google Apps among their employees.
If not, Microsoft wants to help you find a job you do love by using its products.The OS and productivity software mega force partnered with digital print and design company Moo and sponsored career expert Maxie McCoy to give people access to tools and inspiration to find their ideal jobs, according to Microsoft.To take full advantage of the tools and suggestions in the program you ll use Microsoft s Word, Skype, and Sway.Microsoft surveyed 1,000 18-to-25-year-olds about job searching.The survey revealed that 22 percent who interviewed via Skype dressed up their upper bodies and went more casual below — with 3 percent dispensing with their pants.Regarding resumes, 25 percent of those surveyed thought a plain resume would hinder their chances of finding a job.
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