Cloud Storage For Office, Azure Update: Microsoft Roundup - InformationWeek

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2/21/2015
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Cloud Storage For Office, Azure Update: Microsoft Roundup

Cloud technology was the theme of this week as updates to Microsoft Azure and Office rolled out of Redmond.

15 Hot Skill Sets For IT Pros In 2015
15 Hot Skill Sets For IT Pros In 2015
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella assumed his role just over one year ago, he emphasized the importance of a "mobile first, cloud first" strategy as the company reshaped its future. As indicated by the news from this week, his plan is moving full-steam ahead.

On Tuesday, Microsoft delivered two major improvements to its Office cloud-storage capabilities. Third-party storage providers can now integrate their cloud offerings into iOS Office apps natively. Now clients of services such as iCloud Drive and Box can view, edit, and save documents directly to their cloud provider within their mobile apps.

While this offering is not yet available to Android devices, Microsoft promises that the same type of cloud service integration for Office on Android is in the works. The timeline for this project was not specified, but it will ultimately contribute to Microsoft's plan to ensure access to Office documents across all devices, platforms, and providers.

Microsoft will also allow third-party cloud services to integrate Office online into their apps. It encourages companies interested in integrating Office Online to partner in its new Cloud Storage Partner Program.

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Earlier this week, Microsoft let us know that the full version of OneNote software will be available for free on both PC and Mac devices, reports Neowin. Features that previously cost money, such as embedding files directly into OneNote and using password protection for certain sections, will now be available for free.

In other OneNote news, Microsoft also debuted a new handwriting feature on OneNote for tablets. Users can now draw or take notes on tablet devices running OneNote for Windows, Android, or iPad. They can also search for text within images (think receipts and menus) inserted into a notebook saved on OneDrive.

This week's Strata + Hadoop World conference brought a lot of news on big data, including more changes from Microsoft. This week, the tech giant announced a major expansion of its cloud-based big data services, including the availability of Storm on HDInsight, Azure Machine Learning, and Informatica technology on Azure.

(Image source: Microsoft)

(Image source: Microsoft)

These updates cater to users working with data at all speeds and of all sizes, drawing attention to Microsoft's goal of providing big data technology to a broader range of users. Azure HD Insight for Linux is now generally available to customers. Storm for Azure HDInsight, an open-source stream analytics platform, will bring additional capabilities to companies that need insight from real-time analytics.

Microsoft also announced its partnership with Informatica, a collaboration intended to bring more partnership products to improve its Azure services. Now, enterprise customers can use the Informatica Cloud agent, now available in Linux and Windows virtual machines on Azure.

And the updates keep on coming: Microsoft just announced that it is offering 100GB of free OneDrive space to Dropbox users across the globe, reports ZDNet. The promotion will run for one year. 

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Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
3/30/2015 | 7:59:03 PM
Re: They Might Finally Be Getting It...
@Kelly22,

I know I keep adding more pluses for MSFT, but their cloud storage deals are pretty good too. A lot of cloud storage for relatively low prices. That's another marketing hook.
Kelly22
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50%
Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
3/24/2015 | 9:45:34 AM
Re: They Might Finally Be Getting It...
@pcharles09 I did see that, and agree with you. It's definitely a gamble for Microsoft, which is really pushing to attract as many Windows 10 users as possible. No doubt this will get more users on board, even though pirates who do the upgrade still won't be considered legitimate customers.
pcharles09
50%
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
3/24/2015 | 12:43:31 AM
Re: They Might Finally Be Getting It...
@Kelly22,

Notice MSFT's plan to allow almost anyone to upgrade to Win10, legal or illegal copies? I think that's the carrot they're dangling to try & get the hook in so users are tehered to their ecosystem, much like Apple did years ago.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
3/16/2015 | 11:30:09 PM
Re: They Might Finally Be Getting It...
@pcharles09 right, I'm sorry I didn't mean to imply they weren't on the radar at all, just that they're not top of mind for many people. You make a good point, Microsoft is certainly making its presence known among Apple/Samsung users now, especially with the new rollouts of Office for different platforms. 
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
3/16/2015 | 9:59:08 PM
Re: They Might Finally Be Getting It...
@Kelly22,

I wound't say they're not on the radar at all for consumers. Everyone knows them as the provider of your favorite operating system. I think it's that they're trying to grow into other areas they haven't had as much exposure. Maily eating away at Apple & Samsung's pieces of the pie.
pcharles09
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50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
3/16/2015 | 9:57:04 PM
Re: They Might Finally Be Getting It...
@Kelly22,

With the number of potential partnerships moving forward, a lot better position than the last few years!
Kelly22
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50%
Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
3/2/2015 | 9:28:30 AM
Re: They Might Finally Be Getting It...
@pcharles09 true, they're not really on consumers' radar... yet. The enterprise pays close attention to Microsoft, but I think it's still on the back burner for most consumers. Though it's slowly winning some back, I think, by offering Outlook and Office for iOS and Android. Windows 10 could be a game-changer for the consumer market too. 
Kelly22
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50%
Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
3/2/2015 | 9:26:10 AM
Re: They Might Finally Be Getting It...
@pcharles09 Good question, they should have... but better late than never. It's exciting to think about where he might take the company over the next few years. 
pcharles09
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50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2015 | 4:59:30 PM
Re: They Might Finally Be Getting It...
@Kelly22,

Agreed. From a business perspective, we need them to stick around. They power everything important in the enterprise. From a consumer level, it'll be interesting to have another 'major' payer. THey're not really major yet, but hopefully they'll get there sooner rather than later.
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
2/26/2015 | 8:06:57 AM
Re: They Might Finally Be Getting It...
@Kelly22,

Yes. I think they're on the upside. I wonder why they didn't make the move with Nadella a few years earlier???
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