Office Options Grow, Q2 Earnings Rise On Cloud: Microsoft Roundup - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
1/30/2016
10:06 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Office Options Grow, Q2 Earnings Rise On Cloud: Microsoft Roundup

Cloud dominated again in Microsoft's Q2 financial report, closing out a week of news on Windows 10, Cortana, iOS apps, and Office Online.

9 Skype Alternatives Worth Considering
9 Skype Alternatives Worth Considering
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Windows 10, productivity, cloud, and iOS were the focus of Microsoft's news this week before the company announced its Q2 2016 earnings on Jan. 28.

Microsoft is trying to make Cortana more proactive about helping users stay on track. Its digital personal assistant was updated and given the abilities to scan emails and to schedule smart reminders with appointments you might forget.

As Cortana weeds through messages, it recognizes language indicating a promise (for example, "I'll send this report by 4:00 p.m.") and use it to create a reminder. Since the focus is on productivity, alerts will be displayed in Cortana's interface and not as annoying pop-up reminders.

[Microsoft open sources deep learning, AI toolkit on GitHub.]

This feature, which can be disabled, was rolling out to Windows Insiders at the time it was announced. It will eventually roll out to all Windows 10 users, and on Cortana for iOS and Android when Microsoft can iron out technical issues related to launching on those platforms.

iOS stole the spotlight for this week's mobile app updates. Shortly after reports surfaced claiming Apple may launch a subscription service for Apple News, Microsoft released News Pro for iOS and desktop.

News Pro, powered by Bing, is a service through which users receive personalized news feeds based on pre-selected areas of interest. It's the brainchild of Microsoft Garage, an internal organization created to give cross-company employees a chance to build new ideas.

Microsoft also added video capabilities and other features to its Selfie app for iOS, which generated more than 500,000 downloads in the two weeks following its launch one month ago. iPhone users who aren't into selfies can look forward to the Microsoft Word Flow keyboard for iOS, which will make it easier to type with one hand.

Office for iOS was also updated as part of Office Online cloud integrations announced this week. Microsoft is giving third-party storage partners the option to integrate with the suite, enabling users to browse Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files stored in cloud services, like Box (currently available), or Edmodo, Citrix ShareFile, and Egnyte (coming soon).

The cloud updates will also expand real-time coauthoring capabilities to users who store files on third-party services including Box, Dropbox, ShareFile, and Egnyte. This enhancement allows more people to work together on Office apps, regardless of their cloud storage provider.

(Image: Microsoft)

(Image: Microsoft)

Box and Dropbox are being integrated with the newest version of Outlook.com, where users will be able to attach files directly from Box, Dropbox, and OneDrive as regular attachments or cloud-based links.

Windows 10 updates include the release of build 14251 to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring. It's a big jump from its predecessor, build 11102, a result of bringing together the PC and mobile code bases so they share a common number.

Build 14251 lacks major new features, but delivers a few key bug fixes. PC games will no longer crash when switching from windowed mode to full screen. Narrator, Magnifier, and third-party technologies will no longer crash. File Explorer won't crash when DPI settings are at 175%.

Jan. 28 marked Microsoft's Q2 earnings call for its 2016 fiscal year. Revenue of $25.7 billion, which topped analysts' expectations, was largely driven by Azure and Office 365 cloud offerings.

Office 365 revenue grew 70%; Azure revenue increased 140%. It was also a strong quarter for the Surface portfolio, which pulled in $1.35 billion, but a terrible quarter for phones, which saw a 49% drop.

Rising stars wanted. Are you an IT professional under age 30 who's making a major contribution to the field? Do you know someone who fits that description? Submit your entry now for InformationWeek's Pearl Award. Full details and a submission form can be found here.

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

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Charlie Babcock
50%
50%
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
2/2/2016 | 8:45:15 PM
Owning the desktop offers a great base for future cloud services
Continuing to own the end user desktop, whatever the cost, is a great strategy for offering more services through the cloud. Microsoft is fighting to hold onto its chief asset by giving away lots of free Windows upgrades to Windows 10.
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
News
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
Slideshows
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll