Bill Gates, Office for Android, Outlook Upgrade: 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 // Operating Systems
News
1/31/2015
11:05 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

Bill Gates, Office for Android, Outlook Upgrade: Microsoft Roundup

This week, we analyze Microsoft's earnings call, question Windows 10, listen to Bill Gates, and glimpse at Outlook for iOS and Android.

Windows 10: 7 Pressing Questions For Microsoft
Windows 10: 7 Pressing Questions For Microsoft
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Microsoft kicked off its week with its quarterly earnings call, which revealed the good and bad of corporate performance in late 2014. The report from Redmond on Jan. 26 included revenue of $26.47 billion and quarterly profit of $5.86 billion, a fall from $6.56 billion during the same quarter the previous year.

High points of the call included success in the cloud computing division, which experienced its sixth consecutive quarter of three-figure growth, and the Surface, which broke its own record with $1.1 billion in sales. Merv Adrian, research VP of information management at Gartner, calls this time "a transitional period for Microsoft."

Microsoft also revamped its cloud-based Power BI service to challenge IBM, Tableau and other vendors targeting business intelligence. The Power BI service will be cut loose from Office 365; anyone with an email account will be able to register for its new "freemium" service.

Later this week, after the dust had settled from the many Windows 10 announcements, we began asking questions about how Microsoft plans to develop its new OS in the coming months. Will Windows 10 function on older machines? Is Project Spartan something we really need? Only time will tell.

[Data Analyst: Does Everybody Need To Be One?]

On the topic of Windows 10, we also examined whether its HoloLens can be compared with Google Glass. Is it fair to compare the two futuristic headpieces? According to Gartner analyst Brian Blau, the answer is no.

Microsoft continued to break news throughout the week. On Jan. 29, the tech giant premiered the final version of its Office suite for Android tablets. The app, which is exiting a three-month preview period, contains features that will be familiar to Office users but is optimized for mobile use with larger icons that help with easy navigation.

That same day, a new mobile version of Outlook for iOS and Android arrived in full and preview forms, respectively. For both platforms, the Outlook app will work in sync with Office 365, Outlook.com, Exchange, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail and other prominent email services.

(Image Source: Microsoft)
(Image Source: Microsoft)

The new mobile Outlook contains features to help users easily prioritize, delete, and reschedule emails for later delivery. An integrated calendar provides direct access to meeting details, invitee attendance status, and the ability to sort through emails and find convenient meeting times.

The release of Office for Android and debut of the new Outlook shows that Microsoft is putting forth a strong effort to enhance collaboration and productivity both in and out of the office. If you glance through screenshots of the new apps, it's clear that simplicity and functionality were critical to their development.

We also received an update on Bill Gates, who recently participated in his own "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit. In addition to chatting about his philanthropic efforts around the world, Gates shared his thoughts on AI and predictions on the future of technology. He also revealed what he received from his Reddit Secret Santa.

Microsoft wrapped up this week with an upgrade to its Azure SQL Database Service. The latest updates promise to bring its cloud-based database service in closer correspondence with the capabilities of its on-premises Microsoft SQL Server.

Attend Interop Las Vegas, the leading independent technology conference and expo series designed to inspire, inform, and connect the world's IT community. In 2015, look for all new programs, networking opportunities, and classes that will help you set your organization’s IT action plan. It happens April 27 to May 1. Register with Discount Code MPOIWK for $200 off Total Access & Conference Passes.

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
Li Tan
50%
50%
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
2/3/2015 | 2:47:24 AM
Re: Have you tried to download it?
I would like to download and see if it will work well. Especially I am interested in how many features are available on Mobile version of Office/Outlook? Can I still use those exciting features on mobile?
Kelly22
50%
50%
Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
2/2/2015 | 5:55:55 PM
Re: Have you tried to download it?
Thanks @jagibbons, yes the current version of OWA for Android is in preview form. Microsoft has not announced when the preview period will end, but at that point it will work across all email services.
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
2/2/2015 | 4:16:20 PM
Re: Going in the right direction
Unless it's heavily subsidised somehow, I can't see where that kind of immersive experience could possibly cost less than Google Glass. Very curious to see how it plays out, though.
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
2/2/2015 | 4:15:01 PM
Re: Have you tried to download it?
The first version of OWA on Android does only support Exchange 365 / Office 365. The article says that it "will" support on-prem Exchange. It just doesn't yet in the current iteration. As we are not running Office 365 yet, I'm eagerly anticipating this release. I don't like the default mail client for either Android or iOS. This has got to be a major step up in Outlook-esque functionality.
mejiac
50%
50%
mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
2/2/2015 | 10:55:55 AM
Re: Going in the right direction
@tzubair,

Agreed, and companies like Blackberry are a prime example of what NOT to do
tzubair
50%
50%
tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2015 | 10:08:28 PM
Re: Going in the right direction
"I think the mobile push that Microsoft is pushing accross multiple platforms (not inclusive of windows mobile) is a good sign that they're definitly heading down the right path."

@mejiac: I think no company can miss out on the Android platform these days. It has the largest user base and every company has to ensure presence there even if it's a gian like Microsoft. They cannot afford to do everything for their own Windows platform and expect people to migrate on it.
mike6615777526
50%
50%
mike6615777526,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/31/2015 | 9:07:09 PM
Have you tried to download it?
Kelly,

  On Android, when I go to the Play store, it says that "OWA only works with Office 365", which is a far cry from what the article states: "For both platforms, the Outlook app will work in sync with Office 365, Outlook.com, Exchange, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail and other prominent email services."

  Did you actually verify what can be downloaded on an Android?  Why do you think I cannot find a version of Outlook that works on anything other than Office 365 (which I don't have, I have hosted Exchange)?  If that's the case why wasn't that important fact stated in the article?

  I'd love to see at least a little investigative, original reporting here.  
shakeeb
50%
50%
shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2015 | 7:28:18 PM
Re: Going in the right direction
As the article says the new Microsoft mobile outlook is a convenient way of accessing your emails and calendar. "It looks much simple now"
shakeeb
50%
50%
shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2015 | 7:26:23 PM
Re: Going in the right direction
Great article! I have a feeling that Microsoft Hollow lens would soon be popular provided they come up with an attractive price unlike Google Glasses.
mejiac
50%
50%
mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2015 | 5:37:27 PM
Going in the right direction
Excellent Article!

I think the mobile push that Microsoft is pushing accross multiple platforms (not inclusive of windows mobile) is a good sign that they're definitly heading down the right path.

The fact that the focus is on providing the office suite to the mobile ecosystem is also evidence that Microsoft is focusing on it's strenghts and leveraging it in a good way.

I myself will definitly take advantage of Office available for Android.

Once Windows 10 approaches it's release (and thus are revilved any additional features that haven't been mentioned yet) will definitly know if Microsoft will be able to provide an ecosystem that's consistent accross it's multiple platforms.

 
Slideshows
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Commentary
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
Commentary
If DevOps Is So Awesome, Why Is Your Initiative Failing?
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  12/2/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll