Microsoft is looking to beef up security for Outlook.com, without the need for a two-step method. Microsoft wants to give Outlook.com, the web-mail service formerly known as Hotmail, features stronger than what Google provides for its Gmail clients. Google usually requires the typical username and password login credentials. But users can also activate the two-step security method which includes a second numeric code that’s sent directly to the user’s associated smartphone. Google says the two-step verification helps protect a user’s account from unauthorised access should someone manage to obtain their password. Microsoft’s proposed single-use code would also be sent to the user’s associated smartphone via texting, but in place of the user’s password. Although Microsoft is yet to confirm this as its preferred method, the move could be popular for those who export Lotus Notes to Outlook or use the service in other ways where security is a high priority.
Everything is moving to the cloud — with the exception of Outlook for Mac, which in terms of sync support, has barely a cloud in sight. The cloud is supposed to allow you to store your data and have it accessible to you from any computer, anywhere. When it comes to syncing email, Outlook loves the cloud. But when it comes to syncing other data that users create and store in Outlook, the program falls well short for Mac users. Outlook Mac’s calendar won’t talk to Google or iCloud, even though Mac’s own calendar program can talk to both. Outlook’s notes feature lacks support for syncing to iOS and Android and contacts can’t seem to easily talk to Google, iCloud or even to Microsoft’s new Outlook.com site. Tasks also feels stuck without sync. So while, for example, it’s possible to convert Lotus Notes to Outlook, it’s a potentially frustrating outcome for Outlook users that barriers exist in terms of moving that information to the cloud.
Microsoft has announced via the Windows team blog, that copies of Windows 8 will be available for release on Friday the 26th of October this year. The day will also be marked by the roll out of two Windows products including Windows 8 for x86/x64 systems using Intel or AMD processors and Windows RT for tablets running ARM processors. The tablet running Windows 8 pro will not launch for another 90 days which coincides with the Consumer Electronics Show. Although Microsoft announced last year that they would not attend the CES again, the media hype around the event will probably help the launch of the new product. Lotus Notes users will need to convert from nsf to pst to prepare for the new wave of Microsoft upgrades, which includes Microsoft Office Outlook email capabilities as well as new and improved versions of Excel, Word, Powerpoint that will be accessible over the cloud using touch screen technology.
Establishing the right operating system for your business can be frustrating and time consuming. It’s not as simple as just converting from Lotus Notes to Outlook. There are a lot of factors to consider and some businesses may be ready to move away from Microsoft Exchange altogether to look at a Linux operating system. Most offices use Microsoft Exchange, which works perfectly in conjunction with Microsoft Office but not so well with Linux alternatives such as Evolution, Kontact and Thunderbird. Experts suggest that if you are going to use these programmes, you will need to change from MS Exchange to Egroupware or Google Hosting which allows you to connect more effectively via mobile devices. If the company is adamant about staying with Microsoft Exchange, it makes sense to avoid the stress and work with Outlook which works perfectly and doesn’t need add on applications like its Linux counterparts.
Microsoft’s Office 2013 could mark a new wave in cloud computing thanks to the in-built features in the upgraded Office system. Although Microsoft has not announced pricing for the product yet, the upgrade of the Windows system to Windows 8 Pro should only cost approximately $40 to upgrade directly from the Microsoft website. All Office 2013 documents will be saved on SkyDrive where users can log in with their Windows ID. The data stored in the programme is free unless any additional data needs to be uploaded onto the cloud, in which case there will be a charge. The new and improved Office Suite should allow for users to be able to connect their tablets, mobile phones, laptops and desktop computers through SkyDrive and seamlessly interact with other users. To completely enjoy the benefits of cloud storage, Lotus Notes users will need to convert their email files from nsf to pst to interact through Outlook.
Windows XP could become obsolete with the launch of Windows new Office 2013 suite. The system requirements state that Windows XP and Vista are not supported, so users will need to switch to Windows 7 or 8 in order to take advantage of the upgrade. Along with a software upgrade, Microsoft 7 requires a hardware upgrade. The computer will need to include 1GHZ processor, 1GB of RAM for the 32-bit version and 2GB for the 64 bit version and at least 3GB of free storage space to install the software. A screen resolution of at least 1024 x 576 pixels is also required. Users will also benefit from changing their emails service from Lotus Notes to Outlook, which is part of the Office 2013 suite. Although many Vista users have upgraded to Windows 7, there are still a large amount of computers with Microsoft XP installed that haven’t changed their operating systems.
Ease of use is the name of the game for Microsoft’s new and improved Office product. Office 2013 will allow users to edit documents from the office or the comfort of their own home and pick up where they left off on another device. An example at the Windows Phone Summit earlier this year showed users working on Office files from their laptop or desktop computer then completing their work using their Windows Phone 8 devices. Lotus Notes users will need to convert from nsf to pst to use the updated version of Office 2013’s Outlook email service via the application. The new Office will also incorporate touch friendly browsers allowing users to interact completely via touch display. Although Microsoft is keeping tight lipped about the launch of the new phones, rumours are circulating that Windows Phone 8 should be arriving on some shelves as early as November this year.
Members of the public are being urged to try out the new updates of Office Web Apps, which is Windows version of Google Docs, on www.skydrive.live.com. This is one of the most significant updates carried out for Office Web Apps and improvements in the suite include enhanced document editing, which allows for more enhanced layout and formatting capabilities. Although it was previously not available, users will now be able to joint edit PowerPoint presentations. Operations do not slow down once documents increase in size and the overall application is faster. Office Web Apps was launched two years ago and is already used by approximately 50 million people per month. To interact with other business clients using Office Web Apps, users will need to convert from Lotus Notes to Outlook. Neither Web Apps nor Google docs comes close to matching the full Office suite, however it is highly effective for remote users.
Bill Gates’ promise in 1995 that Microsoft would deliver to “everyone, anytime and anywhere” is finally coming to fruition with the new touch friendly Microsoft Office. The programme is touch sensitive, with the ability to use a keyboard, pen and touch. The new Office is geared towards the more touch friendly Windows 8 operating system, but also friendly to Windows 7, Windows Phone, and corporate services such as Exchange and SharePoint. It also works in a similar manner to SkyDrive and Skype which is also owned by Microsoft. It integrates with social applications such as LinkedIn, Yammer and it allows posting to Facebook. Social feeds go directly into Office Outlook which means, if you have Lotus Notes, you will need to convert from nsf to pst. The team at Google can no longer sit on their laurels, Microsoft is bridging the gap quickly.
Fans are waiting with anticipation for one of the biggest launches in Microsoft history which will take place on October 26. The release of Windows 8 will include new technology which enables the operating system to work on touch-controlled tablet computers such as Microsoft’s own new tablet, due to be launched in conjunction with Microsoft 8, the Surface. A revamped version of office will also be included in the launch, which will have the normal functions of word processing and spreadsheets along with cloud computing and email services. This means that those who are currently using Lotus Notes will need to convert from nsf to pst in order to use the Office email products. Windows has given no forecast on what revenue would come from its Surface tablet. However it revealed it would not be partnering with Dell or HP this time and would be making its own hardware.