Microsoft cuts the hassle from email encryption with Office 365 upgrade.
Two big complaints people have had about encrypted email often derail its use outside of a small circle.
Office Web Apps, the browser-based, pared-down version of the Microsoft suite, now lets people co-edit documents in real time, a capability its main rival Google Docs has had for more than two years.
Until now, people could jointly edit Office Web Apps documents but changes had to be saved for other collaborators to see them. With the new live co-authoring feature, colleagues will see each other's modifications as they're made.
Microsoft's revenue and earnings per share grew more than 15 percent each in its first fiscal quarter of 2014, during which enterprise server software products sold particularly well, the company said Thursday.
Microsoft generated revenue of $18.5 billion in the quarter, ended Sept. 30, up 16 percent compared with last year's first quarter and topping the $17.8 billion consensus estimate of Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Financial.
Despite IT departments being keen on saving money with lightweight office productivity suites, including those in the cloud, the move from the full Microsoft Office suite isn't happening any time soon, according to research from analyst Forrester.
The analyst questioned online 155 IT decision makers at companies and found that while Google Docs, Open Office and LibreOffice continued to be options for users with lightweight productivity needs, less than 10 percent of firms have provisioned an alternative to Office.
Microsoft has announced their latest wave of server and service updates. Among the most striking: a significant change to the way Windows Azure pricing works, and even more integration options between Azure and Microsoft's server products generally.
As of Nov. 1, Microsoft customers who use the Enterprise Agreement (EA) licensing program will enjoy a discount on Windows Azure pricing, "regardless of upfront commitment, without overuse penalties, and with the flexibility of annual payments."
Microsoft is adding subscription pricing for apps in its Office Store, besides opening eight new store fronts. Developers will be allowed to charge a monthly recurring fee for their applications which they can promote and distribute globally or within the 31 individual selectable markets where the Office Store is available.
Microsoft has added features to Power BI for Office 365, a data analysis tool to complement Excel that the company hasn't yet released in final form.
Microsoft's newly announced joint venture with AT&T, in which AT&T customers get VPN access to Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, may be a sign of how the cloud giants are looking in novel places -- like telecom providers -- for partnerships and alliances.
Cloud vendors and telecom outfits have been slowly knitting together partnerships in which the telcos provide high-grade, high-speed data transports for customers looking to move their data into (or out of) the cloud.
Nonprofit organizations will be able to sign up for Office 365 for free or at a reduced price as part of a new program. Properly certified nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in 41 countries can apply to the Office 365 for Nonprofits program. Microsoft expects to offer the program in 90 countries.
To prevent SharePoint Online customers from feeling boxed in, Microsoft wants to improve the way they upload and store documents in the platform, Office 365's cloud collaboration server.
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