Microsoft Releases Office for Android Phones

Microsoft Releases Office for AndroidOn the heels of its June release of Office for iPhone, yesterday Microsoft made its venerable Office product line available for Android phones. It’s been a sticking point for mobile professionals that the most common word processing, spreadsheet, and slideshow programs were inaccessible on the most common mobile devices. But now we’re able to have Word, Excel, and Powerpoint with us on the go.

Sort of. Despite the ubiquity of smart phones the last few years, Microsoft didn’t make its most popular applications available for a good (to Microsoft) reason: until now, Office products were only available on Windows phones, and Microsoft had hoped that the popularity of those applications would drive users to phones that used their operating system.

And even though Microsoft has finally offered Office on different platforms, they’re still banking on the popularity of Office to pull users further into the Microsoft experience. For one, these aren’t exactly stand-alone applications. Unlike their Windows Phone or Windows 8 counterparts, they require a Microsoft 365 subscription.

And while you can email attachments, syncing and cloud storage is only available through Microsoft’s SkyDrive or SharePoint. Finally, these apps are only supported for the iPhone and Android Phones– there’s no comparable support for iPads and Android Tablets.

Of course, the news isn’t all bad. While you can’t create new documents with the iPhone or Android Office (also unlike their Windows Phone or Windows 8 counterparts), you can edit existing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files online through the Microsoft services and offline. The editing capabilities for Excel seem especially robust. Check out some of these features from the Microsoft Office for iPhone help:

  • Find text within a workbook
  • Apply filter
  • See the sum, average etc of a range with AutoSum
  • Sort selected data
  • Add, delete, and display comments
  • Format cells
  • Clear cells
  • Undo/Redo
  • Share files via email

On top of it all, the interface is easy and intuitive, and the documents, spreadsheets, and slidshows look good to boot. This isn’t just to make it easy on your eyes: in a crunch, a pocket projector and your smart phone are all you need to give a professional looking presentation.

So while it isn’t quite time to toss out your laptop and start running your business through your phone, you can at least make changes to your work while you’re on the go.

How the New Microsoft Office 365 Can Work for Small Business

Microsoft Office365 from AT&TThe idea behind the new Office 365 is that there are two key needs for small businesses these days: mobile accessibility and streamlined IT. After all, time spent dealing with tech headaches is time you’re not actually working on your business. Office365 seeks to streamline your tech by providing all your productivity apps through one cloud-based service, and can include the Microsoft Office Suite so many of us have come to rely on.

Exchange Online
Exchange email is probably not a new idea for you. The trouble is, running an exchange server for email is complicated and not cheap. Microsoft has figured out how to have exchange email live online, so you can sync and manage email, calendars and contacts across devices. There are even shared calendars, just like the real (now old-fashioned) deal.

Read More

How to Use Microsoft Office on Your Tablet or Smartphone

Try Office365 on the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
Office365 includes Microsoft’s official web app for Word, Powerpoint and Excel so you can use it on a tablet, like the new Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

One of the questions we get asked most often is about how to use Microsoft Word and Excel on tablets and smartphones. And while we love using iPads and other tablets to work whenever and wherever, but until now there hasn’t been a great native solution for those devices. Instead we’ve been using Android and iOS apps to try to recreate the laptop or desktop experience.

But starting today, Microsoft has partnered with AT&T to create a cloud-based Office Suite, so you can have Microsoft Office on all your devices. They’re calling it Office365, and the idea is that the cloud can provide everything you need to be productive on any device. Using the cloud actually enables lots of professional-level IT tools beyond just the Office Suite, which we’ll talk about later this week, but for now we’ll just concentrate on getting you up to speed on the Office Web Apps mobile stuff. Read More

Use Docracy to Make Small Biz Legal Needs Easier and Get Free Legal Documents

Legal needs can be one of the most daunting (and expensive) parts of setting up a small business, either as a freelancer, contract employee or as a small business looking to hire.

Docracy, a new NYC-based startup now in beta, aims to crowdsource basic legal needs to make it easier to get the legal stuff done and get on with the running of your business. It’s a great resource for standard legal documents that can be customized to your needs.

If you’re comfortable with basic legal language, it’s a great repository for standard forms that can be tweaked for each use, such as Non-Disclosure Agreements, Consulting Contracts, basic employment offer agreements, and more. There’s even a “startup bundle” that packages relevant documents together for those looking to get their company off the ground.

We especially love that documents can be edited, saved, and signed online to expedite contract signings. Agreements signed via Docracy are guaranteed legally enforceable.

It’s important to note that Docracy isn’t your lawyer. They’re very clear that the documents on their site don’t constitute legal advice, so if you have anything specific to your situation, or any questions about their standard documents, it’s definitely wise to consult with an actual lawyer or legal professional.

But at the very least, Docracy is an amazing time-saver for those looking to save time and money to launch their business into the world.

RIM and Microsoft Team up to Offer BES to Office 365 Files

Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud offering for all your Office documents. No matter where you are or what computer you’re on, you can access your documents via the web. It makes sense that Windows Phone devices can access Office 365 documents for mobile productivity even if you’re not on your “computer”.

Since most if not all corporations are using a combination of Microsoft applications, but are still issuing its employees BlackBerry phones; it just makes since that RIM is now offering mobile access to Office 365 services via its BlackBerry Business Cloud Services beta (in other words, BES for Office 365). Read More

Microsoft Office 365 Brings Cloud Email, Calendar, and Documents to Small Businesses for a Low Price

Last month, Microsoft finally unveiled its new cloud-based enterprise productivity and communications suite, Office 365. With more and more small and mid-sized businesses embracing the cloud-based potential of Google Apps, it’s not particularly surprising that Ballmer & the boys decided to fire their own volley. What is surprising, though, is just how robust, well-executed, and affordable the new Office 365 manages to be; for small businesses feeling encumbered by their current software systems, Office 365 might be the solution. Read More

AT&T Office@Hand: Your Dream Business Phone System

Don’t you hate calling a company with a simple question, only to get stuck in a phone tree and forced to leave a frustrated voicemail for who-knows-who? Don’t let customers who call your business feel the same way!

Upgrade your biz phone presence—and keep all your employees reachable—with AT&T Office@Hand. This slick but simple mobile business phone and fax system works virtually anywhere you do, with your existing phones and lines. And you can manage it, in real time, via PC or smartphone app (on select iPhone®, BlackBerry®, and Android™ models).

Office@Hand includes all the features you want: auto-receptionist, custom greetings, call routing, hold music, dial-by-name, and the list goes on. And how about Internet faxing? You can receive, view, and forward documents you’d otherwise have to be at your desk to see. That’ll help keep your field personnel productive.

But don’t take our word for it. Check out Office@Hand yourself. You can even sign up for a free 30-day trial.

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