Before you throw yourself into chicken wings and football, here’s a quick look at this week’s highlights from Microsoft.
Office continued to expand everywhere, with Office for Android coming out of preview, Outlook for iOS making its debut, and Outlook for Android releasing a preview.
The unveilings continue the cross-platform march of Office for iPhone and iPad. They also follow news that universal Office apps on Windows 10 will include new touch scenarios for devices small to humongous (lookin’ at you, Microsoft Surface Hub).
“These are all important steps toward our goal of bringing the power of Office everywhere – to everyone, on every device,” wrote Julia White, general manager of the Office Product Management Team. You can now find Word, Excel and PowerPoint as free downloads for Android tablets at the Google Play store. (They’ve joined the popular OneNote for Android).
If data is your thing, you’ll want to know about Power BI’s new makeover announced this week. The cloud-based analytics service got some new, easy-to-use dashboards and tools, to help non-technical business users do as much data-crunching as their hearts desire. The live dashboards connect to data quickly, making interactive reports easy, and shall we say, fun?
The new Power BI preview is available to anyone with a U.S. business email account. Here’s a look at the preview.
OneDrive will get some restyling, with a new way to view, manage and share photos. OneDrive users will soon be able to curate photos from different devices and find them easily with the help of Bing. The organization will be more streamlined, and OneDrive got all smart, helping you search for photos based on tags, or on visuals alone. No more excuses for not sharing vacation photos with Grandma.
In other news, the feds gave props to Microsoft for being nice to Earth. The Environmental Protection Agency ranked Microsoft No. 2 on a list of 100 “largest green power users.” The ranking was based on annual amount of green power used.
“Our annual purchase of green power is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of nearly 236,000 average American homes annually,” Josh Henretig wrote in the Microsoft Green Blog.
Thursday’s international Data Privacy Day prompted a take on the issue from Microsoft’s chief privacy officer, Brendon Lynch, who wrote of the pressing need for solutions. A poll of 12,000 Internet users in 12 countries found that many people think technology has had a negative effect on privacy.
“As we advance technology to help people and organizations do great things, we want to ensure fundamental values such as privacy endure,” Lynch wrote. “Privacy isn’t just a nice-to-have – we believe it is a basic human right.”
What would you do if your 10-day-old baby suffered a stroke? If you’re Roberto D’Angelo, you hook up Kinect and create an advocacy group called FightTheStroke.org with your wife, Francesca Fedeli. D’Angelo, who works for Microsoft Office 365 in Italy, used Kinect’s motion sensors to facilitate rehab for pediatric stroke patients. We featured the couple’s story this week.
FightTheStroke.org is now doing a pilot program with home-bound stroke patients, with the help of Columbia University in New York.
A round-up of apps and games featured a look at Autodesk SketchBook for Windows Tablet, a great tool to get your Van Gogh on. Viber’s free-text app added video calls and emoticons, for when smiley faces are essential. And Xbox One and Xbox 360 looked ahead at February’s Games with Gold. They include the offbeat action game, “It Draws a Red Box” (aka #IDARB), and the atmospheric mystery, “Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.”
Finally, let’s contemplate people who do a lot in their lives. Microsoft does just that on its Instagram page, a celebration of people who #DoMore.
This week featured Juliette de Feraudy, who founded a cute line of compression hosiery in Paris, after finding nothing stylish for the circulation problems in her legs. All that, and she’s a lawyer, too.
Posted by Vanessa Ho
Microsoft News Center Staff