Back
OneDrive

Office and the Cloud

Editor’s note: John Jendrezak, Partner Group Program Manager visits the Office Next blog today to discuss some of our efforts in aligning the client suites to the cloud and some of our new delivery options. In future posts we will discuss the other side of this relationship – our investments in cloud services that are designed to improve the productivity experience for both individuals and organizations. We’ll also drill deeply into several of these areas with more detailed information during the preview period.

The transitions that organizations and people are making to the cloud enable many new opportunities for sharing with others.  We believe that the best way to leverage the cloud is to connect the best-of-breed applications to feature-rich services.  We do not believe that a one-size-fits-all browser based solution is suitable to meet the needs of both work and personal computing because it misses so many opportunities to leverage the power of rich applications. We know that people work online and offline – internet connectivity should never be a barrier to productivity.  These beliefs underlie our work in connecting Office to the cloud and shape our philosophy for the entire release.

In this post, we’d like to talk about how we’ve taken Office and connected it more naturally to the cloud. Let us know what you think about these new capabilities and please give us feedback about what you’d like to hear more about in the coming posts.

It starts with you

Your world is changing quickly and the number of devices-smartphones, tablets, PCs-that you use on a daily basis is multiplying. Each of these devices has computing power, local storage, connectivity, and a form factor optimized for specific tasks, but is also able to do just about anything you can do on the other devices as well. Examples like Skype, Spotify, Netflix and SkyDrive show us how applications recognize you when you sign in and delivers you your content targeted to specific devices.

We see the Office experience the same way. Your content and applications should be available to you wherever you are and on whatever device you are using in a way that is consistent and familiar to you. YOU should be front and center in the Office experience. This is a contrast to the past where Office was very aware of what you had in your local environment but stopped short in the connected, multi-device world we live in today.

Office in the cloud

All you have to do is sign in.

Office 2013 Start Place

As soon as you sign in on any device and launch one of the Office apps, the new Start screen will show you right away that you are in your Office. Take a look at the image below and you’ll see that “Kaitlin” is signed into Word and with her signed in, Office can then start to do cool things like roam some of her personal settings so that she always have access to them.  With this release, recently used files are managed in the cloud and follow you wherever you go. For example, when you launch Word, it will show you the list of the documents you’ve accessed recently on this computer or on any other connected device. If you have a favorite template, you can pin that to the Start Place, and Office will roam with you across devices so you always have that template available to you.

All these settings are stored in the cloud, synced with SkyDrive, SharePoint, and your local drive, and roam with you.

With the capabilities that we’ve built into our roaming settings service, we’re able to create new settings that will roam with you across any connected device.  For example, Word and PowerPoint make it easy to get right back into your work by remembering where you left off in each document or presentation.  So, if you didn’t have time to finish reviewing an important document before you had to leave work, Word will remember what paragraph you were last reading/editing when you open that document on another machine. PowerPoint remembers the slide you were on so you don’t have to go hunting for that last edit in a long deck.

These features extend to your mobile device as well. For example, your Windows Phone will show your recent files for one-touch access while you are on the go.

You can also put a personal touch on your Office experience with your profile picture and by selecting a classy yet subtle decoration.  This will decorate the frame of your Office applications to suit your personality.  When sharing a PC with friends or family, this also helps make it clear at a glance who is signed into Office.

We’ve tried to make it easy to sign in so you can use the same Microsoft account that you’re already using with other Microsoft services, including SkyDrive, Hotmail, XBox, Office.com and soon, Windows 8.  If your business or school is a customer of Office365, you can also use that account to connect to your work world while away from your desk.

When you are signed in, we add your SkyDrive as your preferred save location. Of course you can choose to save to your computer or to another location if you prefer but for all the reasons in this post today, we think that saving to the cloud is much better.

We’ve improved the ability to share a document with others.  Here is a view of our Share place that highlights one of many ways to share.  Check out the Post to Social Networks option – that’s also new in Office.’

We’re also delivering the SkyDrive app with the next version of Office, so you’ll also have all your cloud documents-as well as your photos, notes, and videos – available on your hard drive. You’ll be able to store anything on your SkyDrive and have it automatically available from your trusted devices. We wanted to ensure that when you’re not connected to the internet, you’re not locked away from your files in the cloud.

SkyDrive

 

Office the way you want it

We’ll deliver Office on more devices than we ever have in the past. Smartphones and tablets have emerged as prominent tools for everyday work alongside PCs and laptops.  Each of these devices has particular strengths and weaknesses, and they’re each well-suited to a specific need or context. We’re trying to simplify that by building versions of Office for the majority of those devices, all tailored to the hardware that you’re working on at the time.  It doesn’t matter if you have your hands on a PC, a Mac, a touch-enabled Windows tablet, or a mobile phone; Office takes full advantage of your hardware to give you the best possible experience and access to your work wherever you go.

When you purchase Office, you’re no longer buying software dedicated to a particular piece of hardware. We’ve made a bunch of investments in this version that really change the way that you get Office.  For example, when you purchase the product you will land in the Management Place of Office.com.  This is the place for you to go to install Office on your PC or Mac, update your account information, learn about additional entitlements you may receive with your subscription (e.g. extra SkyDrive storage) and manage your account. You’ll see here that Kaitlin is a subscriber to Office, and with that, she can install Office up to 5 times on a PC or Mac – it’s her call.

 

As part of the Customer Preview, we announced that you’ll be able to sign up for an Office subscription, which will ensure that wherever you go and whatever Windows device you are on, the latest and greatest version of Office will be there for you. We’ll be talking more about our subscription offer in a future post so please stay tuned.

Click-2-Run

We think Click-2-Run (C2R), our virtualization technology, is a vast improvement over the installation and management experiences of prior versions because it streams to your desktop quickly, is not affected by other applications on your system and is always up to date. Office 2010 was the first release to leverage C2R, and we learned how much users appreciate the convenience of an Office installation that more or less manages itself.

In this release, we are expanding our use of C2R installation and streaming technology. We built upon our 2010 version and made many improvements to the streaming technology, application and system interactions, and updating. We’ll detail those in future Office Next posts. Most importantly, C2R will now be the method of installation for all of our retail products and available to customers using Office 365 editions for business, government and education. This will dramatically simplify Office deployment for organizations.

An interesting detail we heard about from customers working with C2R and other virtualization solutions for Office is the desire to use two versions of Office side-by-side on the same machine. For the first time ever, Office will support this configuration out of the box.

Office on Demand

Our goal is to enable you to have access to the next version of Office where ever and whenever you need it, whether that’s at home, at work, or on the go.

If you’re on the go away from your PC and want access to your Office, subscribers can take advantage of Office on Demand – a new way to quickly deliver full Office applications to a PC within seconds. Office on Demand streams and launches a temporary copy of your personalized Office application without installing it permanently, and when you close the application, it and the files you were working on are gone. Watch for more details about Office on Demand and other delivery topics in later posts.

Not only do the Office applications remember your preferences and recent documents – so does Office.com.  When you sign in to Office.com, the My Office page will show you a merged view of all of your recent Office documents from all applications, and the various storage locations you have been using.

Office on the Web

From here, you can use the Office Web Apps to access, author, and share Office documents from nearly any device that includes a web browser. Over the next few days, you’ll be able to try the Office Web Applications at Office.com and SkyDrive.com. Once you do, you’ll see the great improvements we’ve made in the Office Web Apps, which we think deliver the best-in-class editing, collaboration and sharing capabilities on the web:

  • Far richer editing – the Word Web App has an all new page layout with much greater formatting capabilities. PowerPoint now supports creating transitions and animations. Excel has dramatically improved chart rendering and an all-new Interactive View that brings the power of Excel to any table of data on the web. OneNote has better navigation and search.
    .
  • Web Apps wherever you go – the Web Apps are now available on a broader set of devices, browsers and sites. They work great on the latest browsers, including new “touch-friendly” UI controls. Our mobile interface has been redesigned to take advantage of today’s smartphone capabilities. The Web Apps are integrated with more services you use all the time, like Exchange, Lync, and Facebook.
    .
  • Collaboration and sharing – you can now co-author in all four Web Apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote). We’ve also integrated commenting and sharing into the Web Apps hosted on SkyDrive and Office 365.
    .

We’ve improved performance significantly. The UI has been updated to have a more modern, cleaner look, with less distraction from your document’s content.  There are even animations that make transitions feel smooth and fluid.

We’ve worked hard to bring the look, feel, and features that you expect to our Web Apps.

Watch for more details in future posts about many of the other topics covered here. It’s been fun to give you a small taste of what’s to come in the new Office.  Enjoy the Preview and send lots of feedback.  We’re listening!  In fact, you may have noticed all of the smiley/frowny faces in the screen shots right next to Kaitlin’s face.  These are links to send us feedback that are part of our prerelease builds.  Use them and let us know what you think.

John Jendrezak,
Group Program Manager in Office

Notice: Array to string conversion in D:\home\site\wwwroot\wp-includes\taxonomy.php on line 3255 Notice: Array to string conversion in D:\home\site\wwwroot\wp-includes\category-template.php on line 1245

Tags

Join the conversation

56 comments
  1. Great job guys, just can’t seem to find the updated webapps you are mentionning…

  2. One word.. Awesome. Looking forward to use these apps and services to increase my productivity at my enterprise.. What about Skype ?? Will it be bundled with Office suite just as SkyDrive ?

    • As of now, yes that is the case i am understanding. And having the Office 365 Home Premium subscription gets you 60 minutes a month of Skype calls.

  3. Yorick, in time, they will become available.

  4. Will we finally be able to open password protected OneNote Notebooks on our phones? That’s the one feature I’ve been dying for.

  5. As long as you’re improving the Windows Phone Office experience, we need the ability to view inked notes from Skydrive, even if it’s just a read-only image of the ink. An "X" icon with a message saying the content isn’t supported is a pretty lame way to share content across all your devices, don’t you think?

  6. I just think it’s taking too long to disclose more news. Microsoft, once a week until the official release, you should release a new Windows Phone 8. This is called marketing, and will increasingly attracting the attention of consumers. This year is the year of Microsoft, congratulations!

  7. The bright white everywhere and lack of contrast on everything really makes it hard to distinguish tools from content. ALL CAPS on ribbon tabs and especially on the brightly coloured status bar are really distracting. The application icons are difficult to tell apart, especially Word, Outlook and Lync which are virtually the same colour. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve ended up in Word or Lync instead of Outlook in just one day.

  8. "We’ll be talking more about our subscription offer in a future post so please stay tuned".

    I’m all ears. I trust that it won’t replace being able to buy Office software. I prefer to make an informed choice on when, and whether, I upgrade to newer versions.

  9. UI in office 2013 is somewhat laggy. The white background is so harsh at night, so it will be better if it is adjustable. (FYI, VS2012 can be adjusted to dark background)

  10. I would like the ability to change the location of the SkyDrive folder on my computer.

    • Hi BJ,

      On your computer, sign out of the skydrive application. Now move your folder and log back into skydrive and it should ask you where you want to put your folder – select the new folder location that you just moved over to and it should just used that. I did the same thing on my Mac and it worked like a charm but works on Windows too

  11. Sounds good. Only thing I’m worried about is upgrading to the Officve Web Apps on SkyDrive, will it upgrade the document itself?
    The reason I ask is that I have documents on SkyDrive that I have shared with other people. If I edit those documents using the upgraded web apps will it render them inaccessible to other folks that are *not* using the upgraded web apps?

    thanks
    JT

  12. Really looking forward to this but I only have one question:

    When I insert an image now, I have to use a 1×1 table to center that image on the page. The table border cannot be altered and thus, when printing, it looks unsightly. Can I now, directly, add an image to the page, select that image and then center it by clicking on the center button on the toolbar (without having to use a table)? This is the one thing that keeps me from using Web Apps more often and it would be great if it’s possible.

    Apart from that, leep up the great work! :)

  13. Thanks, John, that’s good to know…

  14. The splash screen animation looks a bit lagging with the sluggish animating dots and text. Its animation should be smoother.

    Slow launch speed with my high end desktop computer. I can’t imagine how slow would it be to launch/run Office 2013 apps with slower devices such as tablets or even Windows RT slates…

    The ribbon is not so responsive especially when the "File" tab pops up with animation.

    In PowerPoint 2013, I see couple new slide motions in "Transition" tab. However, in "Animation" tab (object motions), I don’t see any new animations at all even with the previous releases (Office 2007/2010) Can you guys add 3D animating effects for "Animation" tab in the ribbon such as 3D text motions, 3D chart animations, or particle effects like Keynote?

    I expect many improvements would come in the next milestone. Please release RC (release preview) by Windows 8 launch!

  15. Could you please provide additional details how businesses without an Office 365 subscription will be able to block SkyDrive integration. I don’t want all my users saving company data on their own SkyDrive.

  16. This is mostly awesome, but I’m very frustrated to see that browsing to open a file is now two clicks away. Ctrl + O and THEN click Browse. More clicks = less efficient right? Perhaps you could embed the browse dialog inside the Open page, so you could immediately start navigating to find the file you want AND see all the other new Open options, at the same time?

  17. Am I being stupid here, but where is the Exit button gone? What do I do if I have 10 files open, and I want to exit Word? Do I have to do it from the task bar?

    And on that subject, (this isn’t a new issue, but something I’d love to see improved), It’s very annoying when you do close all windows, that you get asked about saving each file individually, so I have to babysit the process repeatedly clicking Yes, or No, after it saves each file. Maybe it could collate the question into one dialog, like Paint.NET does, or at least ask all the questions before doing the saves? At the very least, a "Yes to all" option would be great.

  18. The new era will come soon as some people predicted. Cloud will change the concept of computing in the near future. No need to carry a heavy hard memory in your PC anymore. No need to worry about the speed of PC.

    But the most important thing in the cloud is how to secure the safety of privacy and the personal information. It will depend on the cloud providers and the device providers. Maybe they should have some solid concept over the issue, I hope.

  19. Would be great if i can edit simple text files directly in the webapps. Dont need great features just plain text editing :)

  20. Excellent, thank you John. I’ll assume from that then that the underlying file format isn’t changing.

  21. Thank you for your reply John. Do you perhaps have any information how this will be handled in Windows 8 regarding the use of Microsoft Accounts?

  22. Please Add in coloured themes to choose from. The new design does look nice, but it’s overwhelmingly bright. We need a "dark" theme.

    Also, why did Outlook change from orange to blue? It looked nice as orange. Now it looks like Word.

  23. OK, so when is Microsoft going to add Word and Excel to iOS like they have done with One Note? Since One Note is free for the most part, and clearly iPhone users do not need a huge amount of advanced editing features, I cannot see any reason why Microsoft would not want to target iPhones. Similarly, Microsoft Office for Android.

    I do have some concerns. What happens to customers with no internet access, or just dial up. If you are planning on providing click to run as the DEFAULT surely this puts Office out of reach of students with only dial up internet access, as they will nit be able to buy a disk.

    Similarly, the subscription model is a bust for those who like to pay $100 and KNOW they have a permament license. Although I expect having the ability to de-activate on the fly is kinda cool.

  24. I have office 2010 – Is there a preview that I can download ? Also if so, will it mean that I have to upgrade at some point ?

  25. Office 2013 is essentially Office 365 Home Premium and up. Office on demand is the ability to quickly have office on a machine that isn’t yours and then remove the installation. The reasoning i have gathered is that since Office 365 is a paid subscription (prices unknown yet for consumers) you will pay for Office monthly and then be automatically upgraded to the new version without having to pay extra. But in short they are all the same thing.

  26. What about
    A. Vertical ruler
    B. Borders
    C. Comments?

    Without A.&B. no average template can be filled in.
    Without C. collaboration loses it sense.

  27. I can’t wait to have the Survey Feature. This was a big disadvantage when comparing to Google Docs.

    I’ve opted in for the Preview and don’t see it as an option.

    Is there something I’m missing?

  28. Re-iterating what "Michael Heiß" posted — being able to open/view text files. I would settle with using Word to open them.

  29. i use Office 2010. Can I download a preview

  30. I must have missed something. I tried editing a word doc. It displays beautifully in reading view but editing was a bust. Could not see or use drop caps, text boxes disappeared and were repplaced with a marker, pictures and formatting were all over the map.

    Switched to powerpoint with pretty muct the same resukts. Very limited animations and no animation options except move up or down… I could never create or edit my presentations with the web apps.

    Might be fine for viewing with other users on the web but would never work with the web apps to edit or create. LIke I said, maybe I missed something important. I’ll go back and check,

  31. Why doesn’t the perspective of the letter match the perspective of the shape it’s on top of?

  32. For word, excel, note logos, why doesn’t the perspective of the letter match the perspective of the shape it’s on top of?

  33. Hi,

    I have a bit of the same concern as Miha. As an enterprise we don’t want to store any company documents nor settings in the cloud, especially confidential data. In the text above it is stated that the settings are stored in SkyDrive, would there be the option for enterprises to store these settings in SharePoint on premise? In the answer to Miha you state that this can be controlled by group policies. Great, but I don’t just want to turn off SkyDrive integration; I want to replace it with our internal SharePoint. You already have the concept of a profile in SharePoint, so why don’t offer the same capabilities for on premise? Would it be possible to dedicate a blog for enterprises, so we know what to expect.

    Thx,
    Kris

  34. Because of the sad lack of a true Windows touch device and touch OS I’ve moved to Android for the time being. I’m hoping that device manufacturers will develop solid, functional devices that will work with Windows 8 and that I can once again inject myself into the Microsoft world. I’ve been using Google Docs on a Win 7 laptop, Asus Transformer tablet and Droid Smartphone so that environment will be my benchmark for comparison of Google Docs and Office Cloud. This should be very interesting. I really hope Microsoft can compete.

  35. The web app preview runs really well in Chrome. You almost forget the browser is there. Tablets would love this.

  36. The entire one-note ribbon isn’t working for me: I opened up an existing notebook and tried to open the ribbon and it wouldn’t.. Double clicking makes it pop open, but then none of the buttons do anything when clicked or double clicked. I’m using Internet Explorer on Windows 8 Consumer Preview

  37. All very well and good, that’s if all what you click on works. I am sure every one is so dam frustrated and sick of things not working right all the time, every time some thing new comes out supposedly better than be for. I wish you people and others would get things right be for you put these things out for people to try to see if they want them or not.

  38. Being introduced to another phase of excitement; and my first encounter is impressing and enticing, way to go

  39. Михаил Юрьевич Слесарев

    Меня и раньше всё устраивало в виртуальном офисе, а теперь всё ещё круче!

  40. Looks sharp with lots of new features, thumbs up!

  41. I am a college student and I am so tired of everytime a new product comes out, it is more money more bang for the buck and so forth. Just make something work right from the start.

  42. Any programmers? Would you agree with me?

    There should be an option to preview .cpp, .java, and other files with SkyDrive. It’s annoying having to download each file. Instead, we should have like what Google Drive has.

    If you agree email MS.

  43. Not real good at this but I hope it works this time. I have been having same issues with Google drive. I think my system cleaning software may be to abrasive and need to add URL to not delete. It seems the sync issues related are deleted.

  44. pas mal dommage que la langue francaise soit mise a l’écart chez microsoofty

  45. no deseo esta version : Office Web Apps Preview, porfavor deseo la version hotmail antiguo ok gracias

  46. ESTUDIANDO LAS APPS.. OK..¡¡ GRACIAS..¡¡¡

  47. how can i preview my office files on the web in skydriver?

Comments are closed.