“The cloud” is something of a buzzword these days: there’s lots of talk about it, but not everyone knows what it means. Windows Live SkyDrive [http://explore.live.com/skydrive] is a cloud-based document storage service, and what that means is that it can keep your documents safe from damage or getting lost, allow you to copy those documents to any computer at any time, and enable you to share documents via email or collaborative editing. The cloud component refers to where these documents are stored; rather than keeping them on your computer, they are in a password-protected portion of the Microsoft servers, completely isolated from the various threats that go along with everyday internet usage.
SkyDrive is integrated directly with the latest version of Microsoft Office (Office 2010). What this means for the user is that files typed up in Office programs, like Word and Excel, can be saved directly to SkyDrive [http://explore.live.com/skydrive-get-started?T1=t2], saving you the hassle of uploading them yourself. In addition, new Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote documents can be created directly within SkyDrive, and the use of Office Web Apps allows said documents to be edited directly. The Web Apps also allow for collaborative editing [http://explore.live.com/skydrive-share-photos-files?T1=t4], so multiple people can work simultaneously on the same document without the clutter of multiple copies or edit merging.
Another use for SkyDrive is photo sharing [http://explore.live.com/skydrive-get-started?T1=t4]. Whereas normally sending photos in an email would require attaching them individually, and thus being subject to attachment size limits and inbox clutter, SkyDrive can be used to store entire albums of photos and then simply linked to in the email. The recipient can then browse and download photos from the SkyDrive at their leisure. At the same time, permissions can be set on the SkyDrive so as to keep some documents private while others are available to anyone.
While SkyDrive is currently somewhat of a standalone product, it will be much more heavily integrated in Windows 8 [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/02/20/connecting-your-apps_2c00_-files_2c00_-pcs-and-devices-to-the-cloud-with-skydrive-and-windows-8.aspx]. An app under the new Metro interface will allow SkyDrive files to be easily accessed and browsed outside of a browser, as well as making said files and the SkyDrive itself available from any other app. This is built-in alongside the open and save functions, so any app that can access files can access cloud storage through SkyDrive.
One of the greatest thing about Skydrive is the price – Skydrive is Free! 25GB of storage for your files for free! Skydrive apps are available for Windows Phone and iOS and there are currently a number of thrid part Android apps as well as the new OneNote for Android app just released from Microsoft that lets you access your notes on Skydrive from an Android phone.
Office 2010 officially came out last month to the public, and it is now appearing on many new computers as well as being installed by home users and businesses as an upgrade. When Office 2007 came out, many people hesitated to upgrade from Office 2003 due to the change in the user interface and cost, however for those who are still using Office 2003, now may be a good time to consider taking the plunge and going with Office 2010. There are quite a few revamped and new features in Office 2010 that really do increase the value, as well as make it more productive and easier to use. Both business and home users can find new features that help them do things better and faster, and while moving from Office 2003 to 2010 may take a bit of getting used to, it seems more than worth it. Also, for the most part, if your computer can run Office 2007 or Office 2003, it should be able to run Office 2010. For the tech specs, see here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/office2010/archive/2010/01/22/office-2010-system-requirements.aspx
** Note to the tech people at Office Depot on Fairfield Drive here in Pensacola: Office 2010 will run on Windows XP, you just need to have service pack 3 installed (if you aren’t sure about the specs, then just read the Office 2010 box before you tell people that their computer won’t run Office 2010!)
Here are some of my favorite new and improved features in Office 2010:
While upgrading to new software will take a bit of getting used to, I have found that the new and improved features in Office 2010 really help productivity and make a number of previously ‘hard to do’ tasks so much easier. As computers, the internet, and how we interact with technology changes, so must our software, and Office 2010 seems like a good step towards the future.
If you are interested in checking out more new features, or getting a free trial of Microsoft Office 2010, visit here: http://www.microsoft.com/office/make-it-great/en-us/for-home#demo
If you are a student and would like a fantastic deal from Microsoft on Office 2010, check out the Offers page at Pensacola Computers for details
Yesterday, Microsoft released Office 2010 to its partners and developers via MSDN and Technet, and it will soon be hitting the retail shelves for public consumption. This is looking to be the best version of Office ever with quite a few new and exciting features! Office 2010 bring more collaboration features which allow multiple users to edit documents simultaneously and a new cloud based offshoot – docs.com which is Microsofts shoot back at Google Docs (currently docs.com is in ‘beta’ and is available to Facebook users).
Some of the new features that I really like in Office 2010: The ribbon is now much more consistent in all Office Programs – including Outlook (this will certainly cause some confusion for longtime Outlook users, but in my opinion the ribbon is much more efficient once you get used to it), PowerPoint has some very cool new features including some great tools for integrating photos and videos into presentations, and an improved ability to publish to the web, or share through Windows Live spaces (expect more family albums to be shared this way in the future!). Microsoft is also planning on introducing a Free ‘lite’ version of Office which will replace the current ‘Works’ suite that is preinstalled on many new computers.
For more information on Office 2010 from Microsoft, visit: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/2010office/Default.aspx
Stay tuned for a complete review and some tutorials on how to use the new features. For support, help, or questions on Office 2010, visit: Pensacola Computers at: http://pensacolacomputers.com
Microsoft has taken the wraps off their Office 2010 and is now offering a free download of their public Beta (it expires next year). While not as much of a change as Office 2007 was from 2003 and previous versions, Microsoft has fine tuned many areas in response to what customers want. In addition, Office 2010 offers a much higher level of integration with Sharepoint services – designed to help in sharing of documents and resources, as well as improved web technologies.
One of the things I am personally looking forward to trying is the new Access web abilities. In conjunction with a Sharepoint server, Access will now be able to create a web facing, user friendly database application that will allow users to see, modify, and consolidate data views. This feature was sorely missing from Office 2007, and will open up data driven website possibilities to a much broader range of the business market.
Microsoft Office 2010 Beta is available for Download Here: http://www.microsoft.com/office/2010/en/download-office-professional-plus/default.aspx - make sure to read the pre-requisites as well as all of the installation documentation before you attempt installation. As this is a Beta product, expect there to be some bugs and some features that will be changed in the final release due out next year. Microsoft soft has added the “Send a smile, Send a frown” feature which installs in your tray with Office 2010 and allows an instant way to send feedback to the developers of Office 2010 without having to leave the application – you should definitely use this, as Microsoft IS Listening!