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Microsoft previews Windows 10 and Office 2016

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4th Feb 2015
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Microsoft has unveiled its plans for Windows 10 and a brief outline of its Office 2016 package. 

A preview of Windows 10 is currently available to download in preview - or beta testing - form. The full package is expected to be available later this year. 

The package will be free for the first year for Windows 7 and 8.1 users but pricing is otherwise as yet unclear. 

It's speculated that Microsoft may move to a subscription model, which leaves the question open as to how much subsequent years may cost. 

This may be down to the vendor not wanting people to be able to extend the life of a version of Windows such as XP and 7, IT writer Leo Waldock told the ICAEW IT Faculty.

Some of the features of Windows 10 include: 

  • Updates to the software will change and vary depending on the user. Business users can opt out of some updates to ensure they don't disrupt processes, for example
  • A focus on unifying various devices i.e. tablet, PC and phone, across one internal core and application ecosystem 
  • An improvement in user experience on touchsreen devices
  • Snap Assist, which 'snaps' windows together 
  • A new revision of the Start menu
  • A new docking system, Continuum, which handles transitions between interface modes on laptops and tablets with docking keyboards
  • An intelligent personal assistant, Cortana, introduced now on Windows Phone 
  • A new web browser alongside IE called Spartan which uses a new engine, Edge 

In addition to the Windows 10 information release, Microsoft also unveiled some details about the upcoming Office 2016. 

Microsoft promised this "will remain the comprehensive Office experience you’re long familiar with, best suited for a PC with keyboard and mouse". 

However there will be new Office apps for Windows 10, the already existing Word, Excel, OutLook and PowerPoint but revamped and optimised for mobile and tablet. There is currently ongoing beta testing ongoing with a select group of individuals. 

A website, Neowin.net, has claimed to have seen documents outlining greater detail of Office 2016 including new forecasting functions, BI in Excel, time grouping for model based pivot tables and Skype for Business. 

Other interesting recent Microsoft news includes the announcement that is coming to Android and rumored to be launching its Office for Mac this year. 

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Replies (23)

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By User deleted
05th Feb 2015 06:55

Susbcription model ? ...

Time to move OS - Linux

As for the ongoing Office releases - has M$ actually defined an average user profile? For example one would assume that the majority of customers use Word as a 'simple' word processor & Excel to add up figures

In fact how far has Excel really progressed for most users from the days of Visicalc or Word from the days before Wordperfect

And how many actually use a fraction of all this enhanced functionality - is it simply b ing introduced for the sake of change & of course the ability to charge a fee on a periodic basis

Furthermore, every 'enhancement' by M$ to the OS just seems to make the pc's go even slower and their on-going patch release does rather beggar belief. Are M$ totally incapable of writing proper secure systems at the outset and then relying upon a stream of patches to sort out problems. Patches every so often are OK but every month?

Seems that by taking this 'patch' approach to life M$ are implicitly acknowledging that their producs are 'not fit for purpose' when originally sold because almost from day one they need fixing!

Wonder what would happen to M$ global installations if some enterprising hacker decided to target (intercept) their patch process - M$ meltdown?

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
05th Feb 2015 09:29

.

If they really go for a subscription model I think people will simply stop buying it, especially as 10 seems to offer virtually nothing useful for the average office based employee. 

It is already 30-50% of the purchase of a new desktop PC (once you put office in).

If Apple wasn't such a rip off it would be a simple choice.

Time for a new contender to offer a low cost OS, the market is open!

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David Winch
By David Winch
05th Feb 2015 11:01

Office for Mac

The current version is Office for Mac 2011 which was launched towards the end of 2010.

David

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Replying to jaanwar:
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By KH
05th Feb 2015 12:52

No need to update ??? .........

davidwinch wrote:

The current version is Office for Mac 2011 which was launched towards the end of 2010.

David

I've always found that the older versions of Office for Mac are preferable to the new ones ... but then I'm not a power user, just using Excel for accounts, Trial Balances, etc, and Word I hardly ever use (always translate it into Pages for Mac which I find easier to use ... but maybe only because I've always used Mac software where possible) ... and regarding a new version of Office, Excel, or Word, I'll stick with the 2003 and 2010 versions I am currently using.

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David Winch
By David Winch
05th Feb 2015 13:08

Updates

If you don't need the newer versions then I don't see why you should update when they come along.

Personally I do receive documents & spreadsheets from others which I need to be able to work with.  I use Office 365 on Mac & PC and am more used to the PC versions.

David

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By Cantona1
05th Feb 2015 14:24

Lost empire

Instead of fixing new bugs and woeful designed applications, as usual, MS, rushes for money spinning.

I am glad we now have other options of web browse engines, such as Fire-Fox. IE does not work. Try to download Flash player with IE. I will wait my judgment on the new "Edge". And try to down load MS's SQL Sever free express application and see how MS completely lost users' interest on its products.

If some one comes up an alternative to Windows, I will ditch MS for good.

 

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By carnmores
06th Feb 2015 21:01

Microsoft are a business yes subject to intensive regulatory con

i hold that they have made our lives much easier if sometimes more frustrating as well, a simple example is bookkeepping , accounting and tax programs. i know some people still use paper ETBs but the majority of us do not .

To plaigirse a well know phrase , frustartion is the price we pay for progress. We have clearly seen that if the product or upgrade is not good enough or perhaps to ahead of its time it will in the large part fail , WIndows 8 RT etc  , however thoseof who can remeber can recall Windows 3.1 which was a revoluntary graphic based product after DOS , tho Apple may disagree.

people are free to choose whatever OS they choose and if they dont really want one at all they can use a ChromeBook.

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By Cantona1
06th Feb 2015 22:06

Move over

MS has already hindted that the way forward is a subscription based application- Office 365 is a case in point.

"If you do not like our price, move over to Google or other spread sheets".

 

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By User deleted
07th Feb 2015 09:25

Hang on ...

There is a world of difference between a subscription based application and operating system - apps are Ok for this approach but NOT an OS

There is already an alternative OS - Linux

In any event when the price of these application products starts to exceed their percieved worth the the user base will go elsewhere

Never forget that Visicalc (concept & implementation) was initially free - so fundamentally M$ has made its fortune in this area on the ideas of others with something that was gratis and now charged heavily for use

As for M$ generally - comissioned by IBM to write MSDOS which was broadly a copy of CP/M - IBM deep pockets meant that CP/M authors could not enforce their rights (seems to be the tone of things with M$); IBM allowed M$ to retain the rights to MSDOS and their subsequent GUI = Xerox

... and so on - probably not an original idea in the entire M$ stable - but very good at capitalising on others innovation

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By carnmores
07th Feb 2015 11:08

@JC

To clarify Viscalc was an Apple product not  MS , i dont think MS ever had anything apart from Excel , Computer Associates produced my all time favouite Supercalc .

And one other thing dont blame MS because Gates managed to convince IBM to give him the sole rights to DOS , very good business!

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Replying to Dib:
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By cverrier
17th Mar 2015 17:52

On a point 9or two) of information

Microsoft had a DOS-based spreadsheet called Multiplan before they launched Excel as the first Windows-based Spreadsheet.  It had the interesting feature of having both rows and columns labelled by numbers (as opposed the numbers/letters that Lotus 123 used).

Excel and Word both launched into a market utterly dominated by WordPerfect and Lotus - You can certainly argue that Internet Explorer's launch was an abuse of market position (and indeed Microsoft were on the recieving end of anti-trust cases because of it), but Excel and Word both made it because they were better than the incumbents. - just as WordPerfect killed WordStar a few years before.

 

 

 

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By User deleted
07th Feb 2015 15:42

Don't blame Gates ...

For anything except lack of innovation - he took someone elses idea (Visicalc) and because it wasn't protected used it - also over the years he has consistently taken this stance & often 'screwed' his partners - i.e. 32 bit OS & IBM; MS Money put Quicken out of business the M$ dumped Money thereby hanging user base out to dry - and many more examples. But I am sure this is regarded as 'good business'!

Anyway, believe Gates did the industry great service by 'rescuing' Apple and re-instating (bank rolling) Steve Jobs getting his own company back after he was booted out

Finally Visicalc was ported to (PC) DOS (not MS DOS - prior to) and used on Tandy (TRS-80 M1) etc. - from memory TRS-DOS morphed into LDOS. Still have 2 of these machines in a shed somewhere with Visicalc - believe the time lag between introduction on Apple & being ported was about 12 months

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David Winch
By David Winch
07th Feb 2015 16:27

Not forgetting Lotus 1-2-3 which was in there somewhere!

David

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Out of my mind
By runningmate
07th Feb 2015 16:59

The best OS

The best (fictional) OS.

RM

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By Cantona1
07th Feb 2015 21:50

Monoploy of a product

JC

Where can we go to get another spread sheet? Unless Google improves its spread sheet, we are chained in to MS monopoly.

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By carnmores
08th Feb 2015 12:11

you can use OpenOffice

and many others , but interesting comments re Monopolies , how do they come to be ........... anyway JC you have a bee in your bonnet re MS , its not who is first its who is best  ;-). i still have my disks for supercalc for windows but never really used it as much as the Dos version , in conjunction with that old dot matrix printer and the Sidewys printer program . I  wonder how many of us still use a dot matrix printer

 

                                  and oh yes i remember when MS bought my then favourite Netscape

 

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By User deleted
09th Feb 2015 09:15

Not really a bee ...

@carnmores

Best at what - driving out/acquiring & killing the competition, becoming a monopoly so the consumer has no choice?

But not blind either under the auspices of 'good business' - or does anything go! Hedgies, Wonga, Southern Cross are all good buinsess for those involved but who bears the cost (financial & social) .... presumably these are all to be admired

You yourself have highlighted the matter of Netscape '.. i remember when MS bought my then favourite Netscape ..' - what happened to that & why do you think that M$ acquired the major opposition to IE at the time - and then canned it. Is it really in the public interest to stifle competitive products to the potential detriment of the customer base?

The Gates Foundation http://www.gatesfoundation.org/ is doing amazing work and all credit to the family which has pumped extraordinary amounts of money into the charity - but never forget where & how the money was accumulated in the first place (from 'good business practices'!)

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By carnmores
09th Feb 2015 09:42

@JC

its  a matter of perspective , yours and mine will it appear remain different thats the way the world works ; if i remember correctly Netscape was struggling with the competition when MS took it over .  Turning to your other point re unfettered capitalism there is a huge difference in the way Southern Cross & Wonga operate(d) I would hold that one was out and out asset stripping and the other reckless behavious by the customer , albeit egged on, but the rules have changed and responsible lending once more to the fore (well almost)

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By User deleted
09th Feb 2015 10:18

Agree to disagree ..

@carnmores - guess we have to agree to disagree

Although, on the Netscape front. M$ tried to buy them in 1994 but was turned down over price - so M$ created IE and gave it away as part of their OS Windows - i.e.free/under-hand 'good business?' (subsequent massive DOJ anti-trust case; my point exactly - destroy the competition! and clearly others thought the same)

Also Netscape created JavaScript in answer to M$ VBScript

M$ then turned into 'patent harvesting' rather than innovation; nabbing other peoples ideas, because they were devoid of their own; this killed many small innovative IT businesses - that is the problem

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By carnmores
10th Feb 2015 09:46

every business harvests another IP , just look at cars

we will indeed agree to  disagree that life , like politics  

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By cverrier
17th Mar 2015 17:33

M$?

I always slightly roll my eyes when someone persists in using the 'M$' soubriquet at every opportunity - like it's a novel thought that they're in business to make a profit.

Find me someone on here who isn't!

 

 

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By cverrier
17th Mar 2015 17:50

MS Office versions

It's probably fair to say that newer versions of Excel/Word doj't offer huge amounts to most A/W users, but that doesn't mean the new versions don't have merit - Excel is used by people other than accountants!

Early versions of Excel certainly were mainly about piling on the features - up to the 2003 release, I'd say.

2007 was about finding a way to make all those features accessible without having fourteen toolbars at the top (and left and right!) of the screen.  It was pretty odd to start with, but I'm not sure I'd go back now.

2010 added a lot of collaboration elements that you may not have even noticed.  Integration with SharePoint, multiple users working on the same sheet at the same time, etc.   I know people for whom this stuff is a godsend.

Nobody is forcing you to upgrade, and as far as I can tell Office 2016 will be offered as both a traditional AND subscription model.  Choice is good right?

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By User deleted
18th Mar 2015 08:46

M$ undocumented calls - Standards & Choice ...

Apologies if the soubriquet M$ offends but it is a simple shortening of Microsoft and more expressive that MS – of course it’s about making money – just how one does it and where the line is drawn (from memory Mutiplan was originally CP/M)

@cverrier – Historic undocumented functions in their operating system - in principle there is nothing wrong with this

Nevertheless, because M$ produced both the operating system and their own applications they subsequently used these undocumented functions to steal a march on their competitors. Right from the start there was supposed to be the concept of a Chinese wall between the Operating System and their applications – unfortunately this was found to be false and never adhered to by the company

Furthermore, M$ told 3rd party developers that using these undocumented system calls was a dangerous practice, however, their own programs contained a lot of  these undocumented functions – because they had an inside track

On the Excel/Word front – M$ have been banging on for years about standards and look/feel of applications; even at one stage threatening 3rd party developers over the issue. There are many valid reasons for this approach, which include consistency, training issues etc

So to have them change the look & feel of Excel/Word (i.e. their own rules) at the drop of a hat is rather interesting. Furthermore, what was the ensuing cost to business of this change in terms of training, support etc. – one suspects huge; also a cost that was picked up by business & not M$ despite the fact that they were the instigators of the change!

As for ‘.. Nobody is forcing you to upgrade ..’ – my understanding is that neither of these programs are backward compatible, therefore, perhaps you could explain how to simply read a file sent in the latest version (docx) by someone who has not upgraded and only has limited (doc) capability

I may be mistaken, but where is the choice in this?

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