Lauren Parker

Many people believe that 2015 has been a make or break year for Microsoft; would they learn from the mistakes of Windows 8 and maintain their status as a dominant tech company? Or would Google Docs, Slack, Evernote and Box knock Microsoft off the top spot with their cloud solutions that allow us to collaboratively edit documents and spreadsheets and access files regardless of whether we’re in the office or on the move?

microsoft

The release of Windows 10 and Office 2016 has provided the perfect opportunity for Microsoft to embrace the mobility and collaboration trends that are shaping the way modern businesses operate.

Windows 10

Microsoft have branded Windows 10 as ‘the Windows you know, only better’. So why is it the Windows we know? The new operating system has a lot of similarities to Windows 7 including a return of the much-loved Start menu. And what makes it better? While Microsoft have learned from Windows 8 and created a system that is more familiar and easier to use it has also been designed to be more productive, flexible and personal.

Here’s how they’ve done it:

Microsoft Edge
A brand new browser that allows you to write or type notes directly onto a web page and share with others, read articles online without any other distractions and save pages for easy access later. Cortana integration means you’re also able to select text and ‘Ask Cortana’ about what you’ve highlighted, results appear in a sidebar.

Multi-doing
Snap up to four things on your screen at the same time. You can also create virtual desktops to gain more space and work with just the items you want.

Cortana
Available on Windows Phones for a while now, Cortana finally comes to PCs in Windows 10. She’s a personal digital assistant that learns over time to become more personal and useful. She’ll remind you of meetings, check on traffic ahead of meetings and can even search the web for you.

Work across devices
Windows 10 enables your apps to look and work great across all your devices – PC, tablet and phone so that you can be just as productive on the move or at home as you are from the office.

continuum - yahoo tech

Continuum
Makes your Windows 10 smartphone work like a computer. Plug your phone into a screen using a HDMI cable or the specially created Display Dock and all the apps and documents on your phone will scale up to PC size.

If you like the sound of Windows 10 but aren’t quite convinced yet, Microsoft have created a Windows 10 emulator that lets you see all these new features in action.

Once you’ve made the decision to upgrade to Windows 10, current users of Windows 7 or 8.1 can upgrade for free before 29th July 2016 by clicking this link.

Office 2016

1 in 7 people on the planet use Office, and over the years Microsoft have developed Office from a Windows-centric productivity suite of 5 core products into a vibrant ecosystem of applications.

On the 22nd September Microsoft released their new version of Office, the first version that has been designed and built from the ground-up for mobility, cloud, collaboration and teamwork. It is also the most secure version yet, with extended data leak prevention technology.

In terms of look and functions it is very similar to the Office we are used to, there are no new interfaces or funny menus. The biggest changes are behind the scenes as the whole package has been redesigned to be collaborative and cross-platform.

Here’s what’s new:

  • Word, PowerPoint and OneNote all feature co-authoring. This allows you to create and collaborate on documents simultaneously with others. Real-time typing means you can see where others are working and view their edits as they happen.
  • Skype integration makes collaboration even easier with the ability to send Instant Messages, and make voice or audio calls from within Office applications.
  • Reflecting the massive uptake in tablets for business, apps are now optimised for touch – easily edit, zoom and navigate through documents and applications with your finger.
  • Find commands with Tell Me, just tell Word, Excel or PowerPoint what you want to do and Tell Me will guide you to the command.
  • Available on more than just Windows 10. With iOS and Android compatibility, you can easily view, edit and present your Office documents across any of your Windows, Android, or Apple devices.

To take advantage of Office 2016’s new features, businesses require an Office 365 subscription. If you are already using Office 365, contact your system administrator to schedule your upgrade.

If you aren’t yet using Office 365 carry on reading to find out why you should be.

Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 is the office you know, with the capability and flexibility your business needs. It’s Microsoft’s productivity boosting cloud solution that provides anywhere access to all your familiar Office tools (2016 versions), business-class email and document management. With plans to suit any business need and per user monthly subscriptions, more and more businesses are adopting Office 365.

Lumia

Lumia devices act as an extension of your existing Microsoft ecosystem, helping businesses to become truly mobile and teams more collaborative. Mobile optimised versions of Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel are installed as standard, so recently accessed documents automatically sync between your Lumia device and any Windows 8 or Windows 10 PC or tablet. And with uncompromising, inbuilt security features such as code-signing, full device encryption and unique Information Rights Management capability it’s a sensible choice.

To find out more about how Microsoft Cloud Solutions can transform the way your business works give us a call today on 0345 3031 001.

 

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