Windows 10 Ready For July, Office 2016 Updates: Microsoft Roundup - InformationWeek

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6/6/2015
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Windows 10 Ready For July, Office 2016 Updates: Microsoft Roundup

Microsoft is busy readying Windows 10 for its July 29 launch, but it made time to push a few updates to the Office 2016 preview.

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Microsoft wasted no time in announcing its biggest news of the week before most of us got to our desks on Monday morning. Its long-awaited Windows 10 operating system will start rolling out to eligible PCs and tablets on July 29. No word yet on mobile OS availability.

Before you mark your calendars, be sure to reserve your upgrade via the Get Windows 10 app. You can still upgrade if you don't reserve, but you'll have to wait a bit longer. Microsoft will begin notifying devices of their upgrade availability the day of the launch.

"Some notifications will go out as soon as Windows 10 is available; others may go out in the weeks or months following," officials wrote on a Windows 10 FAQ page.

Continuing the momentum of its launch news, Microsoft announced pricing for the two versions of Windows 10 -- Home and Pro -- that will hit the market in July. For those who aren't eligible for the free upgrade or miss the one-year window, the Home edition will cost $119 and the Pro will run for $199.

[Windows 10: 5 Key Features For Business]

Following these announcements, Microsoft showcased a range of upcoming laptops, tablets and PCs during a keynote at Computex 2015 in Taipei. All devices are specifically designed to run Windows 10 and are optimized for the various features it will deliver.

Leading device manufacturers like Asus, Acer, HP, Dell, and Toshiba are building products to accommodate Windows 10. New products will include laptops with biometric technology to enable Windows Hello, portable computers that transform TVs into Windows 10 computers, and 2-in-1 devices that lend themselves to Continuum.

When Microsoft wasn't talking about Windows 10, it was shopping. This week Redmond confirmed its acquisition of 6Wunderkinder GmbH, the Berlin-based startup firm behind to-do list app Wunderlist. The transaction was reportedly valued at $100 to $200 million.

If you have your eye on the startup scene, you may have seen this coming. Wunderlist recently announced its integration with calendar app Sunrise, which Microsoft also acquired earlier this year. The two combined to bring users' to-do lists into their calendars for a more comprehensive productivity app.

While officials haven't yet released the details of their plans for Wunderlist technology, a statement claimed that Microsoft will "build on and apply Wunderlist's innovations to Microsoft's apps and services." I think it's safe to predict that we'll see an improved productivity app hit the market over the next few months.

(Image: Microsoft)

(Image: Microsoft)

The one million testers running the Office 2016 preview on Windows and Mac platforms got some good news later in the week. Microsoft is released a few new features for the preview, including improved grammar checkers and Power Pivot improvements. Testers can also expect to see these highlights:

  • Insights for Office: Insights is powered by Bing and integrates contextual Web-based information into the reading experience. You can test it by selecting certain keywords (people, places, etc.) in your content. Insights will pull relevant information into the Task pane.
  • Real-time Word presence: This is the first step towards Real Time Typing, which will roll out in future Office builds. Real Time Presence lets you see where fellow collaborators are editing a document. This will first be released to OneDrive for Business subscribers, but other Office testers can expect broader availability soon.
  • Easier file sharing: The process of sharing files -- and letting others review, edit, and comment on them -- is now easier. A "Share" button on the Ribbon saves the file to the cloud and makes it available to others.
  • Version History improvements: Clicking the "History" command under the File menu lets you view or restore different versions of files stored in OneDrive for Business or Sharepoint.
Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/12/2015 | 9:01:15 AM
Re: Free Windows 10
I suspect the same, we'll see a flurry of upgrades on day one which will be people testing on less critical devices.  I'm upgrading a Win 7 desktop and Win 7 laptop right away just to get that out of the way and for a test bed before I move anything that I really care about.  I suspect that most corporate environments are going to stick with Win 7 for a bit longer and those that have Win 8.1 devices will sit on those for at least a few months before upgrading them. Everyone wants to be first to see it and play with it but no one wants to be first to work from it or support it so I think we'll see a similar adoption rate as we've seen with the better received versions of Windows.  I also wonder what happens if Win 10 is not well received and if it gets a similar treatment to Win 8.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
6/11/2015 | 3:02:24 PM
Re: Free Windows 10
I've got one of my upgrades locked in for the 29th. It's for the Windwos 7 box my kids use, so I'm not too worried about a few hiccups. Also, the latest couple of builds on the preview have been very strong.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
6/11/2015 | 9:31:18 AM
Re: Free Windows 10
I hope so, too. It's tough to say what the adoption trends will look like. Microsoft is letting you reserve an upgrade now, but something tells me that more people will wait until the initial bugs are addressed before they download.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
6/11/2015 | 8:10:16 AM
Re: Free Windows 10
Windows 10 does address most of those little annoyances with 8.1. I'm confident it will be well received. Hopefully everyone who wants it grabs it in the first year while the upgrade is free.
SaneIT
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50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/11/2015 | 8:04:52 AM
Re: Free Windows 10
With a little time I've seen the same, in fact I prefer the charms bar to the Start menu now.  I very rarely see the big Modern/Metro UI start menu. I just swipe down type the first few letters of what I'm looking for and launch the app I need.  To me that is much easier than clicking through folders on the start menu.  There are still a few things that get clunky to find and change in 8.1 though that are now hidden in odd control panels or the fact that you have to click on settings to be able to shutdown/restart/etc but those are minor compared to the amount of complaining I hear about 8 and 8.1.  It really isn't well received even now.
jagibbons
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50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
6/10/2015 | 8:51:02 AM
Re: Free Windows 10
I've been using Windows 8.1 on a touch-enabled laptop for quite some time. Even when I'm not using touch, the "metro UI" components, while not the most intuitive, don't really negatively impact my productivity. There was a learning curve, but I got used to it and adjusted.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
6/10/2015 | 8:10:57 AM
Re: Free Windows 10
I cannot agree with you more here and it makes me worry about things like the Windows Mobile OS getting a licensing fee as well.  I think the cost will only hurt adoption for a little while if Win10 fixes the issues that turned so many people off to Win 8.  I've had to explain to people that yes I'm running Win 8.1 when they see my Surface.  They've never spent the time to boot into desktop mode and never learned how to use the charms bar so they quickly got frustrated and downgraded.  From what I've seen of Win 10 it addresses the dislike for the Modern UI so there is hope.  
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
6/8/2015 | 3:47:51 PM
Free Windows 10
The one-year free upgrade period is great. I'm a bit disappointed at the costs after that timeframe. I was hoping Microsoft would move toward giving away Windows for free permanently. It's a great OS, so far at least, so I hope the costs don't hurt adoption in the future.
Kelly22
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50%
Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
6/8/2015 | 11:44:47 AM
Re: New look and feel?
Yep, the new Office will have a more modern design. Microsoft released the public preview earlier in May, and there are more details/pictures available on the MS blog. There's also a page where you can learn more about downloading the public preview.
Li Tan
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50%
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
6/8/2015 | 11:03:53 AM
New look and feel?
When can we get more sample screenshots for Office 2016 from MS? Will it have brand new look and feel? When can I download a trial version?
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