A new feature to Google Drive is currently in the process of rolling out to all G Suite versions that will allow for commenting – and to be able to see those comments – on Microsoft Office files, PDFs and image files. The new feature means that users of G Suite will be able to collaborate with colleagues or others outside of their organization who use Microsoft Office. More importantly, this can be done without having to convert the files.
The new feature appears in Google Drive online and when you open up the preview pane on a Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint file, you will be able to see the comments on that file and be able to add comments. They will be saved and will stay attached to the file. This should significantly lower the friction on collaborating on projects within organizations and with customers of an organization.
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In a move that will surprise some, Microsoft has announced that the upcoming Microsoft Office 2019 release will only be able to run on Windows 10 PCs. According to the announcement, the following platforms will be able to run the perpetual version of Office
- Any supported Windows 10 SAC release
- Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018
- The next LTSC release of Windows Server
Further, Microsoft will not support MSI installs for Office 2019 but will be installed only by click-to-run technology. MSI’s will be offered for the server products.
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One of the biggest benefits to Android as a platform is its flexibility. Google, much to their credit, has made it very easy for developers – including companies that compete with them – to produce apps for Android to sell or give away. Microsoft, much to their credit too, has taken advantage of this openness. The Redmond, Washington company as certainly competed with Google and more directly Android but equally, have produced great apps that allow you to stay within the Microsoft ecosystem without too much pain. In fact, really no pain.
If you are new to Android but your personal and/or work life is surrounded by Microsoft applications, take heart. You will find that Android is more than capable of giving you a rich, powerful Microsoft experience without the sacrifices in other areas. I’m of course referring to Windows Phone. Clearly the Microsoft experience on Windows Phone was outstanding but even the apps on that now all-but-dead platform lacked when you compared them to those for Android or even iOS.
In this How To I’m going to highlight some of the key apps from Microsoft that will make your Android phone (and in most cases tablets) a solid performing and excellent user experience for those who have their digital work or personal lives in Office 365, OneDrive and other apps. While those apps are expected, it is the other apps that Microsoft offers that may be a surprise to you.
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Microsoft has rolled out a nice update to the Microsoft Office suite of apps for Android. Excel, PowerPoint and Word for Android have all been updated to build 16.0.7301.1013 for those keeping score at home and bring with it some improvements around file sharing and collaboration. In fact, in the release notes for each of the apps, Microsoft points out that collaboration is now “front and center” for each of the apps. So what does that mean? It means that you can now easily and quickly find documents that have been shared with you in the new “Shared with me” section of the menu. Here you can see files others have shared with you from their PC, Mac, iOS device or Office online when they used the “invite people” option on a document. It is a faster way of finding those files without having to search through the app to find that document. This collaboration also means that you can quickly share a document and have the ability to see who is working on it in the Android apps.
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The Microsoft Office suite of apps for Android – Excel, PowerPoint and Word – have all been updated today with several new features and improvements. Perhaps the biggest new feature across all three apps is the ability to store your files on an SD card on your device. To this point you could only save your files in your device’s main storage. That can be problematic for those who do a lot of file editing on their devices, especially those with low storage devices. This new feature, which is across all three apps, should help solve that problem. There is nothing special you as a user have to do other than tell the apps to store on your SD card. Your device, however, must be running Android Lollipop or later to take advantage of this feature. All three apps now also give you the ability to annotate files. You can use a stylus or your finger to write, draw or highlight. These new tools found in the Draw tab, a new tab in each app.
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The Microsoft Android team has been busy. Earlier this morning I told you about a major update to the Next Lock Screen app for Android. Now the Office team has rolled out an update to the Android versions of Excel, PowerPoint and Word. All three of the updates are now in the Google Play Store and you should be seeing them hit your devices at any point. The big news in these updates is the addition of the Tell Me feature in the apps. If you aren’t familiar with Tell Me, you probably have it and don’t know it. If you run Office 2016 on your PC or Mac, at the top of any of the apps there is a search box titled “Tell me what you want to do”. Type in what you are wanting to do in any of the apps and it will give you instructions on how to do it. It is far faster than trying to dumpster dive into the menus of the apps. That same feature is now available in the Android versions of the apps so you can quickly figure out how to do something without having to search around.
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Microsoft has quietly rolled out updates to the Office suite apps Excel, PowerPoint and Word for Android today, bringing a few product enhancements and tweaks to each app. For those of you who use and have the apps on your phone or tablet, the OTA updates are in the Google Play Store now and should be hitting your devices over the course of the next few days. With these update, each app has gotten a bit of attention when it comes to new features or improvements to existing features.
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