Open Guessing Season on Mac Office 2014

One Microsoft exec has already spilled the beans that a new Office for Mac is coming later this year. But no features were announced. Well I have a couple of guesses and wished based Microsoft OneNote and some of the moves that they have been making.

1. The new interface will look like One Note for Mac and more in line with Office 2013 for Windows (on that note, I wish OneNote could sync with Exchange instead of requiring an Office 365 account for corporate users).

 

Image2. It will have better SharePoint and Office Integration. No more Microsoft Document Connection. SharePoint 2013 has already promised better Safari support. A new Office could provide even more of a SharePoint tie in that would be Mac only.

3. Integration with Mavericks Notifications. It just makes sense to do that.

4. A basic API. It’s about time the Microsoft re-introduce an API that will allow third party applications to interact with Office at a code level.

5. Integration with Microsoft Dynamics – at minimum it would be great to be able to send and email and have it associate with a CRM account so that Outlook users can also view it.

6. Outlook needs to be able to view a shared another’s shared calendar without requiring the person to share details. And be able to propose new meeting times. And be able to vote. And display some HTML emails properly (like the reports that come from Microsoft SQL Server Report Services). And don’t tell me it’s the fault of Webkit because the same emails display properly in Apple Mail.

There are probably more but these are the ones that I’m thinking of as a daily Office user in a corporate environment that would make it that much better and homogenous an experience.

Of course, Microsoft may deliberately want Office for Mac to be behind the PC version to slow down it’s desktop OS erosion. Embracing the future, rather than hanging onto the past is a much better long term strategy to stay relevant. Microsoft is still licking its wounds from the beating it took in the mobile space because they hung on to the past.

When it comes to Microsoft’s two crown jewels, the market has shown they are more interested in Office anywhere rather than Windows everywhere.

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Apple is far from done…

I watched the keynote of Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference with particular interests I wanted to know how it was faring in Steve Job’s absence. My first thought was that “Apple is back”and my second thought was “they never left.”

Tim Cook is so much better than his last two keynotes. He is much more relaxed and finding his own groove. He was also more expressive, less wooden, and handled transitions much better. He was, dare I say it, inspiring? I think so.

As for the products, the two that stood out the most were the new Mac Pro and iOS 7. The Mac Pro is not only cool and radical in style, but between this new hardware and Mac OS X Mavericks, it shows that Apple is still committed to the pro market.

As for iOS 7, all I can say is wow. Even my kids were astonished at how good it looks. And having those key system features accessible from a swipe will be great. It is true that that a new OS can make your device feel brand new again.

As for the other products – 12 hours battery life on a MacBook Air made me want one again (I gave mine to my wife earlier this year). The iRadio announcement wasn’t a big deal for me but I know it portends to another piece of the Apple ecosystem that makes the platform more desirable.

With the crowd cheers, the obvious excitement from Apple’s leadership and peek into new products, I was inspired.