Microsoft’s LinkedIn Acquisition to Close Soon

Microsoft announced today that they have received all necessary clearance for their acquisition of LinkedIn, and that the deal is set to close “in the coming days.”

The European Commission was the last to approve the $26.2 billion buyout, after the US, Canada, Brazil and South Africa.

Microsoft said they had the opportunity to review the acquisition with government officials and regulators in “considerable detail,” thus formalizing several commitments regarding Microsoft’s support for third-party professional social networking services.

Why does Microsoft want LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a key tool for professionals. With 433 million members, it’s safe to say that most adults in the US use LinkedIn for finding jobs, and general networking. That said, it’s important to note that Microsoft has more than 1 billion Office users, but has no social graph, or representation of the interconnection of relationships in an online social network, of its own and until now, has had to rely on LinkedIn or Facebook to provide that connection.

In an internal memo, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explains, “This combination will make it possible for new experiences such as a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete. As these experiences get more intelligent and delightful, the LinkedIn and Office 365 engagement will grow. And in turn, new opportunities will be created for monetization through individual and organization subscriptions and targeted advertising.”  

Read more about Microsoft’s LinkedIn acquisition here.

New Office 365 Creativity Updates

Just in from the Microsoft Windows 10 Event in New York City: Office 365 is getting its own updates for the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update, which Microsoft says will arrive in “early 2017.”

With Microsoft’s updates, Windows 10 and Office 365 can be regularly updated with fixes, and new features, too. So what’s the Creators Update? Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President for Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, explained that the Creators Update features will include 3D and mixed reality, 4K gaming, and in-game broadcasting.

How does this affect Office? The features within the Creators Update will enhance the digital pen user-experience, offering new ways to interact with your documents and expands options for creating rich, interactive content – this is called Inking.

Inking in Office 365

  • Ink Editor – Strike through words to delete them, circle text to select it, and automatically snap highlighter ink to text.
  • Ink Replay control with Surface Dial – Set the pace at which you review instructions, reveal lesson ideas, and more with the new integration of Surface Dial and Windows 10.
  • Digital Ruler – Draw straight lines and align objects with the help of a built-in digital ruler in PowerPoint.
  • Segment Eraser in PowerPoint – Use this new eraser to remove excess ink for more precise in shapes.

Read more about the Creators Update for Office, and Inking here.

New Microsoft Office Updates for iOS

THIS JUST IN: Good news for iPhone and iPad users, Microsoft is working to deliver new updates for Office on iOS.

As part of their September updates, Office for iOS will get support for Edmodo and Tencent, which means iPhones and iPads will now be allowed to store and access documents through Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Microsoft Word is getting Smart Lookup which will allow users the ability to look up a word instantly. By simply pressing and holding on a word or phrase, users can search image information, word definitions, and more without leaving the document.

PowerPoint is also getting an update in the iOS platform. IPhone users can now use their smartphones as laser pointers by simply pressing and holding in the notes section while in presenter mode.

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The Mac platform of the office suite will be updated as well. PowerPoint Designer will be getting a bit of a face-lift and will have improved color guides as well as new audio and video trim options.  Additionally, Office 365 subscribers will get access to a new “focus mode,” which is designed to “remove distractions and improve concentration at work.” There isn’t a concrete release date for this update, but it should go live early September.

For additional information on Microsoft updates for iOS, visit their website.

Comparing Online Office Software

While 1.2 billion people use the desktop version of Microsoft Office, when it comes to collaborating using online office software, the numbers are more varied. Users can pick from choices including the big 3 productivity suite options: Microsoft Office Online, Apple iWork, and Google Apps.

Microsoft Office

Desktop or Subscription

Apple iWork Google Drive OpenOffice or LibreOffice
Operating systems Windows and Mac Mac Online only Windows, Mac, and Linux
Apps iOS, Android, Windows Phone iOS Android and iOS N/A
Cost Starts at $100 for subscription service Free Free Free

Learn more about Microsoft Office Online, Apple iWork and Google Apps, and compare your options.

OneNote Class Notebook

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Earlier this summer, we told you about Microsoft Office 365’s Class Dashboard. Are you using the Class Dashboard or OneNote Class Notebooks?

OneNote Class Notebooks have some exciting features. Every student has his or her own personal workspace. Students have the option to use these workspaces as their own private notebooks to work on assignments. Instructors can then to go in to review and provide feedback on these assignments. Instructors also have access to their content library to add information and assignments that are then shared with the entire class. There is also collaboration space for lessons and creative activities where instructors and students can work together.

Learn more about what Microsoft is doing to improve classroom collaboration and catch up on the latest OneNote Class Notebook updates.

Microsoft Sway

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Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that Sway is now available on computers and tablets running its Windows 10 software. Windows 10 users can visit the Windows store to get Sway for free. Sway was previously available within only within a web browser. It does not require an Office 365 subscription.

Sway is touted as a digital storytelling app and allows users to combine text and media to create a presentable website. Microsoft says Sway is designed to accomplish different tasks than PowerPoint, such as interactive storytelling that lets the software make design choices like slide color and placement of photos instead of forcing the user to make design decisions. The purpose of Sway is to convey concepts quickly, easily and clearly. Sway presentations are backed up to the cloud, and can be easily shared or embedded in websites.

Learn more about Microsoft Sway.