Outlook arrives for iOS and Android

Microsoft announced on January 29 the availability of Outlook for iOS and a preview of Outlook for Android. The apps are live in the iOS App store and Google Play stores and provide a high quality email experience along with traditional Outlook features.

These apps, along with Android Office apps being finalized, are all about Microsoft making sure it has its products where customers are consuming content. With the company no longer saying that Windows will be first, as noted by the fact that both iOS and Android now have touch versions of Office available while the Windows version is still in development, it lets consumers choose the device that works best for them and still allows them access to Microsoft software.

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Word, Excel and PowerPoint released for Android Tablets

On January 29, 2015 Microsoft released versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint ported for Android tablets. The current system requirements for Office on Android tablet are: devices of screen sizes 7 inches or larger (a device with screen size greater than 10.1 inches will require an Office 365 subscription to create and edit), with an ARM based processor and 1 GB RAM or above. Today, the Android OS version that is supported is KitKat4.4.x. While you can use the apps on an Android tablet running Lollipop, it is not supported at this time but will be in a subsequent update. Microsoft is also committed to supporting Android devices with Intel chips via a native implementation that will be available within a quarter.

When you use the apps for personal use, core editing is free and premium features require a qualifying Office 365 subscription. When used for commercial use, you need a qualifying Office 365 subscription for editing and premium features.

Please download Word, Excel and PowerPoint from the Google Play store.

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Windows 10 Release Date in Late Summer or Early Fall 2015

Microsoft’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Kevin Turner mentioned that the current plan is to release Windows 10 late summer or early fall 2015. Without getting into details Mr. Turner talked about how they have connected their different operating systems across desktop, phone, tablet, and internet of things via the same kernel.

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Windows 10 Feature Update

Windows 10 could see Cortana spread into all versions of the new OS, including desktops, laptops and tablets. The new Notifications feature for Windows 10 is very similar to the Action Center on Windows Phone 8.1. Featured as a button on the task bar, Notifications collects alert data from plenty of sources.

“You’ll see notifications from the system and apps – from new emails and invites to IMs, Facebook posts and more – all in one place, so you don’t miss a thing,” Microsoft Director of Windows Program Management Gabe Aul wrote in a blog post.

Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore teased new trackpad gestures that will soon come to Windows 10 during his TechEd Europe keynote in October 2014. Similar to the gestures that Mac users are used to, the new OS will soon respond to three-finger swipes in three directions. Swiping downward with three fingers will return you to the desktop from within any app, while an upward gesture will summon the new task view. Swiping with three fingers either to the left or right will switch between open apps. Users will also be able to resize snapped windows with a unique three-finger gesture.

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Windows 10 Control Panel Changing, Possibly Disappearing

New screenshots from recent internal builds of Windows 10 have revealed that the Settings app has received a huge make over, along with the title bar which now has a dedicated full screen button. The screenshots also reveal that elements within the Control Panel are slowly going away, with features being stripped in place of messages which tell users to use the new Settings app. The fact that elements within the Control Panel are being removed with messages telling users to use the Settings app may mean that Microsoft is planning to remove the Control Panel completely. This is something that has been rumored for some time now, and it looks like it may be true.

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