Microsoft continues its massive revamp with new Office software

by Michael Oliveira, The Canadian Press Posted Jan 29, 2013 12:31 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Microsoft continues its massive revamp with new Office software TORONTO – It’s been a massively busy last few months for Microsoft, which saw the computer giant release new operating systems for PCs and mobile phones and its first-ever tablet, the Surface.Now it’s the industry-standard Office software suite getting a major update, including a new option to purchase an annual subscription instead of buying a permanent copy.There are multiple options for consumers, starting with buying Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher or Access a la carte for $119 each. Office Home & Student 2013 for use on one computer — which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote — goes for $139. Office Home & Business 2013 adds Outlook and sells for $249.Then there’s the subscription-basedOffice 365, which encourages users to save documents online and edit them across up to five different devices, including Microsoft smartphones and the Surface. It’s $10 a month or $99 a year.“The proliferation of devices and the new requirements of (how people use) technology is why the new version is so important,” said Microsoft Canada president Max Long in an interview.“You’ll be able to have it across five different devices, you choose which devices you want, you’ll be able to have the data follow you. I can take my notes on my tablet and when I’m going out to see customers I can see the same document, the same information, on my mobile phone as well.“The ability now to have it across multiple devices really makes it an attractive proposition and we do expect quite a large percentage of Office users when they buy the new version will go to that subscription version.”Unlike Windows 8 — which has polarized PC users with its radical new interface that many found unintuitive — Long promises Office users will need no adjustment period for the new software.“If you come in and look at (the new) Office you’ll see a lot of similarities and you’ll be able to go in there and be comfortable from the first usage,” he said and insisted PC users are getting over the initial shock of Windows 8 and adapting.Windows 8 got rid of the familiar Start button and hid the traditional Desktop interface. Instead, users are first presented with a layout of tiles that resembles a tablet or smartphone home screen. Users must click through that home screen to get to the Desktop.“People got used to the different interfaces and certainly we found people have migrated very much to the live tiles as they’ve got more used to it,” Long said.Microsoft is an underdog in the mobile world, a long ways away from challenging Apple and Google’s Android. But it is within striking range of Research in Motion’s share of the market and Long said Microsoft’s strategy is to convince consumers of the merits of having a Windows operating system on all their computers and mobile devices.“If you’re used to using Windows 8 on your laptop or you’re using a Surface device or an all-in-one (computer) at home, to have that same experience and have the connected look and feel when you go to a Windows phone is really important to a lot of folks,” Long said.He’ll be paying attention to RIM’s big BlackBerry 10 launch on Wednesday, which is seen as a make-or-break moment for the Waterloo, Ont.-based company.“They’re a good Canadian company and it would be totally remiss of me not to pay attention to what they’re announcing and be engaged and understand what’s going on,” he said.“So yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing what they announce and seeing what they’re bringing to market.” read more

Highprofile Athletic Directors place friendly bet as Badgers head back to Meridian

There will be some high stakes on the line when the Brock Badgers and McMaster Marauders tangle at the Meridian Centre Wednesday night (Feb. 24) .Neil Lumsden, Brock University’s new Director, Athletics and Recreation and a Canadian Football hall-of-famer, has challenged McMaster University Athletic Director Glen Grunwald, a former NBA general manager, to a friendly wager over which school will finish the two games with a higher combined point total.If the Badgers score more points than the Marauders in the two games, Grunwald will have to wear a Brock Badgers jersey to work at McMaster Friday. Should the Marauders win the bet, Lumsden will wear a McMaster uniform to work at Brock Friday. If either team sweeps both games, the losing athletic director will have to wear the full uniform ­— jersey and shorts — to work Friday. We’re going to be perfect hosts and offer them a wonderful experience at the Meridian Centre, until tipoff.“We’re going to be perfect hosts and offer them a wonderful experience at the Meridian Centre, until tipoff,” joked Lumsden. “We’ve already started looking for a jersey that will fit Glen since he’s such a tall guy. I think red will look good on him.”For the teams themselves, the games are important to the standings and the Ontario University Athletics playoff picture.The women’s game, taking place at 5:30 p.m., will see the 10-7 Badgers taking on the 13-4 Marauders, who are ranked eighth in Canada in the Canadian Interuniversity Sports Top 10. McMaster is coming off of a three-game winning streak while the Badgers have won two in a row.“From our own prep, we want to treat it like any other game. But outside of the game it’s far more important because it’s a bridge between Brock University and the community,” said women’s coach Si Khounviseth. “That’s what makes it great.”The men’s game takes place at 7:30 p.m. with the Badgers and Marauders both coming into the matchup with equal 12-5 OUA records. The two teams have been back and forth in the CIS rankings this season, but McMaster currently sits fifth with Brock sitting seventh.“February for us has been about preparing for the playoffs, and this is another game we use for that,” said men’s coach Charles Kissi.This season has seen a remarkable turnaround for the Badgers men’s team.“We’ve won more games this year than we did the two previous seasons,” Kissi said. “We went from not making the playoffs for two years to being nationally ranked and now making the playoffs.”Wednesday’s games mark the second time this season Brock University has hosted basketball home games at the downtown St. Catharines Meridian Centre. Located right next door to the school’s brand new and state-of-the-art Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, the Meridian Centre can hold up to 3,500 fans for basketball games.Tickets for the doubleheader are still available at ticketmaster.ca for $10 including all service fees. There are also $35 courtside seats available. Free tickets for Brock student are available through the Walker Complex welcome desk. read more