Microsoft will no longer support its Word Flow Keyboard for iOS. The keyboard was created by Microsoft’s Garage research team to offer Apple users an alternative way to enter text on their iPad and iPhone. The keyboard included several interesting features, such as the ability to type with one hand and a more advanced auto-correct.
Microsoft has launched another ad poking fun at Apple's iPad Pro. After Apple launched a commercial comparing their 12-inch tablet to an actual computer due to its Smart Keyboard, Microsoft released its own ad claiming a keyboard doesn't make the iPad comparable to the Surface Pro 4. In the commercial, Microsoft's personal assistant, Cortana, interrupts a party being thrown by an iPad. Siri tells Cortana that the iPad is celebrating being a computer, to which Cortana disagrees.
Microsoft's Outlook app for iOS has been updated today with a "Skype Meeting” option. The new feature allows users to easily schedule and join Skype calls from within the app. Outlook users can now turn on the Skype Meeting switch when creating or editing a calendar event. When enabled the Skype Meeting option allows users to jump on any scheduled Skype call with a simple tap.
Microsoft today announced its new Surface Pro tablet-laptop hybrid at its Windows 10 devices event in New York City. The fourth-generation Surface Pro is lighter at 786 grams (1.73 pounds) and thinner than its predecessor at 8.4 mm. It is equipped with a larger 12.3-inch PixelSense display with 2,736-by-1,824 resolution at 267 pixels per inch, and it is powered by a sixth-generation Core Intel processor with up to16GB of RAM. The tablet is 30 percent faster than the Surface Pro 3 and 50-percent faster than the MacBook Air, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft today updated its OneNote app to version 2.9. The refresh includes handwriting support and optical character recognition (OCR). The handwriting feature allows users to use their iPad to jot down, highlight and color-code notes, sketch or just doodle. Users can just tap the new Draw tab to access the new handwriting option which includes 3 digital writing tools (pen, marker, or highlighter), four classic pen colors and a color wheel for an additional 16 colors. The OneNote app also now features stylus support with palm rejection.
OCR allows users to search for scanned documents or images with text within any version of OneNote. For example, if you scan a receipt into OneNote using the online version you will then be able to search for it later using your iPad. Microsoft says any image will "start showing up in search results typically within a few minutes" of being added. OCR can also recognize "printed text in many languages," according to the official Office Blog.
Microsoft is now offering the first month of Office 365 for free. The free month is available for both Office 365 Personal and Home subscriptions.
An Office 365 Personal subscription allows you to use any Microsoft Office products on one Mac or Windows PC, one tablet and one phone for $6.99 a month. A Home account allows you to use up to five computers, tablets and phones for $9.99 a month. Each subscription also includes up to 1TB of OneDrive online storage (1TB per user for up to 5 users for Home) and 60 world minutes of Skype calling per month.
Microsoft has really been listening to Microsoft Office users when it comes to their suite of iPad apps. The company has been adding user requested features, such as printing support, since the apps first landed on the Apple App Store back in March. Now Microsoft has announced that users can buy a monthly Office 365 subscriptions instead of having to pay for it yearly.
An Office 365 subscription is required to access all the features of Word, Excel and PowerPoint on the iPad. An Office 365 Personal is $6.99 a month and an Office 365 Home account is now $9.99 a month. A Personal account allows for one PC or Mac, and one tablet to be connected to the service, and a Home account allows for up to five computers and tablets to be connected.
Microsoft COO Kevin Turner announced today a line of new HP laptops called "Stream". The Windows-enabled laptops will be priced at $99 for the 7- and 8-inch versions. There will also be a $199 version to directly compete with Google's affordable Chromebooks, which also start at around $200. Turner did not reveal much about the new laptops, but he did note that Acer and Toshiba will also be releasing their own low-cost laptops for around $249. The Acer will ship with a 15.6-inch screen and a 2.16GHz Intel Celeron processor, and Toshiba’s will sport a 11.6-inch display, according to The Verge.
As a comparison, Apple's entry-level 11-inch MacBook Air is $899, but comparing a MacBook Air and a Chromebook is like comparing apples and oranges. The Chromebook is a decent device for surfing the web, but it is not designed for storing media, playing games and it requires an internet connection to work. Microsoft is banking on the fact that Chromebooks are limited in functionality and that Apple laptops are on the more expensive side of things.
Some of the most anticipated iPad apps have finally landed on the App Store. Satya Nadella, announced that Microsoft Office would be available for the iPad at his first public appearance since he became Microsoft’s new CEO. The announcement was made this morning during Microsoft's cloud and mobile strategy press conference in San Francisco. The new trio of apps include Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Each app is free to download but you will need an Office 365 subscription to create and edit documents within the app. A yearly subscription to Microsoft’s Office 365 service starts at $70. However, iPad owners can use the apps to view Office documents such as spreadsheets for free. This is important because Office documents can sometimes become unreadable when created on a PC and viewed on an iPad using alternative methods.
Microsoft is giving away up to $200 in credit for "gently used" iPads. The company is hoping Apple users will ditch their iPad 2, 3, or 4 in favor of a Surface RT or Pro tablet. Users who take advantage of the trade in can put their credit towards one of the two existing tablets, or wait until Microsoft unveils its next-generation Surface on September 23rd. The deal expires on October 27, 2013.
You can visit the Microsoft In Store Deals page for more information.