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documents online.

available, but did confirm the service will be free.

Office interface with the added collaborative features that Docs offers.


current Google group product manager, Shan Sinha, said in a blog post.

Those interested in signing up for to test Cloud Connect can find the sign-up page here.

Connect will be available free to everyone, including consumers.”

productivity applications market long dominated by Microsoft.

service of


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Microsoft Shifts Main Office Product To The Cloud

Microsoft launched the public beta of Office’s next version on Monday, saying that from now on the suite’s cloud-based edition, Office 365, will be its primary focus of development.

Microsoft will market a new version called Office 2013 that will be installed locally on devices, but the future of the suite lies online with the cloud-based version released in preview mode Monday, said CEO Steve Ballmer during a press conference that was webcast.

“This is the new generation of Office, where it is a service first,” Ballmer said, adding that this new version of Office is the first one to be designed primarily as cloud-based software.

The new version of Office has also been designed to work best with Microsoft’s new Windows 8 OS, in particular with its Metro interface, which is optimized for touch interfaces such as those in tablets.

“This is the most ambitious release of Office we’ve ever done,” Ballmer said.

In addition to hand gestures, Office has also been optimized for stylus input devices, but works equally well with keyboards and mice, he said.

The first Office applications getting a Windows 8 revamping in the Metro style are OneNote, which is for taking notes, and Lync, which includes IM/presence, Web meetings, video conferencing and audio communications capabilities.

The local version of Office will ship bundled with devices running Windows RT, the Windows 8 version for ARM-based machines, including Microsoft’s own Surface tablet. That Office suite will include Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

This version for Windows RT devices will be called Office Home and Student 2013 RT.

Cloud-Based Office

The cloud-based versions of Office will be licensed on a subscription basis, while the versions that will be installed locally on machines will be sold in the traditional perpetual license model.

Asked to clarify the branding of this new wave of Office products, a spokeswoman for Microsoft said via email that “Office 365 is our services brand” that refers to cloud suites that are updated continuously, while “Office suites, such as Office Home and Student 2013, are designated by a year model and are current as of that year model.”

In a demonstration at the press conference, it became clear that Microsoft has tried to give the Office applications a more modern, clean interface.

Microsoft held off on providing full details on all the different Office bundles and prices, but it did disclose details on three cloud models that each will include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access.

The first version, called Office 365 Home Premium, will be aimed at individual consumers and families and include 20GB of storage in the company’s Skydrive cloud storage service, as well as 60 minutes of Skype world minutes per month.

The second version, Office 365 Small Business Premium, is, as its name indicates, for small businesses, and includes business-grade email and calendaring and high-definition Web conferencing.

This version is “ideal” for businesses with up to 10 employees, and each user can access it on as many as five different PCs or Macs, according to a fact sheet.

Finally, Office 365 ProPlus is for enterprises and comes with additional features designed for IT departments and large companies.

Specifically, Office 365 Pro Plus also includes Lync and the form-creation application InfoPath, and each subscriber can use it on as many as five different PCs or Macs.

The fact sheet also mentions a traditional client-software suite for enterprises called Office Professional Plus 2013, which comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher and Lync.

In the same fact sheet, Microsoft also detailed a fourth edition, called Office 365 Enterprise, which comes with Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online.

Office 365 2011 Versus New Office 365

The Microsoft spokeswoman didn’t immediately explain how these new Office 365 bundles will fit in with, or possibly replace, the existing Office 365 editions available for the past year.

She also couldn’t say with certainty whether Office 2013 and the new versions of Office 365 will have full feature parity across their applications, or whether there will be gaps and tradeoffs in functionality.

“With the new SharePoint mobile apps, we are focused on delivering the capabilities to a broad set of people. We will continue to review all viable platforms based on our customer requirements,” she said. Microsoft has a version of OneNote already available for iOS devices.

Related to the Apple platform, she also said that when “the new Office” becomes commercially available, the company will deliver an update to Office for Mac 2011.

“With this update, Office for Mac licenses can count as part of your Office 365 Home Premium subscription. You will also be able to use SkyDrive and/or Office 365 to save and access all your documents from your Mac,” she said.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Meet The Microsoft Office Luddites: Why Power Users Won’t Live In The Cloud

The future is in the cloud. Every traditional software company is pushing cloud services over programs you actually install, and even Microsoft, which formally completed its new, cloud-based Office 365 package in February, has included cloud features in Office 2013, its new desktop suite.

For starters, Office 2013 saves your work to SkyDrive cloud storage by default. The new desktop suite also ties in deeply with the browser-based Office Web Apps. These are notable steps in a cloud-based direction, but given the overwhelming adoption of Google Drive in the workplace—it’s the platform of choice at PCWorld—it’s a bit curious that Microsoft updated its desktop suite at all. 

Indeed, isn’t shuttling Word documents over file servers and email a bit passé? 

The bottom line is that Microsoft knows its customers still need (or at least want) traditional, “hit-a-button-and-install-this-to-my-programs-folder” software. But who, exactly, are the holdouts who refuse to make the switch to Google Drive, Office 365, or even Microsoft’s Office Web Apps? Who’s still using a local copy of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint exclusively, and why? 

They are the Office Luddites, and here they explain why they’ll give up their Office DVDs only when you pry them from their cold, dead hands.


Excel aficionados love their Pivot Tables.

The bigger issue, though, is the need for a fast Internet connection.

“In theory, the idea of Web-based software is very appealing,” says Angela Nino, training director at Versitas, which offers courses for using Office software. “In practice, there are many problems that can arise when using them on a daily basis. A couple of years ago, I tried using Google Docs. I ran into a problem on day two: a slow Internet connection at a location where I was doing training for the day. I had used Google Docs to create a training handout, and just needed a couple of extra copies. I ended up having to wait until our break to be able to print the extra handouts because it took so long to access Google Docs through their wireless Internet connection.” Google Apps’ guarantee of 99.9 percent uptime is no consolation here.

Of course, without a live Web connection, standard Web apps won’t work at all. Cloud providers are aware of this and are taking steps to enable offline access to files. Google Drive has an offline mode, but that mode works only with Google’s Chrome browser. Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium ($10/month) and Small Business Premium ($12.50/month) include full, offline copies of the Office 2013 suite. Of course, companies pay $6.50/month less for the online-only Office 365 Small Business.


Power users of Word often consider Track Changes a killer feature.

Microsoft Office is so stuffed with options that just 20 percent of its features meet 80 percent of the needs of its users. But that still leaves 20 percent who need those power features. That’s the stuff buried under the menus on the far right of the screen—features such as Word’s Track Changes, Mail Merge, the Citations and Bibliography system, and the ever-mysterious Add-Ins menu.

Then there’s Microsoft Excel, a rallying point of Luddite fervor. The key features that everyone talks about are macros, which let you automate frequently used tasks.

Just as Word’s Track Changes feature gets tons of love, there’s an outpouring of support for PowerPoint. Says Freeman, “PowerPoint lets me easily copy and paste images, screenshots, and data in general to include in slides. I have finer control over formatting, and slide animation is more intelligent and flexible. I will need 100 percent feature parity, and the same speed and ease of navigation online as I have on the desktop, in order to switch.”

Next page: Compatibility and security…

Best Microsoft Office Alternatives For Macos

For a long time Microsoft Office enjoyed a loyal following of individual and business users. However, the forced subscription for its latest version and its high prices saw several alternatives come up outside of its banner.

If you just got a Mac but are struggling with whether to buy Office all over again, there are several Office alternatives for Mac you can choose from, even if all you want to do is edit and send Office documents once in a while.

Some are free suites with many tools, but you can invest in premium options and get extra features – the value may be worth the cost. Here are the best Microsoft Office alternatives for macOS.

1. LibreOffice

This is one of the best open-source Microsoft Office suite alternatives available on several platforms including macOS.

Anyone who has worked with Microsoft Office will quickly adjust to LibreOffice because of the familiar features like the pre-ribbon era interface.

LibreOffice suite has all the pro features in its offline desktop apps, including a recent online component that enables file syncing from OneDrive or Google Drive. This allows you to edit your files right in LibreOffice.

It uses the OpenDocument format (ODF) and supports various other types of formats like those in Microsoft Office.

The fairly lightweight and flexible suite is available in 110 languages, with technical support coming from online, being an open-source software. However, you might not always need support since LibreOffice is pretty straightforward and easy to use.

It also allows you to export files into PDF format, and you can add more features like extra document templates through extensions from the LibreOffice website.

The downside is it doesn’t have real-time collaborative editing nor integrated cloud storage.

2. Google Drive/Google Suite

This free, web-based online suite is a very popular and robust alternative for macOS.

It offers user-friendly and accessible versions of programs, with free and business versions available for different user types.

Google Drive comprises Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets, which are alternatives to Microsoft’s Word, PowerPoint and Excel. G Suite is the enterprise version of Google Drive and comes with Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Calendar for your business.

It is widely used, though not as function-rich as Microsoft Office, plus you can access it from anywhere.

G Suite integrates with your Google account, so you can open Word documents from Gmail in Google Docs and even access beautiful templates, add-ons, Google search capabilities, and superior built-in research tools.

Not only is G Suite great for productivity, it also offers up to 15GB of free storage. Plus, its Offline mode lets you work on documents while offline in Chrome.

The downside is it doesn’t have a desktop app, lacks a few Office features, and documents aren’t always duplicate images of Office document versions.

3. iWork Suite

iWork is a built-in program in your Mac which works like Office. It includes Pages, Keynote, and Numbers, which are Apple’s broad equivalents to Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

It is simple to use, has a beautiful but straightforward interface, and is more lightweight than Office.

Numbers offers a blank canvas for you to begin from, making it easier to add tables, images and charts. It also removes that feeling of being a ledger, unlike Excel that has a grid view.

Pages is also simple to use and doesn’t have layers of options like Word, plus you can collaborate with other users as you work.

The presentation application, KeyNote, helps you create beautiful presentations without the hassles of PowerPoint.

All iWork apps can export and import Office formats and other formats compatible with other suites. However, the iCloud version requires an Internet connection to use and isn’t as fully-featured as the desktop client. The good thing is that you can access documents from anywhere as it enables cross-platform collaboration.

4. Calligra

Its tabs are set on the right side of the screen, so the page you edit won’t take up the full screen.

With Calligra, you can read DOCX and DOX document formats, though it doesn’t allow you to edit them. This can pose some challenges if you get Office documents from other people, as they’d have to send documents in formats like Open Document Text (ODT) instead.

5. Office Online

This alternative gives you free access to Office for Mac and is a basic, browser-based Office suite version.

The latest version also includes Mail, Calendar, Sway, People, and OneDrive, but with a limited Office experience.

While it lacks some functionality like WordArt, and text boxes, charts, equations and custom macros don’t load in Excel sheets, Office Online is still a versatile alternative.

You can still open files, edit, and keep document formatting.

6. Polaris Office

This free tier Office alternative offers tools for creating and editing multiple file types like DOCX, PPT, HWP and XLS.

It works across platforms and syncs your account among your devices so you can create and edit from anywhere, with AWS (Amazon Web Services) security for all your data.

Besides editing PDF documents and converting them to PDF, you can also convert image and voice files to documents where necessary.

Polaris suite supports German, Russian, English, Korean, and French languages.

Wrapping Up

Most of these capable alternatives are compatible with files made in Microsoft’s programs. This way you can create and edit documents on macOS.

Image Credit: G Suite, Apple, LibreOffice, Calligra

Elsie Biage

My passion has always been to share every bit of useful information I find on tech, with the ultimate goal of helping people solve a problem.

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Best Free Online Microsoft Office Training Courses

There are many computer training institutes scattered all over the world offering Microsoft Office Training – both online and offline. This article covers links to some of the best free online Microsoft Office training courses and materials and can be considered a resource to aid the learning of MS Office, at your pace, from anywhere in the world.

Free online Microsoft Office training courses

What could be the best option than to learn the software from the developers of the software? Microsoft offers plenty of courses that enable you to learn Office-related software online. You can learn at your pace. The courses are available as text and as webcasts that you can view and take notes. Different courses are available online for different apps in Microsoft Office. Also, there are different courses for different versions of Microsoft Office. You can learn Office, depending upon what version you are using.

You can also opt to get certified by taking online tests at a small fee. The courses are free, but when you register to take an exam to get a certification, you will have to pay some fee related to the exam you are taking. You can take an exam for the entire Microsoft Office Suite or different apps in the MS Office suite – such as MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Access, MS OneNote, and more.

These certificates come from Microsoft and are considered better than any other type of certificate. Visit the online training resources for MS Office on Microsoft’s website to know more.

Read about the benefits of Microsoft certifications in our article at The Windows Club. It explains how you gain an edge over others with a Microsoft Certification.

Learn Office from Microsoft Partners

Next, to get trained at your own pace using the tutorials and webinars presented on the Microsoft Office training website, the best method is to get enrolled with a Microsoft partner who can offer you online training. Microsoft partners are individuals or institutions that have people trained vigorously in different fields of Microsoft Office. They have tools and book material that other institutions cannot lay their hands on. These help you with training better. It depends upon Microsoft Learning Partners whether they offer individual training for individual office components such as MS Word, MS Excel, and MS PowerPoint.

Not all Microsoft Learning Partners may be able to provide you with online training. You can – however – find out a Microsoft Learning Partner who can train you on online Microsoft Office training courses. They will charge for training and for providing you with the training material. Then you can opt for examinations from Microsoft. At the end of the training, you can opt to get a certification from the partner institution or Microsoft. I would recommend the latter as it has many benefits over regular institutions’ certificates. It makes you stand out of the crowd and gives your resume the boost it requires to land you a decent job. Learn about Microsoft Learning Partners here.

Other Office Training Materials & Resources

Other than being trained directly on my own using Microsoft Office resources from the Microsoft Office website and from being trained by Microsoft Learning Partners, many websites on the Internet offer free training on Microsoft office. Some of these websites impart training upon registration, and some offer direct training. You may or may not be charged for training, but you will certainly have to pay a fee if you decide to go for certification.

Some of these noteworthy online Microsoft Office Training resources are:

There are still many websites that offer free and paid training for Microsoft Office products but since you would want to get a good career, try and get a certificate from a well-known institution, if not directly from Microsoft.

All the best!

How To Activate Microsoft Office 2023 Or Office 365 On Windows 11

Office software has been one of the most used Microsoft products, and it is now the backbone of various activities that we carry out on our personal and professional computers. Microsoft Office 2023 is now available, and it comes with a few new features and enhanced security.

Most people are moving to Office 365, which is a cloud-based subscription product. The activation key is tied to your email account, and you must renew the subscription according to your plan. But if you are still not ready for the cloud and you prefer lifetime licenses over subscriptions, Office 2023/2024/2024 is the way out for you. This post covers everything about how to activate your copy of Microsoft Office on Windows 11/10. The procedure is the same for Office 365 license keys.

How to check Office Activation Status

Not sure about the version or activation status of your copy of Microsoft Office? These steps can help you find out the same.

Open any Office application (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc)

Another method to check activations status would be using CMD. Follow these steps to check activation status using CMD.

Locate the Microsoft Office installation folder (e.g., C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice16).

Open a new command window.

Now execute cscript chúng tôi /dstatus.

After running this script, you will be able to see the current license status. Furthermore, you can even see the expiry date, the last five characters of your product key and other similar details.

How to activate Office

Activation is possible in a few ways, and we have tried to cover them here. All these methods apply mostly to Office 2023/2024/2024. Before we start with the process, we assume that you have an unlicensed copy of Microsoft Office installed on your computer.

Sign in to Office using Microsoft Account

If you have already purchased a license or you are just re-installing Office on a new computer, you don’t need any product keys. Instead, all you need to do is sign-in using the same Microsoft Account you used to buy the license.

Office will automatically pick up the eligible license from your account. If you have multiple Office licenses tied to your account, Office will list all of them, and you can select which license you want to use for activation.

This is a more simple and secure way of activating your copy of Office. By following this, you need not maintain product keys somewhere. Here are the steps to activate Office by signing in.

Open any Office application (Word, Excel, etc.)

Enter the credentials for the account that has an Office license tied to it.

Select one of the licenses displayed in the list. This is only applicable if you have multiple licenses.

Activate Office using Product Key

If you bought Office License from a physical or an online store, you must have received it in the form of a product key. Office can be directly activated by the product key. But it is best recommended to link the product key with your account first and then Sign In with the same account. To do so, you can follow these steps. Make sure you have the product key ready with you.

Go to chúng tôi Sign in using your Microsoft account.

Now enter the 25-character long product key as mentioned.

After this, you will be redirected to Microsoft Services and Subscriptions Page.

Run the setup to install Office on your computer.

When prompted, Sign In using the same Microsoft Account.

Activate using Office Activation Wizard

When a copy of Office has exhausted the trial period or is not activated, the user is prompted with an Activation Wizard.  Or if you have changed some hardware on your computer, you are going to get into activation issues that can be addressed using Activation Wizard. Activation Wizard is very helpful, and all the instructions are mentioned in the dialog box itself. If you want to activate Office over the internet, then select I want to activate the software over the Internet, and then select Next. Or you can select the telephone option if you wish to contact Microsoft Support and activate the product over the phone. If you are not able to activate your product, it is best to contact Microsoft Support regarding this.

Microsoft Office activation process is very simple and secure. There are just many ways to activate Office on Windows. Make sure you follow the right instructions as per your situation.

If you face any issues during the activation process, you can use the Microsoft Office Activation Troubleshooters.

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