Thursday, December 15, 2011

Microsoft apps come to iDevices

In the past few days there has been a flood of Microsoft apps making an appearance in the Apple Apps store.
Skydrive
The first of these is SkyDrive. Microsoft will give you 25GB of free ‘cloud’ storage space (limit of 100MB per file though). With the new app you can access all that information directly from your idevice (iPhone and iPad) as well as Windows Phone 7. This makes Skydrive a very compelling offering when compared to other ‘cloud’ storage offerings like Dropbox and box.net.

More information about Skydrive for idevices:
http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_live/b/windowslive/archive/2011/12/13/introducing-skydrive-for-iphone-and-windows-phone.aspx



OneNote
Microsoft has had a OneNote application for the iPhone for a while but it has now released dedicated OneNote app for the iPad. The difference is quite marked and OneNote on the iPad takes full advantage of the additional screen real estate. It is again a free app but at this point in time you can only work with OneNote notebooks saved on Skydrive rather than something like SharePoint. However, the expectation is that this will change in the near future opening OneNote up to access notebooks on any shared medium.

More information about OneNote for the iPad:
http://appscout.pcmag.com/apple-ios-iphone-ipad-ipod/291719-microsoft-onenote-arrives-on-ipad



Lync
Lync is Microsoft’s ‘unified communications’ solution. Basically, it allows people to install client software and then communicate with each other via chat, video and voice. It also provides the ability to share things like desktops, whiteboards, PowerPoint presentations and more.
Microsoft has recently released Lync clients for the Mac as well as for Windows Phone 7. It is also expected that Lync clients will be available for most other mobile platforms by the end of December 2011.

More information on Lync for Mac:
http://www.microsoft.com/mac/enterprise/lync

More information on Lync for Windows Phone 7:
http://lync.microsoft.com/en-us/Product/UserInterfaces/Pages/lync-2010-mobile.aspx



Xbox
Microsoft has recently updated the interface on the Xbox device but it has also released apps for the iPad and Windows Phone 7. The iPad app again makes great use of the medium and allows you to perform a number of control functions on your Xbox (provided it is on). Although in its infancy it isn’t hard to see where this develop is heading. It is not hard to imagine a not too distant future in which you can login to your Xbox remotely and ask it to download movies, save TV shows, etc.

More information on Xbox for iPad:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/245653/microsoft_releases_xbox_live_app_for_iphone_and_ipad.html



Office
There are also very strong rumours that Microsoft will release its Office suite onto the iPad very shortly. There is still apparently a battle going inside Microsoft as to whether delivering Microsoft's most profitable product to a competitive device like the iPad is such a good idea given that holding it back may drive sales of the ‘proposed’ Windows 8 tablets or whether without Office on the iPad Microsoft Office is losing sales. Personally I’m in the second camp. To me Microsoft is a software company and the more platforms it can makes it software available on the better I say. Time will tell on this score.

More information on Office for the iPad:
http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/260910/20111205/ipad-ms-office.htm