Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft Office’

Download Another Copy of Office 2010

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Did your Office 2010 DVD go missing? Let’s see, you open the drawer it’s supposed to be in and an evil Gremlin jumps out at you, using broken pieces of the DVD as shanks flying this way and that, trying to cut your eyes out! Well, we tried to tell you not to feed the cute little guys… Or maybe it got scratched while being prodded by aliens who abducted it to try and steal Microsoft’s source code. Maybe it’s just stuck inside that huge Lego castle that you just can’t bring yourself to tear down to get at it…

Whatever the problem, fret not (once you seek medical attention for the fireball that crashed to Earth, burning just your disk or escape from the black hole that sucked your DVD into a vortex, miraculously leaving that New Kids on the Block CD in the place of your disk)! Microsoft has a solution for you. To download a fresh, new file that you can burn to a DVD, just go to this site and enter your serial number:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/products/microsoft-office-2010-backup-FX101853122.aspx

Within minutes (or hours if your bandwidth isn’t so great) you’ll be reunited with your old pal Clippy!

Use Microsoft Office With Google Apps

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Google Docs live on Google’s servers and are edited in a web browser. One of the most challenging aspects of leveraging this type of a cloud environment is workflow. Looking at every users workflow before making institutional changes is so daunting a task that it is rarely performed, resulting in users being left out of the process and at times also resulting in a breakdown in adoption from these “edge cases.”

Luckily, Google is wise to this predicament and has acquired DocVerse, which has resulted in a new option from Google: Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office. Cloud connect was announced last week without much fanfare. But the Cloud Connect toolbar for Microsoft Office is one of the more important new features of Google Docs in a long time, because it bridges the gap between the cloud and the client. In so doing, Cloud Connect breaks down some of the more critical arguments against adoption in the enterprise: retooling the entire workforce, redesigning workflow and working with documents while offline.

At 318, we have been working closely with many of our customers on transitions of data to cloud environments. Whether you are using Google or a competing vendor, please feel free to contact your 318 account manager or our sales department to discuss how this announcement can help to ease a transition to the cloud for your environment.

Exchange 2010 Beta Now Available

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Exchange 2010 has been announced – and should be available later this year!  The first public beta has some of the feature set and shows the direction Microsoft will be taking Exchange. Three things stand out about Exchange 2010: a continued to push into further integrated communications, client management and enterprise clustering. Additionally, Exchange 2010 includes improvements to the database design, which should reduce overall disk I/O by up to 50% and allow the databases to be run on lower tier DAS storage (with a target at SATA, even in larger environments).  While a move to reduce errors in the database and make it less I/O dependent is a good start for compelling features, it does not speak to active-active clustering.  These new options are more similar to the LCR options introduced in 2007, just with 16 replicas now being available – which allows for a lot of disaster recovery.

Exchange 2010 includes server-side email archival, which will be a big boon to many Mac environments (Entourage still doesn’t have an auto-archive feature). Server-side email archiving also allows enterprise organizations to gain further control over archives and enforce better policy management for mailboxes.

Exchange 2010 allows users to manage many of their own common tasks rather than opening a service request.  Exchange will also warn users (and allow administrators to make policies based on these types of events) before they make common mistakes such as sending mail to large distribution groups, to recipients who are out of the office or to recipients outside the organization.  Overall, this move towards self-service should reduce overall support costs.

Text based voice mail preview, voice mail rules and further integrated Outlook Web Access (OWA) and Outlook Mobile dominate the theme of Exchange 2010.  Users of the Microsoft unified communications environment will be able to see text previews of voice mail using Outlook, delete voice mails out of Outlook without picking up a hand set and even create rules for dealing with certain types of messages (for example if a voice mail is less than 1 second it should probably just be deleted). There are a number of other features, most of which (such as a message indicator light, caller ID and voice control over voice mail) are already present in other modern phone systems – the key word here is other as Microsoft now has what amounts to a phone system built into Exchange.

As always, many of the new features of Exchange will revolve around new features within the Office product line, which will also receive a refresh in 2010.  Public folders (not shared folders) will more than likely be moved into SharePoint, which will also see an update in 2010.  There will also be a number of upgraded Powershell commands that will further automate the use of Exchange with the upcoming Windows 7 operating system.

Overall, for many environments, Exchange 2010 should represent a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) than previous releases.  However, it will need to be strategically planned well in advance, especially if your organization will be skipping Exchange 2007 and upgrading from 2003 into Exchange 2010.  If you need help with the strategy and assistance, please feel free to contact 318 and we will do whatever possible to aid in the planning of this transition.

Removing the Microsoft Office 2008 Product Key

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

1. Quit all open Office applications to prevent them from clobbering your work.
2. Delete the file /Applications/Microsoft Office 2008/Office/OfficePID.plist.
3. Delete the file ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office 2008/Microsoft Office 2008 Settings.plist.
4. Empty the Trash. This is important. The reserialize may not “take” if you don’t.
5. Launch one of the Office applications to go through the Setup Assistant and enter the new license key.

Office Unified Communication Server

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Communication is the transfer or collaboration of thoughts, ideas and plans between individuals. It is essential in the organizational success of most businesses to have various easy to use methods of communication. Today’s communication varies from chatting to video teleconferencing. Combining these forms of communication into a simple easy to use interface or tool can drastically increase the flow of collaboration and communication of staff members.

Microsoft’s Unified Communication Server and Office Communicator comprise a suite of programs and services that allow businesses to integrate most communication platforms into one centralized management console. Unified Communications takes the functionality of outlook and exchange and combines email with VOIP service, voicemail, chatting, faxing and video teleconferencing. Along with the integration of all these services, Unified Communications comes with one tool to rule them all.

Office Communicator gives anyone with a laptop or Windows Mobile Smart phone the ability to switch methods of communication on the fly, without having to worry about loss of communication. This simple tool will give you ability to take your office anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet connection. It also has the ability to attach additional phone numbers to your main office number. Chatting, faxing, emailing, calling and video teleconferencing have never been so easy.

Unified Communications and Office Communicator provide a new method of centralized communication that when implemented in your company will greatly enhance the flow of communication between the staff at your business.

Open XML Draft Approved

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

The Microsoft Open XML standard is what Microsoft is hoping will be the standard in document formats. The first step in that process is now complete with Office Open XML being accepted as a draft standard by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization. ISO is the world’s largest developer of standards and has no governmental affiliation. Office 2007 created a stir by omitting the Open Document Format (ODF), which is already an ISO standard. Many had hoped that ODF would help to spark an uptick in the interest of applications such as OpenOffice.org as a replacement for the Microsoft Office Suite of applications. However, the ODF standard has had slow adoption in large part due to the Microsoft omission of it from Office. noooxml.jpg If Microsoft’s Open XML format receives ratification from ISO as a standard then it would introduce a pair of rival standards into the document community. In many ways, the non-official standardization of documents around the Microsoft doc format over the past decade has led to an unparalleled ability for organizations to trade information freely. However, many (especially in the open source community) feel that allowing Microsoft to hold all the cards is a dangerous thing and that by bringing about a truly open standard such as ODF there will be more options in the word processing suite that organizations can use.

The battle between ODF and Open XML is likely to rage on for years as the appeals and votes and red tape continue to drag on. Just to put things in perspective, ISO rejected the Open XML proposal in September of 2007 and after a rewrite based on input from vendors and members of ISO it was voted as a draft standard in March. The appeals process doesn’t close until June but we’re likely to see more red tape for awhile given the interests of the parties involved.

Microsoft Office Live Workspace

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Microsoft Office Live Workspace is a portal that allows you to view your Microsoft Office documents online. This includes the ability to share documents and do desktop presentations of Microsoft Office documents. Microsoft Office Live Workspace is in beta and free, so why not give it a try? That’s what Microsoft is asking now that Google Docs and Zoho are moving towards commoditizing the document and spreadsheet space.

So first impressions? Office Live Workspace doesn’t let you edit documents. Anyone who has used Google Docs or Zoho is going to be looking for that feature. There is a nice plug-in that is free that allows you to save up to 500 Megabytes of new or existing files into the Workspace portal as well as edit documents that are actually located on the portal. You can also create multiple locations for others to access, called workspaces and sync task lists or online events with Microsoft Outlook (a feature most Outlook Web Access users are already using). If you don’t have Office though, you can only view files and create notes about them. Changes are automatically synchronized so you can easily work while offline without a lot of headache.

There’s also SharedView. SharedView is part of Microsoft Office Live Workspace and gives other users the ability to view or take over your desktop as part of the collaboration benefits of Microsoft Office Live Workspace. This is already available through other Microsoft technologies, but this is a little more user friendly and nicely ties together with the document editing process. images-1.jpeg All in all, users of Microsoft Office just got a host of new features with the Microsoft Office Live Workspace. So we might as well take use of this new technology since Microsoft was so nice to give it to us. However, if we’re looking for something that mirrors the functionality of Google Docs then this isn’t it. It’s more of meeting half-way between Google Docs and Microsoft Office.

Office 12 – A New Look

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

Microsoft has released the beta version of Microsoft Office, version 12. This new version is packed with new features and of course, a new look for documents.

Office 12 no longer has drop down menus. This has been a hallmark of Microsoft Office since the first version. Nearly every other productivity suite has been built around drop down menus on every platform since the days before point-and-click. Microsoft has replaced drop down menus with a new concept that they are calling the ribbon. When you click on what were once drop down menus, the toolbars change to include only the features relevant to that option. By placing buttons and menus in the ribbon, Microsoft is able to include many new features without forcing users to have so many toolbars that their workspace is greatly reduced. The ribbon is not resizeable, so users of bigger monitors will likely approve of this feature than users of smaller monitors.

Other new features in Office 12 include the ability to save files into read-only PDFs, an Inspector that allows users to hide text or reveal text, the ability to remove the document creators name and contact information, a live preview feature that allows users to view the effect of changes before making them and tighter integration with OneNote.

There are also new features specific to components of Office 12. Word 12 includes a new zoom bar, which is meant to help zoom in and out of text rapidly as well as a new bar at the bottom of the screen that includes word count, page count and other information about the document. Conditional formatting in Excel 12 allows users to spruce up their spreadsheets with colors and effects based on formula outputs. PowerPoint 12 now gives a greater sense of control with more streamlined features. Outlook 12, unlike the rest of the Office suite, did not receive the ribbon. It did get the sleek new interface, a To-Do bar and color coded users, a feature useful in shared environments. Finally, Access was given a new interface to make it easier and faster to rapidly create databases.

Microsoft Office has given the world a standard for documents that has enabled sharing to a level that might not have otherwise been possible. With their latest version they are making their format for documents open source, or freely useable by other organizations, in order to enable people to share documents between applications more freely. With this innovation in the way that Microsoft goes about business, they are joining the packs of companies such as Novell, RedHat and Apple. While Microsoft has been criticized in the past for their fierce competition, this change will actually foster innovation in the field of word processing, spreadsheet creation and presentations. The new format will also allow users to make larger files and shrink existing files, as it splits each file into separate components stored in a .zip format. The new format will have an x at the end of the name of each extension for old formats. For example, Word files would be .docx and PowerPoint files would be .pptx.

There will be an initial learning curve for adopters of Microsoft Office 12, but the productivity enhancements will quickly offset this with the proper training and planning.

Open Source Code Development

Monday, June 5th, 2006

Developers of code have always been fairly open with their tips and tricks. New advancements in the websphere come fast and many of them come from the open source community. Led by people like Linus Torvalds, the original author of Linux, the open source ommunity has rewritten many of the most popular proprietary applications on the market and made them freely available to the world, asking only that if they don’t sell the code you don’t turn around and sell the code as well.

This was the foundation for the web. Apache, the most popular web server in use, is a product of the open source community. Recently, due to a large pool of code to draw upon and the entry into the open source community of many proprietary products we have been seeing a lot of advancements coming at a more rapid rate than ever. OpenOffice.org, a project for replacing Microsoft Office, Eclipse, a project supposedly named because they were going to “eclipse” Sun and a list almost as long as the postings on SourceForge.net (a popular site for open source software) have emerged.

This is changing the way people write code. Programmers today are often charged with assembling and integrating code more than they are actually writing new code. Many organizations have seen that by using code repositories online and in some cases searchable is more efficient than writing new code. In many cases, software developers and architects spend more time finding, downloading and evaluating available code than anything else.

Some programmers sell their code, but many just post it online giving back to the community that helped them find code they have been using and in some cases learn their craft. Finding the appropriate code for a given task and making sure that the licensing and documentation is taken care of can be a tough task. This is where a new type of search engine comes into play. Koders.com currently offers over 225,000,000 lines of code for languages including PHP, Python, SQL and many others. Krugle is another search engine that offers much more information on code although it is currently in beta. If you would rather pay for your ability to search code you can sign up for the protexIP/OnDemand service with Black Duck. Anyone who will be writing a lot of code should get to know all their options for trolling around for code.

Sharing Exchange Calendars

Friday, October 7th, 2005

When users have personal calendars they want to share the work gets done on the workstations to grant access.

There are 2 locations that access needs to be given to. The first is the mailbox. The typical setup is to make this user a reviewer. The second location is the specific folders that need access. This can be given in various degrees, but if the user needs to make changes (delete, add, move) then the user being given access should be made into an “owner.”

In the latest revision of Office, you can actually do the second step from the “delegate” tab of options. However, the delegate still needs to be given reviewer access to the mailbox, as this is above the actual folders in the tree.

There are 2 ways to gain access into a calendar or contact folder you’ve been assigned delegate access to. The first and best is from your Exchange tab in your account settings. You can add mailboxes you’ve been given access to and they will appear in the folder list showing only the folders of the mailboxes you’ve been given access to.

The second way is to go File, Open, Other Users Folder. If you do this, it will be closed the next time you open Outlook, so this is only good for temporary access.

Delegate access is NOT assigned from the Exchange Admin interface with the exception of Public Folders. These are different than sharing the folder of a user. In Public Folders on the Exchange Admin interface, you will see the folder and you can assign permissions for these directly. These permissions should never be altered from a client.