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Microsoft Wants Office for Android/Windows Testers

Previously we reported that Microsoft delayed the “Gemini” touch-focused apps for Office 2013 in order to work on the Android version of the suite. Now there’s evidence on Microsoft’s SharePoint site revealing that the company is gearing up for a private beta of the upcoming software.

The site doesn’t specify if the pre-release program will in fact include Office for Android, provide the long-awaited Office for Windows “Gemini” apps to eager customers, or offer both sets. In fact, right now Microsoft appears to have put the beta submissions on temporary hold, possibly due to a large turnout.

“Thank you for your interest in Microsoft Office programs!” the site reads for now “We are in the process of updating our submission site and expect it to be back online soon. We will be accepting applications throughout the next several weeks and hope you return later in the week to submit your interest.”

Previous rumors had pegged the Gemini apps as appearing in this quarter, and currently there’s no answers as to why they’re late save for the Office for Android rumor. Now there’s talk that the Gemini apps won’t be available until Spring 2015 when Windows Threshold is due to arrive.

PCWorld reports that the pre-release program will include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Visio, Access, Publisher and Outlook. The program will also be open to businesses, who will also see beta versions of Exchange, Project and SharePoint.

Microsoft released Office for iPad back in March, which contains Word, Excel and PowerPoint for free. By May, the suite was downloaded by iPad owners a whopping 27 million times; 12 million times within the first week. The catch is that customers need a subscription to the Office 365 service, which costs $99 per year or $9.99 per month.

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  • antilycus
    Office is outdated. They are trying too much to be like Apple. "Buy everything Microsoft and you'll be great" (which is a lie from both companies). Libre Office is free and does everything else that Office (without Outlook) does. Mozilla Thunderbird also is free and provides as much functionality as Outlook, until you get to exchange 2013, which Microsoft then says "unless you use outlook we won't give you full funcationality" which means you can't accept tasks which are proprietary formats owned by MS which means open source providers can't write anything to accept task requests because it's closed source. MS and Apple and suck a fat one, Linux (your flavor of choosing) has better threaded performance, better RAM / Memory management. For "typical" business use and home user, MS and APPLE are at a disadvantage. Unfortunately too many people are afraid to change because they had a previous experience that was bad. Coming from a guy that dropped his 10 windows servers and 5 windows workstations I can tell you I am more productive on Linux (and wayyyy more stable) than I was on the latter. Not as many paid software choices but for me, it doesn't affect the bottom line.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    Just what I always wanted. Word processing software so poorly coded and overly complicated that it brings even the mightiest mobile devices to a crawl. Thanks, Microsoft!
    Reply
  • eriko
    One word for you:

    Compatibility.

    Also:
    Thunderbird was a nightmare. No inbuilt calendar, and you have to install add-ins for everything I considered normal. It crashed more than Outlook too - especially the add-ins.

    I disagree MS is trying to be like Crapple. Me thinks you are a fanboi at work here...

    Also, I've tried Linux, and with all the eye candy running, it was NOT more efficient than Windows. Next argument please...

    Also, my laptop crashes frequently when running Ubuntu, so I'm surprised you are 'so stable'. Honestly. If I use my RATT 7 mouse, the whole OS will lock up inside 5 mins.

    Office is outdated. They are trying too much to be like Apple. "Buy everything Microsoft and you'll be great" (which is a lie from both companies). Libre Office is free and does everything else that Office (without Outlook) does. Mozilla Thunderbird also is free and provides as much functionality as Outlook, until you get to exchange 2013, which Microsoft then says "unless you use outlook we won't give you full funcationality" which means you can't accept tasks which are proprietary formats owned by MS which means open source providers can't write anything to accept task requests because it's closed source. MS and Apple and suck a fat one, Linux (your flavor of choosing) has better threaded performance, better RAM / Memory management. For "typical" business use and home user, MS and APPLE are at a disadvantage. Unfortunately too many people are afraid to change because they had a previous experience that was bad. Coming from a guy that dropped his 10 windows servers and 5 windows workstations I can tell you I am more productive on Linux (and wayyyy more stable) than I was on the latter. Not as many paid software choices but for me, it doesn't affect the bottom line.
    Reply
  • falchard
    Just what I always wanted. Word processing software so poorly coded and overly complicated that it brings even the mightiest mobile devices to a crawl. Thanks, Microsoft!
    I already have Microsoft Office on my Windows Phone 7 and it does not crawl. Maybe it would have something to do with Android's underpinnings. Its been known for a while that Windows Phone performs better with the same hardware than Android by a wide margin.

    That said I have also used Open Office/Libre Office. The only compatibility issues are moving things to and from a Microsoft format. From time to time I have trouble doing something in Microsoft Office that is pretty simple in Libre Office and vice versa. I think this really just comes down to the methods used to achieve the same goal by both companies. Pretty much Libre Write acts like a website editor, while Microsoft word acts like a text editor. Doing things like charts, photos, and tables is usually a pain in some method on both these applications. Typically I export everything out to PDF just for compatibility and because I can typically do a great job integrating these components with InDesign.
    In my opinion there are a couple applications in the Microsoft Office suite that still don't have a better or comparable equivalent like Outlook and Visio.
    Reply
  • bmwman91
    Office is outdated. They are trying too much to be like Apple. "Buy everything Microsoft and you'll be great" (which is a lie from both companies). Libre Office is free and does everything else that Office (without Outlook) does. Mozilla Thunderbird also is free and provides as much functionality as Outlook, until you get to exchange 2013, which Microsoft then says "unless you use outlook we won't give you full funcationality" which means you can't accept tasks which are proprietary formats owned by MS which means open source providers can't write anything to accept task requests because it's closed source. MS and Apple and suck a fat one, Linux (your flavor of choosing) has better threaded performance, better RAM / Memory management. For "typical" business use and home user, MS and APPLE are at a disadvantage. Unfortunately too many people are afraid to change because they had a previous experience that was bad. Coming from a guy that dropped his 10 windows servers and 5 windows workstations I can tell you I am more productive on Linux (and wayyyy more stable) than I was on the latter. Not as many paid software choices but for me, it doesn't affect the bottom line.

    There is currently NO data / spreadsheet application out there that can compete with Excel. Period. Try loading a measly 10,000 data points into Open / Libre Office and plotting it...go grab a cup of coffee while you wait. Secondly, VBA in Excel (and MS Office in general) is superb and worth more than the entire Office suite alone.

    MS Office software is not always amazing, and I have my gripes with it, but the price paid for what you get is a good value IMO. The open source alternatives out there are also very good, especially for their price, but they just aren't as good as MS Office. They are fine for many people that don't really do much beyond light email and printing homework assignments, but MS Office is much better when it comes to really getting stuff done.

    Linux. Tried to convert, so many times. Ultimately, the WiFi, SATA and GPU driver support for it is abysmal and I end up spending a week trying to edit conf files and tweak things to get a stable system, at which point I nuke the HDD and reinstall Windows. It's been an annual tradition for about 7 years now lol. I actually have a lot of respect for Linux and the hard work that people have put into it, and I definitely want to make the switch eventually. For now though, its support for 3-5 year old hardware is retched and I am not feeling like dropping $2000 on a new laptop that might have better driver support since my current Thinkpad still tears up just about anything I can throw at it.
    Reply
  • eriko
    I also forgot to add - battery life on my laptop under Linux is SHOCKING.

    Really.

    Office is outdated. They are trying too much to be like Apple. "Buy everything Microsoft and you'll be great" (which is a lie from both companies). Libre Office is free and does CUT.
    Reply
  • texasti
    It's funny that M$ is pushing these news just after Google had announced native support for office files in Google Doc and Sheet with more commitment to improve productivity of Chrome platform. I feel that Microsoft greedy business model is just doesn't work anymore. The only thing that's saving them for now is their OS compatibility with legacy clients, hardware, and applications. It's evident that this advantage has been diminishing for the last few years and will continue so.

    Reply