apps

A few weeks ago, Satya Nadella called Office 365 the most strategic API for Microsoft. This was echoed by Bill Gates, who in an interview said that getting Office to the next level is a major strategic imperative. They weren’t kidding.

Microsoft made two major announcements recently that can be game changing.

  1. Office 365 as a platform for third party developers
  2. Unlimited OneDrive storage with every Office 365 subscription

Opening up Office 365 can only add value to consumers and simultaneously keep Microsoft relevant with developers. This is an urgent priority in a mobile world where Windows is a minority; Office 365 on the other hand cuts across all operating systems and devices.

Unlimited OneDrive storage makes Office 365 more attractive than ever; it addresses the competition in both cloud storage and free office programs.

For Microsoft, keeping Office a productivity standard is the next best thing to a Windows monopoly.

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Inbox is a new mail client that The Verge calls “a total reinvention of email from Google.” Which is a bit of an exaggeration, but does demonstrate the excitement many in the tech press have for it.

Inbox is invite only for now; fortunately, Google sent me one and I’ve been using it exclusively the last few days.

How is it? There’s a saying in South East Asia: “Same-same but different.” Countries here have many similarities — ingredients used for cooking, the mix of urban sprawl and vast farmlands, the laidback, friendly culture — but each country has its own twist on things.

Inbox won’t change your life. It’s a pretty client with a few interesting ideas that are more incremental than revolutionary. The potential is certainly there for something truly new and for now, it’s same-same but different.

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I got a Moto 360 a few weeks ago and have been using it daily since. See the watch review here, the Android Wear review here and a comparison between Google’s and Apple’s implementations here. And now, the final look of this mini-series: third party apps.

Here’s the bottom line — they’re not very good.

I downloaded a bunch but will only talk about three that I ended up keeping, sorta: OneNote, RunKeeper and Wear Mini Launcher.

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There’s a social network called Ello that’s buzzing. I’m not sure why.

Ostensibly, it’s because it’s seeing rapid growth, though no one can cite actual numbers. The narrative is that some are unhappy of Facebook requiring real identities, and so are migrating en masse; mostly from the LGBT community according to the Washington Post. People are migrating to Ello because, unlike Facebook, the social network doesn’t require real names.

Hmmm.

You know what other social networks don’t require real names? Google Plus, Twitter and Instagram. Which are just a little more well known than Ello. The point is that if all people wanted is a social network which doesn’t require real names, there are plenty available.

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Today we review something you probably already use: Gmail, but in a specific context. Let me explain.

I have active Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook accounts as well as three IMAP accounts from my start-ups. If you’re an entrepreneur, you probably have a similar set-up. I used Outlook to manage all these inboxes.

The problem was that spam became uncontrollable, specifically for my three IMAP accounts and for Yahoo. I tried putting spam assassins on the server level; local filters on the local level; all for naught. I continued to get abused by Viagra pills, Nigerian despots, lonely women and all the other clever variations spammers use. It was overwhelming.

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Windows Phone users often look to iOS and Android owners with envy when this or that app isn’t yet available for Microsoft’s platform. How often does the reverse happen, when iOS and Android users lust for something on Windows Phone that’s not available on their own?

Office Lens is a new app from Microsoft that I wish was on Android and iOS. Or the Windows app store at least for my Surface Pro 3.

Office Lens is a cool app where you snap a photo of something, and the app then automatically converts it into an editable Office document. How amazing is that right?

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