The "other" products of the Microsoft Office Suite - Part 1

May 15, 2014 by BogdanZ

The Microsoft Office Suite continues to be the most popular choice for business and domestic users, when it comes to creating PowerPoint presentations, documents, spreadsheets etc., even if it has a lot of competitors out there: Apache OpenOffice, Libre Office, SSuite Office, Kingsoft Office, SoftMaker FreeOffice etc. And that's not all - all these competitor applications come for free.

As a countermeasure, or simply as a marketing shift, Microsoft Office has expanded the Office suite with more products, mainly focused on business productivity. For quite some time, the expanded Office suite has included  besides the already known products (Word / Excel / PowerPoint / Outlook / OneNote / Access / Publisher) other useful application such as:

Microsoft Exchange * Exchange - this is an application that provides email-based communication companies, and allows the exchange of contacts and calendars between users.

 * SharePoint is mostly used by companies to create websites, and it is very user friendly and intuitive, so it doesn't require any advanced skills beforehand.

 * Lync is a communication platform focused on business tasks, which allows users to connect with one another by using: instant messaging, voicemail, audio, video and web conferencing. It even has a Lync-Skype connection, meaning that Lync users can add Skype contacts by typing their account names into Lync's "Add Skype Contact" window.

 * Project is a flexible solution for project portfolio management, which allows business users to organize their work per projects, teams, schedules and finances. It can be used in a variety of industries such as: construction, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, government, retail etc.

 * Visio is a diagramming application that has the purpose to simplify the understanding of multiple and complex data, and make these more understandable.

 * Office for Mac - No need to go into detail, as this is a pretty suggestive name, right? :)

 *Perceptive Pixel "deliver exceptional, multi-purpose productivity solutions for brainstorming, collaboration, and interactive presentations."[1]Microsoft Yammer

 *Yammer is a private social network that targets companies, and with a focus on improving communication (inside and outside the company)

 * Power BI combined with Excel allows users to model and analyze their data with the help of Power View (an interactive data exploration, visualization, and presentation tool) and Power Map (a 3D data visualization tool for Excel). The PowerBI actually uses the Excel dashboard, as it doesn't have one of it own. This is really a plus, as most business users are already familiarized with Excel.

Office Mobile and Office Online

But wait this isn't all, Microsoft Office also took some steps in the continuously growing "mobile world", by adding Office Online and Office Mobile.

Office Mobile is available for iPads, iPhones, Windows phones and for Android phones (as four different apps), and provides the possibility to view and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents from almost any mobile device that is on the market today, without changing the formatting. We all know how important this is :) .

Office Online makes it easier to collaborate with others on shared documents, presentations, spreadsheets etc.. Actually, Office Online is a re-launch of Office Web Apps, the former online version of Office.

This re-launch was needed because, even if Microsoft Office Web Apps was the free version of the most successful Office suite, it had the following major issues:

 * The name wasn't intuitive - few people knew what it meant
 * Even fewer knew that Microsoft had such an application, due to a weak promotion
 * Also, it had "Google Drive" as a main competitor       

It seems that Microsoft is trying to take over the daily activities of the business area with its apps by continuously expanding and adapting the suite. A downsize of the Office suite is that it can be quite expensive, considering that on the market there are multiple free solutions.

Have you tried one of these Microsoft applications?

 


[1] Source: http://www.microsoft.com/office/perceptivepixel/default.aspx


Other posts from this series:


The "other" products of the Microsoft Office Suite - Part 2
The "other" products of the Microsoft Office Suite - Part 3


Tags: Microsoft  Office 


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