Posts Tagged ‘iPad’

Microsoft CEO, with eye on compatibility, introduces software for iPad

March 28th, 2014

Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said he will “hold nothing back” to get the company’s programs across all devices, in a clear departure from the software maker’s longtime focus on its Windows operating system.

At his first public speech since taking the CEO job last month, Nadella introduced Office software for Apple Inc.’s iPad, the first time Micro­soft is putting the popular productivity programs onto the tablet.

Nadella said the company’s goal is to get its Internet-based Office 365 service on any gadget, even if it reduces sales of Windows-based PCs or other products.

“It’s not a tradeoff, because it’s about going where customers are going,” Nadella said after the company event in San Francisco. “It’s not about today’s share position based on today’s form factors, because in the full arc of time there will be many new platforms that will require Office, from small screens to large screens.”

Nadella is presiding over Microsoft’s shift to a more open approach. While former CEO Steve Ballmer kept more of a focus on Windows, including pushing the operating system onto smartphones, Nadella is indicating that he proactively wants to get Microsoft software onto Apple’s iOS and Google Inc.’s Android-based gadgets. Because Apple and Android devices dominate in mobile, Microsoft risks having its software locked out if it can’t sell its programs for those platforms.

“There is a new sheriff in town,” Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets & Co., wrote in a note about Nadella’s presentation. “We believe the Office for iPad was a major positive step in the right direction and signals a strategic change at Microsoft.”

Ives has the equivalent of a hold rating on the stock.

Microsoft shares fell 1 percent to $39.36 at the close in New York.

Office for iPad, which includes Word, PowerPoint and Excel, heralds a new business model for the software, which has been a paid product. Now users will be able to view their Office documents for free on their iPad, though to edit or make documents they will need to pay $99 a year for a subscription to Office 365.

Last year, Microsoft released paid versions of Office apps for the iPhone, which required a subscription to Office 365. That product cost $99.99 a year for a home version that works on five devices and $69.99 for a version that works for just one computer and one tablet.

“Microsoft is in the process of migrating the lion’s share of its business to the cloud and subscription,” Mark Moerdler, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., wrote in a note to clients last week.

Microsoft is taking a risk by asking people to pay $99 a year to edit, rather than just look at, their documents, said Milind Gadekar, CEO of CloudOn Inc., which makes a free mobile application that lets users access and edit their Office documents on mobile devices.

“Consumers expect editing to be free,” he said. “You have to find other advanced features to charge for.”


Apple hits snags in ‘iWatch’ production, loses director of iPod software to Nest

January 8th, 2014

A new report published on Tuesday details the long and arduous road Apple’s supposed iWatch is moving down as it moves from idea to consumer product, including fresh information regarding an iPod software director’s departure to Nest Labs.

Apple has run into a number of challenges in bringing the so-called “iWatch” to market, reports The Information, though most appear to be in line with any new product launch. The publication provides a number of interesting tidbits, including the attrition of former Apple iPod software director and current Nest employee Bryan James, who reportedly worked on the project.

Now Vice President of New Product Engineering at Nest Labs, James was previously a director for Apple’s iPod software team, a position he held for over seven years. It is unclear what role James played in iWatch development, but sources claim the software engineer was involved with various wearable programs, including an Apple-made offering that would have allowed iPod nano users to wear the device as a wristwatch.

James is also listed on a number of Apple patents, most of which relate to user interface designs and backend technology. Specifically, The Information points to a property “associated with a watch-like device” that also lists Nest cofounder Matt Rogers as an inventor, but AppleInsider could not find the document in question.

The pair of names show up together only once in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s database. Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,380,507 covers voice activated features in a portable device that could theoretically be used in an iWatch, though no mention of “watches” or “wearables” is made.

With a supposedly growing team dedicated to the iWatch project, James may not have been a key player, but his background is interesting nonetheless. As of February 2013, Apple was claimed to have a 100-person team working on the initiative, but has been “aggressively hiring” additional personnel in the intervening months.

Some of those hires are rumored to have backgrounds in the medical field, suggesting the as-yet-unannounced wearable may incorporate bio sensors and other “quantified self” technology.

The Information also reiterates prior reports regarding Apple’s production struggles thus far, including issues with screen technology. To this point, the publication cites people familiar with the project as saying Apple considered moving to a different display implementation late last year due to battery issues with older designs.

While quite possibly a foregone conclusion, the publication looks ahead to how the iWatch will perform in the coming tide of wearable devices. At this year’s CES, a veritable crush of wearables has been announced, many from big-name tech companies like LG and Intel.

It remains to be seen if the market will take to the new form factor devices initially made popular by wristbands from Nike, Jawbone and Fitbit, among others. As with previous CES events, Apple seems to once again be the elephant in the room that isn’t even there.


Jive Software further embraces mobile with new apps for iPad, iPhone, & Android

June 19th, 2013

Enterprise social-networking company Jive Software has launched new applications for the iPad and iPhone, and soon it will bring its Jive Present app to Android.

With the “consumerization of IT” and enterprise-focused businesses making mobile a priority, it’s important for Jive to stay vigilant with its mobile solutions. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Jive competes with other enterprise networking solutions like Microsoft’s Yammer, Salesforce’s Chatter, and Tibco’s Tibbr — all of which offer strong mobile solutions.

The new iPad app is the biggest addition to the Jive mobile portfolio. It offers a feed of updates, document creation, and the ability to see trending items across the network. Another thing it includes is access to “virtual rooms,” which were introduced back in April.

“This is our first full iPad app, and it provides an elegant user experience,” Adam Mertz, Jive’s director of product marketing, told VentureBeat. “You can be connected to content, people, and places.”

Next up is the upgraded iPhone app. Jive has offered an iPhone app for receiving updates on the go for some time, but now it has been updated to function 50 percent faster and includes a new slide-out tab for navigation.
Additionally, it includes customized activity streams, and users can mark items for action.

“Our customers are starting to use Jive more on mobile,” Mertz said. “We have to make it as fast as possible.”

While these iOS-focused updates are nice, Android users aren’t being completely left out of the Jive party. Jive will be updating its Jive Present app — which was just on the iPad — to work on Android tablets. Jive Present’s main purpose is as a digital-presentation tool, and there are at least some Android tablet owners out there that use their slates for business.

Finally, Jive has introduced a new mobile SDK that will give companies and developers the tools they need to build mobile apps that include Jive functionality. Many companies build their own internal apps, so offering the ability to build Jive into them could encourage more usage of the service.


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