Office15 (Office2013) Preview announced and available

Today Steve Ballmer announced the release of the Preview of office 2013. This includes Outlook, Word 2013, Excel 2013, PowerPoint 2013 and OneNote 2013, Access 2013 and Publisher 2013.

The new preview version of SharePoint is also announced. Download links at the end of this post.

The Office preview training site provides some PowerPoint files with videos about the new version of office. The strange thing is that in all the presentations they compare office 2013 with office2003. Is the install base of Office2003 still that high?

Although my first impression about Office 2013 based on this information was not the best one, I must say, after seeing the press announcement I must admit that I’m quite enthusiastic about the new Office.

During the conference Steve Ballmer talked about the Surface, Windows 8, about some changes on Xbox (They will bring Internet Explorer to the Xbox), about changes in Bing before the real news is announced.

Apparently over 1/3rd of the Office users are students. This is off course interesting for a company because students will become the drivers for innovation and managers in a few years.

The Office 2013 release is the most ambitious release because they are enabling Office as a service. You can run Office from the cloud.

Office 2013 is at its best on Windows 8, BUT it also great on Windows 7. Installing it on Windows 8 will provide some extra features like:

  • Touch everywhere. Office responds to touch as naturally as it does to keyboard and mouse. Swipe your finger across the screen or pinch and zoom to read your documents and presentations. Author new content and access features with the touch of a finger.
  • Inking. Use a stylus to create content, take notes and access features. Handwrite email responses and convert them automatically to text. Use your stylus as a laser pointer when presenting. Color your content and erase your mistakes with ease.
  • New Windows 8 applications. OneNote and Lync represent the first new Windows 8 style applications for Office. These applications are designed to deliver touch-first experiences on a tablet. A new radial menu in OneNote makes it easy to access features with your finger.
  • Included in Windows RT. Office Home and Student 2013 RT, which contains new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications, will be included on ARM-based Windows 8 devices, including Microsoft Surface.

Microsoft is also integrating social deep into their applications. Since they bought Skype and Yammer, this was somehow expected.

When, Kirk Koenigsbauer, a corporate vice president for Office was demoing the new version of Office, he showed a five-person video chat using Microsoft’s Lync application. In the demo, Koenigsbauer revealed how he could drag and drop someone from his buddy list into the live meeting on a giant TV display.

The newsfeed or activity feed allows you to like and reply to a status update.

On the People Card (profile page) there is the possibility to connect with people via an Instant Message or call with Lync, mail …

 

Download.

You can find an overview of ALL Office2013 preview related downloads at http://j.mp/Lt652N

 

PS. This blog post is written in Word 2013 preview J

PS2. More individual application blog post will follow

 

Dropbox vs Spideroak vs Box vs Sugarsync vs Skydrive vs Google Drive

Cloud storage, synchronization and backup.

Storing files in the cloud has become a habit since a few years for me. In the beginning I was very reluctant to storing files in the Cloud, but now this habit changed. I had the right rewards to change my off-line habit to an on-line one à availability of my files, on different platforms

In this blog post I will compare services and give my opinion about them. I must also tell you that I use affiliate links in this post. This means, that I might get extra space if you register with these links, but with no disadvantage or extra cost for you. And the nice thing is that you might also get extra space when you use these linls. There is a chapter dedicated to links and benefits in using my referral links.

While all these on-line sync/backup providers offer a free account they actually work from a freemium model and also offer paying accounts, sometimes with just extra space and sometimes with extra features.

As you can see in the comparison sheet hereunder, Skydrive is by far the cheapest on-line storage provider at this moment (June 2012). With $50 a year for an additional 100 GB (on top of your free 7 GB) there is no other doing better.

However price is not everything. It sure means a lot if you compare the pure file sharing/syncing services. Dropbox is by far the most known, but they don’t score too well on storage price and on security/privacy.
Dropbox is now 4 times more expensive for 100 GB compared to Microsoft Skydrive. The ease of use that you have in Dropbox is also applicable in Skydrive or Google Drive. You install client software and that software created a folder on your hard drive and syncs the folder between your account and devices. But you can only sync this folder.
Spideroak however, makes it possible to have more than 1 computer used in this setup. However, sharing files the way Dropbox, Skydrive and Google drive do, is not that straightforward with Spideroak.

Spideroak is then a lot better in performing back-ups compared to the others. You can choose folders, files and exclude file types and add backup schedules. It is also possible to backup USB or network drives with SpiderOak.
They are also the only service where you can’t reset your password, and if you are concerned about security and privacy, this is a good thing. Since Spideroak encrypts the files on your computer and sends them encrypted to the Spideroak servers, they can’t access or even see the files.

Comparison sheet

Here is how I use these cloud services

Dropbox:

I use dropbox to quickly share files. Most people I know have a dropbox account, and it is easy to set up and share files. Dropbox is also the place where I create my back-ups from my blog using WP Time machine.

Spideroak

Spideroak is my preferred tool to make backups. I can also back up my external disks (USB and also network drives), the data is encrypted on my computer before it is transferred to the Spideroak server. Configuring synchronizing is harder then with the other services in this post and the user interface is a little awkward.

Box.net

I have a box account of 50GB when I registered with my IOS device, but since the free version lacks a client application I don’t use box.net. Downloading files one by one in the web interface is not really “being productive”.

SugarSync

Well, I started using Sugarsync some time ago, before I discovered SpiderOak. It found it quit challenging to configure Sugarsync and stopped experimenting with it.

Skydrive

I use Skydrive to have some office files available, like presentations or reports I’m working on. Skydrive is also my favorite service to collaborate in Microsoft Office documents with the on-line version of Word, Excel OneNote and Powerpoint.

Google Drive

Since I mainly use Skydrive to collaborate on files (in my private life, professionally it is usually SharePoint) I installed the Google Drive app and registered my account just to see if it is any different from Skydrive. For me, the main functionality which is syncing files is about the same. I don’t use Google Drive actively.

Referral links

Service

Link

Advantage of this link

Dropbox http://bit.ly/drOpbOx We both get 500 MB extra
SpiderOak http://bit.ly/spiderpat We both get 1 GB extra
Box.net https://www.box.net None
SugarSync http://bit.ly/sugsyncpat We both get 500 MB extra
Skydrive https://skydrive.live.com/ None
Google Drive https://drive.google.com None

*Extra:
When you have a SpiderOak account you can upgrade your 2GB to 5 GB FREE FOR LIFE by using the WORLDBACKUPDAY promo code. To redeem this offer, click ‘buy more space’ and enter WORLDBACKUPDAY. If you want to register for a 100 GB account, like http://www.facebook.com/SpiderOak and you can find a coupon for 20% off all plans!

My preferred services are SpiderOak and Skydrive.

Which are yours?

Remember only 1 password and manage the others with LastPass

Before I started using LastPass, I was very skeptic about storing my passwords in the cloud. What would happen if somebody would be able to hack my account and get a hold of all my passwords? What would happen when the servers are down?
We were talking about passwords and not just a simple non secured document. Losing my passwords could lead to identity theft and even losing money.


Now, why did I start using LastPass?

LastPass actually means ‘The Last Password you need to remember”. And the last password you need to remember is the LastPass password.
I use several internet services (like personal email accounts, work email account, Twitter, Facebook, task management, YouTube or Vimeo, …) and it was a mess to remember all the passwords. Or maybe it was easy since I used the same password several times… So far for my password security.

If you want to have security (or better say as much security as possible) you need to have different passwords for all your log-ins, and these passwords should be random. So something like “Gt!58*:EfZ(Indeed, they look like 1234567, password1 or CoolDude.

And even when I used secure passwords, I got frustrated in remembering them and it is difficult not to write them down in a Moleskine notebook somewhere. Unencrypted…

Here come secure passwords!

With LastPass you can start using secure passwords. Heck, you don’t even have to remember them. You can generate a secure password with LastPass and then store it encrypted together with your username for that website or service.

When you browse to that site, LastPass will automagically fill in your username and password, or suggest filling it in (if you use more than 1 account to that specific website or service).

How does it work?

Downloading and installing the plug-in, as well as creating your new LastPass account, takes less than 5 minutes.
After downloading a version that supports the browser of your choice (Internet explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera) for your Operating System of your choice (Windows, Mac or Linux) you can start using it. There is even a version for Chrome and Firefox Portable (installed on a USB thumb drive).

After installation you need to create a LastPass account with a master password (this is all done during the installation process) and you will need to choose a master password. This is your last password to remember, so pick it good and secure. After installation restart your browser and you will see an extra icon in your browser toolbar. Red indicates you’re logged in, while gray indicates you’re not. Once logged in, you can visit your “Password Vault”, which is LastPass’ spreadsheet layout of your passwords.

LastPass can import the saved passwords from your browser or from another password manager you were using (like Keepass, 1password, ..).

Is it safe?

Yes. The encryption/decryption occurs on your own computer, not on the LastPass servers. This means, that an encrypted password is stored on the LastPass servers and your sensitive information does not travel the Internet from the server to your PC.

You have an encryption key on your computer and that key is created from your email address and the Master Password you have chosen during the setup of LastPass.

Can I use it on more than 1 computer?

Sure. You can install the browser add-ons on many computers and if you are working on a shared computer or on a computer where you can’t install anything, you can access your LastPass Vault via the web interface. This allows you to copy and paste usernames and passwords from your Vault to your login-window. When you copied a password in memory (to the Clipboard) it stays there for 30 seconds by default. You can change this if needed or required.
You can also use One-Time-Password to login on a shared computer.

Here are a few other features of LastPass:

  • Automatic Form filling
  • One click login
  • Synchronize across multiple browsers and computers
  • Generate strong passwords
  • Share passwords with other LastPass users
  • Identify weak passwords with the LastPass Security Challenge
  • On-screen keyboard to enter your LastPass Master password (to protect you from key loggers)

And the best thing?

It is free. The basic functionality is free. There is a premium account too which costs $12/year. The free version will be more than enough for most users, at least to start with. Upgrading to the Premium version will get you LastPass on mobile devices (IOS, WebOs, Windows Mobile,Android, ..), multifactor authentication via USB Thumb drives or YubiKey, the ability to use LastPass without installing the plug-in and priority support..

Oh, and for now, you can get 1 month of Premium access if you register via this link

Question: Do you use secure passwords? Do you use a password manager? You can explain which one, and why or why not. You can leave a comment.

Before I started using LastPass, I was very skeptic about storing my passwords in the cloud. What would happen if somebody would be able to hack my account and get a hold of all my passwords? What would happen when the servers are down?
We were talking about passwords and not just a simple non secured document. Losing my passwords could lead to identity theft and even losing money.

Now, why did I start using LastPass?

LastPass actually means ‘The Last Password you need to remember”. And the last password you need to remember is the LastPass password.
I use several internet services (like personal email accounts, work email account, Twitter, Facebook, task management, youtube or vimeo, …) and it was a mess to remember all the passwords. Or maybe it was easy since I used the same password several times… So far for my password security.

If you want to have security (or better say as much security as possible) you need to have different passwords for all your log-ins, and these passwords should be random. So something like “Gt!58*:EfZ(Indeed, they look like 1234567, password1 or CoolDude.

And even when I used secure passwords, I got frustrated in remembering them and it is difficult not to write them down in a Moleskine notebook somewhere. Unencrypted…

Here come secure passwords!

With LastPass you can start using secure passwords. Heck, you don’t even have to remember them. You can generate a secure password with LastPass and then store it encrypted together with your username for that website or service.

When you browse to that site, LastPass will automagically fill in your username and password, or suggest filling it in (if you use more than 1 account to that specific website or service).

How does it work?

Downloading and installing the plug-in, as well as creating your new LastPass account, takes less than 5 minutes.
After downloading a version that supports the browser of your choice (Internet explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera) for your Operating System of your choice (Windows, Mac or Linux) you can start using it. There is even a version for Chrome and Firefox Portable (installed on a USB thumb drive).

After installation you need to create a LastPass account with a master password (this is all done during the installation process) and you will need to choose a master password. This is your last password to remember, so pick it good and secure. After installation restart your browser and you will see an additional icon in your browser toolbar. Red indicates you’re logged in, while gray indicates you’re not. Once logged in, you can visit your “Password Vault”, which is LastPass’ spreadsheet layout of your passwords.

LastPass can import the saved passwords from your browser or from another password manager you were using (like Keepass, 1password, ..).

Is it safe?

Yes. The encryption/decryption occurs on your own computer, not on the LastPass servers. This means, that an encrypted password is stored on the LastPass servers and your sensitive information does not travel the Internet from the server to your PC.

You have an encryption key on your computer and that key is created from your email address and the Master Password you have chosen during the setup of LastPass.

Can I use it on more than 1 computer?

Sure. You can install the browser add-ons on many computers and if you are working on a shared computer or on a computer where you can’t install anything, you can access your LastPass Vault via the web interface. This allows you to copy and paste usernames and passwords from your Vault to your login-window. When you copied a password in memory (to the Clipboard) it stays there for 30 seconds by default. You can change this if needed or required.
You can also use One-Time-Password to login on a shared computer.

Here are a few other features of LastPass:

  • Automatic Form filling
  • One click login
  • Synchronize across multiple browsers and computers
  • Generate strong passwords
  • Share passwords with other LastPass users
  • Identify weak passwords with the LastPass Security Challenge
  • On-screen keyboard to enter your LastPass Master password (to protect you from key loggers)

And the best thing?

It is free. The basic functionality is free. There is a premium account too which costs $12/year. The free version will be more than enough for most users, at least to start with. Upgrading to the Premium version will get you LastPass on mobile devices (IOS, WebOs, Windows Mobile,Android, ..), multifactor authentication via USB Thumb drives or YubiKey, the ability to use LastPass without installing the plug-in and priority support..

My SharePoint links from this week (weekly)

  • JavaScript tricks for SharePoint

    tags: SharePoint JavaScript

  • Many organizations are finding that leveraging the full suite of capabilities SharePoint offers requires introduction of a new requirement – that of dealing with, managing and exploiting taxonomies.  Of course taxonomies are not new, but there is some confusion about where managed metadata services and the term store end and true taxonomy management begins.  There are also some misconceptions about the process of deriving and applying taxonomies in SharePoint.  The following are five areas of confusion that we have seen in our engagements and research.

    tags: SharePoint taxonomy myths

  • You can synchronize a SharePoint library, contact list, task list, Project task list and a certain type of SharePoint external list with Microsoft Outlook 2010. Because many SharePoint 2010 users also use Outlook 2010 to collaborate and coordinate activities and projects, the ability to synchronize these libraries and lists can help you become more efficient, especially if you work offline or don’t have convenient access to your SharePoint sites all the time.

    tags: SharePoint Office Outlook

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

  • JavaScript tricks for SharePoint

    tags: SharePoint JavaScript

  • Many organizations are finding that leveraging the full suite of capabilities SharePoint offers requires introduction of a new requirement – that of dealing with, managing and exploiting taxonomies.  Of course taxonomies are not new, but there is some confusion about where managed metadata services and the term store end and true taxonomy management begins.  There are also some misconceptions about the process of deriving and applying taxonomies in SharePoint.  The following are five areas of confusion that we have seen in our engagements and research. 

    tags: SharePoint taxonomy myths

  • You can synchronize a SharePoint library, contact list, task list, Project task list and a certain type of SharePoint external list with Microsoft Outlook 2010. Because many SharePoint 2010 users also use Outlook 2010 to collaborate and coordinate activities and projects, the ability to synchronize these libraries and lists can help you become more efficient, especially if you work offline or don’t have convenient access to your SharePoint sites all the time.

    tags: SharePoint Office Outlook

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Time management: Get productive with Nozbe, the best cross platform GTD app!

Getting Things Done with Nozbe

If you use GTD (Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity) as your way to manage your tasks and projects, Nozbe is the best solution, especially if you use multi devices.

Why Nozbe?

It uses the GTD methodology.

GTD is a task/action management methodology that was created and made very popular (especially among technical people) by David Allen in his bestselling book: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. Rather than working with daily to do list (that will get blown away when your boss enters your office and ‘asks’ to make that presentation or report he has to present at 2 pm) David Allen introduced a system where you assign tasks or actions to a context where these tasks can be performed (eg. At the office, on-line, at a computer, at the phone, ..) And you bundle tasks in projects. Nozbe is designed to follow this methodology.

Secure Cloud service

Nozbe can sync over WiFi but also over a data connection from your Desktop client, iPhone, iPad or Android phone. The synchronization is seamless. And since you sync in the Cloud, you have access to your Nozbe data on almost any device or computer.

Multi-platform

Nozbe is available on several platforms. I use Nozbe on my laptop (Windows), iPhone4 and my iPad. There is a version for Android and a Windows Phone 7 version coming soon. It is also available as a native application for Windows and Mac. And I must admit the native Windows Nozbe App rocks. Since Nozbe syncs perfectly in the Cloud, I can always have my updated Nozbe anywhere if I’m connected.

Nice interface

The web interface is nice and elegant, as is the newly released Windows application. The desktop version is also easy to use, but it needs some improvements in my opinion, like the ability to drag an Action to a Context or Project. But an important feature (for me and a lot of other users) is available and that is sorting Projects alphabetically.
The web interface is even more fluent and you can drag and drop Actions to a Project, Contexts or the Calendar.

Third party software integration

Nozbe integrates with other software like Evernote, Dropbox and Box.net. This means, if you use tags in Evernote or a folder in Dropbox or Box.net with the same name as your Project in Nozbe, these files will be included to that project.
The Email integration is also cool. I have written a dedicated blog post on how to master Email and Nozbe.

Super Quick Entry

You can enter a task in one line, using # hashtags and @context symbols, and Nozbe will create the task, add it to the correct Project, context, even due date. This is a big timesaver!

I am using Nozbe since a while now, with ups and downs (getting off and on the GTD train sometimes) and the more I use it, the more I get impressed and convinced of it. It is not the cheapest GTD software available on the market but it is probably the best.
You can get your free account at Nozbe (5 projects and contexts) and if you upgrade it to a Personal, Family (5 users) or Team (20 users) account, you can use the 60 days money back guarantee. But trust me, you won’t need the money-back guarantee!

Give it a try!


Getting Things Done with Nozbe

If you use GTD (Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity) as your way to manage your tasks and projects, Nozbe is the best solution, especially if you use multi devices.

Why Nozbe?

It uses the GTD methodology.

GTD is a task/action management methodology that was created and made very popular (especially among technical people) by David Allen in his bestselling book: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. Rather than working with daily to do list (that will get blown away when your boss enters your office and ‘asks’ to make that presentation or report he has to present at 2 pm) David Allen introduced a system where you assign tasks or actions to a context where these tasks can be performed (eg. At the office, on-line, at a computer, at the phone, ..) And you bundle tasks in projects. Nozbe is designed to follow this methodology.

Secure Cloud service

Nozbe can sync over WiFi but also over a data connection from your Desktop client, iPhone, iPad or Andriod phone. The synchronization is seamless. And since you sync in the Cloud, you have access to your Nozbe data on almost any device or computer.

Multi-platform

Nozbe is available on several platforms. I use Nozbe on my laptop (Windows), iPhone4 and my iPad. There is a version for Android and a Windows Phone 7 version coming soon. It is also available as a native application for Windows and Mac. And I must admit the native Windows Nozbe App rocks. Since Nozbe syncs perfectly in the Cloud, I can always have my updated Nozbe anywhere if I’m connected.

Nice interface

The web interface is nice and elegant, as is the newly released Windows application. The desktop version is also easy to use, but it needs some improvements in my opinion, like the ability to drag an Action to a Context or Project. But an important feature (for me and a lot of other users) is available and that is sorting Projects alphabetically.

The web interface is even more fluent and you can drag and drop Actions to a Project, Contexts or the Calendar.

Third party software integration

Nozbe integrates with other software like Evernote, DropBox and Box.net. This means, if you use tags in Evernote or a folder in Dropbox or Box.net with the same name as your Project in Nozbe, these files will be included to that project.

The Email integration is also cool. I have written a dedicated blog post on how to master Email and Nozbe.

Super Quick Entry

You can enter a task in one line, using # hashtags and @context symbols, and Nozbe will create the task, add it to the correct Project, context, even due date. This is a timesaver!

I am using Nozbe since a while now, with ups and downs (getting off and on the GTD train sometimes) and the more I use it, the more I get impressed and convinced of it. It is not the cheapest GTD software available on the market but it is probably the best.

You can get your free account at Nozbe (5 projects and context) and if you upgrade it to a Personal, Family (5 users) or Team (20 users) account, you can use the 60 days money back guarantee. But trust me, you won’t need the money-back guarantee!

Give it a try!

Starting a new series on Apps I use.Een nieuwe serie blog posts over Apps die ik gebruik.

A new blog?

A few weeks ago I decided to blog about applications I use (on my laptop) to work better and smarter. Also about Apps I use on my SmartPhone (which is an iPhone 4 at this moment) and iPad (1). The reason to do this is that I see a lot of family and friends struggle in getting things done, whether it is actually GTD or making back-ups of files or sharing pictures or documents. My wife is one of these people who do everything in e-mail.

I have thought a lot on creating a separate blog for this. After analyzing my visitors and having a few conversations with some colleagues/bloggers, I decided to use the OfficeAndBusiness blog for this. Most visitors enter my blog via a search engine. For the people who are subscribed via RSS to my blog, I will look into a solution to create a RSS feed for SharePoint and one for “AppsIUse”.

Feel free to give me feedback about that decision.

What can you expect?

I will post regularly about free and paying applications, tools and utilities that make my life easier or just more fun.

Een nieuwe blog?

Aan aantal weken geleden heb ik besloten om een blog te starten over applicaties die ik gebruik, op mijn laptop, Smartphone (momenteel iPhone4) en iPad (1). De reden dat ik deze beslissing genomen heb, is omdat ik familie en vrienden zie “vechten” om dingen gedaan te krijgen, als het nu over GTD (actie en taken) gaat of het maken van back-ups of het delen van bestanden of foto’s. Mijn vrouw bijvoorbeeld is op dit moment nog zo iemand die e-mail gebruikt om eigenlijk bijna alles in te doen.

Ik heb ook veel nagedacht om een aparte blog voor deze posts te creeeren. Nadat ik mijn bezoekers statistieken geanalyseerd heb en na een paar gesprekken met collega’s/bloggers, heb ik beslist om de OfficeAndBusiness blog hiervoor te gebruiken. Het merendeel van de bezoekers bereikt mijn blog immers via de zoekresultaten na een zoekopdracht. Ik zal wel trachten een oplossing te vinden om aparte RSS feeds te maken voor SharePoint en “AppIUse”

Wat kan je verwachten?

Regelmatige posts over gratis en betalende applicaties en programma’s die mijn leven makkelijker maken, of die er gewoon meer fun aan toevoegen. Ik hoop dat ik jou ook kan helpen in het vinden van die tool die je “lifehackt” J

My SharePoint links from this week (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

SharePoint Saturday Belgium 2012 was great!

On April 28th 2012 the best ever edition of SharePoint Saturday Belgium was successfully delivered. We had 36 sessions of 50 minutes, an exhibition with well-known and maybe less known SharePoint or SharePoint related companies, a fantastic prize draw and an awesome SharePint.

I would like to thank all the sponsors who participated in SharePoint Saturday and especially the prize draw sponsors. The prize draw itself was fun, because we used a randomizer tool and it was performed real-time. It did had some strange funny side effects though J

But I also need to thank our speakers. Thank you for speaking at SharePoint Saturday Belgium, thank you for travelling to Belgium, thank you for helping us make SharePoint Saturday Belgium the success that it was.

Other kudos goes to my colleagues in the user group. Organizing a SharePoint Saturday is an intensive job, that comes on top of the day job, and we organized it as a team.

And of course a big thanks you for the attendees. Thank you for joining us, on a Saturday in a long weekend! The mix of attendees, sponsors and speakers made this edition a huge success!

Most of the slide decks are uploaded to slideshare. Pictures will be uploaded very soon

I can say no more in this blog post except:

Let’s hope we can organize another SharePoint Saturday in 2013.

My SharePoint links from this week (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.