Category Archives: Exchange Online

More Office Online: Commenting, printing, Tell Me, and more

Just over a month ago we introduced Office Online at, making our online Office experience easier for you to find, so you can use it to help you get more done. Since then, the team has been working hard to finalize several updates across Office Online that will start rolling out today. This post gives you the highlights. We’ve also included links to application-focused posts for a deep dive into what’s new in Excel Online and Word Online.

Excel Online: more of the most requested Excel features, now online

We know you want features that allow you to move as seamlessly as possible between Office Online and the desktop. In Excel Online, we’ve added the ability to insert new comments as well as edit and delete existing comments.

Power users will appreciate that we now have improved support for files that contain VBA. You can now open and edit VBA-enabled spreadsheets without removing (or corrupting) the VBA contained in the file.

You already know about Tell Me, a feature that allows you to ask Word how to do something, and have the relevant commands presented in a simple drop-down list so you can perform your action right away. Now you have Tell Me in Excel as well.

Tell Me in Excel

Read all about the latest Excel Online updates here.

Word Online: commenting, improved footnotes, and lists

Reviewing and providing feedback on documents is a key requirement for users of Office Online. Last year we made that easier when we shipped the ability to add and view comments in the View mode. And now we’re extending commenting to editing mode, so you can make comments and changes at the same time as others.

Comments in Word Online

For those of you using Word Online for the creation of research papers and reports, we’ve simplified  footnotes and endnotes—you can now simply add them inline.

Word Online is now smarter when it comes to list making, too. For example, when you’re making a list, if you’re directly below an existing numbered list and start typing, your next line automatically becomes part of the list—just like in desktop Word.

Find more on today’s Word Online update here.

PowerPoint Online: improved performance, text editing, and Tell Me

High fidelity viewing of presentations in PowerPoint Online has always been a high priority for us. But a high fidelity view of your slides is also important when you’re creating them. We’ve re-engineered our text editor so that when you’re editing slides the layout looks more like your final result.

PowerPoint fidelity

We’ve also made some performance and video playback optimizations by speeding up advancement of slides in the editor and by adding the ability to play back embedded YouTube videos. Updates will roll out this week.

OneNote Online: Print

You asked for it, and now you are getting printing! All those notes from classes that you want to put in your binder? Grocery lists that you want to stick on your refrigerator? One click. Printed. Done.

OneNote Online Print

We’ve also added multi-column section or page navigation, so that you can maximize reading and editing space regardless of what device or browser you’re using.

Office Online is now in the Chrome Web Store

Office Online works great in all browsers, but for those of you who use Chrome, you can now add Word Online, Excel Online, PowerPoint Online and OneNote Online to your Chrome App launcher to create new Office documents online with a single click from your desktop. As easy as that.

If you’re not using Office Online already, don’t wait any longer. Go to and get started!


What do companies really spend their IT budgets on? The answer may surprise you

As the global economy begins to show signs of recovery, businesses are upping their technology budgets again, with worldwide IT spending expected to hit $3.8tr this year.

That’s a 3.2 percent increase from last year according to the forecast from analyst Gartner. “Globally, businesses are shaking off their malaise and returning to spending on IT to support the growth of their business,” said Richard Gordon, managing vice president at Gartner.

The raw numbers themselves are gigantic enough to be effectively meaningless: but what’s worth noting is how organisations are spending their IT budgets.

Worldwide IT Spending Forecast (Billions of US Dollars)

2013 IT spending 2013 growth % 2014 IT spending 2014 growth %
Devices 660 -1.4 689 4.4
Datacenter systems 140 -0.2 143 2.3
Enterprise software 299 4.9 320 6.9
IT services 922 1.8 964 4.6
Telecoms services 1633 -0.5 1655 1.3
Totals 3654 -0.4 3771 3.2

Telecoms services is probably the least discussed (and least exciting) part of the tech budget; it’s also the largest, even though it will grow at the modest pace of 1.3 percent this year to hit $1.655tr. Fixed-line voice services continue to decline as businesses and households go wireless and wi-fi – dropping traditional voice calls in favour of voice over IP for example.

As the economic outlook improves IT services buyers are shifting spending from consulting – planning projects – to actual implementation, which should give IT services – the second largest chunk of the corporate IT budget – a healthy 4.6 percent boost to $964bn.

The much discussed devices market (including PCs, ultramobiles, mobile phones and tablets) comes in third place and remains robust – expected to grow 4.4 percent to $689bn, although the analysts note that buyers in smartphone-saturated countries are preferring mid-tier rather than premium phones, while those in emerging countries favour low-end Android basic phones. The traditional PC market continues to shrink as buyers turn to tablets, with price being the primary differentiator for many.

The enterprise software market – the fourth largest chunk – is now the fastest growing segment, predicted to grow 6.9 percent to $320bn. Gartner said this was thanks to the growth of social, mobile and cloud initiatives which are increasing demand for customer relationship management, database management systems (DBMSs), and data integration tools. The analyst said need for data management technologies will see spending on DBMS overtake spending on operating systems to become the largest chunk of the enterprise software market in this year.

Spending on datacentre systems will hit $143bn, according to Gartner, up slightly on last year with cloud and mobility are the biggest demand drivers. It said virtualisation and cloud adoption are generating significant market demand for example, for datacentre Ethernet switches, and the proliferation of mobile devices is continuing to drive significant demand for the wireless LAN equipment market.