Category Archives: Office 2010

Office365 – Public Beta Available

Today the public beta for Office365 opened up.  (Happy Tax Day).  So, what does this mean?  And where do you get started? 

Well, there are a TON of resources out there for you to learn about Office365, how to get involved and what it can mean for your organization.  For starters:

So, what is this and why should you care? Office 365 is the newest version of Microsoft’s online (aka ‘cloud’) application offerings. This includes (depending on the version and licensing):

  • SharePoint Online
  • Exchange Online
  • Lync Online
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus

The big picture is that you can use these services without installing, configuring and managing the hardware and core software stuff – a big load off for many organizations.  You do still need someone that can configure and manage the service for your organization. But it’s a lot less work and hassle than managing an on-site set of servers.

More importantly, you need someone to define *how* your organization is going to use these services and how it fits with the organization’s goals and technology roadmaps – which is where people like me come in.   

The short story is that it’s a lot of bang for your buck.  The next batch of questions now become:

  • Is Office365 a good fit for your organization?
  • What is the best way to use Office365 in your organization?
  • How will it work with your organization’s existing capabilities?

Office365 has a lot of potential to improve the productivity of users and organizations, but it also has the potential to add to the clutter of tools and systems that are out there – just as any platform used poorly can do. 

So, check it out, allow yourself to get excited by the potential, but then slow down and put some time into planning so you can be successful down the road. 

OneNote Needs Mind-Mapping

I recently saw a post about a Microsoft-hosted event called the 2011 U.S. Innovative Education Forum, which reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to post – a request to Microsoft:

Please add mind-mapping functionality to OneNote. 

That’s it. 

It really should be there – here’s why:

  • Kids are using it – It just makes sense to them because it’s the way we all think.  My second grader came home from school and showed me his ‘research paper’ that included what he called a ‘web’. It was a mind-map. Kids are already being trained to use this method for learning, organizing their thoughts and working from them. Fantastic. 
    Now, bear in mind that our kids to to a STEM school, so all public schools might not be using mind-maps yet, but they should. They used a tool called Kidspiration / Inspiration.  They weren’t sure which one. 
    I picked up the Home and Student version of Microsoft Office 2010 which includes OneNote and the kids are all over it – they love it.  Adding the mind-mapping capability just seems to be the next step. 
    Kids today are the future of your software market.  Yea, I know it’s a cliché, but it’s true and there are more of them than there are of us – so it’s a good investment.      
  • College age students would use it too – I can’t imagine how different my note-taking would have been with a mind-mapping tool and the right hardware that’s available now. 
  • Adults are using it – More and more I’m seeing people in meetings using some sort of mind-mapping software to take notes, which I think is fantastic.  I use a tool on my iPad right now called iThoughtsHD which is pretty good and is supposed to sync with client apps, though I don’t have one yet. In the meantime I just use the e-mail method which sends a list view of the content along with an image of the map. 
    For the same reason that it works for kids, it works for adults too – it’s a tool that’s consistent with the way we think. 
  • It makes sense and is an extension of the other note-taking that people want to do.  Let’s get it in the right tool.  If you step back and think about it, the core functionality seems to align with what’s already available in Visio for managing shapes and relationships, but the user scenarios are more aligned with OneNote.  Students and kids aren’t going to buy Visio. 
  • Once it’s built into OneNote, let me have the other Office integration features that we’re used to: create tasks that link to Outlook and SharePoint.
  • Let me add people as nodes – people pulling from my Outlook, the SharePoint Profile Store or Exchange.  
  • While you’re putting that together – make an iPhone and iPad version of it that syncs to the Cloud…  Smile 


Oh, and meanwhile, Kid #1 comes up to me one morning and asks “How can I get access to my OneNote at school?”.  Smart little bugger. Now I need to get them set up on Live

Thanks for listening. 

SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities – 4/9 Recap

The latest SharePoint Saturday event in the Twin Cities was a huge success!  Some of the numbers:

The new location worked out very well – holding everyone without too much crowding (other than a few really popular sessions), with free parking and wireless access available.  A nice upgrade from our previous digs.  We also had a Kinect play area during the day.  Smile 

Presentations are now available on the site for download. 

Keep an eye on the official site for updates and news about the fall “ScarePoint Saturday” event – tentatively scheduled for October 29th.

A big thanks to Sarah Haase for overseeing the organization of the event, as well as to all the sponsors, volunteers, and attendees. 

See you in the fall!

SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities–4/9

Yep, it’s here again.  This Saturday is the latest SharePoint Saturday – Twin Cities event.  This is a FREE one-day Microsoft SharePoint product seminar/conference event.  We’ve got over 400 people registered to attend at our new location – Normandale Community College in Bloomington.  So if you haven’t already registered, do it soon. 

See the list of sessions and speakers and register here

We also just launched a facebook page for the event and ongoing events.  

Also keep an eye on the Twitter hashtag #SPSTC

For those of you new to SharePoint, I’ll be doing a morning Intro to SharePoint session talking about the features and implementation efforts. 

Please let other folks new to the platform know about the event and my session as well – it’s a great (and free) opportunity to learn and share.    

See you Saturday!

OneNote for the iPhone (and iPad)

Microsoft finally released a version of OneNote that is available for the iPhone platform.  Right now it works for both the iPhone and iPad, but is really an iPhone app.  I’m hoping that they get back to work and come up with a real iPad version that takes advantage of the platform.  Until then, this is at least a step forward. 

First of all – it’s free for a ‘limited time’.  So go get it now.

You need to log in with a Windows Live ID before you can use the iPhone client version, which at first seems a little limiting but it comes with what I consider one of the coolest benefits: The notebooks and notes are automatically sync’ed with your Windows Live SkyDrive

Now, I’m not going to get into all of the features of the clients or server capabilities, but with the latest and greatest of these products the integration is pretty cool.  Once your notes are sync’ed up to the SkyDrive you can use the 2010 web applications to add/edit notes right in the browser or open them up in your OneNote 2010 client application for the full-featured experience. 


And of course, you can create new notes both in the browser or on your client which will then sync up with your iPhone device. 

I realize that Evernote has been doing the multi-platform thing for quite some time, but I prefer the rich capabilities of the OneNote client when I have it available – so I’m excited to take a step down this path. 

Now, to figure out how to incorporate SharePoint in the mix… I’m pretty sure I can get it there – maybe with SharePoint Workspace…

Have fun!

Microsoft SharePoint and Office 2010 Launch Events

Most folks know about the May12th Launch event that Microsoft will be streaming “Live from New York!”.  We’ll be carrying the event live at our monthly MNSPUG meeting which just happened to coincide with it.  We’ll also be having a panel discussion about SharePoint 2007 and 2010 beforehand…

What doesn’t seem to be getting as much press are the IT Pro and Developer events that are also happening around the country.  Check out the following link and dig in a bit: 

We’ll be having a local event in Minneapolis (Bloomington actually) on May 27th – so take a look at the agenda and see if you like to attend with us! 

Office 2010: What you need to know about 64-bit vs. 32-bit versions

I picked up an interesting tidbit this evening about the 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Office 2010 (which by the way announced RTM ‘status’ today – congrats to the product teams!):  Functionality between the two bit-level versions is NOT the same. 

By default, I would expect the 64-bit version of Office 2010 to be the latest and greatest.  It IS the latest, but it’s only the greatest if you have some specific needs and don’t need some of the features that DON’T work – features that many people will miss. 

This article gets into the details you need:

Specifically take a look at the ‘Advantages’ and ‘Disadvantages’ sections. 

Some highlights: 

  • As you would expect, the 64-bit version allows use of additional memory, which translates into larger Excel 2010 workbooks and big Project 2010 projects.
  • As you (at least I) wouldn’t expect – some features like the Edit in Datasheet view DON’T work with Office 64-bit installed.  The details and reasoning can be found in the article but they’re related to ActiveX controls and COM add-ins… 

So, get to know the details before you purchase or plan to deploy Office 2010. 

SharePoint Designer 2007 and 2010 Cohabitating: Updated Again…

Facts, rumors and stuff.  Here are the facts:

  • You cannot use SharePoint Designer (SPD) 2010 to manage SharePoint 2007 sites.
  • You can’t use SharePoint Designer (SPD) 2007 to access SharePoint 2010 sites. 

So, if you have to maintain both 2007 and 2010 SharePoint environments you need to have both versions of SPD installed somewhere.  Most administrators would probably prefer that they be readily available on the same machine.  

Reportedly, you could only have both versions installed if they were the same bit-level versions – specifically 32-bit since there isn’t a 64-bit version of SPD 2007.

Something I wasn’t aware of until now was that it wasn’t just SPD that in conflict – it’s any office client.  If you intend to install both versions of SPD on the same OS, ALL of your Office client apps will need to be 32-bit (Paul Stork).

-> Something else new that I learned was that you CAN have both versions of SPD installed with 64-bit SPD (all Office) 2010 and 32-bit SPD 2007 as long as SPD 2007 is installed after the 64-bit 2010 clients have been installed (Clayton Cobb). 
(Updated 4/16) – While this is technically possible right now, it is an officially unsupported scenario (see the last statement in the second long paragraph of the article):
Thanks to Woody for pointing this out

This information is based on running pre-RTM versions of the 2010 Office clients and therefore should be tested again with the RTM bits when they are available.

It should also be noted that some folks have the opinion that the 2007 clients should not be installed side-by-side with the 2010 clients. (Mike Walsh)  Thankfully with the ease of being able to run Windows XP Mode on Windows 7, one scenario for circumventing this is to install the latest and greatest 2010 bits on the host OS, and then SPD 2007 on the Windows XP mode.  Hopefully there is a scenario that fits your individual or organization’s needs.    

NOTE: Information in this post is based on a TechNet forum thread with the names of the folks providing information tagged with the information they provided…  Thanks guys!


SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 RTM and Launch

Microsoft announced the RTM and launch dates for SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 products yesterday.  We’ve been hearing ‘June’ since last fall and heard unofficial rumblings about April as late as last week – but April is what it turned out to be.  Good stuff!! 

RTM – April 2010

Launch Date: May 12th, 2010
Register for the launch event HERE

Here’s the official post on the SharePoint Team blog from Arpan Shah – Director, SharePoint.

Now we just need to keep an eye on MSDN and TechNet for when the bits arrive in April.  🙂