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Best reason to justify that new tablet “XP end of life”

If you are a one of those consumers that has held on to Windows XP and hasn’t made the jump to a new PC yet, consider this… don’t do it! Instead, bite the bullet and spend that little extra to move to a tablet based computer. There is another trend sweeping the market (other than the changes of the operating systems) – that classic PC desktop is quickly becoming a thing of the past. It won’t be long before we all look back and those big square boxes that take up all that table or floor space will be just a memory, something to talk about with our grandchildren. There has never been a better time for a consumer to move to from a traditional PC to a tablet, especially someone who is replacing their XP computer.Lenovo Yoga Windows 8

Tablets come in a variety of styles, sizes and operating system choices. The main thing to consider when moving to a tablet from XP is making sure it will do the things you used your XP computer to do. For example, if you run specific software, you’ll need to look into making sure the software is compatible with that tablet’s operating system and that the tablet has enough power to run it. Tablets come as small as the palm of your hand to as large as a modern laptop. My favorite is actually the hybrid laptop tablet combo. These have the mechanics and the power of laptops that include the keyboard and standard laptop ports but the displays are touch screen and reverse to convert into a tablet. These are a little more expensive and heavier than typical tablets but are a good choice for those who use their computer extensively for work related functions and tasks.

Tablets come in a variety of operating systems to choose from – the good news and bad news is none of them are like Windows XP. The reason I say it is good or bad is because since all the new OS’s are not like Windows XP, you can freely choose which new platform to go to because you will have to learn any one of them. You have basically 3 choices: Windows 8, Apple iOS (iPad), or Android (comes in a variety of flavors). If you’re looking for budget that will do basic functions like reading eBooks, surfing the Internet or social media, than the Android based tablet would be a good choice. If you need to stick with better performance and are needing MS Office, Outlook email, typical business apps than either Windows 8 or Apple iOS would work. Check to make sure that Apple iOS is compatible to all the things you need.

In conclusion, there really hasn’t been a better excuse or time for someone to transition to using a tablet than for someone still using the XP OS. It’s most likely that the tablet will do what you need it to do, especially because XP is pretty limited when compared with the newer operating systems. Whatever you decide, just make sure you are starting that process now, making backups of your files on your XP machine, and looking into the market for the new device. You never know when that first nasty bug will do  to all your files when it hits your outdated, unsupported XP machine,  so we know for sure staying on XP is not a good idea long term. XP users, I guess it’s time to go shopping. What are you going to purchase?

Office for iPad

Finally, Microsoft has delivered an Office App for iPad! You can get it today in the App Store. This is a HUGE announcement. Over a billion people on the planet use Microsoft Office to get more done at work and at home. Whether you’re creating an Excel spreadsheet on your tablet, authoring a Word document in the browser or making edits to a PowerPoint on your phone, you want the great Office experience you love, everywhere you are.

The apps have the robust capabilities and familiar look and feel that is unmistakably Office, while offering a fantastic touch experience built from the ground up for iPad.  With the free versions of the apps, you can read your Word documents, view your Excel data and present with PowerPoint. Your documents will look as good as they do on your PC and Mac®, and better than ever on your iPad.  With an Office 365 subscription, you can edit and create new documents with the iPad. When you edit a document, you can be sure that content and formatting will be maintained across Office on PC, Mac, tablet and phone. And, you always have access to your up-to-date documents in OneDrive and OneDrive for Business.

In addition, Office Mobile for iPhone and Android are now available for free! For more information see the below video and the full Office Blog post.

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Posted in Office, Office 365

Got Apps? SkyDrive Pro Now Available on iOS, WinPhone

Good news this morning for those using SharePoint 2013 and SkyDrive Pro for business collaboration and content storage / backup. Microsoft announced the news today (okay, technically yesterday) over on the Office 365 blog:

We are pleased to announce that the SkyDrive Pro apps for Windows 8 and iOS are now available in the Windows Store and Apple Store respectively for SharePoint Online users in Office 365. After signing in to your Office 365 account, you can access, view, and upload your documents from anywhere.  

You can use the SkyDrive Pro apps to view documents in your SkyDrive Pro folder, select specific content to take offline when you are traveling or have low bandwidth, organize your content by creating new folders, and upload new content and share with others.

From a strategic perspective, the same-day release of Apple and Windows apps affirms a real commitment on their part to cross-platform interoperability with iOS– still the leading tablet/slate OS by a long shot– and that’s good news for users of any stripe.  Most people just don’t care about the old “Mac vs. PC” argument and just want the ability to use Office (which they like) on their iPads (which they also like).

Here’s some quick thoughts on the practical implications of this announcement:

  • “Access, view and upload” is great news and more than what we’ve ever seen before from an “Office on the iPad” or phone perspective.  Great stuff!
  • The flip side: “access, view and upload” doesn’t include “edit”.  There’s a reason for that and it isn’t form factor.  The creation/editing experience is intrinsically richer on the PC and Microsoft has a vested interest in keeping it there.
  • These apps are for SkyDrive Pro for Office 365 users only.  It’s not for on-prem SP 2013 and it’s not for the consumer SkyDrive service.
  • Yes, the absence of Android is unsurprising.  The Microsoft/Google divide isn’t being bridged anytime soon. This is the elephant in the cross-platform room, and it’s not going away just yet… but who would have imagined Microsoft building apps for iOS back in 2005? Progress is progress if you ask me.

SharePoint Social on Your iPad!

The SharePoint 2013 Social Newsfeed is now available in Apple’s App Store. That’s right– you can access the social side of your SharePoint intranet on an iPad in a slick, easy-to-use way.  (Please excuse my low-resolution screen shots– there’s much better examples on the official iTunes page.)


From a UI perspective, there is a lot to like here.  It’s basically the Windows 8 / Windows Phone “Metro” look ported to iOS.  This doesn’t look like other social apps we’ve seen– it looks like SharePoint.  That’s a win.


Far more important to many of us, though, is this:  Logging in is free of the obnoxious multiple prompts that you’re regretfully used to if you’ve ever tried hitting secure SharePoint sites through an iOS Safari browser.  With the app, you sign in once when you boot up the app for the first time… and that’s it.

All this, and it’s free.  Thanks, Microsoft.  This will work out really well until I get my Surface Pro.

(Special thanks to my colleague Eric Luke for the tip– shared on our SP 2013 newsfeed, no less!)

Microsoft BI on an iPad?!

PerformancePoint, Reporting, and Excel Services on an iPad… it can’t be.  It is a fact.  What? You don’t believe me check out this link and see for yourself.  This feature was included in the December 2011 SharePoint 2010 CU. 

However, I have some bad news if you have recently updated to iOS 6. The tap and hold functionality to bring up the context menu no longer works in Safari or Chrome.   Womp waaa….


I have not found any news on when or if this will be fixed by Apple. Bring on Surface!

Now you may be asking yourself, “I wonder if this guy has even tried it”, well…


Dynamics CRM Cross-browser Support…It is getting exciting.

Last month I told you about the features Microsoft Dynamics CRM is rolling out as part of the “CRM Q2 2012 Service Update” which will include massive improvements and capabilities around mobility and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  As most of you have heard by now, Microsoft has just announced its newest mobility device the “Surface”, which is a tablet, iPad like, reader like, device that will be available in Microsoft Stores later this year.  There is a great article on the Surface device on ZDNet by Ed Bott  that covers a lot of the questions people like me who haven’t physically got to put my hands on one are asking.  I do have several colleagues at Microsoft that have had the opportunity to try it and all of them have told me to get rid of my iPad because the Surface is simply “aaawwweesomme”!   Well that is fine and good for me because I use my iPad for email, book reading, and consumer type activities, but what about if you are a VP of Sales and you just rolled out iPad or Android Slates to your sales staff or service staff.  Well, the CRM Q2 2012 Service Update has you covered due to the cross-platform support.  Most major platforms will be supported, so rest assured, your investment wasn’t just wasted. 

This leads me to my next topic that I get asked a ton…does Microsoft Dynamics support any other browsers other than Internet Explorer.  Guess what folks, the CRM Q2 2012 Service Update will include cross browser support!!!!  Yes, I hear all of my Google Chrome fans screaming for joy.  I really am optimistic about actually loading another browser on my laptop now that Dynamics CRM will work with it.  I have resisted until now, because to me it was just overhead, but my college aged daughter came home from school a few weeks ago and loaded it on my wife’s laptop and I have to say, Chrome was nice.  I found it integrated really well with outside content without some of the quirks that I see in IE.  I really can’t wait for the service pack to be released so I can use Dynamics CRM in other browsers and put it through its paces!

Cross browser support includes Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari running on PC, Apple Macintosh or iPad. The list of devices and specific browser versions that will be supported is as follows:Platform
Windows 7/Vista/XP Version 7+ Version 6+ Version 13+ Not Supported
Apple Macintosh OS-X Not Supported Version 6+ Not Supported Version 5.1.1+
iPad 2 (iOS 5.x) Not Supported Not Supported Not Supported Version 5.1.1+


As always, thanks for reading and look forward to more information once the Service Pack is released.

Lync, SharePoint, OneNote, NewsGator & more on the iPad

Rich Wood and I recently chatted about how Rich is able to use Microsoft technologies on his iPad.  In this video Rich shares how he uses Lync, SharePoint, NewsGator Social Sites, One Note, Bing and more on his iPad to allow him to use it as more than just a consumer or entertainment device.

Take Your SharePoint With You: NewsGator Social Sites on the iPad

So you’re using NewsGator Social Sites on your SharePoint intranet and you want to stay connected when you’re on the go?  Check out my new video blog on using the iPad app for NewsGator Social Sites.  As NewsGator’s inaugural Partner of the Year (2011), we just might know a little something about this.

Oh, and if you’re not using Social Sites to make SharePoint more social, you probably should be.  There’s a lot of knowledge out there to be managed that winds up slipping through your fingers if you don’t bring those conversations online and take advantage of crowdsourcing!

That link again in cut-and-paste format:


SharePoint 2010 and iPad support

There was an interesting update to technet recently describing how iPad support has been improved in  SharePoint 2010 for viewing reports and scorecards. This is one of the first articles i’ve seen from microsoft that mentions the iPad specifically and could indicate further improvements in the future. We have seen more and more customers looking at accessing their SharePoint portals and content from the iPad and other tablets. Oftentimes we have to customize the branding or integrate with an application on the iPad to get all the functionality to work properly. 

To take advantage of this new support you will need the December 2011 Cumulative Updates installed as well as iOS 5 on the iPad you are using to access the site.

SharePoint 2010 on the iPad actually works pretty well for most functions and can even be used to edit excel documents using the office web apps (there still seems to be issues with word and powerpoint).

Have you used your SharePoint site on the iPad yet? What issues have you ran into?

Enable one-finger-scrolling in SP2010 for iPad and iPhone

You want your iPad users to be able to scroll your SharePoint 2010 site with one finger.

It can be done with the two finger swipe but it doesn’t work as well and visitors may not know that. The solution involves using CSS to disable the – ribbon positioning system – so that the ribbon is no longer stuck at the top of the browser. But at the same time you don’t want the ribbon positioning disabled for browsers on the desktop. Because that is where the content owners are likely to do their editing and they are going to want the items on the ribbon available to them.

So this solution also involves using a media query to detect that the site is being visited by a device. With a CSS media query only those browsers that meet the requirements will be given the extra styles.

Here is all the special code that you will need. with comments to indicate what each element is for. Just copy and paste this into your custom CSS file.


Here is again without comments and I added two more styles that I think you should have to make sure everything is cleaned up. The code above will work but the code below can stop issues down the road.


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Posted in Mobile