SiliconFilter

MS Office 15: Public Beta is Coming this Summer, Will Include Updated Cloud Apps

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Microsoft today announced that it has started a private “technical preview” of the latest version of its flagship Microsoft Office 15 productivity suite. Currently, this preview version is tested by a number of Microsoft customers under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Despite the NDA, though, chances are we will soon see screenshots and other information about Office 15, but for the time being, Microsoft itself is very quiet about the new version’s features. Come this summer, though, the company plans to launch a public beta that will likely be open to anybody who wants to give the new version a try.

According to Microsoft, “Office 15 is the most ambitious undertaking yet for the Office Division.” For the first time ever, says PJ Hough, the CVP of development in the MS Office Division, Microsoft will “simultaneously update our cloud services, servers, and mobile and PC clients for Office, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and Visio.” This means that the Office web apps, which are becoming an increasingly important part of Microsoft’s overall productivity suite, will likely be updated in concert with Office 15 and that, as the Next Web’s Alex Wilhelm notes, “Microsoft is working to roll cloud features into every copy of its newest suite.” Currently, only a subset of Office apps features some form of cloud integration.



9:43 am


Hulu Now Has 1.5 Million Paying Subscribers, Promises to Invest $500 Million in Content in 2012

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Hulu just released its year-end data for 2011 and the numbers are pretty good. The streaming video company, which mostly focusses on recent TV shows, made about $420 in revenue lat year. This is up 60% from last year and exceeded the company's own projections. Its paid service, Hulu Plus, now has 1.5 million subscribers and the number of paying subscribers continues to grow.

According to the company's own data, the number of new subscribers it attracts every day is currently double the number it attracted last year. If this trend continues, Hulu will likely have close to 2.5 million subscribers by this time next year.

Maybe most importantly for current subscribers, Hulu also expects to invest "approximately half a billion in content in 2012." This – hopefully – means that the service's lineup of shows will continue to expand. Given that the traditional cable and broadcasting networks continue to be weary of Hulu and similar online services, it remains to be seen what effect this money will have on the content offerings on the service (especially if they decide to jack up their prices).

 



2:48 pm