Office Mobile 2010 feature changes

I had a short meeting with Microsoft today about Office Mobile 2010 or, as it’s more commonly known, the Office hub. A few things have changed since I wrote the book, so let’s get to those first.

1. You can now pin a OneNote-based note–but not, curiously, a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document–to the Start screen. You do so as you do elsewhere in the system, by tapping and holding on the note you wish to pin; a pop-up menu will appear with one choice: Pin To Start. This functionality is not present in the pre-release version of Windows Phone OS I used to write the book.

2. Word, Excel, and OneNote now both work in landscape mode, as well as portrait mode. When I wrote the book, Word, Excel, and OneNote only worked in portrait mode, and PowerPoint only worked in landscape mode (that’s still the case).

A few things will be changing down the road. Microsoft agrees that SkyDrive integration is important and will be adding something akin to the current SharePoint support (which is quite nice). I’m confused why it’s not in there already.

I complained that it was not possible to pin the individual Office Mobile apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and SharePoint Workspace) to the Start screen. The current interface is document-focused, not app focused, I was told. But Microsoft will see how people feel about this and determine whether they will make it possible to pin individual apps in a future update. I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t just do this.

Office Mobile 2010 will offer some nice integration with Microsoft’s hosted online services (BPOS, or Business Productivity Online Suite, which included hosted Exchange, SharePoint, and more) after those services are upgraded to the 2010 products. (They’re all currently on the 2007 server products.)

Finally, I was shown a bit of functionality I hadn’t thought to document in the book, but it’s pretty neat and I think I’ll write it up elsewhere later. Basically, you can use the new PowerPoint Broadcast feature in PowerPoint 2010 on Windows to make a presentation available to others remotely via email-based invitations. (They’re hosted by Microsoft on Windows Live, or enterprises can host them internally on SharePoint.) If you receive an email invitation on your Windows Phone, you can tap the phone number to listen to the presentation using the phone’s speaker phone. Then, tap the Back button to return to the email message and tap the URL for the broadcast. It will load in PowerPoint Mobile, so you can follow along using both the sound (through the phone) and the visuals (through PowerPoint). Naturally, this requires a carrier that can handle voice and data simultaneously. Like Microsoft’s premier launch partner, AT&T.

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9 Responses to Office Mobile 2010 feature changes

  1. gpsarakis says:

    Maybe they’re holding back on pinning office apps so you don’t get a flood of tiles on the start screen, or a mixup between the word app tile and a word document?

    Honestly, i could see people pinning so much stuff to the start screen that it could be a problem at some point.

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  3. jonasthebee says:

    in your post apps vs hubs you wrote in a comment it would be possible for third party developers to integrate their apps into the people hub, so you it would be possible to add every social network. how sure are you about this?
    do you have any idea wether it is also possible to extend the office hub?
    or are app developers even allowed for example to to add the flickr as an option to upload a photo to in the camera app?
    i just wonder how deep third party apps can go into the system and how well you can integrate them into the smart design concept.
    sorry is i made language mistakes and thanks for your answer:)

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      From an extensibility perspective, not all of the hubs are as extensible as others. I don’t know off the top of my head where the difference lie, but for example the Pictures hub is very extensible. The Office hub is not extensible at all, I believe.

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  6. dwbrown77 says:

    Do I understand correctly that as things stand documents (Word, Onenote etc) that are on skydrive will not be accessible on Windows phone 7? But his will be added?

    • Paul Thurrott says:

      Microsoft will add functionality to more seamlessly access SkyDrive-based documents via the phone over time, yes. Right now, you can download SkyDrive-based docs to the phone via IE.

  7. I somehow get a feeling that MSFT just wanted to get this out in time for the American Holiday season & to get into the warfield before it is too late. I guess, in 1-2 years, this platform will mature & compete strongly & probably spin big money for Microsoft.

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