SkyDrive vs Office 365 vs Evernote (my 2 cents)

So, what is SkyDrive and what is Office 365? There seems to be a lot of confusion on the web about what one is and what the other one is. I think the confusion comes from the fact that Microsoft is trying to market Office 365 as the “Online collaboration tool”, implicitly saying that you cannot collaborate using SkyDrive that is marketed as “Online document storage and file sharing“.

Do you need Office 365 to collaborate?

No, you do not.
Well, if for collaborating you mean sharing a calendar, appointments, emails (Exchange), managing a complex documentation system for your company (SharePoint), connect with others using IM and do video sharing, online conference calls, etc… (Lync) then Office 365 is what you need.

Of course, if you are a non professional user (or a self managed professional) you probably do not need all the features offered by Office 365, but you might occasionally need to share and collaborate with other people on some office documents.

What you really need is SkyDrive.

Do you need Evernote to collborate?

No, you do not.

Evernote is a wonderful cross platform to create and share notes, but you can share only notes, there’s not a concept of folder, and there’s not a concept of Spread sheet (you do not always share just text)

What you really need is SkyDrive and OneNote

Let me show you what you can do with SkyDrive:

First of all, open Skydrive and login with your Windows Live account.

Create an Online Word document in SkyDrive

  1. Click on the work icon next to Create on the SkyDrive toolbarimage
  2. Name your document
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  3. Use Word Web App to edit the document
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Open an existing Online Word document using Word 2010

  1. Just click on the Open in Word button on the toolbar
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  2. Confirm that you want to open the document
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  3. Click on Enable Editing
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  4. Change the document and hit the sync button
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  5. At this point if you reopen the document from the browser in SkyDrive using Word Web App you’ll see the change that was made

Share an existing Online Word document via SkyDrive

  1. Open the document in SkyDrive
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  2. Add a list of emails you want to share the document with
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  3. Send a message to the people you want to share the document with
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  4. They’ll receive an email with a link the the online Word document they can start to edit

Share a SkyDrive folder with other people

  1. Open SkyDrive
  2. Select a folder
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  3. Edit Permissions
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  4. Select the people you want to share the folder with
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  5. they’ll receive an email with the link to the SkyDrive folder you’ve shared with them and will be able to work with you on documents you’ve shred with them. You can edit the same document at the same time and every change will be synchronized in real-time with  all the people editing the document at the same time

Outlook Gets Social with LinkedIn, Facebook, and MySpace

Last week I discovered a new interesting function on Outlook. It’s the Outlook Social Connector and it allows you to link your social network accounts into Outlook 2010 Beta.

You can see a demonstration here
http://blogs.msdn.com/outlook/archive/2010/02/17/Outlook-Gets-Social-with-LinkedIn_2C00_-Facebook_2C00_-and-MySpace.aspx

I tried to install it yesterday, but I had few problems, with outlook crashing immediately after the upgrade.
It turned out that the Outlook Social Connector coming with Office 2010 Beta is not totally compatible with the plug-in released by Linkedin and you have to upgrade OSC to the latest beta version that you can download here http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=c87e257c-d76f-4785-a09b-af36babd6e32&displaylang=en.

This setup however does not upgrade the default OSC, so you’ll have to uninstall it first, install the updated version and finally install the linked in plugin from here http://www.linkedin.com/outlook.

How to uninstall the default OSC:

From: http://blogs.msdn.com/outlook/pages/help-with-updating-the-outlook-social-connector-in-the-outlook-2010-beta.aspx

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After you’ve installed everything correctly, you’ll see a new folder on your contacts in Outlook with all your Linked in accounts

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You can copy all your contacts from The LinkedIn folder to your Contacts folder (so you can synchronize all of them with your Phone, since outlook synchronize just the Contacts folder), and Outlook will merge the duplicated contacts for you

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One of the most interesting functions introduced by OSC is the integration of your contact’s social stream in their profiles, so you can see what they are doing in every social network.

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This can be a good thing, and can be a very bad one, especially if you integrate Facebook and merge your non professional social activities with your professional one.

So, mind your profiles, and enjoy OSC

 

First Impressions on Office 2010 B1

I just finished to install Microsoft Office 2010 B1 and I really like the new Outlook.

Word and Excel are very much the same as the 2007 version, just with a more Professional looking Ribbon Bar.

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The small change I really like is the new “File Menu”

It now uses all the Application Window to show all the possible options:

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The biggest effort in this release was to upgrade the interface of Outlook, Project and Visio, the 3 elements of the Suite that wasn’t lucky enough to be upgraded to the Ribbon interface in 2007

I really like the new Outlook and I was waiting for the new Layout since the beginning of 2007.
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One of the real interesting thing is how they group messages together by subject/senders

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And the list of persons involved in that conversation

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I’ll soon install SharePoint Server 2010 to see if they improved the integration between the “offline” Office Suite and the Online version of SharePoint