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Box snuggles up with Microsoft, launches Office Online

Box has introduced a new feature that aims to reduce the lure of Microsoft OneDrive; Box for Office online, as its name alludes to, allows users to create and manage their Office documents (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) anywhere and on any device, from within Box.

It sounds a lot like Office Online but with your files on a third party rather than on Microsoft’s own cloud storage. Box claims to have more than a billion files created either for or by Microsoft Office products with millions more added every day.

The storage company also revealed that Microsoft Office accounts for half of all content that has been edited and uploaded to Box.

The Box Office

Key features of the new service includes seamless workflows between Box and Office Online (meaning that you can swap files between the two services), full editing capabilities and easier collaboration thanks to granular collaboration controls.

Competition in the cloud storage business has intensified over the last 12 months with Amazon, Google and Microsoft turning the heat up, leaving smaller players like Box and Dropbox feeling the heat.

Box offered unlimited to its business users shortly after Google made a similar announcement at Google IO last year and days after Amazon launched Zocalo.

Comet probe ‘Philae’ reawakens after seven-month sleep

After seven months in hibernation on the dark side of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the European Space Agency’s ‘Philae’ probe has reawakened and is ready to do science work.

The lander originally touched down on the comet on 12 November 2014 after a 10-year journey through space. It was supposed to harpoon itself into place, but instead bounced off the surface of the ball of ice several times before settling in a dark ditch where its solar panels couldn’t receive sunlight.

Now, however, the comet has travelled closer to the Sun and the solar panels have charged the lander’s battery enough for it to reboot and make contact. Two previous bids to make contact in March and April failed, but a new attempt was launched in May.

Healthy

“We got a two-minute… successful communication” at 2228 Central European Time (2028 GMT) on Saturday, mission manager Patrick Martin told AFP from the operations centre in Madrid. “This was sufficient to confirm that Philae is healthy and that its sub-systems are OK in terms of energy and temperature for ongoing communication with [its mothership] Rosetta.”

Stephan Ulamec, Philae project manager with the German space agency DLR said that the lander is now ready for scientific operations, but Martin was more cautious – saying: “We have already lined up more communication windows which hopefully will see a repeat of this successful communication. If we get a stable communications pattern we should be able within a week or so to think about operating the instruments on board the lander.”

The 100kg probe will ride aboard the comet as it reaches its closest point to the Sun on 13 August 2015, then we’re not quite sure what will happen. It’ll be tough to find out, too, as the comet will likely become too hot for the lander to operate. The end of mission is scheduled for December, but if the comet doesn’t disintegrate under the stress of its solar fly-by then it’ll head back out of the inner solar system, taking a rather toasted Philae with it.

Microsoft brings more online tweaks to Office 365

Microsoft’s Office 365 team has released details regarding improvements made to the user experience journey online.

Users who choose to use Office 365 online will have quicker access to notifications via a persistent notification bell icon – although turning them off would be nice. New users will find the updated help pane as well as the “what’s new” feature introduction helpful.

Microsoft also completed the integration of Skype for Business, formerly known as Lync, with “contextual and immersive” setting being rolled out.

More partners jump onboard

The updates come as Microsoft prepares for the end-of-July launch of Windows 10 which with the current iteration coming with Office Preview which is closely tied to OneDrive and its Office Online service.

A number of partners (Salesforce, SAP, Uber, Do and Smartsheet) have also brought add-ins and extensibility solutions to Office 365, allowing close interaction between these third parties and Microsoft’s business applications.

The news come one week after Microsoft confirmed that users on the Enterprise E3 and E4 packages wold get auto-expanding, highly scalable archives for their emails, in other words, quasi-unlimited email inboxes on demand.

Apple Pay set to go live in the UK very soon

Apple is putting the ‘world’ in its Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday by announcing that Apple Pay is coming to the UK, reveals a new report.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus NFC-based mobile payment platform is expected to launch in the UK in two months, according to the Telegraph.

MasterCard executives reportedly said they are “absolutely ready” to support Apple Pay in the UK, as Lloyds Bank and Santander UK may be launch partners, claims 9to5Mac.

Apple Pay is currently limited to the US, but also rumored to be making its debut in Canada this later this year and China in the distant future. The UK would essentially jump to next in line.

 

 

Samsung’s new tablet on course to be world’s thinnest

Last year Samsung revealed the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 alongside the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and we rather liked both of them, so news of a follow-up slate is keeping us interested.

China’s Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center just approved two new devices and revealed some specs including the Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 weighing in at 260g with dimensions of 198 x 134 x 5.4mm.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out the 8.0 and 9.7 refer to the screen sizes of the slates, and the 8-inch edition is rumoured to have an AMOLED display with a resolution of 1536 x 1048, while the larger one is currently under wraps.

Slim club

If those dimensions for the Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 are correct that means it’s set to become the worlds slimmest tablet.

It will also run Android 5.0 Lollipop, have an octa-core processor clocked at 1.9GHz, LTE connectivity and 3GB of RAM.

On top of that there’s an 8MP rear camera, 2MP front facing shooter and expandable memory on top of the 16GB internally.

Rumours for the larger slate are a little harder to come by but we’re likely to have a similar setup with maybe a different processor and obviously a different design.

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