Microsoft v Apple: Surfing the Gap

Like many people I know, I “surf the gap” between Microsoft and Apple. I have tools and toys from both, and am forever asking them to play nice together. My computer is a PC and I have an iPad, an iPhone, an iPod and an iPod Nano. The process has always involved hooking some Apple product to my PC; Never the other way around, until now.

About a month ago, Microsoft made Office 365 available for the iPad. I was very excited to score a free year subscription thanks to the Microsoft Store in Burlington,  MA. And then just last week, I conducted a presentation about Social Media at this same Microsoft Store. (See my event page for other upcoming presentations!)

Since I started using Office 365, here are a couple things that I’ve learned:

1. Conducting presentations using PowerPoint on my iPad rocks! It was easy-peasy to get my materials onto my iPad through the Office cloud (aka “OneDrive”) and it’s easy to actively present from the iPad. I was able to jump over to Safari to show an example of something, and then popped right back into the presentation without a problem. Best part is that the touch-screen version of the PowerPoint software offers the ability to make marks up on the viewing screen — circle something in red, highlight an item, or even use a laser pointer. Great features for my presentation!

2. Moving docs from my computer to my iPad via Office 365 is easy. The platform comes with a “cloud” that I can use to transfer Microsoft files from one device to another, and it’s easily accessible from the Microsoft applications because it’s a natural option of the “saving” function.

3.  I can now open documents formatted for Apple’s “Pages” software, and then move them into MS Word. A friend sent me a document from her Mac and it was formatted for Apple’s “Pages” software. However, I needed it in a Word doc format so that I could see it on my PC. Historically, I have to go back to the person with the Mac and ask them to resend in a format I can use on my PC. Today, I did this instead: On my iPad, I opened the doc in email, opened it from there into Pages, asked Pages to open it in a Word format, and then saved it to my “OneDrive” as a Word doc where I picked it up from my PC.  Yep, it took a few steps… but I didn’t have to go back to the sender to get them to resave and resend the doc. That felt liberating!

As I read this post, I realize that I sound like a Microsoft advertisement. Totally not my intention… I am most certainly not on their payroll. That being said: surfing the gap between Microsoft & Apple devices & platforms can be challenging and cause all sorts of issues for all of us. I’m glad to see that they are continuing to build bridges to help folks like me cross that gap with ease!