Create Rich and Interactive Data Mashups with Excel

Microsoft has launched a new service that allows developers to quickly create rich and interactive data mashups for their sites.

Microsoft Excel

Follow three easy steps to develop mashups with Microsoft Excel web App on SkyDrive using JavaScript:

  • Upload your workbook on SkyDrive
  • Embed it on your web site
  • Mash it up with our JavaScript API

Before you can embed your Excel workbook on a web page, you need to upload it a folder on SkyDrive and then set permissions on the workbook. Once   you have your workbook uploaded to SkyDrive, you can use the SkyDrive Embed dialog box to get the HTML and JavaScript code that will embed the workbook on a Web page. Now, you can use the Excel Services JavaScript library to make rich data mashups using data from your embedded workbook.

While the iframe code only displays the spreadsheet on a Web page, Microsoft Excel Web App also generates a JavaScript snippet that you can paste into the HTML of your web page alternatively. This JavaScript snippet consists of an HTML div element that displays the spreadsheet and a script element that sets options for appearance and interactivity. You can add your own code to programmatically manipulate the embedded spreadsheet.

Excel Mashup

An Outlook Add-In that Prevents ‘Reply All’

Gavin Smyth at Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK, has created a neat utility for Microsoft Outlook that prevents people from replying to all the recipients of a message or forwarding it. The add-in uses a facility built into Outlook and Exchange that is more lightweight than information-rights management but is not exposed as a feature in the existing UI.

Interestingly, the email recipient does not need to have this add-in installed to have Reply All disabled. The application uses the flags that are handled by Outlook and Exchange, as long as the sender and recipient are on the same Exchange Server. This lightweight utility is designed for accidental replies or forwarding, and is not a robust security solution. The recipient could of course, use the add-in to re-enable Reply All. If you are looking for security, you’ll have to go with IRM.

The add-in also includes a couple of other features to check for common email errors. It warns you if you send an email with a blank subject line. Although this feature is built into Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007 users would like it. It also includes a detector for missing attachments when you send an email. Apart from looking for keywords like attached’ or attachment’ in the body of the email, the add-in has another list intended to be contexts in which the keywords should be ignored (such as legalese in an email signature). The add-in also attempts to distinguish between embedded images and other attachments so an email signature with an image shouldn’t trick the tool into thinking an attachment is already present.

The setup is just 0.63 MB in size and the application works well with Outlook 2007 and 2010. When you launch setup.exe to install, the following components are also installed, if they are not already present, before the  NoReplyAll add-in is installed:

  • Windows Installer 3.1
  • Microsoft.NET Framework 3.5 SP1
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Runtime


Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 1 Now Available

Microsoft is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the release of Office 2010 this month. Also, Microsoft has now released Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Office 2010 which provides the latest updates for Office 2010.

Office 2010

This service pack includes:

  • Previously unreleased fixes that were made specifically for this service pack
  • All the public updates that were released through June 2011
  • All the cumulative updates that were released through April 2011

In addition to general product fixes, these fixes include improvements in stability, performance, and in security. There is Office 365 integration all over, and enhanced integration with Windows Live SkyDrive in OneNote. Office 365 was launched globally a couple of days back.

Access 2010 SP1

Access 2010 SP1 adds a new feature to integrate community content in the Application Parts gallery.   It also fixes an issue that occurs when you try to export an Access file to an Excel workbook and improves the performance when publishing client forms that contains embedded images.

Excel 2010 SP1

Excel SP1 improves the overall stability, performance, and backward compatibility with earlier versions of Excel for the Czech, Dutch, Danish, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish languages.

OneNote 2010 SP1

OneNote 2010 SP1 has a tighter integration and improved synchronization with OneNote notebooks on Windows Live SkyDrive. OneNote 2010 SP1 now uses Windows Live Essentials to log on to Windows Live SkyDrive. It also adds several performance improvements when a shared notebook is used by lots of users with section groups or when you create a new page by using a template. OneNote 2010 SP1 now highlights items within the search results.

Outlook 2010 SP1

Outlook 2010 SP1 includes Office 365 support and can be set to always use the default sending account.

PowerPoint 2010 SP1

The default behavior for the Use Presenter View option is changed to display the slide show on the secondary monitor, and display the notes on the primary monitor. Also, PowerPoint Viewer is now included with the Package for CD option.

Word 2010 SP1

Word 2010 SP1 includes a dialog box that warns users that the custom XML will be lost when files that use custom XML markups are saved in XML-based file formats. Now, certain fields are available when you use the APA 6th and MLA 7th edition styles in the Bibliography feature. Word 2010 SP1 now displays the map correctly when you use the Display Map function and paragraph indents are no longer lost when you edit other paragraph properties.


You can obtain and install the service pack via Microsoft Update or download the SP1 package from Microsoft Download Center. Download the Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 1: 32-bit | 64-bit

Microsoft Office 2010 Released Worldwide

Microsoft has announced the general availability of Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft Visio 2010 and Microsoft Project 2010. They are now available at more than 35,000 retail stores around the globe, in addition to being available for purchase at online shopping sites like Amazon. You can also directly order your copy from Microsoft at

Microsoft Office was reported to have reached RTM stage in mid-April and was downloaded more than 9 million times during its beta phase. Encouragingly for Microsoft, more than 75 percent of the surveyed beta users expressed their desire to purchase Office 2010 within six months.


Microsoft predicts that in the next year, more than 100 million PCs will ship with Office 2010 pre-installed, which can be easily activated by customers after purchase. For this, Microsoft has tied up with leading manufacturers like Acer Inc., Asus, Dell Inc., HP, Lenovo, Samsung and Sony Corp. Working with major retail partners and PC makers, we’ve made dramatic changes in the way we deliver Office 2010 to give consumers more buying choice, making it easier than ever to unlock the power of Office on new and existing PCs,said Stephen Elop, president, Microsoft Business Division. For the first time, people can purchase a Product Key Card at retail to activate Office 2010 preloaded on new PCs. For those who want to download Office 2010 direct from for an existing PC, the new Click-to-Run technology will have them up and running in a matter of minutes.

Office 2010 is available in multiple flavors including Office Home and Student 2010, Office Home and Business 2010 and Office Professional 2010. Check out our earlier post for pricing and edition information.

The new edition introduces several new features along with web based options via Office Web Apps. Check out Keith’s visual guide to new features in Office 2010 and his list of awesome Office 2010 tips and tricks to familiarize yourself with the latest avatar of Microsoft’s office suite

Microsoft Office 2010 RTM Next Month, Free Upgrade If You Buy Office 2007 From Today

In a blog post on the official Microsoft Office blog, the Office team has detailed their roadmap for the next iteration of Microsoft Office Office 2010. The highlights from the blog post are:

  • Office 2010 RTM next month
  • Office 2010 retail availability in June
  • Free upgrade to Office 2010 for customer to purchase/activate Office 2007 starting today
  • Business range of products that includes Office 2010, Sharepoint 2010, Project 2010 and Visio 2010 to be available from May 12.

The free upgrade program is known as Office 2010 Technology Guarantee and is a free online service. To be eligible for the free upgrade, you must fulfill the following conditions:

  • Purchase Office 2007, or a new PC with Office 2007, and activate it between March 5, 2010 and September 30, 2010.
  • Have, or create a Windows Live ID.
  • Redeem your Tech Guarantee before October 31, 2010 by visiting

Microsoft OneNote 2010 (Beta) Review

Before we get to anything, let me say for the record that I have never used OneNote before and that I will be using it for a long time from now on. I really like this piece of software from Microsoft and they have done a tremendous job with this very powerful organizational tool. I personally would be using it to catalog and organize my scanned college notes.


For those who do not know, OneNote is a highly capable information collection and collaboration software. It is what it says it is a Note-taking program. In the truest sense, you can type anywhere you want just click a place where you wish to add your thoughts and type away. The Office ribbon does not obstruct anything and the entire screen is your playground. Select text and a translucent overlay of the formatting options will pop up and you can easily change the look and feel of your note.


One of the most useful feature for students is the ability to add mathematical equations. Just use the Math Input Panel in Windows 7 (which accepts pen-input on tablet PCs, by the way), insert and you’re good to go. You can also access the equation controls from the Office Ribbon.


The collaboration features are quite a lot and though I haven’t had the pleasure of collaborating via OneNote, I will in the future, in this semester!

Taking screenshots is very, very easy with OneNote as a notification area button. (i.e. with OneNote started). All you need to do is press the Windows-Key + S and a transparent overlay will appear over the screen you are on. Just select the amount of screen-space you want and release the mouse-key. OneNote will popup a small screen-clipping collection manager which can simplify everything else for you.


As a passive program, OneNote is a completely new experience (called link mode).


Double-click this and a completely blank and slightly yellow page will open (reminding you of sticky notes). Copy-paste anything from the web, a slideshow or your computer, and it will appear as it was with a small link telling you where it was taken from. Linking between notes is the same as linking between pages in a wiki. Just add [[Page Name]] and it will get linked automatically! Very simple and brilliant!

This is one of those absolutely fantastic applications that Microsoft manages to produce once in a while that keeps the market firmly in their hands. Kudos! More updates will be available as I use OneNote in the future.

Microsoft Office 2010 Editions and Pricing Revealed

We covered various aspects of Microsoft Office 2010 in the past. Microsoft Office is among the most sold software products and Office 2007 was quite well received. In fact, Office Home and Student was one of’s top 3 Hot Holiday Bestseller software products in 2009. Office Home and Student was also the highest selling PC software product (including games) at retail in the U.S. during the week of Black Friday 2009. Office 2010 is a reasonable improvement over Office 2007 and the beta phase has received huge amounts of interest. According to Microsoft, it is experiencing more than 40,000 downloads of Microsoft Office 2010 beta daily.

Microsoft has finally revealed the cost of various editions of Office 2010. Office 2010 will be available in 4 editions – Office Home and Student, Office Home and Business, Office Professional, and Office Professional Academic. They are priced at $149, $279, $499 and $99 respectively.

Microsoft has also been working on alternate distribution methods for Office 2010. It has partnered with major retailers and PC manufactures, as a result of which new PCs from these partners will ship with Office 2010 pre-loaded. Users will be able to unlock their copy of Office by simply purchasing product key cards. The product key cards are significantly cheaper than the boxed editions. Office Home and Student, Office Home and Business and Office Professional product key cards can be purchased for $119, $199 and $349 respectively.


Microsoft Office 2010 Beta FAQ

is scheduled for launch in June 2010, many users are able to test it out by downloading Office 2010 and using it till October 2010.

However, many users may still be vary before taking the plunge. To dispel those doubts, Microsoft has put up a comprehensive page of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), which tries to answer questions related to Office 2010, and helps users know about the major updates in Office 2010.

If you are someone who has been putting off downloading Office 2010 beta, here is something that will help you make a decision.

Office 2010 Beta FAQs [via TechNet]

Microsoft Word 2010 (Beta) Screenshot Review

Let me start this review by saying that the new Word is nothing short of awesome with an assortment of irritants, of course. Sure, the annoying (for me) ribbon has been retained from Word 2007; however, with practice it does become quite efficient. The software integrates very well with the Windows 7 taskbar and performs as admirably fast as I have grown used to the word processor. The features are solid while editing is a charm!

While the program at a glance looks and feels like dear old Word 2007, there are subtle yet effective differences. Primarily, the Backstage view (click on File and you go to the Backstage view) has been enhanced very well. This applies to the entire package!


Here is the ubiquitous blank document in all its glory.


Backstage view. The entire package has been spruced up!


Backstage view for the New option. Notice the handy Blog Postbutton!


The sharing options have been enhanced mightily. Especially useful is the send as PDF options. Integrates very well with Outlook and…


OneNote! The print to OneNote option is really neat and handy!


One of the neatest features included is the easy paste-options pop-out. This appears as soon as you hit Ctrl-V and shows the preview of the pasting option as you hover your mouse over it. This one kept its original formatting (from Facebook).


The screenshot button will prove to be undoubtedly useful when writing articles such as this one! (Although I used OneNote’s super-handy WindowsKey+S screenshot function mostly)

The remove background feature is the most talked about in the internet about Word 2010. Here’s a short sequence of screenshots showing how it works.


The picture is the stoic logo. Selecting it will highlight the picture format tab in the ribbon, clicking which will show you the option to remove the background.


Click the Remove Background option and the Background Removal tool starts operating. Just select the areas you want to keep (or delete, whichever is simpler) and click Keep Changes…


And voila, here is the logo! Photoshop, be wary, you have a competitor! (Not really, but it works for these simple situations)


WordArt is back! Close enough, anyway. This is an easy and painless way to make a killer document for that college poster title, among other things.

That pretty much wraps the short screenshot review of Word 2010 and its new features. The application is polished, fast and effective. It is a great tool for writers like me and presenters like you! Word 2010 beta comes free with a Starter Pack of Office 2010. Go for it!

Create Office Documents Online with Office Web Apps

Microsoft is all set to launch a new product which will be known as Office web apps.This web based version of Microsoft office will let users create and edit documents from their browser just like Google docs.The application will be web based and you won’t need Microsoft office anymore to create office documents.

If you want to preview the web based version of Microsoft office now, follow the simple steps described below:

1. Go to Skydrive and sign in with your windows live account.

2. Click the My Documentsfolder and upload a sample Word (.doc) file from your computer.


3.As soon as your upload is complete you will be presented with a link to join the preview program to create, edit, view and share Office documents online.


That’s it.Now you can test and preview the new office web apps. Only PowerPoint and excel documents can be created and edited as of now.

The interface is cool, quite the same as it is in Microsoft office 2007. Basic formatting functions has been included like bold, italics and underline.You can duplicate a slide and insert link as well as smart art objects in the PowerPoint slides created with the Office web app.Below is a screenshot of the PowerPoint and excel web app as seen in the browser.