Microsoft is not exactly a company that’s hurting for exposure to businesses, as it has long enjoyed dominance on several sectors, and even their soon to be discontinued Windows XP is still used by many companies all over the world. However, it seems that the company’s top management is not content, and is now looking for ways to expand their reach.
In an announcement at the recent Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft has revealed that they will be bringing the Office Store and Sharepoint to 22 brand new markets, and will also add a new business intelligence tool to their Office 365 service. The move is likely to broaden the potential userbase for developers who are using Microsoft’s Office and Sharepoint platforms, mainly because the sheer scale of both gives developers a really good chance to reach an ever-expanding userbase, which could then encourage increased development activity.
Another positive side effect of this is that it will end up improving all the products through more flexibility. It turns static products into platforms, and said platform will require an equally strong developer community.
Additionally, Microsoft is also bringing Power BI to their Office 365 cloud-based productivity service. For those not in the know, Power BI is an excel-based suite of tools that allow for powerful data query, mapping, data modeling, and interactive charting. The Power BI tool is certainly a neat bonus, but out of the new additions, it is the one that helps keep focus on a key revenue stream for Microsoft, mainly because it makes the desktop build of Office more powerful – playing well to one of Microsoft’s key territories: the desktop.
The Power BI suite will be offered as an add on to existing Office 365 users, but can also be availed as a stand-alone product for users who bought their Office suite outright. There’s still no upfront cost because it is only going to launch into preview this summer.