Google Docs Users Can Edit MS Office Docs Without Converting Them
Google frequently adds new features and services to its Google Docs and Apps products. In May, Google expanded its arsenal of mobile management tools for Google Apps to help enterprises better manage Android devices and the capabilities of their BYOD users. The new features include an inactive account wipe capability that will allow enterprises to set user policies that will wipe an inactive account from a device if it has not been synced for a predetermined number of days, as well as new support for EAP-based WiFi networks, so that IT administrators can configure settings and distribute certificate authority-based certs for EAP, or Extensible Authentication Protocol, networks. In March, Google said it was encouraging its existing Google Apps paying customers to promote the service to friends through a $15 per-referral cash bonus if users help Google sign up new paying customers. The Google Apps Referral Program, which is still going on, allows existing users to receive a maximum of $1,500 as a reward for up to 100 such referrals. The program is open to Google Apps users in the United States and Canada. Google has some 5 million Google Apps users around the world, according to the company. The cloud-based Google Apps includes Gmail, Calendar, Drive storage, Docs, Sheets and Slides services.In November 2013, Google announced that it would move all its Apps sign-in pages to have the same look for consistency and security, meaning that users will lose their personalization options. Under the changes, they also lose the ability to customize their Google Apps sign-in pages with their logos and other branding information. In October 2013, Google unveiled a new feature that allows Google Docs users to share files with others who are not using Google accounts. The new capability allows guest Docs users who are not signed in to a Google account to be able to view a file, but not make changes or edits, according to Google. The new feature permits, for the first time, users to share such documents with others who may not have their own Google accounts. Previously, users could only view such files if they were also logged into their Google accounts. Administrators and Google Docs users who already have file-sharing permissions can change the sharing settings as desired. The new file-sharing feature is available for users of Google Apps and Google Apps for Business, Education and Government.
Also in March, Google announced that it would drop support for the Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server in March 2015. The coming change will affect Google Apps users with BlackBerry devices running BlackBerry OS 7 or earlier operating systems that are connecting to Google Apps through BlackBerry Enterprise Server version 5.0.3. By using the connector, enterprises could set up their Google Apps suite to integrate with BES, which allows employees to use built-in BlackBerry applications to access their Google Apps email, calendar and contacts.