Microsoft Releases Office Remote App for Windows Phone 8
A new app from Microsoft turns Windows Phone 8 handsets into smart remotes for meetings and presentations.Microsoft is giving the presentation remote a big upgrade. Microsoft Research has teamed with the Office engineering group to develop an app that allows Windows Phone 8 users to control presentations using their handsets. Rather than just allow presenters to advance PowerPoint slides, the free app, called Office Remote, unlocks more functionality than what is provided by traditional remotes, allowing for more freeform and interactive experiences. The app also frees hosts from the confines of a podium, stage or their laptops, according to Office Group Program Manager Bert Van Hoof. "The app lets you control Word, Excel, and PowerPoint from across the room so you can walk around freely during presentations," he said in an Inside Microsoft Research blog post. Office Remote runs on Windows Phone 8 devices and requires a Bluetooth-compatible PC, a downloadable desktop add-in and a non-RT version of Office 2013 to work. With all the pieces in place, users can explore Office docs—PowerPoint, Excel and Word specifically—at meetings or before a crowd. Van Hoof boasted that "all you need for a flawless presentation is to open the Office document you want to project, pick up your phone, and begin your pitch."
Compared to traditional clickers, Office Remote provides a richer, more flexible experience. Van Hoof said that with the app, "you can start your PowerPoint presentation, advance the slides, see your speaker notes, and control an on-screen laser pointer with a touch of your finger—all from your phone."