Office Mix and Apple Hypocrites (Like Me)

Microsoft's new Windows only PowerPoint rapid authoring tool.

May 13, 2014

I’m an Apple hypocrite. When it comes to Apple I’m (mostly) willing to overlook the hardware and OS lock-in.   

Out of one side of my mouth I’ll preach the gospel of platform agnosticism and the benefits of OS diversity, where the other side of my mouth will be spouting about the elegance of iOS only solutions such as iTunes U Courses and one-to-one iPad programs.

An Applecrite.  Actually, I can’t use “Applecrite” - as I thought I was making up the word but the urban dictionary actually tells me that it means exactly the opposite:

Applecrite: "A person who has spent many days, months, years, bashing Apple products (mainly Mac and iPhone), but has now decided that he/she likes/will buy said products.”

Which is why you should call me on being wildly inconsistent and unfair when I lay into Office Mix, Microsoft’s new rapid authoring for PowerPoint platform.

Office Mix actually looks pretty awesome.  From what I can tell from the videos on the site it looks super easy to download the plug-in and record video and voice over presentations or screencasts from PowerPoint. Microsoft has made publishing and tracking the presentations simple as well, as Office Mix is tied in with Microsoft’s robust cloud infrastructure.

Rapid authoring is hugely important in education.  

The ability for teachers and students to quickly and easily create rich voice over presentations, and then share those presentations, opens up all sorts of new possibilities for active learning. 

We have been using rapid authoring tools from TechSmith and Adobe for years.  

PowerPoint has always had voice recording capabilities, but the publishing and sharing options were limited. The files were too big and Microsoft had no publishing, sharing, and analytics back-end.  

Office Mix seems to change all that.  Easy authoring, publishing and sharing.

Everyone already has PowerPoint (well most everyone), so think of the possibility of spreading rapid authoring now that Office Mix is in the mix.

The only problem, as you have guessed, is that I can’t try out Office Mix.  

I don’t own a Windows machine.

We are a Mac family.   Most of the students that I know at my college are Mac owners.  The high school runs on Macs.   

Some folks that I work with continue to use a Windows machine.  Outlook is way better on Windows (and basically unusable on the Mac).  Excel power users seem to be more comfortable with Windows.  But Macs still dominate.

Does Microsoft have any plans to release a version of Office Mix for PowerPoint for Mac?   What about for Office Web Apps?  Or the new iPad Office version?   

Could rapid authoring be done in the browser?  I’ve heard from a bunch of folks that the browser based Google Presentation (in Drive) has gotten much better.  Could Google introduce the capabilities of Mix in a platform agnostic, browser-based app?

Does a Windows only product matter in the education space?

If you are a Windows person, can you please download and share with us some Mix presentations and your impression of the software.

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Joshua Kim

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