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Microsoft zaps self in foot with WinPho/Office remote control app

Devices and services strategy means US-only offering won't work with Surface

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Microsoft Research has released something cute: a Windows Phone app that acts as a “remote control” for Office 2013.

Office Remote, available here, “turns your phone into a smart remote that interacts with Microsoft Office on your PC. The app lets you control Word, Excel, and PowerPoint from across the room, so you can walk around freely during presentations.”

Any number of wireless widgets do the same thing, so Microsoft may put a few gadget-makers' noses out of joint with this one.

It's already done that to some of its users, who have complained that the app requires them to adopt the USA in Windows Phone's language and region settings to get the app working. To make things worse, the post announcing the app initially offered a broken download link. Another user reports it is also impossible to install the app from a Windows Phone: it's got to be done from the Windows Store on a PC.

One more thing: another commenter says the app can't drive Office on a Surface 2 or Windows RT device.

Clearly the devices and services strategy is going very well. ®

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