Microsoft kicks off Office Mix customer preview

Microsoft kicks off Office Mix customer preview

Summary: Microsoft is opening up a customer preview of its newest Office app, a PowerPoint-based app known as Mix, to more testers.


Microsoft has opened the testing floodgates for its newest Office app, known as Office Mix.


Office Mix is an extension of PowerPoint that is aimed at the education market, though not exclusively so.

I applied for a preview code a couple of weeks ago when information about Office Mix (formerly codenamed "Remix") first surfaced.

The Office Mix site explains the app this way:

"Turn your PowerPoint presentation into an interactive online lesson. We call this a mix. Everything you need to create and share your mix is included. Add audio and video of yourself giving your presentation, write on slides as you talk to them, insert quizzes, practice exercises, and more – all from within PowerPoint. It’s like a screencast, but better. All you need is Office 2013 and the free Office Mix add-in."

"It's like a screencast, but better," the Mix testing site adds.

After downloading a PowerPoint add-in, Mix users can record audio or video of themselves giving a lecture; write and draw directly in PowerPoint as if it were a whiteboard; and obtain stats on who has viewed a particular Mix and how they've interacted with it (via quizzes, learning exercises, etc.).

To use Mix, users need to have PowerPoint 2013 or Office 365. (Testers who don't have either can get a free 180-day PowerPoint 2013 trial so they can test the app.)

With Office Mix, users can watch mixes on desktops, laptops and tablets running IE, Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Interactive lessons work on Windows tablets, Safari on iPad and Chrome on Android tablets. Lessons can be viewed as videos (but not used interactively) on Windows Phone, iPhone and Android phones, according to the Mix site.

Microsoft Research contributed to Office Mix. "Project Athena," a Microsoft Research effort, seems to be a backbone of the coming product.

The Office Mix support site provides more information about the app.

Topics: Education, Collaboration, Emerging Tech, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • I've been waiting for Office Mix

    I've been waiting for Office Mix since I heard about it... I've also got my invite... I hope it's a great tool so I can teach my nieces and nephews some Spanish...
  • MS, take it easy with free stuff

    "All you need is Office 2013 and the free Office Mix add-in."

    I wish MS would stop giving away add-ins for free, and also allow free add-ins in its Office app store. This practice destroys the market for developers. Hasn't MS figured out yet that this is the reason its Office app store hasn't taken off? It would have been better if MS said simply that Mix will be part of Office 2013.
    P. Douglas
    • The Leading Edge

      The free apps you complain about are what keeps Office on the leading edge and leaves all the want-a-be's behind. when you can get other office like packages for free it is these add-ins are what justify the price. Yes the small guy may get pushed out but I would rather get something well implemented and tested by Microsoft than some of the questionable quality of others.
      • Only the small guys are interested in making add-ins

        Who else are going to develop add-ins, if not small businesses? I doubt Adobe or IBM is going to do it. So then ban free stuff from their stores so that small businesses can make some money! If people can cough up $1.50 for a cup of coffee, which comes and goes away in a matter of minutes, I think they can pay nominal, fare prices for software, which can significantly impact their productivity.
        P. Douglas
  • Oh, geeze, another Microsoft app to learn & add to our resumes... lol

    Microsoft won't be content until one full page of our resumes is dedicated to our "proficiency" in Microsoft Office apps. lol
    • so a software company

      should stop developing software?
    • You can always go to the Android or iOS apps stores, to acquire apps

      for "free" or small prices, and then, list them on your resume. Most of them will be garbage, but, they will be non-MS.
  • There are better solutions out there..

    You guys should also checkout 9slides dot com, works on powerpoint as well as PDF. Requires no plugin download, and rich content can be viewed across any smart device without downloading any special software.