On September 15th I attended an event at Microsoft's head office in Shinagawa.
The event was called 『Microsoft Officeユーザー 感謝祭！ ”今よりもっと”を最新のOfficeで』
When I say "attended", I was actually asked to MC three sessions.
The participants were 100% Japanese, and while I am not a good judge of age I would guess they were mostly aged 30-55 and 70% male.
As a translator and business owner, I am a heavy MS Office user but this event focused on Office 365, which I have never used, so it was all completely new to me. And although it was also somewhat irrelevant to my work situation, it was actually quite fascinating to see a) what Office 365 is capable of and b) how it is being used by people outside the translation community.
Here is a random list of some of my take aways from the event:
1. An MS employee demonstrated giving a presentation using PPT with real-time translations of whatever he was saying appearing as subtitles below the slides on the screen. While not 100% accurate the concept is fascinating and will surely be usable in the future as technology improves.
2. Joint editing of Word docs is still sluggish but I can see how it could be used by translation companies to check large documents when deadlines are tight IF the sliggishness is resolved.
3. Two of the three speakers connected their phones to the projector to demonstrate apps
4. MS's technology (in the rooms) was all new to me. I had a switch been the speakers' screens (PC) and another screen (PC) showing sponsor details during the breaks. The rooms had two screens and some speakers demonstrated functions by hooking up each screen to a different PC or phone. As a speaker, having such options opens up the possibilities when preparing a presentation.
5. One speaker explained that Line and FB Messenger are now more secure than email due to the encoding/encryption these apps use. Skype for Business, he said, is the safest way to send files.
6. Said speaker also commented on the US trend of employing experts versus the Japanese trend of outsourcing tasks. He also mentioned the differences between the US and Japan in the way application forms are written (designed).
7. I am not a tech person so a lot of the presentations went over my head but it was still very interesting, and I got a good sense of where the world is heading in terms of technology, and I'm glad I "attended".