Canadian families empowered by technology as lives grow increasingly complex

Canadian parents rely on technology to help raise their families. Do you? (CNW Group/Microsoft Canada Co.)

New Ipsos Reid study finds that modern technology enables busy parents to keep their families organized and connected

TORONTO, Jan. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - The lines between home and work are blurring. With busy lives and packed schedules, Canadian families need a way to manage "one life". They want to be able to work where, how and when they want - on their terms. According to an Ipsos Reid study released today, 70 per cent of Canadian parents depend on technology to keep their families connected, while 78 per cent believe that technology allows their families to stay better organized.

This survey, commissioned by Microsoft Canada, found that Canadians believe their lives have grown more complex over the past three years, and as a result, are utilizing new technology such as smartphones and cloud services to connect with family members on-the-go and stay on top of their hectic schedules.

"As life becomes more demanding, and families more complex we are increasingly using technology to keep in touch with family and friends and keep up with what can often seem like a steady barrage of appointments, activities and commitments "  says Nora Spinks, CEO of The Vanier Institute. "All generations seem to be embracing smartphones, wireless Internet and tech solutions in order to stay connected, stay organized, cope with emergencies and manage the unpredictable."

Canadians are also using technology to limit stress and simplify their lives as 55 per cent of survey respondents agreed that families have more complex needs when it comes to communicating with loved ones, sharing memories, or organizing busy schedules than they did just three years ago.

As a parent of two children, I understand how difficult it can be to juggle work and family," says Max Long, President, Microsoft Canada.  "I also have close relatives in the UK and Norway, so keeping connected is important to me. With the new Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium 'cloud' service, we've completely reinvented Office to work from virtually anywhere on Windows-based tablets, Windows Phones, PCs as well as Macs. From managing schedules on Outlook and checking off a grocery list in OneNote, to organizing photos on SkyDrive and making Skype calls with far-away family members, parents are going to love the simplicity Office 365 brings to their lives."

Released to market today, Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium will make the everyday more manageable for the modern Canadian family. While in the past Office was installed on a family computer or laptop, the new Office 365 service is powered by the cloud, so the entire family can now bring documents, personal settings - and even the Office applications themselves - with them wherever they go.

Available on a one-year subscription, Office 365 Home Premium includes the most complete set of Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access), 20 GB of SkyDrive cloud storage (in additional to the 7GB already available), and one hour of free Skype world calling minutes per month.

With Canadian families becoming increasingly comfortable with all types of technology, Microsoft's new cloud service may be arriving at the perfect time. According to the same Ipsos Reid study, three quarters of families now download music, movies and/or games from the Internet, while 91 per cent of parents share pictures, photos and video via e-mail.

In addition, 84 per cent of parents said they sit down with family members to view family memories on a computer, tablet, or phone in order to create digital photo albums or scrapbooks, and four out of every five parents believe that technology allows their family to stay better connected.   

To help meet the evolving needs of Canadians, the Microsoft store in Canada will be offering courses where families can learn to fully utilize the new Office 365 Home Premium, which is now available for $99.00 ERP for a one-year subscription. University and College students can also purchase Office 365 University for only $79.00 ERP for a four-year subscription.

Visit the new Office.com for more information, to manage your subscription, to find beautifully designed document templates, and to get support for the new Office. Purchase Office 365 Home Premium today online at Office.com, the Microsoft store or at top Canadian retailers.

ABOUT MICROSOFT

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.ca/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft's Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

ABOUT IPSOS REID:

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader and the country's leading provider of public opinion research. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in Canada, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and on-line panels. Ipsos Reid's Canadian marketing research and public affairs practices are staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, offering the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada—all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group. To learn more, visit www.ipsos.ca

Image with caption: "Canadian parents rely on technology to help raise their families. Do you? (CNW Group/Microsoft Canada Co.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130129_C9362_PHOTO_EN_23091.jpg

SOURCE: Microsoft Canada Co.

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Richelle Robillard
High Road Communications
Richelle.Robillard@highroad.com
(416) 368-8348 ext. 209