Today’s post was written by Jeff Teper, corporate vice president for the Office, OneDrive and SharePoint teams.
As people create and collaborate on more files, take more photos and work across multiple devices, it’s increasingly important to access your important content, both from your work and personal life—all in one place. You shouldn’t have to worry about whether there is enough storage on your device or if you can access your files on an airplane.
Today, we are excited to share a set of new features that will allow you to see and access all your files on Windows 10, be more productive offline on your mobile devices and quickly share files on iOS.
Yammer empowers every person in your company with an open space to connect, share and work out loud. With 70 percent annual growth in active groups, there’s greater momentum in Yammer than ever before. Yammer and SharePoint have always been natural complements, because together they deliver powerful connections and discoveries of people, content and information. Today, during the SharePoint Virtual Summit, we unveiled several new capabilities that make it easier to connect and engage through Yammer, whoever and wherever you are in the organization.
Spark conversations on your intranet by bringing Yammer and SharePoint together
Productive conversations can arise from anywhere you do your work. Last year, we enabled a more seamless document sharing capability across the Office 365 suite, including SharePoint, while collaborating in Yammer. You can now enrich your new SharePoint communication sites with a conversational layer by using the existing Yammer embed capability, triggering contextually relevant discussions and increasing the virality of your content.
Over the coming year, we will enhance the integration between Yammer and SharePoint by further improving the way SharePoint content appears in Yammer and making conversations from Yammer render more naturally within SharePoint on the web, desktop and mobile.
Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.
This month, we released several improvements to our cloud-powered intelligence services. These services use machine learning and advanced algorithms to create magical experiences that save you time and help produce polished, gorgeous content. And they will just get better each month as we deliver continued innovation and further tune our intelligent recommendations as more people use them.
Jumpstart presentations with QuickStarter in PowerPoint
QuickStarter is now available in PowerPoint. Announced in September, QuickStarter reinvents how you create presentations by helping you conquer blank slides. Simply type in your topic and QuickStarter gets you going with a curated outline, recommendations on what categories to include, information to research further, and associated images tagged with Creative Commons licenses. Check out QuickStarter in action to see what it can do!
Jumpstart presentations with QuickStarter in PowerPoint.
Availability: QuickStarter is now available in PowerPoint on Windows desktops, for Office 365 subscribers in Office Insider Fast.
Writing assistance all in one place with Editor
Editor, your digital writing assistant in Word, is now even more helpful. The new Editor pane gives you additional information from its advanced spelling, grammar and writing style recommendations. It also makes it easy to scan your whole document. This experience replaces the Spelling & Grammar pane and incorporates inclusive design best practices to be accessible for the visually impaired. Learn more about Editor.
The new Editor pane helps you learn to improve your writing by providing even more information and context.
Availability: The new Editor pane is now available in Word on Windows desktops, for Office 365 customers in Office Insider Fast.
Remember commitments with Cortana’s help
Cortana now works with Outlook to remember things you said you’d do in email. For example, Cortana will automatically recognize if you promise to send your boss a report by the end of the week and then proactively remind you so you can follow through at just the right time. Learn more and get started in this Windows blog.
Availability: Cortana’s suggested reminders are now available in the U.S. on Windows 10, for customers using an Outlook.com email address or an Office 365 work or school account. Support for iOS, Android and other email services is coming soon.
Intuitive commands at your fingertips with Touch Bar support in Office for Mac
Touch Bar support is now available in Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Mac. As previously announced, the most common commands are intelligently placed at your fingertips based on what you’re doing in the document, spreadsheet or presentation. For example, one tap can put you into distraction-free Focus Mode in Word or an enhanced slideshow experience with thumbnails in PowerPoint. Touch Bar support in Outlook for Mac is coming soon.
Access the most common Office commands in the Touch Bar, based on what you’re doing in the document.
Availability: Touch Bar support is now available in Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Mac, for all Office 365 subscribers and Office for Mac 2016 customers. Touch Bar support is coming soon in Outlook on Mac.
New Office 365 capabilities help you proactively manage security and compliance risk
Earlier this month, we announced several new capabilities in Office 365 that help you manage risk and stay ahead of threats. We introduced a new security analytics tool—Office 365 Secure Score—which helps you understand your organization’s security configuration and actions you can take to enhance security and reduce risk. In addition, Office 365 Threat Intelligence helps you stay ahead of cyber threats by leveraging billions of data points from the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph. It offers information about malware families inside and outside your organization and integrates seamlessly with other Office 365 security features, so you’ll be able to see analysis, malware frequency and security recommendations related to your business. We also introduced Office 365 Advanced Data Governance, which helps you find and retain important data while eliminating redundant, obsolete and trivial data that could cause risk if compromised. It does this by applying machine learning to intelligently deliver proactive policy recommendations; classify data based on automatic analysis of factors like the type of data, its age and the users who have interacted with it; and take action. Read this month’s security and compliance blog for more.
Availability: Office 365 Secure Score is now generally available to commercial customers. Commercial customers can contact their Microsoft account representative to sign up for the private preview of Office 365 Threat Intelligence, or register for the limited preview of Advanced Data Governance.
The Visio team has steadily released more and more features to increase mobility across your organization. In November 2016, we brought Visio Online Public Preview for a group of Office 365 users—and their feedback was fantastic! Since then, we’ve enabled Visio Online for VSD file format and for users who are using email through Exchange Online, Outlook.com and Hotmail. In addition to online viewing, we’re excited to announce commenting for Visio Online, giving you and your team a place to review and discuss process flows, shape data and more without switching windows.
Get started today! For more information, visit our FAQ page.
Add comments to Visio diagrams from your browser.
Create custom Visio Online solutions to meet your needs
The APIs enable programmatic access to the embedded Visio Online diagrams in a SharePoint Online page. Developers can use them to interact with Visio diagram elements—like pages and shapes—expose diagram data, write custom handlers for mouse events, create visual mark-ups on the diagram canvas and more. As a mashup example, developers can create a custom overlay, such as a list of steps required to complete before moving forward in a process, that appears when users select or hover over a diagram shape.
Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re taking the new Office 365 admin center out of preview. Since the first preview in September 2015, the new admin center has provided admins with an improved management experience that makes it easier and faster for you to manage Office 365 while providing new capabilities and insights.
The new Office 365 admin center reaches general availability
Over the last years, Office 365 has been evolving at a rapid pace, making more features and functionality available to users and admins on an almost daily basis. Over 350 new services and features were introduced last year alone. As we continue to add new capabilities to Office 365, we are focused on providing a first-class admin experience with tools to efficiently manage all aspects of the service. The new admin center has been designed to support this rapid growth and will continue to improve as the service further evolves.
We’d like to again thank each one of you who has provided feedback on the new admin center. Over the last year, we have received more than 49,000 pieces of feedback that have helped us identify gaps, fix bugs and evolve the new admin center to a management experience that meets the needs of all company sizes. And it’s great to hear how it’s already making your work easier:
“I love everything you are doing to make Office 365 for Business an incredible management and organizational tool for business. The old format sorely needed updating and is a constant source of complaints by users. Thanks guys for finally getting this whole thing right!”
—Customer feedback in the new admin center
Here is a summary of the main improvements:
The new admin center makes it easier and faster to manage Office 365
Quickly access relevant information and functionality from the new home page—The home page has been redesigned with you and your most common tasks in mind—such as adding a user or resetting a password. The new admin center makes these items accessible directly from the home page. The home page also proactively surfaces information important to you, such as notifications from the Message Center.
Customize your admin experience—Frequent tasks may vary from admin to admin, so we’ve enabled customization of the home page, making it a truly personal experience. Remove cards that aren’t important to you. Rearrange cards so the ones you care about most are at the top, and add other cards so you can get to tasks straight from the home page.
Quickly find what you’re lookingfor with improved navigation and search—If you’re looking for a specific setting or feature, you can use the navigation menu, which has been reorganized to make it easier for you to find information. For example, you can see the settings for all services in one place. The search bar (at the top) is the easiest and fastest way to navigate the admin center, by giving you the power to search for most every capability within the admin center.
Manage licenses in fewer steps—The new admin center makes it easier for you to purchase and assign licenses. When you add a new user, you can buy and assign a license in one simple step.
More functionality at your fingertips
The new admin center isn’t just an update to the look and feel of the old admin center, it also provides new management capabilities and additional actionable information.
Manage more user details—Now, the user list supports infinite scroll, so that admins can see all their users on one page, including which license is assigned to a specific user. When you click a user’s name, important properties appear in a fly-out window allowing you to edit settings such as email forwarding, automatic replies and email apps.
Edit more user details simultaneously—The new admin center provides the ability to bulk edit more user details simultaneously, including product licenses, domains or user roles. In addition, the bulk edit limit has increased—you can now edit up to 100 users at the same time.
Edit all groups in one place—The new admin center fully supports all group types including distribution lists, security groups, mail-enabled security groups and Office 365 Groups. You can manage all your groups from the same location.
Message Center improvements—The Message Center has completely been redesigned to provide you with more functionality. You can filter by message type, dismiss a message, mark it as read or unread or even share it with peers. The Message Center also allows you to use machine translation to view messages in your preferred language.
Reports you can act on
The new admin center also provides you with a richer reporting experience and additional insights that help you to proactively manage your service.
New usage reporting dashboard—The new usage reporting dashboard provides you with valuable insights about how the Office 365 services are being used and delivers details down to the individual user level. The usage reports will be accompanied by a Power BI content pack that will allow you to share the reports and to pivot by attributes like region or department. More information will be shared next week.
Export additional information—To further analyze and process the data, you can now export more information directly from the UI—including the usage reports as well as the user list—to a CSV file.
Monitor your Directory Synchronization (DirSync) Status and quickly identify issues—The DirSync card on the home page and the new subsite make it easy for admins to understand their DirSync status and to identify errors.
We will continue to further improve the new admin center to provide you with the best management experience possible. We’re currently working on additional reports and on modernizing the product admin centers.
The old admin center will be retired at the end of December.
Announcing a new Service health dashboard
For many of you, moving to Office 365 was a big change. In an on-premises world, if there was a service incident, you were the ones investigating and solving the issue. With Office 365, you trust Microsoft with running the service and quickly solving service incidents. But moving to a cloud service shouldn’t mean losing the ability to know what’s going on. With this in mind, we built a new Service health dashboard that provides admins with a new level of service health insights that are personalized for their organization. This allows admins to stay on top of service incidents, improve your internal support experience and improve your users’ Office 365 experience.
Since the launch of Office 365 in 2011, our promise to provide you with timely, targeted and accurate communications in the event of a service incident hasn’t changed, and we’ve focused on being transparent in our operations so that you can monitor the service, track issues and have a historical view of availability. Service health is a very important area for all of you and over the last year, we’ve received a lot of feedback that has helped us to reimagine service health.
Here is a summary of the improvements that you’ll find in the new Service health dashboard:
Access rich and more actionable incident insights—The new Service health dashboard provides you with more relevant incident insights and features a new view that separates major business critical outages from others and splits them into two categories: incidents and advisories. This new view makes it easier for you to identify the issues relevant for you that you might want to act on immediately.
Quickly understand the incident—A new summary view surfaces the most relevant and critical details to you in just two short sentences—easy and quick to consume. If you want to access additional details, you can go to a more detailed view that provides you with all available information, including workarounds and message history.
Easily see the impact for your organization—The new dashboard allows you to quickly understand the impact of the service incident on your organization by showing you the number of impacted users.
Sign up for the preview program
The preview of the new Service health dashboard is available for Office 365 customers worldwide today. To get access to the new dashboard, please send an email with the subject “I want to be part of the preview” to firstname.lastname@example.org and include both your tenant ID and your tenant domain (i.e., contoso.com). After we have enabled the preview for your tenant (it can take 1-2 weeks), you will receive an email with access instructions.
More to come
This is just the beginning. Our goal is to provide you with richer and more actionable service health insights that will help you to stay on top of incidents, reduce support costs and improve end user experiences.
We’ll be adding more enhancements in the coming months, including:
Tell us about issues—If you are impacted by an issue that is not showing up on your Service health dashboard, the Tell us feature will provide you with a quick and easy way to let us know.
Stay informed through your preferred channel—The new Service health dashboard will enable you to sign up for notifications via text and/or email so that you can monitor the service and track issues through the channel you prefer.
Access user level details—In addition to the number of impacted users, you will also be able to access a full list of impacted users to enable you to drive more targeted communication and support.
Check the health of your users—The new Service health dashboard will also include new features that will improve the end user experience. On-demand user health checks will allow you to check end user health by running a test against our service. User Monitoring will enable you to proactively monitor specific users and to find out about possible health issues affecting those users right away—often before they might even notice them.
Let us know what you think!
Please try the new features and provide feedback using the feedback link in the lower right corner of the admin center. And don’t be surprised if we respond to your feedback. We truly read every piece of feedback that we receive to make sure the Office 365 administration experience meets your needs.
—Anne Michels, @Anne_Michels, senior product marketing manager for the Office 365 Marketing team