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What’s new: January 2014

We kicked off the new year with a great batch of improvements. We enhanced Office Web Apps, so you can get things done more easily from anywhere. We introduced Office 365 Home Premium family sharing, so everyone in your home can enjoy Office. We partnered with GW Micro to bring Window-Eyes to more Office users and increase accessibility for customers. And we added a new Partner Admin Center in Office for business, to help Partners manage their customers more efficiently. Leave us a comment to let us know what your favorite new feature is. If you missed last month’s updates, see December’s What’s New.

Office 365 Home Premium & Office 365 University updates:

 

Share Office 365 Home Premium –- Office 365 Home Premium subscribers can share their subscription benefits with up to four household members. Each household member can use any of the available Office installations on their PCs, Macs or mobile devices, get an additional 20 GB of SkyDrive storage and manage their own installations from their “My Account” page. Previously, the primary subscriber was the only person to receive 20 GB of SkyDrive storage and who had the ability to add or remove devices associated with an Office 365 Home Premium subscription.

Improved accessibility for Office – Microsoft and GW Micro are partnering to provide people who are blind or have low vision improved access to Microsoft Office. Starting today, customers who have purchased and installed any version of Microsoft Office 2010 or 2013, including both perpetual and subscription clients, are eligible to download a free copy of Window-Eyes, GW Micro’s widely used and highly regarded screen reading software.

Word Web App enhancements – The new Tell Me orientation feature combines natural language questions and search to help you find out how to do what you want to do faster. Also, you can now create and edit footnotes and endnotes directly in Word Web App. The ribbon has a new look, to match changes in other Office Web Apps, and it has improved the ease of sharing and renaming your documents.

OneNote Web App improvements – The new OneNote.com page helps you create and maintain your notebooks.  An improved navigation pane makes it easier to switch between sections and pages.

Office 365 for business updates*:

 

Improved accessibility for Office – Microsoft and GW Micro are partnering to provide people who are blind or have low vision improved access to Microsoft Office. Starting today, customers who have purchased and installed any version of Microsoft Office 2010 or 2013, including both perpetual and subscription clients, are eligible to download a free copy of Window-Eyes, GW Micro’s widely used and highly regarded screen reading software.

Word Web App enhancements – The new Tell Me orientation feature combines natural language questions and search to help you find out how to do what you want to do faster. Also, you can now create and edit footnotes and endnotes directly in Word Web App. The ribbon has a new look, to match changes in other Office Web Apps, and it has improved the ease of sharing and renaming your documents.

OneNote Web App improvements –  An improved navigation pane makes it easier to switch between sections and pages.

Outlook Web App new People View – The new People View in OWA helps you quickly view messages from people who matter.  It lets you see the mail from your most frequent contacts and automatically refreshes based on your most current conversations.

Lync Mobile update for iOS and Windows Phone – Now iOS and Windows Phone users can upload PowerPoint presentations during meetings and meeting participants can view them right from their mobile devices. Windows Phone users are now able to control the app with voice commands, making it almost hands free. And for iOS 7 users, the app has been updated with a new look.

New Partner Admin Center –  Partners now have a central place to see all their customers, monitor customer service health, administer a customer’s service, help manage and resolve support issues, and build their business with trial and subscription offers to send to their customers.

Update on InfoPath and SharePoint Forms – InfoPath 2013 and InfoPath Forms Services will be the last versions of InfoPath.

 

Please note that some of the updates may take time to show up in your Office 365 account, because they’re being rolled out to customers worldwide.

– Andy O’Donald @andyodonald

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*Not all updates apply to every Office 365 plan; please check the individual post for specifics.