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Office 365 news round-up

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” That was the opinion of Benjamin Franklin, who was not only an early American statesman with a passion for self-improvement, but also a successful inventor and innovative entrepreneur.

Like Franklin, we understand that long-term success is based on continuous improvement and attention to detail. Over the past few weeks, we have made a number of important improvements to Office 365. Among other things, we added a new “Tell Me” feature to the Word Web App that combines natural language and search to help users find the options and settings they need, and we introduced a new Partner Admin Center to help Microsoft partners provide better service to their Office 365 customers. Along with making it easier for Office 365 customers to switch plans to best meet their needs, we also made it simple for them to add Microsoft Dynamics CRM to their subscription, and we made Access apps fully available in Office 365.

Looking ahead, we will continue to improve and to make Office 365 the productivity suite of choice for customers such as Hendrick Automotive Group, Duke University, King County, Washington and the Miami-Dade County School District. We are committed to continuous improvement because we know that our customers value performance over promises. For as Old Ben also said, “Well done is better than well said.

Below is a round-up of these and other key news items from the last couple of weeks. Enjoy!

Office 365: 5 Factors That Swayed One Enterprise – With 4,500 users at 72 dealerships in 12 states, Hendrick Automotive Group chose Office 365 to meet its diverse needs. Robert Taylor, IT director for Hendrick, explains why.

Office 365 is the right design at Foster partnership – After comparing Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps in back-to-back trials, Lord Foster’s London-based global architecture firm chose Office 365 for its move to the cloud.

Duke University:  Microsoft Office 365 officially replaces Duke Webmail – By replacing its Web-based DukeMail system with Office 365, Duke University achieved a more collaborative communications environment for its students and faculty.

Why the Office 2013 suite still beats Microsoft Office alternatives – Two IT experts compare Microsoft Office 2013, Office 365, Google Apps for Business and OpenOffice and show why Microsoft Office and Office 365 consistently beat the competition.

Happy Birthday, Office 365 – Industry expert Paul Thurrott looks back at the first year of Office 365, declares it the best productivity product on the market, and rounds up a year’s worth of positive news about the cloud-based service.

Safety in the Cloud: Keeping Office 365 Secure – Although the list of security features at Microsoft’s datacenters may “read like something out of a spy movie” and Office 365 offers outstanding security for data stored in the cloud, there are still things customers can do to keep their information secure.

Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium: 3.5 million subscribers – Business customers aren’t the only ones who value the security, ease of use, and productivity of Office 365. Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium now has more than 3.5 million subscribers, according to Microsoft’s more recent earnings report.

Office Web Apps cuts through clutter with a new look and helpful feature-finder tool — Microsoft is making Office Web Apps more appealing and easier to use. The latest version of the Word Web App includes a new “Tell Me” feature for quickly finding options and settings, along with a handful of additional new features and a flat, more eye-pleasing design.