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What’s new: December 2014

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Before the holiday the Office 365 team was busy in December delivering service updates and new apps across devices. Excel and the Business Intelligence scenarios and features also received numerous updates to enhance stability, do more with maps, embedding Power Views in websites and more. Lync added support for video calling with Skype users, updates for Android, Windows Phone, and Lync Room System. Yammer Enterprise was added to the Enterprise K1 plan, and an Office 365 Japan datacenter opened its servers to Japanese customers. Leave us a comment to let us know what your favorite new feature is. If you missed last month’s updates, see What’s New: November 2014.

Office 365 Personal, Office 365 Home and Office 365 University updates

Video calling between Skype and Lync — Now Lync users can conduct everyday business and collaboration “face-to-face” with customers, partners and suppliers who use Skype.

Office Lens business card scanning — You’ve already been able to scan documents and whiteboards with Office Lens, and now you can scan business cards in its new Business Card mode! Using technology from Microsoft Research, when you take a picture of a business card with Office Lens for Windows Phone and save it to OneNote, it will automatically recognize the card’s contact information and format it nicely into your OneNote notebook.

New Document Inspector features — New inspectors for PowerPoint and Word: Embedded Documents and Macros, forms or ActiveX Controls. New inspectors for Excel: Embedded Documents, Macros, forms or ActiveX Controls, Links to other files, PivotTables, PivotCharts, Cube Formulas, Slicers and Timelines, Real Time Data Functions, Excel Surveys, Defined Scenarios, Active Filters, Custom Worksheet Properties and Hidden Names.

Excel Power Map December update — New features include improved Geocoding performance, Auto Fit for custom map accuracy improvements and Select All Search Results option for filters.

OneNote Class Notebook Creator updates — Based on feedback, the app has been updated with the ability to add more teachers to the class notebook, localization in 10 languages and 21 markets, improved discoverability of class notebooks in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint team sites and a host of other improvements. For the countries in these new markets, the application is now available through the Office Store.

Office Online Insights — Word Online can now search Bing, Wikipedia, Oxford English Dictionary and the web for content related to a word or phrase in a document without you needing to leave the document. Also Word Online now support editing PDFs, pagination, inserting symbols and improvements to Tell Me, such as searching sub-ribbon commands.

Power View and PivotTables embedding for blogs and websites — Excel website embedding now supports interactive Power View and PivotTables.

Sway Preview expansion — Preview is now open to everyone, no more waitlist. Also based on customer feedback Undo and Redo and work for the Remix! Button as well. New text editing capabilities include bullets and numbering and editing text on the canvas. Section reordering has been simplified with drag and drop. PDFs can now be directly imported and the color picker and palette options using the Curated option.

Excel 2013 stability and usability improvements — a new public update to Excel 2013 includes major stability and usability improvements in Self Service BI scenarios—especially when Power Query, Power Pivot and Power View are involved. Over 120 bugs, crashes and hangs were eliminated.

Office 365 for business updates*

Clip art now powered by Bing Images — New powerful tool behind the images you search for from Office.

Search and Sway — You can easily add Bing images as a source for your sway, in addition to custom sources. Additionally, Sway uses natural language processing to show tags related to your content.

Video calling between Skype and Lync — Now Lync users can conduct everyday business and collaboration “face-to-face” with customers, partners and suppliers who use Skype.

Office Lens business card scanning — You’ve already been able to scan documents and whiteboards with Office Lens and now you can scan business cards in its new Business Card mode! Using technology from Microsoft Research, when you take a picture of a business card with Office Lens for Windows Phone and save it to OneNote, it will automatically recognize the card’s contact information and format it nicely into your OneNote notebook.

New Document Inspector features — New inspectors for PowerPoint and Word: Embedded Documents and Macros, forms or ActiveX Controls. New inspectors for Excel: Embedded Documents, Macros, forms or ActiveX Controls, Links to other files, PivotTables, PivotCharts, Cube Formulas, Slicers and Timelines, Real Time Data Functions, Excel Surveys, Defined Scenarios, Active Filters, Custom Worksheet Properties and Hidden Names.

Excel Power Map December update — New features include improved Geocoding performance, Auto Fit for custom map accuracy improvements and Select All Search Results option for filters.

OneNote Class Notebook Creator updates — Based on feedback, the app has been updated with the ability to add more teachers to the class notebook, localization in 10 languages and 21 markets, improved discoverability of class notebooks in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint team sites and a host of other improvements. For the countries in these new markets, the application is now available through the Office Store.

Office Online Insights — Word Online can now search Bing, Wikipedia, Oxford English Dictionary and the web for content related to a word or phrase in a document without you needing to leave the document. Also Word Online now support editing PDFs, pagination, inserting symbols and improvements to Tell Me, such as searching sub-ribbon commands.

Lync for Windows Phone update — New options let you control how Lync connects phone calls. Now you can choose between three settings, to always use VoIP, both on WiFi or 3G/4G data, to use VoIP over WiFi only, or to use your cellular minutes and not VoIP at all.

Power View and PivotTables embedding for blogs and websites — Excel website embedding now supports interactive Power View and PivotTables.

Lync for Android update — Lync for Android gets Anonymous join, Certificate and passive authtication for additional highly-secure access methods and contact management.

Lync Room System update — New features include: dial from within a meeting that is already in-progress, initiate Lync Meetings within LRS and updated LRS Administrative Web Portal: Improved log collection, live notifications on the portal, displays hotfix version (15.xx.x), admin can check updates from the portal, accessibility improvements and the automatic log out time has been extended to after 15 minutes of non-use.

Office 365 Japan Datacenters — Japanese customers can now have their data located in Japanese datacenters.

Yammer Enterprise now part of Office 365 Enterprise K1 (Kiosk) plan — In an effort to bring enterprise social networking to desk-less workers, we’re excited to announce Yammer Enterprise is now included in the Office 365 kiosk plan.

Excel 2013 stability and usability improvements — a new public update to Excel 2013 includes major stability and usability improvements in Self Service BI scenarios—especially when Power Query, Power Pivot and Power View are involved. Over 120 bugs, crashes and hangs were eliminated.

Bringing Data Loss Prevention to SharePoint and first look at new Office 365 Message Encryption Viewers for iOS and Android — Learn about the information protection updates coming to Office 365 and demonstrate the upcoming Data Loss Prevention capabilities in SharePoint and OneDrive for Business, the upcoming Office 365 compliance center, one-time passcodes for viewing encrypted email and the just-released Office 365 Message Encryption Viewers for iOS and Android.

Salesforce integrates OneDrive for Business and SharePoint — Salesforce.com announced Salesforce Files Connect, a centralized, universal file-sharing solution that enables enterprise customers to seamlessly browse, search and share files located in any repository—all from a single user interface. We’re pleased to announce that OneDrive for Business and SharePoint will be the first file sharing platforms to integrate with Salesforce Files Connect.

Office 365 Exchange Online message size onboarding limit increase — We are making a change to allow customers to migrate larger mail messages to Exchange Online. We now allow messages up to 150MB to be migrated to the service. The change is available immediately to all customers and is published as a new limit in the Exchange Online limits page in the Office 365 service description. We are not changing other limits such as mailbox size or maximum send/receive limit for messages. This change enables customers with large messages to easily migrate their existing content to the service.

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.

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2 comments
  1. I want to embed power view sheets in a website but there’s no embed option for Excel files in SharePoint! Any useful resources? Thanks

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