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New to Office 365 in December—Office Mobile for Windows 10 phone, updates for Apple and Android, Office 365 Planner preview and more

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Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.

It may be the holidays, but we’re still hard at work delivering a slate of new apps and features. New Windows 10 phones like the Lumia 950 now ship with Office Mobile. We also have updates for Office for Apple devices, Skype for Business for Android, a preview of Office 365 Planner and new management tools for IT.

Office Mobile now pre-installed on your new Windows 10 phone

Office Mobile is pre-installed on the new Lumia 950 to help you do more on the go. The Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar apps are touch-friendly and easy to use. Access your docs from anywhere, then share, review and add comments, so you won’t miss a beat when you’re on the move. You can even use the Office apps on your phone like a PC with Office support for Continuum.

Outlook—Use swipe gestures like Archive, Flag or Delete in Outlook Mail to triage email.

Word—Most Recently Used documents takes you right to the last file you were viewing on any device, so you can always pick up where you left off and review, edit or comment. Smart Lookup brings insights from the web right to your document.

Excel—The Excel app is built for touch, so editing data, filling in cells, copying formulas or inserting tables is a snap. Visualize your data in new ways and get to the insights that matter with beautiful new chart types like Sunburst and Treemap.

PowerPoint—Make quick edits to presentations on your way to a meeting. Then present right from your phone, with notes at your fingertips and inking to help you emphasize key points.

OneNote—Capture your thoughts, notes and to-dos with OneNote—your digital notebook. Add tags and pictures and share your notebooks with others to work together at the same time. Capture your ideas with just your voice by telling Cortana to take a note.

Skype for Business—Skype for Business helps you stay connected with your team while you’re on the move, using instant messaging, audio and video. High quality full-screen video and the ability to view shared content, including PowerPoint presentations, ensures a rich and immersive meeting experience. Set up Voicemail and Call-Forwarding and never miss a call.

Office Mobile + ContinuumContinuum is a new Windows 10 feature that allows you to use your phone like a PC. When you connect your phone to a larger screen, keyboard and mouse, your Office Mobile apps scale up so you can work on Office documents like you would on a PC*. While using Office on a larger screen, you can continue to use your phone and other mobile apps separately for multitasking.

Cortana and Office 365 Integration—Earlier this year, we added the ability for Cortana in Windows 10 to connect to Office 365 so she can help you accomplish more at work. By connecting with your Office 365 work account, Cortana can proactively help you prepare for upcoming meetings, pull together information about the people you are meeting with and their relevant documents. Now this integration is available on Windows 10 phones, so you can be more productive with less effort, even on the go.

*Editing in Word, Excel and PowerPoint with Continuum for phones will require an Office 365 subscription, but is available to try without Office 365 through March 31, 2016.

New in Office across Apple and Android

OpenDocument Format (ODF) support in Office 2016 for Mac and Office for iOS—We added support for ODF text, presentation and spreadsheet files so users can open and view more file types with Office applications when working on their Mac, iPad or iPhone.

Quick screen captures in Office 2016 for Mac—Right from Word, PowerPoint or Excel, you can now take a screen capture of any open app—or clip a portion of the screen and insert the image into your document, presentation or spreadsheet. Learn more here.

Custom citations in Word 2016 for Mac—In addition to default citation options, you can now add custom citation styles from external sources, like BibWord, for the creation of bibliographies in additional formats. Learn more here.

Skype for Business for AndroidSkype for Business is now available for Android devices. Users will be more productive on their Android devices with a simplified UI for enhanced In-Call and In-Meeting experiences, new dashboard, one-touch meeting join and full-screen video. IT admins will also benefit from new support for additional security and authentication mechanisms like modern authentication and multi-factor authentication.

Office 365 Planner preview now available

Earlier this year, we announced Office 365 Planner and this week we started rolling out the Office 365 Planner preview to commercial Office 365 First Release customers.

Planner is a new app in Office 365 that helps teams easily organize and structure their work to get more done. Teams can create new plans, organize and assign tasks, set due dates and update status in a few simple steps. Planner makes it easy for team members to work together. Users can attach files to tasks and have conversations around tasks. Planner’s visual dashboards and email notifications keep everyone informed on the overall progress of their initiative.

All Office 365 Enterprise Plans, Business Essentials and Business Premium customers are eligible for the Planner preview. We expect this worldwide rollout to be complete over the next several weeks. Join First Release today to get a first look at Office 365 Planner preview. We would love to hear your feedback.

New Admin tools for IT

We made it easier for IT admins to manage Office 365 Groups and Groups data. For improved compliance controls, admins can now perform eDiscovery and litigation hold on a group’s mailbox. And coming soon, admins will be able to create groups with rule-based memberships using the Azure Management Portal. Learn more about these recent innovations and more here.

Two weeks ago, we announced the availability of new controls for Office 365 admins to assign access to Sway as individuals or groups. IT admins can now also control which third-party content sources (such as Flickr, YouTube and Twitter) are enabled in Sway’s Insert tab for users in their organization. Learn more about these recent advancements to Sway here.

Wow, it has been quite a year for Office 365! We launched Office 2016 for Windows, Office 2016 for Mac, Sway and Office365 Groups. We delivered new and significantly improved apps across Android, iOS and Windows, and kept right on going with new innovations like PowerPoint Designer, Morph and our new enterprise E5 offering. As we close out 2015, we are grateful for our customers and Office Insiders for their support and feedback. And we’re looking forward to 2016 and more innovation to come!

—Kirk Koenigsbauer

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21 comments
  1. Wait, what? So, just because I have a device with Windows 10 Mobile and is capable of Continuum (a feature that I find COMPLETELY useless and have no intention of wasting my time with) you’re going to force me to subscribe to Office 365? Am I understand that correctly? If that’s the case, you need to come up with a way to allow users to completely disable Continuum.

  2. Hi Robert Wade – You do not need an Office 365 subscription to use Office Mobile on your Windows 10 phone. We offer a free, basic experience on mobile devices across Windows, iOS and Android.

    However an Office 365 subscription is required when editing with Office and Continuum. Because Continuum allows connection to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse you get a PC-like experience, and is therefore a premium, subscription only feature. To learn more about the Office 365 subscription model, read this post: https://blogs.office.com/2015/03/24/mobile-versus-professional-thoughts-on-the-office-business/

    • Also as mentioned in the post, while using Office with Continuum is a premium feature it is available to try without an Office 365 subscription through March 31, 2016.

      • I understand but if windows wants to buy windows phone, i think the office continuum experience with wp10 should be free

        • Well I think it is part of Microsoft’s plan to remove incentives to buy Windows Phones and instead buy iOS or Android phones.

    • You call this premium… but please look at what iOS and Android apps could provide their users.
      As MS products fan, this move is not cool at all. You know, my colleagues, my friends they are going to use Google Drive (doc, sheet….etc) more and more and already forget about how cool MS office is. I can’t convince them to go back if MS is still acting like this. I fully agree with full PC desktop version 365 subscription is not the problem. But why I have to pay for half features Office app that I just want to work with simple think from the beginning. Remember what Satya said? this would be the opportunity to help 3rd world country to save cost.

    • Total nonsense. We were told that devices with a screen of less than 8 inches had unrestricted access to the mobile office apps. Now, you’re going to charge more for an “experience”?

      Thus is deceptive. My device has a 5.5 inch screen. How I use it should not matter. Is Microsoft trying to take away one of the few incentives for buying windows mobile?

      When Satya said this phone was for the fans, did he mean because only the fans would put up with this kind of treatment?

      #bait_and_switch

    • Your Office team is so out of touch with the rest of MS sometimes. Who came up with this brilliant idea? And who came up with the brilliant idea to announce it after the phones launched? You do understand most people won’t know this 1 April, right?

      Windows is your home, do you get that?

  3. this is totally cheating we can’t install third party apps in win phones they are forcing as to buy …. bad move ! ms office
    we can easily throw your phone and buy other platforms mobiles mind it

  4. Hello… i bought a surface2 one year ago especially for the free Office packet for my University… .Since its over 10.1″ you tell me i need an office 365 abo now? i hope my info is totally wrong…

  5. Good stuff, any update on the availability of an updated version of Skype for Business for Mac?

  6. I upgraded to the new Office 16 and I want the Office 15 back. Just like the new Microsoft 10 which I reverted back to Microsoft 8. Both of these “upgrades” are a step back. Who is developing these programs? How can you call these an upgrade? You are taking away valuable features. I have told everyone I know not to upgrade to Microsoft 10 and wont let anyone upgrade their Office where I work. Specifically in Office you could pin folders that were frequently used now you can only pin files. This morning I open my Office and all the frequently used files are gone. It indicates that I don’t have any frequently used files and it has reverted back to as if I just installed it. How did that happen? Specifically in Microsoft 10 you were able to see all of your apps with a swipe up. Easy access. What happened to that? I have always raved about Microsoft however these 2 “upgrades” have made me question my judgement.

  7. It is OK to charge for Continuum usage as long as it restricted to a) editing and b) on the big screen. No reason for insurrection.

    By the way: I can just recommend to EVERYONE to get a subscription, it is well worth the money. At other places you do not even get this massive amount of cloud storage for such little money but everyone has to decide for him- or herself (OK, a OneDrive sync client for Linux is missing, that would make the picture complete).

    BUT … I do have a question. I am subscribed to Office 365 Home and I have already installed Office on five PCs within our family. Will Continuum on the Phone need a “PC Slot” or will it count as Tablet or will I just need an active subscription?

  8. With regards to Outlook on my Lumia 950 … can you please tell me if and when the Tasks will return? I make heavy use of them and you even support them in outlook.com. I can’t understand why you removed them, they worked perfectly in the calendar of my WP 8.1.

  9. I am subscribed to Office 365 Home but have already installed Office five times throughout our family. Will I only need the subscription and will Continuum count as Phone/Tablet or will I need a “PC-Slot”?

  10. Make the Office Continuum Experience free with Windows Mobiles Phones …

  11. When are we getting a Skype for Business client for Mac (one that matches the functionality of the Windows client, not just a pretty interface). Also a OneDrive for Business sync client that works please!

  12. I am terribly upset with Microsoft office for Mac 2016. I bought it and there is a bug of NEVER record my license, and I need to login twice overtime I used any excel, word, and outlook. The worse is, now they locked my microsoft 2016 for mac today and I am NOT allow to use it. I am terribly fed up! Can I have my money back?

  13. Since MS-Access won’t be a part of the Continuum accessible Office 365, will it work through the browser?

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