What’s New: September 2014

The Office 365 experience is evolving. With the new Office 365 homepage, custom themes, Groups in Office 365, and Delve, Office 365 is making it simpler for you to personalize Office 365, get started working with your colleagues, communicate, and find the most relevant information for you. OneNote continues to release updates across platforms and welcomes Android Wear to the OneNote family. Developers also get a new SDK for OneDrive and a new open source API so you can start contributing and make it better for everyone. 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: August 2014.

 

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

Office for iPad update – Office for iPad supports signing up for monthly subscriptions within the app itself.

Revamped Office Store – Now on store.office.com you get a fresh, improved experience for searching and discovering useful apps for Office. You can now use store.office.com in 6 new languages and storefronts. Additionally Office Store apps will now be discoverable through Pinpoint partner portal.

Excel Power Map update – This update includes features most requested by you, our customers. You can now tell richer Power Map stories by creating Power Map Filters and using Custom Maps.

Sight and OneNote clipping on iOS – Sight is an iPhone-optimized app that lets you clip articles from any iOS app in one snap and then seamlessly send to OneNote.

OneNote for Android Wear – Dictate notes to your Android Wear device and save the notes to your OneNote notebook.

Office Lens lets you directly create documents from your photos – With this new update for the Windows Phone Office Lens app you can capture whiteboard notes or printed documents and Office lens will convert the pictures to Word documents or PowerPoint presentations.

OneNote Share extension for iOS 8 – The OneNote Share extension enables you to send content from any app to OneNote and, before sending to OneNote, you can choose where to put the content, add additional thoughts, change the title, and more.

Format Background in PowerPoint Online – You can now Format Background in PowerPoint Online same as desktop PowerPoint. You can choose a picture or a solid fill and decide if it is for just the current slide or apply it to your entire presentation.

Bing.com and Office Online – You can now start Microsoft Office Online from Bing, as well as from the exciting new MSN, which you can now preview. So no matter what homepage you prefer—your Office documents are always just one click away.

Office 365 for business updates*:

Themes – You can now customize your Office 365 experience by selecting themes. As an Office 365 admin, you will have the ability to create custom themes for your organization and, at the same time, your users will have the ability to personalize their experience by selecting an Office 365 theme.

Propose new time – With Propose New Time in Outlook Web App, you can now suggest alternate times for a meeting, see other attendees availability before suggesting, and send this back to the meeting organizer, who can evaluate all of the proposals he or she receives and find the best time for everyone.

Office 365 deployment benefits for new customers – For a limited time, customers purchasing 150 licenses of a qualifying Office 365 SKU will be eligible for onboarding support directly from Microsoft. Read more at the new Office 365 FastTrack Onboarding Center.

Revamped Office Store – Now on store.office.com you get a fresh, improved experience for searching and discovering useful apps for Office. You can now use store.office.com in 6 new languages and storefronts. Additionally Office Store apps will now be discoverable through Pinpoint partner portal.

Office DelveOffice Delve is a new way to discover relevant information and connections from across your work life. Delve displays information that is most relevant for each person based on the work they are doing and the people with whom they are engaging.  With Delve, information finds you versus you having to find information.

Excel Power Map update – This update includes features most requested by you, our customers. You can now tell richer Power Map stories by creating Power Map Filters and using Custom Maps.

Office Lens lets you directly create documents from your photos – With this new update for the Windows Phone Office Lens app you can capture whiteboard notes or printed documents and Office lens will convert the pictures to Word documents or PowerPoint presentations.

New Office 365 homepage – The new Office 365 homepage shows all of your Office 365 services and makes it easier to start Office Online. There is also a new setting to let you choose your homepage when you sign into Office 365.

Student offer for Office 365 Education institutions – If you’re an eligible student you can sign up for Office 365 through your school and get access to Office 365 ProPlus desktop apps, Office for Mac, and Office for iPad.

Format Background in PowerPoint Online – You can now Format Background in PowerPoint Online same as desktop PowerPoint. You can choose a picture or a solid fill and decide if it is for just the current slide or apply it to your entire presentation.

Groups in Office 365 – To support a project, you can easily create a new Group and invite colleagues. You can also search for and join existing Groups, which are open by default, to see all discussions, milestones and files and get up to speed quickly. Of course, you can create private Groups as well for sensitive projects and content. We’re launching Groups in stages starting today. In this initial phase, Groups will show up within the web experiences of Office 365 email and calendar and OneDrive for Business.

Lync Server SDN interface update – The 2.1 version of the Lync Server SDN interface is now available for download. In this release we have: Evolved the architecture to better support High-Availability topologies. Simplified deployment and configuration of the SDN interface. Extended the device information presented to network management systems for better diagnostics and event correlation. Qualified functionality across Lync Server 2010, 2013 and included IPv6 topologies.

Office 365 Customer Success Center – The new Customer Success Center is designed to give Office 365 Champions the resources they need to help people understand everything Office 365 has to offer—and, more importantly, how they can immediately start using it to simplify and speed up their work. Here’s a brief overview of what you’ll find at the Customer Success Center: proven methodology, core usage scenarios, and adoption community connection.

Office 365 sign-in page change – Now on the Office 365 sign-in page you will see “Sign in with your work or school account.” Previously the sign-in page read, “Sign in with your organizational account.”

Office 365 plans renaming – Office 365 subscription plans are being renamed to better align. Please note no action is needed and this does not change subscriptions or functionality, it is purely a name change to the subscription license. Office 365 Education A2, Office 365 Education A3, and Office 365 Education A4 have been renamed Office 365 Education E1, Office 365 Education E3, and Office 365 Education E4, respectively. Office 365 Government G1, Office 365 Government G3, and Office 365 Government G4 have been renamed Office 365 Government E1, Office 365 Government E3, and Office 365 Government E4, respectively.

Office 365 developer updates:

New OneDrive SDK – A new Android open picker provides the SDK for app developers to use, instead of building their own file selection and navigation UI from scratch for OneDrive.

Revamped Office Store – Now on store.office.com you get a fresh, improved experience for searching and discovering useful apps for Office. You can now use store.office.com in 6 new languages and storefronts. Additionally Office Store apps will now be discoverable through Pinpoint partner portal.

EWS Managed API for .NET is now open source – Last month, we released the Exchange Web Services (EWS) Java API as open source under the MIT license. Since then, we have received great feedback from the community, including many contributions via bug reports and pull requests. Today, we are building on this momentum by releasing the EWS Managed API, the .NET implementation of this API, as open source. Unlike the EWS Java API, this is the first time that the EWS Managed API has been made available as an open-source library.

 

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.