Office 365 news round-up

“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”  That was the news flash reported by Popular Mechanics in 1949. Twenty-eight years later, on the brink of the PC revolution, Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), a company that manufactured big mainframe computers for business, had another prediction: “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

Trying to predict the future is always tricky. Things change. And when it comes to technology, they often change rapidly. (When Popular Mechanics made its now laughable forecast about the future of computing, neither the transistor nor the microchip had been invented and the march toward miniaturization had not begun.) The new products, services and capabilities those changes bring may, in turn, change the world and just about everything we now take for granted.

We’re right at the beginning of cloud computing, and cloud services like Office 365 and OneDrive are already transforming how people work and companies do business. Our cloud services are also enabling governments like Montgomery County, PA, to provide better service to their citizens. And schools like Cary Academy in North Carolina and those in the Pasadena Independent School District in Texas are choosing Office 365, OneNote and other Microsoft products to empower teachers and help students learn. To help things along, we recently announced that we’re adding a full terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage to every Office 365 subscription.

No one can say for sure what tomorrow will bring, but you don’t need a crystal ball to see that the cloud will continue to play an important role in our lives for the foreseeable future. Of course, some people are more visionary than others.

Back in 1903, the president of the Michigan Savings Bank advised Horace Rackham, Henry Ford’s attorney, not to invest in the Ford Motor Co. “The horse is here to stay,he said, “but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” Don’t count on it.

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

Julia White: Standing out from the crowd – Read this in-depth profile of Office GM Julia White to learn how her life experiences have shaped her views on technology.

Microsoft Office subscriptions just got a lot more tempting – Learn how Microsoft’s new offering of 1 TB of OneDrive storage with every Office 365 subscription makes O365 the best buy on the market.

Power BI: Office 365 just got more intelligent – Find out how Power BI for Office 365 can make you and your business more successful.

Mining for digital gold – Discover the man behind Power BI for Office 365 in this profile of Microsoft Technical Fellow Amir Netz.

Innovating in the world’s “cloudiest” city – Learn how Microsoft and Seattle have long been leaders in cloud computing—beginning with Microsoft’s work on distributed computing in the 1990s.

Office 365 news round-up

“Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence – only in constant improvement and constant change,” according to business-management expert Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence. At Microsoft, we understand that the only way to provide the excellence our customers expect is to constantly improve our products and services.

Just within the past few weeks, we have made it simpler for admins to configure and monitor Office 365, and we launched the Office 365 for business public roadmap to help our business customers learn more about pending updates before they occur. We also made it possible to create Quick Notes in OneNote using only your voice, made OWA for Android available on select devices, and added the social collaboration capabilities of Yammer to SharePoint and OneNote with a new feature called “document conversations.” We also showed you how Microsoft Office can help you collaborate better across devices (including iPad) and on the web, and how Microsoft is driving the Universal Communications revolution.

Those and many other improvements translate into excellence for our customers, who are using our products to do amazing things. It’s no secret that Office 365 can help many businesses increase productivity and reduce costs, whether it’s a relatively new company like beverage retailer Tastea or a well-established business like Red Wing Shoes, but Office 365 also provides outstanding benefits to government, education and non-profit customers.

By using Office 365 and other Microsoft products, for example, the American Cancer Society is saving $1.5 million annually, and funneling that money into lifesaving programs. Office 365 also enabled the City of Chicago to pull together the community to transform a former rail line into a new public space that will unite the five neighborhoods it once divided. Meanwhile, the largest school district in Texas (the Houston Independent School District) and the largest county in the United States (Los Angeles County) have chosen Office 365 to help them provide better service to students and citizens.

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

Julia White on Office 365, SharePoint, and Yammer Collaboration – Listen in as Julia White, general manager for Microsoft Office, answers questions about Office 365, SharePoint and Yammer.

Microsoft Office 365 prompts more businesses to get onto the Cloud – Find out why so many leading non-profit organizations in India are adopting Office 365 and moving to the cloud.

Zottegem Municipality deploys Microsoft Office 365 – Discover how the city of Zottegem in Belgium deployed Microsoft Office 365 to manage its communications and to improve how it delivers services to its 25,000 citizens.

10 Microsoft Power BI for Office 365 Success Stories – Learn how 10 different companies are using Power BI for Office 365 to build their businesses.

Moving to the Cloud: A Microsoft Office 365 Case Study – Find out why Levick, a leading strategic communications firm with offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City, chose Office 365 for its business

Milwaukee County selects Office 365 as its communication platform – Learn how Milwaukee County, the largest county in Wisconsin, has joined the growing list of state and local government organizations that have turned to Office 365 to help improve employee communication and increase productivity.

Microsoft: Office 365 Data Privacy Assured by ‘Lockbox’ – Find out how Microsoft protects customer data in Office 365.

Microsoft: ‘Literally nobody’ but you has access to your Office 365 cloud data – Hear directly from Microsoft security experts Vivek Sharma and Perry Clarke about the security of Office 365 and cloud services.

How multifactor authentication works in Office 365 – Discover why multifactor authentication in Office 365 is so effective and easy to use.

Office 365 news round-up

Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy. According to the most recent figures available, 99.7 percent of all U.S. employer firms are small businesses, which the federal government defines as companies with fewer than 500 employees, and they employ almost half of all private-sector workers. Small businesses are also leaders in innovation. Among high-patenting firms (companies that file 15 or more patents in a four-year period), small businesses produce 16 times more patents per employee than large companies. Maybe that’s one reason why 37 percent of all high-tech employees work for small businesses.

As part of National Small Business Week earlier this month, Microsoft released the results of a survey of more than 500 small-business owners, which found that 86 percent believe technology is important to the success of their company, 60 percent attribute increased revenue to technology, and another 60 percent feel technology allows them to compete with similar-size and/or larger companies. Despite those benefits, however, only 30 percent of small businesses are currently using cloud technology such as Office 365 and 10 percent are not familiar with cloud technology at all. In fact, nearly 30 percent of the survey respondents said that they still use filing cabinets and folders as their primary means of managing information, while 12 percent said that they do not have a good solution for collecting, storing and sharing content.

Yet, at a Small Business Technology Roundtable hosted by Microsoft, a number of small-business owners and industry experts talked at length about how much more effective their business operations were with Office 365 and how they wouldn’t have been able to scale and grow their companies without the cost savings, real-time accessibility and collaboration capabilities of the cloud. Clearly, we still have a lot of work to do to help this critical sector of the economy realize the benefits of Office 365 and cloud technology.

Meanwhile, we continue to make Office 365 better day by day. During the past two weeks, we added capabilities to Office 365 that make it simpler for administrators to manage the service and announced a new partnership with SAP that, among other things, will help our customers automate business processes and access SAP applications and data through Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure. We also invited you and our other customers to join the Office 365 Technical Network, a new Yammer external network where IT pros, developers and other technical professionals answer questions and share their Office 365 knowledge and experience.

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

Microsoft TechEd: Office 365 Gets Smarter – Hear what Office General Manager Julia White has to say about new and upcoming developments in Office 365

Office Mix, First Take: Create online lessons in PowerPoint – Learn how Office Mix can help anyone create dynamic, interactive training tools and presentations.

The US Virgin Islands: Using office 365 to achieve efficient, citizen-centric government – Find out how the Government of the US Virgin Islands is using Office 365 to reduce bureaucracy and red tape, and to improve constituent services.

Thailand selects Office 365 for every student nationwide – Learn how Microsoft and the Thai government are providing Office 365 free to 8 million students and 400,000 faculty throughout Thailand.

Sky Zone makes giant leap in productivity and savings with Office 365 – Find out why Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park chose Office 365 and how it is helping the business grow.

Aston Martin Meets Microsoft in the Cloud – Discover how Office 365 and other Microsoft cloud technologies are helping Aston Martin design and build the world’s most beautiful sports cars.

Office 365 news round-up

A few days ago, we learned that Office for iPad had been downloaded 27 million times, more than twice the number of downloads reported on April 3. That’s a lot of growth in the few weeks since the new product debuted on March 27, and just the most recent example of how our cloud services are meeting the needs of customers ranging from home users to enterprise organizations.

Office 365 is another great example. During the past two weeks alone, we have made significant improvements to both Outlook.com and OneDrive for Business, released a new set of APIs that developers can use to build business applications into Office 365, and added forecasting capabilities to Power BI for Office 365 to make data and analytics even more valuable to users. We also set up a preview of Office Mix, for people who want to get an early look at the new tool that allows educators and other users to turn PowerPoint slides into interactive online lessons and presentations.

That may explain, at least partially, why such a diverse group of customers continue to adopt Office 365. The March of Dimes estimates that choosing Office 365 will save the charity more than $600,000 over the next five years, for example, and Office 365 is helping the H. J. Heinz Company ensure greater security and compliance while enabling the firm to reduce or avoid IT costs by an estimated 20 percent.

As exciting as those improvements are, however, increasing productivity, improving collaboration and streamlining communications sometimes saves more than money. When New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority, the largest transportation network in North America, chose Office 365 for cloud-based email and productivity—the agency said that while its decision may save more than $6 million, it may also save lives.

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

Microsoft Office 365 Review: The Apps You Know & Much More – Find out why Office 365 is such a great productivity solution for small businesses.

Migrating SMEs to Office 365 – Discover how Office 365 benefits SMEs and how easy it is to migrate.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department chooses Microsoft Office 365 and Windows 8.1 tablets – Find out how the Office 365 unified platform helps the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department meet the privacy and security CJIS requirements of the FBI, enable mobile workers, and streamline communications.

Accor: Building business agility one employee at a time with Office 365 – Hear from Marc Champsaur, VP of Internet, Intranet, Franchise and Mobility at Accor, the international hotel management company, as he explains how Office 365 has improved his firm’s business.

Microsoft invigorates Office with Office Mix – Learn how Office Mix, a new educational tool that adds interactive functionality to Microsoft Office, could benefit business and home users as well as teachers and students.

Encrypted file storage coming to Office 365 for business in July – Learn more about the new security and privacy features for Office 365.

Microsoft Office365 launches in St Kitts and Nevis; first in the OECS – Learn how the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis made IT industry history as the first country in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to launch Office 365.

 

Office 365 news round-Up

“Nothing succeeds like success.” That was the opinion of Alexandre Dumas, best-selling author of such classic tales as “The Three Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo,” whose work has been translated into more than 100 languages. We couldn’t agree more.

The reason Office 365 has become such a successful product is because it succeeds in helping our customers harness the power of the cloud, increase productivity and improve collaboration wherever they go, and stay current with the latest software—all at an affordable price. That’s why businesses like Martin Aircraft and The Walsh Group, a major construction firm, continue to choose Office 365. And it’s why 4.4 million families are now using Office 365 Home, up from 3.5 million in January.

And Office 365 just keeps getting better as we continue to add new features, expand its capabilities and take it into new markets. After announcing Office for the iPad last month and seeing millions of users download the new apps, Microsoft this week released an update that enables users to print Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations from their iPads. We also increased OneDrive for Business storage from 25GB to 1 TB per user, an improvement that is available with any Office 365 subscription that includes OneDrive for Business.

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

How one UMass professor spanned the globe with Office 365 – Learn how a retired University of Massachusetts professor worked with colleagues in Ireland, Egypt, Russia and Taiwan to set up an international course that uses Office 365 and other cloud-based tools to teach students how to collaborate across cultures.

What is Office 365: 3 Things You Need to Know – Find out about three things that make Office 365 an outstanding product.

Microsoft: Office 365 Home now has 4.4 million subscribers – Learn how Office 365 Home has 4.4 million subscribers, according to the Microsoft earnings report in April, up from 3.5 million in January.

Microsoft OneDrive for Business now offers 1 terabyte of cloud storage per user – Find out how Microsoft is upgrading OneDrive for Business to 1 TB of storage for all Office 365 plans that include the service.

Privacy authorities across Europe approve Office 365 privacy commitments – Discover why regulators in the European Union have recognized Office 365 for meeting the rigorous standards of EU privacy law, and learn how Office 365 protects user privacy.

Office 365, operated by 21Vianet, becomes generally available in China – Learn how Microsoft is partnering with 21Vianet to make Office 365 available to consumers and businesses in China.

Office 365 News Round-Up

Office 365 recently got more personal—and less expensive.

Office 365 Personal, which is now available, offers a low-cost option for individual users who want the flexibility of having our cloud-based productivity suite for home use on one PC and one tablet at a very affordable price. By adding Office 365 Personal to Office 365 Home, Office for the iPad, and all of the Office 365 options for business, we’ve made sure that there is a perfect Office 365 solution for every user.

We also made Office Online better than ever, with improvements to Word Online and Excel Online as well as other new features and updates. For example, we added Tell Me to Excel Online, improved performance and text editing in PowerPoint Online, and introduced one-click printing in OneNote Online. We even made the free Office Online apps available in the Chrome Web Store, to make them more easily accessible to a wider range of users.

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

With Office 365 now under $7 a month, there’s just no reason not to try it – Find out why you can’t afford not to try Office 365 now that Microsoft has released the low-cost Office 365 Personal.

Herzliya-style vision helps power Microsoft’s Power BI for Office 365 – Find out how Microsoft Israel is making critical contributions to Power BI for Office 365 and to Microsoft’s goal of becoming a leading devices and services company in a “mobile-first, cloud-first” world.

Office 365 and the perks your business shouldn’t be without – Learn how Office 365 can help businesses of all sizes grow, compete more effectively and prosper.

Office 365 shows ‘phenomenal’ growth – Learn how the adoption of Office 365 is growing rapidly worldwide, making it “the fastest-growing product in Microsoft history.”

averda cleans up and moves to Office 365 and Yammer – Discover why this environmental solutions provider in the Middle East and North Africa chose Office 365 and Yammer for its business.

San Francisco City and County upgrade cloud email to Office 365 to support critical public safety requirements in the cloud – Learn why the San Francisco city and county government adopted Office 365 for employees in all departments, including public safety.

Media company uses Office 365 cloud-based mobility tools for anytime, anywhere reporting – Find out why Raycom Media chose Office 365 for its business, and how the service is helping employees at the company work more effectively.

Queensland Government partners with Microsoft to bring Office 365 to 149,000 government employees – Learn how Queensland, the second-largest state in Australia, is partnering with Microsoft to bring Office 365 to 149,000 government employees as a major step in the state’s Information and Communications Technologies strategy.

Making literature come alive with Office 365 – Discover how educators at St. Paul’s Episcopal School are using Office 365 to teach and motivate her students.

Building a real estate business with high-touch relationships and Office 365 – Learn how Office 365 is helping the Nicoli Group delight customers and expand its real-estate business into new markets.

Office 365 news round-up

In business, as in life, it’s important to focus on the right things. One of my favorite quotes is from Albert Einstein, who said, “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” At Microsoft, we strive continually to increase the value of our products and services to customers like you.

Over the past couple of weeks, we have announced a number of valuable improvements to Office 365 and some of our other products. We introduced Office for iPad, which enables users of Apple’s popular tablet device to experience real productivity. We also announced Office 365 Personal, a new low-cost option that lets individual users get the full value of Office 365, on one PC or Mac and one tablet, for less money. During this same period, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explained how Microsoft’s approach to what he calls the “mobile-first, cloud-first” world, is adding value for our customers every day.

Microsoft also was honored recently as one of the world’s most ethical companies—for the fourth year in a row—by the independent Ethisphere Institute. In announcing the list of honorees for 2014, the Ethisphere Institute said, “The World’s Most Ethical Company designation recognizes companies that truly go beyond making statements about doing business ethically and translate those words into action”.

That’s real value.

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

Microsoft Office for iPad Review – Read veteran tech writer Paul Thurrott’s review of Office for iPad and find out why he considers the new app “surprisingly impressive.”

Office for iPad proves that Office 365 is the best value – Find out how Office 365 delivers great value to customers for the money.

5 cool changes coming for OWA, Office 365, Exchange, and Outlook – Learn how you can benefit from improvements Microsoft recently announced for some of its most popular products.

INSIGHT: Office 365 brings financial, operational gains – Learn how companies can realize tremendous financial and operational gains by switching to Office 365.

Campus responds to free Microsoft Office package – Find out how students at Brown University are taking advantage of the free Microsoft Office download offered by the company and the school.

Office 365: Helping real estate agents succeed by keeping them connected to people and information – Discover how the 6,000 real estate brokers at Windermere Real Estate are using Office 365 to stay on top of all the details they need to handle, and how Windermere Solutions is developing a next-generation app on the Office 365 platform to help brokers manage more of their work and lives online.

Mecklenburg County, NC, goes all in with Microsoft and saves $3.2 million – Find out how North Carolina’s largest county was able to cut costs, increase mobility and boost productivity with Office 365, Windows Azure and Surface Pro.

Office 365 news round-up

“Become addicted to constant and never-ending self-improvement.” That’s the advice of motivational writer Anthony J. D’Angelo, and at Microsoft we’ve taken it to heart. Although Office 365 has been a great product since the day it was first introduced, and despite the many improvements we’ve made since then, we’re never satisfied. We keep looking for ways to make it even better.

In the past couple of weeks alone, we introduced two new innovations to Office 365—Office graph and a user experience code-named Oslo—that combines the power of power of social, cloud, big data and machine learning to enable new ways of working. We showed users how the work we’ve done to integrate Office 365, Yammer Enterprise and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, along with a few other recent improvements, is reshaping the future of work. We also made it easier for developers to build solutions on the Office 365 platform. And we introduced the Office 365 IT Pro Network, a new Yammer group that serves as a community for anyone with a technical interest in Office 365, which allows them to connect with other IT Pros to learn about new resources and share information.

These and other improvements are one of the reasons that Office 365 is an integral part of the groundbreaking mobile and cloud solutions that Microsoft provides to customers in challenging sectors such as education, government and health care—and why a growing number of leading organizations are choosing Microsoft Office 365 to help them meet their most essential business needs.

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

Microsoft to integrate new social, machine learning technologies into Office 365 — At the SharePoint Conference, Microsoft shares its plan to add new software, developer tools and capabilities to Office 365 in an attempt to make the cloud applications suite a “smarter” product that is better at helping people interact at work.

10 amazingly stupid things the ‘experts’ will try to tell you about Microsoft – Veteran tech reporter Ed Bott shows why the “experts” in Silicon Valley are just plain wrong in many of their criticisms of Microsoft, including what they have to say about Microsoft Office.

Choosing Office 365 for the Enterprise — Author Rand Morimoto explains why Enterprises should choose Office 365, and highlights key points from his book, “Choosing Office 365 for the Enterprise.”

The Business World Owes a Lot to Microsoft Trustworthy Computing – How Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing has made computing more secure and has helped make stronger computer security a business fundamental for companies worldwide.

Staff at Menchie’s work together and smile more with Office 365 — How Menchie’s, a frozen yogurt chain based in California, is using Office 365 to save money, increase productivity and enable its global expansion plans.

Trek builds one-stop shop for managing retailer relationships with Microsoft Dynamics CRM – Trek Bicycle adopts Microsoft Dynamics CRM and a hybrid solution of SharePoint 2013 on premises and SharePoint Online with Office 365.

Microsoft takes a stand on student privacy with best-in-class education solutions – Microsoft kicks off the annual Education Global Forum in Barcelona by showing impressive customer and partner momentum on Office 365 and Windows 8, and making a strong recommitment to student privacy.

Office 365 news round-up

People in business talk a lot about winning strategies. At Office 365, we tend to agree with American business consultant Michael LeBoeuf, who said: “A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” That’s why we work so hard to make Office 365 the best product it can be—and one that will continue to delight our customers.

Over the past few weeks, we have announced a number of important changes and improvements to Office 365 and some of its related products. We rebranded Office Web Apps as Office Online, making it easier to find and to use, and we renamed SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro, calling them OneDrive and OneDrive for Business respectively and adding new features to offer more storage and to make the services available across all major platforms. To empower everyone to analyze, visualize and share data more easily, we made Power BI for Office 365 generally available, bringing the power of big data and business intelligence to a billion Office 365 users worldwide.

In addition, we simplified login to Yammer from Office 365, and added video and other features to the newest version of Lync-Skype Connectivity. We also announced a strategic partnership with DocuSign, which will provide eSignature capabilities to Office 365 customers. And on the security side, we rolled out Office 365 Message Encryption, announced several new enhancements to Exchange Online Protection, and introduced multi-factor authentication for Office 365.

We know that you work hard at your business, and we will continue to work hard to give you tools that can help you be productive, effective and successful in everything you do.

Be sure to take a look below at some of the key news items from the past few weeks. Enjoy!

Office 365: After one year, how’s Microsoft doing? — Veteran tech writer Ed Bott assesses the first year of Microsoft Office 365 and gives the service high marks in every category.

Community Healthcare Network: Preparing medical services for the next storm with Office 365 – How Office 365 helped a network of community health clinics in New York weather a severe storm, lower its costs and improve its business.

From the sea to the cloud: Building a global marine brokerage and consultancy firm with Office 365 – How Captain Mike Meade, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore-based M3 Marine Group, used Office 365 to build his business from one man with a laptop to a US$7 million company with 30 employees.

Los Angeles Unified School District selects Office 365 for faculty and staff – The nation’s second-largest school district chose Office 365 for its ease of use, reliability and security features, and to help the district reduce the amount of time it spends on infrastructure maintenance.

Office 365 Master Class – Channel partners share 15 excellent reasons why Office 365 is the right choice for many businesses.

The classroom behind the Super Bowl commercial – The fifth-grade class featured in Microsoft’s Super Bowl commercial is led by an innovative teacher who uses Skype as a powerful tool to educate his students by connecting them to the world.

Teaching Math to the Blind – with Lync & Skype – The Washington School for the Blind uses Lync and Skype to help a uniquely qualified teacher connect with her students.

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.

Announcing improved access to Office

Today I am pleased to announce that 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.

At Microsoft we are committed to provide everyone access to our technology. A fundamental consideration during product design, development and testing of Office is the level of accessibility of our applications. The Office team works closely with a variety of groups to improve the accessibility of our software including standards bodies, regulators, advocacy groups and an ecosystem of assistive technology (AT) vendors including the Narrator team in Microsoft. Our goal of this work is to provide our customers with solutions that give them choice, meets a variety of accessibility needs and is delivered at an affordable price.

By partnering with GW Micro we are able to improve access to the Office suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. Whether people want to use Office at home, school or work they now have more flexibility and an improved opportunity to take advantage of our latest software innovations.

To learn more about Window-Eyes, get details on available geographies and languages, as well as the process to qualify for the free software download, visit www.windoweyesforoffice.com.

This is just one more example of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to provide all of our customers with the technology and tools that help all people be productive in both their work and personal lives. We will continue to find new ways to improve the accessibility in our software working with assistive technology partners like GW Micro, Narrator and others to improve both the technical capabilities as well as easier access to our products.

If you would like more details on our commitment to accessibility, please visit www.microsoft.com/enable.

–Jake Zborowski

Office 365 news round-up

Author and speaker Vern McLellan once said that “What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year,” and we on the Office 365 team are taking those words to heart. As 2014 gets under way, we plan to bring lots of good things to our customers in terms of even greater business productivity. As the year unfolds, you can expect more cutting-edge innovation to help you work smarter and more effectively. You can also expect a wide range of groundbreaking developments that give your business a competitive edge.

In the meantime, please see our slideshow showcasing the wide range of customers who have chosen Office 365 over the last year to power their business.

Also,  please check our round-up below of new items from the last couple of weeks. Happy New Year to all of our customers!

Poundland Migrates to Cloud-Based Microsoft Office 365 to Aid Expansion. British store chain Poundland chooses Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365 productivity suite to cut costs and aid its store expansion plans.

Ramco Systems Selects Microsoft Office 365 On Cloud. Enterprise software product company Ramco Systems chooses Office 365 for unified communication and collaboration with its partners and customers.

Microsoft Makes Office 365 Plan-Switching Easier. Microsoft makes it simpler to switch among the different Office 365 plans.

My 3 Favorite Tools for Migrating to Office 365. Three tools to help customers migrate to Office 365.

How to Back Up Your Office 365 Email Database to Your Local Computer. A step-by-step guide for backing up your Office 365 email database to your local computer.

A Year of Living with Windows Phone: What I’ve Learned So Far. With Office 365 and SkyDrive, “Windows Phone simplified access to all the tools I needed.”