Office 365 news round-up

It’s important to start strong, stay strong, and finish strong — and that’s the kind of year it’s been for Office 365. Office 365 has come a long way over the last 12 months, continually adding new innovations that revolutionize productivity for our customers.

When it comes to innovation, the last couple of weeks have been no exception. We’ve made easier for our customers to switch from Office 365 plan to plan, giving them the flexibility to choose the best plan as their businesses grow.  We’ve added new features to Yammer that make it easier to loop in non-Yammer users and forward email into Yammer. We’ve made the Office 365 Admin app available on the Android and iOS. And we’ve extended the power of Excel by adding the Excel REST API to SharePoint Online.

It’s been a strong year from start to finish. No wonder so many customers choose Office 365.

Below is a round-up of these and other news items from the last few weeks. Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to all of our customers!

Why One School District Chose Office 365 over Google Apps for 150,000 Students. Peel School District in Ontario, Canada chose Office 365 over Google Apps to improve collaboration between teachers and students.

US Healthcare Facility Adopts Cloud Solution. University of Colorado Health chooses Office 365 for its “strong commitment to data security, privacy, and compliance.”

Microsoft Updates Yammer with Option to Add Outside Users via Email and Forward Emails to Post Messages. Microsoft adds new email capabilities to Yammer.

How to Put SharePoint in the Palm of Your Hand. How to use SharePoint content management and collaboration software from your mobile device.

Microsoft Gets Its Tablet Strategy Right. Microsoft gets its tablet strategy right by “addressing the genuine needs of users.

Office 365 news round-up

In a recent IDC survey identifying in-demand skills needed for the workplace, proficiency in Microsoft Office ranked third among 20 top skills. To help students prepare for the workforce, this week we announced the availability of Student Advantage, a new benefit designed to help students to get access to the latest version of Microsoft Office and better prepare themselves for the tools used in modern day workplaces. The benefit is available to more than 35,000 educational institutions worldwide.

Among the education institutions that have recently turned to Microsoft Office is the Peel District School Board, Canada’s second largest public school board. The Peel District School Board plans to provide Office 365 to 150,000 students, administrators and staff members to help its students prepare for the working world.

To learn more about why education institutions choose Office 365, please see our blog posts that compare a day in the life of a teacher and student using Office 365 vs. Google Apps.

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

Microsoft Launches Student Advantage Worldwide, Lets Teachers Who Bought Office 365 Give it to Students for Free. Microsoft announces the worldwide availability of Student Advantage, which enables all schools and universities that license Office 365 Pro Plus or Office 365 Professional Plus for staff and faculty to provide it free of charge to students.

Microsoft Expands Office 365 Educational Push. Microsoft’s Student Advantage offer could “lead to skyrocketing adoption rates.”

One More Reason Microsoft Office Will Kill Google Docs. One more reason Microsoft Office is killing Google Docs: “Google simply isn’t serious about joining the fight.”

OneNote Windows Store App Adds Share Charm Integration, Camera Scanning. The OneNote Windows Store app “just got better” with the ability to capture notes using the Share charm and scan physical documents with your device’s camera.

Microsoft Bulks Up Security; Brings Encrypted Email to Office 365 Enterprise Bundles. Enterprises sending email via Office 365 will be able to encrypt those messages starting next year at no extra charge via Office 365 Message Encryption.

How Microsoft Lync Capabilities Measure Up in the Marketplace. Microsoft Lync is “a viable collaboration tool” that works seamlessly with other Microsoft applications.

Skype-Based Virtual Real Estate Tours Lead to Microsoft Partner Win. How Skype is changing the face of the real estate industry.


Office 365 news round-up

It’s been said that progress involves “looking forward intelligently, looking within critically, and moving on incessantly.” And with Office 365, the march of progress continues.

We recently introduced Office 365 in four additional languages and 17 new markets. That means that Office 365 is now available in 40 languages and 141 markets worldwide. We also announced a preview version of Office Remote, which turns your Windows Phone 8 into a smart remote, allowing you to interact with Microsoft Office 2013 or Office 365 documents from across the room. And we enhanced the mobile experience for SharePoint Online with a new touch design for SkyDrive Pro and Sites.

These are just a few of the enhancements we’ve made to Office 365, as we look forward intelligently, look within critically, and keep the progress moving ahead. Below is a round-up of these and other news items from the last couple weeks. Enjoy!

Why Office 365 Is a Better Office. The flexible approach to Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, and Office means each business can get the right mix of cloud and local for its needs

Microsoft’s Office 365 Adds Four New Languages and 17 new Markets, Bringing Total to 40 and 141 Respectively. Microsoft added four new languages (Indonesian, Kazakh, Hindi, and Hebrew) to Office 365 and brought the suite to 17 new markets.

Office Remote Preview. Microsoft ships a preview version of Office Remote that lets users turn their Windows Phone 8 into a smart remote, allowing them to interact with Microsoft Office 2013 or Office 365 documents in new ways.

Yammer Enterprise in Office 365 Enterprise, First Take: Deeper integration. Microsoft continues to make progress on its plans to converge the Yammer enterprise social tools with SharePoint.

3 Cool Things about SharePoint in Office 365 Enterprise Editions. Three improvements you’ll see when implementing SharePoint in your new Office 365 environment.

Poundland Implements Office 365 Across its Stores. Discount retailer Poundland rolls out Office 365 to improve collaboration and communication among staff.

Gmail is Boiling the Frog – and We Are the Frog. Users of Gmail “have sold our souls for free email.”

You’ve Been Googled: Google to Expose Your Face in Online Ads. Google’s Shared Endorsements may be tying your photo and quotes to online ads without your knowledge.


Office 365 news round-up

This week, we celebrate “Get It Done Day,” in the spirit of helping our customers get things done using Office 365–wherever they are, from nearly any device. More than half of office workers say they need to be able to get work done no matter where they are, and more than one-third, say they do their best thinking outside the office, according to a recent online survey conducted by Harris Interactive Inc. on behalf of Microsoft.

At Microsoft, we’re all about helping our customers do just that. By enabling our customers to be more productive, they can more easily juggle their busy personal and professional lives.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve made several announcements that reflect this spirit of progress:

We’re working hard to offer our customers innovative capabilities that move their organizations forward. By getting things done ourselves, our goal is to help our customers do the same–wherever they may be.  

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

Microsoft Updates Office 365, Brings Real-Time Collaboration To Free Office Web Apps, Adds Yammer To All Enterprise Versions. Microsoft adds real-time co-authoring to Office Web Apps, as well as Yammer Enterprise to all enterprise versions of Office 365.

Office 365 Home Premium Updated with New Office Web Apps, Subscription Sharing. Microsoft “elevates Office 365 Home Premium even further into ‘no brainer’ territory with some useful changes that make this an even better value.”

Microsoft Upgrades Dynamics CRM, Adds it to Office 365 Bundle. Microsoft adds new templates to Microsoft Dynamics CRM and offers it together with Office 365, giving Dynamics CRM “an edge in a highly competitive CRM market.”

Microsoft Gives 4 million Brazilian Students a Free Copy of Office 365. In the largest educational offering it has ever made, Microsoft signs a deal with the Sao Paolo State Department of Education to give 4 million Brazilian students a free copy of Office 365.

Microsoft Upgrades Search for SharePoint Online. Microsoft rolls out two new search features for SharePoint Online.

Google Apps, Once a Leader, Faces Growing Cloud App Rivals. “Complacency has diluted that innovative spirit,” and Google Apps now trails competing suites such as Office 365 in areas like enterprise social networking and unified communications.

The Case Against Gmail. Gmail “is showing signs that it’s past its prime, especially if you want to use the service with a third-party client.”

Five Microsoft Services to Make any Business Smarter (Including Yours). Five Microsoft “gems” that address some of the most common headaches small businesses face and enable them to operate like much bigger organizations.

Office 365 news round-up

We continue to work hard to make Microsoft Office the best productivity suite for our customers, and we’re thrilled to see that the results. Despite the competition, Office is still the dominant productivity suite in the enterprise, according to a recent survey by Forrester Research. Some of the key findings of the survey:

  • Microsoft collaboration tools are still by far the most popular choice across enterprises with 78 percent using Exchange Server and 82 percent using SharePoint.
  • Of the 20 percent of companies that are using email in the cloud, 14 percent use Office 365, compared to 9 percent that use Google Apps.
  • Half of those using cloud email have a hybrid model, which enables users to continue accessing email from enterprise servers.

We’re honored that Office continues to be the most popular choice among businesses. And the good news is that that momentum continues to grow. If you haven’t already, please read why MetLifeJohn Keells Holdings and  Johnson Controls are powering their businesses with Office 365. Learn why the U.S. Department of Defense is making Office 365 available for purchase. And get the scoop on the Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Security Policy Agreement signed by California and Microsoft, as well as the security, compliance, and privacy features built into Office 365.

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

Microsoft Office Is Still the Productivity Suite Leader. Microsoft Office is doing very well, and is still the dominant productivity suite used by enterprises, according to a survey by Forrester Research.

Microsoft Scores Big Office 365 Customer Win: MetLife. Microsoft has scored another big win, as insurance provider MetLife deploys Office 365 to more than 64,000 employees.

Microsoft Lands Army Deal for Office 365. The U.S. Army will purchase 50,000 seat licenses of Microsoft’s Office 365 suite of cloud-based Office and collaboration services.

Microsoft: Free Office 365 for Students. Microsoft’s new Student Advantage program means schools that license Office 365 for staff can now provide the software to students at no additional cost.

SharePoint 2013: Supporting Analytics on the Back End. With SharePoint 2013, “Microsoft has made its best offering yet, with a toolset that requires little or no IT intervention to be effective in non-technical hands.”

Microsoft Adds More E-mail, SharePoint Integration to Yammer. Microsoft is adding more e-mail and SharePoint integration to its Yammer enterprise social-networking product.

5 new and Improved Tools for Exchange and Office 365. Whether designing, deploying, configuring, or troubleshooting on-premise Exchange 2013 or cloud-based Office 365, these free tools can help.

Why You Should Move from Dropbox to SkyDrive Pro. Five reasons  why businesses should choose SkyDrive Pro over Dropbox or similar services.

Office 365 news round-up

Warren Buffett once said that, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” Indeed, our goal with Office 365 has always been to provide top value for the money. From building all the important capabilities businesses need directly into the suite to providing an enterprise-class experience, Office 365 is a complete cloud-based productivity solution that offers top value. Don’t miss the guest blog post from Christopher Hertz, CEO of Microsoft partner New Signature.  Chris explains his perspective working with customers on  why Office 365 offers top value for the dollar.  Also if you haven’t already, please read how businesses of all sizes get value from using Office 365. Also, learn why Office 365 offers an enterprise-class experience.

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

Microsoft Tops Apple as America’s Most Inspiring Company; Google 7th, Amazon 8th. Americans rank Microsoft as the most-inspiring company.

Microsoft Customers Can Now Buy Go Daddy Domain Names Directly Within Office 365. Microsoft “has made its Office 365 software even more convenient for enterprises” by integrating it with web hosting company Go Daddy.

Durham University Moves into the Cloud with Office 365.  Durham University migrates the email of 16,000 students and staff to the cloud by deploying the Office 365 suite. Microsoft has made its Office 365 software even more convenient for enterprises by integrating it with Web hosting company Go Daddy.

Office Garage video series demonstrates the Office Mobile capabilities. The latest episode of Microsoft’s Office Garage video series takes a look at Office on mobile devices.

SharePoint 2013 Adds Better In-Memory Analytics. Microsoft’s business intelligence tools “have arrived squarely on the doorstep of serious big data analytics.”

Microsoft Details Updated Mail App for Windows 8.1 with Integration. Microsoft optimizes the Mail app in Windows 8.1 with integration.

Microsoft Details SkyDrive’s Smart Files Feature, Prepares To Roll Out Bing-Powered OCR Search. Microsoft announces that its optical character recognition (OCR) feature for searching through SkyDrive files will be rolling out over the coming weeks.

Office 365 news round-up

It’s tremendous to see the progress Office 365 has made over the past year. Consider these stats, all announced at Microsoft’s recent financial analyst meeting:

  • Office 365 is at an annual run rate of $1.5 billion and continues and is expected to “blow that away” by the end of year.
  • More than 440 companies have switched from Google to Microsoft in the past fiscal year.
  • During the past year, Microsoft has increased the number of deployed seats of Office 365 by an astounding 350 percent.

Best of all, it’s just the beginning. As Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner put it, “It’s still accelerating. We’re only at the tip of the iceberg for this particular opportunity.”

Indeed, the momentum for Office 365 continues to grow. If you haven’t already, please read our guest blog post explaining why German manufacturing company DORMA chose Office 365 to unify its global workforce. Also, please read our blog post comparing Outlook to Gmail as well as our post explaining why Microsoft offers the broadest range of real-time communications tools.

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

Microsoft: Office 365 at $1.5 Billion Annual Run Rate. Microsoft grows Office 365 deployed seats by over 350 percent in fiscal year 2013 alone.

Microsoft: 440 Google Companies Came Back to Office from Google Apps. Over 440 companies and organizations have switched from Google’s solution back to Microsoft during the last fiscal year.

15 Takeaways From Microsoft’s Financial Analyst Meeting. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and other Microsoft executives discuss four big tech megatrends at financial analyst meeting: the cloud, socal, mobility, and big data.

Microsoft Sharpens Office 365 Tool to Slice and Dice Data. Microsoft releases preview of Power BI for Office 365 that offers users the ability to mine data using natural language, question-and-answer-type queries.

Microsoft Introduces 200GB SkyDrive Storage Upgrade For $100 Per Year. Microsoft introduces a new storage option to add 200 GB of additional storage to your SkyDrive for $100 per year.

Yammer Expands the Definition of ‘Knowledge Worker.’ Microsoft’s general manager of Yammer says employees are hungry to apply the same forms of social communications at the office that they do in their personal lives.

Microsoft and Oracle, our interview with Steven Martin. Microsoft announces partnership that will allow customers to use Oracle products within the Azure cloud.


Office 365 news roundup

The well-known management consultant Peter Drucker once said that “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” It’s advice that we take to heart. Over the past several months, we’ve been working hard to create the future by providing valuable updates that meet the needs of Office 365 customers.

On the heels of significant improvements to SkyDrive Pro  and doubling the size of Exchange Online mailboxes, we recently announced several improvements to SharePoint Online including raising the limit on SharePoint Online storage from 250 MB to 2 GB. All of these updates are an effort to improve our services as an increasing number of companies turn to cloud computing.

It’s rewarding to see the continued movement to the cloud, and to Office 365, in particular. According to a recent study by the nonprofit IT industry trade association, CompTIA, 90 percent of companies now claim some sort of cloud usage. Wow! The great news is that many of these companies are turning to Office 365. If you haven’t yet, please read why health manufacturer Physiotherm opted for Office 365 to support its rapid growth. We are honored to help Physiotherm and thousands of other companies create a highly productive future with Office 365.

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

Microsoft Office 365 revolutionises planning consultancy. UK chartered plan consultancy firm Bell Cornwell discusses how Office 365 provides with confidence that company data is securely backed up.

Microsoft offers free versions of Office 365 to nonprofits. Earlier this week, we announced that eligible nonprofits can access a free version of Office 365.

Starting Yammer conversations from documents stored in SharePoint Online. Having two-way conversations about documents in real time, from within the documents themselves, can not only enhance communication, it can also improve employee engagement and spark innovation.

Collaborate confidently using Rights Management. Learn how to take advantage of a unique customer controls feature in Office 365: Microsoft Rights Management.

Don’t overlook the importance of effective SharePoint user training. Leanne Bateman of the Beacon Strategy Group shares best practices for an effective SharePoint training program.

Running meetings & webinars on Lync. If you missed the recent live webinar, you can now view the recording to and learn how to improve your meetings with Lync.

Transition to Office 365 Email and Calendar Continues. The University of Wisconsin-Madison will begin migrating faculty and staff to Office 365 in early 2014.

Office 365 news round-up

Labor Day is approaching and it’s an ideal time to reflect on the many contributions American workers have made to the strength and prosperity of our country. It’s also a good time to think about how technology has revolutionized workplace productivity.  

It’s humbling to think that more than 1 billion users worldwide now use Microsoft Office. And with the release of Office 365 two years ago, people around the globe now have anytime, anywhere access to the Microsoft tools they rely on to do their jobs.

Every week, more organizations are turning to Office 365 to transform the way they work. If you haven’t already, please read why Aisle 7 selected Office 365 to improve its productivity in a mobile world.  Also, learn why Montgomery County just outside of Philadelphia chose Office 365 to lower costs and enhance service delivery.

Also, learn how we doubled the size of Exchange Online storage as a way to deliver increased value to our Office 365 customers.

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

Microsoft Rolls Out 50GB Mailboxes for Exchange Online, Office 365. Microsoft will be doubling the mailbox storage of Exchange Online and Office 365 from 25GB to 50GB over the next few months.

Office 365 Subscribers Now Get 25GB of SkyDrive Pro Storage, New ‘Shared with Me’ Feature. Office 365 subscribers now get a whopping 256GB of SkyDrive Pro storage along with a new feature that allows users to easily find documents others have shared with them.

Microsoft Celebrates Skype’s 10th Birthday with Free WiFi; 3D Video Calls in the Works. In the past 10 years, Skype “has become one of the most popular software programs ever released.”

Growing Fan Base for Office 365 for Education.  Launched only a year ago, Office 365 for Education has a rapidly growing fan base.

Case Study: Tennessee Schoolchildren Pilot First Microsoft Educational Cloud Tool. The Clarksville-Montgomery School District in Tennessee embraces Office 365 for Education for its 31,400 students.

Six SharePoint Experts Divulge the Secrets of Enterprise Social Success. Members of the SharePoint community to weigh in on what organizations can do to ensure their enterprise social strategy is a success.

Office Mobile for Android Launches in 14 Asian Markets. Microsoft releases Office Mobile for Android phones in 14 additional Asia-Pacific markets including Hong Kong, India, Korea, and Singapore.

Office 365 news round-up

Whether it’s a great new restaurant, a low-maintenance car, or an innovative appliance, spotting a sweet deal makes us feel good. Why? Because we know we’re getting top value for our money. IT solutions are no different. We feel good when we purchase technology that offers our organization a complete solution at top value

Over the past couple of weeks, the State of New YorkInternational Airlines Group, and Aston Martin all announced they’re moving to Office 365 as a way to cut costs while improving collaboration and obtaining a high level of security. As Daniel Roach-Rooke, IT Infrastructure Manager of Aston Martin put it “Office 365 gives our employees the technology they need to drive the business forward.”

To offer customers top value for their money, Office 365 must meet their expectations for availability, flexibility, and innovation. Over the last couple of weeks, we announced our stellar availability numbers for Office 365 over the last four quarters. We also made it possible for customers to easily switch between Office 365 business plans. And we added a Message Center to help Office 365 admins stay up-to-date with important notifications and updates coming to their service. These are just a few of the ways in which we’re continuing to make Office 365 a sweet deal for our customers.

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

New York Backs Microsoft with 120,000-Seat Office 365 Move. New York State plans to deploy Office 365 to its 120,000 employees, expecting to save an estimated $3 million.

British Airways Takes to the Cloud with Microsoft Office 365. British Airways and Iberia parent company IAG says shifting to Office 365 will cut costs and improve collaboration among its 58,000 airline staff.

Student E-mail Will Move to MS Office 365 this Fall. The University of Iowa is moving its students to Office 365, providing them with larger mailboxes and a full portfolio of communication and collaboration tools.

Microsoft Promises 99.9 Percent Office 365 Availability for Business, and It’s Close. Microsoft “achieves its stellar uptime numbers using techniques such as redundancy, resiliency, distributed services, monitoring, simplification, and even humans.”

Office 365: My Five Favorite Things. Tech analyst and writer Paul Thurrott discusses his favorite things about Microsoft Office 365.

Google: Gmail Users Shouldn’t Expect Email Privacy. People sending email to Google’s Gmail users have no “reasonable expectation” that their communications are confidential, Google said in a court filing.

Microsoft Details New Office 365 Upgrade Options. Microsoft rolls out its promised Office 365 switching capability, allowing users to upgrade to new plans more easily and quickly.

Stay informed with the new Message Center

Over the past two years since the release of Office 365 we have been working diligently to improve our communications with customers on changes that impact the Office 365 environment. By providing more targeted and timely communications we can ensure you are aware of changes and updates to the service well in advance and are prepared when changes do take place.   

Today we are adding Message Center, a new admin feature for communications.  Message Center will help inform Office 365 admins about new features and actions they need to take to keep their Office 365 service running smoothly.

Message Center is an in-product experience that complements the service alert emails that administrators currently receive to help keep customers up to speed on critical communications. Message center goes beyond the information provided in service alert emails, including information about new features coming to the service.

Tour of the Message center

This is an example of the Message Center homepage.  Message Center is available as a new link on the left side of the admin portal. You can see a list of important items, links to detailed information and visual indication of items that require administrator action.

When you click on the details link you are provided with more information on the specific action that administrators need to take and timeframes for those changes.  






This is our first release of the Message Center. Over time we’ll continue enhance the experience by adding new features.  Some items on our list include delivering communications in your preferred language and information that is specific to just your organization.

Stay tuned for more improvements to Message center and let us know what you think in the comments!




Office 365 news round-up

Henry Ford once said that “if everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” Indeed, the past two weeks have been about moving forward. And they’ve also been about success. Some of the ways in which we’re moving forward: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced a major realignment of Microsoft’s senior leadership team to enable greater innovation at great speed. We introduced Office 365 into 38 additional markets. We announced the availability of OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad. And we launched a new promotion offering one year of Xbox Live Gold for free with the purchase of Office 365 Home Premium or Office 365 University.

As we continue to move forward, there have been some great successes along the way. For example, the City of San Jose announced that will migrate its more than 5,000 employees to Office 365. Other companies moving to Office 365 include Canada’s largest book retailer Indigo Books & Music and UK Sportswear Musto Limited. And the Hamburg Port Authority is using Office 365 on a variety of devices to power it mobile workforce.

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

City of San Jose Inks Deal with Microsoft in Google’s Backyard. In a “big win” for Microsoft, the City of San Jose announces it will move its more than 5,000 employees to Office 365.

Google Uses the New Gmail Interface to Serve Users Spammy Inbox Ads. Google users are finding unsolicited ads in their Gmail inbox.

One-On-One with Microsoft CEO: Ballmer on Reorganization, Future. In a one-on-one interview, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer emphasizes how Microsoft’s new structure is designed to encourage collaboration.

Deal: Buy Office 365, Get 12 Months of Free Xbox Live Gold. Microsoft offers one year of Xbox Live Gold for free with any purchase of Office 365 Home Premium or Office 365 University before Sept. 28.

Microsoft Extends Office 365 Availability to More Asian Markets. Office 365 is now available in 38 new markets and in five new currencies, several of which are in the Asia-Pacific region.

The New SkyDrive Might Be the Best Cloud Storage Yet. SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 has a secret weapon that just might make it “the best cloud service around.”

Microsoft Adds SharePoint Newsfeed App for Windows 8 as Yammer Moves Forward. Microsoft announces the SharePoint Newsfeed app for Windows 8 to help you keep in touch with your organization’s SharePoint social network while you’re on the road.