New in February—advancing creativity, teamwork, and management in the modern workplace

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

New Office 365 capabilities this month include tools to improve the quality of your work, craft compelling resumes, and work with team members outside your organization. Office 365 administrators also benefit from new ways to manage collaboration at scale, communicate complex ideas, and protect their employee and customer data. Read on for details.

Enhanced tools for creativity and teamwork

We continue to build on intelligent technology in Office 365 with a new set of AI-powered features to improve the process of content creation.

Improve your writing with Editor—The new Editor overview pane in Microsoft Word brings together a set of tools to optimize the process of editing and finishing your work. While you’re editing a document, Editor overview shows a summary of opportunities for enhancement with corrections, refinements, and stylistic suggestions that take into account the context of the overall document, allowing you to make changes linearly or by category.

Additionally, for education subscribers, the Editor overview pane provides teachers with a dashboard to understand common errors individual students make and inform lesson plans. Editor overview is available to all Office 365 subscribers and replaces the traditional spell check pane. To get started, click the Check Document button in the Review tab of the ribbon.

Animated screenshot displays the Spelling and Grammar capabilities in Microsoft Word's Editor.

Editor shows a summary of opportunities for enhancement with suggested corrections, refinements, and stylistic changes within the context of the overall document.

Craft compelling resumes in Microsoft Word—Last November, we announced Resume Assistant, a new AI feature in Microsoft Word to help you craft a compelling resume with personalized insights powered by LinkedIn. This month, Resume Assistant began rolling out to Office 365 consumer and commercial subscribers on Windows. With over 80 percent of resumes updated in Word, Resume Assistant helps job seekers showcase accomplishments, be more easily discovered by recruiters, and find their ideal job. To learn more about Resume Assistant, read the official LinkedIn blog or visit Office Support for tips, tricks, and information on how to get started.

Brief animation showcases Resume Assistant in Word.

Resume Assistant helps you craft a compelling resume with intelligent, personalized insights powered by LinkedIn.

Work with guests in Microsoft Teams—We’re rolling out the ability to add anyone as a guest in Microsoft Teams. Previously, only those with an Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) account could be added as a guest. Starting next week, anyone with a business or consumer email address—including and—can participate as a guest in Teams with full access to team chats, meetings, and files. Guests in Teams will continue to be covered by the same compliance and auditing protection afforded to Office 365 subscribers, and can be managed securely within Azure AD.

Get to information faster with StaffHub Now—Updates to StaffHub provide new ways for Firstline Workers to manage their day. The new StaffHub Now tab includes a preview of your workday, with notes, activities, and breaks all in an easy-to-read format. We’re also making it easier to quickly access StaffHub by bringing it to the Office 365 App Launcher. StaffHub subscribers can navigate to and sign in with their work account to get started.

Updates for Office 365 administrators

Updates to Office 365 this month help administrators manage access to resources, better understand what information they have stored, and strengthen their compliance posture.

Enforce naming conventions across Office 365 Groups—We introduced the ability for administrators to set naming policies for Office 365 Groups. This top requested feature allows organizations to enforce consistent naming structures and block specific words from being used. Naming policies are automatically applied when a user creates a new group, and can include dynamic attributes from Azure AD, such as department, office, or geographic region. This makes it easier for administrators to manage groups at scale, and for users to identify relevant Office 365 Groups in the global address list. For licensing requirements, visit Office 365 Support.

Create advanced network diagrams in Visio Online—Last year, we introduced Visio Online, a web-based version of the popular Microsoft diagramming tool. Starting this month, Visio Online now includes a variety of network topology and equipment shapes, giving administrators the tools to create detailed network diagrams and plan their IT environment. We also introduced new canvas capabilities like Dynamic Glue and Control Points, giving all users greater control over shape customization and making it easier to produce complex diagrams. Visit Visio Online Support to learn more.

Screenshot displays network topology and equipment shapes in Visio Online.

Visio Online now includes network topology and equipment shapes to create detailed network diagrams.

Prepare for GDPR with new compliance capabilities—The European Union’s Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect May 25, 2018 and sets a new precedent for data protection and compliance. Throughout February, we announced several new capabilities in Microsoft 365 that leverage the cloud to help organizations meet their compliance obligations. Compliance Manager, now generally available, helps you assess and manage your risk and prioritize tasks to achieve organizational compliance. We also introduced new features in Azure Information Protection (AIP), including the general availability of AIP Scanner, which enables you to automatically discover, classify, label, and protect sensitive data in apps, cloud services, platforms, and on-premises. Learn more about these new features in our latest GDPR blog.

Changes to Office and Windows servicing and support—As part of our ongoing commitment to help our enterprise customers with the deployment and maintenance of their corporate environments, we announced changes to our servicing and support models. These updates include servicing extensions for Windows 10, changes to the Office 365 ProPlus system requirements, and new details on the next perpetual release of Office and Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release of Windows. Read more about the details on our TechNet blog.

Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office on Windows desktops | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office on Android. If you’re an Office 365 Home or Personal customer, be sure to sign up for Office Insider to be the first to use the latest and greatest in Office productivity. Commercial customers on both Monthly Channel and Semi-Annual Channel can also get early access to a fully supported build through Targeted Release (Clients, Services). This site explains more about when you can expect to receive the features announced today.

—Kirk Koenigsbauer

GE powers its culture of curiosity with the Microsoft Cloud

Logo for GE.

Today’s post was written by James Fowler, chief information officer at GE.

Profile picture of James Fowler, chief information officer at GE.GE is 125 years old this year. And today, we’re transforming from an industrial company to a digital industrial company, using software and sensors to make our machines connected, responsive, and predictive.

Despite our evolution through the years, our culture has remained the same since Thomas Edison founded the company in 1892. It’s a culture of curiosity, where people ask tough questions and work relentlessly to solve difficult problems. Our mission is nothing short of building, moving, powering, and curing the world, which is a pretty inspiring purpose.

My job as CIO is to give our 300,000 employees the technology to fulfill this ambitious mission—from the factory floors to our design engineering experts. Scientific and technological breakthroughs occasionally come through individual genius, like Edison; but more often, they come through the hard work and dedication of a community of people. We use Microsoft Office 365 to make community collaboration easier.

Collaboration is not new, but what is new is how quickly teams spin up and down and how many different workstyles we need to accommodate. We have teams that span different departments, businesses, and generations—people who come together for a period of days or weeks to solve specific problems. Using tools like Microsoft Teams, people are beginning to collaborate in real time throughout the day, working together in a personalized and engaging way, with all the information and tools they need at their fingertips.

When you’re as big and broad as GE, you run into internal cultural, generational, and personality differences. With Office 365, we have what amounts to a common language across 300,000 people working in 170 countries.

These tools also satisfy the variety of workstyles that our employees prefer. Some generations dislike sending emails and attending face-to-face meetings. They want to self-form in virtual teams and use social media, instant messaging, and other real-time tools. Using the Microsoft Cloud, employees have the freedom to work how they want to, with tools that are tightly connected.

When you’re sharing intellectual property across so many people and locations, security matters. We’re rolling out the Windows 10 operating system to help us manage security centrally and with great granularity. And we appreciate how Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus keeps all our productivity applications at the latest security updates and gives employees the latest functionality. Because employees are eager to have the latest Office versions, they’re more likely to upgrade regularly, which keeps their applications up-to-date from a security perspective.

In addition to enabling collaboration across a wildly diverse workforce, I am tasked with driving productivity across GE. This includes helping engineers share designs across the business, identifying procurement redundancies, and doing predictive maintenance on industrial machines, engines, and other products. These productivity savings add up, and we find them more easily now through a combination of better data analysis and better communication.

Technology is evolving at a blistering pace, and part of my job is to position the company for the future of work. We’re excited about the convergence of artificial intelligence and virtual reality in Microsoft technology and how that will enable future work at GE.

—James Fowler

Read GE’s digital transformation case study.

Putting people first in a digital age—BCU redefines member service with help from Office 365

BCU logo.

Today’s post was written by John Sahagian, vice president of Marketing and Member Intelligence at BCU.

Profile picture of John Sahagian, vice president of Marketing and Member Intelligence at BCU.The caring relationships BCU develops with its more than 200,000 members—across all 50 states and Puerto Rico—form the heart of our culture. That’s why when Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, it was inspiring to see that culture in action as employees used Yammer, the enterprise social network tool in Office 365, to let the rest of the company know when a branch came back online, or a Puerto Rican colleague checked in safe. This definitely helped the BCU family and our members feel less isolated in difficult times. At BCU we say, “Once a member, always a member.” So far, it’s proved a powerful way of doing business. After just 36 years, we’ve established ourselves as one of the top 100 credit unions in the United States with $2.8 billion in assets and serving the employees of partner companies such as Baxter International, UnitedHealth Group, and Target Corporation.

Today, most transactions occur online—a major transformational shift in the financial services industry. We’re responding with a digital transformation of our own at BCU, building an omnichannel member experience while empowering employees to provide the same great service across all platforms. We chose Office 365 to create a modern workplace that offers employees the tools they need to redefine member relationships in a digital age—and drive our competitive advantage.

Employees use Skype for Business to improve member service and facilitate Tier 2 support—a process that previously required putting the member on hold and working through a phone tree. Today, service agents send instant messages to colleagues and subject matter experts, and share links, documents, and screens to quickly solve members’ concerns. We estimate that we have reduced intervention time by 8 percent—that’s about 500,000 minutes a year saved, which equates to four agents working full time.

Our geographically dispersed employees now work as a cohesive team. Every BCU department has a highly secure online site where employees collaborate on documents, track key performance indicators, and access videos that broadcast departmental messages, providing greater access to and understanding of what we are doing. BCU Employee Resource Groups—such as Women in Leadership and Inclusion and Diversity—use our intranet to strengthen communities within the company and drive overall employee engagement. If someone provides stellar service, employees share that success with the rest of the organization through Yammer. Our HR department has an active Yammer user group to recognize employees who are doing great work.

Mobility and agility are key to attracting and retaining top talent. Today, our employees are well-equipped for a collaborative work environment where they access documents and connect with colleagues from any device. I can attest to the power our digital transformation has had over the way I collaborate with colleagues. It all rests on the ability to promote teamwork, anywhere and on any device. Recently, I worked with Jill Sammons, who is our AVP of Brand & Communication Strategies, to prepare a presentation for a board meeting—without having to set aside time to meet. We co-authored the presentation using Office 365.

We use the integration capabilities between Office 365 and the Microsoft Azure platform to drive greater insight into our members’ needs. We host our loan origination system, enterprise data warehouse, and website in Microsoft Azure. I envision a multiplatform experience that will help us boost customer service by tracking a member’s behavior as he or she navigates through digital channels. If a member uses our online loan calculator and reads about buying versus leasing a car or truck, that information should be available to the agent who next speaks with that member. Going from clicks on the website to member-specific data in front of an agent is possible when we use Microsoft Power BI and Azure Machine Learning together to deliver self-serve business intelligence that presents a single view of a member’s activities across channels. This level of integration enables a more timely, relevant interaction between members and agents, and it drives the relationships that have always been at the heart of our business.

Our CEO has set an ambitious goal for the future of IT at BCU—to have most core applications running in the cloud by 2020. We’ve already made great strides, as we continue to provide caring services in a digital world.

—John Sahagian

Craft a compelling resume with Resume Assistant, powered by LinkedIn—now available

Last November, we announced Resume Assistant, a new feature in Microsoft Word to help you craft a compelling resume with personalized insights powered by LinkedIn. Today, this new experience begins rolling out to Office 365 consumer and commercial subscribers on Windows.

Writing a compelling resume can be a difficult process, but we’ve heard from customers already using Resume Assistant that the new experience is helping them:

“I absolutely love it; I’ve never seen anything like this!”

“I have been struggling trying to figure out how to brush up my resume and these tips took some of the burden off my shoulders.”

“It’s very helpful to have suggestions on the wording to use.”

With over 80 percent of resumes updated in Word, Resume Assistant helps job seekers showcase accomplishments, be more easily discovered by recruiters, and find their ideal job. Our goal is to empower job seekers with the tools to land their dream job. To learn more about Resume Assistant, head over to the official LinkedIn blog or visit Office Support for tips, tricks, and information on how to get started.

Resume Assistant is now available to Office 365 subscribers on Windows whose Word 2016 desktop display language is set to English, who are located in and whose Windows region is set to one of the following region locations: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, and United States. The Region location setting can be found in the Control Panel under Clock, Language, and Region. Resume Assistant can be found in the Review tab of Word.

New in January—enriching teamwork across devices

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

We’re launching into 2018 by bringing great new value to Office 365 subscribers, with updates that enhance how teams work together and unlock new ways to create and manage content across devices. Read on for details.

Get more done in Microsoft Teams

New features for Microsoft Teams enable you to interact with apps in new ways, customize your personal workspace, and take quick actions.

Find and use apps in new ways—Now you can include interactive cards from apps in conversations the same way you would add an emoji or GIF. With one click, you can bring important information, like a task from Trello, into a channel conversation or chat. Finding new apps and services in Teams is now easier with the new Store, where you can search for apps by name or category, such as “Project management” or “Analytics & BI.”

Command apps and take quick actions across Teams—We also introduced the new command box in Microsoft Teams, a single point of entry that integrates your search and command experiences. Now you can quickly interact with apps, perform tasks, and navigate throughout Teams directly from the command box, in addition to searching across people, messages, files, and apps.

A view of the apps available for Microsoft Teams from the Store dash.

Work together more effectively with updates to iOS and Mac

New Office 365 capabilities for iOS and Mac enhance how teams create content together, make it easier to produce advanced documents, presentations, and spreadsheets from anywhere, and introduce new ways to search, preview, and interact with files.

Co-authoring for iOS and Mac—We made it easier for individuals to work together across devices with the general availability of co-authoring in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for iOS and Mac. Now, whether you work on a Mac, PC, or mobile device, you’ll know who else is working with you in a document, see where they’re working, and view changes. Co-authoring is already available on the Office desktop applications for Windows, Office for Android, and Office Online. Learn more at the Microsoft Tech Community.

Automatically save your work on Mac—Today also marks the general availability of AutoSave in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Mac for Office 365 subscribers who store their documents in OneDrive and SharePoint. Whether you’re working alone or with others, your latest changes are now automatically stored in the cloud, so you never need to worry about hitting the Save button again. You can also view and restore content from earlier versions of the document at any time with support for version history.

Image of a laptop open, displaying a financial report in Excel.

Drag and drop content and files on iOS—The Office and OneDrive iOS apps now support drag and drop for content and files. One of the most common and powerful tasks when creating content is integrating photos, graphs, and other objects from a variety of sources. Now Office 365 subscribers on iPad and iPhone can easily drag and drop content into documents, presentations, and spreadsheets from other Office apps or OneDrive. Support for drag and drop for iOS also enables you to move files to and from OneDrive and other sources—such as SharePoint or iMessage—making it easier to organize content scattered across different apps and services.

Animated image shows the drag and drop capabilities in Office and OneDrive for iOS.

Access OneDrive files from more iOS apps—OneDrive for iOS now natively supports the new iOS 11 Files app. This means iPhone and iPad users can upload, access, edit, and save content to OneDrive or SharePoint from any iOS app that supports File app integration—a top requested feature. Users can also tag their favorite OneDrive and SharePoint files from within the Files app, making it easier to find and use the content that matters to you.

Preview more file types with OneDrive for iOS—We redesigned the OneDrive for iOS app with a more detailed list view, making it easier to scan file names, see relevant information, and sort files by specific attributes. The updated OneDrive for iOS app also creates crisp thumbnails and supports previews for over 130 file types, including Adobe Photoshop and 3D objects, so you can open, view, and share the right content without leaving the app.

Search across your organization with Outlook for iOS—The new search experience in Outlook for iOS leverages the Microsoft Graph to surface results from your top contacts, upcoming travel itineraries, package deliveries, recent attachments, and more. Together with proactive search suggestions and a unified design, it now provides consistent, personalized results that enable you to discover information from across your organization faster.

Improve reading skills with Learning Tools for Mac—Word for Mac now supports Immersive Reader and Read Aloud, tools previously available in Word for Windows and mobile apps. These tools enable content to be viewed in ways that are optimized for learning differences and allow documents to be read back with simultaneous highlighting. These features make it easier to recognize and correct errors as you write, improving reading and editing accuracy for everyone—especially users with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

Additional updates

  • New ways to share on YammerEarlier this month, we introduced new ways for users to share engaging company-wide content from wherever they are with the Yammer mobile app. Users can now post announcements to groups, add animated GIFs, and more.
  • Powerful inclusive learning tools—Last week at Bett, we introduced a range of powerful new tools that make teaching and learning in schools more inclusive and collaborative, including built-in dictation across Office 365 and the expansion of Learning Tools to Mac and iPhone.

Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office for Windows desktops | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office for Android. If you’re an Office 365 Home or Personal customer, be sure to sign up for Office Insider to be the first to use the latest and greatest in Office productivity. Commercial customers on both Monthly Channel and Semi-Annual Channel can also get early access to a fully supported build through Targeted Release (Clients, Services). This site explains more about when you can expect to receive the features announced today.

—Kirk Koenigsbauer

All updates in this blog have reached general availability and are beginning to roll out to Office 365 subscribers. Microsoft Teams updates are rolling out automatically and you can expect to see them in your Teams desktop client soon. For iOS and Mac updates, check for updates on your device. Some devices may receive these updates later than others.

Digital transformation on a global scale—Accenture runs its business on Microsoft

Logo for Accenture.

Today’s post was written by Ron Markezich, corporate vice president for Microsoft.

I have known Andrew Wilson since he became Accenture CIO more than four years ago, and I continue to be impressed by what a strong IT organization he has built. Andrew not only motivates the IT organization, but he also takes a strong leadership role across the company, encouraging everyone to adopt new technology to transform the business. Just look at the stats. More than 420,000 Accenture employees in 120 countries embody the digital transformation experience. One of the first global corporations to migrate to Office 365, Accenture has 484,000 Exchange Online mailboxes. Consultants work in creative teams and stay engaged with the company through 20,000 SharePoint Online sites, and more than 25,000 employees are enthusiastic early adopters of Microsoft Teams. Cloud-first file storage is the norm, with employees enjoying mobile access to 900 million files or 2.2 petabytes of corporate data in OneDrive. And with employees racking up more than 309 million minutes of Skype for Business Online conferencing every month, it’s clear that they’re empowered to communicate on any device, when and where they need to. Mobility at this level does not come at the expense of security, because Accenture has the world’s largest deployment of Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security to manage approximately 450,000 identities and 104,000 mobile devices.

At Microsoft Ignite 2017, Brad Nyers, managing director at Accenture, walked us through the company’s global rollout of Windows 10. This will be the world’s largest Windows 10 deployment—comprising 450,000 users by the end of 2018—and it also includes Office 365 ProPlus and OneDrive. It was fascinating to hear about this latest example of Accenture using Microsoft technology to boost its own agility and productivity, so it can help drive its customers’ digital transformation stories.

To streamline the Windows 10 deployment, Accenture built the In-Place Upgrade Tool (IPU), which checks for adequate disk space and whether security tools are up to date. Employees with Windows 10–ready computers are notified via email. They follow a link to get the IPU package from OneDrive and perform the installation themselves. For employees whose devices are not ready, Accenture automatically generates remediation lists and points people to documentation that explains how to migrate their files to the cloud.

Storing data in OneDrive also helps employees who receive a new Windows 10 device. Because their data is in the cloud, when they get a new device, all they have to do is authenticate to access their information and get back to being productive. Accenture created a streamlined imaging process that layers its security tools and Office 365 ProPlus to achieve huge time savings for the company.

I’m excited to hear about the value that Microsoft technologies provide Accenture as it leads the way with a digital transformation that’s truly changing how its workforce—now 75 percent millennial—enacts the company’s mission. For a deeper dive into how “Accenture runs on Microsoft,” read the full story.

—Ron Markezich

Office 365 Education delivers the next wave of innovation for inclusive and collaborative learning

Today’s post was written by Eran Megiddo, corporate vice president of Education.

Our ongoing commitment to create more inclusive and collaborative learning environments continues today with the arrival of a number of powerful updates to Office 365 Education. Building on the momentum of OneNote Class Notebook, which has surpassed more than 15 million notebooks created since the beginning of this school year, and the launch of Microsoft Teams for Education, we have worked with students, teachers, and research institutes to ensure that Office 365 continues to deliver the best learning outcomes. This week at Bett, we’ll share how Office 365 Education enables teachers to engage every learner—ensuring equality and inclusion in schools to empower all students to do their best work.

Today’s updates to Office 365 Education include enabling students to write a paper using only their voice, thanks to Dictation in Office, the latest feature to join Microsoft Learning Tools, as well as improved access to assignments and class collaboration with the Microsoft Teams iPhone and Android apps. What’s more, we are delivering on the number one most requested feature from teachers, page locking in OneNote Class Notebook—allowing teachers to provide students with read-only access—and we will further help teachers save time through assignment and grade integrations with leading Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Student Information Systems (SIS), including Capita SIMS in the U.K. Office 365 Education gives teachers and students the power to unlock limitless learning. And best of all, it’s free for teachers and students.

Inclusive Learning Tools for better student results

Classrooms are diverse. Seventy-three percent of classrooms have students with reading levels that span four or more grades, and up to 50 percent of instructional time can be lost managing the students’ varying needs. Learning Tools is proven to help, and we are humbled by the results. In a recent study, it was shown to increase reading speed and comprehension for students of all abilities, leading to test scores that were 10 percent higher than students who did not use Learning Tools.

We are incredibly excited to see strong adoption of Learning Tools with more than 7 million monthly active users across Word, OneNote, Outlook, Edge, and Office Lens. Based on feedback from teachers, students, and parents, we have been working on extending the capabilities of Learning Tools even further—and today we are excited to announce several updates.

  • Dictation in Office—This simple yet transformational tool will help students of all abilities to write freely by using only their voice. Starting in February, Dictation will be available in Word, Word Online, PowerPoint, Outlook Desktop, OneNote Windows 10, and OneNote Online—and in more than nine languages.

Animated screenshot displays Dictation in Office.

  • Read Aloud—Allows students to hear the contents of an email while each word is highlighted in sync. It will soon be available on Outlook Desktop in more than 30 text-to-speech languages.
  • Immersive Reader—To further support students of different backgrounds, Immersive Reader now supports an additional 10 new languages. It is also coming to even more platforms in 2018 and will soon be available on Word for Mac, iPhone, and Android, as well as Outlook Desktop and OneNote for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Screenshot dipslays Immersive Reader in Microsoft Word.

New features for teaching and learning in Microsoft Teams

Since delivering Microsoft Teams for Office 365 Education last year, we’ve seen educators around the globe boost collaboration and learning outcomes using Teams as their digital hub. In addition to our recent announcement, we’re releasing a number of features that will make setting up, collaborating, and managing a classroom in Teams easier than ever before.

  • Assignments support—Using the Teams app on their iOS and Android mobile phone or tablet, students can now access upcoming assignments, receive new assignment notifications, and turn in their work. Teachers can create new assignments, as well as review and make edits to existing assignments all while on the go. We also improved the search function on mobile to ensure both students and teachers can quickly find and navigate to individual assignments.

iPhone displays Assignments accessed in Microsoft Teams.

  • On Demand Translation—Students and teachers will soon be able to turn content in a chat or in a team channel into the language that their tenant is configured in. This powerful feature allows teachers and students to converse comfortably in their chosen language and removes all language barriers.
  • Assignment Analytics—Now teachers can track assignment engagement in real time—at a glance—to see who’s viewed and turned in their work.
  • Join Codes—Saves teachers valuable time by allowing them to simply invite students to a class. This capability will also prove helpful for staff and PLC teams, ensuring an effortless start to collaborating with co-workers.
  • Reusing a Team as a Template—Teachers can reuse an existing team as a template when creating a new team and can customize what they want to copy over—from channels, tabs, team setting, apps, and even users.
  • Decimal Grading—Teachers can provide grading feedback in their preferred way using Decimal Grading.

New OneNote features for teachers

OneNote is also receiving helpful new features, which we know are going to prove popular among teachers.

  • Capita SIMS—Updates to Class Notebook include assignment and grade integration with more than 35 of the most widely used LMS and SIS, including Capita SIMS in the U.K. These integrations are coming to OneNote for Windows 10, OneNote Online, and OneNote iPad, and will reduce administrative burden and save teachers time.
  • Page Locking—To further simplify classroom workflows, we are delivering on the number-one request from teachers for Class Notebooks—enabling lock pages. Teachers can now lock pages as read-only after giving feedback to the student.
  • Interactive math calculators—In OneNote, we are also enabling Desmos interactive math calculators, a set of popular applications for STEM teachers.
  • New stickers—We also added four new fun sticker packs: Feathered Friends, Science, Circus Animals, and Arrows.

Screenshot displays a graded assignment in OneNote, upon which a sticker and the teacher's praise "great work!" appear.

Teams integration with PowerPoint and Microsoft Stream

Our improvements to class collaboration don’t stop here. Teams has also joined forces with PowerPoint and Microsoft Stream to make it easy for teachers and students to create and share interactive content in just a few steps.

A teacher can use PowerPoint to build immersive class content (that includes ink, animations, and audio/video narrations), publish it to their Stream channel as a video, and have it surface in their Teams class to distribute to their students. Furthermore, Stream will also add automatic captioning to the videos to make them accessible to all learners.

Animated screenshot displays a Microsoft Stream video published to PowerPoint.

We are incredibly excited to showcase these features and more at Bett this week. We believe that through inclusive and collaborative learning environments, Office 365 Education is built to support every type of learner to empower them to do their best work. To learn more about the exciting updates coming to Microsoft Education, check out the Windows blog.

—Eran Megiddo


  • Dictation in Office will begin rolling out in our Office Insider program this month, and then to all Office 365 customers in coming months.
  • Read Aloud for Outlook Desktop will be available to Office Insiders this month, and then will roll out to all Office 365 customers in coming months.
  • Immersive Reader for Mac Word, iPhone Word, and Android Word will be available to our Office Insiders program this month, and then to all Office 365 customers in coming months.
  • Immersive Reader for OneNote iOS will begin rolling out to Office 365 customers at the beginning of February 2018 and finish by March 2018.
  • Immersive Reader languages for text-to-speech, syllables, and parts-of-speech languages will start to become available today and will continue to roll out through February 2018.
  • Teams iOS and Android updates and Decimal Grading are available worldwide today. Assignment Analytics, Join Codes, and Reuse a Team as a Template will begin to roll out to Office 365 Education customers enrolled in our Teams for Education beta program today. These capabilities will move to worldwide production by Spring 2018.
  • OneNote assignment and grade integration with Capita SIMS will be available in February 2018. Assignment and Grade integration for OneNote for Windows 10, OneNote Online, and OneNote iPad will be available worldwide in February 2018.
  • OneNote Desmos integration is available worldwide today to all Office 365 customers.
  • OneNote Class Notebook Page Locking begins preview testing in February 2018 and will roll out worldwide in the coming months.
  • Recording a PowerPoint and publishing directly to Stream is now available to all Office 365 Education customers.

If you’re #notatbett this week and would like to learn more about the other exciting updates coming to Microsoft Education, check out our summary of today’s big news here!

Gartner report—Microsoft’s new vision for communications and collaboration in Office 365

In September, we announced a new vision for intelligent communications, where we bring comprehensive calling and meetings capabilities into Microsoft Teams, data and insights from the Microsoft Graph, and a strong roadmap of innovation to empower teams to achieve more. Teams will evolve as the primary tool for intelligent communications in Office 365, replacing Skype for Business Online over time.

Since launch, more than 125,000 organizations across 181 markets and 29 languages have discovered how teamwork comes to life in Teams, as we continue to gain momentum, with Teams evolving as the hub for teamwork within Office 365, now including chat, calling, and meetings.

Gartner recently published a report analyzing the impact of the decision to make Teams the hub for teamwork and makes recommendations for decision makers when mapping their requirements.

Download your complimentary copy to find out what Gartner recommends.

For more information on Microsoft’s new vision for intelligent communications, read “A new vision for intelligent communications in Office 365” or watch our on-demand webinar.

—Farren Roper, senior product marketing manager for Microsoft Teams

New to Office 365 in December—extending human ingenuity with everyday AI

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

Earlier today in San Francisco, Harry Shum, executive vice president of Microsoft AI & Research, demonstrated how Microsoft is infusing intelligent technologies across our core products to make artificial intelligence (AI) available to everyone, with the simple goal of helping people deliver their best work.

Office 365 is built on Microsoft’s powerful platform for AI that makes advancements in machine learning and AI accessible to every developer and organization. From document translation to intelligent threat detection, AI is already enhancing the productivity experience of over 120 million commercial Office 365 users.

New Office 365 AI capabilities this month help subscribers discover insights from data, leverage organizational knowledge, arrive on time for events, and more. Read on for details.

Automatically unlock rich insights with AI (preview)

Every day, millions of Office 365 subscribers rely on Excel to perform complex analysis and derive value from their organizations’ data with intelligent tools like Flash Fill and advanced data transformation. For many, however, extracting key insights from a new data set can be intimidating. Today, we’re announcing the preview of Insights in Excel—a new service that automatically highlights patterns it detects, which makes it easier for everyone to explore and analyze their data. Powered by machine learning, Insights helps identify trends, outliers, and other useful visualizations, providing new and useful perspectives on data. Insights begins rolling out in preview to Office insiders this month.

An animated screenshot demonstrates Insights in Excel.

Excel will provide automatic insights.

Master company lingo with machine learning

Every workplace is unique, and understanding the internal acronyms in use across an organization can be essential to success. Today, we announced a new Microsoft Word feature called Acronyms. Powered by machine learning, Acronyms helps people understand shorthand that is commonly used in their own workplaces by leveraging the Microsoft Graph to surface definitions of terms that have been previously defined across emails and documents. Acronyms will begin rolling out to Word Online for Office 365 commercial subscribers in 2018.

A screenshot shows the Acronyms feature used in Word Online.

Master company acronyms in Word Online.

Get to events on time with Outlook

In 2017, we rolled out several new capabilities in Outlook that help users automatically detect trips and deliveries, triage email, schedule meetings, and more. Today, we’re expanding this set of AI-powered tools by bringing Cortana to the Outlook mobile app to help users stay on top of their day. When it is time to leave for appointments, Outlook will now send a notification—with directions for both driving and public transit—taking into account current location, the event location, and real-time traffic information. Time to leave in Outlook is rolling out to iOS users this month in markets where Cortana is available.

An animated GIF demonstrates the "Time to leave" feature in Outlook.

Outlook will notify you when it’s time to leave for your next event.

Bring people, ideas, and content together with Microsoft Whiteboard Preview

This month, we also announced the preview of Microsoft Whiteboard for Windows 10 devices—a freeform digital canvas where people, ideas, and content can come together. Microsoft Whiteboard Preview is built for teams who ideate and work together across multiple devices and locations. Unlike traditional whiteboards, the app uses AI to recognize freeform drawings and turn them into standard shapes, so it’s easier to create great-looking tables, diagrams, and flowcharts using only a pen. Users can work together in real-time on shared content and automatically save to the cloud to pick their work up later from another device. Microsoft Whiteboard is now available in preview from the Windows Store.

Find text in images with intelligent search

Earlier this year, we introduced the ability for OneDrive and SharePoint to automatically recognize the content within images and detect whiteboards, screenshots, receipts, and more. Today, we are expanding this capability to automatically extract searchable text from those images, making it easier to find a wide range of content, including receipts and business cards, using memorable search terms and without needing to know where the images are stored. Text in image search is currently rolling out and will be available to all Office 365 commercial subscribers by the end of December.

Three smartphones display intelligent search in images.

Search for text in images stored in Office 365.

Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office on Windows desktops | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office on Android. If you’re an Office 365 Home or Personal customer, be sure to sign up for Office Insider to be the first to use the latest and greatest in Office productivity. Commercial customers on both Monthly Channel and Semi-Annual Channel can also get early access to a fully supported build through Targeted Release (Clients, Services). This site explains more about when you can expect to receive the features announced today.

—Kirk Koenigsbauer


  • Insights in Excel is starting to roll out in preview to Office 365 commercial subscribers enrolled in Office Insiders, in the United States this month. Because this feature is powered by machine learning, it will provide increasingly advanced analysis as usage of the feature grows over time.
  • Acronyms will be rolling out to Word Online for Office 365 commercial subscribers enrolled in Office Insiders in 2018.
  • Time to leave is rolling out to Outlook for iOS users in our Insider program this month, and then to all Outlook for iOS users in coming months. We also plan to make it available in Outlook for Android 2018.
  • Microsoft Whiteboard Preview is now available for Windows users in the Windows Store.
  • Text in image search is currently rolling out to Office 365 commercial subscribers and will be available worldwide by the end of 2017.

Microsoft Whiteboard Preview—the freeform canvas for creative collaboration

Today, we are gradually rolling out the Microsoft Whiteboard Preview app—a freeform digital canvas where people, ideas, and content can come together for creative collaboration—available for download on Windows 10 devices.* Microsoft Whiteboard Preview is built for anyone who engages in creative, freeform thinking before getting to their final output. It’s designed for teams that need to ideate, iterate, and work together both in person and remotely, and across multiple devices.

In the course of our private beta, we saw startups use it to put together images, mockups, and notes as an inspiration board for their next big idea. We witnessed marketing agencies use it in online meetings as they work with clients on product designs in real time. And our team uses it to diagram engineering plans, with remote participants filling in their respective areas on the same working canvas. Ultimately, we see Microsoft Whiteboard Preview as enhancing how people go from personal ideation, team brainstorms, and group discussions to their finished products.

Collaborate effortlessly

Image showing how a team used the Microsoft Whiteboard to visualize the engineering of a office chair.

The limitless surface ensures that imagination has room to grow and provides space for everyone’s ideas. Bring in teammates—whether they’re across the hall or in a different part of the world—with real-time collaboration across multiple devices. You can see where everyone is on the board and the updates they’re making—whether they’re adding images, putting up sticky notes, or creating diagrams. Now even remote workers can easily join in and contribute to the discussion.

Work naturally

Image of the different Microsoft Whiteboard tools that are available including pens, eraser, and ruler.

Microsoft Whiteboard Preview lets you create in whatever way feels most natural to you. The pen-first, touch-first technology lets you make fluid gestures with your fingers or draw out finer details with your pen. Using your pen, you can jot down notes, draw precise illustrations, or search for images on the web. Using your fingers, you can swipe to different sections of your board, turn the virtual ruler to the angle you want, and drag and drop images to create a photo stack. Whether you use pen or touch, Microsoft Whiteboard Preview recognizes your intent and delivers your desired outcomes in an instant.

Create digitally

Image of a collection of Microsoft Whiteboard boards.

With the preview of Microsoft Whiteboard, you can use intelligent ink that recognizes your freeform drawings and turns them into standard shapes, so it’s easy to create great-looking tables, diagrams, and flowcharts. And unlike traditional whiteboards, the app automatically saves your boards, so you can pick up where you left off or share links to your boards, so others can build on top of your work.* No need to take photos of your canvas or email photos to others when you need to get them up to speed.

We’re truly excited for you to try out the Microsoft Whiteboard Preview as we think it will help you unlock creativity and harness the power of your teams. We look forward to receiving your comments, suggestions, and feature requests via the Windows Feedback Hub, which you can access from within the app.

—The Microsoft Whiteboard team

*The Microsoft Whiteboard Preview is rolling out to all English versions of Windows 10 within the next 24 hours, and will roll out to additional languages in the coming months. The app is free to use for anyone with a Windows 10 device, but one participant with an Office 365 personal, work, or school account is needed for multi-party collaboration. For SurfaceHub customers, the Microsoft Whiteboard Preview will eventually replace the native whiteboard app currently running on your SurfaceHub. In the meantime, you can install the preview of the Microsoft Whiteboard alongside your existing app.

New in November—save time, stay secure, and do more

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

Earlier this month, we announced the worldwide availability of Microsoft 365 Business, a purpose-built productivity and management solution for small and medium-sized businesses. We also introduced Microsoft Connections, Microsoft Listings, Microsoft Invoicing, and the Office 365 Business Center in the U.S., U.K., and Canada to help small businesses empower their employees and unlock growth and innovation.

Additional new Office 365 features this month focus on enhancing organizational productivity and simplifying business processes while maintaining a secure and compliant environment for teamwork.

Enhancing security, privacy, and compliance

As organizations embrace digital transformation, it is increasingly important for IT to ensure that employee and customer data is protected and handled appropriately. New updates to Office 365 this month help organizations understand what information they have stored, manage access to resources, and strengthen their compliance posture.

Analyze more content with Advanced eDiscovery—eDiscovery is a tool that helps organizations analyze data across Office 365 to identify information that they have stored about a person or topic. Now Office 365 E5 subscribers can upload documents from outside Office 365 and analyze them with Advanced eDiscovery using the new content import feature. This extends the benefits of Advanced eDiscovery beyond Office 365, providing organizations with a single way to discover content relating to compliance matters from across their organization.

Secure external sharing links in OneDrive and SharePointIn September at Ignite, we announced a number of improvements to external file sharing in OneDrive and SharePoint, including the ability to send secure external sharing links. This feature is now generally available to Office 365 subscribers, allowing external recipients to access files and folders—without a Microsoft account—by providing an email-based verification code each time a user accesses a file. IT administrators can also specify how often external recipients must get a new code and re-verify their email address, providing ongoing protection for your organization’s files and folders when they are shared with external recipients.

Improve compliance posture with Compliance Manager—Starting this month, organizations can participate in the preview for Compliance Manager, now available via the Service Trust Portal. Compliance Manager is a solution built into Office 365 that connects Microsoft security and compliance tools with the unique regulatory requirements different organizations may encounter. This helps Office 365 subscribers improve their compliance posture through risk assessments on Microsoft Cloud services, actionable insights, and simplified compliance workflows.

Simplifying processes and saving time with intelligent tools

This month’s Office 365 updates also help customers manage resources in more effective ways and make it easier for Firstline Workers to optimize their time throughout the workday.

Clock in and out in Microsoft StaffHub—New features in StaffHub help organizations centralize many of the daily processes workers undertake, reducing overhead and maximizing the impact of their Firstline Workforce. Now workers can clock in and out of their shifts within the app, in addition to managing daily activities and accessing company news and resources. These updates help streamline daily processes and help create a more well-informed workforce.

Automate files with Microsoft Flow in OneDrive—Flow provides a set of tools to automate tasks across apps and services, simplifying the process of managing repetitive and often complex actions like PDF conversion and approval routing. Starting this month, Office 365 subscribers can now run workflows on selected files and folders in OneDrive, allowing for the simplification of common tasks like saving multiple email attachments to folders and providing upload notifications.

Automatic drive classification with Mile IQNew features in MileIQ use Microsoft AI to save time by automatically classifying trips. MileIQ will now detect frequently visited locations, learn how they are typically classified, and offer to auto-classify them in the future. Additionally, Work Hours makes it simple to set the times a user works, including multiple shifts, and will automatically classify drives outside of those hours as personal. Subscribers always have the option to re-classify a drive if necessary from the web dashboard.

Bringing AI to job seekers with Resume Assistant—Earlier this month, we announced the preview of Resume Assistant, a new feature in Microsoft Word to help Office 365 subscribers craft compelling resumes with personalized insights powered by LinkedIn. With over 80 percent of resumes updated in Word, Resume Assistant helps job seekers showcase accomplishments by surfacing relevant examples of work experience and top skills that industry professionals use to describe themselves. Ultimately, this helps Office 365 subscribers be more easily discovered by recruiters and land their ideal job.

Additional updates

  • GDPR compliance—GDPR requirements are effective in May 2018. Learn more about GDPR compliance in our latest webcast.
  • Office Mobile apps on ChromebookEarlier this week, we released a preview of the Office Mobile apps for Google Chromebooks. These apps were originally designed for Android phones, and they’re not yet fully optimized for the Chromebook form factor. We’ve done some initial work on the end user experience and want to gather customer feedback. As with all of our mobile apps, an Office 365 subscription is required to edit documents on devices with a screen size of 10.1 inches or greater.
  • Office Lens—Office Lens is now integrated within OneNote to provide scanning, cropping, and rotation of photos, documents, whiteboards, and business cards.

Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office on Windows desktops | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office on Android. If you’re an Office 365 Home or Personal customer, be sure to sign up for Office Insider to be the first to use the latest and greatest in Office productivity. Commercial customers on both Monthly Channel and Semi-Annual Channel can also get early access to a fully supported build through Targeted Release (Clients, Services). This site explains more about when you can expect to receive the features announced today.

—Kirk Koenigsbauer

Henkel advances digital transformation journey with move to Office 365 E5

Logo for Henkel.

Today’s post about Office 365 was written by Markus Petrak, corporate director at Henkel.

Profile picture of Markus Petrak, corporate director at Henkel.Henkel is looking at more than 140 years of company success—founded in 1876, our brands such as Schwarzkopf, Persil, and Loctite are well known among customers globally. As our environment evolves from a mere brick-and-mortar business to one where we see new sales records in e-commerce for beauty care products in a single day, it’s clear that as a company we must adapt to ongoing change. Today, digitalization is a major driver that is transforming our organization, capturing the ingenuity and dedication of more than 50,000 employees around the world. And of course, digital transformation is unthinkable without the constant development of our IT landscape. Three years ago, Henkel deployed Microsoft Office 365 to kickstart a digital workplace transformation to strengthen our competitive position in a rapidly changing market.

We are making huge strides in business cohesion and agility with Office 365, taking an important step in connecting our company through a common set of tools that contribute to increased productivity and agility. I like to think of our IT teams implementing these tools, enabling a modern work environment where everyone uses cloud services to share expertise and collaborate without geographical or hierarchical boundaries. Today, we’re upgrading to Office 365 E5 and taking Henkel to the next level with enhanced security, collaboration, mobility, and business intelligence.

Of course, security is uppermost in our minds as Henkel continues its transformational journey and employees enjoy mobile access to corporate data stored online in OneDrive for Business. While some people might think there is a tradeoff between security and mobility—that is not the case with Office 365 E5. We’re using Advanced Threat Protection as an intelligent defense to filter out phishing attempts and protect employees from clicking on unsafe links and attachments. And as far as compliance goes, we are working with Microsoft to help us achieve mandatory compliance with the new General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which is a big topic in Europe now. Office 365 gives us a level of security we cannot achieve on our own. That’s another reason why we are glad that we are on the road with Office 365.

With Office 365 E5, we’re delivering an intelligent workplace, where employees gain self-service access to interactive, graphical reports and dashboards through Microsoft Power BI. Our employees use this service to create their own reports on demand. And for Henkel, there’s huge benefit in supporting efficient, widespread access to business information, such as increased agility in a market that’s moving faster than ever. The possibility to quickly assess the impact of an advertising campaign might serve as a good example: It’s easy to use Power BI to analyze real-time sales data and fine-tune our marketing activities to drive sales.

We’ve treated mobility as a given requirement for the modern workplace for a while now, but with Office 365 E5, we’re introducing cloud-based telephony as another way our employees can communicate and collaborate on any device, anywhere. Now we have a consistent Skype for Business Online experience across all devices, using one business number to stay in touch with colleagues. The faster we can communicate, the more efficiently we can get to market with new products. We’re also able to connect better with our global customers through Skype video calls. Today, we provide the ultra-responsive service that customers demand in a digital business environment.

In the climate of fast-paced, widespread collaboration, Office 365 E5 increases transparency and keeps us communicative and competitive. For example, when we introduce a new product to the market, colleagues from R&D, marketing, sales, and other involved departments use Skype video calls to collaborate in real time to develop and implement ideal strategies that accelerate our business.

What I enjoy most about my role is helping to build the best workplace for our employees to work to their potential in this digital era. Office 365 E5 offers business tools and services that everyone uses to work intuitively, alone or in multi-generational teams. Microsoft Teams is a perfect addition to Outlook and Yammer and it helps round out our solution set, complementing traditional email and enterprise social solutions. Using Teams across the company, we’re more agile and responsive when we collaborate.

With Office 365 E5, our IT landscape continues to provide an important basis for Henkel’s future success, for serving our global customers and consumers with innovative, high-quality products, and for taking our next steps in a digitalized world.

—Markus Petrak