New in Office 365 security and compliance—June update

Recent updates for security and compliance include enhancements to Advanced Threat Protection, eDiscovery, Advanced Data Governance, Advanced Security Management and expanded support for Windows Information Protection. Read on to learn more about these updates.

Enhancements to threat protection visibility and controls

Office 365 Exchange Online Protection (EOP) and Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) were designed to keep your organization protected against cyber-attacks while supporting end-user productivity. The Office 365 team continues to enhance both EOP and ATP by offering deeper insights and more flexible controls. This month, we are introducing the following new capabilities:

Threat Protection status report—New reporting for ATP and EOP that adds visibility into malicious emails detected and blocked for your organization. This supplements the recently introduced reports in the Security & Compliance Center for ATP Safe Attachments.

The Projection status report is displayed in the Security & Compliance Center and is showing information associated with ATP safe attachments, Anti-malware engine, ATP safe links and ZAP.

Threat Protection status report.

Enhanced quarantine capabilities—Now all emails classified as malware from both EOP and ATP are quarantined. This builds upon the existing quarantine experience by allowing administrators to review and delete emails from quarantine.

New ATP Safe Links Policy features—Four new features build upon the Safe Link policies.

  • Per-tenant block list—Provides the administrator the ability to block specific URLs.
  • Email wildcarding for domains and handles—Enables you to save time by writing partial domain/handle names.
  • Split Safe Links policies—Allows Safe Links policies to be customized for specific user lists in the organization, including groups, individuals and divisions.
  • Expanded character limit for URLs—Enables blocking/allowing URLs with longer character lengths.

Window displaying how to enter a URL so that it is blocked across Office 365.

Safe Links Block URL list.

Additional details on these new features can be found in the Microsoft Tech Community, as well as on the EOP and ATP product pages. EOP is offered across our enterprise E1, E3 and E5 suites. ATP is offered as both a standalone SKU or as part of E5.

New features streamline your compliance process using Office 365

Businesses around the world must be able to keep and protect important information and quickly find what’s relevant to continue to meet legal, business and regulatory compliance requirements. At Microsoft, we know how demanding and complex compliance can be and have recently released several new eDiscovery and Data Governance features in Office 365 to support your compliance needs. These features include:

Optical character recognition in Advanced eDiscovery—Extracts text from image files or objects within the files, significantly reducing the amount of manual remediation work required to analyze image files.

Rights management (RMS) decryption in Office 365 eDiscovery—Automatically decrypts RMS-encrypted email messages at export time when you choose the MSG Export option.

Unified case management—Provides a consistent user interface spanning the eDiscovery capabilities in Office 365, from core to advanced, which helps to reduce potential human errors by streamlining eDiscovery case definition and eliminating several steps in the process.

Image that displays two windows illustrating how the unified case management works in Advanced eDiscovery.

Unified case management in Advanced eDiscovery.

Visit the Microsoft Tech Community for more details about the new eDiscovery features. Unified case management and RMS decryption are included with Office 365 E3. Optical character recognition is included with Advanced eDiscovery in E5.

Announcing general availability of Supervision capabilities in Office 365 Advanced Data Governance

Many organizations have the need to perform supervision of employee communications. This need stems from internal security and compliance guidelines, or from regulatory bodies such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In both cases, failure to have a demonstrable supervision process in place could potentially expose organizations to liability or severe penalties.

To address this need, we’ve released the new Supervision feature in Office 365 Advanced Data Governance. Supervision covers not only email communications, but also third-party communications streams, such as Facebook, Twitter, Bloomberg and many more. Visit the Microsoft Tech Community for more details about the general availability of Supervision.

Image shows the Security and Compliance window, with Identify the content to be reviewed feature selected with the conditions to review added.

Supervision policies in Office 365 Advanced Data Governance.

Supervision is part of Office 365 Advanced Data Governance, which is available as part of Office 365 E5 or the Office 365 Advanced Compliance SKU.

Windows Information Protection now supports Office desktop applications

In August, we announced our support of Windows Information Protection (WIP) for Office mobile apps on Windows tablets and phones, to help prevent accidental business data leaks while letting users maintain control over their personal data by designating content as “work” or “personal.” We’re pleased to announce we have expanded support for WIP to include the Office 365 ProPlus desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and Skype for Business. This will help provide more comprehensive protection of your business data on Windows 10 devices. To read more about WIP, check out our Microsoft Tech Community blog.

SIEM connector—now available for Office 365 Advanced Security Management

A year ago, we announced a way for you to get greater visibility and control over Office 365 with Advanced Security Management (ASM). Since then, we have added new features to help you better determine shadow IT activity. We also enhanced control over third-party apps connected to Office 365. After these updates, we started hearing that some of you were looking for a way to export alerts to other systems that are integrated into your existing workflows. Today, we are releasing a solution that supports centralized monitoring of ASM alerts with your security information and event management (SIEM) software. Integrating with an SIEM allows you to better protect Office 365 while maintaining your organization’s security workflow, automate your security procedures and correlate between your cloud-based and on-premises events.

There is no additional cost for an SIEM connector for ASM; you just need to have Office 365 E5 or the ASM add-on. To learn how to setup the ASM SIEM connector, please read “SIEM integration with Office 365 Advanced Security Management.”

Image displaying the first Configure SIEM agent configuration window with the Alerts enabled.

Configuration screen for ASM SIEM agent.

Join the Security, Privacy and Compliance Tech Community

These new features help broaden and enhance the scope of security and compliance capabilities within Office 365. Join our Security, Privacy and Compliance Tech Community to further evolve your organization’s security and compliance with these services and learn and contribute to security, privacy and compliance best practices. The Tech Community is a great resource to communicate and learn from your peers—as well as offer your insights on the growing importance of security, privacy and compliance.

—Office 365 team

Outlook 2016 for Mac is adding your most requested features

Outlook for Mac is adding several highly requested features for Office 365 customers, including the ability to send an email at the time of your choice and request delivery notifications and read receipts. These additions deliver on four of our top 10 requested features, and are designed to help you get more done quickly and stay in control of the day ahead.

A big part of our prioritization of new features and enhancements comes from the votes and feedback we receive from you at our Outlook UserVoice site, and the input we get from our Office Insiders. We thank you all for your feedback and are excited to hear what you think of our new additions!

Here’s a look at what’s new.

Send your emails when you want

The best time to write an email and the best time to send an email may not always align. With our new Send Later feature, you can write an email now and schedule it to be sent automatically at the perfect time. Once you are done drafting your email, click the drop-down next to Send and then select Send Later. Choose the date and time to send the email and the message is saved to your Drafts folder. When the scheduled time comes, the email is automatically sent—you don’t even need to have Outlook or your computer open!

Outlook for Mac toolbar is displayed with the Send Later button highlighted.

This feature is available to Office Insider Fast users today and coming to Office 365 subscribers in July. For more details, see Can I delay or schedule the delivery of email messages in Outlook 2016 for Mac?

Use read and delivery receipts to track your emails

Sometimes you need to be notified that an important email has been delivered to and read by your recipient. Outlook for Mac now supports both read and delivery receipts. A delivery receipt confirms delivery of your email message to the recipient’s mailbox, but not that the recipient has seen it or read it. A read receipt confirms that your message was opened.

Outlook for Mac toolbar is displayed with the Request a Delivery Receipt and Request a Read Receipt options displayed. The Request a Delivery Receipt option is selected.

In Outlook for Mac, the message recipient can decline to send read receipts. For more details, see Request a read receipt or delivery notification.

Spend less time writing emails

Sending the same email over and over again? Email templates are great for sending messages that include information that infrequently changes from message to message. Compose and save a message as a template and then reuse it when you want it. New information can be added before the template is sent as an email message. For more details, see Can I create email templates in Outlook 2016 for Mac?

Stay on top of your day by creating calendar events and tasks from emails

Emails contain the important information you need to get things done throughout the day. Often, however, those tasks need to be scheduled as part of your day to get completed on time. You can now drag and drop emails directly to your calendar to reserve that time. The subject of the email becomes the calendar subject, and the body of the email goes in the notes field.

For those of you who are task users, you can do the same thing. Drag the email to your task view to create new items.

Improving the account setup experience

We’ve simplified the Add Account experience in Outlook for Mac. Previously, you needed to know details about what type of account you have (e.g., Office 365 or Exchange, IMAP or POP). Now you can simply enter your email address and Outlook detects your account settings and guides you through the process. And if you’ve signed in to other Office apps before launching Outlook for the first time, you will be asked if you want to add that account automatically. For more details, see Set up Outlook on your Mac.

Image shows steps for the improved account setup experience in Outlook for Mac.

How do I get all these new improvements?

The Send Later feature is available to Office Insider Fast users today on version 15.36 (170606) and will be available to all Office 365 subscribers in July. The Request a Delivery and Read receipts, email templates, and creating calendar events and tasks from emails additions are available today to all Office 365 subscribers on version 15.35 (170610). The improved account setup experience is available to all Outlook Mac users on version 15.34 (170515).

Let us know what you think of our additions! If you have other ideas for what would make Outlook for Mac even better for you, let us know on our Outlook UserVoice site.

—The Outlook team

Finding a solution to pet anxiety with the help of Office 365

More than 32 million dogs in the U.S. suffer from anxiety, including Charger, ZenCrate co-founder Jon Azevedo’s dog. Initially hoping to create something that would help Charger, Azevedo and co-founder Chris Lightcap developed a product that could help millions of dogs. Office 365 played an important role in scaling their business as it grew.

ZenCrate co-founder, Jon Azevedo, with his dog Charger pausing to look at the scenery.

From pet project to production product

On a road trip during a typical Florida storm, Azevedo noticed that Charger was calm in the back seat of his car, and wanted to mimic that environment in a crate for home. “My focus in the beginning of this was Charger,” said Azevedo. “A year later, after a local veterinarian educated me on how large of a problem anxiety in animals is, I decided to focus on a product for other pet owners.”

Office 365 keeps ZenCrate current, connected and successful

Once Azevedo and Lightcap became aware of a bigger need, they began putting more focus on product development for consumers, and Office 365 became essential to ZenCrate’s growth. Knowing that the Office tools they use every day are always up to date allowed them to focus on the many moving parts associated with driving a product launch. “It allows us to grow as Office 365 grows,” Azevedo says.

And whether it’s creating a marketing presentation in PowerPoint, tracking tasks in OneNote, filling out purchase orders in Word or communicating between two offices and external vendors using Outlook, Office 365 helps them communicate both inside and outside the office.

Excel has made a huge impact on their ability to adapt and evolve. Being able to easily access expenses and track inventory allows Azevedo and Lightcap to make decisions based on information to meet increasing customer demand. Excel’s flexibility means they can leverage it in a variety of different ways. “We use Excel every day to track our income statements, accounts receivable and accounts payable,” says Lightcap. They also use Excel to manage production efficiencies, cutting production costs to create a product for customers at the lowest price possible. “Creating an efficient manufacturing process greatly impacts our ability to be successful,” says Lightcap.

Utilizing collaboration features through the cloud in the future

As ZenCrate scales up to fulfill customer orders, Azevedo and Lightcap are looking to the Microsoft Cloud to keep them connected. Lightcap says, “We have two separate offices and multiple team members working on the same project. Co-authoring will allow all team members to have up-to-date files, so they can make real-time changes to documents.”

It’s only been two years since Azevedo created the first ZenCrate prototype, so having tools that can keep pace with their rapid progress has been crucial to their growth. As the ZenCrates are unleashed into the world, Office 365—not unlike man’s best friend—will continue to be a dedicated, reliable companion.

Announcing OneDrive support for the Files app in iOS 11

OneDrive makes it easier for you to access your files, and we are continually working to ensure you have the best OneDrive experience on every platform and every device. OneDrive already supports many iOS capabilities, including OneDrive for iMessage, the Share extension, and Apple Pencil and split-screen support on iPad. Today, Apple announced the new Files app at WWDC for iOS 11, and we are excited to announce support for the new app and its file management capabilities. OneDrive integration with the Files app will make it easier for you to access your content from any Apple device and will provide a better file management experience on iOS for your personal and work OneDrive and SharePoint sites. We will share more details when iOS 11 releases.

—The OneDrive team

Improving People in Outlook for iOS and Android

Editor’s note 8/7/2017:
This post was updated to reflect that these improvements have been made available in Outlook for Android.

Outlook for iOS and Android is on a mission to help you accomplish more with your email and calendar while on the go. With our latest release, we’re addressing one of our most highly requested features with improvements to our People experience.

You now have the ability to add and edit contacts right from Outlook on iOS and Android. We’ve also completely redesigned the contact card to show more details—including latest conversations and shared files—and enabled easier calling and messaging with your contacts.

Here’s a deeper look at what’s new.

Add or edit your important contacts while on the go

With our latest update, you can now add and edit contacts for and Office 365 accounts (support for Google contacts coming soon).

To create a new contact in Outlook, simply go to the People tab and tap the + sign. You can also add a new contact directly from a message or event by tapping the name of a person and then tapping Add Contact. Lastly, you can also use the search bar in the People tab to find and add contacts from your company directory.

Once you’ve added a contact, you can edit their information by opening the contact and tapping the Edit button. Any changes made in Outlook for iOS and Android will be synced and available across all versions of Outlook.

Left: new contact information displayed on a device screen. Right: contact details displayed on a device screen.

View details about your contacts at a glance

The contact card has also been redesigned to put your contacts’ key details front and center. Tap on any name in your messages or events to access phone numbers, email addresses and other details, like Skype IDs, along with your contact’s picture. Tapping a phone number will allow you to choose between calling, messaging or FaceTiming your contact.

The new contact card now also displays your recent conversations, shared attachments and any upcoming meetings you have with that person.

Save contacts to your device

While you can fully manage your contacts in Outlook, you can also save your contacts to the default Contacts app on iOS and Android. This allows you to easily see the name of a contact when you receive a call or text message from them, and view all of their contact information directly in the built-in Contacts app.

Due to the underlying capabilities of iOS and Android, how this works differs slightly by platform.

On iOS, Outlook provides a one-way push of contact information from Outlook to your phone. All newly added contacts and changes should be made in the Outlook app, and these changes will sync to your built-in Contacts app and your email service. However, edits made in the Contacts app will not sync back to Outlook or your email service, and will be overwritten the next time Outlook syncs to the Contacts app. You should avoid making edits in the Contacts app. To enable Caller ID with your Outlook contacts, navigate to your account within Settings and tap Save Contacts.

On Android, Outlook is able to fully synchronize with the Contacts app. Therefore, users can choose to add new contacts or make changes in either the Outlook app or by using the built-in Contacts app on Android. Changes made in either location will sync back to your email service. To enable full contact sync on Android, navigate to your account within Settings and tap Sync Contacts.

If you’d like to remove the contacts at a later time, you can toggle the switch in Outlook and they will be removed from your address book.

Got a feature request?

Let us know what you think of our new People experiences! If you have other ideas for what would make Outlook even better for you, let us know right from Outlook by going to Settings > Suggest a Feature.

—The Outlook team

Immersive Reader comes to Outlook on the web and the OneNote for Windows 10 app, and expands its global reach

In February, we announced the availability of the Microsoft Learning Tools Immersive Reader on Word Online and OneNote Online. As a result of customer demand, we are pleased to announce that Immersive Reader is now available for, Outlook on the web and the OneNote Windows 10 app. Immersive Reader includes a view that utilizes techniques proven to help people read more effectively, such as:

  • Read Aloud—Reads text out loud with simultaneous highlighting that improves decoding, fluency and comprehension while sustaining the reader’s focus and attention.
  • Spacing—Optimizes font spacing in a narrow column view to improve reading fluency for users with visual crowding issues.
  • Syllables—Shows the breaks between syllables to enhance word recognition and decoding.
  • Parts of Speech—Supports writing instruction and grammar comprehension by identifying verbs, nouns and adjectives.

In addition to the Immersive Reader rollout across new apps and platforms, we are also adding new language and geographic availability for the Read Aloud, Syllables and Parts of Speech features. This expanded language support—coming to Word Online, OneNote Online, Outlook on the web and the OneNote Windows 10 app—will allow more customers across the world to experience the benefits of both the Learning Tools and the Immersive Reader. For the OneNote Desktop Learning Tools add-in, we are launching Japanese dictation, plus bug fixes and other small improvements. See all of the details at the Learning Tools language support page.

And finally, we are excited to announce the availability of Try it out—an updated and enhanced capability on the recently redesigned Microsoft Learning Tools landing page. Try it out allows anyone to quickly and easily try out the Immersive Reader, without needing an Office 365 ID or a Microsoft account. We hope these announcements enable more people to read in a way that works best for them, and we look forward to hearing impactful stories from more of you, such as this story about empowering students to read in a new way.

Immersive Reader brings increased accessibility to Outlook on the web

In talking with customers, a common request we heard was to bring the same Immersive Reader capabilities of Word Online and OneNote Online to those accessing Outlook via the web. Starting today, the Immersive Reader will begin rolling out to and Outlook on the web worldwide.

There are several ways to launch the Immersive Reader in Outlook on the web or

  • On any received message, select the Reply all drop-down and then select Show in immersive reader.
  • Right-click any message and select Show in immersive reader.
  • From the main message view, click the and select Show in immersive reader.

The new Immersive Reader for Outlook on the web and will be available in many languages and countries. Visit the Learning Tools language support page to learn more.

Immersive Reader comes to the OneNote Windows 10 app

Since the release of Learning Tools for OneNote Desktop, many customers have asked for these same capabilities in our OneNote Windows 10 app. With the June OneNote Windows 10 app update, the Immersive Reader will be available to all customers via the View menu and will be pre-installed.

In the OneNote for Windows 10 app, a red square highlights the Immersive Reader button located under the View menu.

The new Immersive Reader in OneNote Windows 10 will be available in many languages and countries. Visit the Learning Tools language support page to learn more.

Expanding the global reach of the Immersive Reader

Since the Immersive Reader rolled out to Word Online and OneNote Online in February, customers all over the world asked us to expand these capabilities to more languages. Today, we are pleased to announce that Read Aloud is now available in 14 new languages and geographies, including:

  • Arabic (Saudi Arabia)
  • Czech
  • English (Ireland)
  • French (Switzerland)
  • German (Austria)
  • German (Switzerland)
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Romanian
  • Slovak
  • Thai

In addition, the Syllables feature is being added to four languages: Hungarian, Indonesian, Romanian and Slovak.

Finally, the Parts of Speech feature for German, Italian and Dutch will be enabled for Word Online, OneNote Online and Outlook on the web in the next few weeks. Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Brazilian Portuguese languages will be available later this summer.

Visit the Learning Tools language support page to see the current list of languages for the Immersive Reader.

Try it out—the updated and enhanced landing page for Learning Tools

With the recent interest and popularity of the Learning Tools and the Immersive Reader, we wanted to allow anyone to quickly try out the functionality through any web browser and experience all its benefits and features. We recently updated our Learning Tools landing page with the Try it out function that immediately launches the Immersive Reader. You can also put your own custom text in and try it out. The new Try it out feature supports 39 languages, so people from around the world can immediately experience the Immersive Reader.

Image shows "Try it out" button displayed on the Learning Tools landing page. Image is linked to the Learning Tools landing page.

Japanese dictation language added to the OneNote Desktop Learning Tools add-in

Support for Japanese dictation on OneNote Desktop has been added, in addition to bug fixes and stability improvements to the add-in. You can grab the latest version (v1.3) of the OneNote Desktop Learning Tools add-in on the Microsoft Learning Tools page.

In the OneNote Desktop, the Japanese dictation option is selected under the Dictate menu.

You can download the Learning Tools at Send any feedback to or reach out on Twitter: @OneNoteEDU.

—The OneNote team

Announcing the Microsoft Planner mobile app for iPhone and Android

We are pleased to announce that the new Microsoft Planner mobile app is now available for iPhone and Android phones. Starting today, current Planner users can use this companion app to view and update their plans on the go, addressing feedback we’ve heard since the launch of the Planner web app. For people who are new to Planner, you can first get started by visiting Once you’ve created your plans in the web app, you can view and update those plans in the mobile experience.

Planner is available to customers with Office 365 Enterprise E1–E5, Business Essentials, Business Premium and Education subscription plans. Current Planner users can download the app for Android and iOS.

Side-by-side images of the Planner mobile app on the iPhone (left) and Android (right).

In the coming months, we plan to add push notifications, the ability to create new plans from the mobile app and integration with Intune.

For other feature requests, please visit our UserVoice page and submit your idea. And as always, visit the TechCommunity page to communicate with other Microsoft Planner users and the product team.

To get the Microsoft Planner mobile app, leave a suggestion or ask for help, follow these links:


Frequently asked questions

Q. What is Planner?

A. Planner provides a simple, visual way to organize teamwork. The Planner mobile app enables your team to organize and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on and get updates on progress.

Q. How can I access Planner?

A. If you’re new to Planner, you can access the web app via to start and build your plans. Existing users can access Planner through both the web and mobile experiences. If you don’t have an eligible license of Office 365, please visit our product page to learn more about which subscriptions include Planner. If you have an eligible license and would like to learn more about Planner, please visit our support page.

Q. Which features are coming next?

A. Updates including push notifications, the ability to create a plan and Intune integration are coming soon, and we look forward to hearing your feedback about how we can improve the Microsoft Planner mobile experience.

Q. Where can I learn more about the functionality of the Planner mobile app?

A. Please visit iPhone support and Android support to learn more about features and functionality of the mobile app.

OneNote Class Notebook assignment and grading support comes to Blackbaud and eSchoolData

Over a year ago, we launched the OneNote Class Notebook add-in, with assignment and grade integration, connected to a Learning Management System (LMS) and Student Information System (SIS). Teachers from all over the world have connected OneNote Class Notebooks with their systems. We have heard requests for additional LMSes and SISes to be supported. The OneNote Class Notebook now integrates assignments and grades with over 40 LMSes and SISes—with more on the way.

With today’s OneNote Class Notebook add-in update, we are rolling out new LMS assignment and grade integration for Blackbaud onCampus and eSchoolData. To see the full list of committed education partners, please visit our OneNote Education Partners page. This page also has helpful training videos demonstrating how Class Notebooks integrate with each of the different LMSes and SISes.

Additions and improvements for the Class Notebook add-in, version, include:

  • Assignment and grade integration with Blackbaud onCampus.

Additional developments include:

  • Assignment and grade improvements for Google Classroom.
  • Bug fixes and stability improvements.

For details on how to attach your OneNote Class Notebook to a LMS or SIS and create assignments and grades, see “Class Notebook add-in getting started guide.”

As usual, please send any feedback you have directly to the team at!

—The OneNote team

Updated portal and new languages for Microsoft Forms

Today, we’re introducing several updates to Microsoft Forms, including improvements to the Forms portal, more languages and right-to-left reading support.

Microsoft Forms portal improvements

We are introducing significant improvements to the Forms portal page. With the new design, users will see a snapshot of each form, which includes the form title, background image and number of responses. The new search box, on the upper right corner, will help users quickly find a form either by its title or owner’s name.

Image shows an updated Forms portal page, displaying snapshots of each form and the new search box.

Updated Forms portal page.

Image shows a Forms portal page with the search results for forms with “quiz” in the title.

Search in Forms portal page.

More languages and right-to-left reading support

With this update, we’re introducing 26 new languages to Forms—bringing the total to 68 languages. We are also enabling RTL (right-to-left) reading support for Hebrew and Arabic users, so users can create and respond to forms, as well as view forms results.

Image shows a form using right-to-left reading support.

Forms RTL (right-to-left) reading support.

Create your own form or quiz

Educators can easily create a new form or quiz, add questions, customize settings, share their forms and check on the results. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Sign in and create a new survey form or quiz form.
  2. Adjust the settings for the form.
  3. Share the form with others.
  4. Check the form results.

Learn more about using Forms

To learn more, see Copy a form, Delete a form, Share a form or quiz as a template and Share a form to collaborate. Many other top tasks and answers can be found on the What is Microsoft Forms? page, and on the Forms FAQs.

Also, read “Individualizing instruction with the new Microsoft Forms” by Laura Stanner, Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert.

We want to hear from you

When teachers talk, we listen. We’re committed to listening to users on how we can keep improving Forms for your everyday use. Please send us feedback on our UserVoice page, where you can vote on other users’ suggestions or add your own ideas on how we can serve you better.

—The Forms team

Office 365 May news—exciting new value coming with the new Surface Pro

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

Earlier today, Microsoft announced the availability of Surface Studio, Laptop and Hololens in China along with the new Surface Pro and Surface Pen coming next month. At our event in Shanghai, Panos Panay showcased new inking capabilities in Office apps that are coming first to Windows and brought to life on Surface. These advances make your digital pen faster, more fluid and more personalized, helping you express yourself with rich, creative content.

Inking is smoother, more personalized and collaborative in Office

Inking has become a primary tool for personal expression, and the digital pen a critical way many people work. We’re continuing to improve and evolve the digital inking experience in Office, helping you create, collaborate and share ideas with ink. Building on our announcements last October, today we introduced new inking capabilities coming first to Windows touch-enabled devices and designed to work best with the new Surface Pen:

Fast, fluid and expressive ink—The new Surface Pen’s industry-leading technology shines when you write and draw in Office apps. With the new Surface Pen, your ink reacts to your unique touch with increased pressure sensitivity of 4,096 pressure points (from 1,024), as well as new tilt functionality that adjusts the thickness and texture of your ink granularly, based on the angle of your pen. Your ink also flows even more beautifully and effortlessly when you use the new Surface Pen in Office apps, with almost zero latency between your writing and the pen. Simply pick up your Surface Pen and start writing more expressively!

Availability: Increased pressure sensitivity, low-latency and tilt improvements for inking will work automatically for Office 365 subscribers using the new Surface Pen on the new Surface Pro (devices sold separately).

A new collaborative whiteboard experience—We showed future inking innovation coming first to the Microsoft Whiteboard app on Windows 10, such as collaborative inking, geometry recognition, table conversion and automatic table shading. Whiteboard is currently available in private preview on Surface Hub, and our vision is to bring it to more Windows 10 devices later this year (including the Surface Studio and Surface Pro, as demoed today) with exclusive capabilities for Office 365 subscribers. This will help you iterate on ideas together with others regardless of the device you’re on. Stay tuned for more!

Microsoft Whiteboard is being shown, including collaborative inking where inking from multiple people is showing up simultaneously with indicators of where each person is inking. Shape conversion, angle recognition, table conversion, and automatic table shading are also being shown.

Microsoft Whiteboard provides a limitless canvas for creativity and collaboration.

Availability: Microsoft Whiteboard is currently available in private preview on Surface Hub devices, and for education customers. It will expand to other Windows 10 devices and more segments later this year, with exclusive capabilities for Office 365 subscribers.

More ink options to express yourself—The pencil texture and ink effects like rainbow, galaxy, lava, ocean, gold, silver and more are coming to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. This helps you showcase your creativity in new ways with drawing and writing that pops off the page.

A drawing is being shown in PowerPoint with pencil texture and ink effects used to color in the images.

Express yourself with the pencil texture and ink effects in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Availability: The pencil texture and ink effects in Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Windows desktops are coming in July, for Office Insiders Fast. Both the pencil texture and rainbow, galaxy, gold and silver ink effects were already available in OneNote for Windows 10 (ink effects require an Office 365 subscription).

A digital pencil case that goes where you go—Office apps now include a customizable gallery for your favorite pens, pencils and highlighters, which automatically roams with you across apps and devices. This means your personalized inking tools stay handy wherever you work.

The new customizable and roaming pens gallery is being shown in Word, including customization options showing in a dropdown for a selected pen currently set to the lava ink option.

The new customizable pens gallery roams with you across apps and devices.

Availability: The new customizable and roaming pens gallery in Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Windows desktops is coming with the June Office 365 updates. The new customizable pens gallery in OneNote for Windows 10 is also coming in June for all customers, with roaming coming later this year.

Updates for Office 365 commercial customers

This month, we have updates for our commercial subscribers including new tools for understanding and transforming their organizations, as well as new capabilities and a look at our vision and roadmap for SharePoint:

Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BIThe new Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI combines the intelligence of Office 365 usage reports with the interactive reporting capabilities of Power BI. This means admins can visualize and analyze their organization’s Office 365 usage data, create custom reports and share the insights with Power BI—pivoting by attributes such as location and department. This better understanding of how their users adopt and use Office 365 can help admins drive more targeted end user training and communication.

The dashboard of the Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI is being shown in a web browser.

Understand Office 365 usage and drive targeted end user training with the new Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI.

Availability: The Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI is available in public preview for Office 365 commercial customers.

Inform and engage employees with SharePoint communication sites—Introduced at SharePoint Virtual Summit, SharePoint communication sites let you create beautiful, mobile-ready intranet sites. While SharePoint team sites allow sharing of content, knowledge and apps within your group, communication sites let you share resources, news and information with a broad audience, across the organization. Integration with Yammer lets you engage your audience, solicit feedback and encourage best practice sharing. Communication sites are easy to create, customizable and look great on whatever device you use. Learn more about communication sites.

A SharePoint communication site is being shown, including company news, key documents, upcoming events, training videos, an integrated Yammer discussion feed, and more.

Create beautiful communication sites to reach a broad audience across your organization.

Availability: Communication sites in SharePoint are coming to First Release for Office 365 commercial customers starting in June.

Access all your files in File Explorer—Introduced at Build, OneDrive Files On-Demand allows you to access all your work and personal files in the cloud without having to download them to your device and use up storage space. This helps you work the way you’re used to, with all your files—even online files—visible in File Explorer and available whenever you need them.

OneDrive Files On-Demand is being shown, with a File Explorer view showing files in the cloud and on the user’s device, as well as the ease with which a cloud document can be opened.

Access all your work and personal cloud files in File Explorer, without downloading them and using up storage space.

Availability: OneDrive Files On-Demand is coming to Windows 10 Insider Preview early this summer and will be publicly available with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

Share from File Explorer and Finder on Mac—Introduced at SharePoint Virtual Summit, a new unified sharing experience for OneDrive lets you share files or folders with specific people right from your desktop, as well as send sharing links to people inside or outside your organization. You can also easily view or modify the permissions you have granted, including how long access will last. Learn more about the unified sharing experience for OneDrive.

The new unified sharing experience for OneDrive is being shown in File Explorer. A file has been selected and a colleague is being granted the desired level of access permissions.

Easily share OneDrive files and folders with colleagues inside and outside your organization.

Availability: The new unified sharing experience will start rolling out to consumers and Office 365 commercial customers in June and July. It will be consistent across File Explorer on Windows 10 and Windows 7, Finder on Mac and on the web.

SharePoint and Microsoft PowerApps integration—As announced at SharePoint Virtual Summit, you’ll soon be able to use PowerApps to easily create custom forms and rich, digital experiences right from within a SharePoint list or library. This will help your company transform team and organizational processes, with users creating, viewing and interacting with data from your custom form or app, rather than default SharePoint forms. Learn more about PowerApps integration with SharePoint.

PowerApps integration with a SharePoint site is being shown, with a new purchase request being populated within a form integrated via Microsoft PowerApps.

PowerApps integration will let your users create, view and interact with data within an app from within SharePoint lists and libraries.

Availability: Custom SharePoint forms built with Microsoft PowerApps will be available starting this summer, for Office 365 commercial customers.

Other Office 365 updates this month

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 Current Channel and Deferred Channel can also get early access to a fully supported build through First Release. This site explains more about when you can expect to receive the features announced today.

—Kirk Koenigsbauer

Announcing the public preview of the Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI

Since March 2016, the usage reports in the Office 365 admin center have been providing admins with insights about how users adopt and use the various services in Office 365. Today, we’re pleased to announce the public preview of the Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI, which enables customers to get more out of Office 365.

The content pack combines the intelligence of the usage reports with the interactive analysis capabilities of Power BI, providing rich usage and adoption insights. With these insights, admins can drive more targeted user training and communication that helps them transform how their organizations communicate and collaborate, enabling a truly modern workplace.

Insights you can act on

Office 365 gives users the freedom to work from anywhere and the services they need to be more productive and collaborative. Sometimes, however, people need a helping hand to get started with Office 365. For example, if someone doesn’t use Skype for Business, they might not know how to get started using Skype or understand how they can leverage it to communicate better. In either case, the IT department might want to connect with this person to provide them with more information or training resources.

The new Office 365 adoption content pack gives you a cross-product view of how users communicate and collaborate to help IT admins provide more targeted user communication. When you better understand how employees use the various services within Office 365, it is easy to decide where to prioritize training and communication efforts. The content pack lets admins further visualize and analyze their Office 365 usage data, create custom reports, share insights and understand how specific regions or departments use Office 365.

Gain deep insights on usage trends

The centerpiece of the content pack is a pre-built dashboard, which provides IT admins with a cross-product view of how users are accessing the suite of products within Office 365. For most of the metrics, the content pack provides data for the last 12 months, so you can easily see how usage is trending and has evolved over time.

The dashboard is split up into four main areas: Understanding adoption, Communication, Collaboration and Activation. Each area provides you with specific usage insights.

Understanding adoption area—Offers an all-up summary of adoption trends that helps you understand how users have adopted Office 365. You can easily see how many licensed users actively use the various Office 365 services, what combination of products are popular within your organization, and analyze adoption trends for individual products.

Communication area—Highlights the services that people use to communicate, such as Skype for Business, Exchange and Yammer. You can see which communication methods are used most by users and drill into details to understand if there are any shifts in how employees use the various tools to communicate.

Collaboration area—Shows how people in your organization use OneDrive for Business and SharePoint to store documents and work together—including how many users are active on their own accounts versus accounts owned by others. This information is a good indicator to understand if people use OneDrive for Business and SharePoint primarily to just store files, or if they are also using these services to share content and collaborate with others.

Activation area—Helps you understand Office 365 ProPlus, Project Pro and Visio Pro activations in your organization. You can easily see how many users have activated the products, enabling admins to ensure that users have the latest versions of Office applications. The report also provides information about the type of device users have activated the products on, helping admins understand what devices are popular in their organization and how many users work on the go.

Access richer usage insights

Every organization has unique questions around usage and adoption. The content pack helps answer these questions, enabling you to pivot, analyze, customize and share the information.

Analyze usage by department, organization or location—Many of you want a full picture of how specific departments or regions use Office 365. To enable these advanced analytics scenarios, the content pack combines the usage data of users with their information in Azure Active Directory (AAD). You can pivot the reports by AAD attributes like location, department or organization information.

Leverage built-in filters to get insights relevant to you—On many reports, contextual filters allow you to easily slice and dice the data available, for example, to understand adoption trends for individual products.

Quickly find out who your power users are—The content pack includes a user activity report for each service to identify power users. These users typically have very thorough product knowledge and can help train other users. They can share how they are using the service, how it helps them every day to be productive, and offer tips on how to get started. Power users can help lead the digital transformation in your organization by example. The user activity report also lets you identify users that have yet to use a particular product. Armed with this information, you can be very targeted in your adoption campaigns.

Customize the content pack—The dashboard and the underlying reports are templates to help you quickly get started with the content pack. The true power of the content pack lies in the underlying data. We want admins to have full control over their data, so we have made sure that you can customize the content pack and structure the charts based on your organization’s needs.

There are three ways to customize the content pack:

  • Take one of the pre-built visuals and modify it—by removing information or by changing the visual format, for example.
  • Create a brand-new visual by leveraging the underlying data sets.
  • Connect to the pbit file in Power BI Desktop, which enables you to bring in your own data sources.

Share the content pack—Using the sharing capabilities of Power BI Pro, you can easily share the dashboard with people both inside and outside of your organization, such as business stakeholders or your leadership team.

Importance of your feedback

We’d like to thank each one of you who participated in the limited preview and who provided feedback on the early versions of the content pack. Over the past several months, we have received numerous pieces of feedback that have helped us identify gaps and ensure that the content pack provides you with actionable insights. And it’s great to hear how it’s already helping many of you to derive even more value out of Office 365:

The adoption content pack is one of the best Office 365 admin tools for us. It gives us a clear picture of how our organization uses Office 365, and it allows us to get really targeted in our user training efforts, as we know exactly how each user uses the products—or often more important—does not use the products yet.”
—Customer feedback

Get started with the content pack

The content pack is available to all customers free of charge. You’ll only need the free Power BI service to connect to the content pack—use your Office 365 admin account to sign up. You can also customize the dashboards and reports with the free Power BI service. To connect to the content pack, you first need to enable it in the Office 365 admin center. On the Usage Reports page, you will see a new card at the bottom of the page where you can opt in to the content pack. This step kicks off a workflow that generates your historical usage trends. This data processing task takes between 2 and 48 hours, depending on the size of your organization and how long you’ve been using Office 365. After data preparation is complete, it’s ready to show in the content pack. Please follow the steps described to connect to the content pack for your organization.

Please note that you must be a global admin or a product admin (Exchange, Skype for Business, SharePoint) to connect to the content pack.

Learn more

You can find additional information about the content pack, including FAQs, in the following support articles:

If you have questions, please post them in the adoption content pack group in the Microsoft Tech Community. Also, join us for an Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) session, hosted by the Microsoft Tech Community on June 7, 2017 at 9 a.m. PDT. This live online event will give you the opportunity to connect with members of the product and engineering teams who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback. Add the event to your calendar and join us in the adoption content pack in Power BI AMA group.

Let us know what you think!

Try the public preview of the Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI and provide feedback using the feedback link in the lower-right corner of the Usage Reports page in the admin center. And don’t be surprised if we respond to your feedback. We truly read every piece of feedback that we receive to make sure the Office 365 reporting experience meets your needs.

—Anne Michels, @Anne_Michels, senior product marketing manager for the Office 365 Marketing team

May 2017 updates for Get & Transform in Excel 2016 and the Power Query add-in

Excel 2016 includes a powerful set of features based on the Power Query technology, which provides fast, easy data gathering and shaping capabilities and can be accessed through the Get & Transform section on the Data ribbon.

Today, we are pleased to announce three new data transformation and connectivity features that have been requested by many customers.

These updates are available as part of an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, find out how to get these latest updates. If you have Excel 2010 or Excel 2013, you can also take advantage of these updates by downloading the latest Power Query for Excel add-in.

These updates include the following new or improved data connectivity and transformation features:

  • Split Column by Delimiter—automatic detection of delimiter character
  • Combine Files—ability to select sample file to use
  • DB2 Connector—option to specify Package Collection

Split Column by Delimiter—automatic detection of delimiter character

When splitting column by delimiter inside Query Editor via Home > Split Column, Excel will automatically detect and populate the Delimiter field in this dialog, based on text pattern detection in the data preview rows. Note that you can still change the delimiter if needed, but this automatic detection saves a few clicks in many cases.

Combine Files—ability to select sample file to use

This month, we continue making incremental enhancements to the Combine Files experience. One of the common areas of recent feedback has been to add the ability to select a file from a folder to use as the sample file to select objects and specify any custom transformation steps (if needed).

With this release, we added a new control in the file preview dialog to allow you to choose a file available in the selected folder. The default selection is the first file found—however, this can now be easily customized by users.

DB2 connector—option to specify Package Collection

The DB2 connector window now includes an option to specify the package collection to connect to within a given DB2 server. This new option, available under the Advanced Options section in the DB2 connector dialog, can only be used with the Microsoft IBM DB2 driver.

Learn more

—The Excel team