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Episode 056 on building products on top of SharePoint Online with Doug Ware—Office 365 Developer Podcast

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 09:00

In this episode, Jeremy Thake and Richard DiZerega talk to Doug Ware about his experience building products on top of SharePoint Online using our APIs called IQAppStudio.

Download the podcast.

Weekly updates Show notes

Got questions or comments about the show? Join the O365 Dev Podcast on the Office 365 Technical Network.

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About Doug Ware

Doug Ware is the founder of InstantQuick and a SharePoint MVP based in Atlanta, GA. Doug is best known as the author of many SharePoint books and videos focused on SharePoint development. He helps a crew of fellow Microsoft MVPs organize community events including Atlanta Code Camp and Cloud Saturday Atlanta.

About the hosts

Jeremy is a technical product manager at Microsoft responsible for the Visual Studio Developer story for Office 365 development. Previously he worked at AvePoint Inc., a large ISV, as the chief architect shipping two apps to the Office Store. He has been heavily involved in the SharePoint community since 2006 and was awarded the SharePoint MVP award four years in a row before retiring the title to move to Microsoft. You can find Jeremy blogging at and tweeting at @jthake.


Richard is a software engineer in Microsoft’s Developer Experience (DX) group, where he helps developers and software vendors maximize their use of Microsoft cloud services in Office 365 and Azure. Richard has spent a good portion of the last decade architecting Office-centric solutions, many that span Microsoft’s diverse technology portfolio. He is a passionate technology evangelist and frequent speaker are worldwide conferences, trainings and events. Richard is highly active in the Office 365 community, popular blogger at, and can be found on twitter at @richdizz. Richard was born, raised and based in Dallas, TX, but works on a worldwide team based in Redmond. In his spare time, Richard is an avid builder of things (BoT), musician and lightning fast runner.

Useful links

The post Episode 056 on building products on top of SharePoint Online with Doug Ware—Office 365 Developer Podcast appeared first on Office Blogs.

Office Mobile apps for Windows 10 are here!

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 09:00

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

It’s a big day for Microsoft and we are excited to be part of it! Today, we’re pleased to announce the availability of the Office Mobile apps on Windows 10—bringing us one step closer to our vision of reinventing productivity. Customers can immediately download and install the apps from the new Windows Store in 190 countries.

The Office Mobile apps—Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote—are built from the ground up for touch, offer the familiar experience that Office customers expect, and deliver the capabilities people need for on-the-go productivity on Windows 10 tablets and small screen devices. Across each of the apps, customers will appreciate full fidelity viewing of their Office documents, knowing edits and changes made on any device will render perfectly across all their devices. Tightly integrated with OneDrive, the Office Mobile apps are fully cloud connected, making it easy to access your documents from anywhere, pick up where you last left off, and co-author with others on documents and projects. Your docs are now automatically saved for you, ensuring you won’t lose a change and that others can see your edits as you work together. And there are new intelligent features, like Tell Me, that make it easier for you to do what you want in fewer steps.

Each of the Office Mobile apps is uniquely designed to help you be productive on the go.

Word—Word Mobile has the features you’d expect for touch-first productivity. All the core formatting commands, styles, fonts and spell check tools are there. You can insert tables, pictures, text boxes, hyperlinks, and add headers and footers—even footnotes and endnotes—all with touch. You can easily share and co-author with other editors and utilize features like track changes and comments as you collaborate. We’ve also introduced some exciting features focused on mobility scenarios. For example, the Read mode is a new way to view documents: Word beautifully reflows your document to adapt to small screens and improve readability by adjusting font sizes and allowing you to zoom on charts and tables with a quick tap. Smart Lookup, powered by Bing, brings additional online resources like images and web references directly into your document to give you deeper insights and new ideas.

Excel—All the power and precision of Excel is now made easy for mobile. Reordering columns, adding formulas, changing chart types, and filtering data are effortless and natural using Excel’s new touch-first gestures. If you prefer to use the onscreen keyboard, you’ll find the familiar controls tuned for touch, so you can even do advanced spreadsheet work comfortably on a small tablet. Excel’s new Recommended Charts feature is ideal for smaller screens and gives you the power to quickly visualize your data with just a few taps. And we’ve added modern templates tuned for mobile scenarios, so you can be up and running quickly.

PowerPoint—Customers will appreciate the richness of PowerPoint Mobile’s presentation capabilities coupled with a touch-first design. You can easily make gorgeous slides with new touch gestures for inserting and editing pictures, tables, shapes and SmartArt. All the transition and animation effects that you’re familiar with on the desktop are built right in. And when you’re ready to present, cut the cables and engage with the audience more personally by presenting wirelessly. The Presenter View gives you full control over what your audience sees on the big screen and shows you (and only you!) your speaker notes on your tablet. And new ink, laser pointer and highlighting features let you emphasize key concepts as you present.

OneNote—Never forget again with OneNote. Capture, organize and share your ideas with notebooks that you can access on any device. Type, write or draw and find your notes (even handwritten) with lightning fast search. Bring them to life with tags, tables and pictures, and share your notebooks to work with others at the same time. OneNote automatically saves your work and synchronizes changes made by everyone working in the notebook. OneNote is pre-installed on Windows 10, so simply go to the Start menu and tap the OneNote tile to get started.

Office on Windows desktops, tablets and phones

Today’s Office Mobile apps release is the first of three important Office deliverables this year for the Windows platform. In September, we’ll release Office 2016 for Windows desktops and then—later in the fall—we’ll release Office Mobile for Windows Phones.

Here is a quick summary of the product lineup for Windows desktops, tablets and phones:

Office Mobile for tablets Office 2016 for desktops Office Mobile for phones For on-the-go productivity, touch-first experiences built for Windows 10 tablets. Great for reading, reviewing and editing. Richest feature set for professional content creation. Designed for the precision of the keyboard and mouse. For on-the-go productivity, touch-first experiences optimized for phones. Great for viewing, triage and quick editing. Available TODAY on Windows 10. Available this fall on Windows 7, 8 or 10. Available this fall with Windows 10 mobile OS. Get the new Office Mobile apps today!

We’re really excited about the new Office Mobile apps and hope you are too. If you’re interested in experiencing them for yourself, here’s how to get them today:

  • Do you have a tablet with Windows 10? Starting today, you can download Word Mobile, Excel Mobile and PowerPoint Mobile apps from the Windows Store. OneNote is pre-installed on your Start menu.
  • Do you want access to all of the latest Office experiences across all of your devices? Purchase an Office 365 subscription. You can use fully installed Office desktop and mobile applications now and get access to Office 2016 and the latest new features as they become available.

Thanks to all of the Office Mobile apps previewers whose feedback helped us to get to where we are today. Please keep your input coming, and we will continue to improve the Office experience.

—Kirk Koenigsbauer

The post Office Mobile apps for Windows 10 are here! appeared first on Office Blogs.

Windows 10 updates for Office 365 admins

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 09:00

What capabilities in Windows 10 will benefit Office 365 admins? During the Microsoft Ignite conference in May, we invited Michael Niehaus—veteran Windows deployment and management expert—to present updates for managing Windows 10. Many of these updates accrue to and leverage the work people are doing to implement Office 365 and broader Microsoft Cloud services.

In this week’s Office Mechanics, we describe three areas where IT admins can benefit from Windows, Office and Azure Active Directory integration:

  • Joining Windows 10 to Azure Active Directory for single sign-on (SSO) to Office 365 and other services.
  • Using the Business Store portal in Windows Store to deliver Office apps.
  • Adding Windows 10 devices to Mobile Device Management for Office 365.

Joining Azure Active Directory

Most organizations using Office 365 with an on-premises Active Directory (AD) will synchronize their directory with Azure AD. We’ve covered the options for directory sync, password hash sync and federation on previous shows. The great news with Windows 10 is that it can join Azure AD to enable single sign-on (SSO) to Azure AD-integrated services. On the show Michael Niehaus demonstrates the first run experience in Windows 10 to join Azure AD and automatically enroll in Mobile Device Management. To find out more about this, check out Jim Alkove’s Windows 10 and Azure AD: Embracing the Cloud blog or try it out.

Business Store portal in Windows Store

We’ve recently launched the Office Mobile apps for Windows 10, and the Business Store portal will be available this fall—enabling organizations to acquire, distribute and manage software in the store for users. The Business Store portal works with Azure AD for authentication as well. Organizations will be able to distribute software—including Office Mobile—using built-in simple tools, via integration with popular software distribution and management solutions, or as a third option through an organization-managed private section in the Windows Store app accessible only by employees. Michael Niehaus demonstrates the Business Store portal on the show, and you can find out more in Todd Brix’s Distributing Windows apps to the world blog post. Keep checking back to the Windows Blog for more news about the Business Store portal.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) for Office 365

Mobile Device Management (MDM) for Office 365 was launched a few months ago as part of Office 365. Windows 10 PCs and devices can be enrolled in MDM. This is an additional option for Windows management—introduced in Windows 8.1—allowing admins to use the same lightweight management technique with desktops, laptops and tablets as they use for other mobile devices. Windows 10 combined with Microsoft Intune will extend management capabilities even further. In the show, I demonstrate how to enroll a Windows 10 tablet into MDM for Office 365, and you can find out more in Jim Alkove’s Windows 10: Manageability Choices blog post.

More to come

These are a small selection of capabilities that impact Office 365 admins, and there is much more to come. There are several improvements coming to Windows 10 deployment as well. Keep checking back at the Windows and Office blogs for more information—and try out the new Office Mobile apps for Windows 10.

See you next week!

—Jeremy Chapman

The post Windows 10 updates for Office 365 admins appeared first on Office Blogs.

Adventist Health System boosts productivity with Office 365 ProPlus while complying with HIPAA

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 09:00

Today’s Office 365 ProPlus post was written by Todd Frantz, senior technologist for Adventist Health System.

As a healthcare organization, we have a great responsibility to protect the personal data of our patients. This concern for patient privacy has often meant that we take a measured approach to technology adoption. We want to deliver the latest capabilities to our users so they can work however they want to, whether that means with increased mobility or easier collaboration, but we can never sacrifice security to get there.

Finding a comfort level

Because Microsoft understands our need for HIPAA compliance, we were able to help our management team feel at ease with moving to cloud-based tools. Microsoft provided us with a business associate agreement (BAA), which is needed for HIPAA compliance and also delivers security and compliance capabilities within Office 365, that enabled Adventist Health System to expand our compliance efforts without additional effort or expense.

With these measures in place, we moved forward with our deployment of Office 365 ProPlus, including the full Office suite, Office Online and OneDrive for Business, to ensure that we always have the latest version of the apps. Because of our large and varied environment, we’ve traditionally found it challenging to keep our Office products current. With Office 365 ProPlus, we receive a lot of value from providing the most current capabilities and security features to everyone at Adventist Health System.

Deploying Office 365 ProPlus

Taking advantage of the latest Microsoft Office Click-to-Run deployment technology for Office 365 ProPlus has helped the transition proceed smoothly. Even with the diversity of environments we support—from large hospitals with thousands of devices to small clinics with only a few devices and limited bandwidth—we have deployed the software with very few issues.

We did not face any show-stopping application compatibility issues with corporate-supported applications. Our only concerns came with a handful of machines using locally supported applications that needed updates. When a problem did come up, we could deploy Office 365 ProPlus in a side-by-side configuration and avoid challenges that could have slowed us down.

We took advantage of our existing Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) solution to distribute the installation files and then install Office 365 ProPlus on devices from a local copy. We also took advantage of BranchCache, a bandwidth optimization technology built into Windows, to facilitate deployment to small offices. Updates happen automatically after we release them to the local System Center servers. The way Click-to-Run schedules downloads and manages data rates has eliminated throughput challenges around patch distribution, allowing us to focus on deploying new capabilities.

We have deployed Office 365 ProPlus to 13,000+ devices to date. We prioritized machines with older versions of Office and left those running Office 2013 for the next phase of upgrades. Our focus is delivering function and value to our user community, and this mix allows us to move forward.

Taking the next step

Now that the oldest versions of Microsoft Outlook had been updated with the move to Office 365 ProPlus, we quickly migrated more than 70,000 mailboxes and moved our full email solution to Microsoft Exchange Online. Moving 70,000 of anything is complex, but our primary challenge was our ability to provide the support experience desired for our migrated users. The most significant issue we faced during the migration was dealing with the large number of shared calendars and conference rooms across the organization. All users that shared a calendar or managed a conference room needed to be migrated at the same time to minimize the disruption. Mapping the web of resource relationships ended up being the most complex part of the migration.

Having achieved our initial goal of improving email productivity and security, we are looking at other Office 365 capabilities that will help our employees be more efficient. One of those capabilities is Microsoft OneDrive for Business. With the continued growth of the security feature set in Office 365 and OneDrive for Business, such as rights management and data loss prevention, we can now enable our employees to access files from various devices and collaborate more easily.

In an early use case, we gave a group of cancer researchers access to OneDrive for Business, which saved them significant time and headaches. Previously, they had to complete many steps to share files at the level of security we require, but OneDrive for Business made the task easy. Compliance remains a priority at Adventist Health System, so when we can enable people to work the way they want and still meet our compliance needs, that’s a big win. We get the best of both worlds with Office 365.

We saw Office 365 as an opportunity to license a great technology. We can upgrade our existing technology with the latest security and compliance capabilities, and we can evaluate new technologies that benefit our employees. Though we may still approach the deployment of new technology slowly, we are impressed with the Microsoft philosophy of designing for the continued evolution of the product. We have been pleasantly surprised by the rate at which Microsoft has evolved the platform not only for features, but also for security and audit capabilities. We look forward to continuing this valuable partnership.

—Todd Frantz

With nearly 75,000 employees, 44 hospital campuses and more than 8,100 licensed beds in 10 states, Adventist Health System facilities incorporate the latest technological advancements and clinical research to serve more than 4.5 million patients annually.

The post Adventist Health System boosts productivity with Office 365 ProPlus while complying with HIPAA appeared first on Office Blogs.

Using OneNote and Windows tablets in a classroom for students with autism

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 09:00

Today’s post was written by Alexis Parker, special education teacher at a K–5 school in Florida.

I am a special education teacher for kindergarten through 5th-grade students who are highly impacted with autism. While every person with autism has a variety of talents and challenges, many of the students in my classroom face similar challenges—specifically in the areas of behavior, communication and fine motor skills. Six of my students exhibit behavioral challenges when presented with tasks they don’t want to do. Seven are either non-verbal or have limited verbal skills. A few of my students are beginning to use alternative communication devices. Two of my students are able to reproduce letters of the alphabet, two can copy letters given an example, and three can trace letters.

Behavior, communication and fine motor deficits make it extremely difficult to evaluate what information a student has gained. In a typical classroom, you can assess a student’s understanding of the lesson by asking the student a question, and the student can verbally respond. Or given a worksheet and pencil, a student with typical fine motor skills can complete the worksheet to show understanding of the material. These approaches do not work with my students. Typically, the best way to evaluate my students’ knowledge is through receptive communication avenues. For example, I can place three pictures of food in front of the student and ask them to point to the apple. Laminated folder activities are another tool we use in the classroom, where the student affixes laminated cards onto laminated manila folders using Velcro to answer questions or demonstrate skills. These have many drawbacks, including the expense of laminating and Velcro, as well as the time spent creating the activities. Also, you need a lot of different folder activities for the different skills that need to be taught. After continued use, some students memorize the answers, so it’s not a true indicator of concept mastery. Another method is to use letter and number stamps to answer on worksheets. Let’s say the student is doing an addition problem. Instead of writing the number, the student could use a number stamp to put the correct answer in. The drawback is the student is more focused on stamping than actually completing the worksheet, and you end up with ink everywhere. However, these are three common strategies used in many classrooms similar to mine.

In October 2014, we received a new online, interactive curriculum called the Unique Learning System. We used the interactive features for some things, but I still needed to print out many worksheets. What I discovered was that my students’ limited fine motor skills were preventing them from independently completing the worksheets. My paraprofessionals and I had to physically assist them, thus preventing them from giving independent responses.

At the end of October, I went to a training on OneNote. It sounded like an amazing tool that I could use in the classroom. Following the training, I made my first OneNote notebook for lesson planning. My previous lesson plans included all sorts of codes for which interactive whiteboard notebooks needed to be opened, followed by navigating to the interactive lessons. This was very confusing to my paraprofessionals.

Old lesson plans—interactive whiteboard and interactive lessons.

With OneNote, I was able to put the links directly into the page, as well as any other file I needed—such as interactive whiteboard files, PDFs, PowerPoint slides and videos. This made lesson planning much easier and user-friendly for my staff. When students completed their work on the interactive whiteboard, they were able to demonstrate knowledge of the subject material.

Lesson plans in OneNote.

In December, I decided to create student portfolios in OneNote. Now all the work my students completed on the interactive whiteboard could be saved in the student portfolio. This solved two problems: it reduced the number of worksheets I was printing and it gave the students the ability to complete the task independently. After the student completes the interactive assignment, we write a grade with the interactive whiteboard’s ink feature, which lets you write in the Internet browser. Next, we screen clip it and send it to a OneNote page pre-named with the assignment name. At the end of the week, I move all the assignments into OneNote folder sections labeled by quarter, then by subject. I share each student notebook with the student, and parents have instructions on how to access their student’s OneNote notebook. Now my students’ parents can see what their students are doing in the classroom.

Example of math assignment from student portfolio in OneNote.

In addition to student work samples, I have a section called “Videos,” where I have short videos of the students doing work in the classroom. There is also a section called “Homework activities.” I create interactive whiteboard notebooks for all my students’ Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals and put it on this page. The interactive whiteboard software we use has an iPad app or an online version, which can be used for free.

In January, I procured three Microsoft Windows tablets for the students. This allowed me to do two things: I could now use the interactive curriculum on the tablet, and students could work on their IEP goals on the Windows tablet using the interactive whiteboard software. I created a new section group in each student notebook called “IEP goals” with each of their individual goals. Twice a week we assess their progress toward the IEP goals and send the information to their OneNote notebook. This is amazing! Now my students’ parents can see the progress the student is making toward their IEP goals as well as the errors the student is making. I created a datasheet to track progress so I can easily see when students are getting closer to reaching their goals. Moreover, students are more engaged in doing work on the tablet and are making more progress toward their IEP goals.

Having the tablets and Bluetooth keyboards allowed me to introduce my students to typing. Because most of my students are non-verbal, typing may be the best form of communication for them. As I began writing new annual IEP goals, I started to include typing skills into their goals. One of the goals I wrote for a non-verbal student I will call Mike was to put interactive word tiles with pictures in order to create a sentence and then type the sentence using correct capitalization, punctuation and spacing. He mastered the goal in one month.

Example of Mike’s IEP goal for typing sentences.

Using the Windows tablets also allowed me to get a better understanding of my students’ knowledge base. I started creating various activities, such as cloze and sorting activities, using the interactive whiteboard software to assess my students’ knowledge of the content. Students are able to independently complete the assignments and demonstrate their knowledge. Furthermore, the tablets make it possible for me to stop printing worksheets, and I no longer have to create tons of folder activities.

Assignment before and after completion.

Microsoft OneNote and Windows tablets have had a huge impact on learning and instruction in my classroom. They have given my students a way to demonstrate their knowledge that was previously unavailable to them. They have provided me a way to plan effectively and efficiently. They have also given me the ability to save students work and share it with their parents, so they can see on a daily basis what their child is doing in the classroom and how they are progressing toward their IEP goals.

Student doing an activity on a Windows tablet.

The post Using OneNote and Windows tablets in a classroom for students with autism appeared first on Office Blogs.

Office 365 news roundup

Fri, 07/24/2015 - 09:00

We had a great time at Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) last week, where more than 14,000 people gathered to celebrate our Partners’ vital work and to share information that will help them continue to serve our customers and grow their businesses. Office 365 was a huge part of WPC, and we gave our Partners a first look at some innovations we are unleashing to help organizations transform how they work. We also announced a significant expansion of the Cloud Solution Provider program to include Azure and CRM Online as well as Office 365, and we are making the program available to all eligible Partners in 131 countries.

Mobile and cloud technology were big topics at WPC, which is unsurprising when you consider how much they have changed the way we work and the number and variety of devices we use every day in both our personal and professional lives. Office 365 is designed for today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world, and recent improvements make it even easier to be highly productive on multiple devices and switch seamlessly between Windows, Mac and Android platforms. Shortly after releasing Office for Android phone, we made Office 2016 for Mac available to Office 365 subscribers and introduced another round of important updates to the Office 2016 Preview for Windows. We also recently announced our plan to bring Sway to more platforms and devices.

As busy as we were getting ready for WPC, we still delivered on our commitment to continually provide a highly secure service with powerful tools. We added Compliance Search to make it easier for you to search all of your Office 365 data, extended the Office 365 archiving and eDiscovery compliance toolset to include content stored in public folders, and announced new activity logging capabilities to give you more control over your information. We believe these and other significant investments in security are reflected in the recently published 2015 Magic Quadrant for Secure Email Gateways from Gartner, which positions Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant.

In addition, we enabled one-click access to third-party apps and launched, a new website designed to help IT administrators get started on Windows PowerShell for Office 365. Finally, we released the Skype for Business Windows Phone app, announced the preview of our new Skype for Business services in Office 365, made significant formatting improvements to Office Online, and offered an early look at our plan to integrate Cortana with Office 365.

For even more Office 365 news, have a look through the below roundup of key items from the last couple of weeks. Enjoy!

GE selects Office 365 for employee collaboration and productivity—Discover why GE chose Office 365 to enhance collaboration and productivity for its 300,000 employees in 170 countries worldwide.

Building on a global culture of tradition and innovation to boost customer service and artistic excellence—Learn from Franck Le Moal, chief information officer at Louis Vuitton, how Office 365 is helping the celebrated design firm stay customer-focused.

Canadian Cancer Society improves TCO, collaboration with Office 365—Find out how the nonprofit Canadian Cancer Society is using Office 365 to reduce its total cost of ownership (TCO) while improving collaboration, productivity and mobile support.

Microsoft announces new top-of-the-range E5 plan for Office 365—Discover how E5, the new Office 365 option, will offer business customers added benefits.

Microsoft Office in a world of multiple devices—Learn how Office 365 delivers exceptional cross-platform functionality at an outstanding price.

New Office 2016 for Mac makes life easier for the cross-platform crowd—Discover how Office 2016 for Mac makes switching between a Windows PC and a Mac pain-free while preserving the familiar look and feel of the Mac.

DORMA delivers access to innovation for 7,000 global employees with Office 365—Learn why DORMA, the trusted global partner for premium access solutions and services for enabling better buildings, chose to set up an intranet based on Office 365.

U.S. Air Force moves to the cloud with Collaboration Pathfinder—Find out how the U.S. Air Force is taking flight with Office 365.

Management consulting firm picks Office 365 at critical growth moment—driving professionalism, productivity and collaboration—Discover how Office 365 is helping Loeb Consulting Group grow its business.

Microsoft makes Office 365 freely available to nonprofits—Learn how qualifying nonprofit organizations can use Office 365 free of charge.

USEK goes greener helped by Microsoft Office 365—Find out how the USEK university in Lebanon is using Office365 to reach its environmental goals while providing better service to faculty and students.

Digital India: Microsoft to focus on rural internet, cloud solution—Discover how Microsoft is working with the Indian government to transform rural India with cloud technology.

The post Office 365 news roundup appeared first on Office Blogs.

Announcing the Superheroes in the Classroom blog series on Office Mix

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 09:00

Every year, Microsoft welcomes some of the world’s most innovative educators and students from around the world at its annual E2 Summit to share best practices on how to use technology to enhance student learning. At this year’s summit, the Office Mix team got to meet Kelli Etheredge, director of Teaching and Learning Resources at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile, Alabama. Kelli shared the story of how St. Paul’s students used Office Mix to teach each other about human body systems in their 4th–grade science class.

The next thing she knew, the Office Mix team was interviewing the students and their teachers over Skype for Business to hear firsthand how they learned about Office Mix, how they created mixes for the first time, and more importantly, how it impacted—and improved—the students’ desire to learn and listen. Episode 1: 4th graders become teachers at St. Paul’s tells their story in a lightweight and visually appealing way thanks to Microsoft Sway.

Why not use Office Mix to tell your student’s story? For now, we focused on their words and pictures. But we reserve the right to make the movie version as a mix!

Check out Superheroes in the Classroom, and if you have an idea for an upcoming episode, please contact us at!

The post Announcing the Superheroes in the Classroom blog series on Office Mix appeared first on Office Blogs.

Episode 055 on how Sunrise uses the Calendar API with Pierre-Élie Fauche—Office 365 Developer Podcast

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 09:00

In this episode, Jeremy Thake and Richard DiZerega talk to Pierre-Élie Fauche about how the Sunrise team swapped out their old approach to fetch calendar information locally from the phones to use the Office 365 APIs instead.

Download the podcast.

Weekly updates Show notes

Got questions or comments about the show? Join the O365 Dev Podcast on the Office 365 Technical Network.

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About Pierre-Élie Fauche

Pierre-Élie is the lead backend engineer at Sunrise Calendar. Sunrise, acquired by Microsoft in February of  2015, develops calendar apps for iOS, Android and the web with a strong emphasis on design and user experience. It’s rather uncommon take on handling calendaring operations server-side enabled Sunrise to offer innovative features on three platforms at once and a wide range of services often ignored by other calendar apps.

About the hosts

Jeremy is a technical product manager at Microsoft responsible for the Visual Studio Developer story for Office 365 development. Previously he worked at AvePoint Inc., a large ISV, as the chief architect shipping two apps to the Office Store. He has been heavily involved in the SharePoint community since 2006 and was awarded the SharePoint MVP award four years in a row before retiring the title to move to Microsoft. You can find Jeremy blogging at and tweeting at @jthake.


Richard is a software engineer in Microsoft’s Developer Experience (DX) group, where he helps developers and software vendors maximize their use of Microsoft cloud services in Office 365 and Azure. Richard has spent a good portion of the last decade architecting Office-centric solutions, many that span Microsoft’s diverse technology portfolio. He is a passionate technology evangelist and frequent speaker are worldwide conferences, trainings and events. Richard is highly active in the Office 365 community, popular blogger at, and can be found on twitter at @richdizz. Richard is based, born and raised in Dallas, TX but works on a worldwide team based in Redmond. In his spare time, Richard is an avid builder of things (BoT), musician and lightning fast runner.


Useful links

The post Episode 055 on how Sunrise uses the Calendar API with Pierre-Élie Fauche—Office 365 Developer Podcast appeared first on Office Blogs.

Your top 10 questions about Office 2016 for Mac answered

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 11:15

Editor’s Note 7/28/2015:
We updated this post to reflect that support for Arabic, Hebrew and Thai language documents on iPad and iPhone was delivered on July 23, 2015. The Office apps for iPad and iPhone are now available in the Office App Store in Arab countries, Israel and Thailand.

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

The response to last week’s release of Office 2016 for Mac has been amazing—thank you to all our customers! The post was one of the most read and shared Office Blog posts this year, receiving hundreds of great comments and questions. We thought it would be helpful to share the top questions and answers with you.

1. Where do I get Office 2016 for Mac?

Office 2016 for Mac is currently only available for Office 365 subscription customers. It will be available via one-time purchase in late September. In the meantime, here are the instructions on how you can get Office 2016 for Mac today:

  • Office 365 subscribers—On your Mac, browse to your account page (, sign in and follow the installation instructions. If you have Office 365 through your organization, go to
  • Non-Office 365 subscribers—Visit to learn about ways to purchase an Office 365 subscription, either for you or your organization.
  • Students—You may get Office 2016 for Mac for free or at a substantial discount. You can find out at

2. When will Office 2016 for Mac be available for people and businesses who don’t want a subscription?

For businesses, Volume Licensing customers will be able to download Office 2016 for Mac from their Volume Licensing Service Center in early August.

For consumers, Office 2016 for Mac will become available as a one-time purchase option in late September.

Additionally, MSDN subscribers will also be able to get the new Office for Mac in September.

3. When will the Office 2016 for Mac preview stop working?

We are extending the use of the Office 2016 for Mac preview until the end of October, in large part based on your feedback.

Originally, we planned to let the Office for Mac preview expire on August 9, 2015, 30 days after launch. However, several customers commented that this was before the availability of the one-time purchase version in September, leaving some preview participants without Office 2016 for weeks. As a result of this feedback, we are extending the life of the preview until the end of October. This will give preview participants about one month to move to Office 2016 as a one-time purchase, or over three months for those who want an Office 365 subscription.

4. Can I use Office 2016 for Mac and Office for Mac 2011 on the same Mac?

Yes, you can use them side-by-side on the same Mac. And by the way, here’s how you add the app icons for Office 2016 to the dock.

5. When will Skype for Business and OneDrive for Business for Mac be available?

Both will be available before the end of the year. Stay tuned to the Office Blog if you want to participate in the preview of Skype and OneDrive this fall.

6. I have a technical problem. Where do I go?

The best place to start is Otherwise you can let us know if there is something you like or don’t like by clicking the “send a smile/frown” right from within Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote or Outlook.

7. How can I request a new feature?

You can submit your feature request on the new suggestion box service for each application:,,, and

8. I’m having problems with Outlook connectivity and reliability. What’s happening?

A number of customers reported hangs or crashes in Outlook 2016 for Mac. The Outlook team is aware of these issues and has identified two specific issues along with their root cause. In one, a small subset of customers saw frequent crashes due to some optimization work that the Outlook team was performing. The other involved hangs for customers with multiple IMAP or POP accounts. Fixes for both issues will be released this week, and customers will be automatically notified by Microsoft AutoUpdate.

We’ve also heard the requests for Gmail and iCloud calendar and contacts sync. We’ll be adding these and other feature requests through monthly updates. Stay tuned to the Office Blog for further updates as we finalize our plans here.

9. What are your plans for Visual Basic support?

Existing macros continue to work in Office 2016 for Mac. When accessing local files, you may encounter permission prompts due to Mac OS X sandboxing. We’ve added methods to the object model to allow you to update macros to minimize the number of prompts.

Office 2016 for Mac provides a simplified Visual Basic Editor (VBE) for viewing/debugging existing macros. We recommend that customers develop macros or VB add-ins in Office for Windows and use Office for Mac to debug if needed. We will continue to ensure compatibility of existing macros and make improvements to the IDE. In the future, we will include the new web-based add-in model in Office for Mac products, which work across devices and platforms, giving add-in developers a modern web development experience. These new add-ins are already available in Outlook for Mac today and will come to the rest of Office for Mac over time. They are available today for Office for Windows for Word and Excel on iPad.

10. When will Office 2016 for Mac be available in Arabic, Hebrew and other right-to-left languages? What about other languages?

We’ve heard your feedback and questions about right-to-left (RTL) language support. We are committed to doing RTL languages for Office for Mac. We are currently working through timing and will communicate our plans when we have a clearer sense of the timeline.

Support for Arabic, Hebrew and Thai language documents on iPad and iPhone was delivered on July 23, 2015. The Office apps for iPad and iPhone are now available in the Office App Store in Arab countries, Israel and Thailand. And we will release additional updates for RTL languages shortly after the iOS 9 release.

More broadly, Office for Mac is currently available in the following 16 languages: Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. And Office 2016 for Mac is available in all countries where Office 365 is available except for Turkey. Office for Mac will be available in Turkey in September when the Turkish language version is ready.

Thank you again for the incredible response to Office 2016 for Mac. The team is already hard at work on the first update for Office 365 customers. We’ll share more information soon. Please keep sending us your questions, feedback and suggestions—it’s very helpful as we prioritize the backlog to create the best Office for Mac experience for you!

—Kirk Koenigsbauer

The post Your top 10 questions about Office 2016 for Mac answered appeared first on Office Blogs.

Your top questions about Office for Android phone answered

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 10:35

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

On June 24, we launched Office for Android phone, and the response has been amazing. In the last three weeks, there have been millions of downloads across Google Play, Samsung Galaxy and local app stores in China. We are also excited to see customers rate the apps so favorably, now at 4+ ratings on the Google Play store. Thanks to you all for using the Office apps.

We very much appreciate your feedback (the positive and the critical!) and have been reading all of your comments posted to the launch blog, within the App Stores, and submitted directly via the product. While we’ve been answering these questions across the various forums, we thought it would be helpful to consolidate, share and answer the top questions here on the Office Blog.

1. Will Office for Android apps be supported on any OS version below KitKat (4.4)?

The new Office for Android apps supports only KitKat (4.4) or higher. For customers running older Android OS versions, we are continuing to provide the original “Office Mobile for Android” app in the Google Play store.

2. When will the apps support the new Android M OS?

The Android M OS is still in preview, and we plan to support it within 2–3 weeks of general availability.

3. I have the old Office Mobile app on my Android phone. Can I keep using it?

Of course! Existing users of the previous Office Mobile app can keep using it on their Android phones. However, we recommend that existing users with more modern Android phones running 4.4 OS (KitKat) or higher download and use the new Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps.

4. What is the market and language availability for the apps?

Currently the Office for Android apps are available in the following languages: Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (U.S.), Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian (Latin), Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Turkish and Ukrainian.

Here is the list of countries where the Office for Android apps are currently available.

5. When will the apps be available in Arabic, Hebrew and other right-to-left languages?

They are coming soon! We have heard your feedback and will be delivering the Office for Android apps in local languages and regions with requirements for right-to-left (RTL) languages and Complex Script (CS) this fall. We plan to provide bi-directional, switchable text support in canvas, vertical text support, justification support, and translation for Arabic, Hebrew and Thai in the app experience. We’ll also localize all the text in the UI and “mirror” the UI, that is, move the command from left-to-right to right-to-left.

The apps will be available in the following languages: Arabic, Hebrew, Indic languages (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam), Persian, Vietnamese and Thai; and in these markets: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, UAE, Vietnam and Yemen.

6. Do I need an Office 365 subscription to use the Office for Android phone apps?

The answer is “it depends.”

For consumers (or what we refer to as “non-commercial use”), we provide core viewing, creation and editing features of Office for Android phone at no charge. There are a few advanced features that are only available for Office 365 subscribers, and you can find the list here.

For businesses and commercial users, viewing and printing are free, but you will need a qualifying Office 365 subscription for rights to create and edit documents. A list of qualifying Office 365 subscriptions can be found here.

A few months ago, I posted a blog on our business model and licensing approach for mobile apps. You can read that here for more details.

7. Can I use this app without signing in?

You can view documents without signing in. However, we recommend signing in with a Microsoft Account (MSA) or qualified Office 365 subscription ID to unlock core editing functionality.

Based on user feedback, we have simplified the sign-up process, so you can now create an MSA and sign in to the apps in three easy steps. BTW… signing in to any of the apps (Word, Excel or PowerPoint) automatically signs you in to all three apps.

8. How do I request my favorite feature?

We definitely want your feedback and it absolutely impacts our backlog! You can always submit your feature request on our brand new suggestion box sites:,,, and

9. I have a technical issue. Where do I go?

Get support at Alternatively, you can inform us about any issue directly from the product using the feedback tool in the top right corner (the smiley face).

Thanks to everyone who has taken time to share comments—we appreciate it. Please keep sending us your questions and feedback and together we’ll keep making the Office apps for Android better.

—Kirk Koenigsbauer

The post Your top questions about Office for Android phone answered appeared first on Office Blogs.

Azure Rights Management support comes to Office for iPad and iPhone

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 10:00

Shobhit Sahay is a technical product manager on the Office 365 team.

Earlier this year, we announced we are deeply committed to bringing encryption technologies on all platforms. At the core of encryption technologies is Azure Rights Management, which provides an easy way to protect data by assigning a policy to the data readily available in Office 2013, Office 2010 and Office for Mac. We are excited to announce that the same policy-driven protection is now available in Office for iPad and on iPhone devices. With this functionality, you are now able to view the rights protected Office documents natively on your iPad and iPhone devices.

Let’s look at this functionality in greater detail:

While using Office documents on iPad and iPhone, you can now view rights protected documents natively within the Office application. Word, Excel and PowerPoint all display the protected content with full file fidelity, retaining the same viewing rights permissions originally assigned to the document.

While you can view the rights protected documents with this release, the capability to create, edit and publish rights protected documents will be released at a later date.

Rights protected document viewed on the iPad.

Rights protected document viewed on the iPhone.

Our promise to bring Azure Rights Management to all platforms

While we are excited about bringing Azure Rights Management to Office for iPad and iPhone, we are continuously working to enable the same for other Office applications on different platforms:

  • Outlook app on iOS and Android will start supporting Azure Rights Management in the fourth quarter of 2015.
  • Office Mobile will support Azure Rights Management with the Windows 10 Enterprise release in the fourth quarter of 2015.
  • Office 2016 will come pre-instrumented with Azure Rights Management controls later this calendar year.
  • The rights management experience is going to get richer on Office for iPad and iPhone, with support for creating, editing and publishing rights protected documents coming in a later release.
  • Office for Android will also support Azure Rights Management in the fourth quarter of 2015.

We believe that providing you with such rights management controls will help you protect your data wherever you may be using the Office applications. We look forward to your feedback and releasing new enhancements in the coming months. For more news about other announcements from Azure this week, click here.

—Shobhit Sahay

Frequently asked questions

Q. When are the Office apps updated for this capability?

A. The updated Office apps will be available in the Apple App Store by July 23, 2015. You can then update the apps on your device and start using the functionality.

Q. Can a Word, PowerPoint or Excel document be rights protected from within the Office apps on an iPad or iPhone?

A. The current release will support only viewing of rights protected Word, PowerPoint or Excel documents on an iPad or iPhone. Creating rights protected content on iPads and iPhones will be supported later.

Q. Will the recipient be able to edit a rights protected document if the sender gives that permission?

A. This is not supported today but will be available in a later release.

The post Azure Rights Management support comes to Office for iPad and iPhone appeared first on Office Blogs.

Bringing cloud technology on-premises in Exchange Server 2016

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 09:00

Many performance improvements and architecture changes in the upcoming release of Exchange Server 2016—which is now available as a Preview to download—are based on our experience running Exchange Online at extreme scale. Our software development process allows us to incorporate things we’ve learned in the cloud in the product releases that we deliver to on-premises customers.

We explain some of these under-the-hood improvements on this week’s Office Mechanics. Exchange engineering team veteran Greg Taylor provides insights into what IT admins can expect in Exchange Server 2016. He explains that the team focused on three key areas to enhance the newest member of the Exchange family:

  • Simplification: both in server architecture and migration from Exchange Server 2013 and 2010.
  • Reliability: key learnings from running Exchange Online enabled the team to get further ahead of potential failures through automation and predict problems before they occur.
  • Performance and reducing total cost of ownership: improvements in indexing, search, connectivity and more, along with making sure we can run on low-cost commodity servers versus high-performance (and high-cost) servers.

Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list of the new capabilities coming to Exchange Server 2016. In-depth information can be found in today’s Exchange Team blog announcing the availability of the Preview. And to see what’s coming in Outlook, check out Ben Walters’ recent show: Early look at the new Outlook on the desktop, Windows 10 and phones.

—Jeremy Chapman

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Introducing Send—designed for in-and-out email

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 06:00

Sometimes you just need to send a quick, short note to your co-worker. Of course, you can use Outlook for this, but today we’re launching a new app through the Microsoft Garage that is built specifically for those brief, snappy communications—Send, designed for in-and-out email.

Send is available for iPhone in the U.S. and Canada, and is coming soon to Windows Phone and Android phones. The app works for people with Office 365 business and school email accounts, and we expect to make the app more broadly available in the coming months.

While tools like text messaging and IM are great for short messages, you often don’t have your co-worker’s cell phone number or an IM app on your work phone. And we’ve heard loud and clear from people at work, they want all their communications available in Outlook—even if they send them from other apps. This is where Send comes in! Send gives you the simple, quick text message-like experience while allowing you to reach all co-workers and have all of your communications in Outlook for reference later.

Send lets you quickly and easily send any co-worker a message without a subject line or formal email constructs. Some examples of Send messages include:

  • Straight to the point: “Let’s chat in 10”
  • Super urgent: “Don’t send the presentation yet”
  • Simple back-and-forth conversations: “Are you in the Office today?” “No”

These are the sort of quick emails you send to the people you care about at work—your boss, your teammates, and sometimes partners or customers outside your organization. You’re usually busy or on the go when you send them, and Send is specifically designed for this get-in get-out scenario.

Imagine you’re walking into a big presentation and someone asks you to find out if your colleague will be attending. Chances are, you don’t have your colleague’s phone number, but you will probably have their email address—especially if you’ve been emailing with them recently. You don’t have time to search your inbox, start a new thread, or even type out a subject line. You just want to ask that person, “Will you be at the presentation?”

With Send, there are no signatures, subject lines or salutations required. Our design principle for the app was to make conversations fast and fluid while keeping the people who are important to you at its core. Send connects to Office 365 business and school email accounts to surface your frequent and recent contacts. The people who are important to you are put right at your fingertips—just tap on a contact to start a conversation. Or even better, simply swipe and choose a Quick Reply such as “On my way” or “I’ll get back to you.” You can also see when someone is typing their response; there’s never been a quicker way to reach someone over email.

Send doesn’t show all your emails, just the ones started in the app, keeping you in control. All Send messages comply with your organization’s email compliance policies—they are treated like any other work email. And for IT Pros, we’re working on bringing more IT controls to the app in the coming months.

The connection with Office 365 means your conversations are synced with Outlook, letting you continue the conversation from anywhere. And just like regular email, you can message anyone with an email address. No need to exchange numbers, remember usernames or split conversations across platforms.

Now that you know a little bit about Send, we’d love to hear what you have to say. We’re listening to your feedback, which you can submit under the Help section of the app. We’ve added a FAQ section to the Office 365 Network on Yammer, and you can join us for a YamJam on Tuesday, July 28th 9–10 a.m. PDT to ask questions about the app.

To join the YamJam:

  1. Request access to the Office 365 Network.
  2. Join the Send app group. You can find it by using the Browse Groups function or through the search bar.
  3. Log in at 9 a.m. PDT on Tuesday, July 28th to ask questions and provide feedback about Send.

If you are using Office 365 for your work or school email, we encourage you to try Send on iPhone and let us know what you think. You can also check out more productivity apps at the Microsoft Garage.

The post Introducing Send—designed for in-and-out email appeared first on Office Blogs.

Office 365 Channels are live on IFTTT

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 11:00

Today we are excited to announce the launch of the Office 365 Channels on IFTTT to coordinate information flow in an automated way. IFTTT enables people to link to the various Triggers that exist for Internet apps, and then complete Actions against other products or apps. For example, you could have the lights in your house turn on when you are minutes from your house.

The Office 365 Channels include:

When you activate these Channels, you are able to automate what happens with your Office 365 data to increase your productivity even more. For example, you create Recipes to program activities, like automatically save a photo to OneDrive for Business when it’s posted to Instagram with a particular hashtag, or sharing that a new Office 365 contact was added to the team’s Trello board or Slack team.

We created some Office 365 sample Recipes to help you get started.

Mail Channel

We live in our email these days. The Mail Channel helps you create a centralized place to review of all of the information coming in from across the Internet.

For example, this Recipe sends an email when you receive a refund in Square:

OneDrive for Business Channel

We all like to share highlights of our successes to our friends and peers.

This Recipe saves a photo from your Camera Roll on your iPhone to your OneDrive for Business if you’re within a particular radius of a location. This is a great way to automatically save all conference-related and team-building photos to your team’s OneDrive for Business photos folder:

Another great Recipe uses Instagram photos with the #work hashtag. For example, this Recipe saves photos from Instagram to OneDrive for Business to create a great #work photo album and share conference and team activity pictures with the rest of the team:

Calendar Channel

The Calendar Channel, keeps you on top of your meetings and important events all the time.

This Recipe creates a card in your team’s Trello board, reminding them of a team meeting, and then adds a task to follow up with meeting notes:

Or use the Calendar Channel to schedule a gym appointment for you for in the evening when you haven’t reached your FitBit steps goal by 5 p.m.

Contacts Channel

Keeping track of relationships and key contacts is critical today.

This Recipe creates a page in your OneNote when you add a new contact to Office 365:

This next Recipe creates an automatic follow–up calendar item for an easy reminder to follow up with a new contact a week after your initial meeting:

Get started today by visiting the Microsoft’s profile page on IFTTT, where we’ve posted 30 recipes to help you get started.

We’re looking forward to seeing the creative ways you can increase your productivity with IFTTT and Office 365.

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Explore the built-in Mobile Device Management (MDM) feature for Office 365

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 09:00

Earlier this year, we started the rollout of built-in Mobile Device Management (MDM) for Office 365, and now that it has been available for a while, we want to give you some tips on how to get the feature up and running in your organization.

It’s easy to get started—there are just a few steps, which are documented in detail here: Overview built-in Mobile Device Management (MDM) for Office 365.

  • Set up MDM for Office 365—Activate the feature and configure the environment.
  • Configure MDM policies—Configure Security Groups and Device policies.
  • Enroll devices—When users access Exchange, SharePoint or OneDrive using the MDM-enabled applications, they are required to enroll their devices.
  • Manage devices—You can wipe enrolled devices and run reports.
Set up MDM for Office 365

None of your users will be affected by setting up MDM until you configure the MDM policies. So to get started, go to the Office 365 Admin Center, and from the Mobile Devices tab, click Get started.

Depending on the size of your Office 365 tenant, it may only take a few minutes, or it could take a few hours, to activate the feature. In the background, we configure Azure Active Directory and Intune for your users and devices. This is all transparent to you—since you’ll be managing everything from Office 365. You don’t need to wait at this page for the process to complete. Come back when you are ready, and once the feature is activated, you’ll be able to continue the configuration.

You only need to configure a few tenant-wide settings, and you can access them from the Manage Settings link. Set up an Apple Push Notification Service certificate to manage iOS devices and configure any custom domains to support MDM for Windows devices.

How MDM Conditional Access works

MDM policies are applied to groups of users (it will affect all of the user’s devices) and they can enforce Conditional Access to Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business through any of the supported mobile applications.

Conditional Access works like this: when a user logs into Office 365 through a supported mobile app, the app checks with Azure Active Directory to see if the user is subject to a Conditional Access policy. If the user has a policy assigned, and the device is not marked as enrolled and compliant, the application prompts the user to enroll the device in MDM. In the case of an Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) client, Exchange sends an email with a link to enroll. Once the user has enrolled the device, the device settings policies are sent to the device, and the user must update the device to meet the appropriate settings such as PIN and encryption. After the settings are updated, the agent on the device informs the management service, which in turn marks the user’s device as enrolled and compliant in Azure Active Directory.

Configure MDM policies

You will want to start by setting up your first policy for a test group of users—you could start with just yourself in the group or add a few eager friends who want to help with the testing, to evaluate the effect on your environment and understand the device enrollment process.

The MDM policies can only be applied to security groups (not distribution groups), so set up a security group (through Office 365 or Exchange) for your test group of users (or use one you already have). To create an MDM policy, select the Manage device security policies and access rules link, which takes you to the Compliance Center, where all the policies for your Office 365 tenant are managed.

The list of policy settings on the first page (What requirements do you want to have on devices?) lists the requirements that need to be met before the user’s device is considered to be compliant.

A couple of important notes on a few of the settings:

Setting Notes Require data encryption on devices For Android devices this requires the user to encrypt the device through settings,and this can take some time. Require managing email profile This sends an email profile from Exchange Online to iOS devices. If a user already has an email profile connected to Exchange Online defined on the device, they will have to remove that profile before they are marked as compliant. Allow access versus Block access The last section (If a device doesn’t meet the requirements above, then…) determines how devices are treated when they connect. In both cases, users are prompted to enroll their devices before they can connect to Exchange, SharePoint or OneDrive. However, in the Allow case, the device does not have to be made compliant with the settings before access is granted. In the Block case, the user will not be able to access Office 365 until the device complies with any settings on this page of the policy. This option cannot be changed when updating a policy later—if you want to change the setting from Allow to Block later, you will have to re-create the policy.

The second page (What else do you want to configure?) has a list of device settings. These settings are pushed down to the device but are not used when calculating whether a device is compliant, and will not stop a device from connecting to Office 365.

The final step is to apply the policy to your group of test users. When you apply a policy to a security group, you need to search for the name of the group (Hint: * will display all groups, or search for the first few letters of the group name).

Once you have created the policy, the status of the policy is “Turning on….” while it distributes the policy to the right systems and changes to “On” once it has completed the policy distribution.

Enroll devices

MDM policies can be triggered when any of the supported Office applications are used on iOS or Android devices. Make sure you have the latest version of the application. When you sign in with your Office 365 credentials (you must be in a Security group that has a policy applied), you will see this enrollment prompt:

When you tap the Enroll button, you are prompted to download the Intune Company Portal application. Log in to the application and enroll your device. Once all of the required steps are completed, the MDM device settings are sent to the device, and for any settings that haven’t already been configured, you are prompted to configure them.

Simply open the Company Portal app and select Check Compliance to determine if all the settings have been configured correctly. If not, the Company Portal provides a link with remediation steps.

When you tap the Enroll button, you are prompted to download the Intune Company Portal application. Log in to the application and enroll your device. Once all of the required steps are completed, the MDM device settings are sent to the device, and for any settings that haven’t already been configured, you are prompted to configure them.

Simply open the Company Portal app and select Check Compliance to determine if all the settings have been configured correctly. If not, the Company Portal provides a link with remediation steps.

Once the device is compliant, you restart the Office application and connect to Office 365.

MDM policies can also be triggered by using any native email client, which connects using EAS from iOS, Android or Windows Phone 8.1. When you connect to Exchange Online, you receive a message similar to this:

Select the Enroll your device link to go through the same enrollment process (assuming you are not already enrolled) as the Enroll button displayed from the Office applications. Once your device is enrolled and compliant (you can use the second link in the email to check), you also need to click the activate your email link to send the EASid to Active Directory.

For Windows Phone 8.1, there’s no Company Portal to install. Just follow the instructions to add a workplace account.

If you have previously connected to Exchange on this same device, then it may take up to 24 hours before your Quarantine mail is received—this is a result of the Exchange service caching your previous compliance status, which was most likely “no policy applies” since this is the first time you have any MDM policies defined.

Manage devices

The Mobile devices page in Office 365 lists all the devices that have enrolled into the MDM service for your tenant. From this list you see details of the devices, as well as issue wipe commands. Office 365 gives you two different wipe options:

  • Full wipe—Restores the device to its factory settings, deleting all data on a user’s mobile device.
  • Selective wipe—Removes only organization data and leaves installed applications, photos and personal information on a user’s mobile device.

For MDM for Office 365, the selective wipe option will remove the following organizational data:

  • Outlook for iOS and Android
  • OneDrive for iOS and Android
  • EAS mail for iOS (if the policy option Require managing email profile was defined)

For the other applications that access Office 365 data, and specifically for EAS mail on other devices (or on iOS when the manage email profile policy option was not selected), new access is blocked until the device is re-enrolled, however, existing data is not removed.

From the Office 365 Admin Center, you can also see device compliance reports to display information about the number of devices in your organization that have connected to your environment.

Next steps

Once you’ve tried out MDM for Office 365 with a policy for you and your closest friends, you can educate your users, create additional policies for them (perhaps you need different settings for different groups), and sleep just a little more soundly now that your Office 365 data is better protected.

Want more? MDM for Office 365 has a subset of the features of Intune (see the differences here). So if you are looking for protection beyond what’s included in Office 365, you can subscribe to Microsoft Intune, part of the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite, and receive additional device and application management capabilities for phones, tablets and PCs. This includes the ability to restrict actions such as cut, copy, paste and save as to applications managed by Intune—helping keep corporate information even more secure.

If you want to use both Intune and MDM for Office 365 within the same Office 365 tenant, we don’t support that for all tenants just yet—but you can contact the support team, and we may be able to get you set up as part of our private preview program.

By the way, I talked about using Office 365 MDM at the Ignite Conference in May, so if want to see the product in action, watch the video from the conference.

Try out MDM for Office 365 and let us know what you think!

—Astrid McClean, senior program manager for the Office 365 Information Protection team.

The post Explore the built-in Mobile Device Management (MDM) feature for Office 365 appeared first on Office Blogs.

WYSIWYG editing in Office Mix quizzes and polls

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 09:00

With Office Mix, you can teach a lesson and quiz viewers to gauge their comprehension, which any educator will tell you is key to the learning process. But imagine if your ability to write quiz questions was limited to what you could type on the common QWERTY keyboard. How would you ask questions about mathematical and scientific formulae? E equals MC squared isn’t as recognizable or efficient as E = MC2, which you can type easily in any Office document that allows you to include symbols and superscripts. Up until recently, the best you could do in an Office Mix quiz or poll was to type E = MC2, which even a grade school student knows isn’t the same thing. The more complex the formula, the less satisfying the results.

But now, with WYSIWIG editing support in quizzes and polls, you can type formulae as simple as E = MC2 or as complex as:

If you’re a math or science teacher, the benefits are clear—and here’s just one example of the type of Office Mix quiz you can create now:

But even if you’re not a math or science teacher, you now have a lot more freedom to include images, tables, horizontal rule lines, font formatting, bulleted and numbered lists, and a whole range of special characters in quiz and poll questions in your Office Mix—thanks to the new floating toolbar that appears when you author a question:

For a complete list of available commands and instructions on how to use them, visit “Introducing WYSIWYG editing in quizzes and polls” at the Office Mix feedback and support site.

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Building on a global culture of tradition and innovation to boost customer service and artistic excellence

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 08:30

Today’s post about Office 365 was written by Franck Le Moal, chief information officer at Louis Vuitton.

I joined Louis Vuitton some years ago, and I still have the same passion for the company today as I did then—it is a fantastic, creative place that mixes innovation and modernity with history. My goal as CIO hasn’t changed drastically either: to deliver the best applications and IT tools to everyone at Vuitton, so we can work together to design, manufacture and distribute our products with a 100 percent focus on the customer.

This tradition of customer service is the same now as it was in the 1850s, when Louis Vuitton honed his craft designing custom boxes and trunks according to clients’ wishes. We have the same spirit of innovation as we did in 1886, when Louis and his son, Georges, developed a revolutionary new lock to safeguard the goods inside their customers’ travel pieces. And we have survived the changing world of fashion for more than 150 years because we are agile and responsive. The applications and IT tools I bring to the company have to reinforce these qualities. That’s why Microsoft Office 365 has a place in the world of Louis Vuitton Malletier.

We were first using Office 365 as a key pillar in a global collaboration initiative supporting our 6,000 sales associates working in 460 Louis Vuitton stores in 65 countries. Our associates develop close relationships with our customers, and Office 365 comes into play by helping them communicate with colleagues across the business to stay informed about our products. Customers in the luxury retail market know a great deal about what they buy—they visit our website, and they pay attention to social media. So it’s critical for our associates to talk to customers at that level, and there’s a lot for them to learn: we have many SKUs for leather goods alone, and we launch four different collections a year in shoes and ready-to-wear. Office 365 is a great, agile platform that we use to support daily exchanges between our merchandising and store teams.

Office 365 is just as important in supporting collaboration between the designers and artisans who continue the tradition of excellence and craftsmanship at Louis Vuitton. Previously, we didn’t have one integrated platform for sharing design ideas and innovative practices easily among the 4,000 artisans who work together to deliver the best products to our customers. I love that we maintain the practice of collaborative craftsmanship at our 17 factories and ateliers across France but use Office 365 to speed up idea sharing—where to find a certain leather, for example, or how to improve on a pattern or refine the design of a buckle—to deliver better products more quickly. That’s a huge business benefit.

We also see Office 365 as essential in helping us remain agile in an evolving industry. For example, when a new product is launched, its first week in stores is critical for collecting feedback from our sales associates. Yammer, the social network in Office 365, will be an excellent way to share product feedback from our factory teams.

There’s another reason we value Office 365: as we grow globally, it enables us to address the risk of becoming too vertical in our operations. Reducing complexity and silos is key to staying agile, reactive and modern. For instance, in the past our staff had many different email addresses and many vertical tools; now everyone is united under the domain in a single collaborative platform. This reinforces that we are one company working in sync to deliver world-class customer service. With Office 365 at Vuitton, technology meets tradition—a winning combination that ensures our products and services continue to please our discriminating customers.

—Franck Le Moal

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Microsoft positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s 2015 Magic Quadrant for Secure Email Gateways

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 09:00

Today’s post was written by Rajesh Jha, corporate vice president for Office 365 and Outlook.

Gartner recently published the 2015 Magic Quadrant for Secure Email Gateways, positioning Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant. The Magic Quadrant represents Gartner’s evaluation of our completeness of vision and ability to execute in the market. We believe this positioning is a reflection of the value we’re delivering to our customers and the strength of our product vision. Microsoft has a number of services that are evaluated in this report including: Exchange Online Protection (EOP), Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Office 365 Message Encryption, which are part of the Office 365 suite and include other security and compliance services as well.

Continuous service enhancements

Exchange Online Protection (EOP) is an integral part of Office 365, providing native protection for hundreds of millions of Office 365 mailboxes. EOP is also used by thousands of large enterprises to protect tens of millions of on-premises mailboxes.

Our top priority is delivering new value to our customers in an evolving security landscape while continuing to strengthen our core protection capabilities. During the past year, we’ve been focused on strengthening protection against phishing, malware and spam attacks. Significant advancements include developing near-real-time protection against high-volume spam campaigns, providing support for inbound DKIM and DMARC to reinforce our anti-phishing and anti-spoofing protection, and empowering administrators to adjust the bulk mail experience for their organizations. We’ve also shipped Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), providing robust protection against “zero-day” attachments and real-time protection of users against harmful links.

We’ve enhanced our Data Loss Prevention (DLP) capabilities and extended them beyond email. We introduced DLP capabilities natively in Office client and expanded DLP coverage to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. With Compliance Center, we’re providing administrators a simple, centralized policy management console to create their DLP policies that can be applied across different services.

We have continuously added new features to Office 365 Message Encryption. With “one time passcode,” the recipient of an encrypted message simply enters a passcode to read it. We also shipped new mobile apps on iOS and Android to view encrypted messages easily while on the go.

To expand our commitment to filtering emails within a region of customer choice, we rolled out Exchange Online Protection in Japan, Australia and our U.S. Government Community Cloud.

This steady stream of service enhancements is a key benefit of Office 365 and part of Microsoft’s continuous commitment to building world-class security capabilities.

Our vision for the future

In light of escalating attacks on enterprise, governmental, educational and other institutions, it’s essential that we continue to expand the capabilities of these services. In the next year, we will focus on strengthening protection against external threats; empowering administrators to prevent data loss; streamlining administration of the solution; and expanding its coverage to a broader set of Office 365 workloads, including SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Skype for Business and Yammer.

In the near to mid-term future our roadmap includes many new features—here are a few:

Innovations in protection against external threats
  • Strengthened anti-phishing, anti-spoofing and anti-malware (especially zero-day) capabilities.
  • Advancing customer-specific protection based on implicit behavior and signals from customers’ users (in addition to currently supported explicit administrators’ configuration and users’ Allow/Block lists).
  • Dynamic delivery, as part of ATP, eliminates latency in email delivery while the email attachment is being inspected in a sandboxed environment. This capability will deliver the original email with a “placeholder” attachment—after passing inspection, the original attachment(s) will be reconnected to the original email in the mailbox. During this process, the user will be informed that the attachment is being scanned.
Data Loss Prevention
  • We will bring DLP to Office Clients (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) with Office 2016.
  • Our capabilities for DLP for SharePoint will get an enhanced feature set.
  • Office 365 Message Encryption will support Revocation and Message Expiration capabilities, as well as track whether a message was read by a recipient.
  • Office 365 Message Encryption support for Bring Your Own Key (BYOK).
Expanded global presence
  • We will continue expanding our service’s global presence in addition to the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific (APAC), Japan, Australia and China, and plan to offer local email processing in India and Canada.

We look forward to delivering more innovation in this space and look forward to your continued feedback.

— Rajesh Jha

Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Secure Email Gateways, Peter Firstbrook, Neil Wynne, 29 June 2015
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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GE selects Office 365 for employee collaboration and productivity

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 06:00

For a company as large, international and diverse as GE, fostering team collaboration and individual productivity are paramount. The company’s IT organization has long been recognized as an innovative and forward-thinking one in its embracing the cloud.

Today, Microsoft and GE announced plans to roll out Office 365 to GE’s more than 300,000 employees across 170 countries worldwide. GE and its employees will get a comprehensive and integrated set of productivity capabilities including email, Skype for Business calling and meetings, real-time document co-authoring and team collaboration. The company will also benefit from the extensibility of the Office 365 platform, which will enable GE to enhance the capabilities of critical line-of-business applications by connecting to Office 365 through open APIs. And the IT organization values the IT controls and security capabilities built right into Office 365.

Read more about GE’s decision to choose Office 365 in today’s press release and over on the Business Matters blog.

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Top 10 back to school features in the new Office for Mac

Fri, 07/17/2015 - 15:30

Just in time for teachers, students and families preparing to head back to school—the all new Office for Mac is here. Packed with a whole new set of features, Office 2016 for Mac is sure to help scholars of all ages do their best work. To help you get most out of the new Office for Mac, we’ve narrowed it down to our top 10.

Top 10 features and enhancements for students

1. If you save your Office documents in the cloud, a list of recently used files is available in the new Office for Mac. This helps you immediately pick up where you left off. Bonus: Pin the documents you use frequently and they will stay in the special “pinned files” list.

2. Working on an assignment with other students? Simply share your document in a few clicks and give permission to view or edit—all without leaving the application.

3. When you’re working with others in a Word document, PowerPoint presentation or OneNote notebook—several people can work on the same file simultaneously. And you can reply to people’s comments so that you can have a conversation right next to the relevant text.

4. Use Audio Recording in OneNote to record class lectures. Any notes you type while recording are synchronized to the audio. Later, when you review your notes, you can easily jump to the parts of the recording that correspond to the specific notes you typed at that moment.

5. Presenter View in PowerPoint is like mission control for your presentation. You see the current slide, next slide, speaker notes and a timer on your Mac, while the audience sees only the presentation on the big screen.

6. Side-by-side calendar in Outlook lets you see multiple calendars in a single view.

7. Clicking Smart Lookup in Word shows contextual information from the web. When you’re writing a report on the French Revolution, useful information will show up right next to your document (including a certain Napoleon Bonaparte).

8. Mathletes rejoice! Insert 11 types of equations in Word, Excel and PowerPoint and customize them to your heart’s content. You can also save frequently used equations to the Equation Gallery.

9. Make your presentations stand out with new transitions, pixel perfect animations and smooth video playback.

10. Want to make your report or presentation look awesome without breaking a sweat? Click the new Design tab to easily apply designer quality layouts, colors and fonts throughout your document.

We hope you find these Office for Mac tips useful. If you have any favorite time-saving tips, please share them in the comments below. And don’t forget, if you’re a student or teacher, visit to see if you’re eligible to get Office 365, and the new Office for Mac, for free.

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