September 26-30 marked Microsoft’s second annual technology conference known as #MSIgnite. With over 22,000 attendees, the conference set Twitter afire with a long list of product enhancements – some available now, others coming before year-end.
New Functionality for OneDrive Users
If you’re a OneDrive user, you’ll be thrilled to hear about these new features:
- Ability to sync SharePoint Online document libraries and OneDrive folders
- One-stop shopping for browsing and editing SharePoint Online and OneDrive files using the OneDrive browser client
- Ability to download multiple documents as a .zip file
- Improvements to the Android OneDrive App – support for SharePoint Online files and multi-page scan enhancements
- Notifications to your mobile device when someone shares a OneDrive file with you
- Ability to see over time how many people have discovered and viewed your files in OneDrive for iOS
See the full list of OneDrive updates here.
Enhancements to the Outlook Mobile App
- The new, improved calendar app on iOS and Android devices now offers event icons, simpler scheduling, and on-the-fly editing of recurring meetings
- Use the “smart location” feature on the mobile app to easily add maps and directions to event details. Next time you create an event, just start typing a location. Choose one of the suggestions and Outlook will include a map with your event details.
- Use the @ symbol to get someone’s attention: typing the @ symbol followed by a person’s name in the body of an email message or a meeting invite will automatically add the person to the To line of the email or meeting invite.
- Coming soon: meeting invites will support real-time availability checks with a slide-bar interface – via @thevarnish
- Outlook for iOS and Android is now powered by the Microsoft Cloud for Office 365. All your data is now fully delivered through Microsoft’s secure servers (no third party vendor, no mailbox data cached outside Office 365).
- New assistive technology has been added for reading email, scheduling meetings, and adding a signature
Improvements to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- Use Researcher to find credible sources and content: “Researcher is a new service in Word that helps you find and incorporate reliable sources and content for your paper in fewer steps. Right within your Word document you can explore material related to your topic and add it—and its properly-formatted citation—in one click. Researcher uses the Bing Knowledge Graph to pull in the appropriate content from the web and provide structured, safe and credible information.”
- Improve your writing with the new digital writing assistant known as Editor, a cloud-based service that uses machine learning, natural language processing, and input from linguists to improve writing through advanced proofing and editing. [Caveat: not suitable for confidential content.]
- Write or draw with your finger, a pen, or a stylus in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint mobile apps (known as “inking.”)
- Turn data into maps in Excel – “Powered by Bing, Maps in Excel enables everyday users to create geographic data visualizations that previously required the help of technical experts or expensive external products. Identify insights, trends and opportunities in your data right in Excel.”
- Real-time co-authoring (two people working on an Excel spreadsheet at the same time) is coming in 2017 @SuperTekBoy
- Copy an Excel chart or Excel data to another Office Program in one click – via @EricaToelle
- Use Designer to instantly turn a bulleted process list into a SmartArt graphic
- Get an “instant slide makeover” any time by selecting the “Design” tab in the ribbon. Choose “Design Ideas” (far right of the Design toolbar) to preview new slide designs.
- Use the Recording tab to create a presentation that includes recorded slides, screen recordings, narrations, and videos. Embed quizzes and other apps in your presentation to make it more interactive for your audience.
- Use QuickStarter to find outlines for any topic, including recommendations on information to include, categories to consider and associated images tagged with Creative Commons licenses.
Making Skype Better
Skype for Business is already the number one meeting app, so how can it get any better? Consider these improvements announced at #MSIgnite 2016:
- Skype for Business for Mac will be available in October, with hi-def audio and video, one-click join for meetings, and video and desktop sharing
- Also coming in October: enhancements to the iPhone app: Skype for Business calls will work just like a cellular call on your iPhone. You can accept a call via the lock screen or put a Skype for Business call on hold to take a cellular phone call—it works just like a phone.
- Real-time transcription and translation in 50 languages will come to Skype Meeting Broadcast by year-end
Migrating to Windows 10
If you haven’t migrated to Windows 10, check out this free migration assessment tool from VMWare. Announced at #MSIgnite, the new tool is designed to assess:
- Windows 10 readiness;
- End-user behavior;
- Device inventory and configurations;
- Software dependency and usage information; and
- Web and network usage patterns.
If this sounds like tech-speak, it is. But the goals are simple: (1) identify potential problems transitioning from your current operating system to Windows 10; (2) Optimize your use of Windows 10.
Still not sure? Contact your computer consultant.
Key Microsoft Security Improvements
There are two kinds of big companies: those who have been hacked
and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked.
Protecting Browser Sessions
Most cyber attacks start at the browser level, making browser security critically important. Windows Defender App Guard for Microsoft Edge protects against browser-based security incursions:
Unlike other browsers that use software-based sandboxes, which still provide a pathway for malware and vulnerability exploits, Microsoft Edge’s use of Application Guard isolates the browser and employee activity using a hardware-based container to prevent malicious code from impacting the device and moving across the enterprise network.
Once enabled, enterprise administrators can configure a trusted network site list policy and distribute the group policy to any devices it wishes to protect with Application Guard. Even if an untrusted site successfully loads malware, the malware is unable to reach beyond the isolated container to steal data or permanently compromise devices or the network. Once the employee exits their Microsoft Edge browsing session, any malware is erased, preventing further attacks.
Detecting and Responding to Cyber Attacks
Security features and cyber threat intelligence gathered from WDATP (Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection) and Office 365 ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) are now combined to allow enterprises to detect, investigate, and respond to advanced attacks on their networks, Windows 10, and Office 365.
Now, IT can identify and follow the complete chain of an attack from an email – to across the network – with detailed timelines and analysis. This real-time access and product integration converts the time to investigate an incident from days or weeks to mere hours. And the comprehensive security intelligence from Microsoft and our industry partners, including FireEye iSight threat intelligence, puts all the information needed to investigate and respond in an easy, simplified interface with clear steps for remediation. It’s the most comprehensive and robust security solution available today.
Interesting Stats from the Keynotes and Other Presentations
- There are 70 million Office 365 users and over 400 million Windows 10 users
- The Department of Defense is targeting to have Windows 10 on more than 4 million devices
- Office 365 has an uptime of 99.98%
- The average person uses 3 mobile devices at work (expected to increase)
- Skype for Business is the most-used meeting app: Microsoft manages over 13,000 meeting rooms; 38% of all international calling uses Skype; the Skype app has been downloaded 1.1 billion times on iOS and Android devices
- 58% of workers admit to sending data to the wrong person
- Microsoft scans 200 billion emails every month for malware
- 50% of cloud-era millennials will be in the workforce by 2020
Other News from #MSIgnite
- You may have heard of Azure – Microsoft’s integrated cloud service platform. #MSIgnite 2016 included a number of Azure upgrades of interest to developers and IT professionals. Read more here.
- Many SharePoint improvements were announced at #MSIgnite 2016. For all the details, check out this post. Also see this summary from Microsoft.
- Over 150 on-demand video sessions are available at no charge from the 5 day conference. Check out the list here.
All Rights Reserved 2016 Beverly Michaelis