Welcome to the Service Updates wiki for Office 365 for professionals and small businesses. Here you will find information about the latest features and improvements to Office 365.

2014

Previous Years:

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January 2014

People View

Roll-out started January 2014: People view is a feature that filters a user’s inbox to only show email messages received from people who are the user's frequent contacts. When a frequent contact sends the user a new email, the sender's photo is displayed beneath “People” in the Folder Pane. When the user selects the sender’s photo under “People,” email messages from that sender are shown. For more details read People View in Outlook Web App on the Office Blogs.

Lync Mobile – New features for iOS and WP

  • Now you can view shared PowerPoint presentations during a Lync Meeting (both iOS and WP)
  • New iOS7 look and feel
  • Voice control to Join a Lync Meeting and Play a voice mail (only on WP).

For more information go to the Lync Mobile update for iOS and Windows Phone on the Lync Team Blog.

Partner Admin Center - Customer Management Tools

The new Office 365 Partner admin center was released in January 2014 and provides Partners new tools to manage the customers in which they have delegated admin privileges. Partners login to their Office 365 admin portal and click Partner on the top header to enter the Partner admin center. From here, Partners can see a list of all customers that they have delegated admin privileges, select an individual customer and view subscription information, view service health information, view service request information or perform delegated admin tasks on behalf of the customer. The initial release will support a customer list of up to 100 customers, and Partners will continue to be able to search for customers by domain name. For more information go to Introducing the new Office 365 Partner admin center on the Office blogs.

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2013

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December 2013

Lync Online Windows Store App Update

Lync Windows Store app update has been shipped. The update is focused on the Windows Blue compatibility, with app2app launch, changeable screen size, and bypassing 'quiet hours'. It also have the ability to answer calls when the screen is locked and taking control both on app sharing and remote desktop.

Switch Plans (SKU Transitions) across SKU Families

Now Small Business Office 365 subscribers can switch to both Midsize and Enterprise plans, and Midsize Business subscribers can switch to Enterprise plans. To read more go to Office.com article and You can now Switch Plans to a different Office 365 service family on the Office 365 technology blog.

Office 365 Admin App is now on Android and iOS

For more information please check out the post on the Office 365 technology blog.

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November 2013

Photos of Sender/Receiver in IM Window

View the photo of both sender/receiver inline during an IM conversation. For more information please check out the post on the Lync Team blog.

New Lync Meeting Recording Options

Select what resolution you want your Lync recordings to be. Either 480p, 720p HD, or 1080p Full HD. For more information please check out the post on the Lync Team blog.

Lync Login Trace Files

Facilitate troubleshooting of client login issues with easy to access trace files. For more information please check out the post on the Lync Team blog.

OneNote for Windows Store v2.1

Major update for OneNote for Windows Store available now for all SKUs and all channels. Now with a redesigned user interface. Included are new views, enhanced sharing, improved ink, and more new features. For more information see the Microsoft Store.

Get a Link

It is now possible to generate a Guest Link (an anonymous link to a document) directly in the SharePoint Online document library user interface. This will remove the step of sending an email to yourself to generate the Guest Link in order to utilize the Guest Link for non-email purposes - and it's quicker and more efficient.

Touch Design for Share Point Online on Mobile Devices

We are updating the default HTML5 "mobile view" in mobile browsers. Users accessing SharePoint on mobile devices will get an updated touch-friendly experience. The new experiences primarily target the Web views of a user's SkyDrive Pro, the Sites hub and default team site pages. For more information read the technology blog post SharePoint Online introduces the Touch Design mobile experience.

SharePoint Online Improved Sharing Emails - All on To... line

Now everyone you share with will be on the To ... line. When you share with multiple people via the sharing dialog in SharePoint, SharePoint will send one email to everyone you shared with and cc you as the sender, rather than sending a separate email to each recipient. Note: external email addresses typed in the people picker will still send individual external invitations, since external invites need unique redemption links.

Windows Azure Active Directory Premium – PREVIEW

Windows Azure Active Directory Premium, which is currently in preview, provides a number of directory related features through the Windows Azure portal. Many of these will be very valuable for Office 365 customers. The new features for Windows Azure Active Directory Premium include

  1. Self-service Password Reset for Users
  2. Group-based provisioning and access management to SaaS apps
  3. Customizable access panel
  4. Machine learning based security monitoring and reports.

Stay tuned as there are additional features are planned in future previews.

Folder Permissions in Outlook Web App

With Outlook Web App, you can now quickly and easily give co-workers permissions to view and modify messages in your mailbox, while you are taking time-off from work. For more information read the Office 365 technology blog post ‘Folder permissions in Outlook Web App’.

Calendar Delegation in Outlook Web App

You can now give others access to your calendar while you are taking time-off from work. For more information read the Office 365 technology blog post ‘Calendar delegation in Outlook Web App‘.

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Improving Outlook 2013 Performance with Office 365

Starting with the latest update of Outlook 2013, Microsoft is improving the health and performance of the Office 365 service by collecting additional information from clients that are connecting to the online service. Read the public KB on support.microsoft.com.

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October 2013

OneNote for Android 2.2

The update for OneNote for Android is now available as of October 2013 for all SKUs. For more information read the Office 365 technology blog post ‘OneNote for Android in more markets worldwide!’

Members Can Share in SharePoint

Members of a site can share documents and the site itself without having to approve them through the site collection owner. For more information read the Office 365 technology blog post ‘SkyDrive Pro increases storage and ease of sharing’.

Apps for Office - Seller Dashboard Enhancement

Enhancements to Apps for Office Seller Dashboard - enabling subscription pricing for Apps for Office & SharePoint. For more information read the Office 365 technology blog post ‘Office Store investments bring new opportunities to developers’.

Lync Mobile Updates for Windows Phone and iOS

For more information read the Office 365 technology blog post.

Go-Daddy Integration

For more information read the Office 365 technology blog post.

SharePoint Online SkyDrive Pro for iOS v1.1

SkyDrive Pro for iOS now has a tier 1 editing experience. Microsoft is adding two new capabilities to the existing SkyDrive Pro for iOS app. The additional capabilities fall under the improved integration with other Office apps (Office Mobile for iPhone, Office Web Apps, and OneNote for iPhone):

  1. Integration with the Office Mobile for iPhone app (on iPhone) and Office Web Apps (on iPad) for editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents while maintaining file integrity in-place in SharePoint Online.
  2. Integration with the OneNote app for viewing and editing notebooks. OneNote apps, as of this month, support Office 365. This new feature enables mobile editing of OneNote files stored in SkyDrive Pro

For more information read the Office 365 technology blog post.

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September 2013

SharePoint & Yammer Integration: POST & Search

Two new SharePoint & Yammer integration went live in September

  • start a Yammer conversation for any document that is stored in a SharePoint Online document libraries or in SkyDrive Pro just by clicking Post (new "POST" button next to EDIT & SHARE)
  • New "Search on Yammer" link in the SP search center will pass the query string in Yammer

For more information read the Office 365 technology blog post.

SharePoint Online Turn on Versioning by Default

For more information read the Office 365 technology blog post.

SharePoint Online Increase Recycle Bin Default to 90 Days

For more information read the Office 365 technology blog post.

SharePoint Online Increase List Lookup Limit

For more information read the Office 365 technology blog post.

SharePoint Online Allow Additional File Types - .exe and .dll

For more information read the Office 365 technology blog post.

Lync Online Spell check

Starting this month, we are adding a spell check functionality in the Lync desktop client! The familiar spell check interface from other Office apps comes to Lync.

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August 2013

Exchange Online Modern Public Folder Mailbox Quota Increase

Increase modern public folder mailbox size in service to 50 GB / PF mailbox allowing easier operations, easier on-boarding, and increase storage support.

Power BI PREVIEW for Office 365

Power BI provides users with a complete Self Service BI solution for all users through the familiar and intuitive BI capabilities in Excel and ease of collaboration through Office 365.

This new BI offering will enable users to:

  • Discover, Analyze, and Visualize with Excel
  • Collaborate and Stay Connected
  • In the Cloud, on Your Terms

For more information and to register for the preview, go to powerbi.com. To learn more about recent improvements to the preview, see this recent blog post.

Office 365 in Open Dynamic Keys

Customers will now receive a single key for each SKU they purchase through Open, regardless of the number of seats they purchase. This will simplify the purchase and setup experience for both customers and partners by reducing the number of keys they will need to manage.

Cascading Controls in Access apps for SharePoint

SharePoint app developer can make the options in a form control, such as a dropdown, relevant to the option chosen from a different control in the same Access app for SharePoint.

For more Information go to the Office 365 Technology Blog.

Exchange Online Mailbox Size Increase

The size of user mailboxes Exchange Online and Office 365 multi-tenant service plans are doubling. The current standard 25 GB user mailbox will now include 50 GB of mailbox storage. Shared Mailboxes and Resources Mailboxes increasing to 10 GB each. Kiosk user mailboxes will increase from 1 GB to 2 GB. Site Mailboxes remain unchanged. Roll-out started in August; all customer should receive by end of November 2013. For more information read the Office 365 technology blog.

Increase SkyDrive Pro Default Storage to 25GB

This improvement increases each user's SkyDrive Pro default allocation to 25GB, up from 7GB. Available now as of August 2013 for all plans except K1 and K2 and external users. For more information go to the Office 365 technology blog.

SharePoint Online Increases File Upload Limit to 2GB

It is now possible to upload a file that is up to 2GB in size. The previous limit was 250MB. This will enable storage of larger files across a customer's SharePoint Online environment in Office 365. For more information go to the Office 365 technology blog.

PowerShell for Lync Online

Windows PowerShell is a command shell and scripting language that you can use to manage and automate aspects of Lync Online using a command-line instead of the browser based Office 365 admin center. For more information read the post on the Office 365 technology blog.

Message Center

On August 1st, we released a new admin service communication feature called Message Center. Message Center isn’t intended to replace email service alerts customers receive today, it is a complementary in-product experience to help keep customers up to speed on critical communications, and actions administrators need to take. It also expands upon service alert emails informing customers about new features coming to the service. Over time we’ll continue enhance the experience adding new features like localization and tenant specific reporting. For more information watch the Office 365 Technology blog.

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July 2013

SharePoint Newsfeed App for Windows 8

A new modern app for Windows 8 that helps the user connect with their SharePoint Newsfeed. For more information read the post on the Office 365 Technology Blog.

OneNote iPhone 2.0

What's New in Version 2.0 • Updated navigation makes it easier to view and find your notes • Improved note formatting and consistency across your devices • Edit existing tables • Ink annotations and rich text formatting now viewable • Automatically sync your notes to SkyDrive Pro and SharePoint • Most recently used notebook lists sync across devices • Optimized for iPhone 5 display. For more information please read the Microsoft OneNote for iPhone article.

OneNote iPad 2.0

What's New in Version 2.0 • Updated navigation makes it easier to view and find your notes • Improved note formatting and consistency across your devices • Create tables or edit existing tables • Ink annotations and rich text formatting now viewable • Full page view lets your notes fill the screen • Automatically sync your notes to SkyDrive Pro and SharePoint Most recently used notebook lists sync across devices. For more information please read the Microsoft OneNote for iPad article.

OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad

OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad are available now for Office 365 subscriptions that include the latest update of Exchange Online. These mobile apps, installed directly from the Apple App Store, offer the same email, calendar and contact functionality you get in Outlook Web App on the browser, but with additional capabilities that are only possible through native integration of the apps with the mobile device. To learn more, please read the Office 365 Technology blog OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad.

Lync Q&A Manager for Meetings

Facilitate a structured Q&A session during a Lync meeting. Questions and answers are clearly differentiated and only presenters can answer questions. Presenters can ask and answer questions. Attendees can only ask. For more information please read the Lync Team blog.

Lync Meeting Instant Messenger (IM) Mute

A meeting owner or presenter can choose to mute or disable an attendee's ability to send instant messages in the meeting window. This functionality can be enabled during a meeting or at a scheduled time as an option. For more information please read the Lync Team blog.

Updated Lync Mobile Apps for Windows Phone 8 and iOS

Updated Lync mobile clients will be released to their respective app stores to include app/screen sharing viewing, rejoin a scheduled meeting, mute participants, transfer calls, continue past conversations, etc. For more information please read the blog post on TechNet.

Lync Embedded Images

Embed images directly into Lync IM conversations. For more information please read the blog post on blog post on TechNet.

Office Mobile for Android Phones

Office Mobile for Android phones will be available from Google Play at no additional charge for Office 365 subscribers. Office 365 subscribers will be able to work on their Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents from virtually anywhere - using their Windows Phone, iPhone or Android phones. Initially available in the United States and in other markets over the next several weeks. Regarding availability for Dedicated customers, please check with the local SDM. To learn more, please read the Office 365 Technology blog.

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June 2013

SkyDrive Pro Standalone Sync Client for Windows

This standalone client allows users of SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online in Office 365 to sync their personal SkyDrive Pro and any SharePoint 2013 or Office 365 team site document libraries to their local machine for access to important content on and offline.

For more information read the SharePoint blog post.

SkyDrive Pro apps for Windows 8 and iOS

New, native SkyDrive Pro apps for both Windows 8 and iOS enable users to access their documents placed in their SkyDrive Pro library. SkyDrive Pro apps for Windows 8 and iOS is now available for all SKUs except K 1,2 as of June 2013.

For more information, read the Technology Blog post.

Office Mobile for iPhone

Office Mobile for iPhone available at no extra charge from the Apple App Store for Office 365 Home Premium and Office 365 ProPlus subscribers.

For more information read this post on the Office 365 Technology Blog.

Yammer and Office 365 Integration

In this rollout, we provide (1) a link to Yammer as a replacement to the existing newsfeed page and (2) a Yammer app for SharePoint to easily embed Yammer groups into SharePoint sites. Yammer and Office 365 Integration are now available as of June 2013 for E 1,3,4, P1,2, SPOP1,2.

For more information read the public Office 365 Technology Blog post and this SharePoint Blog article.

Lync Skype Federation Update: Now Live

The first step in bringing our customers the value of Lync and Skype together is live with presence, instant messaging, and audio calling between Lync and Skype. Now Lync customers have the ability to use the global reach of Skype to connect and collaborate with suppliers, customers, and partners while still relying on the enterprise richness of Lync.

For more information, please refer to the following announcements:
- Lync Team Blog announcement
- Skype Big Blog announcement
- A Customer Perspective: L’Occitane

Excel Web App Update – Available Now

In late June, Excel Web App were updated with new end user capabilities for an improved Office experience on the Web. The Updates include:

  • Freeze Pane support for easier scrolling of large workbooks
  • Interact with Data Validation enabled cells, where Excel Web App users can select from predefined values in a workbook
  • Clear formatting applied to selected cells
  • Auto-complete as you type
  • Sort a range of data
  • Reorder sheets in a workbook
  • Hide and unhide rows, columns and sheets in a workbook

For more information read the Excel blog post.

Word Web App PDF Previews of Outlook Web App Attachments - Available Now

This update enables PDF attachments in Outlook Web App to be viewed in the Word Web App. It makes it simpler for users to view their PDF files in-browser without the need for special plug-ins. PDF attachment Preview in Word Web App is available now as of June 2013.

For more information read this post on the Office Web Apps blog.

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May 2013

Facebook and LinkedIn Social Connect

Office 365 users can now synchronize their LinkedIn and Facebook contacts to the Office 365 service. This gives users the ability to link contacts across LinkedIn, Facebook and their Office 365 directory to view all information about a person together. Contact information is always up-to-date, because the Office 365 service checks LinkedIn and Facebook several times a day to capture any changes to a user’s contact information. This includes information such as new contacts, email address changes, phone number and other changes. LinkedIn Social Connect is available in all of our service plans, while Facebook Social Connect is currently only available in our small business and education service plans.

To learn more, read the Community blog Introducing Facebook and LinkedIn Connect.

Lync Online Certificates Upgraded

As part of our ongoing commitment to security we are making a change to our SSL certificate chain that will require our customers and partners to take action before June 1st, 2013. Lync Online Servers currently use the GTE CyberTrust Global Root and beginning on June 1st, 2013 will migrate to the Baltimore CyberTrust Root. The new root certificate uses a stronger key length and hashing algorithm which ensures we remain consistent with industry-wide security best practices for trusted root certificates. If your services does not accept certificates chained to both the GTE CyberTrust Global Root and the Baltimore CyberTrust Root, please take action prior to June 1st, 2013 to avoid certificate validation errors. While we seek to minimize the need for customers to take specific action based on changes we make to Lync Server, we believe this is an important security improvement. Here you can download the Baltimore CyberTrust Root.

Here is how you can verify your service will not be affected by this change:

  • If you perform Windows Updates regularly: Validate that the new Baltimore Root cert is already present in the “(LocalComputer) Trusted Root Certification Authorities” cert store on each Server.

  • If you do not perform Windows Updates regularly and/or new Baltimore Root cert is not appearing in cert trusted root store: Perform Windows Update for this requirement or import the Baltimore Root to each Microsoft facing Server.

Here you can download the Baltimore CyberTrust Root.

Office 365 Public Preview - Transition to Paid Subscription

The Office 365 public preview was a program we ran from July 2012 to February 2013 to give customers an early look at the Office 365 service upgrade.

The public preview program was designed such that when it ended customers would lose the data in those tenants, and it included warnings to indicate this before customers signed up. Due to customer feedback we have done work to enable public preview tenants to continue if needed. The public preview subscriptions on those tenants will expire, and for customers who are still using those tenants we are providing a way to transition to a paid subscription on the same tenant. The transition enables customers to keep their tenant name and to keep their data. Please note that public preview tenants are not supported and questions should be directed to the Office 365 Community Forums. The transition involves deleting the public preview subscription and once this is done the Office 365 service will be interrupted. The tenant owner then has 10 days to purchase a new subscription from within the tenant admin portal. Instructions are provided for this process here: Instructions.

For the “disable subscription” button to appear the tenant must meet certain criteria:

  1. Must have Office 365 Preview at the top left
  2. Must have only one subscription that is not deprovisioned
  3. The subscription must be one of the Public Preview offers, such as “Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise Preview” or “Microsoft Office 365 Small Business Premium Preview”.
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April 2013

Simplified POP, IMAP and SMTP Namespaces

It’s now much simpler to set up a POP or IMAP connection to an Office 365 account. If a phone, tablet, or desktop email program can’t take advantage of Exchange Online’s auto discover capabilities, the new Exchange Online now provides the ability to connect using unified server namespaces. Instead of being asked to locate unique POP/IMAP/SMTP server settings through Outlook Web App (which looked like “podxxxxx.outlook.com”), the following standard server names can now be used:

o POP & IMAP: outlook.office365.com
o SMTP: smtp.office365.com

Additional information
For specific steps for connecting your phone or tablet to your Office 365 email, see Phone and Tablet setup reference. For specific steps for connecting your desktop email program to your Office 365 email, see Email program setup reference.

Yammer SKU Plan and Pricing

On March 1, 2013, Yammer became available to Microsoft Enterprise Agreement customers. Enterprise Agreement customers will be able to purchase Yammer Enterprise via Microsoft volume licensing. Microsoft has also created a set of combo SKUs for SharePoint Online (Plan 1 and Plan 2) + Yammer Enterprise. SharePoint Online + Yammer provides customers with a world-class collaboration platform and enterprise social capabilities. Yammer Enterprise also ships with Office 365 for enterprises (Office 365 E Plans 1–4). Office 365 customers will have rights to run Office 365 for access to email, calendars, Office Web Apps, instant messaging, and file sharing and will have Yammer Enterprise for social. Along with shipping Yammer with some of our most popular services, we will also be lowering the price for Yammer Enterprise standalone. Visit the public Yammer pricing page to learn more. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months as we add more buying plans!

Yammer and Office 365 Roadmap Update

On March 19th 2013, we announced the updated roadmap for the Yammer and Office 365 integration. For more information on Yammer and Office 365 integration see this SharePoint blog post.

Lync Federation Update: Windows Live Messenger Transitions to Skype

Microsoft is bringing Windows Live Messenger and Skype together. Starting April 8th, Messenger users will gradually be migrated to Skype upon sign-in. It will take several weeks to complete this transition across the Messenger customer base. Lync customers that rely on federation with Messenger will continue to be able to communicate with their Messenger contacts, even after those contacts update to Skype. There is nothing that Lync administrators or Lync end users need to do to maintain continuity of service, and management of this capability within Lync remains the same as it has been for communications with Messenger.

When Messenger users sign into Skype using their Microsoft accounts (i.e., the same credentials used for Messenger) all of their Messenger contacts—including federated Lync contacts—follow them into Skype. Presence sharing and instant messaging between Skype and Lync for these contacts is available immediately. Adding new Lync contacts into Skype and audio calling between Skype and Lync are not yet available but are coming soon.

Full Lync-Skype Connectivity—contact adding, presence sharing, instant messaging, and audio calling between Lync and Skype users—will be available to all Lync customers by June.

New mobile client for Lync (Android)

The Lync 2013 mobile client for the Android phone was released to Google Play. The new app adds additional functionality to the Lync mobile client such as voice/video over IP and one click to join meetings from Android.

Additional information
For more information read Tony Bates’ Technical Blog post Re-humanizing communications from the living room to the board room

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March 2013

New mobile clients for Lync

Lync 2013 mobile clients for Windows Phone 8, iPad, and iPhone were released to their respective app stores. These new apps add additional functionality to the Lync mobile client such as voice/video over IP and one click to join meetings.

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February 2013

Office 365 Service Descriptions

Office 365 Service Descriptions are now being published on TechNet to help customers understand the technical differences between the different Office 365 offers (SKUs) and limits or boundaries of the service. The service descriptions also provide short feature descriptions to help customers understand the breadth of capabilities in the service and link to more detailed how-to content. The old service descriptions on the download center will not be updated going forward and will eventually be removed.

New Service Settings in Admin Portal

New pages within the Office 365 admin portal give small business administrators an easy way to manage common service settings for IM, conferencing, passwords, and mobile access. Administrators can discover and manage key settings without leaving the Office 365 portal.

Additional information
For more information on the settings available, click the “Learn More” links associated with each setting in the portal.

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January 2013

No updates

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2012

December 2012

Recipient Rate Limit Increase to 10K for Office 365 and Exchange Online

In response to feedback from our customers, we have increased the recipient rate limit within Office 365 Professionals and Small Businesses (P1) to allow users to send email to up to 10,000 recipients per day. Previously, the recipient rate limit for users of these plans had been set at a maximum of 1,500 recipients per day.

Recipient rate limits exist to discourage users from sending large volumes of unsolicited commercial email, commonly referred to as spam. These limits protect our online service from becoming a source of spam and, as a result of these protections, keep our customers’ email messages flowing. Datacenter enhancements have allowed us to increase this limit while maintaining the same level of protection.

These limits apply both to email messages sent within an organization and those delivered to external organizations. The best way to avoid exceeding the recipient rate limit is to use distribution groups when sending messages to large numbers of recipients. Distribution groups stored in the shared address book are counted as a single recipient toward the recipient rate limit.

Additional Information:
For more information, see Strategies to Support Bulk Email. Office 365 customers who need to send legitimate bulk commercial email — such as customer newsletters – should continue to use third-party providers that specialize in these services. If you would like more information on recipient rate limits, see Bulk Email and Daily Recipient Rate Limits. We made this change because of your feedback. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, and please keep it up!

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November 2012

No updates.

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October 2012

New Office Web Apps features in SharePoint

With the latest SharePoint Online update, you’ll get new Office Web Apps features: more editing and formatting controls, co-authoring support across the web apps and expanded device support, including editing from tablets.

Using web-based versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote you can view, edit, and work together on Office documents from nearly anywhere. Here is a highlight of the new features across each Office Web App:

  • Word Web App Update: See graphics, images, and layout with excellent fidelity, including new support for viewing and adding comments. Format and design documents right from a browser with commonly used features from Word on the desktop, including new page layout tools, picture tools and word count. New co-authoring and comment support in Word Web App makes it easier to work together on the web.

  • Excel Web App updates: Get essential spreadsheet features, such as merge cells, context menus, auto-fit columns, formula assistance, fill handle and AutoSum. Manipulate and visualize data for deeper insights with support for high fidelity charts including 3D, improved Query Table and Data Validation support, Slicer functionality and Pivot Chart interactivity.

  • PowerPoint Web App updates: Presentations look like they do on the desktop, with high-resolution slides, full transitions, and viewable comments. Audio and video playback is now supported, even from a tablet or phone. Drag and drop support makes for easier layouts. While the ability to insert images, apply transitions and animations, or add a pre-designed theme make polished presentations from a browser possible. And new co-authoring and comment support in PowerPoint Web App improves collaboration in the cloud.

  • OneNote Web App updates: Users can find what they need more easily with the ability to search on a page or within a section. And new support for ink viewing makes more information accessible from the web. Just click-to-type anywhere on the page to add a note, picture or a tag. And notes can now be shared as a URL, viewable on a phone, PC or tablet through a browser.

If you would like to learn more, we recommend the following blog post by Mike Morton, Group Program Manager of the Office Web Applications, which describes the coming Office Web App enhancements.

Note: Office 365 will be ending support for Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) on October 1st, 2012. The upcoming Office Web Apps update does not support IE7. Please review the Office 365 system requirements page here.

Additional Information:
To read more on Web Apps go to this Technical Blog article.

Admin Ability to Set Password Expiration and Notification Policy

Admins in our P offers are being provided the ability to set password expiration policy for their users. Password expiration notifications for P customers are automatically set to 14 days prior to expiration.

PDF Viewing within your browser

We are pleased to announce that you can now view PDF files directly in your browser - you no longer have to download PDF files to your desktop to view them. Adobe Reader is required to install the proper browser plug-in. Once the plug-in is installed, you can open any PDF file that is stored in a SharePoint Online document library or PDFs embedded as attachments within list items directly in your browser.

Additional Information:
For more information read the Office 365 SharePoint blog post

Streaming large MP4 files

We are pleased to announce that MP4 video files stored in a SharePoint Online library will begin streaming much faster without downloading the full file first. Full download of the file would at times cause delay and/or unwanted buffering. This new feature enhancement will greatly improve the playback of MP4 files.

Additional Information:
For more information read the Office 365 SharePoint blog post

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September 2012

Password Expiration Notifications in Outlook

Outlook 2007 and 2010 now provides users with password expiration notifications. These advance notifications will be shown in a pop-up message within a certain period of time as configurable by the administrator. They will also include links (URLs) to the Microsoft Online Portal where users can change/update their passwords. Outlook will quit if the user clicks on ‘No’. The user will still be able to access his inbox, but Outlook will show a “need password” notification and no new mail will be synced. For users whose passwords have already expired, Outlook will flash an error message.

Screenshots Added to Domain Verification Guides

To use a custom domain with Office 365, administrators must edit DNS records to verify ownership of the domain. The Office 365 portal walks administrators through this verification process, explaining the specific steps to perform at popular domain registrars. These steps now include screenshots that illustrate the exact place in the registrar’s web site to perform each task.

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August 2012

No updates

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July 2012

User Soft Delete Functionality

Office 365 administrators now have the ability to recover deleted users from a simple list within 30 days after deletion. This is significant, because it means that scenarios such as the accidental deletion of a user or the re-hiring of an employee can be easily handled by your Office 365 administrator.

Additional Information:
To learn more, please read the community blog
For details on how to delete or restore users with a Microsoft Office 365 for Professionals and Small Businesses account, please read the article Delete or Restore Users

User Name Sync-to-SharePoint Online Improvement*

You may have seen extra characters showing before your name where it appears on various SharePoint Online sites (My Site, Team Sites, company portal, etc.); it often looks like this: i:0#f|membership. This user name sync improvement increases the likelihood of when a user's name will appear without extra characters.

*This update will roll out to customers over time. We expect that all customers will receive the update by the end of September 2012.

Lync-to-phone*

Lync-to-phone users can make and receive phone calls to any number from their laptop or smart phone via a calling service which is purchased separately from a qualified partner. Jajah, a subsidiary of Telefonica, is the first available partner. More than just phone calls, Lync-to-phone provides a ‘single work number’ experience across the laptop, smartphone and tablet (via Lync clients on these devices). With Lync-to-phone, calls become an integrated component of a unified communication experience alongside instant message, presence, video calling and web conferencing.
*This update will initially be available to our US and UK customers only.

Additional Information:
To learn more, read the Help article Connect Lync Online to the telephone network
See here for a list of fully supported Lync-optimized PC peripherals like speakerphones or headsets

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June 2012

Lync 2010 for iPad 1.5

The Lync 2010 for iPad mobile client has been updated to provide collaboration capabilities within Lync Meetings. This update enables Lync 2010 for iPad users to view uploaded Microsoft PowerPoint presentations within a scheduled Lync Meeting, view the meeting participants list, and receive notifications about other content types being shared within the meeting. This update is now available in the iTunes app store.

Additional Information:
For more information and to download Lync 2010 for iPad, please visit the iTunes Preview page Microsoft Lync 2010 for iPad
To learn more, please read the blog Lync for iPad - Version 1.5 is here!

Office 365 Global Availability: 46 New Countries

Office 365 is now commercially available in 46 new countries: Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Guatemala, Iceland, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Office 365 Global Availability: 11 New Languages

We have added language support for Bulgarian, Croatian, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Serbian (Latin), Slovak, Slovenian, Thai, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

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May 2012

No updates

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April 2012

No updates

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March 2012

Office 365 Shared Mailboxes Tool

Shared mailboxes can now be created and configured using a new GUI-based Office 365 Shared Mailbox Tool by downloading the Office 365 Mailbox Tool, creating a security group and adding members, and running the tool to create and configure a shared mailbox. PowerShell was previously required to create and configure shared mailboxes.

Additional Information:
To learn more and download the tool, please read the article Create Shared Mailboxes with GUI-based Tool

Office Subscription multi-tenant language packs

Customers can now download free multi-language packs for their Office Subscription, making it easier for users to switch to their preferred languages for Office Subscription. They also reduce network overhead and user installation time. Look for the “Download Language Packs” link under Resources section on the Downloads page.

Office 365 Support for POP and IMAP Connections to Outlook 2003

Office 365 now supports POP and IMAP connections to Outlook 2003. However, please note that customers connecting to Outlook 2003 via POP or IMAP will experience the following limitations: no calendar support, no free/busy information, no Global Address List, no push email and when connecting via POP, all messages will be downloaded to the client, and there will be no synchronization between multiple computers or devices (such as between a laptop and a phone).

Additional Information:
For more information, please read the blog Office 365 will now support POP and IMAP Connections to Outlook 2003

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February 2012

External Sharing: invite by business email

External users can now use their business email address to authenticate when invited into a site collection. The Windows LiveID allows external users to associate their business email address (ex: user@contoso.com) to the LiveID system. Office 365 customers can invite their partners and clients to external sharing sites using their primary email account. If this email has been associated to the LiveID system, then the external user can sign in with their primary user name and password.
*This update will roll out to customers over the next several months. We expect that all customers will receive the update by May 2012.

Additional Information:
To learn more, please read the SharePoint blog SharePoint Online: Service Update
To learn more about how to use external sharing, go here for Office 365 for enterprises or here for Office 365 for professionals and small businesses
To associate a business email user name to the Live ID system, start at https://idsignup.live.com/, select "Use existing email address" and fill in the easy creation steps

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January 2012

Lync Client-side Recording

Tenant admins can now enable or disable client recording. When enabled, users can record Microsoft Lync 2010 conversations or meetings, and capture the audio, video, instant messaging (IM), application sharing, Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, whiteboard, and polling portions of Lync 2010 sessions. Recordings can be saved in Windows Media Format, and played back just as they were experienced during the Lync conversation or meeting.

Lync Online Control Panel improvements

The Lync Online Control Panel now provides administrators with additional control over their Lync Online environment, including presence privacy mode, mobile phone notifications, and dial-in conferencing settings.

Additional Information:
To learn more, refer to the Help article Lync Online administration - what's new in this release
For more information, please read the blog Update to Lync Online Control Panel

SSAE 16 (Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagement) Type I Compliance

AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) has replaced SAS70 with SSAE16.

Additional Information:
Visit the Trust Center now to learn more
Sign up for Compliance Notifications and receive email updates to help you to meet changing requirements

Microsoft Exchange PST Capture

PST Capture now helps users discover Outlook Personal Folder (.pst) File Format files and then import them into Exchange Server and Exchange Online. PST Capture helps an organization gain more control over their email data repositories by placing them into Exchange. With the option to install PST Capture Agents on target machines, administrators can now determine where .pst files are located and who their file owner is via the PST Capture Console. Then, they can be directly imported into the primary mailbox or associated archive mailbox.

Additional Information:
To learn more, read the blog post .PST, Time to Walk the Plank
To download Microsoft Exchange PST Capture, visit the Microsoft Download Center
For implementation details, read the TechNet article

RSS for the Service Health Dashboard

The new Service Health Dashboard RSS feed provides Office 365 administrators real-time access to information about service incidents and planned maintenance events. The RSS feed is updated anytime a new event is added or an existing event is updated. To subscribe to the RSS feed, go to the Admin page. Then in the left pane under Support, click Service Health. Next, click the RSS subscription link on the Service Health Dashboard.

Additional Information:
For information on how to access and use the Service Health Dashboard, please read the blog Keep an eye on everything with Service Health

Customer-level Status for the Service Health Dashboard

The accuracy of the data provided through the Service Health Dashboard has been improved. Information about Lync Online and Exchange Online published to the Service Health Dashboard now targets specific customers directly impacted by service incidents or events.

Additional Information:
To learn more, read the blog post The Office 365 Service Health Dashboard Now Supports Per-Tenant Service Status
For information on how to access and use the Service Health Dashboard, please read the blog Keep an eye on everything with Service Health

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2011

December 2011

Lync Mobile Clients

Microsoft has added Lync support for some mobile clients that deliver instant messaging, presence, single-touch audio conferencing and calling features across Windows Phone, iOS, Android and Nokia Symbian. Lync 2010 for Windows Phone is now available in the Windows Phone Marketplace, and Lync 2010 for Android is available now in the Android Market. Lync mobile clients for other platforms have been submitted to their respective mobile application marketplaces and should be available soon.

Additional Information:
Administrators can learn more about setup by reading the article Set up Lync mobile devices (for administrators)
Read the blog announcement Introducing Lync Mobile Clients
View the video announcement Lync 2010 Mobile Clients
To learn more about availability on your device please visit Mobile Clients for Microsoft Lync
Visit the Windows Phone Marketplace
Visit the Android Market

Lync Online Web Scheduler

A new browser-based tool for scheduling online meetings with proper access rights and roles is now available.

Additional Information:
Users can access the Lync Online Web Scheduler at https://sched.lync.com/
To learn more about using web scheduler please read the article Lync Online Web Scheduler

Updated Trust Center

Based on customer feedback, we have simplified the language of the Trust Center to make it easier to find in-depth information about our privacy and security practices and understand our practices for handling and securing data on Microsoft Online Services.

Additional Information:
To learn more please read the blog Trust but Verify
Visit the Trust Center

EU Model Clauses support for all EU customers

Office 365 is the first and only major cloud-based productivity service to contractually commit to the EU Model Clauses, a set of stringent data protection requirements for the European Union. We are also including additional requirements from individual EU member states in the Office 365 data processing agreement.

Additional Information:
Visit the Microsoft Online Services portal to get this agreement added to your Office 365 contract

Recipient Rate Limit increased to 1,500 for professionals and small businesses customers*

The recipient rate limit for professional and small business (Plan P) customers has been increased from 500 to 1,500.
*We expect that all customers will receive this update by the end of December 2011

Additional Information:
To learn more, please read the Help article Message and Recipient Limits
For more detail on Recipient Rate Limits, refer to the Office 365 for professionals and small businesses Service Description

Exchange enhancements to email migrations

Two new enhancements to migration features will bring greater efficiency to email migrations.

  1. Enhanced Management Capabilities: The new Exchange Online migration dashboard helps to improve administrative efficiency during a cutover Exchange migration, a staged Exchange migration, or an IMAP migration. Tenant administrators can schedule multiple migration batches, obtain migration status information for migration batches, view per user details, and see skipped items. Improved reporting and diagnostics tools also improve the troubleshooting experience.
  2. Number of Concurrent Migrations: Administrators can now use Exchange Management Shell to increase the value for a migration batch to as high as 50.

Additional Information:
To learn more, refer to the EHLO Blog Exchange Online December 2011 Service Update
For more detail on email migrations, refer to the Help article E-Mail Migration Overview

Exchange retention policy and tag management*

We have improved the mailbox retention settings so it is easier to manage user mailboxes in an organization. Users can now use the mail control settings in Exchange Control Panel to create and manage retention tags and policies.
*This update will roll out to customers over time. We expect that all customers will receive the update by October 2012.

Additional Information:
To learn more, refer to the EHLO Blog Exchange Online December 2011 Service Update
For more detail on retention policies, refer to the Help article Set Up and Manage Retention Policies in Exchange Online

Exchange group naming policy

Administrators can now standardize and manage the names of distribution groups—also known as public groups—created by users in their organization. They can require that a specific prefix and suffix be added to names for distribution groups when created, and block specific words from being used. This feature helps to minimize the use of inappropriate words in group names.

Additional Information:
To learn more, refer to the EHLO Blog Exchange Online December 2011 Service Update
For more detail on setting up a group naming policy, refer to the Help article Create a Naming Policy for Distribution Groups

Exchange high availability architecture enhancements

We have extended the high availability architecture for Exchange Online across additional sites to provide greater resilience in the event of network failures. Administrators and end users may notice changes to server names in URLs and in protocol settings, although bookmarks for Outlook Web App should not be affected. The connection for client applications and devices, including those configured to connect directly to server addresses, will automatically redirect when the mailbox is migrated to the latest software. A very small percentage of mobile devices are not 100 percent compliant and may need to be reconfigured to connect to a changed pod address.

Additional Information:
Refer to the Help article Mobile Phone Setup Wizard for connection procedures
To learn more, refer to the post Exchange ActiveSync changes may affect a small number of users
To learn more, refer to the EHLO Blog Exchange Online December 2011 Service Update

Outlook Web App in Internet Explorer 9 App Mode

Outlook Web App can now be pinned to the task bar using Internet Explorer 9 App Mode. This feature gives users the ability to launch Outlook Web App with one click and run it with fewer distractions because it is separated from other browsing sessions. It also keeps users informed of incoming email and IM when minimized or hidden, and offers quick access to common Outlook Web App commands from the taskbar.

Additional Information:
To learn more, refer to the EHLO Blog Exchange Online December 2011 Service Update

Sender photos in Outlook Web App

Users can now match faces to names in their organization with photos displayed next to sender information in emails. The display of photos is enabled by default, but administrators can modify the settings of Outlook Web App mailbox policy to disable this feature.

Additional Information:
To learn more, refer to the EHLO Blog Exchange Online December 2011 Service Update
Administrators can refer to the Help article Control Sender Photo Settings in Outlook Web App
Users can refer the Help article Add or Change your Picture

User Name Self-Update for Admins

Admin users now have the ability to update their own alias after adding a domain. Previously, Admins required another Admin user to make this change or they needed to create one in the case of a single-user account. To complete this task, sign in to Office 365 and go to the user management experience. Select your username and click edit. In the edit experience, you can change your username from yourname@yourcompany.onmicrosoft.com to yourname@yourcompany.com. After you have clicked save, you will need to sign out and sign back in to complete the change.

Microsoft Online Services ID moniker changing to user ID

We have changed text in the product and in the sign-up pages from "Microsoft Online Services ID" (MOS ID) to "user ID" to reduce confusion around what the MOS ID is.

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November 2011

Office 365 Global Expansion: 22 New Countries

Office 365 trials are available in 22 new countries: Argentina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Egypt, Estonia, Iceland, Indonesia, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine and UAE.

Office 365 Global Expansion: Russia and Korea

Previously only available through enterprise agreements or our syndication partners, Office 365 trials and commerce are now available directly from Microsoft in both Russia and Korea.

Admin self-serve password reset

Administrators now have the ability to reset their own password through text (SMS) message and an alternate email address. For the administrator password reset to work, you must have already provided a phone number on which you can receive a text (SMS) message and an alternate email address. The email address must be different than your Office 365 email address. (If you can’t sign in to your Office 365 account, you can’t retrieve email sent to that address.) If you haven’t entered this information already, navigate to the user management area by clicking Admin, and then under Management, clicking Users. On the Settings tab, enter the email address in the Alternate email address box. On the Properties tab, enter the mobile phone number in the Mobile phone box.

Additional Information:
Learn more about this feature by reading the blog post What was that password?
For enterprises, see Reset your administrator password
For professionals and small businesses, see Reset your administrator password

Lync client for Mac

Customers who own Office for Mac 2011 Standard and have usage rights for Lync for Mac 2011 can now have the ability to download Lync for Mac from the download section of Office 365. Lync for Mac 2011 enables Mac users to see their colleagues’ online presence while working in Outlook or collaborating on Office documents. It also enables them to quickly send an instant message, start a video chat, or schedule an Online Meeting from within Outlook for Mac 2011.

Additional Information:
Learn more about Lync for Mac licensing here
See the blog post Mac Users: Download Lync for Mac 2011 Today

Mac unified downloads page

A unified downloads page is now available to give Mac users a single location to download Office for Mac desktop setup configuration software and Lync for Mac 2011. To get these downloads, log into your Office 365 account and visit the download section.

Additional Information:
To learn more about how to set up your Mac for Office 365, see Set up your Mac for Office 365 for professionals and small businesses or Set up your Mac for Office 365 for enterprises

Official support for OS X Lion added

We have added to Office 365 official support for the OS X Lion operating system.

Improvements to the “Add a Domain” experience

We have improved the Add a Domain user experience by clarifying the domain re-delegation process and providing in-context links to relevant Help articles.

Additional Information:
To learn more about adding your domain to Office 365, see Add your domain to Office 365—Office 365 for enterprises or Add your domain to Office 365—Office 365 for professionals and small businesses

Client access control improvements

We have improved client access controls so that Office 365 administrators can block external access to Office 365 based on the IP address of the external client. This action blocks all external access to Office 365 except Exchange Active Sync; all other clients such as Outlook are blocked. It also blocks all external access to Office 365 except for passive browser based applications, such as Outlook Web Access or SharePoint Online.

Additional Information:
Read the Microsoft TechNet article here
Read the support help article here
For more information about AD FS 2.0 RTW, see: General information about AD FS 2.0 RTW

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Troubleshooting support tool

The new Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Troubleshooting support tool is a comprehensive, self-help solution that helps customers solve questions or issues they may have with the Office 365 suite of services. The Troubleshooter pinpoints key technical support issues and provides immediate solutions so customers do not have to post questions to the community or submit a support request ticket. It features hundreds of possible help and support Office 365 assets (i.e., help topics, articles, videos, wikis, blog posts, etc.). As you move through a list of troubleshooting options, the tool dynamically displays funneled-down content to lead you towards the answers you need. This free tool is available in the "Troubleshooting" section of http://community.office365.com/.

Additional Information:
Read the blog announcement Support Made Simple
Use the DIY Troubleshooting Tool now

SharePoint Online access for external users via a Windows Live ID

Microsoft is helping to support the many scenarios in which you work with others, particularly those who are not part of your company, such as vendors, trusted business partners, customers, and clients. Windows LiveID now adds external sharing capabilities in SharePoint Online so companies can invite external users in to view, share, and collaborate on their sites. The feature is turned off by default, but a company’s SharePoint Online Administrator can enable external sharing for the whole company. Then each individual site collection owners can decide if they wish to share externally. Every Office 365 SharePoint Online customer at the tenant level, (not per subscription) includes 50 Partner Access Licenses (PALs) that can be used for external sharing. Customers are not currently required to obtain additional PALs for external sharing beyond 50 users and can have up to a maximum of 1,000 PALs until the next major update of the Office 365 service at which time Microsoft may choose to make it available as a paid add-on.
Note: Microsoft supports invited external users signing in to the service using a Microsoft Online Services ID and/or a Windows Live ID, which includes @Live.com, @Hotmail.com and @MSN.com user names, plus regional derivations of LiveID user names.

Additional Information:
To learn more, please read Share a Site with External Users for midsize businesses and enterprises or Share the Team Site with External Users for professionals and small businesses
To learn more about all the November SharePoint Online updates, read the blog post What’s New in SharePoint Online: November 2011 Update

SharePoint Online support for IE 9 and Chrome

In addition to earlier versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox, SharePoint Online now officially supports Internet Explorer 9 and Chrome. Just launch your favorite browser and then visit your favorite SharePoint Online team site or intranet company site, use work with the Office Web Apps, and more.

SharePoint Online mobile rendering of public websites

Users will no longer be prompted for credentials when viewing their public website pages. This improvement addresses the issues some of our small business users experienced when viewing public websites on mobile devices.

Office 365 Global Expansion: Brazil

Office 365 trials and commerce are available in Brazil as of November 8, 2011.

Office 365 Global Expansion: New language support

We have added new language support for Portuguese-Portuguese.

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October 2011

Exchange Online Enhancements to Connected Accounts

Users with Connected Accounts can currently synchronize their mailboxes in Outlook Web App (OWA) by simply clicking the refresh button. During an active OWA session, the frequency with which a mailbox syncs has been increased. Additionally, user mailboxes will automatically sync when they log into OWA.

Additional Information:
To learn more please read the blog announcement New Sync Capabilities for Connected Accounts

Office Web Apps Improvements

We are pleased to share with you many improvements to Microsoft’s popular Office Web Apps, including:

  • ODF support: View and edit ODF 1.1 documents in Office Web Apps
  • New Browser support: Use Office Web Apps with Chrome and IE9 in native mode
  • Print from editor: Print Word document from edit mode, in addition to view mode
  • Excel Support: Insert charts from within Excel Web App
  • Copy and Paste in Excel: Copy and paste values and formulas by dragging the fill handle
  • Additional Print Capabilities: Print presentations directly from PowerPoint Web App
  • Edit text in more shapes: Edit text in more shapes instead of only placeholder shapes
  • Enhanced theme options: Pick a presentation theme when creating a new document
  • Clip-art support: Insert clip art from within PowerPoint Web App

Additional Information:
To learn more, read the post Setting the pace in cloud productivity

Outlook Web App attachment preview with Office Web Apps Improvements

Outlook Web App now integrates Office Web Apps into the attachment previewing experience for Microsoft Word documents, Microsoft Excel® spreadsheets, and Microsoft PowerPoint® presentations. When Office Web App attachment preview is enabled, users see an Open in Browser link next to the Office Web App document type in Outlook Web App. By clicking on the link, the user can open the attached document using the Office Web Apps to get a high-fidelity preview of the Office document in a browser window.

Additional Information:
Read the blog posting Office Web Apps
Read more about this feature on EHLO (The Exchange Team Blog)

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June through September 2011

SharePoint Online ability to connect to lists and document libraries with the Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” update

Windows Phone 7.5, codenamed “Mango,” now enables both small business and enterprise Office 365 customers to access SharePoint Online lists and document libraries from their Windows Phone.

Additional Information:
View this video to see how easy it is to connect your WP7.5 to your Office 365 services

Office 365 Global Expansion: Chile

Office 365 trials and commerce are available in Chile as of September, 7 2011.

Office 365 Global Availability

Office 365 is initially available in 38 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, United States, and UK.

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