Office 365 News & Analysis
| Wednesday Nov 12, 2014
An empty email inbox is apparently a new status symbol in the IT industry — and vendors are lining up to provide products designed to help you manage your mail.
Google has already introduced its Inbox, and now Microsoft is bringing Graph to inboxes to make them smarter.
While the concept of intelligent inboxes is a bit of a contradiction – think of all the trash they attract – Microsoft Graph promises to change that. It will teach inboxes what you want, what you don’t want and dump the rest in a hole called Clutter.
| Wednesday Nov 12, 2014
When Microsoft paid $8.5 billion in cash for Skype in 2011, it left some scratching their heads where the product would fit in the Microsoft ecosystem. And while Microsoft has since integrated the software into a number of its products, we now have a better sense of its future. As of next year, the Lync name will disappear and be replaced by Skype for Business.
This is not just a rebranding exercise. It involves joining together the Lync infrastructure with Skype, which includes the ability to use on-premises servers, optional integration with external communications networks and the use of the Skype interface on top of Lync.
| Monday Nov 10, 2014
Microsoft is making good on its promise to be more responsive to users' needs ... just not all of them.
Last week the company released a preview version of Office for Android tablets, along with Office for iPad upgrades and new iPhone apps. Even better, it made all of the options free. You no longer need an Office 365 subscription to edit documents on mobile devices and store them in the cloud (whether it’s OneDrive or Dropbox).
But what about iPad users who enthusiastically signed up before that announcement — and are already locked in to spending $7 a month for an Office 365 subscription?
| Friday Nov 7, 2014
Microsoft has finally announced the release of Delve, a project that had been hidden under the code name Oslo and about which little was known.
When it was unveiled at the SharePoint conference earlier this year, then later as part of Office 365, Microsoft described it as a new way of getting working done. With it, Microsoft said, workers could find any content they needed, anywhere
Exciting as the announcement was — at least for Microsoft users — it doesn’t really extend beyond the Microsoft environment. Yes, it can find a needle in the massive haystack of your enterprise content ... as long as that content is in Microsoft applications.
| Thursday Nov 6, 2014
Microsoft wants Office to be at your fingertips at all times, regardless of where you are or what device you use. As a result it has been working at a furious rate to build out Office and Office 365, especially for mobile. Since the Office for iPad release last March, though, one of the glaring gaps has been the lack of an Android mobile edition.
Today Microsoft bridges that gap with the release of a preview version of Office for Android tablets, along with Office for iPad upgrades and new iPhone apps.
| Thursday Nov 6, 2014
A few years ago I came to scary realization that I am now old enough to look back — and “reflect.”
I'm still not sure that with age comes wisdom, but I am sure that I can see repeating patterns. The new becomes old and all the old becomes new again. My kids’ music selection includes a smattering of re-makes that are Top 40 material today, just as the originals were when I was my kids’ age.
I’ve now witnessed clothing come in and out fashion multiple times (although I sincerely hope bell-bottoms do not return). And this may be just me, but it seems like every other movie that comes out is a re-make.
They say art imitates life. But I'll take that one step further and say technology imitates many of the patterns I have observed over time.
| Wednesday Nov 5, 2014
Microsoft is releasing Office 365 into another nine countries, bringing its total market penetration to 140 of 196 countries worldwide.
The fact that you can now get Office 365 just about anywhere there is a business culture is not surprising. But the pace at which it has developed is startling.
When it launched just over two years ago, it was available in around 40 markets. A year later it was in 88 markets. By the end of 2013, it was up to 127 markets and now ... well, just about everywhere.
| Monday Nov 3, 2014
What are the differences between SharePoint governance in online versus on-premises deployments? This question comes up regularly at conferences and events -- administrators and business owners alike want to know if their organizations need to change their administration activities for the cloud. With many organizations either planning a move to the cloud or developing those plans, they need to know whether there are differences in what you can manage and how SharePoint is managed in the cloud.
Are there differences? Yes. Will these differences impact your existing governance policies and procedures? Most definitely.
| Thursday Oct 30, 2014
Cloud first, mobile first. Remember that one? If you don’t, let us remind you that it’s the new Microsoft mantra that was chanted first by Satya Nadella on his first public outing as the company's new CEO.
Earlier this week at TechEd Europe, Microsoft talked a lot about securing social business in the cloud through Data Loss Prevention (DLP). Yesterday it talked about managing mobile data.
But this wasn’t just about managing mobile data and devices in a general sense, with a doff of the hat to Microsoft’s work on Windows Phone. This was about managing mobile devices and data specifically for Office 365.
| Tuesday Oct 28, 2014
When Google rebranded its Enterprise Business as Google for Work, it signaled a return to the small business space. Now WordPress and Squarespace have announced they have joined the Google for Work Partner Program — a logical step in this refocus.
The partnerships give Google for Work users access to two of what are arguably the most agile small business content management systems (CMS) on the market.
| Tuesday Oct 28, 2014
Microsoft continues to weave the web around Office 365 tighter and tighter.
Over the past few months it has added more and more functionality to Office 365 and expanded its reach across and even beyond the enterprise. It is now adding additional security to keep enterprise data safe.
Microsoft introduced new compliance features last week. This week it is extending Data Loss Prevention functionality across the entire Office 365 product.
| Monday Oct 27, 2014
Who will win the enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) game? It’s certainly not going to be the vendor who offers the most amount of free storage.
Just today, Microsoft took storage caps off the table for Office 365 Home, Personal and University customers. And that unlimited OneDrive storage will be listed on the Office 365 for Business roadmap in the next few days. (They can’t offer unlimited storage right away because they have promised to give their corporate clients a heads-up before making any policy changes.)
| Friday Oct 24, 2014
Despite the progress Microsoft is making with Office 365, its claim to universality won't stand up until it gains traction with government and public bodies. Microsoft obviously understands this.
While Microsoft the company has given Office 365 for private enterprises a lot of love in the past few months, it hasn’t been neglecting the public sector either. And that makes the thorny issue of regulatory compliance even more critical.
Regulatory compliance is important for the private sector, but it is essential for public agencies. As a result, Microsoft is introducing IRS 1075 compliance to Office 365. The goal here is to prevent anyone from walking away with personal financial information, especially tax related data.
| Thursday Oct 23, 2014
In the same week that IBM stumbled on its road to the cloud, Microsoft’s journey skyward gave it a lift.
Enterprises are hungry for its heavenly products which include Office 365, Azure and Dynamics CRM. According to the company’s filing for the first fiscal quarter, revenues rose 128 percent year-over-year. Office 365, on the consumer side, by the way, now boasts an impressive 7 million subscribers to its Home and Personal software.
The company’s rapidly growing SQL Server business grew by double digits as did Lync, SharePoint and Exchange, its productivity products.
| Tuesday Oct 21, 2014
Microsoft claims it has a solution to some of the most common bring your own device (BYOD) concerns: A way to spy on enterprise workers. Through its Lync app, it's giving enterprises a way to monitor what devices workers are using to communicate.