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Office 365 News & Analysis

Windows 10's New Mail: Is It Outlook or Isn't It?

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It claims to be an app called “Mail for Windows 10.” Microsoft promises it to be the touch-sensitive, yet feature-packed, mail functionality that it failed to provide in Windows 8.

Yet when the new Mail app pops on-screen for the first time, it shows a familiar looking portfolio logo with an “O” on it. Its default email account, even if it’s hosted on a non-Microsoft server, is called “Outlook.” And its background picture, when the preview pane is empty, is an Outlook icon over a clear, blue sky.

Just what is it that we’re looking at: a part of the free upgrade that Microsoft promises Windows 10 will be? Or a peek into a more full-featured package that users may yet be prompted to purchase?

Office 365 is a Disaster Waiting to Happen

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I'm hesitant to add another blog to the pile about Office 365, because there are more than enough talking heads out there prognosticating.

But I spent the last week at the Houston ARMA Spring Conference talking to clients, vendors and other service providers. And I realized that -- unless something changes -- Office 365 is an information management disaster in the making for organizations.

Here’s the gist of why I think so.

Office 365 Gets Customer Lockbox & More

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Cloud weary managers might have reason to reconsider using Office 365.

In an opening keynote at the RSA Conference in San Francisco this week, Scott Charney, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Trustworthy Computing, announced Customer Lockbox for Office 365.

It may be the most important security announcement around Office 365 that Microsoft makes this year, according to Julia White, Microsoft’s general manager for Office Product Management.

Metalogix Moves Into Social Media Archiving

Metalogix is back to business-as-usual after the MetaVis buy with the announcement this morning of a triple release across its Files and Exchange offerings, as well as new module that protects enterprise brands in social media settings.

The Archive and Files upgrades promise universal mobile access along with enhanced security and compliance features. But the company expects the new social module to be the real crowd pleaser.

To find out more, we talked with Hudson Casson, the company's global director of marketing and product strategy.

Don't Hold Your Breath: SharePoint Release Delayed

Microsoft is significantly delaying the release of SharePoint Server 2016 — creating what one industry expert described as a "ripple of sadness" across the Internet.

In a blog post yesterday, Microsoft revealed a new delivery plan for the next on-premises version of Sharepoint. It confirmed that SharePoint Server 2016 will become generally available in the second quarter of 2016, with a public beta in the fourth quarter this year. That is about a year later than originally expected.

Here's a Portrait of Your Typical Mobile Microsoft User

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The typical mobile user of Microsoft's collaboration tools -- Office 365, SharePoint, Yammer and OneDrive -- isn’t a social media maven, according to a survey of user habits. But he can't live without document access.

While that may not be much of a surprise (Microsoft is the platform for the serious office worker, after all) the following finding is: iOS is the dominant mobile browser by far for accessing documents and collaborating with Microsoft tools in the enterprise.

That's an eye-opening factoid given the number of Android phones in general in circulation and the only relatively recent inroads Apple has made in the enterprise, David Lavenda, VP of product strategy at harmon.ie, told CMSWire. 

Is Adobe Building A Productivity Cloud?

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It’s been a busy week in the document management space. Adobe let loose its Document Cloud, Accusoft and EMC teamed up on a release, and Microsoft shared some new releases and promises of things to come.

Todd Klindt: Tell Me You Like Me & We'll Party at Ignite

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Microsoft Ignite is less than a month away in Chicago. There's going to be a ton of things going on.

But one of the things you never want to miss when you go to these big conferences is the AvePoint RED Party. They have it every year and it's always crazy, over-the-top. Those AvePoint folks have never thrown a reasonable party in their lives!

There was one that I was at — a lot of them blur together and a lot of them have included things that I just can't speak about publicly — but one of them had a fire dancer — this woman, she had things that were on fire like batons and rings and all kinds of stuff.

I thought it was gonna be dumb. And then I saw it — and it was not dumb.

But anyway, AvePoint is doing it again on Tuesday, May 5 at Chicago Union Station.

So now you may be thinking, "This sounds amazing. How does one get into such a thing?" And I'm going to tell you — even though you may have heard it was sold out.

Microsoft Adds More Security to Select Office 365 Plans

Microsoft is introducing a new security layer to Office 365 with advanced threat protection for Exchange for Office 365 government and business users.

Now in testing, Microsoft expects it to be generally available later this summer.

While Microsoft has made much about the security of Office 365, it's a constant challenge to stay ahead of spammers and other malware producers.

How a CRM App is Helping Google Best Microsoft 365

Google has been incrementally making its workplace products more and more functional — all, it seems, with one goal in mind.

It would like to eat Microsoft Office 365's lunch.

When it first launched Google Apps (now called Google for Work), the best feature was the cost. The products were free to use, although there was little in the way of service or advanced business functionality.

But that's been changing. More companies are piggybacking on Google for Work's foundation to launch their own products and, as these products mature, continue to invest and expand them.

One of the latest examples is ProsperWorks, the developer of Simple CRM for Google Apps.  

Businesses Committed to SharePoint, Despite Stalled Deployments

Since Microsoft unveiled SharePoint back in 2001, it has been one of the fastest growing products in the software giant's history. Along with billions of dollars in revenue, the platform now boasts 125 million users and counting.

Businesses first deployed SharePoint as a point solution for document sharing amongst project teams and as a stand in to files-shares. SharePoint proved a capable solution for these challenges and Microsoft has continually added to its capabilities.

But despite its scope, and as with many types of software, it suffers from a perceived lack of user commitment.

News You Can Use: Microsoft, Facebook, Zendesk, More

The latest in connecting, publishing, managing, chatting, targeting, offering and backing up from the Evergreen State, the Knickerbocker State, Don’t Call it Frisco, Tree City USA, Climate Best By Government Test, Bharat, the Baked Bean State and that Toddling Town.

Endangered Species: The Corporate Intranet

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The very idea that we’re still doing old-fashioned, browser-based, news-publishing intranets in the mobile era is downright antiquated. They’re no different than rotary-dial phones. And they’re going the same direction as your old olive-drab rotary phone did -- and as a result of the same technologies.

The question facing intranets should be how internal collaboration and communication tools are going to evolve in the world of social, cloud and mobile -- and whether there’s any place left for the traditional intranet down the line. We shouldn’t be asking if enterprise social will replace the intranet, but rather how long the whole idea of a browser-based intranet portal really has left in the face of mobile apps and form factors (of which social is only one example).

You may not like the message. You may care a great deal for your intranet. You may be tied to it for professional, emotional or financial reasons. You may not see how your company could live without it. And I get it. Believe it or not, I envision, plan and build intranets in my day job. I’m close to this patient. But I know where it’s going.

Will Office 365 Destroy Consulting?

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If you had asked me back in 2010 if my banking or insurance clients would ever move their content to the cloud, I would have laughed. But over the past couple of years these same organizations have shifted their perspective. The idea of hosting email in Exchange online and providing users with an option of Office 365 capabilities (OneDrive, SharePoint, etc) intrigues many. 

Which raises the question: How will the shift towards SaaS technology impact modern consultancies like System Integrators (SI) and Managed Services Providers (MSP)?

You Called? Lync Is Out, Skype for Business Is In #Conv15

The Skype communications platform officially became part of Microsoft Office today At the Convergence conference in Atlanta, the company announced the end of the Lync era with the launch of the Skype for Business technical preview.

It is indeed Skype.

With this new edition, the directory scheme is effectively flattened, making traditional Skype users available on calls placed through the Skype for Business client — formerly the Lync client.

The traditional Skype calling system, which uses P2P protocol over the Internet and the SILK codec for call clarity, is now bolted onto the Business edition as well.

But with a few other feature exceptions, the client remains quite similar.

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