There have been some big updates this month to Office 365 for all mobile users! Microsoft is delivering on value for Office 365 users by rolling out another series of updates in features and applications. As most Windows Phone users know, in order to work on Office documents one must download the office app from the Microsoft Store. Starting with the Lumia 950 the Office app will come pre-installed ready to be productive for you. There are also individual apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to help you dive directly into whichever app you want.
I think a really big feature rolled out here is the “pick up where you left off” feature. This is not just for Windows Phone users, this is rolling out across iOS and Android as well. The concept is simple: A user begins working on a document on a desktop, tablet or phone device then he can move between any of those devices and pick up right where he left off. I know this does not seem like that big of a deal
but it is. Dropbox has done fantastic work in allowing people to access the files they need across a number of devices, however you still need to edit them, mark them up and share them. Microsoft has done a fantastic job of just making the editing and sharing process “just work” seamlessly and that makes it very effective for work and school life.
A big event for Android users this month is the roll-out of Skype for Business general availability. This completes the Office applications suite in Office 365 for Android. This last piece has been a major accomplishment and push for Microsoft. It provides their customers with seamlessly dependable and exactly the same experiences across any platform. And it paying off for Microsoft. If I switch hats here for a moment the IT Sys Admin in side of me is excited about end users have a single set of secure credentials with multi-factor authentication that they can use to setup any device, they like. BYOD is done! I set the policies and the apps and services control the security boundaries.
In the world of developer operations, I have become a fan of #slack asynchronous communications with webhooks and integrations into your favorite operational services. I have often wondered with the notifications built into the Office 365 portal Why not allow a notifications panel to provide the same integrations with things like Visual Studio Online?
However, I digress. The Office 365 Planner is what I believe is Microsoft’s first steps toward team communications beyond individual sites. And it is now available in preview. I personally think Microsoft has all the right components to aggregate the data for a #slack competitor and Office 365 Planner is where I would like to see it integrated with Azure Application insights and Azure Operations Management Suite Integration.
Finally, IT Admin controls have been added to Sway allowing admins to control third-party content sources (such as Flickr, PicHit, Wikipedia, YouTube and Twitter.)
I think the logical next step for Sway is integration with Power BI and reporting services. I cannot wait for this and if you found this article to be informative and interesting, do me a solid and go vote for this feature.
See you next month!