Microsoft Office Mix: Integrated with MindTap for Computing

Microsoft Office Mix Integrated with MindTap for Computing

Thanks to the growth in online learning and flipped classrooms, more instructors are creating interactive video lectures designed to educate and engage students. New software solutions such as Microsoft Office Mix provide instructors with the ability to create these dynamic presentations with skill, polish, and ease.

We’re so excited that Cengage Learning is the first publisher to partner with Microsoft to offer Microsoft Office Mix integrated within our MindTap digital learning solution. Shelly Cashman’s Discovering Computers & Microsoft Office 2013, the first integrated course, is now available, and integrating additional MindTap for Computing courses is slated for the future.

“Office Mix turns PowerPoint into a powerful interactive lesson authoring solution,” says Jim Federico, Principle Product Manager at Microsoft. “We’re delighted to support Cengage’s innovation that enables instructors and students to create engaging and interactive learning content.”

Each chapter in the MindTap for Shelly Cashman’s Discovering Computers & Microsoft Office 2013 is accompanied by a ready-to-use Office Mix presentation that includes walk throughs, videos and knowledge checks. You can also create your own Office Mix presentations and add them to the course—and encourage your students to do the same!

Visit the Cengage Blog and check out a sample of this new MindTap learning solution.

Microsoft Office 365 and Office 2016

Office 2016’s launch has sparked many questions, most of which have revolved around its relation to Office 365. If you’re one of the many who find this all a little confusing, we’ve created a guide just for you! Here we’ve detailed the various Office 365 products and the similarities and differences between these products and Office 2016.

What is Office 365 and how does it relate to Office 2016?

The Office 365 brand name is used by Microsoft to represent a group of Software plus Services subscriptions that provide productivity software (including “Office 2016 apps”) and related services to subscribers. Office 365 is the delivery option that ensures updated features, security updates and bug fixes. You can still purchase Office 2016 as the traditional Office client version which is static and you would need to purchase a new version (on a 2-3 years cycle depending on when Microsoft releases an Office 2018 or 2019 for example) in order to receive updates. At the time of launch, Office 365 and Office 2016 are in parity. They will begin diverging with the monthly Microsoft releases starting November 1st though real functionality changes are not expected in the near future (through 2016) just security and bug fixes.

Office 365 vs. Office 2016: What’s the Difference?

 Office 365

  • Offers multiple purchase options but a recurring subscription model in all cases
  • Up to date software
    • Automatic updates will roll out to users on a monthly basis
    • Exception: administrators of the “Current Branch for Business” can choose to receive updates three times a year (this applies to Pro Plus) – click here for branching documentation from Microsoft
  • Office 2016 applications come with the Office 365 subscription
  • Can install across multiple devices
  • There are several features that come with Office 365 including Microsoft Support, Skype across several devices, and 1 TB of One Drive cloud storage

 Office 365 Options:

Office 365 Pro Plus

  • Free subscription to faculty and staff who work at qualifying schools
  • Installs Office on up to 5 devices
  • Subscription lasts as long as user works at qualified institution
  • IT administrator controls permissions

Office 365 Home

  • Subscription-based plan available across multiple devices (up to 5)
  • Always has most up-to-date version
  • Not possible to block updates
  • Customers using Office 2007 and later can open documents created using Office 365—customers on earlier versions need to install compatibility pack.

Office 365 Personal

  • Subscription-based plan available across 1 PC or Mac, 1 tablet, and 1 phone
  • Always has most up-to-date version
  • Not possible to block updates
  • Customers using Office 2007 and later can open documents created using Office 365—customers on earlier versions need to install compatibility pack.

Office 2016

  • Updates every few years depending on Microsoft’s unannounced release schedule
  • “Traditional Office” (successor to Office 2013)
  • One time purchase
  • Applications are not automatically updated
  • For use on single PC or MAC
  • For latest updates you must purchase again when update becomes available
  • 15 GB online cloud storage through One Drive

What’s the difference between Office 2016 suites and Office 365 plans? Per Microsoft on their FAQs: 

“With Office 365 subscription plans you get the full, installed Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access (Publisher and Access are available on PC only). You can install Office 365 across multiple devices, including PCs, Macs, Android tablets, Android phones, iPad, and iPhone.

Office as a one-time purchase includes applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for use on a single PC or Mac. The applications are not automatically updated; to get the latest version, you must purchase Office again when the new version becomes available. Current Office application versions available for one-time purchase are Office 2016 for Windows and Mac. Previous versions include Office 2013, Office 2011 for Mac, Office 2010, Office 2007, Office 2008 for Mac, and Office 2004 for Mac. Office 2010 and Office 2007 are compatible with Windows 8.1 and earlier. Office as a one-time purchase does not include any of the services included in Office 365.”

Have you signed up for Cengage Learning’s Microsoft blog updates?
We are full speed ahead with delivering the greatest Windows 10, Office 365 and Office 2016 product information to our instructors and students. We distill what Microsoft and the media are saying down to what is most important for you. This helps you cut through the noise and get to the imperative information. We make sure that you get the latest information delivered right to you when you sign up for the email updates from the blog as well!

To sign up, just look on the right hand side of this page! Find the link that says “Stay Updated” – enter your email and then click Subscribe. You’ll get a confirmation email and then you will receive the information directly in your inbox.

Are You Using OneNote?


Are you using Microsoft OneNote? If you’re not, you should be! OneNote is ideal for users who take a lot of notes, attend multiple meetings during the week or collaborate with others on projects. It keeps information organized and is easily searchable. OneNote mimics physical note taking, and relies on notebooks, tabs and pages. There are many tips and tricks for users to get the most out of OneNote.

Learn more about OneNote for Beginners.

How to Stop Office 365 Auto Updates


Over the past year, Microsoft released over 450 updates to Office 365. That’s a lot of changes to keep track of! If you would like to stop your Office 365 auto updates, you can use this link to learn how to change your Office update setting. Follow the instructions for your Operating System. You can also keep track of Office 365 updates using these Microsoft resources.


*Updated information from Microsoft can be found in this blog post.*

Microsoft Sway


Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that Sway is now available on computers and tablets running its Windows 10 software. Windows 10 users can visit the Windows store to get Sway for free. Sway was previously available within only within a web browser. It does not require an Office 365 subscription.

Sway is touted as a digital storytelling app and allows users to combine text and media to create a presentable website. Microsoft says Sway is designed to accomplish different tasks than PowerPoint, such as interactive storytelling that lets the software make design choices like slide color and placement of photos instead of forcing the user to make design decisions. The purpose of Sway is to convey concepts quickly, easily and clearly. Sway presentations are backed up to the cloud, and can be easily shared or embedded in websites.

Learn more about Microsoft Sway.

Skype for Business Replaces Lync


Skype for Business recently rolled out for Office 365 and quietly replaced Lync on desktops. Microsoft also premiered the online version of the app called Skype for Business Online. It appears that this transition was meant to be very easy, barely even noticeable, so users could slide from Lync to Skype with minimal hassle.

Skype for Business is built into Office so features like presence, IM, voice and video calls, and online meetings are an integrated part of the Office experience. The integration allows for users to view contacts’ online statuses, schedule meetings, and start conversations from Office apps. Powered by the Microsoft Cloud, it’s also integrated with Delve and Office Graph. Skype for Business users can search for and connect with anyone in the Skype network, both inside and outside their organization.

Learn more

Delve to Roll Out for Office 365 in Mid-May

Delve, the first application built for Office 365’s Office Graph machine learning engine, is expected to finish rolling out to Office 365 customers by mid-May. Delve is designed to analyze how people work on Office 365. The application then automatically makes relevant data on colleagues and content easily accessible by linking to content via card icons in a dashboard interface. Delve is also set to gain the ability to analyze content within Exchange Online email attachments, and will also soon work across Yammer. Another feature of Delve is its use as a conventional search engine, into which users can enter keywords and run queries. However, Delve also offers users preconfigured search filters to see, for example, what’s been “shared with me,” “liked by me,” “modified by me,” “viewed by me,” “presented to me” and what’s “trending around me,” which flags recent actions in Office 365 taken by relevant colleagues.

Learn more

Outlook arrives for iOS and Android

Microsoft announced on January 29 the availability of Outlook for iOS and a preview of Outlook for Android. The apps are live in the iOS App store and Google Play stores and provide a high quality email experience along with traditional Outlook features.

These apps, along with Android Office apps being finalized, are all about Microsoft making sure it has its products where customers are consuming content. With the company no longer saying that Windows will be first, as noted by the fact that both iOS and Android now have touch versions of Office available while the Windows version is still in development, it lets consumers choose the device that works best for them and still allows them access to Microsoft software.

Learn more »

Office 365 and OneDrive News

Office 365 Roadmap Introduced

In June 2014, Microsoft introduced the Office 365 Roadmap, a service for Office 365 for Business customers to keep informed about new and upcoming features for Office 365.

According to the Roadmap Web site: “The Office 365 for business roadmap lists updates that are currently planned for applicable subscribers. Updates are at various stages from being in development to rolling-out to customers to being generally available for applicable customers world-wide. Expand an update to learn more about it and click the learn more link to read more details.”

Learn more » 

Office 365 First Release Program Announced

In June 2014, Microsoft announced the First Release program, providing a way for Office 365 customers to opt-in “to get a small selection of significant enhancements to the Office 365 user experience, SharePoint Online, and Exchange Online first. If you opt-in to First Release, you will receive new qualifying feature updates first, a minimum of two weeks before customers in our standard release group.”

Learn more » 

1 TB of OneDrive Storage

Microsoft announced in June 2014 that they are increasing the OneDrive storage allotment included with Office 365 Home, Office 365 Personal, and Office 365 University from 20 GB to 1 TB. This additional storage will be added to existing accounts in July 2014.

Learn more »