New Office 365 Creativity Updates

Just in from the Microsoft Windows 10 Event in New York City: Office 365 is getting its own updates for the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update, which Microsoft says will arrive in “early 2017.”

With Microsoft’s updates, Windows 10 and Office 365 can be regularly updated with fixes, and new features, too. So what’s the Creators Update? Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President for Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, explained that the Creators Update features will include 3D and mixed reality, 4K gaming, and in-game broadcasting.

How does this affect Office? The features within the Creators Update will enhance the digital pen user-experience, offering new ways to interact with your documents and expands options for creating rich, interactive content – this is called Inking.

Inking in Office 365

  • Ink Editor – Strike through words to delete them, circle text to select it, and automatically snap highlighter ink to text.
  • Ink Replay control with Surface Dial – Set the pace at which you review instructions, reveal lesson ideas, and more with the new integration of Surface Dial and Windows 10.
  • Digital Ruler – Draw straight lines and align objects with the help of a built-in digital ruler in PowerPoint.
  • Segment Eraser in PowerPoint – Use this new eraser to remove excess ink for more precise in shapes.

Read more about the Creators Update for Office, and Inking here.

New Microsoft Office Updates for iOS

THIS JUST IN: Good news for iPhone and iPad users, Microsoft is working to deliver new updates for Office on iOS.

As part of their September updates, Office for iOS will get support for Edmodo and Tencent, which means iPhones and iPads will now be allowed to store and access documents through Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Microsoft Word is getting Smart Lookup which will allow users the ability to look up a word instantly. By simply pressing and holding on a word or phrase, users can search image information, word definitions, and more without leaving the document.

PowerPoint is also getting an update in the iOS platform. IPhone users can now use their smartphones as laser pointers by simply pressing and holding in the notes section while in presenter mode.

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The Mac platform of the office suite will be updated as well. PowerPoint Designer will be getting a bit of a face-lift and will have improved color guides as well as new audio and video trim options.  Additionally, Office 365 subscribers will get access to a new “focus mode,” which is designed to “remove distractions and improve concentration at work.” There isn’t a concrete release date for this update, but it should go live early September.

For additional information on Microsoft updates for iOS, visit their website.

Microsoft Announcements from Build 2016

Microsoft held its annual “Build” developer conference this past week in San Francisco. Build 2016 ran from March 30–April 1, and there were quite a few announcements from the event including:

  • Windows 10 Anniversary Update
  • New “Ink Workspace” with Windows Ink apps
  • Office 2016 Add-ins for Office 2016 for Mac
  • New universal apps for Windows 10
  • Cortana is getting smarter
  • HoloLens is shipping to developers

Learn more with articles from WinBeta, The Verge, and Life Hacker.

O365 Ed News App

Screenshot: Home Screen

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Looking for tips to help stay current on the rapid innovations in Office 365? You can check out the Office 365 Road Map and follow the Microsoft’s Office Blog, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter… or you can now visit the Windows 10 store to download O365 EDU News and have all of that info right in one place!

O365 EDU News is an education focused Office 365 news aggregator. It will compile news related to Office 365 in Education from from Microsoft’s Office Blog, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter all in one convenient app.

Nerds: the Bill vs Steve Musical

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It’s ultimate Computing showdown: the Nerds Musical pits Bill Gates and Microsoft against Steve Jobs and Apple. The new musical comedy about the rise and rivalry of these two tech luminaries will open on Broadway in April.

Broadway World has a glimpse of what audiences can expect:

“Before Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were the undisputed titans of technology, they were Nerds. Join America’s favorite garage inventors on a hilarious musical journey from the floppy disc era to the iPhone phenomenon, and the epic competition in between, that would revolutionize modern culture as we know it. Fittingly, the production will feature the most progressive technology seen on Broadway, including: on-stage holograms; projection mapping; and an enhanced theater-going experience through app integrations that allow users to interact with the set and other audience members, choose the show’s ending, and more special features soon to be announced.”

Microsoft in 2016

Cloud
Doug Berger, director of hardware, devices and experiences at Microsoft Research NExT, predicts 2016 will bring the 'successful and large-scale inclusion of specialized compute acceleration in the cloud.' This will enable advancements in bioinformatics, big data workloads and high-performance computing, he wrote.
Cloud connections with quantum computers could enable researchers to find solutions for problems that today's computers cannot solve, said Krysta Svore, senior researcher at Microsoft Research NExT. As an example, she cited the simulation of physical scientific systems to more efficiently create artificial fertilizer.
Hsiao-Wuen Hon, corporate vice president of Microsoft Research Asia, he says he thinks 2016 will be the year Web streaming surpasses TV broadcasting. 'More people in China will watch the Olympics through the Web than through TV,' he said of next year's Rio games.
(Image: Soleg/iStockPhoto)

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As we’re getting ready to say goodbye to 2015 and Microsoft’s year of transition, we’re also trying to look ahead at what we can expect from Microsoft in 2016. Information Week has quite a few ideas of big things that may be on the horizon. We’re looking forward to seeing what the future holds from Microsoft’s hardware advances and research gains!

  • Windows 10 upgrades
  • Surface growing in power and popularity
  • Microsoft Wearables improvements including changes for the Microsoft Band 2 fitness band and HoloLens
  • Surface Phone
  • Cloud connections with quantum computers
  • Innovative and improved computer security
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Health sensors evolving to monitor metabolic rate

Learn more about these Microsoft predictions for 2016.

Microsoft Sway

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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.

Office 365 Customer Success Center

Microsoft has created the Office 365 Customer Success Center to help customers get the most out of Office 365 and stay up to date on the latest Office 365 news and information. The Center’s helpful information include tabs on Scenarios, Deployment, Adoption, Roadmap, Community, and Resources. The Roadmap tab lists updates that are currently being planned for Office 365.  Customers can get information on recently launched updates available to all customers and updates that are currently rolling out that may not be available to all customers yet, as well as updates that are in development or updates that were cancelled. The Community tab features links to Microsoft’s blogs, virtual training, and the opportunity to join the Office 365 Network. This Network allows users to connect with other members of the Office 365 community by sharing knowledge and first hand experiences.

Learn more.

New User Experiences in Office 365

 

Last week Microsoft released a set of new user experiences coming to Office 365 including access to notifications, help and what’s new feature introductions, contextual and immersive settings, and the integration of Skype for Business conversations. The new features will be accessed through icons in the top right of the navigation bar that will remain in place across Office 365 web applications. Be on the lookout for the new features to begin rolling out to those in the First Release program over the next few weeks, and then all Office 365 business customers over the next several months.

Learn more