Join a Skype Meeting with Skype for Business Web App

As written on
This article has been updated for 2020.

Skype for Business will be sunsetting on July 31, 2021. Have no fear though, as Microsoft Teams will replace it for all your communication needs and empower you to do even more.

What's Teams? Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform that combines instant messaging, calling, meetings, file sharing, app integration and everything you essentially need to collaborate with your team, no matter where you all are.

If you are a current Skype user, the below still applies and will until it's expired. However, new users that wish to sign up for Skype for Business will be redirected to Teams.

Whether you're new to Microsoft or have been a long time user of Skype, you should be very excited about the transition to Microsoft Teams. Skype is very limited in its capabilities - sure you can chat, make calls and have meetings, but the functionality ends there. Microsoft Teams does all of that and more. Here are some awesome features of Microsoft Teams:

  • Chat: Instant message one to one or a group chat. Make it fun by sending gifs, emojis or stickers
  • Meet: Easily go from a group chat to a video or audio conference in one click.  Record meetings, blur your background and share meeting notes. Just like Skype, Teams integrates with your calendar
  • Call: Gone are the days of "who joined?" - you can view everyone who's on the call or make calls directly one to one
  • Collaborate: Not sure where to find a file or what the latest version is? In Teams, you can access, share, and edit documents in real-time (and at the same time as another colleague)

On top of all these great features, you can organize and sort them by different "teams" - clever, right? For example, you can have a "Marketing" Team within Teams that the marketing and sales team to access collateral. You can also have an "All Staff" Team in which everyone in the company has access to. Additionally, you could have an "Executive" team where only the leadership team has access. With these different permissions, you can restrict and control which employees have access to what and keep communication and collaboration organized.

Want to learn more about the benefits of Teams? Read more about Microsoft Teams as the ultimate collaboration tool.


If you don’t have the desktop version of Skype for Business, or don’t have a Skype for Business account, you can use Skype for Business Web App to join a Skype Meeting from your browser.
IMPORTANT: You don't need to download or install any apps to join a Skype Meeting with Skype for Business Web App. Just select the link in the meeting request email and follow the instructions in the browser window to join.
If you're having difficulty joining, check out Trouble installing the Skype for Business Web App Plug-in?.

Join the meeting

Here are the basic steps to join a Skype Meeting from Skype for Business Web App:
    1. Open the meeting request in your email or calendar and select Join Skype Meeting.
    2. Enter your name on the sign-in screen and select Join the meeting.
    3. Follow your browser's instructions for installing the Skype for Business Web App Plug-in, which is required for audio, video, and screen sharing.
    4. Depending on the meeting options set by the organizer, you'll either join the meeting immediately, or be directed to the virtual lobby.Skype for Business Web App virtual lobby
    5. If you're in the lobby, the meeting organizer and other presenters are immediately notified that you're waiting.
      Admit someone who is waiting in the lobby
If you run in to trouble, or just want more detail, read on:
  1. To begin, do one of the following:
    • If you have Outlook or Outlook Web App, go to your Calendar, open the meeting request, and select Join Skype Meeting.
    • Open the email with the meeting request and select Join Skype Meeting.
      TIP:  If you’re having trouble joining the meeting, open an InPrivate Browsing session in Internet Explorer and try joining the meeting again.
  2. When Skype for Business Web App opens, do one of the following to join the meeting:
    • To join as a guest, enter your name and select Join the meeting.
    • To join a meeting set up by someone in your organization, select Sign in if you are from the organizer’s company orSign in if you are an Office 365 user, and then enter the same user name and password you use to sign in to your organization's network.
    TIP: Select Remember me on this computer to help speed up the join process the next time you use Skype for Business Web App. This option also gives you more choices for connecting to meeting audio the next time you join.
  3. Follow your browser’s instructions for downloading and installing the plug in. For example, in Internet Explorer, select Run when you see the alert at the bottom of the browser window.
    IMPORTANT: The Skype for Business Web App plug-in is required for audio, video, and screen sharing, so you should install it even if you plan to call in to the meeting by phone. You only need to install it once.
  4. In the Skype for Business Web App plug-in security alert, select Allow.
  5. If a Windows Firewall security alert appears, it’s OK to select Cancel if you don’t have administrator privileges on your computer. This won't affect your meeting.
  6. If you’ve already joined the meeting and the plug-in didn’t install, point to the phone icon and select Call to start the installation process.

Join the meeting with the desktop version of Skype for Business if the meeting request is from someone in your organization

If the meeting request is from a colleague or co-worker, you may be able install and use the desktop version of Skype for Business for more features and flexibility during the meeting. If your organization uses Office 365, you can install Skype for Business and other desktop apps from the Office 365 portal. Otherwise, contact your workplace technical support—typically the person who set up your Skype for Business account —for the location of the download.

Join with Skype for Business Web App if Skype for Business desktop is installed

In some cases you may want to join a meeting with Skype for Business Web App even if the desktop version of Skype for Business is installed.
  1. In the meeting request, right-click or tap and hold the  Join Skype Meeting link, and select Copy Hyperlink.
  2. Paste the meeting link into a browser address box, and add ?sl=1 at the end. For example:
  3. Press Enter to join the meeting with Skype for Business Web App.

If you found this article interesting, you might want to check out some of our information on Microsoft Teams. Learn more about Microsoft Teams here.


Built for small to medium sized businesses with up to as many as 300 employees and available worldwide today, Microsoft 365 Business includes the Office 365 suite of productivity and collaboration tools, in addition to device management and security tools to protect company information across Windows 10 PCs, mobile devices, and apps. This integrated solution is designed to simplify IT for small and medium sized businesses.

Also, the general availability of three new business apps—Microsoft Connections, Microsoft Listings, and Microsoft Invoicing—which join Microsoft Bookings, Outlook Customer Manager, and MileIQ to create a suite of capabilities that help small businesses grow and thrive. These apps are now available in Microsoft 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium for customers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada.

Laslty, Microsoft StaffHub, an app to help Firstline Workers manage their workday, is now included in Microsoft 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium subscriptions.

Become a modern workplace

Today’s modern, global workplace is moving in a new direction, which brings with it major opportunities and challenges for all businesses. Businesses have to meet the needs of a five-generation workforce, deal with an increasingly complex cyber-threat setting, and innovate quick enough to meet evolving customer expectations.

All the while, small and medium sized customers want solutions that are easy to manage and maintain. Often times, small business owners find technology options to be complex and costly, leading many to settle with a patchwork of services or opt out of investments altogether. These approaches compromise business productivity and open the door for security vulnerabilities, which could be a reason why 43 percent of all cyber-attacks last year were targeted at companies with fewer than 100 employees.

Safeguard your business

Microsoft 365 Business is made to provide the productivity tools and security services businesses need in a single, simple-to-manage product. It safeguards company information, extending security across users, apps, and devices. It ensures that PCs are up to date, helping to prevent vulnerabilities in security that cyber-thieves often exploit. In addition, it provides protection for company information across devices, with the capability to delete company data from lost or stolen devices.

Empower your people

Microsoft 365 Business delivers productivity and collaboration tools that businesses need in order to help their employees be the most productive that they can possibly be. It includes the suite of Office 365 productivity and collaboration apps, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as Outlook for email services, SharePoint and OneDrive for sharing files with customers, co-workers, and suppliers, and Microsoft Teams for chat-based teamwork and collaboration.

Simplify your IT management

Microsoft 365 Business is designed to make the management of technology for businesses and their IT partners simpler and less costly. It offers simple setup and management, so business owners and their teams can dedicate higher amounts of their time and energy toward building their businesses as opposed to constantly worrying about logistics. You can set up new employees, configure device security policies, and manage user identity and access, as well as ensure all your people are on the most up-to-date versions of Windows 10 and Office, all from a single console. On top of all of these points, the single per-user, per-month subscription streamlines costs and simplifies management.

Acquire customers and nurture business growth with three new apps

Three new apps are also available with the purpose of helping small businesses gain new customers, increase revenue, and accelerate billing and receivables.

  • Microsoft Connections enables businesses to send marketing emails that showcase their brand and drive sales.
  • Microsoft Listings helps businesses acquire new customers and build their brand by getting their business listed on Facebook, Google, Bing, and Yelp.
  • Microsoft Invoicing provides estimate and invoicing tools that help accelerate payment and manage cash flow.

These new business apps can all be managed centrally from the Business center. They build on top of three apps from Office 365 that are already available:

  • Bookings simplifies the process of scheduling and managing customer appointments.
  • Outlook Customer Manager provides simple customer management for small businesses, right within Outlook.
  • MileIQ offers a smarter way to track mileage, with automatic mileage logging, easy classification as business or personal, and comprehensive reporting.

Give Firstline Workers the tools they need to do their best work with StaffHub

The global workforce in comprised mostly of Firstline Workers; they are the heart and soul of many small and medium sized businesses. StaffHub is an app that is purpose-built to help Firstline Workers manage their workday, allowing business owners and employees to easily create and manage schedules, assign and complete tasks, and communicate with each other.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Introducing Microsoft 365

By Kirk Koenigsbauer as written on
Today at Inspire, Satya Nadella unveiled Microsoft 365, which brings together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security, delivering a complete, intelligent and secure solution to empower employees. It represents a fundamental shift in how we will design, build and go to market to address our customers’ needs for a modern workplace.
The workplace is transforming—from changing employee expectations, to more diverse and globally distributed teams, to an increasingly complex threat landscape. From these trends, we are seeing a new culture of work emerging. Our customers are telling us they are looking to empower their people with innovative technology to embrace this modern culture of work.
With more than 100 million commercial monthly active users of Office 365, and more than 500 million Windows 10 devices in use, Microsoft is in a unique position to help companies empower their employees, unlocking business growth and innovation.
To address the commercial needs from the largest enterprise to the smallest business, we are introducing Microsoft 365 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Business.
Microsoft 365 Enterprise is designed for large organizations and integrates Office 365 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security to empower employees to be creative and work together, securely.
Microsoft 365 Enterprise:
  • Unlocks creativity by enabling people to work naturally with ink, voice and touch, all backed by tools that utilize AI and machine learning.
  • Provides the broadest and deepest set of apps and services with a universal toolkit for teamwork, giving people flexibility and choice in how they connect, share and communicate.
  • Simplifies IT by unifying management across users, devices, apps and services.
  • Helps safeguard customer data, company data and intellectual property with built-in, intelligent security.
Microsoft 365 Enterprise is offered in two plans—Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5. Both are available for purchase on August 1, 2017.
Microsoft 365 Enterprise is built on the foundation of the highly successful Secure Productive Enterprise, which grew seats by triple digits in the last year. Going forward, Microsoft 365 Enterprise replaces Secure Productive Enterprise to double-down on the new customer promise of empowering employees to be creative and work together, securely.
Microsoft 365 Business is designed for small- to medium-sized businesses with up to 300 users and integrates Office 365 Business Premium with tailored security and management features from Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. It offers services to empower employees, safeguard the business and simplify IT management.
Microsoft 365 Business:
  • Helps companies achieve more together by better connecting employees, customers and suppliers.
  • Empowers employees to get work done from anywhere, on any device.
  • Protects company data across devices with always-on security.
  • Simplifies the set-up and management of employee devices and services with a single IT console.
Microsoft 365 Business will be available in public preview on August 2, 2017. It will become generally available on a worldwide basis in the fall of 2017, priced at US $20 per user, per month.
As a part of our commitment to small-to-medium sized customers, we’re also announcing the preview of three tailored applications that are coming to Office 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 Business:
  • Microsoft Connections—A simple-to-use email marketing service.
  • Microsoft Listings—An easy way to publish your business information on top sites.
  • Microsoft Invoicing—A new way to create professional invoices and get paid fast.
Today, we are also announcing that Microsoft’s mileage tracking app, MileIQ, is now included with Office 365 Business Premium.
Satya also discussed how Microsoft 365 represents a significant opportunity for partners to grow their businesses. Microsoft 365 will drive growth by enabling our more than 64,000 cloud partners to differentiate their offerings, simplify their sales processes and increase their revenue.
According to two Forrester Total Economic Impact™ Studies (commissioned studies conducted by Forrester Consulting), Microsoft 365 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Business increase average partner margins by an estimated 35 percent and 20 percent, respectively, over three years. Partners can learn more and explore training, sales and deployment resources on the Microsoft 365 partner site.
We are incredibly enthusiastic about Microsoft 365 and how it will help customers and partners drive growth and innovation. To learn more about Microsoft 365, please visit

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NASCAR’s drive to digitally transform helps fuel a new ‘tech age’ across the sports landscape

By Bill Briggs as written on
It’s race day. On the 1.99-mile road course, 38 cars roar in a blazing blur of team colors and engine thunder. Midway through the event, a NASCAR official peers into that speedy swirl to find one specific car due for a pit stop.
“Sounds simple, right? It can take a minute,” said John Probst, NASCAR managing director of competition innovation. “Even five to 10 seconds is a long time in our sport. Every second counts.”
Now, there’s a tool to do that task in true NASCAR style – fast. With the race management app, built by NASCAR and Microsoft on Windows 10, race officials can click on a car number and instantly see that driver’s position on the track – or learn when the car got fresh tires or will next stop for fuel. NASCAR officially launched it Sunday for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.
The app, introduced in 2016, includes new components like “freeze the field,” which combines video and positioning that helps NASCAR break down live race video and post-race footage to spot when and exactly where cars were located on the track. Officials also can use the app to see – on a single window – how much time the race has been run under green, yellow and red flags; how many cars are in the garage; and whether pit road penalties occurred.


NASCAR officials use a tablet to keep the race safe. (Photo by Integrated Talent)

NASCAR officials use a tablet to keep the race safe. (Photo by Integrated Talent)

“Running a race requires many people consuming data from many different sources and then coordinating that information into a seamless operation,” Probst said. “Historically, this information and data has been presented in a piecemeal form – little bits of information spread across many monitors or printed on individual sheets of paper.
“With the race management app, we are able to combine all of this information and present it to officials in a logical way. One application, one display,” Probst said.
Within NASCAR, officials are adopting new technologies to make their races fairer and safer – while also leveraging Microsoft tools like SharePoint to move their Super Bowl-sized event from city to city, 38 times a year. And at Hendrick Motorsports, 12-time NASCAR Cup Series champions, engineers are increasingly tapping tech to snip off fractions of seconds from pit stops and lap times.
In fact, decades of innovation within motor sports have helped lead the tech boom now rumbling throughout the larger sports landscape, from soccer to golf to high school football. It is a milestone moment, expert say, as more leagues, teams and competitors apply tools like Azure Machine Learning and Microsoft artificial intelligence solutions to achieve a singular goal: winning.
Intelligent guesses and gut instincts alone don’t cut it any longer on the track or on the field of play. Top performers are capturing and organizing the tremendous reservoir of raw data generated by their races and games – then using tools like predictive analytics to make smarter decisions, said Mike Downey, director of sports technology engineering at Microsoft.

Tech age in sports

“You could describe the current wave of tech transformation as a pivotal moment across all of sports. It’s up there with the Industrial Revolution and the Iron Age,” Downey said. “It’s the tech age in sports. It’s huge, and hugely transformational.”
Microsoft Consulting Services partnered with NASCAR to develop the race management app on Windows 10, with data and video stored in Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. The app combines into one screen six data categories – historical data, timing and scoring, pit road officiating, video replay and car positioning.
From the people who officiate the action on the track to those managing everything from the safety vehicles in the Race Control hub, the app is streamlining operations, said Betsy Grider, managing director of technology development at NASCAR.
“When you have incidents on track or big wrecks, it’s high pressure, high stress,” Grider said. “After safety and medical situations are taken care of, you want to get those cars back to racing as soon as possible. Using a master app that allows you to jump in and out of different functions live, that puts everything (that’s happening) on one single pane of glass, it really helps operationally.”

Policing the pits

NASCAR has also integrated Microsoft Surface Dial into the app. The hardware tool is the size of a hockey puck and works with Microsoft Surface Studio and Surface Pro to activate hidden software features, freeing up hands for other tasks. NASCAR race officials are using Surface Dial in the app’s “infraction video” feature, which captures video to monitor pit stops for violations, said Stephen Byrd, NASCAR director of technology integration and development.
“We can now have multiple officials review and scrutinize these videos, using the Dial to play the clip on a granular level, frame by frame, so they can analyze what happened in real time, literally saving us seconds,” Byrd said. “That’s important because we want to be able to issue a penalty before that car (in violation) makes a full, complete lap. Time is of the essence.”
When the race is done, the work really starts. NASCAR is not a light packer. The entire race event –communication and broadcast hubs, cars, computers and camshafts – gets assembled and hauled in tractor-trailers to the next track in the next city for the next race.


Haulers lined up at Sonoma Raceway carry the cars, parts, tools and NASCAR equipment from city to city. (Photo by Integrated Talent)

Haulers lined up at Sonoma Raceway carry the cars, parts, tools and NASCAR equipment from city to city. (Photo by Integrated Talent)

“Just imagine lifting up three square city blocks of Manhattan and trying to move them around the country. The logistical operation compares to what you might see in the Olympics or the Super Bowl. But we’re doing it every weekend,” Grider said.
To pull all of that together, NASCAR employees stay in communication through Microsoft SharePoint, which offers a secure place to store, share, organize and access information from almost any device. (NASCAR is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida.) They also use Microsoft Office 365, a cloud-connected service that includes Exchange Online for email, SharePoint Online for collaboration and a suite of Office Web Apps.

‘The tech is staggering’

For NASCAR’s most decorated team, Hendrick Motorsports, technology fuels how crew chiefs and engineers hammer out race strategy, make decisions about the cars and manage crucial race-day communications.
“The technology in this sport now is staggering,” said Taylor Moyer, a race engineer with Hendrick Motorsports. He’s one of three engineers who work on the No. 5 Chevrolet SS driven by Kasey Kahne.


Hendrick Motorsports engineer Taylor Moyer. (Photo by Integrated Talent).

Hendrick Motorsports engineer Taylor Moyer. (Photo by Integrated Talent)

Three weeks before each race, Moyer and the other engineers begin compiling a large report on the track, the car and other aspects of the looming competition. They upload all their files into Microsoft OneDrive, which allows them to store, share and sync their information to the cloud. Throughout race weekend, as they gather data from Friday practices and Saturday qualifying runs, they continue building that report, Moyer said.
“We live on Microsoft Teams, OneNote and OneDrive. That allows us to have connectivity at all times. It also allows us to have a personal life, which is a huge thing because, even on our days off, we have to be able to communicate with the shop,” Moyer said. “I wake up, have my morning coffee and eggs on the porch, and work on a (race) simulation. I can drop it in OneDrive, it shows up at the shop, and the other engineers have it.
“The whole time we’re at the track, we’re also dumping files in there. And you have that report everywhere – on your phone, on the morning van ride in,” Moyer said. “It allows us to do so much more with the time we have. The only thing you can’t get more of is time.”
Then there’s the race-planning info he shares with Kahne, who carries a Microsoft Surface tablet equipped with OneDrive.
“Drivers get pulled everywhere for different obligations, but all that time he and I are in constant communication,” Moyer said. “When I’m done with my work – race prep for him – I’ll drop it in his OneDrive file. He can be sitting at home with Tanner, his son. When Tanner goes to bed, he can just open it up and there’s my work. It’s so easy.”
The files they share touch on strategy for the upcoming race. They also include data from previous races Kahne ran at that track – or races run there by the other three Hendrick Motorsports drivers: Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Chase Elliott. Items they discuss may include lap times, speed, tire pressures and temperatures, wear on the vehicle, plus previous driver comments on steering, throttle and braking.
After Kahne reads and assesses that info, he often chats with Moyer via the flexible, chat-based workspaces within Microsoft Teams.


NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by Integrated Talent)

NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by Integrated Talent)

“Taylor really feeds me a majority of the information that I’m looking for each week – our plan and how we can best attack the race weekend,” Kahne said. “We’re looking back at prior races at that track, what we did to the car to make it go fast and how to use some of those items again.
“It really gives me a head start going into a race weekend. Then, I can keep track of it all weekend long (via OneDrive) and know exactly what the guys are doing to be prepared and set for the race on Sunday.”
On race day, Moyer sits atop the pit box and uses Teams as a digital communications hub amid the roaring engines and frantic competition. For example, as Kahne is driving down pit road, Moyer and the team’s fueler have a quick fueling decision to make—one that could win the race. On their screens, they read fuel consumption data and chat about the fuel’s weight, its volume and the car’s speed – a precise relationship. When Kahne stops his No. 5 car, the fueler pumps in a precise amount of fuel and Kahne is quickly back on the track.
But in that frantic moment, the technology shaved precious seconds off the decision and the pit stop.
“If I can get the data out of the race car faster, I can make a decision faster,” Moyer said. “I absolutely wouldn’t be able to do my job without these tools.”


ZoomCharts on PowerBI - Managed Solution

Power BI + ZoomCharts = (Power BI)²: Boost your productivity and add the cool-factor to your reports

By Tzvi Keisar as written on
As of today, all Microsoft Power BI users can start using dynamic and cool-looking ZoomCharts in reports and dashboards.
With ZoomCharts, you can easier than ever before, explore, present and analyze your data. Full multi-touch support makes interaction seamless across all your devices.
Try it yourself with this Power BI live report to feel the difference:


How do ZoomCharts custom visuals increase your productivity with Power BI?

ZoomCharts is driving innovation in the world of charts and graphs. It’s challenging the very concept of charts by enabling the transition from static data representation to a fully interactive and dynamic user experience. Essentially, charts become alive. Interaction with the charts happens in the most natural way – with a simple click, touch, pinch or swipe. This means that data can be analyzed and presented in a whole new way on any device. ZoomCharts claims that this approach saves time on report generation, presentation and answer seeking, turning data exploration into an engaging experience.
ZoomCharts combines analysis with presentation, making decision making easier than ever.


Three new custom visuals for data presentation and analysis

ZoomCharts has created three custom-visuals for Microsoft Power BI users:

Drill-down donut chart

Designed for exploring multi-level data in depth and across the level of interest.
Try this visual in a Power BI report and get this custom visual from the store.
Start with the overview and drill-down into details with a tap on a slice. Tap in the middle to return to previous level. “Others” slice is dynamic as well - tap to explore.
In this example, we are looking at sales data. With drill-down you can easily see how profits group by industries, company revenue and size.

Drill-down column/line/area chart for category-based data

Designed for exploration and presentation of category-based data.
Try this visual in a Power BI report and get this custom visual& from the store.
Start with the overview and drill-down into details with a tap to expand a column or area of interest. Swipe up to return to the previous level.
In this example we are comparing revenue, cost and profit by product types and billing frequency.

Drill-down column/line/area chart for time-based data

Designed for exploration and presentation of time-based data.
Try this visual in a Power BI report and get this custom visual from the store.
Start with the overview and drill-down into details with a tap. Swipe up or down to zoom in and out. Swipe left or right to pan the timeline. Filter your report by selecting time range on time-axis.
In this example we can see revenue, costs and profits by years. With a touch, you can drill down to month and day level.

Built for productive reports with an engaging cool-factor

As Microsoft Power BI enables filtering through charts, you can combine all three new custom visuals to create even more productive reports. Here is an example of sales data report, where you can see, explore and analyze the sales data by the selected dimensions. Selection of a specific time range in a timeline chart will filter automatically the donut and column charts by the same time range. Similarly, selection of a slice or column will filter automatically the two other charts by the chosen category.

What does this mean for businesses?

With the ever-increasing need to make business-critical decisions, users need to optimize the way they work with reports and dashboards. With the increasing popularity of mobile devices, interactive, multi-touch-ready reports and dashboards is becoming a must-have. Successful businesses are able to make better decisions faster, and ZoomCharts in Power BI enable bussiness users to do that.

What does this all mean to you?

Is ZoomCharts here to change the way we work forever? We don’t know that yet. All we know is that ZoomCharts have customers from more than 35 countries worldwide with companies among the Fortune 500.

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]microsoft educations new experiences - managed solution

Where to start and what to know about Microsoft Education’s new experiences

By Anthony Salcito as written on
A great classroom comes to life wherever students and educators meet. In working with our vibrant Microsoft Educator Community over the years, we’ve learned to reshape our ideas of what that great classroom looks like, how it works and even where it is. The world is changing right before us and, together, we have to recognize it as a pressing societal challenge – and our largest opportunity to prepare students for the future.
We shared our vision for inclusive, immersive learning at a Microsoft Education event in New York City today, where we announced new, affordable devices and a Windows 10 experience inspired by students and teachers – we call it Windows 10 S. We also shared new ways to work and learn together on screens, through games, and in 3D. Our ambition extends beyond simply moving the classroom from physical to digital. We believe we have an incredible opportunity to leverage technology in modern ways to provide more outcome-driven, personal learning paths for students.
It’s a lot to take in, so we’ve put it all together in five steps to get you started, with a few links to point you in the right direction. Whether you want to investigate new devices for your class or download some powerful creativity apps – or even build a complete classroom solution from beginning to end – each of the pieces below can help enable the right environment for you and support better learning outcomes.

1. Find affordable, easily set-up devices powered by Windows 10 S

A boy concentrates on the screen while his teacher provides guidance.

Many computers have a use in the classroom, but not all are built with students and educators in mind. We believe in the power of simplicity, which is why we’ve announced Windows 10 S, a bespoke version of Windows inspired by students and teachers. Windows 10 S, coming in time for the new school year, is designed to run only Windows Store apps verified for security by Microsoft, which makes software secure without compromising performance.
We’re also making it easy to find a broad range of affordable Windows 10 S devices for you and your students. Our powerful productivity toolkit, Office 365 for Education, is free for students, faculty and staff.  We also announced today that, for devices currently used by schools, Windows 10 S will be available for free on any compatible, genuine Windows 10 PC. It’s also free for devices like our new Surface Laptop, which you can pre-order starting today.
Learn more about devices powered by Windows 10 S:
Learn more about the new Surface Laptop:
We’ve heard from educators and administrators who want to bring our devices to their classrooms with an easy setup that doesn’t ask for constant attention throughout the year. That’s why we also spent some time today discussing Microsoft Intune for Education, which helps you get Windows 10 devices up and running with apps and settings managed more easily. Windows 10 S is streamlined for consistent performance and, when paired with Microsoft Intune for Education, schools can deploy new Windows 10 S devices in as little as 30 seconds per device.
Learn more about Microsoft Intune for Education:
See how an IT Admin and two teachers set up 24 Windows 10 Creators Update PCs in an hour:
Today we also announced a preview of Office, coming to Windows 10 S this summer through the Microsoft Store for Education. Once the preview is available, teachers and students will be able to enjoy the power of fully-installed Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps on Windows 10 S devices. Stay tuned to learn about more apps coming to the Microsoft Store for Education including: Adobe Photoshop Elements, Minecraft: Education Edition and many other apps for the classroom.


The front page of the Microsoft Store for Education.

2. Create collaborative classrooms with Microsoft Teams

This summer we’ll introduce new classroom experiences, designed specifically for educators and students, into Microsoft Teams. We’ve already released Teams to the education community through their Office 365 for Education subscription, which is free for students, faculty and staff.

A class and educator posting updates collaboratively through Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams is a digital hub that brings conversations, content, and apps together in one place. It’s built on Office 365, which means your school can benefit from integration with familiar Office apps and services. It can be and customized to fit the needs of any school.
The education-focused features for Teams – like creating, distributing and grading quizzes, or collecting grade assignments all in one place – ensure that students, teachers and staff can get the most out of Teams. Educators will be able to manage classes and project workflow, and collaborate with other teachers and staff from a single experience in Office 365 for Education, while students can develop the communication and collaboration skills they’ll need to be successful in the future.
Read more about these new experiences in Office 365 for Education:

3. Create and learn in Minecraft: Education Edition with Code Builder

A student runs Minecraft: Education Edition on a Windows device in class.

There’s much more coming to the ever-expanding worlds of Minecraft: Education Edition. Today we announced the upcoming launch of Minecraft: Education Edition Code Builder – on May 22 – and introduced a new way to learn coding within Minecraft’s inspiring worlds. Learning to code becomes part of your students’ creative exploration in Minecraft, where code is represented as – what else? – blocks that can be used to execute commands and lead to new ways to explore, create and learn. Code Builder connects to learn-to-code platforms like Tynker, ScratchX, and a new open source platform we’ve come up with, called MakeCode.
A free trial of Minecraft: Education Edition and beta of the new Code Builder extension are available to schools today. Students receive a one-year subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition when their schools purchase new Windows 10 devices, starting today.
Build, craft and collaborate with Minecraft: Education Edition:

4. Discover new experiences to spark creativity

A young girl happily displays her digitally inked art on a Windows Surface device.

At our Microsoft Education event we shared a blend of the familiar with the bold. With Windows Ink on Windows 10 devices, we took the handwriting experience into the digital realm, with an intuitive pen-to-paper feel that preserves note taking as a critical learning process. According to IDC (International Data Corporation) research, 93 percent of educators say digital inking allows them to improve the quality of their curriculum and materials. As the next step, we’re inviting you to expand learning into three dimensions to fill the whole classroom with ideas and creations.
You can help students express themselves with an almost tangible touch through Paint 3D, which can transform the strokes of a digital pen into complex 3D sculptures. It’s also compatible with 3D printing, so statues and other objects can be brought into the classroom as a hands-on example. A Michigan Technological University study (PDF link) tells us that test performance and passion for learning is improved among students who experience 3D content and enhance their spatial skills, with female students enrolling in math and science at a higher rate after learning in 3D.
Realize your ideas and creations in Paint 3D:
We also announced something for the near future: We will offer mixed reality curriculum for the 2018 school year through a new strategic partnership with Pearson Education.

5. #HacktheClassroom through hands-on lesson plans and a live ISTE event

If you’ve seen anything today that inspires you to learn more about our vision for education, or to join our Microsoft Educator Community, the upcoming #HacktheClassroom event is a great place to get going.
The hack is back in our big hands-on event, bringing together the best innovators, disrupters and hackers in your education community to share their tips, tricks and clever shortcuts for building a bolder, better classroom without boundaries. It’s happening live at ISTE on Tuesday, June 27th, online and for free for those who can’t attend in person.
Register for #HacktheClassroom here:

We also have our ongoing Hacking STEM initiative, developed in partnership with educators to help bring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math projects down to earth. That doesn’t mean projects aren’t cool, though – the monthly lesson plans call for accessible materials like spools and cups to create fun and fascinating devices like robotic hands and earthquake simulators.
The Hacking STEM portfolio aligns with academic standards and encourages students to use computational design thinking, ideal for a breadth of careers in the future.  Each lesson plan maps to the Next Generation Science Standards and the International Society for Technology in Education standards, comes with detailed instructions for the maker activity and code needed for the project, and includes a hacked Excel worksheet with a prebuilt dashboard that contains meters, counters, charts and graphs for real-time data.
Download free Hacking STEM lesson plans:
Beginning on Saturday, May 6, Microsoft Store will host STEM Saturdays throughout May in all full line locations, in addition to the range of free programs year-round that empower students and educators by providing direct access to technology and hands-on learning. STEM Saturdays bring Microsoft Education’s pop-up classrooms to Microsoft Store and give participants a hands-on experience as they build a sensor that measures the flexion and extension of a finger. In the process, they learn about the anatomy of a human hand. Anyone, including teachers, students and parents can attend STEM Saturday workshops at a Microsoft Store, every Saturday in May.
Attend a STEM Saturday event at select Microsoft Store locations for parents, student and teachers. Learn more here:

Thank you for being part of this journey

We are excited about today’s announcements and the impact these new offerings will have on the digital transformation taking place in education. Though we know technology is important, we also know the people who use it matter most. We continue to be inspired by teachers all over the world and remain driven to empower today’s students to achieve more.


Introducing the new Office 365 profile experience

By Tom Batcheler as written on
In the modern workplace, an organization’s most important assets are its people. The knowledge, skills and expertise found throughout your carefully recruited teams are tantamount to individual and collective success.
All too often, however, this specialized knowledge is obfuscated by physical and organizational barriers. People know what information they need, but are unable to track down the answers they’re looking for. The popular adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” reminds us that the best-connected employees get the most done.
That’s where Office 365 can help. As Microsoft works to reinvent productivity for the modern workplace, our goal is to put people at the center of the connected suite experience. When you’re able to tap into the hidden knowledge throughout your organization and leverage your talent pool, you’re able to achieve more.
Starting today, we’re rolling out an extended profile card experience across Office 365 to enhance the way you collaborate with colleagues and external contacts. We’ve made several big improvements that improve on the existing experience across three pillars to create an intelligent, holistic and integrated profile experience.


Traditionally, employees looking for specific information had to manually connect the dots between people and units of knowledge. By tapping into the Office 365 graph and machine learning, the new Office 365 profile card can identify information relevant to you based on the person you’re looking up. This can help you quickly look up documents that have been shared with you, independent of how they were sent.


We’re also working to help employees connect with people across the organization that they don’t traditionally interact with. The new Organization view shows a complete picture of the highlighted user’s position in the company, including their direct reports and co-workers. Office 365 will also surface other people relevant to the person you are looking up based on their working habits and communication.


We’re integrating the new profile card everywhere you see a person’s name—but it’s important that the experience doesn’t interrupt your productivity. We’ve made it easy for users to achieve these tasks with as little interruption to their workflow as possible. Hovering over a name provides a quick look at their most important attributes, such as contact details, recent documents and manager. More details are only a click away with the extended flex pane that displays additional information without navigating from the page.
Over the next few weeks, the new profile card experience will begin rolling out in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online for Office 365 customers enrolled in first release. We’ll continue to roll out this service for all Office 365 users over the next few months.



2016 Recap: The Past 365 Days of Office 365

By Kelly Cronin
As 2016 comes to an end, we look at how the year treated us, memories we had with friends and family, and all the ups and downs we faced.  This New Year, we're taking a look back at some of our favorite moments with Office 365.

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January: Smarter address book and flight confirmations come to Outlook on the web

You send and receive a lot of emails, and it’s natural to make mistakes along the way—you forget how to spell someone’s name, leave someone out of a group email or forget to add a flight to your calendar. Microsoft brings new people and calendar features to Outlook on the web to help you avoid these common mistakes and get things done faster.

Read the article here >>

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May: Collaborating with Planner in Office 365

Office 365 Planner offers people a simple and highly visual way to organize teamwork. Planner makes it easy for your team to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress. Planner can be used to manage a marketing event, brainstorm new product ideas, track a school project, prepare for a customer visit, or just organize your team more effectively.
Check out Planner's collaboration tools and more here>>

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June: Office 365 for Nonprofits is here to help organizations do more good with technology

Microsoft took a significant step forward in its mission to help nonprofits harness the power of technology with its announcement of the global availability of Office 365 for Nonprofits through the Technology for Good program.
Office 365 for Nonprofits is available today in 41 countries around the world, and will be available in up to 90 countries by July 2014. There’s no cap on the number of nonprofit employees who can use a donated instance of Office 365 for Nonprofits, whether the organization has 10 employees or thousands.
See more on Office 365 Nonprofits 


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November: Microsoft Flow is open for business around the world

Manage your organization’s flows with enterprise-grade control using environments.
  • Use Environments to store your flows by geography or team.
  • Establish data-loss prevention policies to control the flow of data and the use of services within your organization.
Microsoft Flow offers more connectivity than ever—to Microsoft and third-party services.
  • Connect to 15 new services, including Basecamp 3, Bitly, Cognitive Services Text Analytics, Instapaper, and Pinterest.
  • Use Premium services like Salesforce and the Microsoft Common Data Service, which are exclusive to paid Microsoft Flow plans.

Read the article here >>

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