Office Online Chat

As written on blogs.office.com
We recently announced the ability for co-editors to chat with one another directly within a OneDrive document when working in Office Online. Today, we’re pleased to extend this capability to our Office 365 Business and Education customers for documents stored in OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online. Built on the same technology as Skype for Business, the new chat feature is available in all the Office Online applications—Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote.

How to initiate a chat

When you share a document from OneDrive or SharePoint Online with your co-workers or classmates, they can view, make edits and even co-author with you in real-time. When multiple people are in the document at the same time, their names appear in the list of co-editors at the top right of the browser window. Next to the list of co-editors, you’ll see a blue Chat button (shown below).

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Chat in real-time while working with others in Office Online.


Real-time chat is integrated with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote Online.


Use emoticons to liven up your conversations.


When to chat and when to add document comment

Use Chat when you want to communicate with others immediately, for example, to ask a quick question or divide sections among the co-editors. Chat history is not saved when you close the document but can be copied and pasted if desired. Use Comments (on the Review tab on the ribbon) when you want to attach a comment to a specific selection within the document, such as when you need to ask if a word or phrase should be changed. Comments are saved with the document and can be replied to, marked as done or deleted.
—The Office Online team


By Reuben Krippner as written on blogs.office.com

Effectively managing and sharing files is critical to almost every organization. Today, we’re announcing a bold new vision for file management in Office 365 across OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online, and new ways for you to share and collaborate on all your files on any device. We’ll also talk about how we’re moving beyond utility file sync and share by bringing intelligent discovery to recommend content, as well as providing insights on the impact and reach of your work.


OneDrive recap

It’s been a breakthrough year for OneDrive. We’ve made important advances with rock-solid, reliable sync on your PC and Mac, deep Office integration, four-star and above–rated mobile apps and a fast, intuitive browser experience. Additionally, we’ve built lots of new admin and security controls for IT to protect critical corporate data. Great progress, but as always, there is more to do! Later this year, we’ll make it possible for you to sync files stored in any SharePoint document library. Stay tuned for details of our Pre-Release program in the third quarter of 2016.

A file’s journey

The foundation of our vision starts with understanding how people in organizations work together to create and collaborate with files. In Office 365, we have two powerful places to store files: your OneDrive and SharePoint team sites. The OneDrive web, mobile and sync applications provide the most capable and complete ways of creating, sharing and collaborating on files stored in OneDrive and SharePoint anywhere, on any device.

Let’s look at how someone might work in OneDrive to collaborate.

A file typically starts with an individual who creates it to drive a desired outcome (e.g., a sales proposal), and that person then needs to get others to contribute ideas, feedback and expertise to the file. Organizations want to give their people a place to put all these files and allow them to share and collaborate as they need, both internally and externally, on any device. This is the role of OneDrive—your personal space to create, access and share with individuals. In a mobile-first, cloud-first world, OneDrive is your “My Documents” folder in the cloud.

At some point, people may want to publish or distribute their files—make them available for a broader audience for viewing, feedback, discovery and reuse, as well as for applying workflow-like approvals. This is the role of a SharePoint team site, as it creates a place to put shared files, so your whole team or organization can discover content and collaborate effectively. It’s also the way organizations can be sure that content remains shared and available and not confined to a person’s OneDrive as people move jobs, companies and teams.

OneDrive and SharePoint work hand-in-hand to make storing and accessing all your information simple and powerful. We are making it easy to copy or move files between them plus ensure all your files are accessible and actionable from a single set of desktop, browser and mobile experiences.

Copy from OneDrive to SharePoint

In the coming months, we’re rolling out the ability to copy a file from OneDrive to a SharePoint document library. Later this year, we’ll add the ability to move a file, as well.

SharePoint document library improvements

The true heart of SharePoint team sites is the document library, a secure location to create, share and organize team files. As we’ve delivered a new simple browser experience for OneDrive, we have feedback that SharePoint should have a similarly simple experience. We’re rolling out an update to SharePoint document libraries that builds on the core value people depend on—adding new user experiences and capabilities that bring consistency to working on files throughout Office 365 while maintaining the full power of SharePoint document libraries.

We’re focused on helping your team get to work right away and highlight what is most important.

Use Pin to top to increase visibility and discoverability for important files at the top of the document library for all users. You can also add a link in an Office 365 document library to an item that is located outside the document library. For example, you can add a link to a file or folder located in a different document library or website. When you add a link in a document library, the link shows up in the list of items in that library with a web globe icon to identify it as a linked item.

To help you find and manage items, you can now sort and filter columns. In addition, new real-time, full-text search results appear directly in the document library experience along with quick, inline metadata management.


Anywhere access to all your Office 365 files

Our mission is to enable you to work with all your files wherever you are. If you’re in the browser, it’s already really simple to access and share all your files across OneDrive and SharePoint. As we’ve just outlined above, we’re bringing a single sync experience for all your files before the end of the year. However, probably the most important device to have a fast and simple experience to access all your files is your phone. We’re proud to announce that starting today in our OneDrive iOS app you can access, edit, share and take offline all your Office 365 files in OneDrive and SharePoint!

All the great capabilities provided to you for working with your OneDrive files are available to your SharePoint files. You truly now have anywhere access to all your files in Office 365. Later this year, we’ll bring this capability to Android and Windows Phone.

Intelligent discovery

Today, there’s a great search experience in OneDrive and SharePoint—it’s a simple process to search for content across your files, as well as files that have been shared with you. But what if you didn’t have to search for files? Instead, what if they found you?

Starting today, for both the OneDrive Android app and browser experience, we’re introducing a Discover view, which uses the Office Graph to suggest relevant and trending files from Office 365 (similar to Delve). The new Discover view suggests content that is most relevant for each person based on the work they are doing and the people with whom they engage. As you share and collaborate on your files on OneDrive and SharePoint, other content is recommended and suggested to you—it means you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or endlessly search for useful content and expertise. Best of all, you don’t have to switch to another app to benefit from these insights and suggestions.

Understanding the impact of your work

We’re laying the foundation of a simpler, more powerful way to manage your files in Office 365, but our mission is to go beyond this. We looked at what will motivate people to copy or move their files between OneDrive and SharePoint Online. Historically it’s due to organization-mandated processes, but increasingly people want to make their work broadly discoverable, reviewed, liked, shared—all the reasons why Facebook and Instagram have been such big social phenomena. Our vision is to do with files what Instagram did for photos. Not only can you publish from OneDrive to SharePoint, but you’ll want to for the visibility and discoverability this offers. We harness your desire for self-expression and recognition—to be noticed and valued for your contribution. We’re currently working on a means for you to measure the reach of your files with embedded analytics that show over time how many people have discovered and viewed your files. Like never before you’ll be able to get an insight into the impact of your work. We’ll ship this new feature in our mobile apps before the end of the year.

Beyond these capabilities, we’ll add familiar social constructs such as likes, comments and mentions that will provide further insights into the value of your work.

The future starts now

So there you have it, some great new capabilities for anyone who manages files in Office 365. Get started with the new mobile updates today! We’ve got a great vision for the future of file sync and share, and we’re already delivering it! A future that combines reliable sync, simple browser access, powerful mobile experiences, true Office integration anywhere you use it, intelligent discovery and incredible insights into the impact of your work. As always, give us your feedback on UserVoice. There’s so much more to come with OneDrive and SharePoint—stay tuned!


Customize your dashboard—We understand you use some features more regularly than others. You can now customize your admin center dashboard to make it a truly personal experience:

  • You can now drag the tiles to put the ones you care about right at your fingertips.
  • By default, the dashboard shows the Users, Billing, What’s new and Discover and Learn tiles. To add additional tiles, such as Service health, Message center or Reports, click Add.

    Note: If you’ve installed Windows Azure Active Directory Sync Tool (DirSync), you’ll also see the DirSync tile.

  • Remove tiles you don’t need.

We’ll keep working on customization, so you’ll see additional functionality soon—including shortcuts to the admin centers for SharePoint, Exchange, Lync and others. Click Feedback in the admin center to let us know if there’s something you’d like us to add.

Customize the Office 365 experience for your end users—The new admin center now allows you to change the look and feel of Office 365 for your end users. You can include your company logo, adjust background images and align colors to have them better match your company brand. Customizing the end user experience will help your end users identify closer with your company and also reduce the chances of a phishing attack as your users can easily identify that they are on an official company site. To access this feature, click Settings and then Organization Profile.

Quickly get help with improved search—In addition to users, groups, tasks, settings and pages, you can now use the search at the top of the home dashboard to search for help topics. Simply type the topic you need help with in the search bar to quickly get more information.

Access additional usage reports while complying with compliance requirements—In April, we completed the rollout of new usage reports for SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, Skype for Business and Yammer, which gives IT greater visibility into usage across these services in Office 365 down to the individual user level. We continue our work to include more reports in the new admin center, including mailbox storage, SharePoint activity and OneDrive activity, to provide you with a complete picture of how your organization is using Office 365.

If your organization policies don’t allow visibility into user-level details at this granularity, or if you want to share the data with other stakeholders, you can now anonymize the user-level information. This option is available under the Settings menu.

Edit more user details simultaneously—The new admin center now provides you with ability to edit more user details simultaneously for a group of people, including contact details, user roles, domains and sign-in status. For example, if your organization’s address changes, you can update this information for all your users with just a few simple clicks. On the Active users page, simply check the boxes of the users that you want to edit and then select the information you want to make changes to in the fly-out window.

Quickly forward a user’s email—Forwarding email messages of a user to another co-worker is often a time critical action. In the new admin center, you can now enable mail forwarding directly from the user card. On the Active userspage, simply click on the user whose email you want to forward and then click Edit email forwarding.

In addition, we added the ability to add guest users from outside your company to an Office 365 group.

If the new admin center is not your default experience yet, you can directly sign in at the admin center portal. Or you can click the Try it today link at the top of the old admin center.



Changes to OneDrive

One Drive has announced it will be changing the amount of free storage it offers, as well as the discontinuation of the 15 GB camera roll bonus.  Below is a message from the OneDrive team on more details about the upcoming changes, what they mean for you, and how you can learn more:
"We want to let you know about some upcoming changes to OneDrive. On August 10, 2016, the amount of storage that comes with OneDrive will change from 15 GB to 5 GB. We are also discontinuing the 15 GB camera roll bonus. You can learn more at our FAQ.
If you'd like to check your account, you can visit the Storage page.
We realize these are big changes to a service you rely on. We want to apologize for any inconvenience they may cause you. We made a difficult decision, but it's one that will let us sustainably operate OneDrive into the future.
Thank you for using OneDrive.
– The OneDrive Team"



The Future of Mobile App Development

By Nat Friedman as written on blogs.microsoft.com
It is incredible how much has happened since Xamarin joined Microsoft just over a month ago, starting with Scott Guthrie’s Build 2016 announcements that Xamarin is now part of all editions of Visual Studio at no additional charge — from Community to Enterprise — and our plans to open source the Xamarin SDK. It is a dream come true for us to be able to put the power of Xamarin into the hands of all developers.
In just the first two weeks since Build alone, we helped nearly 3.5 times more developers get started building great apps with Xamarin than ever in our history as a company.
Now we are at Xamarin Evolve 2016, the world’s largest cross-platform mobile development conference, in Orlando. This morning we open sourced the Xamarin SDK and launched new ways to make Visual Studio the most complete mobile development environment.  We also launched new ways to build native, cross-platform apps faster than ever using our popular cross-platform UI framework, Xamarin.Forms.
This is our third Evolve conference, but the first time we are showing the comprehensive developer experience that only Microsoft and Xamarin together can deliver.

Open source Xamarin: Ready for you!

We have officially open sourced and contributed to the .NET Foundation the Xamarin SDK for Android, iOS and Mac under the same MIT license used for the Mono project. This includes native API bindings for iOS, Android and Mac, the command-line tools necessary to build for these platforms, and Xamarin.Forms, our popular cross-platform UI framework.
Watching Xamarin co-founder and open source pioneer Miguel de Icaza announce this onstage was a proud moment for all of us. The future of native cross-platform mobile development is now in the hands of every developer. We look forward to seeing your contributions; go to open.xamarin.com to get involved.

Visual Studio: Your complete mobile development environment

Today we launched new ways to connect Visual Studio to your Mac to make it even easier for C# developers to create native iOS apps, and new ways to auto-generate mobile app test scripts in Visual Studio.
Our iOS Simulator remoting lets you simulate and interact with your iOS apps in Visual Studio — even supporting multi-touch interactions on Windows machines with capable touch screens. We also unveiled our iOS USB remoting, which makes it possible to deploy and debug apps from Visual Studio to an iPad or iPhone plugged into your Windows PC.
In addition, our Test Recorder Visual Studio Plugin now brings Test Recorder’s ability to generate test scripts to Visual Studio users. Simply interact with your app on device or in the simulator and Test Recorder automatically generates scripts that can be run on thousands of devices with Xamarin Test Clouds automated app testing.

Xamarin.Forms: Faster and easier mobile app development

We launched Xamarin.Forms a few years ago to help developers build mobile apps faster, maximizing UI code-sharing while still delivering fully native experiences.
Today, we showed three key new features that will be coming to Xamarin.Forms.  Data Pages and Themes make it easy to connect apps to common entities and data sources, and create beautiful, native user interfaces with just a few lines of code. The Forms Previewer makes it easy to iterate on your Xamarin.Forms UI designs by providing real-time previewing of Xamarin.Forms user interfaces composed in XAML.

The new, mobile-optimized development lifecycle

We were able to show today the most streamlined mobile lifecycle available anywhere through our combined product lineup, including integrations between Visual Studio Team Services, HockeyApp and Xamarin Test Cloud. Through our combined mobile lifecycle solution, you now have a complete solution to build great mobile apps at scale, tackling the unique challenges of mobile DevOps.

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We’ve heard great enthusiasm from our customers. Bryan Hooper, senior director enterprise architecture at Bloomin’ Brands, talked about how they have “paired Xamarin with Microsoft’s Azure technology, and we’re really excited about the new partnership between the two organizations.” Darrell Thompson, vice president of information system services at Coca-Cola Consolidated, says that “Xamarin and Microsoft have been excellent partners and brought our mobile development to a whole new level.”



Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint mobile apps get useful new features

By Ida Torres as written on androidcommunity.com
One of the best things about the Microsoft Office programs is the auto save feature which has saved us countless times when our laptop loses battery or the program suddenly closes or something else happens. But that feature was only available for desktop software. Until now. Finally the autosave feature is available for the Word, Excel, and Powerpoint mobile apps, both for smartphones and tablets. There are also app-specific new features in the latest round of updates from Microsoft.
It does make sense that auto-save will eventually come to mobile devices since you are more likely to lose connection, get a battery drain or malfunction and any other errors that might happen while working on a document on your smartphone or tablet. All three apps will also now get version history, so just in case you wanted to go back in time, you’ll be able to choose from several save points. So even if there is auto-save now, you can still go back to certain points of history in the document.
Another new thing, at least for Word and Powerpoint, is that you’ll finally be able to experience real-time collaborative editing support. There may still be a few bugs here and there, but eventually, it will hopefully become as smooth as with the web apps and Google Docs themselves. Meanwhile, Powerpoint also gets another new feature called “Designer”, but only for the tablet version. There is now a tab called “design ideas” where it suggests to you what theme or layout would work best with a certain picture.
The rollout has already started so you can check the Play Store if your apps are ready for these new features. You can also get the APK if you don’t want to wait.


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Bing’s March Madness predictor, game development on Azure and Microsoft’s solar energy partnership

By Thomas Kohnstamm as written on blogs.microsoft.com

Thanks for tuning in for another edition of Weekend Reading. Recent excitement surrounds using Bing to predict your March Madness bracket, Azure as the backend cloud solution of choice for game developers, a Microsoft Research platform that uses “Minecraft” to test AIs applications Microsoft partnering on a solar power project in Virginia and more.
March Madness fans are turning to Bing Predicts to devise their bracket based on machine learning that analyzes social and search signals and more than a decade of extensive NCAA statistical data. Last year, Bing’s smarter bracket picked 73 percent of the games correctly and finished in the top 30 percent of all brackets nationwide. Find out more about the smarter bracket and Bing’s March Madness predictions on Bing Blogs and also learn about the March Madness app.

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Popular adventure and puzzle game “Draw a Stickman: EPIC 2” lets users collaborate to draw and share inventive characters, tools and weapons. Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform is a key component of the game’s functionality, mobility, scalability and performance. For game developers around the world, Azure is the backend cloud solution of choice, helping them launch and grow their games with a reliable, open platform and easy-to-use services for scaling and managing user spikes. Read the full story on Microsoft News Center.

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AIX, a platform developed by Katja Hofmann and her colleagues in Microsoft’s Cambridge, U.K., lab and unveiled publicly on Monday, allows computer scientists to use the world of “Minecraft” as a testing ground for improving artificial intelligence. Microsoft researchers are using AIX for their own research, and they have made it available to a small group of academic researchers under a private beta. This summer, AIX will be available via an open-source license. Read more about AIX on Next at Microsoft.

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As part of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to carbon neutrality, the company has joined a public-private partnership that will bring 20 megawatts of new solar energy onto the grid in Virginia. Microsoft is excited about this innovative partnership model and looks forward to expanding on the new approach. Learn more about this deal and Microsoft’s commitment to enhancing access to renewable power sources on the Microsoft Green Blog.

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Twitter for Windows 10 is now available for your phone, with new features that make connecting with people and expressing yourself more seamless than ever.
From your phone, you can explore Moments, a feature that shows the best of what’s happening on Twitter. You can also send group Direct Messages; shoot, edit and tweet video from your camera; share a tweet and easily add a comment; and see top tweets without logging in. The updated app joins the Twitter Windows 10 app released last year for PCs and tablets.
This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we traveled to Buffalo, New York, where we welcomed BAK USA to the Windows family. In Buffalo, they’ve started a tech revolution by foregoing the assembly line and building each tablet by hand.

The Hidden Microsoft Edge Features You Didn’t Know About

It’s hard to switch browsers when we’re comfortable with what we’re used to. But knowledge is power and it’s healthy to know your browser options.

Microsoft Edge is the new browser available in Windows 10. Here is a video that provides an overview of features you may not know about!

And in case you’re interested in other Edge details, here’s research that shows how Edge is faster than Chrome, how it’s incredibly secure, and how Cortana can help you with your web browsing experience.


Watch the video here>>

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