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  1. Microsoft points to October end-of-support for older Office apps accessing 365 services As of Oct. 13 the company will stop supporting older versions of Office applications connecting to Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services. Martyn Williams/IDG Microsoft recently reminded customers that starting Oct. 13 the company will not support older versions of Office applications connecting to Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services. In a support document dated July 20, Microsoft listed the applications that will be "supported for connecting to Office 365 (and Microsoft 365) services" such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise, formerly known as "Office 365 ProPlus;" Microsoft 365 Apps for business, previously "Office 365 Business;" Office 2019; Office 2016, but only the Windows version. The Office editions left in the cold are those provided with "perpetual" licenses – ones customers paid for once, not repeatedly as for Office or Microsoft 365 subscriptions – including Office 2013 on Windows, which is to receive support until April 11, 2023; Office 2010 for Windows; and Office 2016 for Mac. The last two exhaust general support on Oct. 13. (Mac versions of Office are supported for only five years, rather than the decade Windows' editions receive.) Although excluding some Office applications from Office 365 service support may seem harsh – especially when those applications are owed years of support – Microsoft softened the blow considerably. "We won't take any active measures to block other versions of the Office client, such as Office 2013, from connecting to Office 365 services, but these older clients may encounter performance or reliability issues over time," the Redmond, Wash. developer stated in the support document. With support lost more from omission than commission, Microsoft argued that customers "will almost certainly face an increased security risk" and "find themselves out of compliance" rather than be suddenly suspended from accessing, say, OneDrive. Microsoft has long played with the support of Office applications connecting to Office 365 services. Three years ago, the company said that perpetual-license versions of Office would be able to connect to Microsoft's cloud-based services only during the first half of their 10-year support lifecycle. It set Oct. 13, 2020 as the date when the new policy would take effect. But in September 2018, Microsoft gave Office 2016 a reprieve, saying that that suite would be able to connect to the services through October 2023. Office 2019's support for Office and Microsoft 365 services also expires in October 2023. Microsoft Microsoft's matrix spells out what Office is supported until when for connecting to Office and Microsoft 365 services. Microsoft points to October end-of-support for older Office apps accessing 365 services
  2. Microsoft Office 365 users targeted in SurveyMonkey phishing SurveyMonkey used to hide phishing attacks against Microsoft Office 365 users Online polling service SurveyMonkey was used as a disguise for a potentially damaging phishing attack that targeted Microsoft Office 365 users. Researchers at Abnormal Security recently uncovered attempts to steal Office 365 user credentials using SurveyMonkey as cover. In the campaign, the victim receives an email from a genuine SurveyMonkey site, stating it is conducting a survey among company employees. However the message contains a hidden redirect link, appearing as the text “Navigate to access statement” with the brief message “Please do not forward this email as its survey link is unique to you”. SurveyMonkey phishing However when clicked on, this link instead redirects the victim away from SurveyMonkey to a Microsoft form submission page, which tells the user to submit their Office 365 email and password to proceed. However doing so allows the criminals to steal the unsuspecting user’s Microsoft account security credentials. Abnormal Security notes that this attack may be particularly effective due to its use of a real SurveyMonkey link to hide the nefarious goals within. The email messages carrying the phishing link also use official SurveyMonkey phrases and content, tricking users into believing the message is genuine. Since the phishing URL isn’t visible within the body text, it's also easy for victims to be tricked and miss this at first glance. "Phishing is one of the most successful and long-standing cybercriminal tactics, and the constant evolution in the methodology as seen in these attacks goes some of the way to understanding why," noted Niamh Muldoon, senior director of trust and security at OneLogin. "As phishing attacks become increasingly common, and increasingly sophisticated — often tailored to a targeted team with an organisation — companies and consumers cannot rely on defending against 100% of attacks. Applying Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) supports user awareness and conscious behaviour when it comes to phishing threats and associated risk of clicking on suspicious links." Microsoft Office 365 users targeted in SurveyMonkey phishing
  3. New phishing attack targets Zoom users to steal Office 365 credentials A new phishing attack is targeting Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) users in the form of an email notification for a Zoom account suspension. The email aims to steal users’ Microsoft 365 credentials. The attack was spotted and documented by Abnormal Security (via BleepingComputer). The attack seems familiar to the one that was spotted in May, where a fake Teams email would navigate users to a duplicate Office 365 login page. With the popularity and adoption of Zoom increasing due to increased remote collaboration in the times of the pandemic, such account suspension emails spike users’ interest and warrant immediate attention. In this case, users mostly rush to correct the problem without any suspicion to avoid losing access to the tool that may hinder their work. The email for the Zoom suspension notification interestingly comes from an email address that spoofs the official domain, says the source. It mimics an automated email notification that links to a face Microsoft 365 login page, prompting users to enter their Office 365 credentials. The credentials are then compromised by hackers. The research firm adds that the phishing email has been served to more than 50,000 users. One sign that points to the illegitimacy of the email is the “zoom” branding in the email body without the capitalization of the first letter. Even if users click on the ‘Activate Account’ link in the email, the ‘Outlook’ logo or the domain of the Office 365 login page are telltale signs. The stolen credentials could be used in Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams that exploit cloud email services like Microsoft 365 and Google G Suite. New phishing attack targets Zoom users to steal Office 365 credentials
  4. Debilitating 'Outlook needs to close' bug linked to a bad Windows cumulative update Microsoft has acknowledged that a combination of the June 2-or-later version of Microsoft 365 (nee Office 365) and the June Win10 cumulative updates cause Outlook to disavow its PST files. The source of the problem seems to be a bug in the cumulative updates. Microsoft / lVcandy / Aleksei Derin / Getty Images Internecine conflict seems to be a recurring theme at Microsoft, but this one takes it to new levels. Somehow, somebody forgot to test the latest patched version of Outlook with the latest patched version of Windows. The result is an error message that makes Outlook inoperable. The official announcement appears on the Microsoft 365 support site: After updating to Version 2005 Build 12827.20268 or higher and starting Outlook you may see the following error prompt: The Outlook Team is investigating this issue with the Windows Team. We are not sure yet if the primary fix will come from Outlook or Windows. When we have more information on fix details we will add them here. Microsoft If you click OK, the ScanPST Inbox Repair Tool starts. Go through the repair process, reboot, and - surprise! - you get the error message again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. No telling how many hours have been wasted over the weekend on this one. The good news, though, is that your PST file is fine – and always has been. As best I can tell, the show-stopper bug only occurs on machines that: Use PST, not OST, files; Run Microsoft 365 version 2005 Current Channel release 12827.20268 (from June 2) or Current Channel release 12827.20336 (from June 9); And have installed the June 2020 Win10 cumulative update (KB 4557957 for version 2004, KB 4560960 for versions 1903 or 1909, or KB 4561608 for version 1809). Microsoft’s solution – published in that Microsoft 365 support article – involves manually editing the Registry to make Outlook disregard the bogus “corrupt” PST file on startup. In fact, the “corrupt” PST file isn’t corrupt at all. It’s just Windows messin’ with Outlook. If you don’t want to pummel your Registry, Diane Poremsky at Slipstick has an easy downloadable solution. The insider report I have says that the bug is actually in the June cumulative updates, but that it’ll be easier for Microsoft to fix the problem by working around it in a new Microsoft 365 Current Channel release. You might expect that the Office people aren’t particularly happy about this one. Tell me once again…, who tests this stuff? Solace for muzzled Outlook devs available on the AskWoody.com Lounge. Debilitating 'Outlook needs to close' bug linked to a bad Windows cumulative update
  5. Basic authentication will be OFF for Exchange Online email and other services from October 2020 Office 365 email will not support basic authentication after October 2020 Microsoft has doled out more details on forthcoming changes to the way mail clients authenticate to Exchange Online, the email service used by Office 365. In March 2018, Microsoft said that it would require Modern Authentication for Office 365 services including Exchange Online, and that this would be enforced from 13 October 2020. Microsoft referenced a 2017 statement that from this date, "Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support will be required to connect to Office 365 services." Modern Authentication means OAuth 2.0, where applications request access tokens from Azure Active Directory rather than using username and password to connect. This enables multi-factor authentication, conditional access policies and other security features. In September 2019, Microsoft stated that from the October date, it would be "turning off Basic Authentication in Exchange Online for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), POP, IMAP and Remote PowerShell". The only service for which basic authentication will still be supported is SMTP (used for sending email) because of its use by "a huge number of devices and appliances". Now Microsoft has posted a further update. Although Exchange Online already supports modern authentication, this does not yet apply to the POP and IMAP services used by generic email clients. Microsoft said it is "rolling out Modern Auth support for POP and IMAP in Exchange Online now". It is worth noting that while in one sense Microsoft gave plenty of notice, it is not allowing much time for admins to test and deploy changes that it is only now getting around to making available. The situation with PowerShell, used for scripting Office 365 admin tasks, is even worse. "We're still working hard on the code," said Microsoft, "and will have more to say on this in the next couple of months." The issue, particularly in the case of email, is that not all email clients support modern authentication. Appliances like scanners and copiers are the worst, though mostly these send rather than receive email so can still use SMTP. "If you do have devices polling for mail, and the vendor has long gone or can't update the devices to support Modern Auth for POP and IMAP, then we're sorry… but they will hit issues," said Microsoft, adding that "these devices are often a weak link in your security chain … they have credentials stored on them, no one ever changes the password." Older versions of Outlook for Windows and Mac are affected. Outlook 2013 can use modern authentication but requires a registry change. Outlook for Mac got the feature in a 2016 update. The Android mail app is also an issue. "The elephant in the room here is that disabling Basic Authentication for Exchange ActiveSync will break almost every Android phone connecting to Office 365 that is using the native Mail app – with the exception of Samsung devices, which support modern authentication," one user commented. Microsoft said: "We're strongly recommending you switch to Outlook for iOS and Android in favour of the native apps. There are many security and business benefits over native apps when connecting to Exchange Online." Another factor is that Office 365 tenants created before August 2017 have modern authentication disabled for some services including Exchange. Admins need to enable it via a PowerShell command. In order to assist admins with a change that "can be disruptive", Microsoft has an updated Azure AD sign-in report – provided that you have a premium version of Azure AD. Even if you have an enterprise Office 365 tenancy, such as E3, you cannot get the report without spending a bit more. If you qualify, though, you can view sign-ins and filter them to show which connections, if any, are using basic authentication. Microsoft's handy sign-ins report requires premium Azure AD Microsoft is right. Basic authentication can be a security vulnerability, and having Office 365 credentials stuffed into photocopiers and the like, often behind default passwords to access the settings, is a terrible idea. In small businesses we have even seen global admin credentials there. Disabling basic authentication will improve security, for this and other scenarios. There is stuff that will break, though, and the company is late in getting all of its services ready. Source
  6. Outlook Spaces shows up in leaked video, makes it easier to manage projects Microsoft seems to be working on a new feature for the Outlook website, called Spaces, based on a recently leaked video from Twitter user WalkingCat. The video shows off a number of different Spaces, which look somewhat like whiteboards - not to be confused with Microsoft Whiteboard - where users can bring together information from multiple sources across Office 365. On the side bar, we can see that there's a range of options to add different kinds of items, like t-do lists - presumably capable of syncing with Microsoft To-Do, though the icon used isn't exactly the same - Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, links, lists, and miscellaneous files. Then, over on the right side, a toolbar brings up even more information, like e-mail messages and calendar events that can also be added directly to the space. Conceptually, Spaces do appear to be somewhat like Whiteboard in that they make it easier to manage and visualize all the information you have regarding a specific project or idea. It's just a more business-oriented variant of it, with data coming mostly from Office 365. From the video, there's no indication that multiple users can work on the same space, but it seems likely that it would be possible at some point. According to WalkingCat, it is possible to access Spaces right now if you have a commercial Office 365 account. You'll need to mess with your browser's developer tools in order to enable it, but if you're interested, you can try it using this link and following these instructions. Source: Outlook Spaces shows up in leaked video, makes it easier to manage projects (Neowin)
  7. Excel's new XLOOKUP function is now generally available Today, Microsoft announced that the new XLOOKUP function for Microsoft Excel is now generally available for Office 365 users. XLOOKUP was first announced back in August of last year and in November, at Ignite, Microsoft said it would hit general availability in the following months. It has been in testing with Office Insiders in the meantime. As the name might suggest to those already familiar with Excel, XLOOKUP is a successor to VLOOKUP, but it can also replace HLOOKUP, since it combines the features of both. That means you can use XLOOKUP to find values both vertically and horizontally across the spreadsheet. What's more, XLOOKUP can find values to the left of the cell where you insert the function, so you won't be as restricted as you would be with the previous functions. Additionally, the function supports column insertions and deletions, so the changes you make to your spreadsheet won't break the outcome. If you'd rather stick to the old VLOOKUP function, it isn't going away, at least for now. However, Microsoft says the new XLOOKUP is faster and more efficient, so you may want to give it a spin. Source: Excel's new XLOOKUP function is now generally available (Neowin)
  8. Opposition grows to Microsoft's make-Chrome-use-Bing plan for Office 365 customers Customers rail against Microsoft's 'overreach,' calling it 'browser hijacking,' 'adware' and 'malware.' Craig Adderley (CC0) Resistance has mounted over the last several days to Microsoft's decision to change the default search engine of Google's Chrome to Bing on personal computers running Office 365 ProPlus. Microsoft quietly announced the move Jan. 21 on its Microsoft 365 Roadmap page, then on Jan. 22 published support documents with additional information and a blog post that stated the company's rationale. Commentary on Microsoft's blog, the support document and elsewhere — including an Office 365 website dedicated to user requests — was almost universally negative. "I can't believe you think this is an acceptable business practice," asserted Rickey Roach in a comment appended to the Office 365 team's blog post. "This is ... overreach," opined Tom Arbuthnot on that same blog. Arbuthnot was identified as an MVP, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional. "Microsoft might be doing this because they think it will give the user a better experience, but doing it by default without even asking the user or the organization is too much. I'm pretty sure Google won't be too pleased with this either." (Arbuthnot expanded on his criticism on his personal blog.) It's all about Microsoft Search Microsoft's scheme to switch Chrome from its designated search choice to Bing was part of the firm's Microsoft Search strategy. "By making Bing the default search engine, users in your organization with Google Chrome will be able to take advantage of Microsoft Search, including being able to access relevant workplace information directly from the browser address bar," Microsoft contended in a Jan. 23 support document. Microsoft Search, which the company unveiled in May 2019, was designed to make search in the enterprise — in Microsoft-made and third-party applications — more productive. Rather than return just website links, Microsoft Search would find information from files and those applications' content, bringing to the forefront not only matches and near matches but also what the algorithms believed the user really was after. In Edge, the service is dubbed "Microsoft Search in Bing." Microsoft Search is a key component of Microsoft 365, the über subscription that bundles Office 365, Windows 10 and management tools, and appears to be a major initiative. (One way to gauge the latter: the comprehensive Microsoft Search in Bing adoption kit, a cache of email, poster and evaluation templates companies can use to educate workers on the service and convince them to try it.) Apparently, Microsoft was so set on spreading the new search service that it decided to force it on those enterprise users — the ones running Office 365, anyway — who have Chrome as their default browser. Microsoft made this decision even though it had to know that the plot would receive serious pushback and could easily guess the forms of that criticism. Browser hijacking? Not surprisingly, much of the blowback equated the unsolicited search change to the practices of malware makers and scammers. "Force-changing the settings on a user for arbitrary reasons circles the drain of 'unlawful,' and is effectively browser hijacking," said someone labeled only as camxct on GitHub, where comments attached to support documents appeared. "Browser hijacking like in the 90s. Are you nuts?" asked kgbvax, perhaps not rhetorically. The phrase "browser hijacking" — and others, including PUP, for "potentially unwanted program" — harked back years to a time when that practice was common. Malicious actors would infect a system with malware that changed a browser's settings — typically its default search engine and/or home page — to drive traffic to specific sites where they could collect advertising revenue. Google spent significant time and effort in blocking hijackers from taking over Chrome and in barring unofficial add-ons — those not hosted in the Chrome Web Store, more or less — from installing, all part of a years-long process to lock down the browser. Now, Microsoft is attempting to do to Chrome just what Google has tried to stop. "Chrome is not your browser, leave it alone!" said someone identified only as Andrew on the User Voice site Microsoft runs to solicit feedback and requests for Office. "This is adware at best! I am absolutely flabbergasted by this stunt!" (As of 2 p.m. ET Jan. 28, that item on User Voice had been upvoted more than 900 times and had collected more than 180 comments.) Others swore revenge. "This really makes me regret pushing Office 365 so hard where I work. You guys are putting egg on my face," wrote Daniel Prince on the User Voice site. "I'm in charge of 90,000 Windows and Mac devices. Next week, we are blocking Bing.com at the firewall level. Hope this little stunt you pulled was worth it." Software should obtain your consent, says Microsoft Microsoft's add-on has already appeared on Google's Chrome Web Store, hinting that Google at least implicitly approved of the extension. Dubbed Microsoft Search in Bing quick access, it was updated as recently as today. A pair of users objected to the extension in the Store, too. "Unwanted plugin, should not be allowed to install without consent," argued Michael Studte. "Mess with Chrome Edge all you want, but don't touch non-Microsoft browsers!" The thing is, Microsoft's own policies have — or still do; it's unclear — forbid changing a browser's default search engine without authorization. "All extensions for Microsoft Edge must be deployed from the Microsoft Store," stated the Microsoft browser extension policy for the old-school Edge. "The installation must be initiated and completed by the user, using only the user experience provided by Microsoft Edge and the Microsoft Store" (emphasis added). Elsewhere, Microsoft's own definition of unwanted software included phrasing that may match how it plans to distribute the Chrome extension. In the support document "How Microsoft identifies malware and potentially unwanted applications," under "Unwanted software," Microsoft said, "Software should obtain your consent before installing." Microsoft has said nothing thus far about user consent when it rolls out the next update to Office 365 ProPlus. Neither Google or Mozilla replied to requests for comment on Microsoft's plan to issue add-ons for Chrome and Firefox in new installations of Office 365 ProPlus and the next update to ProPlus. Source: Opposition grows to Microsoft's make-Chrome-use-Bing plan for Office 365 customers (Computerworld - Gregg Keizer)
  9. A fake voice message lures victims to a fake Microsoft 365 login page that prompts them to enter credentials. A new Office 365 phishing campaign delivers a fake voicemail message to redirect victims to a Web page that prompts them to enter login credentials, McAfee researchers discovered. Researchers initially thought one phishing kit was being used to steal users' data; however, an investigation revealed three separate kits and proof of several high-profile companies targeted. The attack starts with an email informing victims they missed a phone call and instructing them to log into their accounts to access a voicemail. When they load the attached HTML file, it redirects them to a phishing website. Researchers note this attachment varies; in most recent attacks, it contains an audio recording disguised to sound like the beginning of a real voicemail. When redirected, victims sees a phishing page prompting them to log into their Microsoft accounts. The page is prepopulated with their email addresses, researchers say, a tactic intended to make the scam seem legitimate. Victims who enter their passwords are sent to another page saying the account was "successfully confirmed" before they're redirected to the Office login page. Researchers were surprised to see three phishing kits used in this attack and say they are "almost identical." They differentiated the kits by analyzing the generated HTML code and parameters accepted by the PHP script. Attackers are primarily after the service industry (18%), followed by finance (12%), IT services (12%), retail (10%), and insurance (9%). A wide range of employees were targeted, they report, from middle management to executive staff. Read more details here. Source
  10. Microsoft announces Surface Earbuds with Office 365 integration Microsoft is holding a special devices event today, where it has announced a refresh to the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro. The firm also announced the brand new Surface Pro X running a custom chipset. In addition to these devices, the company also announced the Surface Earbuds. The Earbuds are Microsoft’s answer to Apple AirPods and products from other competitors such as Samsung and Google. The Earbuds can be controlled using touch, gesture, or voice. The company claims a 24-hour battery life for the earbuds and as with other competitors, it comes in its own charging case. The device has 2 directional microphones on each bud to pick up voice commands and can be paired with a single click, says the company. On Android devices, users can perform a double tap on the surface of the device to open and play music on Spotify. The company also adds that it has designed the device to fit comfortably in the ears all day. In addition to the usual set of capabilities, what sets the device apart is that it can tie in with Microsoft’s Office apps for dictation, and in combination with Azure Cognitive Services, can transcribe user speech into captions in Office. Along with this, the device also supports over 60 languages for real-time translation. The Surface Earbuds will be available later this year and will cost $249. Source: Microsoft announces Surface Earbuds with Office 365 integration (Neowin)
  11. Back in June, alongside an updated PowerPoint Designer, Microsoft unveiled Presenter Coach, an AI-powered PowerPoint feature designed to provide guidance with respect to pacing, tone, and attention. Today, the company announced that Presenter will launch this week for Office 365 customers on the web, alongside inking in Office for the web, new Whiteboard templates, and 3D lesson plan models. Presenter Coach is in public preview, and the inking features are now generally available in PowerPoint for Windows and Mac. Digital pen annotation in Slide Show on PowerPoint hit the web this week, as did Whiteboard templates in public preview on Windows 10 (rolling out to iOS within a few days). As for the 3D models and lesson plans, they’re generally available to Office 365 subscribers in Windows. Presenter As you might recall, Presenter Coach walks users slide by slide through presentations and provides real-time feedback on cadence, profanity, and phrases that might be considered culturally insensitive. It also alerts presenters when they appear to be reading slides verbatim. At the end of each rehearsal session, it provides a detailed report with metrics like filler words used and their frequency, problematic slides, words per minute, and speed over time. For instance, Presenter Coach detects the pace of speech and recommends changes that might help audiences better retain facts and figures. If a user inserts a disfluency like “um,” “ah,” “like,” “actually,” or “basically” or makes a potentially gender-charged reference like “you guys” or “the best man for the job” it will recommend alternatives. “Public speaking doesn’t have to be nerve-wracking,” wrote Microsoft 365 corporate vice president Jared Spataro. “Our public preview of Presenter Coach in PowerPoint for the web uses the power of AI to help business professionals, teachers, and students become more effective presenters.” Ink in Office PowerPoint has long supported inking features in some form or another, enabling users to handwrite words and convert them into text or draw shapes like hearts or clouds. But annotating slides directly while presenting hasn’t been possible — until now. Above: Inking in PowerPoint. Starting this week, Office users on the web can dispense with laser pointers in favor of real-time scribbling directly on slides. Annotation complements the Ink Relay feature in Slide Show, which conceals and reveals inked content written on slides and exposes the order in which ink was drawn. Whiteboard templates and lesson plans Templates in Microsoft’s class-platform Whiteboard sketchpad are as they sound: Each provides tips for running activities, along with structures and outlines that expand to fit content. At launch, you’ll find templates for KANBAN sprint planning, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, project planning, learning, and more, all of which can be added with a tap of the insert button in the app’s toolbar. Above: Templates in Whiteboard. In somewhat related news, Office 365 now boasts a set of 23 education-based 3D models, which live in the existing 3D model gallery. They join the new lesson plans by Lifelique, a company creating interactive 3D K-12 science curriculum aligned to NGSS and Common Core standards. Topics range from geology and biology to outer space. Above: 3D educational content in Office 365 “These engaging models help parents and teachers quickly communicate comprehensible and retainable information to students,” wrote Spataro. “The new lesson plans complement the models to create a comprehensive learning experience.” Source
  12. Microsoft starts selling extra OneDrive space to Office 365 subscribers Customers who subscribe to Microsoft's consumer-grade Office 365 plans can now buy additional OneDrive storage. One terabyte will cost $10 a month. Microsoft Microsoft today began selling additional space on its OneDrive cloud-based storage service to customers who subscribe to its consumer-grade Office 365 plans. The extra storage starts at $2 per month for 200GB and climbs to $10 per month for 1TB (terabyte). The additional support is available only to customers who already subscribe to Office 365 Personal or Office 365 Home, the two consumer-targeted plans whose primary benefit is the right to run Office on Windows or macOS. The consumer Office 365 plans provide 1TB of OneDrive storage space for the account holder, in the case of the single-user Personal, or for each of six possible users, under Home's rules. The additional OneDrive space would be atop the 1TB. In fine print at the bottom of the plans' presentation page, Microsoft said that the additional space would not be accessible to every user on an Office 365 Home plan. "For Home subscriptions, only the primary subscription holder may purchase additional storage, and only for that user's account," the tiny type read. In June, Microsoft announced plans to provide supplementary storage to Office 365 Personal and Office 365 Home subscribers but did not tip to a timetable. Around the same time, Microsoft also touted something it called OneDrive Personal Vault, a protected partition for storing the most sensitive and important files. Personal Vault, Microsoft said, would be accessible only through a second step of identity verification, such as a fingerprint, face scan or one-time codes texted to the user's smartphone. Personal Vault has debuted in some markets, and should be available globally by year's end, according to Microsoft. Some Computerworld staffers based in the U.S. have been offered the feature. Microsoft's prices for added storage are higher than its main rivals in the consumer market, Apple and Google. Both those companies lease 2TB of space for $2 per month, or twice the amount from Microsoft but for the same number of dollars. Business-grade Office 365 subscriptions also come with a standard 1TB of OneDrive space but unlike the lower-priced consumer deals, many - yet not all - corporate subscribers do not have to pay for additional storage. Office 365 Enterprise E3 and Microsoft 365 E5, along with 17 other subscriptions, are allowed, with caveats, an unlimited amount of cloud storage. This support document spells out the per-user storage space for each subscription service Microsoft offers. Company administrators can boost OneDrive from 1TB per user to 5TB per user without intervention by Microsoft through the admin center. Microsoft Microsoft has started selling additional storage space on its cloud-based OneDrive service, but only to subscribers of its consumer-grade Office 365 plans. Source: Microsoft starts selling extra OneDrive space to Office 365 subscribers (Computerworld - Gregg Keizer)
  13. Microsoft launches new ‘Share to Teams’ button for web content Microsoft has announced that its educational partners and web developers can now embed a “Share to Teams” on websites. The new button makes it easier for students to share content from the web in Microsoft Teams channels and will allow teachers to create Microsoft Teams class assignments directly from participating learning tools. Currently, the new “Share to teams Button” works on a few educational websites like Wakelet, Buncee, and Kahoot. These services already allow teachers and students to collaborate on projects, and with the new addition of the “Share to Teams” button, sharing information into Teams will be a bit easier. Some of the other educational partners which have come on board to support the new Share to Teams button include Britannica School, Soundtrap, Lifelique, and Kano. Developers interested in learning more about how to embed the “Share to Teams” button can read Microsoft’s step-by-step coding documentation here. The new experience comes after Microsoft introduced a “Share to Skype” button which allowed to share web content into a Skype chat. Source
  14. A new phishing campaign is underway that pretends to be from the "Office 365 Team" warning you that your email account cancellation has been approved and that all your email will be deleted unless you cancel the request within the hour. This particular phishing campaign is interesting as it uses an uncommon bait of the risk of losing all your email and a time limit to make you act quickly and potentially without thinking. These phishing emails have a subject line of "Urgent Request" and state that unless you want your email account to be canceled and your email to be deleted, you need to cancel the request. Office 365 Phishing Email The text of this phishing scam can be read below. Dear user:sales Your request on 5/27/2019 7:28:58 a.m. to remove your email from our server has been approved, Are you sure you want to terminate our service to you? Ignore to continue with removal in exactly one(1)hour you read this notice or CANCEL THIS REQUEST NOW Excel Online If you click on the "CANCEL THIS REQUEST NOW" link, you will be brought to a fake "Microsoft Office Support | Account Update" page that prompts you to sign in to cancel the request. This page is actually a survey created in Excel Online. Phishing Scam Landing Page As this page is hosted on live.com, the site is secured with a certificate signed by Microsoft, which add legitimacy to the landing page. Microsoft Certificate After a user enters their credentials, the landing page will thank them and state that their "response was received." The attackers can the collect the submitted credentials at their leisure. As the form is located on onedrive.live.com, and that host actually does contain the legitimate login page https://onedrive.live.com/about/en-us/signin/, it makes this scam harder to spot. In this particular case, the word survey in the URL would have been your best clue. Furthermore, if you ever receive emails from Office stating that your account will be canceled or some other admin like request, you should always speak to your network administrator first before doing anything on your own. Thx to Michael Gillespie for the sample. Source
  15. The changes cut the price of an annual subscription for Office 365 Home to $69.99 and for Office 365 Personal, $48.99. Martyn Williams Microsoft now offers discounts of 30% on consumer-grade Office 365 subscriptions to employees of companies with "Home Use Program" agreements. The savings reduced Office 365 Home subscription to $69.99 yearly, and Office 365 Personal to $48.99. Home Use Program (HUP) is one of the benefits provided by Software Assurance (SA), in turn either included with some Office licensing categories or optional with others. Although SA may be best known for granting upgrade rights to the next version of a "perpetual" license - such as Office 2019 - it also is included with some subscription-based licensing of, for instance, Office 365 or its more inclusive big sister, Microsoft 365. HUP has long offered employees of eligible organizations discounts on perpetual Office licenses, those purchased with one-time payments that grant the user rights to run the software as long as desired, even theoretically in perpetuity. The offer of Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal, however, is new. Reports in February said that the consumer subscriptions would soon come to HUP; it's unclear when Office 365 Home and Personal were first offered to HUP participants. Office 365 subscriptions acquired via HUP will simply extend existing Home and Personal plans the employee may already have. Notably, once purchased at discount, all future renewals will also be at the lower price, even if the buyer no longer works for the organization. Perpetual license products - Office Professional Plus 2019 for Windows 10 and Office Home & Business 2019 for Mac (macOS) - may also be available to a customer with HUP rights. The prices for these packages quoted to Computerworld's staffers - the publication's parent company, IDG, has HUP rights - displayed even steeper discounts than for Office 365: Office Professional Plus 2019, which lists for $559, was just $19.04, while Office Home & Business 2019 for Mac was only $14.99 (retail price, $249.99). However, Microsoft made it clear that the one-PC-per-license deals were obsolete and likely to be retired from HUP. "Microsoft is updating the Home Use Program to offer discounts on the latest and most up to date products, such as Office 365," the company wrote in an item on a FAQ list. The Redmond, Wash. firm also trumpeted the value of Office 365 Home or Personal, and thus HUP, even though many organizations provide Microsoft's productivity applications through corporate Office 365 subscriptions. Those at-work plans allow workers to install Office's apps on multiple devices, including PCs or Macs used at home. That generosity doesn't invalidate HUP, Microsoft argued. "The Office license assigned to you by your employer is for your use only," Microsoft said elsewhere in the FAQ. "This applies whether you access Office from a device at your home or a device provided by your employer. Whereas if you purchase Office 365 Home through the Home Use Program, it can be used by your family." Office 365 Home lets up to six family members install and use the Office applications on their devices; each receives 1TB of OneDrive storage space. More information about HUP - and instructions on how to determine eligibility - can be found on this website. IDG/Gregg Keizer Microsoft's now steering eligible customers to consumer-grade Office 365 subscriptions under its Home Use Program benefit, and away from perpetual licenses of Office. Source: Microsoft discounts consumer Office 365 by 30% under 'Home Use Program' (Computerworld - Gregg Keizer)
  16. If you're using Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365 and the subscription lapses, here's how much time you have to renew -- or backup your data and move on. April Montgomery / IDG Microsoft's pay-as-you-go Office 365 is, first and foremost, a subscription. And like other subscriptions - think newspapers (remember them?) or an online storage service - missing a payment doesn't immediately mean you're cut off. Because it's less expensive to retain a current subscriber than find a new subscriber as a replacement, providers will go to great lengths to keep customers on the rolls. When a business misses an Office 365 payment, or cancels the service, the applications and data don't immediately disappear. Instead, Microsoft steps a customer through a three-stage process that gradually decreases both employee and administrator access, but for months leaves the door open to a renewal. Here are the stages of an Office 365 breakup. And for good measure, here's how to salvage a canceled subscription and get back in Microsoft's good graces. 1-30 days after subscription ends: Expired Microsoft dubs the first stage "expired," but it could just as well be called "grace period" since everything works as if the customer's payments remain up to date. Users have normal access to all Office 365 applications and services under the company's plan. Already-installed applications can be launched, no data will be scrubbed from Microsoft's servers - such as email messages or files stored on OneDrive for Business - and additional applications can be added to a user's devices. Note: macOS versions of Office provided via an Office 365 subscription do not include the 30-day grace period; they immediately enter the "Disabled" state. See below for details. Administrators can access all functions from the Office 365 admin center portal, including assigning licenses to new or existing employees. If the firm plans to depart Office 365, data may be backed up. The subscription can be renewed by the global or billing administrator during this 30-day span. Note: Microsoft does things differently with Office 365 subscriptions acquired via all volume licensing plans (with the exception of Microsoft Open). For those subs, the Expired period lasts 90 days. In effect, Microsoft is minimizing the disruption of a payment gap or gaffe for its most important customers, enterprises and other large organizations, just another sign of who really rates in Redmond. 31-120 days after subscription ends: Disabled During months two through four, the subscription sits in the "disabled" state. Another label could be "admin only," as administrators can continue to access the admin portal. The IT staff can most effectively use this period to back up employee data stored on Microsoft's servers. Admins cannot assign licenses to workers during the 90 days. Users are unable to log into their Office 365 accounts and so are blocked from Office 365 services included in the plan, ranging from hosted email to OneDrive for Business. The locally-installed applications will drop into what Microsoft calls "reduced functionality," meaning that most features and tools are unavailable. Files may be opened, viewed and printed, but not edited or saved. The applications may not launch from the desktop, but they will open after clicking on an appropriate document. macOS Office applications provided via an Office 365 subscription immediately enter this state as soon as payment lapses. There is no Expired period for Mac users. A subscription can still be reactivated by the global or billing administrator during this stretch. Note: Microsoft balances the extra Expired time for volume licensing customers by limiting their Disabled stretch to just 30 days. Everyone receives the same 120 days before things go completely to pot, but the timelines are flipped for most corporate customers. 121 days and up: Deprovisioned At the Day 121 mark, the Office 365 subscription is not only dead, it's really, really dead. No one, administrators included, can access service or applications, so backing up employee data is impossible. In fact, Microsoft will begin to delete the subscription's data from its servers starting on this date. The company does not provide a done-by deadline, saying, "You can expect data to be permanently deleted in a reasonable timeframe after the 120 days have elapsed." Enterprises that want data erased as soon as possible may request "expedited deprovisioning" by calling support. Microsoft will then issue a "lockout" code, which IT then enters in the admin portal. Microsoft then deletes the pertinent data, documents and mailboxes. Expedited deprovisioning, says Microsoft, "ensures your users' data is deleted within 3 days." Global or billing admins may not restore a subscription – and thus access to the cloud-based data and the Office applications – during this period. Assuming the firm wants to continue using Office, it must purchase new Office 365 subscriptions or standalone, perpetual Office 2019 licenses. Restart a subscription Although it may seem impossible to miss the message about a soon-to-expire Office 365 subscription -- Microsoft duns customers with a flood of email as the date approaches and the admin portal also gets in on the act -- there may be instances when things slip through the cracks. To reactivate a subscription in the Expired or Disabled states, select Billing > Subscriptions from the Admin center, select the Office 365 subscription, then choose Reactivate. If Reactivate does not show, the global or billing administrator will have to phone support instead. Payment information will have to be re-entered or given to the support representative. Source: What happens when an Office 365 subscription expires? (Computerworld - Gregg Keizer)
  17. Microsoft Office may be the most common productivity tool for corporate users, but it's no one-size-fits-all suite. Here's how to decide which version is best for you: Office 2019 or Office 365. Microsoft Office may be the de facto productivity tool for millions of workers worldwide, but it's no monolith. Rather than a single, towering smooth-black Office, there's a whole Stonehenge of options: Office on the iPhone, on iPad, Office on Android smartphones, Office on personal computers, Windows and macOS, Office with a handful of applications, Office with fist-fulls of apps. But when you get down to it, there are really only two kinds of Office. One, labeled Office 2019, is the stand-alone suite that traces its roots back to the last century. The other, Office 365, is the subscription service that debuted in 2011. How they differ can be confusing, especially since each includes, more or less, the same applications. Here are three ways to tell these tools apart, and a look at what's coming, based on Microsoft's new support policies for both Office 2019 and Office 365. JD Sartain / IDG Worldwide Microsoft Office 365 Desktop subscription version How Office is paid for Of the differences between Office 2019 and Office 365, purchase plans are among the most striking. Office 2019, whether bought one copy at a time in retail or in lots of hundreds via volume licensing, has been dubbed a "one-time purchase" by Microsoft to spell out how it's paid for. (Labels like "perpetual," which have been widely used by Computerworld, technically note the type of license rather than payment methodology, but in Office's case, the kind of license is tied to whether it was bought outright or simply "rented.") Microsoft defines the term as when "...you pay a single, up-front cost to get Office applications for one computer." Up-front is the key adjective there; Office 2019's entire purchase price must be laid out before receiving the software. That purchase, actually of a license to legally run the software, gives the buyer the right to use Office 2019 in perpetuity. In other words, the license has no expiration date, and users may run the suite as long as they want. Pay for Office 2019 this year and use it for the next seven years? Fine. Run it until 2030? Nothing to stop you. One-time purchases include Office Standard 2019 and Office Professional Plus 2019 (Windows) and Office Standard 2019 for Mac (macOS), the enterprise-grade SKUs available only via volume licensing; and retail packages such as Office Professional 2019 (Windows) and Office Home & Business 2019 (macOS). Office 365, the purchase method Microsoft pushes most aggressively, is a subscription service, so payments are made monthly or annually. In some rare instances, annual payments may produce savings in exchange for a commitment: Office 365 Business Premium, for example, costs $12.50 per month per user when paid in an annual lump sum ($150 per user), but $15 per month per user on a month-to-month plan ($180). All enterprise plans - from Enterprise E1 to E5, as well as ProPlus - do not offer a monthly option but require an annual commitment. Like any subscription, Office 365 provides a service - in this case, the right to run the suite's applications and access the associated services - only as long as payments continue. Stop paying, and rights to run the apps and services expire. (Actually, they don't immediately stop working; everything will continue to operate normally for 30 days past the previous payment's due date.) A license for Office 365, then, is contingent on sustained payments. Halt the latter and the license is revoked. Restarting the payments restores the license. Office 365 plans range from one for individual consumers (Office 365 Personal) and small businesses (Office 365 Business) to educational institutions (Office 365 Education E5) and corporations (Office 365 Enterprise E3). Office 365 is also part of Microsoft 365, an even more expensive subscription. The latter comes with labels resembling those of Office 365, including Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3. How each version of Office is serviced Although payments define one difference between Office 2019 and Office 365, Microsoft's turn to a faster development and release pace is ultimately more important to users - and the IT professionals who support them. Think of Office 2019 as traditional software made and sold in traditional ways. That holds for servicing, too. Microsoft provides monthly security updates for Office applications, usually on the second Tuesday of each month, and also fixes non-security bugs for the first five years of the SKU's lifecycle. But Office 2019 does not receive upgrades with new features and functionality. What you get when you buy the suite, feature-wise, is it. If you want to run a new edition, say, Office 2022 (Microsoft has only said it will do another perpetual version, not that it will be so named), you will need to pay another up-front fee to run it. Office 365, on the other hand, has a completely different servicing model. While the Office applications licensed to users through Office 365 receive the same security patches (and non-security fixes) distributed to Office 2019, they also acquire new features and functionality on a twice-a-year schedule. Those upgrades are issued first in September and March of each year as "Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted), then followed in January and July with "Semi-Annual Channel" releases. This support document explains the update channels of Office 365 ProPlus, the application bundle included in Office 365. As new features and functionality accrete, the applications evolve until, at some point, Microsoft says they are sufficiently different to warrant a new numerical moniker, such as Office 2022 or Office 2025 (if the perpetual version goes on that long). It will then package those versions into an upgraded suite for customers who continue to make one-time, up-front purchases. How Office hooks up with cloud services Neither Office 2019 or Office 365 is truly cloud-based, but both are able to connect with Microsoft's cloud services (and to a very limited extent, some third-party services). Currently, both the applications awarded in a one-time purchase of Office 2019 and those installed as part of an Office 365 subscription can connect with services such as Microsoft-hosted Exchange, OneDrive storage and Skype for Business. However, in April 2017 Microsoft announced a major change in the rights of perpetual Office. Office 2019's applications - acquired through an up-front purchase of the suite - must be in their "Mainstream" support period, the first five years of the guaranteed lifecycle, to connect with Microsoft's cloud services. "Office 2019 connections to Office 365 services will be supported until October 2023," Microsoft stated in one support document. (For a while, Microsoft pegged the service cut-off for Office 2016 at October 2020 but within a few months it retreated and said that, like Office 2019, the older suite would connect to Microsoft's cloud services until October 2023.) The change clearly took aim at customers who mixed cloud services with traditional one-time payment software, because it effectively halved the time the latter could be used in those organizations. At the same time, the post-2023 rule advanced Microsoft's efforts to push business customers toward subscriptions. The company hasn't been shy about saying that Office 365 is, in the end, inevitable. "Most of our cloud-powered innovation is coming to Office 365 and Microsoft 365. However, we recognize that some customers can't move to the cloud in the near term. We want to support all our customers in their journey to the cloud, at the pace that makes the most sense to them," Microsoft said. Applications obtained from an Office 365 subscription will never have a connect cutoff date. How Office will be supported in the future On Feb. 1, 2018, Microsoft revealed changes in support for Office 2019, even though the "one-time purchase" product had not yet been released. The company also previewed a shape-shift in support for Office 365, specifically the ProPlus component - the desktop productivity applications - slated to take effect in January 2020. Microsoft plans to slash support for Office 2019. "Office 2019 will provide 5 years of mainstream support and approximately 2 years of extended support," wrote Jared Spataro, the general manager for Office, in a Feb. 1, 2018, post to a company blog. "This is ... to align with the support period for Office 2016. Extended support will end 10/14/2025." As Spataro implied, Office 2016's support also will come to a stop Oct. 14, 2025. Office 2016 is to get 10 years of support (five in the "Mainstream" support stretch, five in "Extended"). Office 2019 will get just 7, representing a decrease of 30%. Because Office 2019's Mainstream support will end Oct. 10, 2023, that will be the cut-off for connecting Office 2019's applications to Microsoft's cloud services (see "How Office hooks up with cloud services" above). Spataro also dissed perpetual Office more explicitly. "It has become imperative to move our software to a more modern cadence," he wrote, implying that years of support for one-time payment software was either onerous for Microsoft or put customers at risk (or both). Along with the reduction of the support timeline, Microsoft also announced that Office 2019 would be supported only on Windows 10. Even though Windows 7 has until Jan 14, 2020, before it's retired, and Windows 8.1 will have over four years remaining, Office 2019 will not be supported on either. Meanwhile, Microsoft initially vowed to curtail support for Office 365's ProPlus, too. A year ago, Microsoft said that after Jan. 14, 2020, only Windows 10 would be supported for running Office 365 ProPlus; that date is the head-to-assisted-living deadline for Windows 7. Windows 8.1 was also to fall off the ProPlus supported list, as was the Windows 10 LTSC (Long-term Servicing Channel) version. Again, Microsoft blinked. In September, the company changed its mind about cutting off Windows 8.1's access to Office 365 ProPlus. "To support customers already on Office 365 ProPlus through their operating system transitions, we are ... revising some announcements that were made in February," said Spataro in a Sept. 6, 2018 blog post. "Office 365 ProPlus will continue to be supported on Windows 8.1 through January 2023, which is the end-of-support date for Windows 8.1."_ The no-support rule for Windows 10 LTSC remained in place, however. Source: What are the differences between Microsoft Office 2019 and Office 365? (Computerworld - Gregg Keizer)
  18. OneDrive / SharePoint Online to become the default save location for Office 365 files It is never pleasant to lose Office files you’ve been working on for a long time due to software problems (or worse), and Microsoft is well aware of it. Indeed, the company wants to make it virtually impossible to lose your work files by automatically saving them to the Microsoft cloud. Last week, the company announcedthat starting in February, all documents created in Office 365 on Windows and Mac will be automatically be saved to OneDrive or SharePoint Online (via Neowin). This will apply to Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents that will all be directly saved to the cloud, though it will still be possible to choose another location if you want to. This announcement complements the Known Folder Move feature that Microsoft unveiled in January, which allows users on Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows 10 to protect their important files by redirecting their desktop documents and folders to OneDrive. “These features, along with OneDrive Files On-Demand for Mac, are part of our investments in making it easier for you to get your files into the cloud. By saving to the cloud, you will be able to securely access your most important documents from any device and start collaborating with others from the get go,” the company explained. Source
  19. As the son of a field police officer, I grew up with firsthand knowledge of how teamwork and tools go together to facilitate great police work. In my 25 years as a police officer and 17 years at the Belgian Federal Police, I’ve worked with our IT team to help create a safer society for the 11.4 million people who live in Belgium and a more secure workplace for our 55,000 employees. Since 2015, we have been building a modern, efficient work environment for police officers through digital tools that support collaboration. Today, more than ever, our police officers depend on secure, mobile access to good information and the ability to share that information to solve crimes. We chose Microsoft 365 E3 to support our workplace modernization journey. A unified Microsoft cloud platform delivers strategic value for a police organization because it creates a sustainable, agile, and highly secure workplace culture. As we take a leadership role in our journey to the cloud, we’re using Microsoft 365 tools to improve collaboration—and help solve crimes in the process. When we launched Yammer, police officers who hadn’t seen each other since graduating from the academy began to reconnect. Colleagues now use Yammer to share project-based data while investigators use it to pose questions about their ongoing cases. Police coworkers contribute their knowledge and expertise to answer those questions, which can help resolve investigations faster. It’s been a huge step forward to see how suddenly the whole police organization can help each other in real time. We recently used the online meetings capabilities in Office 365 as an improvised “war room” to brainstorm how to solve a sudden emergency. The meeting occurred in the evening, but no one had to come into the office to participate. The operational chief managed the call, and people used the video and chat functions to make important decisions as quickly as possible. We also collaborate more effectively because we use Microsoft Teams to better support units within the force. For example, our Belgian Dog Support Group has 35 dog teams that are dispatched to join local units when needed. This means that the teams lose their connection to the central canine support office. Today, we use Office 365 and Teams to create a digital central dog unit. The dog teams connect to this space from their mobile devices to share their experiences in the field. This builds important team comradery and provides a platform to increase our collective knowledge. We plan to use Teams and other Microsoft 365 tools to bridge projects across the organization. We are digitizing our IT department and introducing a goal-oriented project management approach to our workplace culture. The collaborative Teams environment with unified communications will help us manage our daily business more efficiently. To support this modern, cloud-based workplace, we need to protect our environment in a new way. The move to a solid, highly secure IT environment was a big factor in our decision to adopt Microsoft 365. We feel that Microsoft meets the complex security and compliance needs of a national police service. With Enterprise Mobility + Security, we have the tools to improve our security posture and keep us aligned with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements. Today, police officers carry smartphones and mobile devices loaded with proprietary police applications, and we use Microsoft Intune to manage 5,000 devices. We’ve deployed Azure Active Directory Premium Plan 1 for conditional multifactor authentication and access and identity management. In addition to our other cybersecurity protection measures, we also use Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics to mitigate the risk of cyberattacks. We retain control of security and access to information through this combination of authentication, device management, and authorization services. Additionally, we’re speeding up our national deployment on Windows 10, so 55,000 employees will soon benefit from having Windows Defender Antivirus on their devices. As the Belgian police rise to the challenge of digital transformation, we are confident that we have the tools to promote teamwork in a highly secure modern environment. And we’re in a better position to fulfill our responsibilities to citizens who expect us to solve crimes faster and our services to adapt to the digital world. The future of our force lies in the interconnection between police officers and the citizens they serve—we are ready. source
  20. Last year, we updated Office.com with a new experience focused on two simple things: helping users get the most out of Office and getting them back into their work quickly. The streamlined site has clearly resonated with customers, and now more than 40 percent of Office 365 web users start their work by visiting Office.com. Starting today, we’re bringing this experience to Windows 10 in the form of an app, simply called Office. It’s now available to Windows Insiders (Fast) and will roll out to all Windows 10 users soon. The app itself is free and it can be used with any Office 365 subscription, Office 2019, Office 2016, or Office Online—the free web-based version of Office for consumers. A few key reasons to use the app include: Quickly switch between apps. See all your Office apps in one place and switch between them with a single click. Get back into your work. Jump to your most recently used documents, pinned documents, and documents shared with you—whether they’re on your local machine or stored in OneDrive or SharePoint. Find what you need. With Microsoft Search integrated prominently, you can quickly find the apps, documents, people, and sites you need to get your work done. Tailor it to your organization. Organizations can apply company branding and integrate other line of business applications through single sign-on to customize the experience for their users. The Office app will replace the My Office app, which currently helps users manage their Office 365 subscriptions. If you already have the My Office app, you will get the new Office app through an automatic update in the coming months. Otherwise, you can download it from the Microsoft Store. Starting this summer, new Windows 10 devices will come with the Office app already installed—making it easier than ever to start using Office on a new PC. Let us know what you think We are excited to share this initial release with the Windows Insiders, and we’ll continue to improve the experience based on your feedback. Please let us know what you think via the feedback link under Settings within the app. source
  21. A new version of the popular open source and cross-platform application LibreOffice has been released today. LibreOffice 6.1 brings along with it improvements to the user interface, performance, and new features and other changes. Existing users can use the built-in update functionality to update the local version of the Office suite to version 6.1. Just select Help > Check for Updates in any of the LibreOffice applications to do so. Web and Torrent downloads are already available on the official website as well. Note: LibreOffice 6.x requires at least Microsoft Windows 7 Service Pack 1. The last version to support Windows XP and Vista was LibreOffice 5.x. Tip: Use LibreOffice as a PDF Editor. LibreOffice 6.1 You can check out of the official announcement on the LibreOffice for an overview of important changes in LibreOffice 6.1 or the release notes for the new version which highlight the bulk of changes. LibreOffice 6.1 supports a new icon theme for Windows that is based on Microsoft's icon design guideline. The theme is called Colibre and the default theme on Windows from LibreOffice 6.1 on. Other theme changes include a switch to Elementary on Gnome based desktops, a new default high contrast theme called Sifr, and the removal of Industrial and Oxygen themes because "of missing maintenance and SVG support". The icon theme Karasa Jaga was added which is heavily inspired from Oxygen. LibreOffice users can change the style of icons in the following way: Select Tools > Options from the menu bar. Go to LibreOffice > View. Select a new theme under Icon style on the page. LibreOffice's Base app uses a new database format. Firebird Embedded is the new default choice for databases in the new version of Base. It is still possible to select Embedded HSQLDB in the dialog. Long term, existing data needs to be migrated to the new database format or an external HSQLDB server must be used. LibreOffice 6.1 debuts a migration assistant to migrate the database to the new format. The migration assistant will remain available in future releases even in those that won't support HSQLDB anymore. Base displays the migration assistant automatically when you open a database that uses the old format. Select yes to do so. You can bring up the prompt again by selecting Tables under Database in the interface. It is highly suggested that you create a backup of the database file before you attempt to convert it. LibreOffice 6.1 features lots of other improvements: Image handling improvements in Calc sorting of images anchored to Calc cells reworked anchor types aspect ratio is considered when resizing images in cells. inserted images are anchored to cell by default. option to fit images into their cell. Options to customize the highlight color under LibreOffice > Application Color. Lots of online improvements (security, graphical user interface). New Page menu in Draw and reorganization of menus. Easier toolbar and menu customization options. JRE Required message on Windows highlights whether 32-bit or 64-bit version is missing. Cal, Draw, and Impress prompt user about EXIF rotation when adding images. New set of default gradients. New RYB standard pallete. Rewored background images in gallery and area fill dialog. Improved Excel 2003 XML import filter. New help content (pivot charts, Export to EPUB) Support for external CSV data. Improved LDAP configuration backend. Support for signing ODF documents with ECDSA keys on Linux and macOS. Closing Words LibreOffice 6.1 improves the Office suite in many different areas. If you are a user you may want to consider upgrading right away to take advantage of the new functionality. Note that the Document Foundation recommends that Enterprise customers stay at version 6.06. for the time being. Now You: Do you use an Office suite? If so which? Source
  22. By Paul Thurrott A Microsoft employee claimed publicly that “all of Office 365” was being “completely rewritten” in JavaScript. And then all hell broke loose. First things first. It’s not true. So if you were freaking out that Microsoft was somehow abandoning C# and C++ for its most mission-critical offerings, freak out no more. It’s not happening. So what is happening? A Microsoft program manager named Sean Larkin perhaps got a little overly-exuberant on Monday, when he tweeted the following. (I’ve edited out some nonsense.) “nbd,” for you fellow old folks, means “no big deal.” Well, sorry, Sean. This is a big deal. And you got most of that tweet completely and utterly wrong. Without even looking at his follow-ups and clarifications, I can tell you off the top of my head that “all of Office 365” is not being “rewritten” at all, let alone in JavaScript. Most of the new apps that have been added to this service over the past several years are indeed web-based. And most likely use some combination of web technologies, which could include JavaScript. (But also TypeScript, Microsoft’s superior JavaScript-like language.) Skype is not being rewritten in JavaScript. Microsoft Teams is not being rewritten in JavaScript. (It’s already web-based, however, and is being evolved into a Progressive Web App.) Visual Studio Code not being rewritten in JavaScript. It has always been Electron-based. The Edge thing could be correct, who cares. But Edge itself is a native app and is, of course, not being rewritten in JavaScript. Sigh. Anyway, he tried to clarify things in follow-up tweets when his original missive exploded intro controversy. Which shouldn’t have been a surprise. And yet, somehow, it was. “It’s always the tweet’s you’d least expect to blow up,” he noted, obliviously. Anyway, he finally corrected himself on Reddit, blaming Twitter’s character limitations for his many factual errors. “We are not abandoning C++, C#, or any of the other awesome languages, APIs, and toolings that we use across Microsoft,” he clarifies. “Nothing [in Office 365] is converting to ‘all/completely’ JavaScript/TypeScript.” Stupid Twitter and its character limits. Sigh. But seriously, facts matter. And getting something this big this wrong is inexcusable. Source
  23. Adults-only Xbox games are OK – but you can't publicly tell Cortana to go screw itself Microsoft has advised customers that offensive language on Skype, in an Outlook.com email, or in an Office 365 Word document is a potentially account-closing offense under its updated terms of use. The tweaked services agreement, which comes into effect on May 1, 2018, now includes the following code-of-conduct item: And if you disobey? If you violate these Terms, we may stop providing Services to you or we may close your Microsoft account. We may also block delivery of a communication (like email, file sharing or instant message) to or from the Services in an effort to enforce these Terms or we may remove or refuse to publish Your Content for any reason. When investigating alleged violations of these Terms, Microsoft reserves the right to review Your Content in order to resolve the issue. However, we cannot monitor the entire Services and make no attempt to do so. Microsoft lists its online services covered by the agreement here. To save you the click, the list includes: Skype Windows Live Mail Office 365 Bing Cortana OneDrive.com OneDrive OneNote.com Outlook.co There’s some sense behind the new rules, because the roster also includes things like Xbox Live, which has chat features that are used by morons to bully and harass fellow gamers. Smut and foul language also have no business at education.minecraft.net, the classroom-friendly edition of the uber-popular Minecraft. The Register asked Microsoft if the new legalese was intended to stop people swearing on Skype or in Word or OneDrive files. A Redmond spokesperson sent us the following answer: El Reg understands that the key part of that mostly non-answer is the language about “how we respond to customer reports of inappropriate public content,” as Microsoft’s intention is to give netizens a way to complain about nasty behaviour by other Redmond subscribers. Microsoft told The Register it does not listen to Skype calls, which is good to know. But the Windows giant added that it may examine private files and conversations that potentially breach the code-of-conduct if the biz receives a complaint from someone, be it a Skype chat or an email, etc. The long, long list of online services covered by the updated service agreement means millions of users need to take note of the tweaked legalese. If you subscribe to a Microsoft service, make sure you stay within the code of conduct. Microsoft insisted it won't actively police its services and randomly delve into your stuff – but, beware: it will investigate complaints from people offended by what you do on Redmond's platforms in public. On The Register’s reading of the rules, a profanity-laden file written in Office 365, or an email with a nude selfie attached sent using Outlook.com, fall on the wrong side of the code, if reported to Microsoft by someone. As would asking Bing to look up “Simon Sharwood of The Register is sh*t” or telling Cortana to “f*ck off” if it somehow caused offense. And then there’s the absurdity of a ban of graphic violence or nudity, given that many Xbox games have attracted America's Entertainment Software Rating Board’s Adults Only 18+ rating covering games that “include prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency.” Even the board’s “mature” rating, applied to games suitable for players 17 years or older, warns that such software “may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.” The Register understands the legalese needs to be broad so that Microsoft bods can step in when there’s genuine abuse or harassment being thrown around on its services. But the new agreement is problematic because it hints at far broader and frankly creepy interventions involving rifling through people's private files, if someone is upset at another user. Which in light of recent revelations about abuse of personal data on the internet, just isn’t a good look no matter that the agreement was probably drafted with good intentions. Source
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