So I’m back from my vacation. And it’s all great. I see that Microsoft didn’t give it’s employees the summer off. Instead they’ve been wacking out updates like crazy in Redmond. Last time I checked up on updates for the Office 365 platform was in April. But even if I slowed my blogging down a bit, the world didn’t stop spinning. So here is a round of updates for August, July and June 2013. I was going to do May, but the post just became too long and too dull.

I know that my last post on Office 365 wasn’t all that positive. But I still think it was fair. A lot of those things are still very much true, but that doesn’t mean that Microsoft doesn’t push forward and gives us great updates to Office 365 every month.

summer-of-2013-office-365

August 2013

Message Center

On August 1st, a new admin service feature called Message Center saw daylight. This Message Center isn’t about Microsoft letting all those email-hungry admins down. They will still send out the usual heap of reminder emails etc. Microsoft will continue to enhance the quality and keep adding features like localization and tenant specific reporting.

July 2013

Newsfeed App for windows 8

This is a modern Windows 8 App for SharePoint 2013. It lets you connect to your SharePoint Newsfeed and follow your co-workers and create new conversations at will. This looks like a great App. I’m already finding myself looking for more features in the App. It could be great if I could use it for blogposting and connecting to discussionforums all at the same time. But maybe that’s for a version 2.

OneNote

OneNote has been upgraded for iPhone’s and iPads to 2.0. Some of the new features listed are:

  • Updated navigation
  • Improved note formatting and consistency across devices
  • Edit existing tables
  • Ink and rich text formatting
  • Sync to SkyDrive Pro and SharePoint
  • Recently used notebook lists sync across devices
  • Optimized for iPhone 5 screen

OWA for iPhone and iPad

Navigate to the Apple App Store and get the “OWA for iPhone” App or the “OWA for iPad” App. Both are custom Apps for Exchage Online. They gives you a great way of working with your email, calendar, contacts etc.

Lync Q&A Manager for Meetings

Q&A Manager for Meetings

Presenters can ask and answer questions and Attendees can only ask.

Lync Meeting Instant Messenger (IM) Mute

The meeting owner or presenter can mute thoose attendees that just can’t keep quiet during the meeting. The option can either be enabled during the meeting or it can be planned.

Updated Lync Mobile Apps for Windows Phone 8 and iOS

New features include: Screen shareing, rejoin, mute, transfer calls, continue past conversations and much more.

Lync Embedded Images

Embed images directly into IM conversations.

Office Mobile for Android Phones

The Office Mobile App is now available at Google Play, free to Office 365 subscriber. That App will let you work on Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents from pretty much anywhere you have internet access.

June 2013

Skydrive

Windows Client

The new standalone client lets the users of SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online sync their personal SkyDrive Pro and whatever SharePoint/SharePoint Online document libraries to their local machine.

Apps for Windows 8 and iOS

There is a brand new App for Windows 8 and iOS for Skydrive Pro. The App enables users to access their files placed in their Skydrive Pro library. The App is available for all SKUs except K 1,2 as of June 2013.

Office Mobile for iPhone

Office Mobile for iPhone for free now at the Apple App Store. The App is for Office 365 Home Premium and Office 365 ProPlus subscribers.

Yammer and Office 365 Integration

In this rollout, Microsoft provides:

  1. a link to Yammer as a replacement to the existing newsfeed page
  2. a Yammer app for SharePoint to easily embed Yammer groups into SharePoint sites.

Yammer and Office 365 Integration are available for E 1,3,4, P1,2, SPOP1,2.

Lync Skype Federation Update: Now Live

The first step in bringing Lync and Skype together has been taken. Lync and Skype are now live with presence, instant messaging, and audio calling between Lync and Skype. Lync customers will have the ability to use the global reach of Skype to connect while relying on the enterprise richness of Lync.

Excel Web App Update

In late June, Excel Web App were updated with new end user capabilities for an improved Office experience on the Web. The Updates include:

    • Freeze Pane support for easier scrolling of large workbooks
    • Interact with Data Validation enabled cells, where Excel Web App users can select from predefined values in a workbook
    • Clear formatting applied to selected cells
    • Auto-complete as you type
    • Sort a range of data
    • Reorder sheets in a workbook
    • Hide and unhide rows, columns and sheets in a workbook

PDF Previews in OWA

PDF attachments in OWA to be viewed in the Word Web App. This makes it easier for users to view their PDF files without the need for extra plug-ins.