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Microsoft Unveils New Intelligent Communications in Office 365, New Microsoft 365 Variants and More

Microsoft at its annual IT event Ignite, in Orlando, Florida, showcased how it is infusing cloud, artifical intelligence (AI) and mixed reality across it products to help customers envision and create the future of business.

The company shared how quantum computers could help solve some of planet’s biggest challenges, as well as news from Office 365, Microsoft 365, Windows 10, Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365 and Microsoft AI.

A new vision Microsoft 365 F1 that brings together Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security to deliver a complete, intelligent solution to empower Firstline Workers.

Firstline Workers, a global workforce that comprises two billion people worldwide, are the people behind counter, on phone, in clinics, on shop floor, and in field. With this, workforce can use all commercial product offerings, spanning Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Microsoft IoT, Microsoft AI, Microsoft HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality ecosystem.

The following capabilities and tools are available with this new offering:

  • Skype Meeting Broadcast for interactive townhall meetings and Yammer to help employees find and share best practices across the company.
  • Microsoft Stream to share dynamic, role-based content and video,
  • and SharePoint to easily distribute onboarding and training materials and manage institutional knowledge in one secure place.
  • Microsoft StaffHub, a purpose-built app for Firstline Workers to manage their workday and Microsoft PowerApps and Flow to automate everyday activities– receiving new capabilities including: an ability for employees to clock in/out and track tasks, integrated messaging with Microsoft Teams, and corporate announcements highlighting made in Yammer, and finally, customers can connect StaffHub to workforce management systems and other tools with the availability of general APIs.

Here, an screenshot shows all the capabilities included in Microsoft 365 F1:

This video demonstrate Microsoft 365 F1:

Microsoft 365 F1 streamlines IT management, minimizes cost, and extends security to all employees and endpoints. Azure Active Directory provides management of employee identity and access; Microsoft Intune helps secure devices; and new features in Windows 10 simplify the management of Firstline Workers’ experiences, supporting locked down single purpose devices with Windows Assigned Access and automated deployment with Windows AutoPilot.

Finally, new commercial devices with Windows 10 S from OEM partners including: HP, Lenovo, and Acer also announced for this taskforce. These devices benefit from cloud-based identity and management start as low as $275.

See this chart for all Firstline Workers devices:

Windows 10 S Firstline Workers Devices Chart

Check out this Mechanics video covering how these scenarios come together:

Traditional devices vs. Microsoft 365 Powered Devices

Microsoft 365 Education, another new offering combines capabilities across Office 365 for Education, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility + Security, and Minecraft: Education Edition, to provide students, faculty, and staff everything they need to create and work together securely in the classroom.

Microsoft 365 Education is offered in two plans, Microsoft 365 A3 and Microsoft 365 A5.

In addition, a new Microsoft 365 plan for non-profit organizations along with a new Technology for Social Impact group dedicated to serving nonprofit organizations worldwide and helping them move to cloud and provide support they need.

The company details the two new nonprofit community offerings include: Microsoft 365 for Nonprofits, “a complete, intelligent solution, including Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, that will empower nonprofits to be more creative and collaborate more easily,” and 10 percent discounts on Surface Books and Surface Pros.


New capabilities to unlock employee creativity:

New intelligent capabilities in Excel harnessing power of AI will understand new data types, beyond text and numbers, and augment that data based on public and enterprise information. It’ll come in early 2018.

Bing for business an intelligent, personalized search help quickly find content across SharePoint and Office.com, and .

  • LinkedIn profile integration offer an ability to view LinkedIn profiles in Microsoft apps and services.

    LinkedIn’s integration with Profile Card in Office 365 will start to roll out in coming weeks on Outlook on the web, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business, starting with Microsoft’s First Release program in October. It will be available on Outlook for Windows, Outlook for iOS, and other Office products in the coming months.

    Screenshot of LinkedIn profile information shown from Outlook, on both a phone and tablet:

    LinkedIn profile information from Microsoft apps and services

    To set it up, simply open a person’s Profile Card and click on the LinkedIn match. On the screen, sign into LinkedIn account, then click Yes, let’s go, and accept and then you’re ready to view useful information about people you’re interacting with.

    Here is what’s coming this fall and early 2018:

    • Microsoft Teams will evolve as primary intelligent communications tool in Office 365, replacing Skype for Business over time. It’ll bring new voice and video capabilities along with cognitive and data services, and insights from Microsoft Graph.
    • New Calling features in Microsoft Teams

      Microsoft also shared that an updated roadmap for Teams will be available in October. And, that the support for Skype for Business in Office 365 and Skype for Business Server on-premises will continue.

      Customers who are not yet ready to move their PBX and advanced calling capabilities to the cloud, we will release a new version of Skype for Business Server targeted for the second half of calendar year 2018.

    • New unified sharing experience in Windows, Mac, web, and mobile, will come to Office apps in next few weeks will enable you securely share files with people outside organization. In addition, you can customize the look and layout of SharePoint pages, add dynamic content from over 100 new web parts and connectors, as well as share those pages on SharePoint sites or as a tab in Teams.
    • Yammer to integrate deeper with SharePoint, new group insights for community managers, and enterprise-grade compliance with local data residency.
    • Beginning early 2018, Lenovo, HP, Panasonic, Fujitsu, and Toshiba will begi supporting Windows Autopilot on new Windows 10 devices, automating new device deployment and configuration.
    • This fall, new capabilities in Microsoft Intune will become available to manage Windows 10 devices with Office 365 ProPlus, configure Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, and deploy Win32 apps.
    • Also coming this fall is ‘co-management,’ a new set of capabilities to help customers migrate to cloud-based management of Windows 10 devices with Microsoft Intune.
    • FastTrack for Microsoft 365, provides planning, guidance, and assistance to help IT professionals drive adoption and usage across Microsoft 365.
    • Office 365 Usage Analytics, generally available in early 2018, will enable IT professionals to analyze and visualize service-wide usage data in Power BI.
    • Windows Analytics updating this fall with new update compliance and device health capabilities to help proactively identify and address new issues that may impact user experience and productivity.
    • Expanding conditional access capabilities to secure sessions inside SaaS apps and protect sensitive documents. To this end, Microsoft is integrating across Azure Active Directory, Microsoft Cloud App Security, and Azure Information Protection as well as extending multi-factor authentication to include third-party support.
    • Integration of Azure Information Protection with Office 365 Message Encryption, makes it easier to send protected emails and documents to recipients using consumer email services such as Outlook.com and Gmail.
    • New Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, built on Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, help mitigate content phishing, domain spoofing, and impersonation.
    • A limited preview of Azure Advanced Threat Protection help detect attacks on user identity sooner, and the integration of our recent Hexadite acquisition into Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection to automatically help investigate, assess, and remediate threats.

    Also, an upcoming preview of Compliance Manager, a tool that help organizations meet compliance obligations like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is announced.

    It performs a real-time risk assessment with a score that reflects your compliance position against data protection regulations when using Microsoft Cloud services, along with recommended actions and step-by-step guidance.

    In addition, two new white papers to help Windows customers comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a European Union privacy law scheduled to take effect on May 25, 2018.

    The papers, “Accelerate GDPR compliance with Windows 10” and “Accelerate GDPR compliance with Windows Server 2016,” will help organizations follow the law, a requirement for doing business with EU residents next year.

    key GDPR Steps

  • A redesigned web experience for Office.com, brings an easy-to-remember URL to help you sign in to Office 365 and get to all your apps, documents, sites, and people was unveiled along with an improved search experience on Office.com to allow you to find Office 365 documents, apps, people, and sites directly from Office.com.

    Additionally, Microsoft also simplified Office 365 app launcher to help open and switch between web apps easier, along with new Office 365 gallery to provide Office 365 users with personalized information about the apps, tools, and services already in their subscription, announced, too.

    Screenshot of new Office.com home page:

    New Office.com homepage

    Screenshot of new Office.com app launcher:

    New Office 365 app launcher

    Image of new Office 365 gallery, where you can explore apps:

    new Office 365 gallery

    Office 365 customers will see these changes roll out soon. Watch the Microsoft Mechanics session below to learn more. If you’re attending Microsoft Ignite this year, be sure to check out BRK1050—New web experiences in Office 365 that empower your users to get an inside look at these new experiences.

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