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Last month saw those at Microsoft make a number of noteworthy updates to Microsoft 365. These are set to improve the overall user experience, streamline the management of tasks and improve security — particularly with regards to identity-driven measures.
Office 365 user experience updates
Firstly, updates for PowerPoint, OneNote, Word, Excel and Outlook have been unveiled in the attempt to embrace the breadth and depth of Office 365 features. They will also simplify the user interface and improve accessibility.
Over the next few months, expect to see a simplified ribbon which will encourage focus and collaboration; a fresh palette of modern colours; and new icons that will improve accessibility and rendering. Also, a new AI-powered search will be available to make it easier to find the information you’re looking for.
Office 365 Groups and SharePoint sites connections
Office 365 Groups will now be able to connect to operational SharePoint sites — so newly created groups can integrate with the existing SharePoint infrastructure. This will allow a single starting point with which to find team news, communications and other content through a range of pages, lists and libraries. You won’t lose any previous content or permissions through this.
Do not disturb for Outlook Android
If you’re often distracted by emails and other notifications, then this one’s for you. This update will help to reduce interference and be more productive.
Users can set scheduled periods of time, whether it’s for an hour or a full day, in which notifications will be paused. What’s more, you can customise these per account, not per user — perfect if you manage multiple accounts with different needs.
June also saw the introduction of ‘Steps’ to Microsoft To-Do, the task management system from Microsoft. This feature allows you to break your tasks into smaller chunks and make them more manageable.
You can make these incremental steps as straightforward or detailed as you wish, plus can share your lists with others.
Office 365 subscribers for Windows 10 can now take advantage of hands-free dictation in up to nine languages in OneNote. Simply click the Dictate icon to start speaking — you won’t even have to pause the recording if you need to make an edit on your keyboard.
Azure Active Directory
In security news, a new preview has been introduced that requires more privileged accounts to undertake multi-factor authentication. This will apply to any organisation that has Azure Active Directory and will help users secure their most important accounts. It’s opt-in at this stage, with default availability coming later.
Blocking legacy authentication using Azure Active Directory
Legacy apps are potentially on the way out, as organisations will be able to block their users from authenticating them. This is for the simple reason that identity and password attacks target older apps.
Adobe PDF integration
The Adobe Document Cloud team have just announced new capabilities for OneDrive and SharePoint. These will improve their precision in working with PDFs, provide excellent previews and allow you to combine numerous files into an individual PDF file in the document library.
Label Activity Explorer in Office 365 will now provide a user-friendly overview of how your organisation’s data has been labelled. This will allow you to stay on top of risky activity. There is also an improved, more user-friendly Data Governance dashboard to make the information more accessible and manageable.
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