Microsoft Office needs no introduction but here’s one anyway. It became an industry standard tool following its launch in 1990, helping businesses become more productive and employees more frustrated by endless Excel spreadsheets.
It’s now moved to the cloud and onto mobile and remains an essential tool for the enterprise. Here is all the latest news for the platform.
November 2017: Office 365 uses LinkedIn-Powered AI to help people write CVs
Microsoft is to help Office 365 users create better CVs using AI insights gleamed from LinkedIn.
The company claims 80 percent of all CVs are updated in Word so believes ‘Resume Assistant’ is well-positioned to offer users a hand when applying for a new role.
“The workplace is changing, impacting not only how people work, but also the frequency with which they change roles, introducing new challenges for job seekers,” said Bryan Goode, Office 365 general manager at Microsoft.
“Nearly 70 percent of people say they have difficulty portraying their work experience effectively, and 50 percent struggle to tailor their resume to a specific job opportunity. Furthermore, job applications on LinkedIn have increased 40 percent year-over-year, signaling increased competition for jobs.”
Microsoft says the AI can help candidates identify their most important skills, how to use the most relevant examples and how to customise their CV for a particular position
The feature is available to Office 365 Insiders, including those in the UK, from today and will be made generally available to everyone within the next few months.
September 2017: Add guests to Microsoft Teams
Microsoft is to let Office 365 customer add guests to Microsoft Teams. Anyone with an azure Active Directory (Azure AD) can be added as a guest, and in the future anyone with a Microsoft Account can be added.
Guest users will be subject to the same compliance and auditing protection as the rest of Office 365 and their access can be revoked by admins.
“Since Microsoft Teams became generally available six months ago, more than 125,000 organisations have discovered how teamwork comes to life in Teams,” said Lori Wright, general manager for Microsoft Teams.
“Today, Teams is getting even better with the rollout of guest access to all Office 365 commercial and education customers. Now Office 365 users can add people from outside their company to a team, so guests can participate in chats, join meetings, collaborate on documents, and more.”
September 2017: Teams Update, New Yammer App, Excel Co-Authoring
Microsoft has moved to improve the teamwork capabilities of Office 365 with Excel co-authoring, enhancements to Teams, and a brand new Yammer app for iPad.
Teams was launched in March as Microsoft’s answer to workplace communication app Slack and is heavily integrated into Office 365 applications.
This latest tranche of updates focus on the educational application of Teams, allowing students and teachers to have a full view of their class notebook on OneNote and allowing educators to add web links to assignments distributed through Teams.
Scores from these assignments can then be imported into a school’s Learning Management System.
Administrators can also give permissions for third party applications and enable or disable certain components, such as chat and class assignments, to assert greater control over a learning environment.
Elsewhere, ExCel co-authoring lets multiple users work on spreadsheets stored on SharePoint Online, OneDrive or OneDrive for Business, while autosave has now been enabled for subscribers who store their documents in the same cloud repositories.
Yammer for iPad now has universal search, automatic sign-in and an updated design as well as more detailed reports to help admins. And finally, the rich profiles for Outlook promised a few months back are now available to users.
August 2017: Outlook.com beta brings speed and AI smarts
Microsoft has launched a beta for Outlook.com, claiming it the changes make the web-based email client faster, smarter and more personal.
The addition of AI features means Outlook can issue suggestions as users type, bringing in relevant travel information, venues or even favourite sports teams into messages. Photos that have been sent or received over the platform are now stored in one place, making it easier to share, while the new modern conversation style makes it easier to follow chats and attach files.
A more responsive web development framework has given the service a new look, and personalisation options make it eaiser to find friends, files and messgaes. Less crucially, there are new emojis and GIFs.
“Additional enhancements will be rolled out over the next few months, including updates to Calendar and People. Based on your feedback, we’ll iterate, improve, refine, or discard them. At the end of the beta, we’ll bring the best innovations into Outlook.com,” said Microsoft.
Any user can enter into the beta, simply by clicking ‘try the beta’ when they are logged in, and can switch back at any time.