Articles about Office 365

Abracadabra! Microsoft acquires Wand Labs to conjure up some chat bot magic

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Continuing the spending spree that started with snapping up LinkedIn earlier this week, Microsoft today announces that it has acquired Wand Labs. The mobile developer has a chat-centric focus, and will help Microsoft to build on the Conversation as a Platform ideas Sayta Nadella has been championing of late.

Neither Wand Labs nor Microsoft has shared details of the amount of money that is changing hands, but the acquisition will assist Microsoft in developing its Bot Framework. Wand Labs' natural language technologies will extend the capabilities of Windows, Bing, Microsoft Azure and Office 365, particularly with intelligent agents and chat bots.

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Microsoft introduces project management tool for Office 365

Office 365

To help its users stay on task and manage their assignments more easily, Microsoft has just launched a new project management tool for teams using Office 365 called Planner.

The company initially released a preview of its new tool in December 2015 and now it will begin rolling it out worldwide to all Office 365 users including those using Office 365 Enterprise E1-E5, Business Essentials, Premium and even its Education subscription plan.

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Microsoft stops you from using weak passwords

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Having a good password can make the difference between your account being hacked and receiving a notification informing you of a failed login attempt. Even though this should be common knowledge, it seems that many folks are in the dark about this. You do not need to look hard to find evidence of this, as there are many reports that reveal passwords like "1234567890" to be very popular still.

Since it is clear that it cannot rely on its users to make the right decisions about their account security, Microsoft is taking a proactive approach by "dynamically banning commonly used passwords". So, if you think that "qwerty123" is good enough to keep all your emails private, luckily you will not have to find out whether you are right or not.

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Spanning launches backup for OneDrive business users

Cloud backup

Just because your data is stored in the cloud is no reason to stop backing it up. While cloud service providers are responsible for making your data available, they’re not responsible for managing and protecting customers' data from accidental or malicious behavior.

As a recent survey showed accidental deletion by users is a major source of data loss from the cloud. Now the company behind that survey, Spanning, is launching a solution for Microsoft Office 365 OneDrive for Business users.

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Microsoft takes just 7 hours to patch colossal Office 365 vulnerability that exposed companies' data

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Companies are often criticized for the length of time it takes them to patch security problems found in software. But this week Microsoft exceled itself, taking just 7 hours to patch a serious security hole in Office 365 that made it possible to gain unrestricted access to businesses' cloud accounts.

A problem with the SAML authentication system meant that it was possible to gain access to just about any Office 365 account, including accessing connected services like Outlook, OneDrive and Skype for Business. More than this, the exploit allowed an attacker to infiltrate companies and organizations such as Verizon, Georgia State University and British Airways who use Office 365. The researchers who unearthed the issue have praised Microsoft for dealing with it so quickly.

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Weak Lumia sales prove Microsoft should put an end to Windows 10 Mobile

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It is hard to take Windows 10 Mobile seriously when Microsoft announces sales of just 2.3 million Lumias in a whole quarter. If you ever thought that the platform can actually be competitive in today's market, now is the time to wake up. This year, smartphones sales are expected to reach 1.5 billion units. If Microsoft manages to move 10 million Lumias in 2016, Windows 10 Mobile's market share would likely be around the one percent mark.

Microsoft is not the only Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile vendor, but it is the largest by far. It sells about 90 percent of the smartphones running the tiled operating system, so its performance has a major impact on the platform's popularity.

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Google's Single Sign On adds support for Microsoft Office 365, Facebook at Work, Slack and more

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Besides being the super poplar search engine, email provider, work and collaboration services provider, Google is also used, by a number of different services, as an identity provider.

It allows people to register and log into different online services using their Google account. Now, the company announced it’s expanding the feature to add a number of new services, some of which are direct competitors.

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Microsoft wants to make Windows 10 and Office 365 more accessible

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Making its products accessible to as many people as possible is clearly in Microsoft's best interests. Today the company outlined how it plans to improve accessibility in Windows 10 and Office 365, setting out a roadmap built on three key principles.

Transparency, accountability and being inclusive will be the company's cornerstones for 2016. Microsoft wants to "to think about all of our customers and all of the ways we can empower them with technology". But what does this actually mean.

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A 7 step security checklist for migrating from on-prem SharePoint to Office 365

Checklist

Microsoft Office is the tried and true solution for work, so it’s no surprise enterprises moving to the cloud look to a familiar face in Office 365. Despite the cloud services’ significant adoption numbers -- 87.3 percent of organizations have at least 100 employees using Office 365 -- the vast majority of companies have yet to migrate all users to the cloud: 93.2 percent of employees still use Microsoft on-premises solutions.

The transition to cloud leaves companies puzzled on how to safely and effectively migrate extensive on-premises SharePoint environments to SharePoint Online. Once content is successfully migrated, companies must have controls already in place to properly enforcing security, compliance, and governance of sensitive data. Microsoft has significantly invested in the security of Office 365. According to Gartner, however, 95 percent of security incidents involving cloud will come from customer vulnerabilities rather than the service provider. Companies need to worry less about Microsoft suffering a breach and more about their own users’ high-risk activity within Microsoft applications.  It is ultimately up to the enterprise to secure their data in Office 365, and the greatest threats frequently come from within.

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Microsoft opens up FastTrack to more SMBs to sweeten the Office 365 deal

Office 365

Microsoft today unveiled a measure designed to attract more SMBs to Office 365. The new scheme sees Microsoft's FastTrack customer service operation expanding so that it is now available to organizations with as few as 50 users; the previous minimum was 150 seats.

Microsoft says that many SMBs who have opted to use Google's App instead reach a "breaking point" when they hit 50 users. The company aims to capitalize on this by offering enterprise-grade services to businesses that would otherwise not be able to take advantage of features such as centralized management capabilities.

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New SharePoint intranet platform helps Office 365 users collaborate

Collaboration

Intranets are increasingly common, even in smaller companies, allowing employees easy access to shared resources

For Office 365 users wanting to exploit the power of intranets, Florida based MessageOps is launching ROOT, a SharePoint intranet platform. ROOT is a feature-rich intranet portal that gives customers an opportunity to create a more collaborative working environment, and give their employees a central access point to important company information and apps.

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Microsoft offers free Office 365 subscription to Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL users

Office on Microsoft Lumia 950

If you are looking for another reason to purchase one of Microsoft's Windows 10 Mobile flagships, the software giant has just announced that it is now offering a free, one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal to Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL users.

The offer cannot only be redeemed by new customers, but also by existing users. There is one caveat though: it only applies to users in a select number of markets. Here is what you need to know.

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Microsoft has a bright future, says Goldman Sachs

Future Man Looking

Goldman Sachs thinks Microsoft is making a comeback. The investment banking firm has produced a 22-page document -- titled Righting a Wrong -- looking at Microsoft’s current business, the recent changes it has made and it’s future opportunities.

The research analyzes Microsoft’s core businesses of Azure, Windows and Office and believes that the future looks bright for the company, going as far as to change its stock rating from Sell to Neutral.

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Microsoft Office 365 now offers a project management app

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Microsoft has announced the release of a preview and testing version of its new lightweight project management application -- Planner.

The application -- originally codenamed Highlander -- was released for initial evaluation to those customers who have one of the following Microsoft licenses:

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Microsoft releases new Office 365 SMB plans

Microsoft brings mobile device management to Office 365

After announcing the subscription-based service in 2014, Microsoft has now made available three new Office 365 small/mid-size business plans to its existing business customers.

The three plans -- Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium -- are replacing the current Office 365 Small Business, Small Business Premium and Midsize Business plans.

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