Improve collaboration across apps and customize experiences—here’s what’s new to Microsoft 365 in FebruaryFebruary 27, 2020
We live in exciting, but busy, times. As we try to navigate a rapidly changing and complex workplace, little things can make or break our experience—including the tools we rely on. At Microsoft, we get it, and we’re listening. We’re working hard to incorporate your feedback and requests—from simple tweaks to new tools—into the Microsoft 365 experience. It’s all about building the best productivity service to help you and your organization get more done, and we’re committed to making sure your experience only gets better with time.
This month, we’re introducing capabilities to help you work on the go, collaborate on content more easily, interact with apps in more ways, and customize your productivity experiences. The new Office app is now generally available for Android and iOS. We added collaboration capabilities to PowerPoint comments and brought coauthoring and Microsoft Teams integration to Visio. Word now has an improved speech-to-text functionality that supports more languages, while added inking features and Dark Mode make it easier to capture and read notes in OneNote for Android. Meanwhile, organizations can now customize their employees’ productivity experience—from search results pages and All Company Yammer feeds to a private preview of the new Microsoft Fluid Framework.
Read on for all the exciting Microsoft 365 updates this month. And for a deeper dive into the news, be sure to check out the second episode of the Modern Workplace podcast. This month, host Alex Bradley and I go in-depth on teamwork, the new Microsoft Fluid Framework, and more.
Be productive on the go
Work from anywhere with the new Office app—The Office app is a fully redesigned experience to help you be more productive from anywhere. It combines Word, Excel, and PowerPoint into a single app, adds new capabilities to help you create content in uniquely mobile ways, and has integrated Actions that help you accomplish common mobile tasks. The result is a simpler, yet more powerful, Office experience for mobile devices. Read this blog post to learn more about the new Office app, now generally available worldwide on Android and iOS.
Improve collaboration across your favorite apps
New tools in PowerPoint and Visio make it easier for teams to work together.
Collaborate more fluidly in PowerPoint—Starting next month, we’ll roll out an updated comments feature in PowerPoint. Team members can now anchor comments to objects, use @mention notifications, discover and add comments more easily, and more. The new comments experience will be available to all Office 365 users with the latest update.
Coauthor Visio drawings in more ways—Visio for the web now allows collaborators to create, edit, and comment on drawings simultaneously. With live coauthoring and a simple presence indicator, teams can work seamlessly together to brainstorm and develop their ideas. Visio Plan 1 and Plan 2 users can visit visio.office.com to create and share Visio files today.
Team members can also use these capabilities directly in Teams. Now you can share your Visio drawings with colleagues, since files stored in your Team’s file library are accessible to every member—making it easy for colleagues to edit and comment on your work. To get started, click the Files tab above the conversation window in your Teams channel and select New > Visio drawing.
Personalize the way you work
Updates to Word and OneNote let users work the way they want.
Save time and simplify work with improved speech-to-text—It’s now easy to create content with your voice in Word thanks to a new dictation toolbar, suggestions experience, and auto-punctuation support. You can also now work in six new preview languages: Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Japanese. The new Voice Dictation in Word for the web is rolling out to all Office 365 users now.
Capture and take notes with ease—OneNote for Android phone and tablet now supports Dark Mode, enabling you to switch from bright white to a more subtle black and dark gray color scheme for easier reading. Additionally, we refreshed the inking experience to support bright new colors and continue leveraging pen types, highlighters, and erasers. And don’t miss the Lasso tool, which resizes and repositions objects on the page. These updates are rolling out to all OneNote users on Android phones and tablets.
Customize user collaboration experiences
New capabilities help you tailor your productivity tools to fit your enterprise brand and environment.
Create custom search results pages for Microsoft Search—You can now create custom search results pages in SharePoint Online. Use this new feature to control the layout and design of search results to tailor your SharePoint Online experience for your enterprise environment. The new feature will be available to all SharePoint Online subscribers. To get started, choose the site area where you would like to configure a custom results page and select Site Collection Settings > Search Settings.
Choose which “What’s new” features are visible to your users—You can now manage which features are shown or hidden from users in the “What’s New” Office desktop app. This content highlights a list of new features, accompanied by descriptions and guidance to help customers use the features. You can access this management tool using the Microsoft 365 admin center and the Office 365 Client Configuration Service.
Begin creating fluid collaboration experiences today—Microsoft Fluid Framework is a new component-based document model designed to enable new ways to collaborate on content creation. Now anyone with an Office 365 Enterprise subscription can check out the early preview. To get started, simply sign in with your organizational account ID at fluidpreview.com.
Strengthen your enterprise branding in Yammer—New capabilities in the current Yammer experience allow you to customize the All Company feed name, upload a community cover photo, land key messaging, welcome new members, promote organizational initiatives, and reinforce company values. Pair this with custom avatars to bring your branding and culture into your All Company feed. These new capabilities will be available to admins soon.
Manage Yammer eDiscovery from within the Microsoft 365 admin center—Yammer now supports eDiscovery for networks in Native Mode. Now admins will have access to all messages and files posted in their Yammer networks through the same eDiscovery tools they use to manage data throughout the rest of the Office 365 suite. This simplifies eDiscovery tasks and streamlines compliance obligations. To get started, make sure your Yammer network is running in Native Mode and then navigate to the eDiscovery module of the Security and Compliance Center.
Additionally, now all new files uploaded to Yammer communities connected to Office 365 are stored in SharePoint. With this change, your files will adhere to the rich security and compliance features policies that you’ve implemented for SharePoint—including eDiscovery, data loss protection, in-geo residence for files at rest, and others.
Also new this month
Navigating work and life today requires great tools that are constantly evolving and improving. Our goal is to build the productivity experiences that enable you and your organization to succeed. We can’t do it without you, so please reach out with feedback, requests, or questions. We’re here to help.