Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection helps Georgia State University stay on top of malware – Georgia State University is combatting an increase of malware attacks with the use of Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection. – The guest post written by Ren Flot on the Office 365 blog explains their the email security software protects more than 55,000 students and at least 6,000 staff. – Ren is the chief information security officer and director of cyber security for Georgia State University. In his story, he shares that phishing attacks were similar to fighting fires almost every day. The school turned to support from Microsoft FastTrack to help them set up their defenses. Upon the implementation of the Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, over 2,000 malicious emails were eliminated after only five months. The college also uses the Safe Links feature which seamlessly protects against malicious URLs. – The Advanced Threat Protection has been around for a while and can be easily forgotten in the background of Office 365. It’s nice to see a reminder that Microsoft has and continues to be focused primarily on keeping data safe.

LinkedIn launches ‘Scheduler’ to automate interview scheduling for recruiters and candidates

LinkedIn has a new time-saving feature for recruiters using LinkedIn Talent Solutions to find the world’s best talent. With LinkedIn Scheduler, recruiters can now automate initial interview scheduling by syncing their calendar to LinkedIn Recruiter, and then share their calendar availability with candidates directly in their InMails.

From then, candidates will be able to pick up the time that suits them best for their initial interview, and all the details will be automatically synced back to the recruiter’s calendar. “Not only are you saving a ton of time—you’re also screening candidates sooner (i.e., before the competition), creating a delightful (and mobile-friendly) candidate experience, and freeing yourself up to focus on the best part of your job: really connecting with talent,” the company explained.

LinkedIn Recruiter only works with Office 365 and Google calendars as of today, with “more coming soon.” You can get started with the new feature by checking LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions website.

Conquer time with new features in Microsoft Planner

Teams and individuals depend on Microsoft Planner to get organized quickly, work together effortlessly, and stay on the same page—no matter how large or small the project. Four new features for Planner will give you greater visibility into project schedules, let you group and filter tasks, allow you to receive notifications of upcoming deadlines, and soon you will be able to publish tasks to your Outlook calendar.

Here is an overview of the four new features.

  • Schedule view—Meet deadlines, plan ahead, and understand project status with the ability to view your task schedule. In addition, weekly and monthly task views allow drag-and-drop scheduling. Read the support article for more details.

Screenshot displays the Schedule view in Microsoft Planner. -

  • Group and Filter options—The Group and Filter options in Planner give you deeper insights into your tasks to help you meet key deadlines. For example, filter your tasks by due date to better understand approaching deadlines. Or use the Group feature to view tasks that have not been started, so you can prioritize your work.

Screenshot displays the Filter dropdown in Microsoft Planner. -

  • Due date notifications—Receive an email notification summarizing tasks due in the coming week—and stay on top of your approaching deliverables.

Screenshot displays Due date notifications in Microsoft Planner. -

  • iCalendar format feed (coming soon)—Make better scheduling and time-management decisions by publishing tasks to your calendar. By adding your tasks to your Outlook calendar, you’ll never lose track of current and upcoming tasks—helping you meet your deliverables. - Screenshot displays the iCalendar format feed Publish prompt in Microsoft Planner.

These features have been among the top requests on the Planner UserVoice forum. Schedule view, Group and Filter, and Due date notifications are now available to all Office 365 subscribers. Outlook calendar integration via the iCalendar format feed is rolling out soon. We look forward to your comments and feedback. Feel free to submit feedback through the Planner UserVoice forum. Visit Planner now!

New to Planner?

There’s never been a better time to start using Planner! With these new capabilities, Planner is a complete solution for task and work management. Planner is part of the Office 365 productivity suite and is fully integrated with the other Office 365 applications. And if you’re already using Microsoft Teams, you can host a Planner Plan inside your Teams workspace, so everybody can collaborate in one place. You can also link a Planner Plan to a task in Microsoft Project Online, so your team can track tasks and work details in Planner even when that work is part of a larger Project plan being tracked in Project Online. Visit Planner to learn more.

The Planner team

Craft a compelling resume with Resume Assistant, powered by LinkedIn—now available

Last November, we announced Resume Assistant, a new feature in Microsoft Word to help you craft a compelling resume with personalized insights powered by LinkedIn. Today, this new experience begins rolling out to Office 365 consumer and commercial subscribers on Windows.

Writing a compelling resume can be a difficult process, but we’ve heard from customers already using Resume Assistant that the new experience is helping them:

“I absolutely love it; I’ve never seen anything like this!”

“I have been struggling trying to figure out how to brush up my resume and these tips took some of the burden off my shoulders.”

“It’s very helpful to have suggestions on the wording to use.”

With over 80 percent of resumes updated in Word, Resume Assistant helps job seekers showcase accomplishments, be more easily discovered by recruiters, and find their ideal job. Our goal is to empower job seekers with the tools to land their dream job. To learn more about Resume Assistant, head over to the official LinkedIn blog or visit Office Support for tips, tricks, and information on how to get started.

Resume Assistant is now available to Office 365 subscribers on Windows whose Word 2016 desktop display language is set to English, who are located in and whose Windows region is set to one of the following region locations: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, and United States. The Region location setting can be found in the Control Panel under Clock, Language, and Region. Resume Assistant can be found in the Review tab of Word.

Microsoft launches LinkedIn powered Resume Assistant for Office 365 users

Microsoft today announced the official rollout of a LinkedIn powered Resume Assistant for Office 365 users on Windows. This comes several months after the feature was initially announced, marking a new way to help job seekers showcase their accomplishments.

There is no need to have a LinkedIn account to use this feature and any Office 365 user on Windows can find the Resume Assistant by going to Review and then clicking Resume Assistant in the Office ribbon. From there, the user can type the role they are interested in and check certain examples. The Assistant will even show work experience descriptions for inspiration and even top skills related to the role, as identified by LinkedIn.

According to Microsoft, the feature is available for Office 365 subscribers on Windows whose Word 2016 desktop display language is set to English. Users will also only see the feature if their Windows region is set to Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, and the United States.

Microsoft mentions that nearly 80 percent of resumes are updated in Word, with 70 percent of people saying they have difficulty portraying their work experience effectively. This feature will definitely be a help for many, and you can learn more about it by checking here.

Microsoft Planner gets new Schedule view, Group and Filter options and Due date notifications

Microsoft announced today a big update for Planner, its task management app for Office 365. The Trello competitor is getting three new features today: the first addition is Schedule View, which lets Planner users view their task schedule with weekly and monthly views. Schedule view is accessible from a new button in the top bar of Planner.

With the new Group and Filter options, Planner users can also quickly surface tasks by assigned team members, progress, due date, label and more. This is really handful in case you already have many tasks grouped into buckets.

In addition to letting you filter tasks by due date, Planner can also send you emails to remind you about upcoming deadlines in the week to come, which some users may find quite helpful. Last but not least, Outlook calendar integration via the iCalendar format feed is also rolling out soon, the Office team revealed, and it will let you publish all your Planner tasks to your Outlook calendar. While this isn’t a true integration with Outlook Tasks, it’s still a good start.

You’ll soon be able to publish your Planner tasks to your Outlook calendar.

Microsoft says that these features were among the top requested additions on the Planner UserVoice website, and we invite you to check it to help the team prioritize new features.

Real-time co-authoring and drag and drop support are coming to Microsoft’s Office iOS apps

Following the release of OneDrive 10.1 for iOS yesterday, Microsoft announced a major update for its Office iOS apps. Real-time co-authoring is coming to Word, Excel and Powerpoint on iOS, just a couple of weeks after the feature rolled out to Office 2016 for Mac.

Introducing new features in @Office and @OneDrive for iOS, including real-time co-authoring, drag and drop, and universal link support for shared files. Learn more: 

“Using real-time co-authoring, colleagues, friends, and family can contribute to and edit documents simultaneously in the Word, Excel and PowerPoint iOS apps, the Office team explained. “This allows you to know who else is working with you in a document, see where they’re working, and view changes automatically within seconds.” As on other platforms, real-time co-authoring will require an Office 365 subscription.

For iPad users, the upcoming updates for Word, Excel and Powerpoint will also let you drag and drop content between the three Office apps as well as OneDrive. To do that, you’ll just have to open two apps side by side and drag and drop content from one app to another.

Drag and Drop OD to PPT.gif -

Lastly, Word, Excel and Powerpoint will get new accessibility features on iOS 11, including the new VoiceOver rotor to change how VoiceOver speaks, reads, and sounds. Microsoft says that these new capabilities will roll out to iOS users in the coming days, so make sure to check for updates in the App Store on your iPhone or iPad.

Microsoft updates its Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams roadmap

Back at Ignite 2017, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Teams would soon replace Skype for Business as the main communication hub for Office 365 customers. To help companies understand when Microsoft Teams would integrate all the messaging, calling and meeting capabilities from Skype for Business, the company published a detailed roadmap last Fall.

A lot has already happened since then, with Microsoft Teams gaining the ability to make external phone calls, plan video meetings with up to 80 users and more. As a consequence, the Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams capabilities roadmap was updated last week to reflect all the recent changes.

In Q2 2018, Microsoft is planning to bring the ability to broadcast meetings, interact with Skype consumer accounts and much more right from Microsoft Teams. Support for Surface Hub, exisiting certified SIP phones Skype Room systems are also expected for Q2 2018, though be aware that dates and individual features are still subject to change.

Do you think the transition from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams should be easy for most Office 365 customers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

In an era of ‘fake news’ Microsoft’s Word Researcher tool is the perfect weapon

As Facebook and Google ended 2016 combatting fake news, Microsoft is looking to highlight its Office 365 Word Researcher feature as a tool for the average consumer to utilize to help avoid spreading potentially misleading information.

In mid-2016 Microsoft’s Office 365’s Word application gained two new features to help teachers, students, writers, and journalists produce credible and reliable written documents in Researcher and Editor.

Now, when writing papers or producing written work, users can in-line bring up relevant and perhaps more importantly, accurate information and drop it into documents.

With Researcher, anyone can search for and incorporate reliable sources and content, including properly formatted citations, all within a few clicks and without having to leave the document.

“It’s really bringing the library to the students and enabling them to be good researchers,” says Aron Early, research technology specialist at Sammamish High School in Bellevue, Washington. “Being able to research sites, collect and curate your information all in one program is kind of amazing.”

For anyone donning Office 365, Word’s new Researcher and Editor features have or should be enabled via a software update that’s been rolling out to users for the past few months. To try out the new Researcher feature, head to the Office Ribbon in Word for Office 365 and search under the Review Tab. If Researcher is not there yet, users can also head to the Word apps store to install the add-in as well.

Let us know what your thoughts are on how Microsoft has incorporated the research and collaboration tool.

Microsoft’s earnings continue to rise as growth ceiling begins to shorten on Q2 2018 results – The numbers are in and Microsoft managed to beat market predictions which allowed the company to sit on a nice bump in stock in after-hour trading. For its Q2 2018 results, Microsoft announced revenues were up to the tune of $28.9 which is a net result of a 12% increase for the quarter as well as a 56% year-over-year cloud revenue growth that brought in $5.3 billion for the company.’s investment and company pivot toward cloud computing is paying off for shareholders who are now pocketing a pot of $5 billion in repurchased shares and dividends from the company.

Q2 2018 Revenue Results – As for the nitty-gritty of the specifics ups and downs of product lines and business categories, suffice to say, Microsoft was mainly buoyed by its Productivity and Business Processes division which saw 25% growth year over year and brought in $9 billion in revenue for the company.
The next shining star was Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud business which maintains an impressive 15% growth margin as it brought in $7.8 billion in revenue for the quarter. Lastly, Microsoft’s More Personal Computing division, which is often weighed down by products such as stagnating Windows licensing and the botched Windows Phone experiment, still managed to eek out a 2% growth for the quarter and bring in $12.2 billion in revenue.

Looking between the numbers – Drilling a little bit deeper, we see that Microsoft ‘s highlights for the quarter include:

Productivity and Business Processes

  • Office commercial products and cloud services revenue grew 10% driven by Office 365 commercial revenue growth of 41%
  • Office consumer products and cloud services revenue grew 12% and Office 365 consumer subscribers increased to 29.2 million
  • Dynamics products and cloud services revenue grew 10% driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 67%.
  • LinkedIn contributed revenue of $1.3 billion during the quarter with sessions growth over 20% for the 5th consecutive quarter. However, when Microsoft starts using obscure metrics such as sessions growth, it reminds me of Xbox. I’m just saying.

Intelligent Cloud

  • Server products and cloud services revenue grew 18% which was driven by Azure revenue growth of 98%
  • Enterprise Services revenue grew 5% driven by Premier Support Services

More Personal Computing (all the consumer stuff)

  • Windows OEM revenue growth grew a modest 4% thanks to business licensing Pro versions of Windows at an 11% growth.
  • Windows commercial products and cloud services revenue declined 4% due to the impact of an apparent larger deal the company made last year.
  • Gaming revenue grew 8% thanks to having the Xbox One X on the market for the three months ending in December 2017.
  • Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs grew 15% driven by higher revenue per search and search volume.
  • Surface revenue grew 15% despite the company selling less pieces of hardware in total. picture – As fellow writer and Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley points out, the company continues to show strong growth in its cloud revenue, but the level of growth is less mountain toppling and more hill jaunting as its sequential rate of growth have leveled by to the roughly 7% it was maintaining for the same quarter in 2017.

Despite offering new hardware for the Surface line, the company sold fewer units but at a higher price point which helped it eek out a 1% revenue gain. While not earth ending, it’s not a great sign coming out of the holiday buying season with three refreshed products lines and only marginal gains to show for it. Lastly, we’re still waiting to measure the LinkedIn acquisition as the YoY numbers begin to pair.

We continue to repeat the phrase that Microsoft’s investments in the cloud are paying off, and until either stop happening, we’ll continue to parrot it. Microsoft shows no signs of letting off the throttle for its cloud investments as it chases Amazon and there seems to be huge growth opportunities for businesses investing as much as them.