Windows 10 news recap: Commercial edition of Surface Laptop, iTunes closer to being in the Microsoft Store and more – Welcome back to our Windows 10 news recap, where we go over the top stories of the past week in the world of Microsoft’s flagship operating system. – Apple’s latest update for iTunes on Windows brings it closer to being in the Microsoft Store – A new update to iTunes on desktop adds a new file that makes reference to UWP, giving signs that Apple is closer to releasing its iTunes software on to the Microsoft Store, as promised during BUILD last year, despite delays. offering “Commercial” Surface Laptop with Windows 10 Pro pre-installed – For those in the enterprise space, Microsoft is offering an edition of the Surface Laptop that comes with Windows 10 Pro pre-installed, so that no upgrades are needed after purchase, providing a more seamless purchase and setup experience.

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Microsoft reportedly working on new lightweight version of Windows 10 code-named Polaris

If Windows 10 for desktop, Windows 10 Mobile, and Windows 10 S weren’t enough, Microsoft is now working on another version of Windows 10 that is aimed to be lightweight, the codename being Polaris.

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Office 365 now officially available in the Windows 10 Microsoft Store

Something that Windows 10 S users have been waiting for, Microsoft has now brought Office 365 to the Microsoft Store, allowing dedicated Office apps to be run on its lightweight edition of Windows 10.

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That’s it for this week. We’ll be back next week with more Windows 10 news!

MEDNAX enhances patient-centric healthcare with highly secure cloud services from Microsoft 365

Today’s post was written by Darren Handler, director of IT research and development at MEDNAX Health Solutions Partner.

Profile picture of Darren Handler, director of IT research and development at MEDNAX Health Solutions – As part of a great IT team at MEDNAX, it’s fulfilling to see how our technology innovations—such as our clinical research, outcome reporting, and patient data management solutions—all contribute to better health in the communities that our affiliated medical group practices serve across the United States. At MEDNAX, we see Microsoft 365, which includes Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, as the latest step in a digital transformation that reinforces the symbiosis between smart technology and the innovative, attentive patient care that has always defined our company. – We work as a team to improve patient health, and today we are embracing cloud services to help us work more efficiently toward that goal. As we continue to grow, we are committed to delivering a modern workplace that brings a geographically dispersed workforce closer together and helps us attract new talent to drive innovation in patient care. Microsoft 365 cloud services that offer ubiquitous access and workplace collaboration apps are helping us recruit and maintain top talent, so we can continue to provide the best possible patient care. – Using our wealth of patient data to understand how to improve healthcare across MEDNAX–affiliated entities has set us apart from the beginning. Today, we are gaining greater insight into our data with Microsoft Power BI. In the past, data was trapped in our on-premises databases, available only to those who could use complicated BI tools on our workstations. Now we are unlocking this data and making dashboards and reports available to our employees on their mobile devices. – Simplifying how employees communicate with each other is a powerful way to foster innovation and best practices across the organization. Our physicians wanted to discuss clinical findings and new protocols without being confined to a computer in an office. With Microsoft cloud services, they are better able to share data and ideas with each other. That’s because physicians embraced groups in Outlook as a rich collaboration tool that allows for sharing files, scheduling meetings, and exchanging email all on a highly secure, mobile-friendly platform. Today, they are free to check in on these discussions from anywhere. Fostering this open dialogue among physicians leads to better, patient-centric care. – MEDNAX has always valued technology as a powerful way to stay true to our mission: “Take great care of the patient, every day, and in every way.” Moving to Microsoft 365 is helping us ensure that we continue to deliver on that promise.

Darren Handler

Read the case study for more on the how MEDNAX is using highly secure cloud services from Microsoft 365.

Microsoft unifies Data Loss Prevention management across Office 365 is consolidating Data Loss Prevention management across Office 365. The announcement is part of a way to protect the sensitive data of organizations and enhance the data loss protection solution in Office 365 to meet the needs of organizations regardless of their size and industry. – In a post on the Office Blog, Microsoft points out three specific areas where Data Loss Prevention management has been unified in Office 365: Unified policy creation, unified reporting, and DLP events in the Activity Management API.

Unified policy creation: – Now admins can create a single DLP policy in the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center that covers Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. The unified DLP platform allows organizations to manage multiple workloads from a single management experience, reducing the time required to set up and maintain security and compliance within your organization.

Unified reporting: – Along with unified policy creation, we also now provide a single location to view reports for your DLP policies across Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. This makes it easier to understand the business impact of your DLP polices and uncover actions that violate policies across multiple workloads.

DLP events in the Activity Management API

– Now event details provided via the Activity Management API will contain the same data as the alerts generated in Office 365 to notify IT admins when a DLP event occurs. This data requires separate permissions in Azure AD called, “Read DLP policy events including detected sensitive data,” which an admin can grant

Microsoft also mentions that more Data Loss Prevention measures are coming soon, such as creating custom sensitive types for unified DLP policies and a simplified DLP administrative experience. So, be sure to stay tuned to OnMSFT, as we will be here to cover all your Office 365 news and information.

Windows 10 Telegram app updates with new features and a fresh look – The official Telegram desktop app has updated to version 1.0. This latest version of the chat app brings with it a new design aesthetic, new animations, and custom themes. – Transitions between tasks are now much smoother and the entire app in general looks much more refined than it did before. Something that’s rather nice is the fact that any user can create their own custom themes for Telegram for free. While, the Telegram app is still a traditional desktop app and not designed in the newer Universal Windows Platform app format, it’s still rather solid. – Telegram is a messaging app with a focus on speed and security, it’s super-fast, simple and free. You can use Telegram on all your devices at the same time — your messages sync seamlessly across any number of your phones, tablets or computers. – With Telegram, you can send messages, photos, videos and files of any type (doc, zip, mp3, etc), as well as create groups for up to 5000 people or channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences. You can write to your phone contacts and find people by their usernames. As a result, Telegram is like SMS and email combined — and can take care of all your personal or business messaging needs.

Do you use Telegram to communicate with contacts? Let us know your thoughts on this update in the comments below.

Microsoft Planner gets push notifications support on iOS and Android’s Planner app for iOS and Android has been updated this week with push notifications support. Once you update to the latest version, you can choose to receive notifications when members of your team assign a task to you. – For now, notifications are not really configurable: you can’t choose to only get notifications for select plans, and you can’t opt to receive notifications for all new tasks either. Still, being informed in real time when new tasks have been assigned is a good start, especially since the Planner web app doesn’t support notifications at all.’s new task management tool for teams became generally available last year with Office 365, and it’s slowly becoming a solid Trello competitor. Do you use the Planner mobile apps, and if so what are the other features you would like Microsoft to add?

Microsoft looks to empower students and educators with HoloLens, new Windows 10 devices, Office 365 features – As 2017’s Microsoft EDU event in NYC showed, the Microsoft mission to empower students across the world is very serious. This week at the British Educational Training and Technology Show (BETT,) the company detailed further stepsfor empowering both students and educators. New Windows 10 devices, new Office 365 for Education features, and new Mixed Reality education and HoloLens incentives highlight the announcements. – On the Windows 10 side, Microsoft unveiled new affordable devices starting at just $189, complete with free professional development with purchase of certain Microsoft 365 Education licenses. The first of the devices is the $189 Lenovo 100e, which is powered by the new Intel Celeron Apollo Lake CPU. There is also the $279 Lenovo 300e, an affordable 2-in-1 convertible PC complete with Windows Ink and pen support. – You can see the other devices from HP and other Microsoft OEMs in the list below:

  • Classmate Leap T303 laptop with Windows Hello, starting at $199 USD
  • Trigono V401 2-in-1 with pen and touch, starting at $299 USD
  • HP ProBook x360 11 EE— $299 USD
  • HP Stream 11 Pro G4 EE PC starting at $225 USD – Keep in mind these devices run Windows 10 and Windows 10 S and are meant to entice educators and students away from Chromebooks. They’re rugged, spill proof, and come with long battery life. IT Pros working in schools can also set them up with ease, thanks to Intune for Education, and Microsoft 365 Education

Lenovo 100e – Next up, with Office 365 Education, Microsoft will add new features to further help students and educators use the software. Examples include dications in Office 365, to help students write more easily via voice, and an expanded immersive reader feature for Word for Mac, iPhone, Outlook Desktop, OneNote iPad and OneNote Mac.

See other features coming soon to Office 365 Education below:

  • OneNote Class Notebook will now include assignment and grade integration with the most widely used School Information Systems in the UK.
  • We are delivering on the number one request from teachers for Class Notebooks, enabling them to lock pages as read-only after giving feedback
  • To enable language learners to engage in classroom conversations, our newest updates to Microsoft Teams will also make it easy to translate any conversation or chat into another language.
  • PowerPoint will now allow teachers to record their lessons including slides, interactive ink, video, and narrations and publish to their Stream channel in Teams classrooms.

Dictation in Office 365

Finally, with Mixed Reality, Microsoft will be working with Pearson to roll out a curriculum that works on both HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality immersive VR headsets. The company is expanding mixed reality curriculum offerings thanks to a new partnership with WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project. Microsoft will also make available a limited-time academic pricing offer for HoloLens.

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Other announcements today include new partnerships in STEM learning. Microsoft will be working with LEGO Education and will offer a free online Hacking STEM lesson plan, and also will allow students to build LEGO bricks from the Simple & Powered Machines set or cardboard to create and visualize an initial transportation plan. Definitely some exciting stuff. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Office 365 ProPlus updates – Today’s post was written by Ron Markezich, corporate vice president for the Office commercial marketing team. – Office 365 ProPlus delivers cloud-connected and always up-to-date versions of our most valuable enterprise apps. Today, we’re making three important announcements related to ProPlus: changes to the Office 365 system requirements; improvements to the ProPlus update model, including alignment with Windows 10; and new tools and programs to manage ProPlus application compatibility.

Changes to the Office 365 system requirements – Office 365 ProPlus is the very best way to experience the Office 365 services. For IT, ProPlus delivers the most secure and most complete suite of productivity apps available. And because the apps are cloud-connected and always up-to-date, they’re continually getting better—with new security features, new telemetry and new management capabilities. For end users, ProPlus brings the Office 365 services to life. When a modern app is connected to a modern service, magic happens. People can collaborate in new ways. Apps can simplify mundane tasks. And advanced security services can protect users as they work. – When customers connect to Office 365 with a legacy version of Office, they’re not enjoying all that the service has to offer. The IT benefits—particularly security—are cut short. And the end user experience in the apps is limited to the features shipped at a point in time. To ensure that customers are getting the most out of their Office 365 subscription, we are updating our system requirements.

  • Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support required to connect to Office 365 services.Starting October 13, 2020, Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support will be required to connect to Office 365 services. Office 365 ProPlus will deliver the best experience, but for customers who aren’t ready to move to the cloud by 2020, we will also support connections from Office perpetual in mainstream support.
  • Applies to Office 365 commercial services only. This update does not change our system requirements or support policies for the Office perpetual clients, Office perpetual clients connecting to on-premises servers, or any consumer services.
  • More than three years’ notice. We’re providing more than three years’ notice to give IT time to plan and budget for this change. Until this new requirement goes into effect in 2020, Office 2010, Office 2013 and Office 2016 perpetual clients will still be able to connect to Office 365 services.

Visit our Office 365 Tech Community to learn more and to ask the experts your questions.

Improvements to the Office 365 ProPlus update model, including alignment with Windows 10 – Moving to Office 365 ProPlus requires an initial upgrade and ongoing management of regular updates. Customers quickly see the benefits of the move, but they’ve also asked us to simplify the update process—and to improve the coordination between Office and Windows. To respond to this feedback, we’re pleased to announce that we will align the Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10 update model. This change will make planning and managing updates for both Office and Windows easier for customers using the Secure Productive Enterprise.

Targeting September 2017, we will make the following changes to the Office 365 ProPlus update model:

  • Two updates a year. We will reduce the Office 365 ProPlus update cadence from three to two times a year, with semi-annual feature updates to Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus targeted for March and September.
  • 18 months of support. We will extend the support period for Office 365 ProPlus semi-annual updates from 12 to 18 months (starting from first release) so IT professionals can choose to update once or twice a year.
  • System Center Configuration Manager support. System Center Configuration Manager will support this new aligned update model for Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10, making it easier to deploy and update the two products together.

See the upcoming changes to the Office 365 ProPlus update management article to learn more.

New tools and programs to manage Office 365 ProPlus application compatibility

One of the biggest concerns customers have about the move to a new version of Office is application compatibility. Office add-ins and VBA solutions often play a significant role in key business processes, and application compatibility is an important consideration in both upgrades and updates. To help customers manage ProPlus application compatibility, we’re pleased to announce four new investments.

  • Upgrade assessment tools. Starting today, we’re offering a limited preview of new tools that will catalogue the add-ins and VBA solutions in use in your organization, identify potential issues with the upgrade to Office 365 ProPlus, and recommend steps for remediation.
  • Application compatibility testing. For each new Office 365 ProPlus release, we will perform compatibility testing of the most common third-party add-ins, identify potential issues, and take steps to remediate.
  • Office 365 ProPlus monitoring services. We will provide new services to monitor your ProPlus deployment and provide visibility into the usage and stability of apps and add-ins.
  • Reporting, tracking and resolving issues. We will improve our existing service for reporting, tracking and resolving application compatibility issues—and partner with customers and ISVs to find the best approach to remediation.

You can learn more about the upgrade assessment tools today, and we’ll have more to share on our application compatibility testing program, the new Office 365 ProPlus monitoring services and the new service for reporting, tracking and resolving issues in the coming months.

We are here to help

If you’re connecting to Office 365 with a legacy version of Office, you’re not enjoying all that the service has to offer—and we’re here to help. For more information on Office 365 ProPlus deployment, refer to the Office 365 ProPlus Deployment Guide and the ProPlus Ignite On-Demand sessions. And when you’re ready to make the move to ProPlus, the Microsoft FastTrack customer success service will help you with the details. Visit the FastTrack website to learn more and submit a request for help with planning, assessment and deployment. ProPlus is the very best way to experience the Office 365 services, and we’re committed to helping you upgrade with confidence.

Ron Markezich

SharePoint Virtual Summit showcases growth, innovations and customer success – Today’s post was written by Jeff Teper, corporate vice president for OneDrive, SharePoint and Office. – Today, during the SharePoint Virtual Summit, we unveiled the latest innovations for SharePoint and OneDrive, including powerful integrations across Office 365, Windows and Azure. – These developments build upon the vision we unveiled last year, and have been delivering on since, with innovations to reinvent content collaboration and usher in a new generation of mobile and intelligent intranets. We also showcased Office 365 customers who are using SharePoint to accelerate their digital transformation.

SharePoint continues to gain momentum

With more than 100 million monthly active users, Office 365 provides the most complete, intelligent and secure service for communications and collaboration. SharePoint plays an important role in Office 365, empowering customers to share and manage content, knowledge and apps to create a more connected workplace.

As customers transition to the cloud, we’re seeing tremendous adoption of SharePoint:

  • More than 250,000 organizations and over 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies now have SharePoint as part of Office 365.
  • In the last year, usage of SharePoint has grown 90 percent, content stored has grown 300 percent and more than 10 million new SharePoint sites have been created.
  • More than 60 percent of SharePoint seats are now online, reflecting the value customers see with SharePoint in Office 365.

We unveiled many innovations across SharePoint and OneDrive. Here’s a look at the four headline announcements.

Share files directly from File Explorer on Windows and Finder on Mac

OneDrive lets you share files securely with anyone—inside or outside your organization. Its deep Office integration, which powers rich co-authoring, allows you to collaborate on these shared files with others in real-time. And it lets you access all your Office 365 files, including your individual work files and files shared with you by individuals, teams and the organization—regardless of whether you’re on a PC, Mac, an iOS or Android device or a Windows phone.

Building upon last week’s announcement of OneDrive Files On-Demand—which lets you work with all your files within File Explorer on Windows 10—we announced today that starting this summer you will be able to share Office 365 files directly from File Explorer on PC and Finder on Mac. The sharing experience has been simplified, so you can share a file or folder with specific people or send a link that enables anyone who needs access, inside or outside your organization. In addition, you can now control how long a link provides access, and you can easily view and modify the permissions you have granted. The new sharing experience is the same, whether you share on the web, in Explorer on Windows 10 and Windows 7, or in Finder on Mac.

Share files and folders with colleagues inside and outside your organization directly from File Explorer on Windows 10 and Windows 7.

Share files and folders with colleagues inside and outside your organization directly from Finder on Mac.

Innovations that we’ve released over the last year and announced today are sparking customers to choose OneDrive over other file storage and sharing solutions. Read “File sharing and cloud storage with OneDrive and Office 365” to learn more.

Inform and engage employees with SharePoint communication sites

As the next step toward ushering in the next generation of intranets, today we announced SharePoint communication sites, coming this summer. A communication site is a beautiful, dynamic site that lets you reach a broad audience to keep the organization informed and engaged. Communication sites look great on the web, on a PC or Mac, on mobile browsers and in the SharePoint app.

Easily create beautiful intranet sites to reach a broad audience across your organization.

While your team site lets you share within your group as you’re working, a communication site lets your group share broadly and communicate its message across the organization. News published on a communication site surfaces on SharePoint home in Office 365 and on SharePoint mobile to all users who have access to the site.

Communication sites can be created in seconds. You can configure the default web parts on your site’s pages to tell your story. You can customize page layout with new multi-column sections and drag-and-drop authoring with a range of richly functional web parts, including an image gallery, interactive Bing maps, videos from a Microsoft Stream channel and a new events web part.

Add the Yammer web part to a communication site to solicit feedback and foster conversation. Yammer adds a conversational layer to the intranet, so you can drive employee engagement and share best practices across the organization, right in the context of a communications site. To learn more about Yammer integration with SharePoint and other Yammer announcements made today, read “New in Yammer—building a more engaged and connected organization” and watch Updates to Yammer—integrating conversations into your SharePoint experiences.

Create custom SharePoint forms with PowerApps and automate approvals with Microsoft Flow

SharePoint enables you, your team and your organization to streamline tasks, automate workflows and integrate processes seamlessly into your work—on any device and from anywhere you work. Starting this summer, you will be able to use Microsoft PowerApps to easily create custom forms that surface right in the context of a SharePoint list or library. Users can then create, view and interact with data using your custom form, rather than default SharePoint forms. This is a significant milestone for both SharePoint and PowerApps, as it empowers any user to drive transformation of team and organizational processes.

Create custom forms inside SharePoint lists and libraries with no code using PowerApps.

We also continue to deepen integration of SharePoint and Microsoft Flow. New built-in approval flows let you send any document for approval with a custom message. The recipient can approve the request directly from a rich, actionable email message, so approval and feedback can be given without leaving your inbox.

Approval flows, built in to SharePoint, send a rich, actionable email message.

Find people, expertise and content with powerful, personalized search

Today, we announced a more personalized search that leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence from Microsoft Graph to surface more relevant and valuable results, faster. When you’re searching for knowledge, it may be found in content such as files, sites and news. And it might also be found through your colleagues. Now, your search results will include people whose skills, interests and projects—part of their Office 365 profile—are relevant to your query.

Search results activate people cards, so you can learn at a glance about a person and the content they work on. One more click activates an extended view with richly detailed information from the user’s profile. These enhancements to search are rolling out over the next few months.

Showcasing customer success

These innovations illustrate our commitment to reinventing productivity, so that you, your teams and your organization can achieve more. Today, we showcased customers like DBSAvanadeShire and Fourlis who use SharePoint and OneDrive to achieve more. We’re honored to have them join the growing ranks of customers who are sharing their stories of success, including RackspaceThe Hershey CompanyNASCARQantasT-Mobile and many more.

The headline announcements I’ve shared here are but the tip of the iceberg. At the SharePoint Virtual Summit, we announced dozens of innovations that will help you accelerate your digital transformation in the year ahead. To learn more about the new capabilities across SharePoint and OneDrive, and the transformational outcomes they drive, read “New SharePoint and OneDrive capabilities accelerate your digital transformation.”

—Jeff Teper

U.S. Government Community Cloud customers get advanced Office 365 capabilities loves their security. So much, in fact, that they’ve been approved at the highest security clearance allowing them to create some of the best software available for the U.S. Government. Today, the Office 365 team announced that their software and apps have taken it a step further with some new capabilities and features that make connecting official agencies together more secure and efficient. – First off, the Skype for Business cloud-based voice, video, and meetings is completely changing the way that agencies can communicate. Compared to the more traditional methods such as phones and meetings, the additions of PSTN Conferencing, Cloud PBX, and PSTN Calling can make connecting a bit more impromptu.

  • PSTN Conferencing—Provides the ability to dial in to a meeting from a traditional phone, as well as the option to join a meeting with a single click on your PC or mobile device.
  • Cloud PBX—Enables companies to eliminate separate PBX systems and transition to the cloud with Office 365 as the central location to manage users for communication.
  • PSTN Calling—Gives Office 365 customers the ability to subscribe to Microsoft-managed calling plans and phone numbers. is also boosting the U.S. Government Community Cloud security with a Customer Lockbox that adds new permissions and transparency, Advanced eDiscovery with Equivio machine learning, and Advanced Threat Protection. – Additionally, the Power BI Pro and Microsoft MyAnalytics will help agencies get a better visual of their data through insights. – These top-tier capabilities will be available to U.S. Government Community Cloud in Office 365 soon, if not today.

Microsoft Teams app gets voice calls on iOS – The iOS Microsoft Teams app has updated to Version 1.0.5 and can now support audio calls which can be activated either from within a chat or from a contact card. The update also squashed several undefined bugs and made several improvements which are also not specifically detailed in the release notes. Teams is an app that’s available on iOS, Android, and Windows 10 Mobile devices and can be used for collaborating and coordinating between team members. Here are some of its features:

  • Work with your team’s documents on the go
  • Move seamlessly across different team projects and topics
  • Mention individual team members or your entire team to get attention
  • Chat privately one-on-one or have instant group conversations
  • See real-time chat history on your favorite device and continue conversations started elsewhere
  • Chat with your entire team in dedicated channels
  • Quickly search through your chats and team conversations
  • Find a contact through name or email address search