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Office coming to Microsoft Store for Education in preview this June

Microsoft announced Windows 10 S today at their Education event, surprising fans with a new take on the Windows 10 operating system. This one’s specifically geared towards organizations like schools that need only minimal functionality on their computers and have to prioritize speed and security. As a part of the Windows 10 S plan, Microsoft also introduced the Office suite to the Microsoft Store for Education.

These are the long awaited Office apps, available from the Store (specifically the Microsoft Store for Education, you’ll apparently need school credentials to get them), and available as a Preview beginning in June, with general availability coming later this year:

This preview of Office contains the Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps you know and trust, now delivered and updated from the Microsoft Store for Education. There are some differences in the apps that are worth calling out. The apps delivered from the Store will use new Store-based install and update technology; the apps will only be available in 32-bit format; and while web add-ins are fully supported, Office COM add-ins aren’t supported on Windows 10 S.

Office 365 is now free for students and teachers with school accreditation, and the perks of Office 365 subscriptions are things that students and teachers can both get a ton of use out of, and offering them as a part of Microsoft’s plan for the future of education is a big deal.

The preview for Office through the Microsoft Store for Education is just in limited preview right now, so there’s a good chance you won’t be seeing it just yet. That said, it’s going to be broadly available this Summer for those educators who want to get their hands on it before the school year begins in the Fall.

Microsoft announces personalized enhancements to PivotTables functions for Excel

Microsoft’s Office Apps have become so utilitarian and appliance-like in the enterprise work sector that the thought of personalizing an Excel document can easily be laughed away as the fever dream of an overworked data analysis.

However, Microsoft’s Office team did just that this week; they came bearing the gift of personalized default layouts in the form of PivotTables.

“As part of this month’s update, a new Excel feature gives you the ability to personalize the default layout for your PivotTables. Enabling users to personalize the PivotTable defaults started as a feature request in our Excel UserVoice forum. Now, when you’re building complex reports or performing one-off analyses, you can quickly get started with your favorite PivotTable layout. This feature is available for Excel 2016 on Windows as part of an Office 365 subscription.”

Users will now have the option to choose between two adjustment layout settings when applying their PivotTable defaults. The first option is the most streamlined for anyone wanting to try out the new PivotTable by simply clicking the newly added Edit Default Layout option in the menus settings. The second option is to import a layout a previously saved PivotTable in a preexisting workbook.

The Office team is adding tips for experimenting with OLAP PivotTables. Users can visit the Office Blog or the support page to find out how to take advantage of the performance improvements this new update brings over previous Excel releases.

Buy Office 365 or Office 2016 and you might win some Microsoft goodies

Buy Office 365 or Office 2016 and you might win some Microsoft goodies

Microsoft is running a new promotion where if you buy Office 365 or Office 2016, you can enter for the chance to win some extra Microsoft goodies. It’s all a part of the company’s “Wow. Win with Office” campaign where new Office customers can win up to $10,000, an Xbox One S, or a Surface Book.

To be eligible, you must purchase Office 365 Home or Personal, or Office 2016 Home & Student, Home & Business, or Professional. You must then email your receipt to, and complete registration on this website. By visiting the website and registering you can claim 30 sweepstakes entries to increase your chances at winning.

The promotion runs through November 6, 2017 at 11:59:59 PM ET. There are a total of five entry periods, and the promotion is offered only to legal residents of the fifty United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada. You can check out the full rules of the promotion by clicking here.

Microsoft Teams bumps the team membership limit from 999 to 2,500

Microsoft Teams is set to become the core communication client in Office 365, and after rolling out Guest Access last month the company is now working hard to integrate all Skype for Business Online capabilities into the new cloud productivity app.

It will likely take some time before Microsoft Teams completely replaces Skype for Business in Office 365, but in the meantime Microsoft continues to listen to customer feedback to slowly iterate on the new product. Earlier this week, Microsoft’s Suphatra Rufo announced that the maximum number of team members in one team has been bumped from 999 to 2,500, a change that will likely be very welcome at big companies using Microsoft Teams (via MSPoweruser).

Guess what  fans? Your team membership limit just went from 999 to 2,500. 

Photo published for Increase user limit beyond 999

Increase user limit beyond 999

Will need the team user limit to increase well beyond 999 users to support a “team” for company-wide communication, for a very large company (15,000+).

On the dedicated Uservoice website, the Program Manager added that this 2,500 members limit includes both guests and regular team members. Moreover, the channels per team limit is still 100 for now, which should be enough for most companies. Are you satisfied by this new team membership limit, or would you like it to be even higher? Let us know below.

Microsoft reveals more about OneDrive On-Demand during SharePoint Summit

Microsoft briefly went over the new features coming to OneDrive during its developer’s conference last week. During the presentation, Microsoft explained that OneDrive files would be transitioning from the traditionally referred to the shorthand of placeholders to a much more nuanced called On-Demand state.

After a brief demo by Windows executive Joe Belfiore which highlighted the feature and “upcoming” development, the company quickly moved on, leaving some in the audience wondering about the details the company had yet to reveal.

Fortunately, Microsoft was ready to talk about On-Demand and OneDrive rather quickly after the developer’s conference. In fact, during its SharePoint Summit, the company went into rather explicit details about SharePoint, Windows 10 and OneDrive.


When it comes to OneDrive and new features, users can expect to share files directly from File Explorer while either on Windows or Finder for the Mac.

“Today, we also announced 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.”


As for SharePoint customers are now going to be able to connect even more services to the project management software as well as leveraging PowerApps to create custom forms and new digital experiences.

“Over the last year, we modernized SharePoint team sites and connected them with Office 365 Groups. Today, we announced additional enhancements—coming later this year—which will further unify collaboration experiences in Office 365, including:
The ability to connect existing SharePoint team sites to Office 365 Groups, so you can augment existing sites with shared conversations, calendar, and Planner.

Support for adding SharePoint pages as tabs in Microsoft Teams so you can add a tab to a news article or your team site’s homepage, for example. This builds upon the existing ability to add tabs for SharePoint document libraries in Teams. More integration between Teams and SharePoint will be shared at Microsoft Ignite.”

Other features coming to SharePoint include an improved search engine to find contacts quicker, the ability generates communication sites due out this summer, streamlined approval processes, and tweaks to the SharePoint admin center.

The laundry list of new and upcoming features is a rather impressive one and customers can find out more about today’s announcements by either visiting the Office Blogs or taking a look at the SharePoint Virtual Summit page.
The latest news on Microsoft’s Office 365 productivity suite, Office and other office products.

Microsoft is adding data centers in Africa, now has more regions than any other cloud provider

Microsoft today announced that they are planning to add data centers in Africa, bringing the total number of Microsoft data centers worldwide to 40, which is more than any other cloud provider. Initial availability will come in 2018, and the new centers will offer enterprise-grade reliability and performance combined with data residency.

According to Microsoft, these new Microsoft Cloud data centers (located in Johannesburg and Capetown, in South Africa) will deliver Azure, Office 365, and Dyanamics 365, along with enterprise-grade reliability and performance combined with data residency. Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Cloud and Enterprise Group explains what this means for the people of Africa.

We see enormous opportunity for the cloud to accelerate innovation, support people across the continent who are working to transform their businesses, explore new entrepreneurship opportunities and help solve some of the world’s hardest problems… Customers across Africa, including local startups and NGOs, will be able to use the cloud services delivered from these new regions to power innovation and opportunity for Africa and the world. For example:

  • M-KOPA Solar has used mobile and cloud technology to develop an affordable pay-as-you-go solar energy solution to provide electricity to more than 500,000 homes.
  • AGIN has leveraged the cloud to enable an app to connect 140,000 smallholder farmers to key services, enabling them to share data and facilitate $1.3 million per month in finance, insurance and other services.

This announcement brings us to 40 cloud regions around the world — more than any other cloud provider — and will help organizations and people from Cairo to Cape Town accelerate their journey to cloud computing.

Microsoft believes that the new investment marks a major milestone in the company’s mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. In fact, Microsoft has beaten rivals Amazon and Google to launching a data center in Africa, marking a significant step forward in the company’s cloud division. The data centers, nonetheless, are also an addition to other Microsoft efforts on the African continent, including using the Microsoft Cloud to bring access to training and education, building job skills for more than 775,000 people in Africa.
The latest news on Microsoft’s Office 365 productivity suite, Office and other office products.