Everything you need to know about Office 365 September 2018


I am sticking with honesty is the best policy. Everything might be a stretch this month. With Ignite only ending a few hours ago I still haven’t read the bazillion announcements they made. So if I missed one don’t shoot the messenger, instead leave me a comment and I will try to roll it into October’s article. Good news is I have no life and read a lot of them so lots of cool stuff to follow. I hope. Oh, and I still call Ignite TechEd because I am old. Hopefully, the editor caught them all but if not “get off my lawn!”.

Multi-Geos scenarios continue to improve

I don’t know if you have noticed but it seems there are a lot of countries that have some pretty strict rules on what data lives where. That is great for those countries but painful if you have to administer a global company and you want to use Office 365. Microsoft wants you to continue to use Office 365 so they continue to make some of the best investments of any company I know of, allowing you to comply with data residency. This time around the stand out piece for me is additional data residency reporting allowing you to prove you are meeting the requirements. Unfortunately, the Antarctica satellite office for PowerApps911 hasn’t opened yet. So if you want more info you will have to dig in yourself here and get the details from the horse’s mouth.

PowerApps has a major release

Sorry, I love PowerApps so you get PowerApps news. As part of the fleet of Ignite announcement’s PowerApps had a whole slew of new features to release. Ryan details all of them here. Some of the noteworthy for me include: Solution Checker helping you debug and make more accessible apps continues to be enhanced. Performance enhancements behind the scenes to continue to make your apps run better. New pre-built screens for some of the “common” tasks. Built in cascading dropdowns which makes sense since that is one of my most popular videos. And a whole lot more. If you love PowerApps like I do go read the post. If you don’t love PowerApps then just know this is more proof they are the now and the future for forms and apps in Office 365.

Live Events in Microsoft Teams

As Teams continue to take over the echo system I am sure you know one of its goals is to replace Skype for Business. To that end, they announced you can now host your one to many meetings via Teams. I haven’t tried it out yet but I need to. We all know that Skype had some challenges in this space so I have high hopes they learned from those issues and will make this a kick butt platform. For years I have used a 3rd party tool with a monthly subscription instead of Skype. Maybe Teams will crush this so I can save a few bucks a month. Time will tell.

Not News for us, Office 2019 now available

I was all set to tell you with Glee that a new version of Office was available and then I had to stop myself. Why? Because if you are reading this there is a good chance that you don’t actually use Office 2016 on-prem you are using Office 365 Pro Plus. And while they are the same thing in my head in reality they are not. Not a topic I think about often but the same way that SharePoint On-Prem (2019 general availability in October) is a subset of SharePoint Online. Office clients on-prem are a subset of Office 365 Pro Plus. Guessing this isn’t news to you but in case you hadn’t thought of it that way I wanted to share and sneak in the link to the Office 2019 release for Mac and Windows.

Office 365 clients get new security features

Now that we have cleared up what version of Office client you have you should check out this security announcement. In an attempt to continue to slow down all of those evil Macro and script virus that are always triggered by “the other guy” Microsoft has rolled out new features to better protect all of us. This announcement has some cool nerd details on the types of attacks they are seeing and how they are getting in line to protect us from them. Just another reminder than no matter how good you think you are at security Microsoft is doing it and thinking about it at a completely different scale than you are.

A new search experience in Office 365

Before I share the details can I say I think it is funny how we have gone full circle? The internet was once fully accessed by portals and home pages of links. Then the internet was purely search driven. Now we are slowly working back to home pages of links, this time just driven by search. The best of both worlds? Anyway. Fellow Petri Author Juan does a great job on breaking down how Microsoft is rolling out Office 365 search driven experiences in this article. And they are doing so from the Office.com jumping off page they want us all to use. The article will help you get started and make sure you understand all of the features but more importantly, it is just showing the path they are headed to help us. The question is do we want the help?