Microsoft has announced the release of Dynamics CRM 2016. The release features integration with Office 365, an enhanced CRM app for Outlook, improved mobile capabilities for phones and tablets as well as a role driven agent experience using the Interactive Service Hub, native Knowledge Management, customer surveys and field service capabilities exploiting Microsoft’s acquisition of FieldOne.
Microsoft has announced the general availability of the Microsoft Graph (formerly “Office 365 Unified API”), which is a unified API endpoint for accessing data, intelligence and insights across the Microsoft cloud. The initial release includes Users, Files, Messages, Groups, Events, Contacts (personal), Mail, Calendar, Devices and other directory objects and docs.
Microsoft has announced that it has acquired Mobile Data Labs, creator of the MileIQ app and a provider of productivity solutions for mobile users. The Mobile Data Labs team will continue to build and offer mobile productivity solutions and look to take advantage of insights from Office 365 and the Office Graph.
Gartner has positioned Microsoft as a leader in the Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems.
Microsoft has started reminding its customers that extended support for SQL Server 2005 ends in April 2016 and uses the opportunity to promote to the latest version of SQL Server.
Updates to Power BI include custom visualisations, group options and mobile notifications, while the Power BI Desktop October update included 23 new or improved features.
During October, Microsoft has been promoting many of its new and updated offerings as well as continuing to push Office 365, which is now available from local datacentres in India. The recently released Office 2016 has features such as Clutter, which only work for Office 365 users and not for the one-time purchase version. Microsoft plans to release updates with new features that will be dependent on an Office 365 subscription.
There has been a flurry of activity around newly announced devices and Windows 10 hardware. As part of this campaign, Microsoft has opened a flagship store in New York City and announced the availability of the new Microsoft Band, Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 for purchase.
Microsoft’s partners have been announcing their Windows 10-based hardware offerings. These include HP, Dell with new XPS Devices, Acer’s new line of Windows 10-optimised Laptops and All-in-ones, Toshiba’s dynaPad Tablet, LG Electronics as well as Lenovo’s new YOGA 900 devices.
Microsoft and Dell have announced hybrid cloud solution and program offerings. The Cloud Platform System Standard (CPS Standard) being the newest addition to the Microsoft Cloud Platform System (CPS) family.
The Skype division has been active with the release of Skype Translator for Windows desktop app that includes six voice languages (English, French, German, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish) as well as 50 messaging languages. The Skype for Web feature allows chats using a browser interface. Microsoft has also released Skype for Business iOS app and added new video filters with their updated Skype for Android, iPhone and iPad.
Factoids of the month include Microsoft Azure hiring people around the world with open source skills and Windows 10 running on 110 million devices.
Microsoft has announced its October update for Office, which includes Skype voice and video integration with Office Online, an Office Online extension for Chrome, reduction of the foot print for Office on Android and a Visual Basic Editor in Office 2016 for Mac.
Microsoft has announced the availability of Dynamics NAV 2016 as well as the Dynamics NAV managed service for partners. The release includes new capabilities in mobility, business insight and cloud services, as well as deeper interoperability with Azure, Dynamics CRM and Office 365.
Microsoft has announced the release of Exchange Server 2016 for on-premises customers. It integrates with Outlook, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business to enable new collaboration capabilities related to sharing, editing and receiving documents within Outlook. The release includes automated repair, improved recovery performance as well as an expanded Data Loss Prevention (DLP).
Microsoft has announced the availability of Visio 2016. Enhancements include Rights Management (IRM), Tell Me support, additional shapes, improved data import capabilities and an extended range of starter diagrams.
Microsoft has announced that, in early 2016, it will no longer support RC4 cipher in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11. Google and Mozilla have also announced that they are ending support for RC4 in Chrome and Firefox.
This month saw a range of updates to Microsoft’s Cloud Platform product portfolio that included releases and previews covering the GS-Series virtual machines, Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA, Revolution R Enterprise in Azure Marketplace, SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.3, new JDBC 4.2 for SQL Server Driver, Visual Studio 2012 Update 5, Power BI content packs for Adobe Analytics and Azure Mobile Engagement, Azure SQL Database as well as previews of Azure SQL Database Elastic Database Basic and Premium tiers.
Microsoft has announced upcoming previews of its Azure Data Lake offerings, which will include Azure Data Lake Store (a single repository to capture data of any size, type and speed), Azure Data Lake Analytics (a service built on Apache YARN that dynamically scales and introduces U-SQL) as well as Azure HDInsight (a fully managed Apache Hadoop cluster service). Azure Data Lake Tools for Visual Studio will support development projects for Azure Data Lake.
While we are on topics of interest to developers, Microsoft has issued an updated Developer’s Guide to Windows 10 video series with a focus on building Universal Windows apps. The Virtual Academy training courses also allow downloading of source code from GitHub.
Under the auspices of focusing on core Windows 10 Camera and Photo apps, Microsoft has announced the end of support for some of the Lumia apps, which have been removed from the Windows Phone Store.
The apps include Lumia Storyteller, Lumia Beamer, Photobeamer, and Lumia Refocus (which will no longer work due to the termination of the online services) as well as Lumia Panorama and Video Uploader (which will continue to work).
The company continues its strategy of embracing non-Microsoft platforms and has even developed its own Linux distribution for Azure networking, which will be made available as the Azure Cloud Switch (ACS). OneNote now provides support for multitasking, Spotlight search and Apple Pencil on iOS 9 and iPad Pro. There were also demonstrations of a number of enhancements for Office running on the iPad Pro. In addition, Microsoft released HDInsight on Linux.
On the hardware front, Dell is to sell Surface Pro and Surface accessories in the United States and Canada followed by expansion into other worldwide markets. Acer has unveiled PCs and phones designed for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile respectively. Lenovo and Toshiba have also announced their hardware line-up for Windows 10.
For residents in the UK, Microsoft has introduced the display of UK Ordnance Survey Maps to Bing Maps.
Microsoft Office 2016 has been released and focuses on productivity and integration rather new product specific feature additions. The installation has been simplified to the point of creating great frustration (for me), in that you are not even able to specify where it should be installed. So be careful if you have a multiple drive system and your C drive is a small SSD with limited space.
Microsoft has announced the worldwide release of Office 2016 for Windows. Microsoft has also released Office 2016 for Mac as a one-time purchase option, along with several new and enhanced Office 365 services.
The key focus of this release is collaboration, such as real-time co-authoring, rather than a range of new features for each product within the suite. Office 2016 includes Skype for Business, Office 365 Planner, the inclusion of Office 365 Groups in Outlook 2016, integrated publishing to Power BI from Excel 2016 as well as a range of other changes designed to provide better cloud service integration and improved collaboration productivity.