May 06

Microsoft releases Office Online Server

Microsoft has announced the release of Office Online Server (OOS), which allows organisations to provide an on-premises server that delivers browser-based versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. OOS running in an organisation’s datacentre offers the same functionality as Office Online and is the successor to Office Web Apps Server 2013.

OOS is designed to work with SharePoint Server 2016, Exchange Server 2016 and Skype for Business Server 2016. It is also backwards compatible with SharePoint Server 2013, Exchange Server 2013 and Lync Server 2013.

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May 03

View on Microsoft’s April activities

Microsoft has continued to apply its focus on iOS and Android as significant targets for its applications and services. These include Calendar Apps for Outlook on iOS and Android, which connects Wunderlist, Facebook and Evernote; content viewing for Skype for Business on Android and updates to iOS as well as Microsoft Translator capabilities for Android users.

The company also announced the availability of the Linux Data Science Virtual Machine on the Azure marketplace. This is a custom VM image built on the OpenLogic CentOS-based Linux version 7.2 and contains several popular data science tools used by data scientists, developers, educators and researchers.

Office 365 has been enhanced with email safety tips providing an added layer of protection; a new look and feel to the Office 365 welcome page that includes a range of new features for administrators and users. Microsoft has also released updates to Excel 2016’s Power Query technology, which is accessed through the Get & Transform section on the Data ribbon.

Extended support for SQL Server 2005 ended on 12 April and marks the end of security updates or hotfixes. Microsoft released their fourth and final SQL Server 2016 release candidate and announced that SQL Server 2016 will be generally available on 1 June 2016.

Microsoft released a public preview of the Azure Media Face Detector, which contains Face and Emotion Detection services. This Media Processor can be used for people counting, movement tracking and gauging audience participation and reaction via facial expressions.

Microsoft has announced that they will be releasing the Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer. The update includes Windows Hello Biometric Security for Apps and Microsoft Edge, Window Ink enhancements, increased number of Cortana-enabled apps as well as revisions to the Start Menu.

May 03

Microsoft integrates Skype for Business with Intune

Microsoft has announced support for mobile application management (MAM) and conditional access capabilities for Skype for Business mobile apps for online customers. These capabilities are delivered through integration with Intune, Microsoft’s cloud-based mobile device and application management solution. Support includes Skype for Business apps on iOS and Android.

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Apr 01

View on Microsoft’s March activities

Microsoft announced its Dynamics CRM 2016 spring wave that will be available to online customers in Q2 2016. The release focuses on the integration of two recent acquisitions (FieldOne and Adxstudio), which provides capabilities for field service and portal solutions for community engagement.

For Office 365 subscribers, there have been new feature updates to Power Pivot for Excel 2016, which include the ability to save a relationship diagram view as a picture and enhancements to the relationship dialogue experience.

Microsoft announced the availability of SQL Server 2016 Release Candidate 0 and just a few days later, the availability of Release Candidate 1, which included an updated preview portal, custom branding, KPIs and mobile reports as well as paginated reports.

Microsoft plans to release the first version of the Skype Universal Windows Platform Preview app to its Windows Insiders for testing. The version includes a simplified user interface as well as a range of usability features that have been requested.

The first set of extensions for Edge are available to preview via the Windows Insider Program and include the Microsoft Translator, Mouse Gestures and the Reddit Enhancement Suite.

Microsoft has been making a range of announcements at its Build conference for developers. These include the release of HoloLens Development Edition, the introduction of support for Bash with Ubuntu user mode in Windows 10, new Skype for Business App SDK, new Skype Web SDK and a preview of Power BI Embedded.

Support for SQL Server 2005 ends on 12 April 2016. Microsoft plans to end support of the RC4 cipher with April’s cumulative security updates, which will disable the RC4 cipher by default.

Dec 16

Microsoft rebrands Bing Pulse

Microsoft has announced that Microsoft’s Bing Pulse is changing its product name and brand identity to Microsoft Pulse. Microsoft Pulse has also become a multi-platform service, integrating with several products within the Microsoft family, including: Azure Media Services (video), Skype for Business (meetings), OneNote (sharing), Yammer (enterprise communications), and Power BI (analytics). In addition to a new and upgraded producer app, the brand now offers new features to the current services line-up, which include Pulse for Broadcast, Events & Conferences, Market Research and Pulse in the Classroom.

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