30 Apr 2018

New to Microsoft 365 in April—tools for the modern workplace

Author: Kirk Koenigsbauer, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365
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This month, we’re kicking off a new approach and moving from our monthly “What’s new in Office 365” blog to “What’s new in Microsoft 365.” We’re also consolidating updates from across Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security on the new Microsoft 365 site.

Here’s a look at what we brought to Microsoft 365 in April.

New capabilities to unlock employee creativity

Ink analysis in Microsoft PowerPoint—We enhanced shape and text recognition in PowerPoint to give users more freedom to create content in a natural way. Now Microsoft 365 subscribers can convert any handwritten words on their slides into text and draw new shapes like hearts and clouds. You can also sketch out an entire slide and then convert all your drawings at the same time, instead of addressing each shape individually, making it easier to convert ideas to professional looking slides in a matter of moments.

A screenshot displays how you can convert hand-drawn words and shapes into text and objects in PowerPoint.

Easily convert hand-drawn words and shapes into text and objects in PowerPoint.

New ink gestures in Microsoft WordNew ink gestures for editing in Word allow you to add handwritten text to a document and interact with existing content using a pen. Now Microsoft 365 subscribers can quickly split paragraphs into multiple lines, insert words into existing sentences, and join separated words, all using natural pen-based gestures. These top requested features make it easier to naturally edit documents and quickly implement changes and suggestions.

A screenshot displays how you can quickly insert words in sentences by drawing a "caret."

Quickly insert words in sentences by drawing a “caret.”

AI enhancements in Word for Mac—We brought popular AI capabilities to Word for Mac to help you work more confidently and produce superior documents. Now Mac users can translate sections of text or entire documents from over 60 languages, including 11 that use neural machine translation to understand sentence context and produce more accurate results. Subscribers can also use Resume Assistant to craft compelling resumes with personalized insights powered by LinkedIn.

Mobile editing available for more subscribers in the next few months—We’re expanding the availability of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote for iOS and Android to Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 F1, and Office 365 E1 subscribers. Once available, all Microsoft 365 subscribers will be able to install full versions of the mobile apps to create, edit, and, share documents on the go.

Office 2019 Preview now availableWe also announced the preview of Office 2019 for commercial customers. This is the first in a wave of preview announcements for the Office 2019 release, starting with apps for Windows, and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Access, Project, and Visio. Over the next few months, Office 2019 for Mac, plus the servers like Exchange 2019, SharePoint 2019, Project Server 2019, and Skype for Business 2019, will also launch previews.

New capabilities for the universal toolkit for teamwork

New features in Outlook for iOS—This month we introduced a range of new capabilities to Outlook. Now you can continue drafting emails in Outlook for iOS that were initially started on other devices. Draft Sync for iOS makes it easy to pick up where you left off simply by navigating to the conversation in your inbox. We’re also working to help employees connect across their company with a new Organization view on iOS that shows a complete picture of the selected user’s position in the company, including their manager, direct reports, and coworkers. Outlook also uses AI to understand work habits and communication patterns and surface other relevant contacts—outside of organization structure—to help you find the right people and resources faster.

A mobile phone displays the Organization feature in Outlook.

Calendar enhancements in Outlook for Windows—We introduced the option for meeting organizers to prevent forwarding calendar invitations to recipients that weren’t on the original invite list—helping to protect user privacy and preserve the original scope of the meeting. As an attendee, you can also view the RSVP status of others, even if you didn’t organize the meeting, to make informed decisions about how to prioritize your time.

Intelligent security for the modern workplace

Advanced security features in Microsoft 365 Business—We also announced the addition of advanced security features in Microsoft 365 Business to further protect small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) from cyberthreats and safeguard sensitive information from unintentional data leaks. Advanced Threat Protection is now included to protect users against phishing and malware, and prevent devices from falling victim to ransomware and viruses. We also introduced capabilities like data loss prevention and information protection to prevent unintentional data leaks and help small business safeguard sensitive information like social security and credit card numbers. We also extended some of these advanced protection capabilities to Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscribers.

An open laptop displays advanced security features in Microsoft 365 Business.

Enhancing enterprise security—At the RSA Conference 2018 in San Francisco, we announced several new technologies and programs that build on our unique intelligence capabilities to make it easier for enterprises to secure their assets from the cloud to the edge. These new features help organizations simulate phishing attacks, automate threat detection and response, quickly assess their security posture, and more. Visit the Microsoft Secure blog to learn more.

Making IT simpler with a modern workplace

Capabilities to simplify IT managementWe announced a range of new capabilities coming to Microsoft 365 to help organizations minimize total cost of ownership while enhancing user experience. These new capabilities include improvements to cloud-based device management, solutions like Kiosk Browser in Windows 10 that enable delivery of services to Firstline Workers and customers, and a single integrated admin experience across Microsoft 365. These updates help reduce the number of components administrators are required to manage, reducing risk, improving user experience, and enhancing IT control.

A tablet displays the Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Center.

Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Center.

Centralized Deployment of Outlook add-insCentralized Deployment for Outlook add-ins is now available in preview to commercial customers. With Centralized Deployment, administrators can quickly and easily deploy add-ins for Word, Excel, PowerPoint—and now Outlook—to individual users, groups, or an organization, right from the Office 365 admin center.

Tools for organizational compliance—We unveiled new resources and tools to help organizations meet compliance obligations like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). New capabilities across the Microsoft Cloud help you effectively demonstrate that your organization has taken appropriate steps to protect the privacy rights of individuals, with tools for data subject requests (DSR) and audit-ready, privileged access management.

Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365We announced the general availability of Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365, a new feature that helps multinational organizations address their global data-residency requirements. Multi-Geo enables a single Office 365 tenant to span across multiple datacenter geographies, giving customers the ability to store their Exchange Online and OneDrive data in a particular region, determined on a per-user basis.

Other updates

  • Today, we announced updates to our Microsoft 365 roadmap that include new features and capabilities for Microsoft Teams, including the rollout of unified presence and a new modern admin portal.
  • Annotate photos using the new inking tool in Office Lens on Android and iOS.
  • Microsoft Forms, a simple app for creating surveys, quizzes, and polls, is now generally available to all Office 365 commercial customers.
  • Word, Excel, and PowerPoint users on Mac can now chat with other people in a document without leaving the app.


Microsoft 365 is a complete, intelligent solution that includes Office 365 apps and services with Enterprise Mobility + Security and Windows 10 Pro. Explore Microsoft 365 products: Office 365 | Windows 10 | Enterprise Mobility + Security. Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office on Windows desktops | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office on Android. Commercial customers on both Monthly Channel and Semi-Annual Channel can also get early access to a fully supported build through Targeted Release (Clients, Services). This site explains more about when you can expect to receive the features announced today.

  • Ink analysis in PowerPoint—Rolling out to Office 365 and Microsoft 365 customers enrolled in Office Insiders over the next month.
  • New ink gestures in Word—Rolling out to Office 365 and Microsoft 365 customers enrolled in Office Insiders over the next month.
  • AI enhancements in Word for Mac—Rolling out to Office 365 and Microsoft 365 customers enrolled in Office Insiders over the next month.
  • Mobile editing for Office 365 Business Essentials, F1 and E1—All the Office mobile apps can be downloaded from iOS App Store or Google Play. All functionality is available now for Outlook for iOS and Android. Editing will be available in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote apps for iOS and Android over the next few months.
  • Office 2019 PreviewView availability
  • New capabilities in Outlook for iOSView availability
  • Calendar enhancements in Outlook for WindowsView availability
  • Advanced security features in Microsoft 365 BusinessView availability
  • Enhancing Enterprise SecurityView availability
  • Capabilities to simplify IT managementView availability
  • Centralized Deployment of Outlook add-insView availability
  • Tools for Organizational ComplianceView availability
  • Multi-Geo CapabilitiesView availability

The post New to Microsoft 365 in April—tools for the modern workplace appeared first on Microsoft 365 Blog.

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30 Apr 2018

New Calendar, Mail, and mobile Outlook features help you get things done

Author: the Outlook team
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You have emails to respond to, things to take care of, and places to be! New Outlook features—across Windows, Mac, web, and mobile—help you manage your time and keep what matters most front and center. Also, new features—coming soon in Outlook for iOS and Android—will connect you to the people, apps, and technology that power your productivity and help protect you and your business.

Here’s a look at what’s new and coming soon:

New in Outlook Calendar

Bill pay reminders—We are adding bill payments to the events we automatically help you track. Just like travel reservations and package delivery information presented in Outlook with a summary card at the top of your email today, we added support for bill payments. Outlook will identify bills you receive in email, show you a summary at the top, and automatically add a calendar event on the due date. You will also receive an email reminder two days before the due date so you can always pay your bills on time. Available for Outlook.com. Learn what other events and providers we support.

A tablet showcases bill pay reminders in Outlook.

Suggested event locations and meeting rooms—Adding a meeting or event location just got easier and faster in Outlook. Even before you start typing, Outlook offers suggestions for your meeting location, including recently used (and available) conference rooms and other common locations such as “my office.” Once you start to type in the location field, Outlook suggests options based on Bing and then autocompletes your meeting location with the necessary information. For public locations, the rich location feature in Outlook adds the full address to your Outlook calendar event. Outlook for iOS will then use your current location, your destination address, and traffic updates to send you a notification to let you know when it is time to leave for your next event, to make sure you get there on time. Available in Outlook for Windows.

We also added this location and context aware approach to further personalize the suggested locations when creating a calendar event on your mobile device. Suggestions are based on machine learning models that take into consideration your location, the list of attendees, the proposed meeting time of day, and other elements of your meeting. If you need a conference room, Outlook shows your organization’s room availability, so you can pick the best option for your meeting with just a tap. Reserving a meeting room from your mobile device will continue to get easier and faster as it learns your preferences. Available in Outlook for iOS.

Meeting RSVP tracking and forwarding—Keeping track of events you’ve organized or plan to attend is key to time management. But managing who is attending can be even more effective for everyone. Outlook now allows you to see the tracked responses and RSVPs for your meetings—even the ones you didn’t organize. With this insight, invited attendees can better manage their time and decide if they should attend based on the plans of others. For example, knowing who’s going can save you some time if you decide the meeting can be addressed by other teammates who are planning to attend.

A tablet showcases meeting RSVP tracking and forwarding in Outlook

Additionally, if you are planning a meeting that requires a tight control of the attendee list, Outlook gives you the option to allow or prevent the forwarding of your calendar invitation. Under Response Options, select New Meeting and then check or uncheck Allow Forwarding. Available in Outlook for Windows and Outlook on the web.

A tablet displays Response Options for a meeting request in Outlook.

A tablet displays a meeting invitation in Outlook.

Outlook has also adjusted the tracking of RSVPs for meetings with large attendee lists or big meetings. If you use a distribution list to reach over 500 recipients, Outlook now tracks the responses for everyone individually. Now you can update the details for big meetings at any time if changes are required, outside the Office 365 email and calendar recipient maximum of 500. Available across Outlook.

Multiple time zones—Outlook reduces the complexity of managing events across times zones. You can now define the start and end times of appointments and meetings across different time zones. Set up a travel event with your departure in one time zone and arrival time in the local time zone of your destination. Plus, on the main calendar grid, you can now show multiple time zones in Outlook. In Windows, you can add up to three time zones under File > Options > Calendar Time Zones. In Mac, add one additional time zone under Outlook > Preferences > Calendar Time Zones. For Outlook on the web, click the Time Zone drop-down arrow in your Calendar meeting invite to add an additional time zone. Now, at a glance, you can simply understand what’s happening and when around the globe with Outlook.

An open laptop showcases Time Zone Options in the Outlook Calendar.

New in Outlook Mail

Show organization directory details—In case you missed it, Outlook now adds the details of your organization directory to your Outlook contact information. We recently announced this new feature under Show Organization, so you can quickly learn who’s who in your company. If your company data is connected to Azure Active Directory, you can see who your contact reports to, their chain of command in your company, and even other colleagues they work with most. Knowing more about who might help you take care of business is right there in Outlook. You can simply tap search in your Outlook mobile app once to quickly identify your key contact, open their contact card, and view their organizational information. Available in Outlook for iOS.

An animated screenshot showcases the organization directory details in Outlook for iOS.

Proxy support—Some organizations have adopted the use of proxies to block direct access to the internet from mobile devices. Now Outlook supports companies that use SOCKS proxies for added protection between their company data and the internet. Available in Outlook for iOS and Android.

Bcc warning—On occasion, you may be blind copied on an email message and you’d like to respond. Just in case you didn’t notice the subtle addressing, Outlook protects you if you reply to that message by alerting you that you were blind copied—you might choose not to reply to everyone on the recipient list but only reply to the sender, with all due respect. Available in Outlook for Windows.

Coming soon to Outlook for iOS and Android

Sync draft folders—We’re adding the ability to draft a message in Outlook on one device and finish it on another. Start a message on your mobile device and finish it when you’re back at your desk—or the other way around! Outlook helps you get things done when the time is right for you. Coming to Outlook for iOS May 2018. Available in Outlook for Windows, Mac, and Android.

Office Lens technology in Outlook for Android—When you need to capture and share details in the form of an image, such as a whiteboard, photo, or document, we’ve added a new photo icon to Outlook integrated with Office Lens technology. Simply start a new message in Outlook and touch the new photo icon to capture a whiteboard, document, or photo and get a trimmed and enhanced image instantly embedded in your email message. Outlook integrates the apps and services you need to be productive, so you can quickly and easily share what you need, when you need it, with fewer taps and apps! Coming to Outlook for Android May 2018.

An animated screeshot showcases Office Lens technology in Outlook for Android.

Quick reply—We’re making it easier to respond quickly and more meaningfully in Outlook. By keeping your message content in view, and a new reply box at the bottom of your screen, Outlook helps you keep the conversation going with a modern, chat-like experience. Coming to Outlook for Android May 2018 and later this summer to Outlook for Mac. Available in Outlook for iOS.

Favorite people—We recently announced the ability to identify groups and email folders in Outlook, and soon we will add the ability to tag your favorite people. Keeping your key contacts front and center in your mobile search experience, as well as on top of your message folders, helps you quickly identify the right people to help you get more done. You will also be able to identify favorite people from Outlook on your mobile device, just as you can today from the web, and these favorite people tags will remain consistent, so you can find them on the web or on the go. Coming to Outlook for iOS and Android June 2018.

Office 365 Groups for OneNote and meeting events in Outlook—Staying on top of what’s going on with your Office 365 Groups is made even easier with the ability to view your group events in Outlook, as well as access the group’s OneNote Notebook. You will be able to track events in the group’s contact card and simply launch OneNote from Outlook to access the notes your group compiled in its OneNote. Coming to Outlook for iOS June 2018.

Block external content—Images embedded in emails may contain content that alerts the sender that you’ve opened their email. Tracking which emails are opened can be important to digital marketers. But if you don’t want this to be tracked, Outlook now helps to protect you and your inbox and block this external content. Coming to Outlook for Android May 2018.

Single Office 365 account in Outlook—Respecting the data security and compliance policies of our largest and highly regulated customers is a key pillar to the Office 365 value. Some companies have a requirement to capture all communications information within their corporate environment. For company managed mobile devices, Outlook will help customers mitigate the risk of users copying information from their company’s Office 365 account to a personal account on a mobile device, or accidentally sending company information from personal accounts. Companies will soon be able to enforce corporate policies on their managed mobile devices to allow a single account in Outlook. Coming to Outlook for iOS and Android June 2018.

Please be sure to watch the Office 365 roadmap for more information about our plans to roll these features out across additional Outlook experiences. And send us your ideas and suggestions on our UserVoice channelwe read all your feedback.

The post New Calendar, Mail, and mobile Outlook features help you get things done appeared first on Microsoft 365 Blog.

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30 Apr 2018

11 devices that light up the Windows 10 April 2018 Update

Author: Elana Pidgeon
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With this update, you get new experiences that help minimize distractions and make the most of every moment by saving you time –  time that you can spend being more creative and doing the things you love. Here are a few of the devices that bring the update to life:

11 Windows 10 devices that light up the April 2018 Update:

  1. Acer Switch 3
  2. Acer Nitro 5 Spin
  3. ASUS ROG G703
  4. ASUS ZenBook 13
  5. Dell Inspiron 15 5000
  6. Dell XPS 13
  7. HP Pavilion x360 convertible
  8. HP Omen X Laptop
  9. Lenovo Yoga 720
  10. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 6th gen
  11. Samsung Notebook 9 Pen 2018


1. Acer Switch 3

Acer Switch 3

The Switch 3 is an innovative 2-in-1 detachable packed with multiple ports and great battery life. Its U-shaped kickstand lets the device sit open as far as 165 degrees and the detachable keyboard allows for seamless transition between laptop and tablet modes. This ultra-portable device weighs just under 3 pounds (tablet and keyboard) and is versatile for your everyday needs. Available from CDW.com starting at $405.99.

2. Acer Nitro 5 Spin

Acer Nitro 5 Spin

Rule the game world with powerful processing power and tech features that put you in control of the action with the Acer Nitro 5 Spin. Game in every direction with its 360-degree hinge and experience true-to-life colors with full HD IPS display that bring your games to life. An embedded fingerprint reader with Windows Hello allows for seamless logins with simply your fingerprint. Available from Acer.com starting at $999.99.

3. ASUS ROG G703


The ASUS ROG G703 is the ultimate laptop for the hardcore gamer, with an ultra-responsive 17.3-inch IPS-level 144Hz display with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology. Powered by Windows 10 Pro and an 8th Gen Intel Coffee Lake processor, this device combines the best of laptop and console gaming with built-in Xbox Wireless technology that enables you to effortlessly connect up to eight wireless Xbox One controllers, eliminating the need for multiple adapters. The ROG G703 also meets the Windows Mixed Reality Ultra spec, which means it’s powerful enough to run even the most demanding Windows Mixed Reality experiences when combined with a compatible headset. Available from Amazon.com starting at $3,499.

4. ASUS ZenBook 13

ASUS ZenBook 13

The ZenBook 13 is a laptop that’s ultralight, ultrathin and ultrapowerful. It’s built to give you the ultimate mobility, featuring a feather-light 985g all-metal chassis and all-day 15-hour battery life. Powered by Windows 10, it arrives with features like Windows Hello and your digital personal assistant Cortana* for more efficient and productive computing. Available from ASUS.com and starting at $999.

5. Dell Inspiron 15 5000

Dell Inspiron 15 5000

The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 laptop is powered by Intel Core processors and delivers an exceptional viewing experience. Enjoy an array of options designed to elevate your entertainment experience, such as a 15.6” FHD anti-glare non-touch display or a Truelife touch display. Choose between various storage options, including a 256GB SSD, and an optional optical drive. With a head-turning metallic finish, you’ll look great wherever you go. Available at Dell.com starting at $549.99.

6. Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13

Powered by Windows 10 and with the latest Intel 8th Generation Quad Core processor, the XPS 13 delivers superior mobile performance with fast booting SSDs up to 1TB in a sleek form factor. Its stunning InfinityEdge display fits this 13-inch laptop in an 11-inch frame. It’s thinner and lighter, starting at just 2.67 pounds, with a higher resolution display that incorporates 2.5 million pixels with 4K Ultra HD. Available at Dell.com starting at $999.99.

7. HP Pavilion x360 convertible

The convertible HP Pavilion x360

Shift between a tablet and laptop seamlessly with the convertible HP Pavilion x360. Designed with a smaller hinge, the super thin Pavilion has a beautiful 13.3’’ diagonal HD touch display, up to 9 hours of battery life and weighs just under 3.7 pounds. Rethink the way you use your laptop with this great Windows 10 device that gives you the power to choose how to use it. Available from the Microsoft Store starting at $599.99.

8. HP Omen X Laptop

HP Omen X Laptop

Gamers are destined for glory with the Omen X Laptop, engineered for overclocking that lets you set your own limits. Superior graphics with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1070, G-Sync display, RGB lighting and a mechanical keyboard are packed into this laptop making it a monster on the battleground. Available from HP.com starting at $1,865.

9. Lenovo Yoga 720

The Lenovo Yoga 720

The Lenovo Yoga 720 brings portability and power – weighing at just 2.9 pounds (1.3kg) and packed with features that keep you productive all-day long. With multiple ports including lightning-fast Thunderbolt 3 ports, fingerprint login with Windows Hello, full HD display and up to 10.5 hours of battery life, you can make the most of your day. Enjoy browsing the web, streaming a movie or using the optional Lenovo Active Pen to sketch a portrait, this device lets you do it all. Available at Lenovo.com starting at $849.99.

10. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 6th gen

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon combines beauty and durability to create a laptop packed with distinctive engineering. USB-C mechanical side docking make office connectivity a breeze and Glance eye tracking lets you navigate around your multi-monitor configuration, if you can tear your eyes away from the Dolby Vision HDR compatible display. Available from Lenovo.com starting at $1,519.

11. Samsung Notebook 9 Pen 2018

Samsung Notebook 9 Pen 2018

The Notebook 9 Pen brings a thoughtfully refined design to the 2-in-1 PC. The 360-degree hinge allows you to convert to a tablet from a laptop with ease by rotating the keyboard behind the screen for convenience. The Notebook 9 Pen provides ultimate convenience with a built-in S Pen that gives you the freedom to doodle, write, sketch, paint and more with Windows Ink. The S Pen is battery free and built into the device, designed for immediate use. Available from Samsung.com starting at $1,399.

Now is a great time to take advantage of everything the April 2018 Update has to offer with a new Windows 10 device! You can also see even more options for a new Windows 10 device that best suits your needs with Windows Help Me Choose, an interactive tool on Windows.com that makes it easy to find the best PC that meets your needs. To check out even more great Windows 10 devices from our partners, and to discover what the April 2018 Update has to offer with free demos and workshops, visit your local Microsoft Store in person or online. You can also visit this blog post to learn more about what’s new in the April 2018 Update. You can even get a free consultation from our expert Service Advisors to determine if your device is eligible for the update, or help set up and customize a new device.

*Cortana available in select markets.

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30 Apr 2018

Start developing on Windows 10 April 2018 Update today

Author: Clint Rutkas
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We’re excited to announce that the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (build 17134.1) and SDK is now available. You may also know this as Windows 10, version 1803.

A few new features and APIs sure to become your favorites

Every major Windows 10 update always includes a wide range of APIs. These will surely be among your favorites.

  1. Windows Machine Learning (WinML): WinML allows you to run ML ONNX models on any Windows 10 device on the April 2018 Update or greater. By just dragging your model into VS, loading the model, then executing it based on inputs, you can add machine learning into your application. If your model isn’t already in the ONNX format, there are converts for most formats.
  2. Timeline, User Activities, and Adaptive Cards: User Activities and Timeline are amazing new ways for users to re-engage with your application and maintain context. To do your graphical representation, use Adaptive Cards, an open source card exchange format. Be sure your application has a URI schema, so you can enable deep linking. User Activities and Adaptive Cards will also become important APIs in Sets, which we’ll discuss more at Microsoft Build 2018.
  3. New UX controls: Tree view, pull to refresh, and content links are just a few of the new controls added. These new controls can add new functionality and richness to your application.
  4. Multi-instance for UWP applications: In the April 2018 update, you can create multi-instance applications. On top of launching new processes, it allows for customization in cases where you want to select whether a new instance of your app is launched or an instance that is already running is activated.

Update your dev environment in two simple steps

  1. Update your system to Windows 10 April 2018 Update.
  2. Get Visual Studio 2017 with the updated tooling and Windows 10 SDK.

How to update your device to Windows 10 April 2018 Update

There are multiple ways you can update, but the easiest way is to go to Windows Update in your settings and click “check for updates.” It’s that simple. You can also use the Update Assistant or the media creation tool also.

Acquire the Windows 10 SDK and Visual Studio 2017

Now that your system is on Windows 10 April 2018 Update, install Visual Studio and the new SDK.

• If you are currently running Visual Studio 15.6:

  1. Download install the SDK from here: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=870807
  2. Install

• When Visual Studio 2017 15.7 is released:

  1. Run the installer or go to https://www.visualstudio.com/downloads/ and download it.
  2. Select “Universal Windows Platform development” under Workloads.
  3. Verify Windows 10 SDK (10.0.17134) is checked
  4. Click “Install.”

More useful tips

Do you want tools for C++ desktop or game development for UWP? Be sure one of these two are selected:

  • C++ Universal Windows Platform tools in the UWP Workload section
    • Desktop development with C++ Workload and the Windows SDK 10 (10.0.17134)
  • If you want the Universal Windows Platform tools:
    • Select the Universal Windows Platform tools workload.

Once your systems are updated and recompiled and your app is tested, submit your app to Dev Center.

Your take on the Update

Tell us what crazy things you’ve been working on with the new Update by tweeting @WindowsDev or @ClintRutkas.

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30 Apr 2018

What’s new in Microsoft Edge in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update

Author: Kyle Pflug
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The next update to Microsoft Edge is now available with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update! This update includes EdgeHTML 17, the next major version of Microsoft Edge’s rendering engine, as well as new features and everyday improvements across the product.

You can get your hands on the April 2018 Update today by checking for updates on your Windows 10 device, or, if you don’t have one, by downloading a free virtual machine from the Microsoft Edge Developer Site. You can also test Microsoft Edge for free in BrowserStack, which offers instant cloud-based manual and automated testing from a Mac or PC. BrowserStack will be updated to include the final release of EdgeHTML 17 in the coming weeks.

In this post, we’ll highlight what’s new in Microsoft Edge for users, and the new capabilities for site developers in EdgeHTML 17.

Better browsing: What’s new in Microsoft Edge

In every release, it’s our goal to make the web sing on Windows by making Microsoft Edge the fastest, easiest, and most productive place for you to enjoy your favorite sites and web apps. Below, you’ll find the biggest new features for Microsoft Edge.

Mute tabs with a click

We hear feedback every day that it’s too hard to find where audio is coming from, especially with lots of tabs open. In the April 2018 Update, the hunt to mute videos is over! When you hear unwanted audio playing in the browser, just press This tab is playing media Speaker icon on the tab to turn the audio on or off.

Illustration showing the “This tab is playing media” speaker icon in the tab bar in Microsoft Edge.

Mute tabs with a single click

Our goal is to put users in control of autoplay content on the Web, so we’re continuing to explore more features to intelligently restrict autoplay audio and video content in future releases.

Automatically fill forms and credit card details

Microsoft Edge can now remember your name, credit card details, and other info when you’re signed in with a Microsoft Account. With your permission, we’ll save your form entries and give you the option to complete forms automatically.

Better reading with annotations, grammar tools, and more

We’ve overhauled the reading and Books experiences in Microsoft Edge, bringing a new, consistent, more powerful experience across all your documents, whether they’re EPUB or PDF books, documents, or web pages in Reading View.

Animation showing an EPUB in Microsoft Edge toggling between Dark and Light themes, with a note pane open on screen.

The new reading experience uses Fluent Design System elements like motion and Acrylic material to provide a fluid, delightful experience that keeps the focus on the page.

In EPUB books and the Reading View for websites, you can now use the new Grammar Tools button to enable new comprehension aids. Grammar Tools can break the words on the page into syllables, as well as highlight different parts of speech such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

You can now also save EPUB books—whether downloaded from the web or purchased from the Microsoft Store—add bookmarks, and manage them all at the Books tab in the Microsoft Edge ”Hub” menu. You’ll also find suggestions there based on your reading habits.

For a distraction-free reading experience, you can now take books, PDFs, and Reading view pages full-screen. To enable full screen reading, just click the double arrow icon on the reading bar or press F11 on your keyboard.

Clutter-free printing

When printing a web page, you can now save paper by only printing the content you need. Select the “Clutter-free printing” option to print webpages without pop-ups and other unnecessary clutter.

Improved support for touchpad gestures

Microsoft Edge now supports custom multi-touch gesture support on devices with a precision touchpad, such as modern Surface laptops. On supported sites like Bing Maps, you can now use pinch-to-zoom and two-finger panning gestures to navigate maps just like you would on a touch screen.

Offline web sites and push notifications

Microsoft Edge now supports new web standards that allow web pages to send push notifications to your Action Center, even when the browser is closed. In addition, certain web pages can now work offline and improve performance, by using locally cached data when the cache is up to date, or when your device has a poor connection. You can learn more about these features in our post Service Workers: Going beyond the page.

New features for Extensions

We’re adding new extensions for Microsoft Edge every day, allowing users to customize their browsing experience with their favorite ad blockers, password managers, and more. To make it easier to find the extensions you’re looking for, Microsoft Edge will now show a dynamic list of suggested extensions under the “Extensions” menu.

Improvements for everyone

That’s just scratching the surface of what’s new in Microsoft Edge – you can learn more about these features at Microsoft Edge Tips, and see a list of everything that’s new over at the Microsoft Edge Changelog.

In every release, we make changes based on your feedback. Once you’ve tried out Microsoft Edge in the April 2018 Update, we want to hear what you think! You can send feedback on these features and suggestions for future improvements by selecting “Send feedback” from the “…” menu in Microsoft Edge.

Better basics: Improved performance and power efficiency

Windows users spend more time in web content than in any other activity on Windows. The Microsoft Edge engine powers not only the browser, but also powers web content throughout Windows—including in Windows apps and throughout the Windows shell itself—so performance and power efficiency is a major area of focus for the Microsoft Edge team in every release.

In the April 2018 update, we’re introducing dozens of optimizations that improve real, day-to-day performance and efficiency in every area of the product.

Making the browser more responsive

Input responsiveness is key to making the browser feel fast even when interacting with heavy websites or running on a busy system. In the April 2018 update, we’ve made improvements to make Microsoft Edge much more responsive on busy systems—such as when lots of other apps or background tasks are running.

Users will notice this most dramatically when something outside the browser such as a game or other high-impact application is busy in the background, which previously could cause input (such as typing) to be delayed, sometimes substantially dramatically.

Thanks to improved thread management in the April 2018 Update, this input will be more aggressively prioritized above background tasks, so Microsoft Edge will be much more responsive even when resources are limited.

We’ve also made improvements to responsiveness on busy pages. When the browser is busy with work that blocks user interactivity, we’ll more aggressively interrupt those tasks to put the user’s input first.

Better efficiency for an internet of GIFs

Regardless of how you pronounce them, GIFs are here to stay! In this update, we’ve dramatically reduced the power efficiency impact of rendering animated GIFs, especially on pages with lots of GIFs. Around 20 percent of pages loaded in Microsoft Edge include at least one GIF, so these improvements add up to even more battery life for Microsoft Edge compared to previous versions and to other browsers.

We’ve also made overall improvements to how we load images—on webpages with lots of images, we’ll now load the page noticeably faster by laying out page content without waiting to download the image in most cases.

Using resources more intelligently

Many web pages use resources continuously even when the user is not interacting or when the window is not in the foreground. When a tab is open for long periods of time, especially when lots of tabs are open, this impact adds up to reduced performance and battery life.

To prioritize the user experience, Microsoft Edge now intelligently suspends background tabs after the user has not interacted with them for a while, caching the content and suspending all CPU activity on that tab. This means improved performance and reduced power usage over time, with a minimal impact to the user experience. Tabs are then rapidly rehydrated when the user clicks on them. Our data from Windows Insiders previewing this feature shows that most suspended tabs are restored in less than half a second.

We’re also making foreground tabs more efficient. If a page is focused, but the user is not interacting with it (for example, scrolling or clicking links), Microsoft Edge will reduce the frame-rate of the tab to conserve power. This doesn’t impact video or 3D content on the page, and the browser will restore the full 60fps frame-rate as soon as the user interacts again.

New developer features for more engaging sites and web apps

The April 2018 Update brings with it EdgeHTML 17, our fifth major version of the Microsoft Edge rendering engine. This release brings powerful new developer capabilities for web sites and web apps, including the foundation for full-featured Progressive Web Apps on Windows.

A foundation for Progressive Web Apps

Starting in EdgeHTML 17, Service Workers and push notifications are enabled by default; you can learn more about these features in the blog post Service Worker: Going beyond the page. This completes the suite of technologies (including Fetch networking and the Push and Cache APIs) that lays the technical foundation for progressive Web Apps (PWAs) on Windows 10.

"PWA" logo

PWAs are simply web apps that are progressively enhanced with native app-like features on supporting platforms and browser engines, such as installation / home screen launch, offline support, and push notifications. On Windows 10 with the Microsoft Edge (EdgeHTML) engine, PWAs enjoy the added advantage of running independently of the browser window as Universal Windows Platform apps.

Beyond PWAs, Service Workers and the Cache API allow developers the ability to intercept network requests and respond from the cache. A website need not even been a full-blow web app to take advantage of the Service Worker cache for fine-tined page load performance and reliability, as well as the ability to provide an offline experience during periods of no internet or poor-quality connection.

Head over to our Progressive Web Apps docs to learn more about Service Workers and details about PWAs on Windows 10.

Expressive, performant typography with Variable Fonts

Full support for Variable Fonts, including CSS font-variation-settings and font-optical-sizing is available in EdgeHTML 17. Variable fonts enable developers to achieve the look of seemingly different typefaces with a single font by adjusting various axes – reducing the need for multiple font files and bettering performance.

Learn more about variable fonts and how to use them on your site at our Test Drive guide: Variable Fonts: An exploration of expressive, performant typography.

More powerful extensions

Microsoft Edge now supports the Notification API which displays notifications from extensions. Extension developers can now create different types of notifications (basic, list, image etc.) which support full user interaction. The notifications are also automatically logged into the Action Center. EdgeHTML 17 now also supports the Tabs.reload() method as part of the standard tabs API class.

Visit the notifications sample on how to use this API in your extension.

Improved accessibility via ARIA 1.1 Roles, States, and Events

EdgeHTML 17 now includes support for roles, states, and properties from the Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.1 specification, including banner, complementary, aria-haspopup, aria-placeholder, and many more. Check out the Accessibility docs for more information about accessibility in Microsoft Edge.

Customizable multi-touch scrolling and gestures with Pointer Events

On devices with a Precision Touch Pad (PTP), Microsoft Edge will now fire Pointer Events with a pointerType of “touch” in response to PTP gestures.

Animation showing a two-finger Touchpad gesture (pinch-to-zoom) mapped by EdgeHTML two a two-finger "touch" Pointer Event (pointerType of "touch")

This allows site developers to provide a customized multi-touch experience on modern Windows devices, including pinch-to-zoom and two-finger panning gestures, while preserving the highly optimized scrolling behaviors that users have come to expect from Precision Touch Pad devices.

CSS transforms on SVG elements

EdgeHTML 17 now supports CSS transforms on SVG elements and presentation attributes. This allows SVG elements to be visually manipulated, including rotating, scaling, moving, skewing, or translating.

More powerful developer tools

The tools have been updated with a number of major features, including basic support for remote debugging (via our new DevTools Protocol), PWA debugging features, IndexedDB cache management, vertical docking and more! We also continued the overall refactoring effort started last release as part of ongoing investments in performance and reliability.

You can learn more about what’s new in the Microsoft Edge DevTools at DevTools in the latest Windows 10 update (EdgeHTML 17).

Plugin-free screen sharing via the Media Capture API

Microsoft Edge now supports Screen Capture in RTC via the Media Capture API. This feature lets web pages capture output of a user’s display device, commonly used to broadcast a desktop for plugin-free virtual meetings or presentations. We’ll be sharing more about the Media Capture API in Microsoft Edge in an upcoming blog post.

Improved Web Security

EdgeHTML 17 introduces support for Subresource Integrity (SRI). Subresource Integrity is a security feature that allows browsers to verify that fetched resources (e.g. images, scripts, fonts, etc.) are delivered without unexpected manipulation.

Also new in EdgeHTML 17, the Upgrade-Insecure-Requests request header allows browsers to request a secure browsing experience. This header tells the server that the browser supports upgrading any insecure requests and the user should be redirected to a secure version of the site if available.

And lots more!

There’s too much EdgeHTML 17 for one blog post—you can see the full list of everything that’s new, including the full list of new APIs exposed in the DOM, over at the Microsoft Edge Dev Guide for EdgeHTML 17.

Get started testing EdgeHTML 17 today

You can get the April 2018 Update in a couple different ways. If you have automatic updates enabled, the update will be delivered to you when it’s ready for your device, starting today. Developers and advanced users who would like to get the update today can visit this blog post to learn how.

You can get started testing EdgeHTML 17 today on any device using free virtual machines from Microsoft Edge Dev. We’ve also partnered with BrowserStack to offer unlimited remote manual and automated testing in Microsoft Edge—BrowserStack will be adding EdgeHTML 17 in the coming weeks.

As with every release, we want to build our web platform in the open. We’ve updated our open platform roadmap at status.microsoftedge.com to reflect EdgeHTML 17, and encourage you to review and provide feedback on the features that matter to you.

You can reach our team directly via @MSEdgeDev on Twitter, or via the Feedback Hub app on Windows. We look forward to hearing what you think!

Kyle Pflug, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Edge
— Libby McCormick, Dev Writer, Microsoft Edge

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30 Apr 2018

What’s new in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update

Author: Mollie Ruiz-Hopper
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With this update, available as a free download today, you get new experiences that help minimize distractions and make the most of every moment by saving you time. Our hope is that you’ll have more time to do what matters most to you whether that’s to create, play, work, or simply do what you love.

You can get the April 2018 Update in a couple different ways. If you already have a Windows 10 PC and have automatic updates enabled, the update will be delivered to you when it’s ready for your machine. That roll-out begins on May 8. If you are an advanced user and would like to get the update today, visit this blog post to learn how.

Here’s what’s new in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update


We’ve all had the experience of digging through email or file folders for the document you know you wrote, but just can’t find. Or looking for photos and videos that you know you’ve seen and love, but can no longer locate. Timeline can help you get back this wasted time, by helping you easily find what matters to you across your devices. Timeline lets you go back in time to past activities you’ve worked on across your devices, so you can jump back into them like you never left. So, if you’re looking for a specific document, image, or video you worked on yesterday or a week ago, Timeline makes it even easier to find what you’re looking for. You can even pick up what you were doing on your iOS or Android device on your Windows 10 PC when you’re ready to get back to it. Here’s some more information on how Timeline works.

  • Go back and forth in time. Easily scroll back in time to find things you were working on earlier today or a few weeks ago.1
  • Find activities easily. Click the new Task bar icon to see all your activities on a specific day grouped by hour, including all the things you did using Microsoft Edge and Office 365 on your tablet and mobile phone.2 If you don’t see what you need, you can easily search Timeline to find it.
  • Remove activities whenever you want. Delete activities from a specific day or hour.

To get started with using Timeline, click the new Task view icon in the taskbar to see all your activities on a specific day, grouped by hour, and easily search for something you’d like to go back to (you can also open Task view by pressing Windows logo key + Tab).

Nearby Sharing

Nearby sharing shown with the Photos app

Nearby Sharing lets you instantly share your videos, photos, documents, and websites with people and devices near you over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Say you’re in a meeting with your boss and need to quickly send them the report or PowerPoint presentation you’re looking at on your screen, Nearby Sharing helps you do this quickly and easily. Here’s what you can do with Nearby Sharing.

  • Share quickly. Send any video, photo, document, or webpage viewed on Microsoft Edge to people nearby by clicking on the share charm in the app or right-clicking to get the share menu. You can share a report with a colleague in your meeting room or a vacation photo with your best friend in the library.3
  • Take the quickest path. Your computer automatically picks the fastest way to share your file or webpage, either over Bluetooth or Wifi.
  • See who’s available. Bluetooth allows you to quickly discover potential devices with which you could share.4

Focus Assist

As Yusuf mentioned last week, most of us spend between 3-6 hours – each day – on screens. Much of this time is spent on social media, where the constant stream of distractions across our myriad of devices makes it hard to focus. With this update, we’re introducing Focus Assist to help you stay in the zone. Focus Assist helps you get more done by easily blocking notifications, sounds, and alerts to create distraction-free work times. This is helpful if you’re giving a presentation or trying to focus on a paper, you can use Focus Assist to block interruptions or distractions. Here’s how it works.

  • Work the way you want. Focus assist gives you the flexibility to choose when to block interruptions. Turn on Focus assist whenever you want to get things done without distractions, like notifications, sounds, and alerts. Or set Focus Assist to turn on automatically at certain times during the day.
  • Stay connected when you need to. You can make sure your most important people breakthrough by creating a priority list of those you always want to reach you, even when you’re working. Or when you need complete concentration, block all notifications.
  • Catch up quickly. Find out what you missed while you were heads down on a project. As soon as you finish working, a summary of notifications and alerts appears on your screen.

You can quickly toggle Focus Assist on or off from a quick action button in the Action Center. Or, to set up your rules with Focus Assist, just go to display settings > Focus Assist to pick which scenarios will automatically turn on this feature.

Microsoft Edge

We’re also helping you focus on the web with updates to Microsoft Edge, from muting tabs to auto-filling cards on web forms. Here’s a look at what’s new in Microsoft Edge with this update.

  • Mute-a-tab. Simply click the audio icon or right-click the tab to mute and unmute the tab that is playing sound.
  • Autofill cards on web forms. Use Microsoft Edge to securely save your address, credit card, and other information on top retail sites so that you have the option of autofill on web payment forms.5
  • Clutter-free printing. Print web pages from Microsoft Edge without pop-ups and other unnecessary clutter. Enable the “Clutter-free printing” option in the print dialog and print only the content you want.6
  • Full-screen reading experience. Take Books, PDFs, and Reading view pages full-screen, for a distraction-free reading experience. To enable full-screen reading, you can click on the double-arrow icon on the reading bar, or in the more menu or hit F11 on your keyboard.
  • More EPUB book options. Save EPUB books you’ve downloaded for free or bought at Microsoft Store, add bookmarks and manage them all at the Books tab on the Microsoft Edge hub. You’ll also find suggestions there, based on your reading habits, for new EPUB books, that you can find in Microsoft Store with one click.
  • Grammar tools. Microsoft Edge has added Grammar tools support in reading mode for web pages and books to help improve reading comprehension to create a more inclusive reading experience.
  • Fluent Design. Microsoft Edge now supports an updated Dark theme and much better contrast with all colors, text, and icons.
  • Microsoft Edge on your phone and tablet. Get Microsoft Edge on your Android phone, tablet, iPhone, or iPad. Just go to the apps store on your device and download Microsoft Edge for free. Then use Microsoft Edge on your phone or tablet to read EPUB books you’ve saved, currently a preview feature. Or start reading a webpage on phone or tablet, send the page to your PC, and pick up reading right where you left off.7

Windows Ink

Tap to ink and ink acceleration are new with this update. Here’s how they work:

Tap to ink. Now you can choose to ink instead of type. Use your digital pen to write directly in text fields for a more natural experience.

  • Tap to ink. Now you can choose to ink instead of type. Use your digital pen to write directly in text fields for a more natural experience. Just tap a space, like a search box, and it expands to give you a comfortable area in which to write. You can even edit what you’ve written with simple, intuitive gestures. Go to Settings > Devices > Pen & Windows Ink > select, “Write directly into text field”, then tap on a new text field to try the experience.8
  • Ink acceleration. Designed to reduce the delay and improve latency of your digital pen by up to 30-50%. With virtually no latency, using a pen is almost like drawing on paper. This is the fastest Windows Ink yet.9

Windows Mixed Reality

Skyloft in Windows Mixed Reality

In this update, we’re pleased to share that Windows Mixed Reality for Steam®VR is coming out of “early access,” and we have further improved our integration with haptic motion controller feedback. It’s also now easier to take photos of your mixed reality experiences (hold the Windows button and tap the trigger). Plus, it’s simpler to personalize and manipulate content inside of Cliff House or Skyloft. What’s Skyloft? A brand new virtual place for you to make your own and expand your mixed reality experience in addition to the Cliff House. Visit this link to learn more about Windows Mixed Reality.10

Windows Hello

Animation of setting up Windows Hello straight from the lockscreen

We’ve made it easier for Microsoft account users to set up Windows Hello on their compatible devices for faster and more secure sign-in. Previously, you had to navigate deep into Settings to find Windows Hello. Now, you can set up Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint or PIN straight from your lock screen by clicking the Windows Hello tile under Sign-in options.

Microsoft Photos

Here’s what’s new in the Microsoft Photos app:

Sleeping dog shown in the Photos app

  • Add 3D to your creation. Using the Photos built-in video editor, you can now add 3D effects right into your photo or video. Need some inspiration? The built-in 3D Library lets you choose a 3D model from one of your favorite artists in the Remix 3D community to add a whole new dimension to your creation.
  • Search and find more quickly. The Photos app automatically groups pictures of people to help you organize your photos and videos and find exactly what you’re looking for more quickly. It even helps you combine multiple photos of the same person by merging them into one contact.

3D in Windows 10

Woman standing outside next to a 3D model of a dinosaur in Mixed Reality Viewer

  • Animations in Mixed Reality Viewer. Record a video with animated 3D objects. Capture a flying saucer hovering over your friend’s shoulder or a dinosaur lurking around the corner. It’s easy. Just click the Remix 3D button to find animated objects you can drop into your video. Or from the bottom right of the app, you can find one click animations to make static 3D objects come to life.

3D animations shown in PowerPoint

  • 3D Animations in PowerPoint. With your Office 365 subscription, you can add 3D animation to static 3D models you’ve added to your PowerPoint. Just click on Animations and choose from an auto-rotating Turntable to Jump & Turn to give movement to your 3D models.
  • Edit your snips directly in Paint 3D. With the new “edit in Paint 3D” button built into the Snipping Tool, you can take your snip to the next level via Paint 3D. Move (or remove) objects with Magic select, augment and annotate with realistic brushes, bring in 3D objects from Remix 3D, and more.


Turn up the heat and the beat. Cortana now lets you manage your smart home and play your favorite music and playlists on Spotify from your PC using just your voice.11 Cortana has expanded home automation skills, making it even easier for you to control your smart home devices while you’re on the go. For example, want to come home to a warm house from a long day at work? Just tap Cortana on your PC and say “Hey Cortana, set the living room thermostat to 72 degrees” to control your ecobee3, ecobee3 lite, ecobee4, Honeywell Lyric, Honeywell Total Connect Comfort, Nest Learning ThermostatNest Thermostat E and more. To set up your connected home with Cortana, open Cortana on Windows 10 or go to the Cortana app on your phone, click the Notebook icon, then click Connected Home. From there, you can connect your favorite smart home accounts and control your devices from anywhere you use Cortana.12

Person sitting at desk with a Windows 10 PC and phone on the desk

With Spotify now available with Cortana on PC, you can use the power of your voice to play your favorite music. For example, if you want to kick back and relax after a long day of work, simply tap on the microphone icon on your Windows 10 taskbar or say “Hey Cortana” then say “Play some chill music on Spotify” and she’s on it. To get started, simply try saying “Hey Cortana, play some chill music on Spotify” and Cortana will guide you through linking your Spotify account to Cortana. Or, open Cortana on Windows 10, click the Notebook icon, then click Music and link your favorite provider, like Spotify, TuneIn or iHeartRadio.

PC Gaming

Game bar in Windows 10 shown with the dark theme Game bar in Windows 10 shown with the light theme

Improved Game bar. We’ve given Game bar a makeover so it’s even easier to find what you’re looking for. Go to your captures, toggle your microphone and camera, choose a theme, and edit the title of your Mixer stream—all from new buttons on Game bar. You can also and choose a theme (dark, light, or your current Windows theme), and quickly check the time using the new clock. And of course, start a Mixer stream from the Game bar without any extra hardware or software.

Stay productive

  • Dictation. Natural computing experiences enable us to speak directly to our devices to accomplish tasks, without typing. One way we’ve done this is with Dictation. It’s now easier than ever to take a note or write a paper, with just your voice using your device’s microphone13. With your cursor in any text field either in Windows 10 or in an app, simply press Win + H and start talking. The improved Dictation feature in Windows 10 will capture your thoughts quickly and accurately so that brilliant idea you just riffed on with your colleagues or the speech you’re practicing for your best friend’s wedding isn’t lost forever.
  • My People
    • Drag and drop. You can now drag and drop contacts to rearrange them in the taskbar.
    • You decide how many contacts to show in the taskbar, up to ten. You can find People settings under Settings > Personalization > Taskbar.
    • Animations for people in overflow. To improve discoverability, you’ll now see an animation across the People icon to let you know when someone is pinned to the overflow list in the flyout.
    • Improving app discoverability. As developers work to integrate My People support into their apps, we’ll now suggest apps that you might be interested in. There’s an option to turn this on or off in the People settings under Settings > Personalization > Taskbar.
  • The Start menu is better than ever. We’ve made it even easier to find your stuff by default pinning documents and pictures and adding flexibility for you to pin your frequent destinations like downloads, music, and videos.
  • HDR Video on more Windows PCs with Windows HD Color. HDR video delivers an immersive, ultra-realistic viewing experience, with a stunning range of possible brightness and color.
    Man wearing a backpack walking outside

    HDR Video

    Man wearing a backpack walking outside

    SDR Video

    Windows HD Color is all about bringing HDR content to your Windows devices. With our latest update, Windows HD Color is now bringing HDR video to more and more users. You can now enjoy HDR video on many new types of laptop or external displays, as long as it is a compatible Windows deviceIf you are enjoying your HDR video on your laptop display, you can also personalize that experience using our new calibration feature.

  • Touch Keyboard improvements
    • The standard touch keyboard layout option comes to 190+ more keyboards. The touch keyboard now supports the standard keyboard layout. If you want to switch between wide, one-handed, and the standard touch keyboard layouts, just tap the button on the top left of the keyboard. This includes adding the standard keyboard layout to the following keyboards and more: English (United Kingdom), Irish, Czech, Danish, Greek, Canadian French, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Latvian, Dutch, and Polish.
    • Shape-writing with wide touch keyboard. Shape-writing is now available when using the wide keyboard.
    • Multilingual text support in Windows. If you type in more than one Latin script languages on Windows, you’re going to like this new feature. With the Touch Keyboard, you do not have to manually switch the language anymore. Simply continue typing in multiple languages and Windows will assist you by showing predictions from multiple languages to make you more productive. You can turn the feature off by going to Settings > Devices > Typing > Multilingual Text Prediction.
    • Text Prediction support for more languages. If you’re using the touch keyboard in any of the following languages, you’ll now see words suggested as you type: Assamese, Bashkir, Belarusian, Greenlandic, Hawaiian, Icelandic, Igbo, Irish, Kyrgyz, Luxembourgish, Maltese, Maori, Mongolian, Nepali, Pashto, Sakha, Tajik, Tatar, Tswana, Turkmen, Urdu, Uyghur, Welsh, Xhosa, Yoruba, and Zulu.
    • Emoji data overhaul for the touch keyboard. We’ve taken a look at the emoji data across all of the languages we support and have updated it so that more of the emoji you love will appear as you’re typing related words with the touch keyboard. We’ve also added support for a number of languages that didn’t previously support emoji candidates. This release includes new and updated emoji data for over 150 languages. Note: To see the emoji predictions as you type in a particular language, as well as typing predictions, you will need to have the optional typing feature applied for that language. It should download on its own as long as you have an internet connection when you add the language to your language list, or once you connect to the internet thereafter. If you’re not seeing predictions and have internet connectivity, try removing the language and then adding it back again.
    • Now you can use Emoji Panel to insert multiple emoji at once. Based on feedback, we’re adjusting the design of the Emoji Panel so that after opening up the panel by pressing hotkey Windows logo key + “.” or “;”, you could browse, search and then select more than one emoji. The panel won’t go away until you click close button or press “Esc” key.
    • Emoji search comes to more languages. You can find an emoji by keyword in more than 150 locales, including English (Great Britain), French (France), German (Germany), Spanish (Spain), and more. This will help you get the emoji you want easily and quickly.
    • You can also use the Emoji Panel in more languages. We’ve added support for more languages and you can now use the emoji over 190 locals – 151 of which have tooltip support when you hover over each emoji. This includes English (Great Britain), French (France), German (Germany), Spanish (Spain), and more.
  • Handwriting improvements
    • Split layout comes to the touch keyboard. As many of you know we redesigned the touch keyboard to be XAML-based for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. We’ve been hard at work addressing feedback and are happy to share that the touch keyboard now supports the split layout – an ergonomic layout designed to be used with both hands, one on each side of your tablet.
    • Personalize the handwriting panel. You can now change the font that your handwriting converts to in the handwriting panel. Go to Settings > Devices > Pen & Windows Ink > “Change the font of the handwriting experience”, select your preferred font from the drop-down, then write in the handwriting panel to see your chosen font.
  • Fluent Design. We’ve redesigned the Action Center, My People, Settings, Start, Taskbar, and the Touch Keyboard to leverage Fluent Design.
  • Save notification drafts in Action Center. Now, if you’re writing a response in a notification (such as one from Skype), and the notification gets dismissed with unsubmitted text, your draft will be saved; open the action center and your text will now be saved with the notification.

Accessibility improvements

The April 2018 Update is for each us, so it also includes enhanced and new accessibility features that let you be more creative, collaborative, and connected in a way that fits your individual needs and style. Many of the accessibility features can now be found in one place with related features organized under Vision, Hearing, and Interaction. Additionally, you can enable text suggestions to get help constructing sentences. As you type on a keyboard, you’ll see three suggested words and can pick one to insert. This is a great feature for English language learners or anyone who’d like a little help with their writing.

Accessibility features shown in Settings

  • Make your device fit your needs. Many of the accessibility features can now be found in one place, with related features organized under Vision, Hearing, Interaction.
  • Get text suggestions as you type. You can enable text suggestions to get help constructing sentences. As you type on a keyboard, you’ll see three suggested words and can pick one to be inserted. This feature is great for English language learners – and anyone who’d like a little help with their writing. Available for EN-US in this release.
  • Click with your eyes. Improvements in the eye control14 experience include easier navigation with the addition of scrolling and direct left and right click capabilities, acceleration to common tasks such as Windows Start and device calibration, and the flexibility to pause eye control. Eye control is still in preview, and we welcome your feedback to help improve the experience.
  • Grammar Tools for EPUB books and Reading View. Make reading websites in Reading View and EPUB books with Microsoft Edge easier with Grammar Tools that break words into syllables and highlight parts of speech, such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
  • Listen to books your way. Use Microsoft Edge to hear an EPUB book read aloud with custom narration and ambient sounds embedded in the book.
  • See greater contrast. Microsoft Edge Dark theme has darker blacks and better contrast across all colors, text, and icons, making it easier for many people with accessibility contrast issues to navigate. It also can prevent eye strain, generally, especially when you’re working at night.


Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) comes to Windows 10 Pro. Microsoft is bringing Windows Defender Application Guard to Windows 10 Professional in the next feature update of Windows 10. Now, like Windows 10 Enterprise users, Windows 10 Pro Users can navigate the Internet in Windows Defender Application Guard knowing their systems are protected from even the most sophisticated browser attacks.

Windows Defender Security Center Improvements

  • Quick access from the context menu. You can now right-click on the Windows Defender Security Center icon in the notification area and get an updated context menu that lets you quickly do a quick scan, update your Windows Defender Antivirus definitions, change the notifications and open Windows Defender Security Center.
  • Account Protection Pillar in Windows Defender Security Center. We’ve made it easier for users to protect their identity when signing into Windows with the new Account protection pillar in Windows Defender Security Center. Account protection encourages local account users to connect a Microsoft Account (MSA), password users to set up Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint or PIN for faster and more secure sign in. Additionally, Dynamic lock leverages the alerting system in Windows Defender Security Center to notify users when Dynamic lock has stopped working because their phone or device Bluetooth is off.
  • Device Security Pillar in Windows Defender Security Center. We’re giving you greater insight into the security features integrated in your Windows device. The Device security page provides you with status reporting and management of security features built into your devices – including toggling features on to provide enhanced protections.
  • More options for how we notify you. You can now further customize what types of notifications you get from Windows Defender Security Center, including disabling or enabling notifications about recent, automatic scans that keep your PC safer or if there are threats or files that have been blocked.

Windows 10 in S Mode

Windows 10 in S mode now comes enabled on both Windows 10 Home and Pro PCs, and commercial customers will be able to deploy Windows 10 Enterprise with S mode enabled. Some additional information about Windows 10 in S Mode:

  • Microsoft-verified. All of your applications are verified by Microsoft for security and performance.
  • Performance that lasts. Start-ups are quick, and S mode is built to keep them that way.
  • Choice and flexibility. Save your files to your favorite cloud, like OneDrive, and access them from any device you choose. Browse Microsoft Store for apps.
  • S mode, on a range of modern devices. Enjoy all the great Windows multi-tasking features, like snapping windows, task view and virtual desktops on a range of S mode enabled devices.

If you want to switch out of S mode, you will be able to do so at no charge, regardless of edition. Once you switch out of S mode, you cannot switch back.

Microsoft Store

  • Reimagined localization and Windows local experience. Now you can find your desired language (Local Experience Pack – or “Language Pack”) right in Microsoft Store or in the Settings menu. The Settings app has improved discoverability and usability of features supported for each language. Having the Local Experience Packs in the Microsoft Store allows us to take advantage of user feedback via Language Community App to release better translations more frequently. This will consistently improve the experience of our international customers with Windows.
  • Font Settings and Fonts. Fonts are an important asset for your visual creativity. We’re introducing new experiences for managing your fonts in Settings, and for acquiring additional fonts from Microsoft Store. Along with the new Settings experience, we are introducing a curated set of fonts as a new content type in Microsoft Store. To find them easily, there is a link from the Fonts page in Settings directly to the Fonts collection in Microsoft Store. We will continue to add new fonts to the collection so keep checking.

New experiences coming to Office on Windows

OneDrive Files Restore integrated with Windows Defender for expanded ransomware protection

OneDrive Files Restore integrated with Windows Defender for expanded ransomware protection

Save your files in OneDrive for an additional layer of protection from ransomware. If a ransomware threat is found on a device, Windows Defender will notify you of the threat, help you remove the ransomware from your device, and give you the option to use OneDrive Files Restore so you can recover your OneDrive files to the state they were in before the attack occurred. The date and time that Windows Defender detected the attack will be pre-selected in Files Restore, making the process simple and easy to use. Files Restore is available for Office 365 Home subscribers, Office 365 Personal subscribers, and OneDrive for Business users. It can be used to restore your OneDrive to a previous point in time within the last 30 days. This integration is beginning to roll out to Windows Insiders today and will be available to all Windows 10 April 2018 Update customers in the coming weeks. Learn more about the protections from online threats available to Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscribers.

Work smarter with AI-powered inking features in Office on Windows

New inking innovations are coming to Office 36515 in the next few months. Here’s what you can expect:

Intelligent editing in Word. Use your digital pen to make editing Office docs easier than ever

  • Intelligent editing in Word. Use your digital pen to make editing Office docs easier than ever: Strikethrough words to make them disappear, make room to insert text, circle text to select, highlight with precision.

Use your digital pen to work on your PowerPoint presentations. You can easily convert handwritten headlines, text and hand-drawn shapes into a presentable format.

  • Power to your point. Use your digital pen to work on your PowerPoint presentations. You can easily convert handwritten headlines, text and hand-drawn shapes into a presentable format.

OneNote Math Assistant shown. Ink math assistant in OneNote for Windows 10 helps you solve handwritten equations

  • OneNote Math Assistant. Ink math assistant in OneNote for Windows 10 helps you solve handwritten equations, provides step-by-step instructions, and even graphs the results to enhance learning and problem-solving.

Windows and Office are getting even better together

Sign in to Office, Sign in to Microsoft. With the April 2018 Update, we’re launching a brand new, industry-leading Single Sign-On experience. Signing into one Microsoft app or service on a device signs you into them all. Using your personal Microsoft account, or the account given to you by your work or school, you will now be able to sign into Office 36516 and use that same account across a full range of Microsoft apps and services. And, just as you’d expect, it works both ways – by signing in to Windows you sign in to Office.

Office single sign on

This experience is available to Office Insiders Fast today and will be available to all Office 365 subscribers by June. To get started you’ll need to have the April 2018 update installed, along with the latest version of Office. While all new accounts added will be able to opt into this by default, it can be extended to accounts you have already added as well. Just head to the Settings app, click “Accounts” followed by “Email & app accounts.” Choose the account you added previously and select “Microsoft apps can sign me in” from the drop-down.

And don’t worry, if you’d rather be selective in which Microsoft apps you sign into we’ve got you covered – simply choose “Apps need to ask me to use this account” from the Settings app and things will work just as they have before.

We hope you enjoy all the great new features included in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, designed to help you make the most of your time. You can learn more about how to get the update in this blog post here. If you want to experience the Windows 10 April 2018 Update first hand, you can do so starting May 8 at your local Microsoft Store in person or online. You can even get a free consultation from our expert Answer Desk technicians to determine if your device is eligible for the update, or help you set up and customize a new device.

What’s new in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update

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1 Timeline shows up to 30 days of past activities.

2 Timeline shows activities done on tablet and mobile phone when users are signed into their Microsoft accounts. Office 365 subscription sold separately.

3 Sharing is only available between Windows 10 PCs. Nearby sharing must be enabled on both devices.

4 Recipients can choose whether to accept the item a user wants to share.

5 Support may vary for certain type of websites and by region and CVV information is never saved.

6 This option will only be visible for certain types of web pages.

7 User must download Microsoft Edge on iOS and Android phones, follow setup prompts, and link the mobile phone to the PC in PC settings.

8 Touch-enabled device required; pen accessory may be sold separately. Tap to ink available in UWP and XAML fields. User must enable in pen settings.

9 Compatible on select devices with Intel 8th Generation chipsets.

10 PC requirements may vary for available apps and content.

11 Cortana available in select markets; experience may vary by region and device. Cortana Skills only available in the US and work with select home automation and music services (paid subscriptions may be required). Some experiences may require Spotify Premium, users must accept Spotify’s Privacy policy and Terms of Use. Spotify available in select markets only. A free Spotify account and Internet access is required to stream music. To stream music ad-free, Spotify Premium is required. Catalog size and service availability varies by market over time.

12 Additional requirements may apply per device.

13 Dictation available in select markets; experience may vary by region and device.

14 Eye control requires a compatible eye tracker (sold separately) and calibration software (included with eye tracker).

 15 Office 365 sold separately. Inking requires touch-enabled device; pen accessory may be sold separately.

16 Office 365 sold separately.

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30 Apr 2018

How to get the Windows 10 April 2018 Update

Author: John Cable
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Last week, Yusuf Mehdi announced the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, our latest feature update for Windows 10. Today, we’re excited to share that the update is available to customers. This post will provide details on the April 2018 Update rollout plan, including information on our new machine-learning approach. We’ll also detail how you can get the update today. As with prior rollouts, our goal is to deliver the April 2018 Update as quickly and as broadly possible, while maintaining the best possible update experience for our customers.

Here’s how to get the Windows 10 April 2018 Update

The April 2018 Update is available today if you go to Windows Update and manually check for updates. We will begin the global rollout out via Windows Update on May 8. As with previous rollouts, we will use real-time quality feedback to smartly update your device when we have data that shows your device is ready and will have a great experience. You don’t have to do anything to get the update; it will roll out automatically to you through Windows Update if you’ve chosen to have updates installed automatically on your device. Once the download is complete and the update is ready to install, we’ll notify you, so you can pick the right time to finish the installation and reboot, so the update does not disrupt you.

Windows Update message box letting customer know updates are pending

The adoption rate of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update was the fastest of any version of Windows 10, making it the most widely used version of Windows 10. During the Fall Creators Update roll out we pilot tested machine learning (ML) to intelligently select devices that our feedback data indicated would have a great update experience. The results from the pilot were promising, and we consistently saw a higher rate of positive update experiences for devices identified using ML. For the April 2018 Update rollout, we will expand our use of ML to identify the devices ready to update, incorporating things like additional compatibility data. This will allow us to deliver updates to devices as fast as possible while providing even better customer experiences. With the April 2018 Update, we have also further shortened the amount of time your device is offline during updates up to 63% compared to the Windows 10 Creators Update. The April 2018 Update will follow the same phased rollout approach of proactively monitoring all available feedback and update experience data and making the appropriate product updates during the rollout.

Want the Windows 10 April 2018 Update now? Start by manually checking for updates

While we encourage you to wait until the update is offered to your device, if you’re an advanced user on an actively serviced version of Windows 10 and would like to install the Windows 10 April 2018 update now, you can do so by manually checking for updates. In the Search tab, type “Settings”. On the Settings page, navigate to Update & security > Windows Update.

Once there, simply click “Check for updates” to begin the download and installation process. You can also watch this video that outlines how to get the April 2018 Update.

Windows Update in Settings

If you’re using a Windows 10 PC at work, you will need to check with your IT administrator for details on your organization’s specific plans to update.

Semi-Annual Channel released

For our commercial customers, the release of the Windows 10, version 1803 on April 30, 2018 marks the start of the Semi-Annual Channel and begins the 18-month servicing timeline. Just as we’re rolling out the April 2018 Update in phases to consumers, we recommend IT administrators do the same within their organizations. Start with targeted deployments to validate that apps, devices, and infrastructure used by your organization work well with the new release. Then continue your deployment to more and more devices based on the results from your initial targeted deployments. Just as we use data to guide our consumer rollout, commercial customers are encouraged to use our Windows Analytics offering to improve and facilitate their own rollout. Devices configured to take advantage of Windows Update for Business (WUfB) will be automatically migrated to this Semi-Annual Channel feature update based on your WUfB configurations, starting today. The update is now available through both Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and WUfB. For an overview of what’s new and what’s changed, please see What’s new for IT pros in Windows 10, version 1803.

The April 2018 Update provides the latest features, security protections, and comes with updated controls for privacy settings

Being on the latest version of Windows 10, the April 2018 Update, provides you with the latest features and provides the latest security protections to help keep you safer. As I’ve noted before, we continue to improve Windows 10 mitigations to protect against unwanted threats and vulnerabilities. To know which version of Windows your device is running, check here.

The April 2018 Update also includes changes to the set-up experience for privacy settings. This new design conveys focused information to help our customers make informed choices about their privacy and offers two new settings for Inking & Typing and Find my device. Not everyone will experience the same set up, however. For example, some will review their settings through a single screen set up and others will review their settings via a multiple screen set up where required by law. Some users may be required to review and choose their privacy settings before they can finish installing the April 2018 Update. All customers can review and update their privacy settings at any time in Start > Settings > Privacy. You can find out more about the new Privacy settings experience in this March blog.

We hope you enjoy the April 2018 Update and encourage you to tell us about your experience by providing comments or suggestions via the Feedback Hub app.

How to get the Windows 10 April 2018 Update

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30 Apr 2018

Safeguard your business with new security features for Microsoft 365 Business

Author: the Microsoft 365 team
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Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are concerned about their ability to protect their business from cyberattacks and keep their data safe—but lack basic protection against the most common threats. Recently, we conducted a survey of SMBs and found that 71 percent feel vulnerable to a cyberattack, jumping to 87 percent for businesses that have already experienced a breach.

Despite these concerns, only 41 percent of SMBs say they have the ability to remotely remove data from a lost or stolen device, and only half said they use email encryption—two capabilities considered essential by larger enterprises. SMBs say they lack the expertise to implement sophisticated IT solutions, which many of them see as unaffordable and too complex. You can explore the survey data further in our interactive infographic below.

Microsoft 365 Business—built for SMBs

To further protect SMBs from cyberthreats and safeguard sensitive information, today we’re announcing the addition of advanced security features in Microsoft 365 Business, which gives businesses with up to 300 employees an affordable, comprehensive solution for empowering employees and safeguarding business data. Microsoft 365 Business includes Office 365 for productivity and collaboration, plus device management and security capabilities to protect company information across the devices people use for work. Now we’re adding new ways to protect against phishing and ransomware and prevent unintentional leaks of business data.

SMB security survey—interactive infographic

Protect your employees from phishing and ransomware

Cyber criminals use phishing and ransomware attacks to get people to download viruses and malware or unwittingly give out sensitive information. These attacks can cause significant issues for a business, ranging from loss of customer trust to financial woes.

To help bolster your defenses against phishing, malware, and viruses, Microsoft 365 Business now includes advanced protection from cyberthreats, including:

  • Sophisticated scanning of attachments and AI-powered analysis to detect and discard dangerous messages.
  • Automatic checks of links in email to assess if they are part of a phishing scheme and prevent users from accessing unsafe websites.
  • Device protection to prevent devices from interacting with ransomware and other malicious web locations.

Prevent unintentional leaks of business data

Most SMBs handle sensitive information, with over half collecting and storing social security numbers, and 29 percent handling bank account details. Preventing unintentional leaks of these types of sensitive information can be a challenge, despite the best efforts and good intentions of employees.

To help you protect your sensitive business data, we’re adding the following capabilities to Microsoft 365 Business:

  • Data loss prevention policies to identify, monitor, and protect sensitive information such as social security and credit card numbers.
  • Information protection in Outlook to let you and your employees manage access to sensitive data in emails. For example, you can set encryption rules to prevent an email from being forwarded, copied, or pasted into other programs.
  • Email archiving and preservation policies to help ensure data is properly retained with continuous data backup and compliance.
  • The ability to enforce BitLocker device encryption on all Windows devices to help protect against data theft or exposure if a protected device is lost or stolen.

Microsoft 365 Business also offers industry-leading privacy protections. You remain the sole owner of your data, with controls over who in your business can access which data.

Comprehensive protection in a single subscription

CEO of Solace IT Solutions, Chris Oakman, works with SMBs to help them get up and running with the right technology. He says it doesn’t have to be complicated and expensive to keep your team productive and your business data secure.

“I work with a lot of small businesses that have historically had to pay for individual security services like spam filtering and anti-phishing,” said Oakman. “For these businesses, Microsoft 365 Business could save them up to $3,000 per year while including these and many other data protection capabilities in a more integrated way.”

With the addition of these new capabilities, Microsoft 365 Business offers your business a complete solution for productivity, security, and device management. Watch this video to learn how iSalon Software, a U.K.based developer of software solutions for hair salons, uses Microsoft 365 Business to be more productive and secure:

Learn more

The threat protection, archiving, and information protection features are available to new Microsoft 365 Business customers and will roll out to existing customers over the next few weeks. Data loss prevention and support for features dependent on the Office desktop applications will roll out in the coming months. Read our support article for Microsoft 365 Business to learn more about how to enable the security enhancements.

Microsoft is committed to helping empower and safeguard SMBs across the globe. To learn more about how Microsoft 365 Business can help your business, take a guided tour. You can also contact your Microsoft Partner, or visit a Microsoft Store to sign up for a Microsoft 365 Business: Safe and Secure or Cybersecurity for Small Business free in-store workshop.

The post Safeguard your business with new security features for Microsoft 365 Business appeared first on Microsoft 365 Blog.

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30 Apr 2018

Making IT simpler with a modern workplace

Author: Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President of Enterprise Mobility + Security
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There is a simple way to explain one of the biggest threats to any organization’s infrastructure. It’s just one word: complexity.

Complexity is the absolute enemy of security and productivity. The simpler you can make your productivity and security solutions, the easier it will be for IT to manage and secure—making the user experience that much more elegant and useful. We’ve learned from building and running over 200 global cloud services that a truly modern and truly secure service is a simple one.

Microsoft 365 is built to help you solve this problem of complexity so that you can simplify. But let me be clear, simpler doesn’t mean less robust or less capable.

From thousands of conversations with customers, we heard clearly how important it is for IT to simplify the way it enables users across PCs, mobile devices, cloud services, and on-premises apps. Microsoft 365 provides that all with an integrated solution that’s simpler, yet also more powerful and intelligent.

Because the way you work and do business is so important to us, our work will never be done—we will constantly innovate, improve, and discover new and better ways to help your organization do more. Today, I am excited to announce some new capabilities and updates coming soon to Microsoft 365, including:

  • A modern desktop.
  • Solutions for Firstline Workers.
  • Streamlined device management with lower costs.
  • Integrated administration experience.
  • Built-in compliance.

Each of these new capabilities will allow you to simplify your modern workplace, which means delighting and empowering your users, while enabling IT to protect and secure the corporate assets.

Time for a modern desktop

What do I mean by a “modern desktop?”

A modern desktop is powered by Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus and is always up to date with insights and security powered by the cloud. After years of refinements, we believe this is the most productive and secure computing experience for businesses. Not only does it provide the richest user experience, it also helps IT better manage devices and data, with lower costs.

Today, we are making two announcements about enhancements we’ve delivered for managing modern desktops:

First, Delivery Optimization enhancements are coming in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (which you can learn more about in Yusuf’s blog today as well).

Delivery Optimization allows for one device to download an update and then use the local network to deliver that update to peers. This significantly reduces bandwidth (by as much as 90 percent) and that results in a much better experience for everyone on the network.

With the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, you will be able to monitor Delivery Optimization Status using Windows Analytics—including how many devices are enabled and the bandwidth savings you’ve achieved.

Image of a tablet showing Delivery Optimization Status using Windows Analytics

Delivery Optimization Status using Windows Analytics.

Second, recently we announced the Readiness Toolkit for Office (RTO), which helps with your Office VBA, Macro, and add-in compatibility. The Application Health Analyzer (AHA) tool, which can assess the dependencies of your internally developed apps and help you ensure they remain compatible with Windows 10 updates, will be available in public preview in the coming months.

ConfigMgr also plays an important part in how so many of you manage the servicing process. In fact, I am excited to share that this week we hit a new milestone of 115 million devices under management by ConfigMgr! The recent 1802 release of ConfigMgr will add the ability for you to execute phased deployment rings. This will further automate the servicing of Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus by updating IT-defined groups one at a time, and automatically initiating the next group once the health of the first deployment is confirmed.

We recognize, however, that organizations are in various stages of transition to the cloud. To support customers who are not fully ready to move to the cloud in the near future, we will release Office 2019 in the second half of 2018. Commercial previews of the Office 2019 applications on Windows 10 are available starting today.

Finally, in February we shared there are just two years before the end of extended support for Windows 7 and Office 2010 (January and October 2020, respectively). There has never been a better time than now to plan and accelerate your transition and upgrade to a modern desktop experience with Microsoft 365.

Solutions for Firstline Workers and kiosks

Whether for customers in your lobby or for your Firstline Workers, Windows kiosk devices often are the first representation of your organization’s brands, products, or services. IT needs a simpler process to configure and manage these devices for both Firstline Workers and customer-facing kiosks.

Today, we are extending the assigned access capabilities for Windows 10, so you can easily deploy and manage kiosk devices with Microsoft Intune for your single or multiple app scenarios. This includes the new Kiosk Browser that will be available from the Microsoft Store. Kiosk Browser is great for delivering a reliable and custom-tailored browsing experience for scenarios such as retail and signage.

Image of a tablet showing Kiosk Browser from the Microsoft Store

Kiosk Browser available from the Microsoft Store.

Over the next year, we will add additional capabilities to help you streamline kiosk deployment and keep them in a pristine state for a reliable Firstline Worker experience. You can learn more about these investments in the Windows IT Pro blog.

Kiosks and Firstline Worker devices are most secure, resilient, and performant when deployed with Windows 10 in S mode. With the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, Windows 10 Enterprise can be configured in S mode, so organizations can deploy both Credential Guard and Application Guard, and benefit from centralized management of the Microsoft Store, Cortana, and more. All of this is available with a Microsoft 365 subscription.

In addition, we are also simplifying our licensing to add the Office mobile apps for iOS and Android to Office 365 E1, F1, and Business Essential licenses. With this change, all users licensed for Microsoft 365 and Office 365, including Firstline Workers, will be able to use the Office mobile apps and be productive on the go. Outlook for iOS and Android is available to users now. Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote mobile apps will be available over the next few months.

Streamline device management at lower costs

Modern management promises to dramatically reduce and simplify the process of managing desktop images, saving valuable time and money.

Windows AutoPilot is a key part of the flexible device management approach needed in a modern workplace. It’s as simple as taking a new device from the box, powering it on, entering your credentials, and sitting back while it is configured and managed from the cloud with minimal user or IT effort. With no management of images!

Starting with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, Windows AutoPilot now includes an enrollment status page. This page enables you to ensure policies, settings, and apps can be provisioned on the device during that out-of-box experience before the user gets to the desktop and begins interacting with the device. Now IT can ensure every device is compliant and secure before it is used.

Image of a tablet showing the Windows AutoPilot enrollment status page

Windows AutoPilot enrollment status page.

Lenovo announced that they are the first Microsoft OEM PC partner to have direct integration with the Windows AutoPilot deployment service. They are ramping up to worldwide availability and working with early pilot customers. Dell is also now shipping PCs with Windows AutoPilot to customers in the U.S. and select countries and can enroll devices on behalf of customers in the factory for provisioning. HP, Toshiba, Panasonic, and Fujitsu remain committed to bringing seamless deployments of Windows 10 to customers through Windows AutoPilot on their respective PCs in the fall.

Windows AutoPilot is an absolute gamechanger. I urge you to spend some time learning more about how it can simplify your deployments, reduce the massive amount of time and money you spend provisioning hardware, and, of course, your users are going to love the simplicity.

An integrated administration experience

Our vision for the cloud services we build is to help simplify your work with a unified and intuitive management experience that spans your users, devices, apps, and services.

Back in March, we took a major step in this direction by announcing the Microsoft 365 admin center as the common management entry point for your entire Microsoft 365 implementation. Today, we are expanding this integrated and intuitive admin experience to Office 365 users.

Image of a tablet showing the Microsoft 365 admin center.

The Microsoft 365 admin center.

Users of both Office 365 and Microsoft 365 will now have access to the same admin center with the same capabilities. For Office 365 users, this means a simpler admin experience that easily integrates with your other Microsoft services—all without giving up any capabilities or control.

If you want to manage Microsoft 365, you can now simply go to admin.microsoft.com. Previously, IT pros who were managing Microsoft 365 had to go to multiple consoles. Not any longer!

Compliance that’s built-in

The complexity and difficulty of managing compliance can be overwhelming, especially for larger organizations. We updated Microsoft 365 to include built-in and continuously updated capabilities that help with regulations that govern archiving, retention, disposition, classification, and discovery of data. These new features will really help reduce the complexity of executing compliance workflows.

The Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Center is the central place that’s integrated with Azure Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, and Teams—and it allows you to import data for retention and content discovery, as well as across cloud services.

Image of a tablet showing the Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Center.

The Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Center.

We’ve recently added several new capabilities to the Security & Compliance Center, including:

  • A new Data Privacy tab that gives you the ability to execute Data Subject Requests as part of the fulfillment requirements for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Privileged Access Management that allows you to prevent standing admin privilege by providing just-in-time access for admin roles and tasks in Microsoft 365.
  • Multi-Geo Capabilities in Microsoft 365 that give you control over where your data resides at a per-user level based on your global data location and compliance needs.
  • New Advanced Data Governance controls for event-based retention and disposition.

In addition to the Security & Compliance Center, each of the apps in Microsoft 365 supports the compliance levels you need. The latest application to join this list is Microsoft Forms, a simple app for creating surveys, quizzes, and polls. Used by more than three million users in education, thanks to customer demand, Forms was brought to commercial preview last year. Now, having received SOC compliance, and after feedback from 50,000+ companies during the preview, Forms is enterprise ready and generally available to all commercial customers. To learn more, visit the Forms Tech Community.

Simplifying your IT

I am really excited about the capabilities we are delivering today. These updates are going to positively impact the way you use Microsoft 365 across desktops, devices, services, and compliance—and you will tangibly see those benefits across the countless things your IT organization manages.

Here are a handful of things you can do right now to begin to simplify your IT management:

  • Plan for Windows 7 and Office 2010 EOL (January and October 2020, respectively) and upgrade to a modern desktop.
  • Enroll in Windows Analytics, activate Upgrade Readiness, onboard your devices, and upgrade to the latest version of Windows.
  • Plan and execute your first Windows AutoPilot deployment.
  • Get familiar with the new Microsoft 365 admin center experience.
  • Start using the Security & Compliance Center and the Compliance Manager to track regulatory compliance and controls.

And don’t forget, Microsoft FastTrack is available to help guide you on your path to IT management simplification with Microsoft 365.

There is a real elegance in simplifying; it means having fewer things to manage, configure, integrate, secure, and (simply put) break down. This means fewer things that can go wrong and there are fewer places where a misconfiguration can create an entry point for an attacker. Now you have both a better user experience and improved IT control.

Simplified IT means better security at a lower cost, and more productivity with less risk.

The post Making IT simpler with a modern workplace appeared first on Microsoft 365 Blog.

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29 Apr 2018

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