12 Oct 2018

Your favorite email app, Outlook mobile, adds new enterprise information protection and mobile management capabilities

Author: Gaurav Sareen, Corporate Vice President, Communications and Time Management
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Three years ago, we launched Outlook mobile with a mission to deliver the best on-the-go email and calendar app, one that combines delightful customer experiences with enterprise-grade security. To serve an ever more mobile and distributed workforce, today we are announcing new, advanced enterprise capabilities for Outlook mobile with support for Microsoft Information Protection native labeling, as well as improved mobile device management. We’re also helping our customers stay connected and on top of what’s important with new features including Favorite Notifications and Microsoft Teams integration in Outlook. We’re confident that these new capabilities, along with our continued commitment to a first-class user experience, will help make Outlook mobile the preferred choice for your organization.

Designed uniquely for a mobile-first experience, Outlook for iOS and Android introduced new ways to stay connected and organized all in one app while helping you focus on what’s truly important. Over the years, we’ve delivered deeper integration with Office 365 and added an array of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that help anticipate your needs. We also re-architected Outlook mobile on the Microsoft Cloud and added a broad range of enterprise and compliance capabilities, such as FedRAMP, Hybrid Modern Authentication, and support for app protection policies to help you protect and manage your organization’s confidential information.

Today, Outlook mobile is used on more than 100 million devices and includes customers like Adventist Health System and Razer:

“From a support perspective, Microsoft Intune and mobile email with Exchange Online have been tremendous timesavers. Employees had to unenroll and re-enroll devices in a previous email security program, and our infrastructure support team was inundated with support tickets around the need to resync mobile email accounts. But with Intune, employees download the Microsoft Outlook mobile app, we apply the correct policies, and they’re off and running.”
—Tony Qualls, director of Enterprise Technical Services at Adventist Health System

“With Outlook mobile and the Teams’ mobile app you have access to everything else that’s embedded within it, be it PowerPoint, or Excel, or your files in OneDrive, team conversations, or calendar events. So using these apps to do anything you need easily and conveniently from your phone makes things so much more efficient and quick.”
—Tom Moss, senior vice president of the Mobile Division at Razer

We’re delighted to receive continued high ratings for Outlook mobile from customers like you. As we further our vision with today’s announcements, we hope to keep earning your trust in Outlook mobile as the right choice for your business.

Infographic explains why Outlook mobile is the right choice for your business.

New enterprise information protection and deployment capabilities

We know that protecting confidential information is top of mind for our customers, so today we’re announcing new capabilities to help you secure sensitive information while making it easier to manage and deploy Outlook mobile. We’re committed to delivering best-in-class enterprise and security capabilities along with the ease of use and speed you love.

Easily apply sensitivity labels to emails

Customers will soon be able to classify and label Outlook mobile emails to help ensure that sensitive information is handled in compliance with your company policies. We are introducing Microsoft Information Protection native labeling in Outlook for iOS and Android to help enforce a common set of protection policies and actions across Microsoft 365 apps. For example, administrators could specify custom sensitivity labels such as “General” or “Company Confidential” with corresponding actions such as adding a footer to emails or encrypting emails, respectively. As a user, you will then be able to add a “Company Confidential” label to the email so that it can only be opened by recipients who are authorized to decrypt the message. Your administrator could also set up a policy to allow you to change a sensitivity email label if necessary but require a justification to do so for tracking and compliance purposes. Our goal is start rolling out this feature to commercial Outlook mobile customers by the end of the year, initially in preview.

New capabilities to simplify deployment and management of Outlook mobile

To enable organizations to get their employees quickly set up on their secure mobile email and calendar solution, we’re adding new app configuration capabilities for Outlook mobile.

  • Ensure only corporate accounts are added to Outlook mobile for managed devices—We recently rolled out a new experience to help ensure that adding only work accounts is straightforward and to help mitigate the risk of employees using personal accounts on company devices. For example, administrators can specify the corporate email and OneDrive for Business accounts that are allowed in Outlook mobile.

Image of three devices showing an account added in Outlook mobile.

Administrators will be able to specify that only work accounts are added on company enrolled devices.

Additionally, we will be rolling out the capabilities listed below in the coming months to commercial Outlook mobile customers.

  • Scale deployments and enforce consistency—Administrators will soon be able to push specific Outlook mobile app configuration settings such as the on/off state for syncing or saving contacts, biometrics such as Touch ID, block external images, and MailTips, as well mail options such as Focused Inbox settings to their users. Standardizing these settings will simplify and scale the deployment of Outlook mobile while helping ensure that users have a consistent experience.
  • Enable faster account setup—Administrators will soon be able to push Outlook mobile account setup configurations for modern authentication capable accounts. This will ensure that employees use the correct work account setup information to get them up and running with Outlook mobile in no time. When setup is as simple as entering a password, there are fewer calls to your helpdesk and securing your mobile workforce is fast and easy. This feature is already available for Exchange on-premises customers for accounts that use basic authentication.
  • A new app configuration policy interface in Microsoft Intune—A new app configuration policy interface in the Intune console will initially support the ability to push account setup details for Exchange on-premises customers using basic authentication. In the coming months, we plan to continue to enhance the policy settings in this interface to manage the Outlook mobile feature settings, such as the ability to save or sync contacts and other app configuration capabilities.

Designed for all day use—introducing new ways to connect and organize

To help you accomplish more on the go, Outlook mobile will soon get new capabilities through Microsoft Teams and additional Office Lens integration, Favorite Notifications, and improved calendar experiences, so you can easily connect and organize to stay on top of what’s important.

Create and join a Teams meeting in Outlook mobile

As customers continue to embrace Teams for collaboration, we are excited to integrate Teams meetings in Outlook. You will soon be able to add an online Teams Meeting option to your calendar events and join a Teams Meeting right from Outlook. Our goal is to introduce this capability to Outlook mobile early in 2019.

More Office Lens technology coming to Outlook mobile

Ever been to a conference and had to keep track of numerous business cards? In addition to using Office Lens intelligent technology for photos, documents, and whiteboard images in Outlook mobile, you will be able to simply snap a picture of the card, and the contact details will be automatically saved in Outlook. Customers also have the confidence that the images will be used in compliance with their company’s app protection policies and device camera settings will be respected. This feature will start rolling out to Outlook for Android customers in the coming months.

Favorite Notifications help you stay connected with the people who are important to you

There are some people in our lives whose communication should take priority, such as your boss, your significant other, or your kid, and you may want to respond to them in a timely manner. You will soon have the option set your notifications to “Favorites,” so you’re only notified when they send you an email or calendar event. Favorite Notifications are expected to start rolling out to Outlook mobile customers in the coming months.

Calendar sharing and calendar search capabilities

  • Improved calendar sharing—Today, we are making it easier to share schedules with coworkers and manage room reservations and delegated calendars. It’s as easy as adding a new calendar from the menu option in Outlook Calendar. Simply select Add Shared Calendars and search for people, rooms, or mailboxes. You will be able to add or view a coworker’s shared calendar or even a conference room that has a reservation calendar. We are rolling out this new Outlook mobile shared calendar experience to commercial customers now.

Image of a mobile device adding a Shared Calendar in Outlook mobile.

Easily add a shared calendar for your coworkers or even a conference room, right from Outlook mobile.

  • Search in calendar—And if you need to find a specific calendar event, we’re extending search in Outlook mobile beyond contacts, special reservations, deliveries, and files and will soon be adding search to calendar events. The Outlook mobile search experience is designed to help you find what you need even faster. This feature will start rolling out to Outlook mobile customers in the coming months.

We are excited to bring these innovations to market. As we further our vision for Outlook mobile, we’re committed to listening and learning from you to bring you experiences that delight backed by the promise of enterprise capabilities. We hope to keep earning your trust and would love to hear your feedback and suggestions.

The post Your favorite email app, Outlook mobile, adds new enterprise information protection and mobile management capabilities appeared first on Microsoft 365 Blog.

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12 Oct 2018

Lilly envisions a workplace where internal and external collaboration help enable innovation and accelerate time-to-market for new medicines

Author: Guest Author
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Today’s post was written by Mike Meadows, vice president and chief technology officer at Eli Lilly and Company.

We have an expression at Lilly that inspires our workforce every day: the patient is waiting. This mindset informs our culture, encourages us to work faster, and helps us deliver on the promise to make life better for patients everywhere. It’s behind everything we do at Lilly—from chasing a molecule in a lab to developing new ways to engage with patients, and even troubleshooting a server or network issue.

Our challenge continues to be the discovery of new therapies and accelerating their time-to-market. The process is too slow—and while clearly difficult and complex, our ability to get faster is key. We need to forge new partnerships, comply with a complex regulatory environment, keep quality and safety at the forefront, and reduce costs. All of these seemingly conflicting elements put significant pressure on how we fulfill our promise.

Lilly is responding to these challenges with new thinking across our business process cycle. Through discovery research, product development, manufacturing, and customer engagement, we are working on next-generation capabilities to improve our speed and productivity.

Our workplace environment, and how we interact with one another, is certainly not exempt from such transformation, and in part will be supported by Microsoft 365 cloud technologies. We could see that Microsoft has made great strides in its own transformation to better meet customer needs, and that certainly played a role in our interest in Microsoft technologies for our own workplace transformation goals.

Fostering seamless collaboration and creative teamwork globally is key as we need different ideas to come together to generate new capabilities and products. That’s basically the definition of innovation, and innovation is our lifeblood. With facilities around the world in research and development (R&D), manufacturing, and administrative services, our ability to collaborate across diverse cultures, ways of thinking, and languages has a huge impact on accelerating our product innovation workstreams and our promise to patients.

We’ve been using Microsoft Exchange Online and Office apps for years, but the enhanced interoperation between tools like Microsoft Teams and innovative devices such as Surface Hub and HoloLens has the potential to take collaboration to the next level.

In discovery research today, we have two primary working environments: the laboratory, where scientists in lab coats conduct their experiments in isolation from their colleagues; and the traditional office space occupied by administration and leadership. Not much collaboration happens in real time between these environments. If a scientist has a brilliant idea in the lab, to act on it or share it with colleagues requires them to stop what they’re doing, take off their gear, and return to the office to phone or email someone.

We envision dissolving these physical barriers through something we call “in-lab collaboration”—putting communication and collaboration tools inside our labs that empower scientists to share a creative spark with other scientists across the globe, or with the clinical development manager just upstairs. Using Surface Hubs to whiteboard ideas, making Office 365 video calls, and chatting in real-time through Teams foster innovation at scale and can help ensure that great ideas don’t get lost.

In today’s healthcare environment, we’re working more and more with innovators outside the company itself. We’re looking at new scenarios where Lilly might run experiments in a cost-effective arrangement called “lab-as-a-service,” where we can quickly and seamlessly leverage specialty labs in a lease-like manner from partners as needed, thus expediting R&D. Increasingly, as we follow the science to new experimental designs and new therapeutic technologies (CAR T-cell therapy, cancer vaccines, digital therapeutics, etc.), we are less focused on building durable, static labs. Instead, dynamically accessing elastic lab capabilities will empower our evolving R&D strategy. Our new cloud-based collaboration solutions will go a long way toward supporting virtual teamwork with providers outside our walls.

When we collaborate efficiently, it drives productivity by helping us to work faster. One of the most significant benefits of working faster at Lilly will revolve around effectively changing our workplace processes to use Teams day to day throughout the enterprise. We are conducting approximately 300 Teams pilot projects around the world within IT, research, and marketing departments. When communication channels are oriented to particular project workflows, documents are all in one place. We can add creative flows with team members around the world, opening up collaborative possibilities at Lilly. Teams also facilitates coauthoring—a significant benefit given the abundance of documentation this industry requires. Whenever we can spend less time redlining and passing around versions among people, there will be an efficiency gain in running the business.

As a technologist, I’m always seeking these opportunities for positive change in our work habits. Looking back to when we deployed Exchange Online, we migrated over 70,000 mailboxes for our employees and collaborators in less than nine months with a seamless transition—which also provided them with nearly unlimited storage to improve their work lives. I think we can generate more successes like that with Microsoft 365. We expect that Windows 10, with its ongoing updates and new capabilities, will be a case in point. Additionally, the AI capabilities that are built into Office 365, even for something as routine as automating how we schedule meetings, could be a boon to our culture.

And when it comes to regulatory compliance and security, I have believed for years that we have the opportunity to be more compliant and secure in the cloud, rather than less. The capabilities we see in the Microsoft Cloud environment are the latest confirmation of these instincts. Complying with the regulatory requirements in the life science industry is always a given at Lilly, but Microsoft 365 security features help improve how we meet data privacy and quality requirements. “Security and quality by design” is one of our IT strategy principles, and the Microsoft Cloud is clearly aligned.

A few years ago, Lilly went through a significant period of patent expiration that challenged our business like never before. Our CEO at the time inspired us to double down on innovation, and today we have a strong pipeline of new molecules to help deliver on our purpose. Our current CEO is inspiring an increased sense of teamwork, speed, and productivity. Using services within Microsoft 365 is one component of that drive and will help put us in an even better position to continue the innovation required to deliver on our promise to patients everywhere.

—Mike Meadows

The post Lilly envisions a workplace where internal and external collaboration help enable innovation and accelerate time-to-market for new medicines appeared first on Microsoft 365 Blog.

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12 Oct 2018

Office 2019 is now available for Windows and Mac

Author: Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Office and Windows Marketing
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Today, we are announcing the general availability of Office 2019 for Windows and Mac. Office 2019 is the next on-premises version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Project, Visio, Access, and Publisher.

Office 365 ProPlus, the cloud-connected version of Office, delivers the most productive and most secure Office experience—with the lowest total cost of ownership for deployment and management. However, for customers who aren’t ready for the cloud, Office 2019 provides new features and updates to the on-premises apps for both users and IT professionals. Like Windows Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) releases, Office 2019 provides a set of valuable enhancements for customers who can’t be cloud-connected or receive regular updates.

The new enhancements in Office 2019 are a subset of a long list of features that have been added to Office 365 ProPlus over the last three years. Office 2019 is a one-time release and won’t receive future feature updates. However, we’ll continue to add new features to Office 365 ProPlus monthly, including innovations in collaboration, artificial intelligence (AI), security, and more.

An image shows a device using PowerPoint in Office 2019.

Office 2019 delivers features across apps to help users create amazing content in less time. In PowerPoint 2019, you can create cinematic presentations with new features like Morph and Zoom. And improved inking features across the apps in Windows—like the roaming pencil case, pressure sensitivity, and tilt effects—allow you to naturally create documents.

An image shows a device using Excel in Office 2019.

Excel 2019 adds powerful new data analysis features, including new formulas and charts and enhancements to PowerPivot.

An image shows a laptop open and a Word document being worked on.

Word 2019 and Outlook 2019 help you focus on what matters most. Learning Tools, like Read Aloud and Text Spacing, make it easier to engage with your content. Focus Mode blocks out distractions and puts your content front and center. And Focused Inbox moves less important emails out of the way—so you can get straight to taking care of business. For a longer list of the new features in Office 2019, see our FAQs.

Office 2019 also includes new IT value for enhanced security and streamlined administration. We introduced Click-to-Run (C2R), a modern deployment technology, in Office 2013, and it’s now used to deploy and update Office across hundreds of millions of devices worldwide. With Office 2019, we’re moving the on-premises versions of Office to C2R to reduce costs and improve security. The advantages of C2R include predictable monthly security updates, up-to-date apps on installation, reduced network consumption through Windows 10 download optimization technology, and an easy upgrade path to Office 365 ProPlus. C2R offers the same enterprise-focused management capabilities as Microsoft Installer (MSI) based products and will also support an in-place upgrade when you move to Office 2019 from older MSI-based products. To learn more, refer to the Office 2019 Click-to-Run FAQ.

The 2019 release of Office products also includes updates to our servers, and in the coming weeks, we will release Exchange Server 2019, Skype for Business Server 2019, SharePoint Server 2019, and Project Server 2019.

Office 2019 is a valuable update for customers who aren’t yet ready for the cloud. And each time we release a new on-premises version of Office, customers ask us if this will be our last. We’re pleased to confirm that we’re committed to another on-premises release in the future. While the cloud offers real benefits in productivity, security, and total cost of ownership, we recognize that each customer is at a different point in their adoption of cloud services. We see the on-premises version of Office as an important part of our commitment to give customers the flexibility they need to move to the cloud at their own pace.


  • Commercial volume-licensed (trusted) customers can access Office 2019 starting today.
  • Office 2019 is now available for consumer and commercial customers. For consumer customers in China, India, and Japan, Office 2019 suites will be available in the next few months.
  • Certain features are only available in the Mac or Windows versions of Office 2019. For details, see the FAQ.

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12 Oct 2018

Goodyear mobilizes with Microsoft 365 to lead in a new mobility ecosystem

Author: Guest Author
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Today’s post was written by Sherry Neubert, chief information officer at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

Goodyear has a 120-year history of being at the forefront of an ever-changing mobility industry. From bicycles, carriages, and the first Ford Model Ts off the production line, to blimps, airplanes, and even the first tire on the moon—Goodyear has always delivered innovative solutions that keep the world moving.

Today, our industry faces even more disruption through shifting consumer behaviors and expectations, digital transformation, and breakthroughs in technology that are accelerating change at speeds unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. This is creating a new mobility ecosystem shaped by shared mobility fleets, autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, and electric vehicles.

Harnessing the power of our associates is key to competing—and continuing to lead—in this new world. With 64,000 associates selling products in around 150 countries, we need workplace productivity tools that enable innovation and bring together all of Goodyear’s diverse knowledge and capabilities. In 2014, we began to adopt Office 365 to modernize our workplace. Since then, we’ve empowered our associates worldwide with Microsoft 365 productivity and security tools and reached the halfway point in our global rollout of Windows 10. This cloud-connected modern desktop has given us the right tools to allow our teams to be as collaborative, agile, and productive as possible, while providing a highly secure digital environment.

Enhancing collaboration is crucial to us for improved decision making and to drive innovation, both in tires and beyond tires. Connecting associates via Microsoft 365 tools such as Outlook, SharePoint Online, OneDrive, Yammer, and Skype for Business Online helps us take better advantage of our cross-functional and geographically dispersed teams. Our multigenerational and multicultural global workforce is now sharing perspectives and ideas more quickly and easily than ever.

Another focus for Goodyear is driving productivity and greater efficiencies so we can deliver the right products to the right place at the right time—faster than ever. With Microsoft 365, we stay connected and access shared content from anywhere, at any time, on any device, which allows us to innovate with greater speed. We also have an Internet of Things (IoT) proof of concept with Azure hosting big data from sensors in our factories. This allows us to use machine-learning capabilities to improve our predictive maintenance.

It is critically important for Goodyear to keep our information and systems safe so we can help protect our customers, associates, and the company and keep our focus on the changing needs of the marketplace. We safeguard our people, devices, data, and IP better with Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. This has greatly improved our security capabilities, while at the same time continuously hardening our devices by providing updates as a service.

As our Microsoft 365 environment continues to mature, we’re evaluating the use of other Microsoft technologies. We’ve been using Microsoft HoloLens in exploration mode—it represents exciting possibilities for virtual tire modeling and design as well as remote knowledge transfer. We are also making strides advancing the AI infused in Microsoft 365, including Cortana, Azure-powered chatbots, and Focused Inbox, to amplify skills and democratize knowledge. The next big initiative on our horizon is adopting Microsoft Teams—we expect this to become our associates’ go-to social and collaboration platform.

The digital world is changing fast, and we must lead with digital innovation. For Goodyear, it’s all about how we can enable everyone in the company to put the customer at the center of everything we do and ensure that we maintain our leadership position in the new mobility ecosystem of tomorrow. When you find and deploy solutions that bring out the best in your people, the possibilities are endless.

—Sherry Neubert

The post Goodyear mobilizes with Microsoft 365 to lead in a new mobility ecosystem appeared first on Microsoft 365 Blog.

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11 Oct 2018

Microsoft Search—cohesive search that intelligently helps you find, discover, command, and navigate

Author: Jeff Teper, Corporate Vice President for OneDrive, SharePoint, and Office
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At Ignite last year, we introduced personalized search across Office 365, a way to bring intelligent search and discovery experiences directly to you. Today, we’re delighted to announce that we are expanding that vision to encompass search both inside and outside of Microsoft 365. By applying artificial intelligence (AI) technology from Bing to the deep personalized insights surfaced by the Microsoft Graph, we are able to make search in your organization even more effective.

With Microsoft Search, we’re introducing new organizational search experiences into the apps you use every day, including Bing.com and Windows, and our vision to connect across your organization’s network of data.

We’re also evolving the notion of what search means. Getting pages of results with hyperlinks to other information is simply not enough. Faced with ever decreasing attention spans, and an explosion of data, we recognize that the challenge is to find and deliver answers to your questions, suggest insights, and enable you to take action on your tasks. This makes search a powerful capability that stretches across your work to make you more productive and take advantage of the collective knowledge from your organization.

Our vision is a cohesive and coherent search capability, prominent in every experience, providing the way to search across all your organization’s data—both inside and outside of Microsoft 365.

Over the next few months, you’ll experience these first steps:

  • Search will move to a prominent, consistent place across the apps you work with every day. From Outlook to PowerPoint, Excel to Sway, OneNote to Microsoft Teams, Office.com to SharePoint, the search bar will be in the same place—across desktop, mobile, and web.
  • Personalized results as soon as you click in the search box, such as people you share with the most and documents you were working on recently. No query is required to get suggestions.
  • The search box itself will also command the application where you are working. For example, begin typing “acc” in Word to get list of suggested actions such as Accept Revision or Accessibility Checker. You no longer need to hunt through toolbars to look for a command.
  • Search results will include results from across your organization. For example, within Word, you can find not only other Word documents, but also a presentation you were working on. You can navigate straight to that presentation or you can choose to incorporate slides from that file directly into your document.
  • Extending that same organizational search experience wherever you are working—in Bing.com (when signed in with your Office 365 account), Edge or Windows. Search wherever you want to and get the same experience.
  • Unified administration of your organizational search results, including admin-curated results such as bookmarks.

Experience Microsoft Search today

Key to delivering the Microsoft Search capability is the ability to have consistent scope of results anywhere you are searching. Even if the interface looks different, the goal is to have the same experience, personalized and contextualized for that specific interaction point.

Microsoft Search in Bing.com

Over the last year, 180 companies participated in our private preview, with files, sites, people, locations, and groups based on Microsoft Graph data. Based on the private preview feedback, we’re announcing the ability to search across conversations in both Teams and Yammer simultaneously.

An image shows Microsoft Search in Bing.com.

Searching in Bing returns both your organizational results and web results, making it an easy destination for broad searches to get the best of your work world and secure your web searches. Public preview begins rolling out today. Tenant admins must opt in to the experience for their organization. Visit bing.com/business/explore for details.

Microsoft Search in Office.com

Get back to your work faster with Office.com, surfacing the same search scope across Microsoft 365. Find documents you were recently working on, as well as recommended documents that your colleagues have mentioned you in, and keep up to date with what has been worked on since you last looked at it. Microsoft Search in Office.com goes into targeted release today.

An image shows Microsoft Search in Office.com.

Microsoft Search in SharePoint mobile app

The new version of the SharePoint mobile app includes search as the default experience when you enter the app. It lists common questions, personalized results, and frequent searches that organizations can curate. The new SharePoint mobile app is available for download today.

An image shows a mobile device using the SharePoint mobile app.

Microsoft Search in the Outlook mobile app

The Outlook mobile app also highlights search as an important element of the user experience, providing access to commands, content, and people. With “zero query search,” simply placing your cursor in the search box will bring up recommendations powered by AI and the Microsoft Graph. The Outlook mobile app for iOS and Android are available for download today.

Outlook will also bring zero query, fuzzy search, and top results based on intelligent technology to other endpoints as we drive towards coherence. Enhancements to search in Outlook for Windows, Mac, and on the web started to roll out to targeted release mid-September.

Connect and curate data across your organization’s systems

Boundary-less search is only as good as the sources it has access to. We recognize that organizations have a wealth of data in other third-party services and applications. In 2019, we will build native connectors for popular third-party applications that will surface search results inline with Microsoft data into all the search experiences you have, including Office, Windows, Edge, and Bing.com. Administrators will be able to select which connectors they wish to use for their organizations based on which investments they’ve already made in third-party applications. Further extensibility with APIs will also be possible. Organizations will be able customize the search sources and the display of search results with custom refiners and verticals, and control the display of how sources of information look in result pages.

Coming in the first half of 2019

Microsoft Search in Office

Our new suite-wide search in the ribbon offers the same consistent experience and results across your favorite Office apps—across desktop, mobile, and web. Find, command, navigate, and discover directly from the same search box.

An image shows a laptop open to a PowerPoint deck in which the user is using Microsoft Search.

Microsoft Search in Windows

Right from your taskbar, perform searches that include local and organizational search results; whether that is people, the location of an office, or your files, you can find it all in Windows.

An image shows Microsoft Search used from the Windows start screen.

What’s coming next?

The Microsoft Graph gleans insight from the people, sites, devices, and documents you work with and is the basis for consistent learning across your organization, wherever you and your colleagues work. Microsoft Graph ranks search results relevant to your needs. You can see all the results that satisfy your query, but personalized search prioritizes the results that are most likely to achieve your objective.

Supercharging the Microsoft Graph with advanced AI technology from Bing and its knowledge of the world, we can extend our vision for insightful technology to make it simple to ask natural language questions and get real answers, without manual intervention. For example, a question such as “Can my brother work for me at my company?” means that not only syntactic parsing of the question is necessary but semantic understanding. Your organization’s HR policy probably specifies “close family relationships,” so we use Bing’s knowledge of the world to expand and match “brother” and couple that with searching your organization’s intranet to derive the answer.

Using this machine reading comprehension technology is just one of the many ways we’ll be continuously improving Microsoft Search in the future.

The post Microsoft Search—cohesive search that intelligently helps you find, discover, command, and navigate appeared first on Microsoft 365 Blog.

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10 Oct 2018

Fluent XAML Theme Editor Preview released!

Author: Kalita Saintonge
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Preview of the Fluent Xaml Theme Editor.

We’re excited to announce the preview release of the Fluent XAML Theme Editor application!

As some of you may remember from our Build 2018 session this year, we previewed a tool using our new ColorPaletteResources API that allows you to set the color theme of your app through some simple color selections.

This tool is now publicly available to insiders and those running on pre-release builds (Windows 10 SDK Preview Build 17723 or newer) to test out on our GitHub repository!

How to use the Fluent XAML Theme Editor

With the preview build, you can select three major colors for both the Light and Dark themes in the right-hand properties view labeled “Color Dictionary”:

You can select three major colors for both the Light and Dark themes in the right-hand properties view labeled “Color Dictionary.”

  • Region – The background that all the controls sit on, which is a separate resource that does not exist in our framework.
  • Base – Represents all our controls’ backplates and their temporary state visuals like hover or press. In general, Base should be in contrast with the background (or Region color) of your theme and with black text (if in Light theme) and white text (if in Dark theme).
  • Primary – This is essentially the Accent color and should contrast with mainly white text.

It is used in more choice locations to show alternate rest states for toggled controls like list selection, checkbox or radiobutton checked states, slider fill values, and other control parts that need to be shown as different from their default rest state once interacted with.

Refining the colors

In addition to the three major colors for each theme, you can also expand any one of the major colors to see a list of minor colors that change the color on certain controls on a more refined level.

List of minor colors.

In the above example, you’ll notice that although my major Base color is purple in Dark Theme, I can override that second gradient value to be yellow to change the borders and disabled color of controls.

To access the detailed view of colors, simply click the chevron next to the major color buttons:

To access the detailed view of colors, simply click the chevron next to the major color buttons:

Creating, saving and loading presets

The editor will ship with some presets for you to look at to get an idea of what a theme looks like in the app.

The preset dropdown is located at the top of the Color Dictionary properties panel.

The preset dropdown is located at the top of the Color Dictionary properties panel.

When you first boot up it will always be set to Default – which is the Light and Dark theme styling default for all our controls. You can select different themes like Lavender and Nighttime to get an idea of how the tool will theme our controls.

Once you’re ready to start making your own theme, just start editing the colors! Once you’ve started tweaking them, you’ll notice that the Presets ComboBox goes from the name of the preset to “Custom”:

This means that you’ve started a new temporary theme that’s “Custom.” Any changes you make will not affect any of the other Presets in that box.

  • Once you’re satisfied with the changes you’ve made, simply click the “Save” button and browse to your desired save point.
  • Similarly, you can open your saved JSON theme by clicking the “Load” button and browsing to your saved theme’s file location.

Contrast Ratio Checking

Lastly, one of the most important parts of creating your theme needs to be making sure that in either respective theme you are contrast compliant. The tool provides you with a small list of contrast information on the left-hand side of the color selection window when choosing your color.

The tool provides you with a small list of contrast information on the left-hand side of the color selection window when choosing your color.

In this window you can see your contrast with the most prevalent text color in the theme that you’re choosing to edit, in the above case black text because you are editing a Light theme color value.

When you pick a color that falls below the standard contrast ratio of 4.5:1, you’ll be alerted with red text next to your contrast value.

When you pick a color that falls below the standard contrast ratio of 4.5:1, you’ll be alerted with red text next to your contrast value.

You can learn more about contrast ratios and their importance here.

Exporting and using your theme in an app

Of course, once you’ve themed everything, you’ll want to use in your app! To do that you’ll need to click the “Export” button at the bottom of the Color Dictionary properties panel.

Example of Exporting and using your theme in an app .

That button will open a popup window with a generic, unnamed ResourceDictionary stub (seen below).

That button will open a popup window with a generic, unnamed ResourceDictionary stub (seen below).

This window doesn’t make anything final, however, if you want to make some changes to the theme and re-export them to the Export window, it will refresh with your changed colors.

Once you’re ready to use it in your app, click the “Copy to Clipboard” button in the lower right corner and go to UWP Visual Studio solution.

Once in Visual Studio, right-click on the project solution, located in the Solution Explorer.

Once in Visual Studio, right-click on the project solution, located in the Solution Explorer.

And go to Add > New Item and then choose Resource Dictionary.

Resource Dictionary in Visual Studio

Name that dictionary whatever makes sense to you and click Add when you’re done.

Example of naming you dictionary in Visual Studio.

That should generate a blank ResourceDictionary like this:

Example of a blank ResourceDictionary.

Now you can paste the exported theme code from the editor into that ResourceDictionary.

paste the exported theme code from the editor into that ResourceDictionary.

Now you have a fully customized color theme waiting to be use, so let’s apply it!

To do that, you’ll want to go into your page or app.xaml (depending on how much of your app you want the theme to apply to) and merge your theme dictionary into the resources of that page or app.

Fully customized color theme that can be merged into our theme dictionary.

Lastly, don’t forget to set the background color of your page to the RegionColor that you picked for your theme. It’s the only brush that won’t get set automatically.

Code used for setting the background color of your page to the RegionColor that you picked for your theme.

Once that’s in, you’re done! Your theme colors will now be pervasive across your app or page depending.

Scoping your theme

If instead you want to scope your theme colors to a smaller area, you can also put all that power into just a container (Like Grid or StackPanel) and the theme will scope to just the controls that live within that container:

Code used to ensure that the theme will scope to just the controls that live within that container.

Using your theme down-level

When you export your theme, you’ll see a ResourceDictionary markup with a ColorPaletteResources definition like this:

ResourceDictionary markup with a ColorPaletteResources definition.

ColorPaletteResources is a friendly API for our SystemColors that sit within generic.xaml and allows for those SystemColors to be scoped at any level.

If you wanted to enable this same theme to work downlevel, you would have to define each SystemColor individually with each color from your theme:

using the Lavender theme to show this down-level transition.

In the above case we’re using the Lavender theme to show this down-level transition.

Warning: Although this markup format change will enable your theme to be applied across controls in earlier SDK versions, it will not work on a page, container or control scoped level. ColorPaletteResources is the API that allows scoping behavior. This markup format will only work at the app.xaml level for earlier SDKs.

Get started today

To use the Fluent XAML Theme Editor preview now, head on over to our GitHub repo for the app. There you can download the source to the app and get started with what it has to offer!

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09 Oct 2018
09 Oct 2018

Updated version of Windows 10 October 2018 Update released to Windows Insiders

Author: John Cable
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Last week we paused the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) for all users as we investigated isolated reports of users missing files after updating. Given the serious nature of any data loss, we took the added precaution of pulling all 1809 media across all channels, including Windows Server 2019 and IoT equivalents.  We intentionally start each feature update rollout slowly, closely monitoring feedback before offering the update more broadly.  In this case the update was only available to those who manually clicked on “check for updates” in Windows settings.  At just two days into the rollout when we paused, the number of customers taking the October 2018 Update was limited.  While the reports of actual data loss are few (one one-hundredth of one percent of version 1809 installs), any data loss is serious.

We have fully investigated all reports of data loss, identified and fixed all known issues in the update, and conducted internal validation.  Also, Microsoft Support and our retail stores customer service personnel are available at no charge to help customers. More details are available below.

Today we take the next step towards the re-release of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update by providing the updated version to our Windows Insider community.  We will carefully study the results, feedback, and diagnostic data from our Insiders before taking additional steps towards re-releasing more broadly.

More Information

Prior to re-releasing the October 2018 Update our engineering investigation determined that a very small number of users lost files during the October 2018 Update.  This occurred if Known Folder Redirection (KFR) had been previously enabled, but files remain in the original “old” folder location vs being moved to the new, redirected location.  KFR is the process of redirecting the known folders of Windows including Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Screenshots, Videos, Camera Roll, etc. from the default folder location, c:usersusername, to a new folder location. In previous feedback from the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, users with KFR reported an extra, empty copy of Known Folders on their device.  Based on feedback from users, we introduced code in the October 2018 Update to remove these empty, duplicate known folders.  That change, combined with another change to the update construction sequence, resulted in the deletion of the original “old” folder locations and their content, leaving only the new “active” folder intact.   Accordingly, below are the issues we have identified and fixed:

  • Using KFR the user redirected a known folder to a different drive. For example, suppose you ran out of space on your C drive. You want to save some files separate from your primary folder, so you add another drive to your system for these.  You create “D:documents” and change the location of the files known folder from the original “old” location c:usersusernamedocuments to D:documents.  In some cases, if the contents of c:usersusernamedocuments were not moved to D:documents, then a user could also encounter this issue.   When the October 2018 Update was installed the original “old” folder was deleted including the files in that folder (in this example c:usersusernamedocuments would be deleted; d:documents, the new location, would be preserved).
  • The user configured one or more of their Known Folders (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Screenshots, Videos, Camera Roll, etc.) to be redirected (KFR) to another folder on OneDrive.  For example, the user changed the location property of the documents folder from c:usersusernamedocuments to another folder.   During this process the system prompts the user and asks if they would like to move the files to the new location.  If the files were not moved and the October 2018 Update is installed the original “old” folder was deleted including the files in that folder.
  • The user used an early version of the OneDrive client and used the OneDrive settings to turn on the Auto save feature.  This feature turned on KFR for the Documents and/or Pictures folders based on the user’s choice but did not move the existing files from the original “old” location to the new location.  For example, if a user turned on Auto Save for pictures the location of the Pictures folder would be changed from c:usersusernamepictures to c:usersusernameonedrivepictures, but no files would be moved.  The current version of this feature moves the files. If the files were not moved and the October 2018 Update was installed the original “old” folder was deleted including the files in that folder (in this example c:usersusernamepictures would be deleted; c:usersusernameonedrivepictures, the new location, would be preserved).

We have fully investigated these issues and developed solutions that resolve all three of these scenarios, so the “original” old folder location and its contents remain intact.

Today, we also released some other fixes in the monthly update for customers who have already taken the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. More details are available in KB 4464330.

Support for affected users

To help our customers that may be impacted by this issue, Microsoft Support is assisting customers and trying to recover data for users who may have experienced related data loss.  Microsoft retail stores support services also offer this same level of support in-store.  While we cannot guarantee the outcome of any file recovery work, if you have manually checked for updates and believe you have an issue with missing files, please minimize your use of the affected device and contact us directly at +1-800-MICROSOFT or find a local number in your area.   For more information, please refer to our Windows 10 update history page (KB article), which we are updating with new information as it is available.

Next Steps

To help us better detect issues like this, today we have enabled a new feature in the Windows Insider Feedback Hub. We have added an ability for users to also provide an indication of impact and severity when filing User Initiated Feedback. We expect this will allow us to better monitor the most impactful issues even when feedback volume is low.

We will continue to closely monitor the update and all related feedback and diagnostic data from our Windows Insider community with the utmost vigilance.  Once we have confirmation that there is no further impact we will move towards an official re-release of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.  We apologize for any impact these issues may have had on any of our customers.  We are committed to learning from this experience and improving our processes and notification systems to help ensure our customers have a positive experience with our update process.



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09 Oct 2018
08 Oct 2018

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