Configuring delegate access in Outlook Web App

Let’s say you’re about to go on vacation and you don’t want to distract yourself from your fun, so you’ve decided to turn work email off on your phone and leave your laptop at home for this trip. Even though you’re off having a good time, it’s still business as usual in the office, and someone needs to check your email and calendar to make sure everything runs smoothly while you’re away. This is where delegate access comes in. Whether you need your coworker to check your inbox or your admin to manage your calendar, the ability to give delegate access to your Exchange Online data is important. Historically, the ability to configure delegate access was available only in Outlook. Now, you’re  able to configure both folder permissions and calendar delegation directly from Outlook Web App in Office 365.

Let’s take a quick look at how this works.

Folder permissions in Outlook Web App

Molly is planning to take some time off from work and needs Alex to cover for her. With Outlook Web App, she can quickly and easily give Alex permissions to view and modify the messages in her mailbox.

To share one of her mail folders with Alex (her inbox, in this case), Molly just needs to right-click it and select “permissions.”

This brings up the folder permissions dialog box.

At the top of the dialog box is a list of people other than Molly who currently have permissions to view the folder. In this case, since this is the first time Molly’s changed her folder permissions, there’s no one in the list yet.

To give Alex permissions to her inbox, Molly clicks the PLUS SIGN (+) at the top left of the dialog box  and then types Alex’s name.

After selecting Alex and clicking add, Molly can choose from several predefined permissions settings in the drop-down menu or, if she prefers, she can configure custom permissions.

Once she has set Alex’s permissions appropriately, she just needs to click ok and she’s done.

If Molly wants to give Alex permissions to view any folder other than her inbox, there’s one more step. After setting permissions for the folder she wants to share, she also needs to click her mailbox’s root folder (“Molly Dempsey”) and grant permissions to that as well.

Again, this is necessary only if she wants to share a folder other than her inbox.

Now let’s take a look at Alex’s inbox. In order to see Molly’s mail, Alex needs to right-click his mailbox’s root folder (“Alex Darrow”) and select add shared folder…

He then simply needs to enter Molly’s name, and he’s done-he can view and, if she has allowed him, modify the contents of her inbox. He can tell he’s in Molly’s inbox because her name appears at the top of the message list.

Once he’s set himself up to view Molly’s mail on his desktop, Alex can also view her mail on his tablet and phone! He can open up Outlook Web App with a compatible mobile browser or with an app such as OWA for iPhone or OWA for iPad. He then just needs to tap the folder button at the bottom of the screen. This will bring up a list of his folders, as well as the folder that Molly has shared with him.

At that point, he can click Molly’s inbox and view it like any other folder.

One important thing to be aware of is that, while you can view others’ mail folders using Outlook Web App, you can’t send email on their behalf-you need the full Outlook client for that. If Alex replies to a message in Molly’s inbox, the mail will appear as having been sent by him.

Calendar delegation in Outlook Web App

Molly has also asked Alex to watch over her calendar while she is out. In order to give others access to her calendar, she needs to first share her calendar with them and then give them delegate permissions. She starts by clicking SHARE in the top right corner of the calendar module. She can also do this by right-clicking her calendar to open a context menu where she can click share calendar.

She then types in Alex’s name, and if he doesn’t immediately show up, she can search for him in Contacts & Directory.

Alex is now added to the list, and she can select which permissions she wants him to have. In this case, she wants him to be a Delegate.

A couple of things to note here. We inform you that a delegate is going to get copies of all your meeting requests. This is so they can respond on your behalf without having to open your calendar or inbox to do so.  Appointments you have marked Private are by default not viewable by a delegate, although we give you the option to allow this.

Once Molly is done here, Alex will get an email confirming the permissions she has given him. You’ll notice that she changed the subject to “Please monitor my calendar while I’m out” as a customized reminder to him. Once everything is all set, she clicks SEND at the top.

Now Molly can take her leave with the peace of mind that Alex has everything he needs to manage her calendar.

But what about when she returns? Does Alex still need to have delegate permissions to her calendar? Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t, or maybe he just needs to see her calendar but not respond to any of her meeting requests. Molly can configure all of these scenarios. She simply right-clicks her calendar and selects permissions…

 

From here Molly can see that Alex has delegate permissions and Sara can see full details. If she wants, she can just remove Alex by clicking the x on his card or she can choose to downgrade his permissions to something less, like “Full details” or “Limited details.”

 

Molly can also configure how her meeting requests are to be handled. Her delegates will always get a copy of the meeting request and will be allowed to respond on her behalf. The question is, what does she want to see in her own inbox? Does she want to be able to respond to meeting requests for herself? If so, she can select “Both delegate and me.” If she just wants to know that she has a meeting request but doesn’t want to take action on it, then she can select “Delegate only. Send me notifications.” Lastly, if she doesn’t want to be bothered with meeting requests at all, she can select “Delegate only.”

Molly can also configure delegate access to her calendar from her tablet device. She can open up Outlook Web App with a compatible mobile browser or OWA for iPad, and follow the same set of commands.

New value in Office 365 Enterprise K1 for frontline workers

Today, we are announcing updates to the Office 365 Enterprise K1 plan—designed to enable your frontline workers to do their best work with tools for schedule and task management, communications and community, training and onboarding, and identity and access management.

Frontline workers are the heartbeat of many of the world’s largest industries, such as manufacturing, retail, healthcare and hospitality. They’re the people behind the counter, on the phone with customers, operating the production line, building products, and running the day-to-day operations. They are often the face of an organization to its customers. And as more companies invest in digital transformation, there’s a growing recognition of the importance of empowering frontline workers with modern productivity tools.

That’s why we have expanded the Office  Setup 365 Enterprise K1 plan to include the following additional products:

  • Microsoft StaffHub—Helps frontline workers manage their workday with schedule management, information sharing and the ability to connect to other work-related apps and resources. StaffHub was added to the K1 plan earlier this year.
  • OneDrive for Business with 2 GB of cloud storage—Provides employees a secure environment to store, manage and access files from virtually anywhere and on any device.
  • Skype for Business presence and instant messaging—Enables employees to communicate in real-time, along with the ability to participate in Skype Meeting Broadcast sessions.
  • Microsoft Teams—A hub for teamwork that connects employees to the people, tools and content they need to do their best work.
  • Office 365 Video—Provides employees with a secure, company-wide destination for discovering and accessing video content.
  • Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow—Eases the automation of repetitive tasks and workflows.

These additional products build upon the core value already offered with the Office 365 Enterprise K1 plan and unlock important scenarios for frontline workers, including the ability to view and swap shifts, take advantage of video-based employee training and onboarding, exchange best practices across the company and even participate in live, company-wide town hall meetings. The Office 365 Enterprise K1 plan gives companies the tools they expect to manage employee access and the digital identity to meet today’s complex and constantly changing security and compliance requirements.

Broadcast company town halls to engage employees remotely.

Finally, we are excited by the response of our customers, like AccorHotels, who’ve already started to change the way they work with Office 365 and Microsoft StaffHub.

These new capabilities will begin rolling out to customers in the next several weeks. Please visit the Office 365 Enterprise K1 plan page to learn more, and check out the Microsoft Mechanics video below.

Office 365 ProPlus updates

Office 365  ProPlus delivers cloud-connected and always up-to-date versions of our most valuable enterprise apps. Today, we’re making three important announcements related to ProPlus: changes to the Office 365 system requirements; improvements to the ProPlus update model, including alignment with Windows 10; and new tools and programs to manage ProPlus application compatibility.

Changes to the Office 365 system requirements

Office 365 ProPlus is the very best way to experience the Office  365 services. For IT, ProPlus delivers the most secure and most complete suite of productivity apps available. And because the apps are cloud-connected and always up-to-date, they’re continually getting better—with new security features, new telemetry and new management capabilities. For end users, ProPlus brings the Office 365 services to life. When a modern app is connected to a modern service, magic happens. People can collaborate in new ways. Apps can simplify mundane tasks. And advanced security services can protect users as they work.

When customers connect to Office setup 365 with a legacy version of Office, they’re not enjoying all that the service has to offer. The IT benefits—particularly security—are cut short. And the end user experience in the apps is limited to the features shipped at a point in time. To ensure that customers are getting the most out of their Office 365 subscription, we are updating our system requirements.

  • Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support required to connect to Office 365 services. Starting October 13, 2020, Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support will be required to connect to Office 365 services. Office 365 ProPlus will deliver the best experience, but for customers who aren’t ready to move to the cloud by 2020, we will also support connections from Office perpetual in mainstream support.
  • Applies to Office 365 commercial services only. This update does not change our system requirements or support policies for the Office perpetual clients, Office perpetual clients connecting to on-premises servers, or any consumer services.
  • More than three years’ notice. We’re providing more than three years’ notice to give IT time to plan and budget for this change. Until this new requirement goes into effect in 2020, Office 2010, Office 2013 and Office 2016 perpetual clients will still be able to connect to Office 365 services.

Visit our Setup Microsoft Office 365 to learn more and to ask the experts your questions.

Improvements to the Office 365 ProPlus update model, including alignment with Windows 10

Moving to Office 365 ProPlus requires an initial upgrade and ongoing management of regular updates. Customers quickly see the benefits of the move, but they’ve also asked us to simplify the update process—and to improve the coordination between Office and Windows. To respond to this feedback, we’re pleased to announce that we will align the Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10 update model. This change will make planning and managing updates for both Office and Windows easier for customers using the Secure Productive Enterprise.

Targeting September 2017, we will make the following changes to the Office 365 ProPlus update model:

  • Two updates a year. We will reduce the Office 365 ProPlus update cadence from three to two times a year, with semi-annual feature updates to Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus targeted for March and September.
  • 18 months of support. We will extend the support period for Office 365 ProPlus semi-annual updates from 12 to 18 months (starting from first release) so IT professionals can choose to update once or twice a year.
  • System Center Configuration Manager support. System Center Configuration Manager will support this new aligned update model for Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10, making it easier to deploy and update the two products together.

See the upcoming changes to the Office 365 ProPlus update management article to learn more.

New tools and programs to manage Office 365 ProPlus application compatibility

One of the biggest concerns customers have about the move to a new version of Office is application compatibility. Office add-ins and VBA solutions often play a significant role in key business processes, and application compatibility is an important consideration in both upgrades and updates. To help customers manage ProPlus application compatibility, we’re pleased to announce four new investments.

  • Upgrade assessment tools. Starting today, we’re offering a limited preview of new tools that will catalogue the add-ins and VBA solutions in use in your organization, identify potential issues with the upgrade to Office 365 ProPlus, and recommend steps for remediation.
  • Application compatibility testing. For each new Office 365 ProPlus release, we will perform compatibility testing of the most common third-party add-ins, identify potential issues, and take steps to remediate.
  • Office 365 ProPlus monitoring services. We will provide new services to monitor your ProPlus deployment and provide visibility into the usage and stability of apps and add-ins.
  • Reporting, tracking and resolving issues. We will improve our existing service for reporting, tracking and resolving application compatibility issues—and partner with customers and ISVs to find the best approach to remediation.

Get more done faster with Microsoft Teams

Around the world teamwork is on the rise. Research suggests employees now work on nearly double the number of teams than they did just five years ago. This means more than ever people are reliant on their peers to help get things done. But a “one size fits all” approach does not work when it comes to group collaboration—different tools appeal to different groups and address unique needs.

This is not your typical online event

Each 90-minute session starts with an online business roundtable discussing your biggest business challenges with a trained facilitator and then transitions into a live environment in the cloud. You will receive a link to connect your own device to a remote desktop loaded with our latest and greatest technology so you can experience first-hand how Microsoft tools can solve your biggest challenges.

U.S. customers: Register here.
Outside the U.S.? Register here.

Why should I attend?

During this interactive online session, you will explore:

  • How Microsoft Teams, the newest collaboration tool:
    • Keeps everyone engaged with threaded persistent chat.
    • Creates a hub for teamwork that works together with your other Office 365 apps.
    • Builds customized options for each team with channels, connectors, tabs and bots.
    • Adds your personality to your team with emojis, GIFs and stickers.
  • How to keep information secure while being productive—Make it easier to work securely and maintain compliance without inhibiting your workflow.
  • How to quickly visualize and analyze complex data—Zero in on the data and insights you need without having to involve a BI expert.
  • How to co-author and share content quickly—Access and edit documents even while others are editing and reviewing them all at the same time.
  • How to get immediate productivity gains—Most attendees leave with enough time-saving skills that time invested to attend a Customer Immersion Experience more than pays for itself in a few short days.

Office.com/setup

New to Office 365 in April

Several Office 365 updates this month can help companies of all sizes accelerate the digital transformation within their organization. We released Outlook Customer Manager, introduced Microsoft To-Do in Preview, extended Designer to PowerPoint on iPad, added support for Office 365 Groups in additional Office apps and more. Read on for the details.

Outlook Customer Manager is rolling out worldwide

Outlook Customer Manager makes it easy for small businesses to track and grow customer relationships without leaving Outlook. Today’s rollout includes several new capabilities based on feedback we received during the First Release of Outlook Customer Manager. It’s easier to manage customers and upcoming deals with automatic reminders about customer inquiries, suggested company information from Bing and integration with Microsoft Flow. You can also access Outlook Customer Manager on the go in Outlook for iOS and Outlook on the web. Read more about Outlook Customer Manager.

Availability: Outlook Customer Manager is rolling out to Office 365 Business Premium subscribers worldwide. It can be accessed in Outlook on Windows desktops, iOS and the web.

Microsoft To-Do transforms the way you manage your tasks

Last week, we introduced Microsoft To-Do in Preview, an intelligent task management app that makes it easy to plan and manage your day. To-Do helps you stay organized and prioritize your most important to-dos for each day with intelligent Suggestions. Outlook Tasks also sync so you can stay on top of all your to-dos in a single view, wherever you go, across your devices. Learn more about Microsoft To-Do.

Availability: Microsoft To-Do is now available in Preview for all customers and can be accessed on Windows 10 devices, iPhone, Android and the web.

Designer is now available in PowerPoint on iPad

Designer in PowerPoint helps you create high-quality slides in seconds. Now when you’re on the go with your iPad, you can get professional design options for slides with images and certain types of text. Get started with Designer in PowerPoint.

Designer now provides design recommendations in PowerPoint on iPad.

Availability: Designer is now available in PowerPoint on iPad, for Office 365 subscribers. Designer was already available in PowerPoint on Windows desktops, Macs, Windows tablets, Android tablets and the web, for Office 365 subscribers.

More Office apps support Office 365 Groups

We’ve extended support for Office 365 Groups to more Office apps, making it easier for you to access shared team material and work better together.

  • Groups in Word, Excel and PowerPoint—Now, you can open and save documents in your frequently used groups, without leaving the app you’re working in.

A list of frequently used groups is being shown listed in the Open tab of the File menu in Word.

Access your frequently used groups directly within Office apps.

Availability: Groups integration in Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Windows desktops is coming with this month’s Office 365 updates, for Office 365 commercial customers.
  • Groups in Outlook for Mac, iOS and Android—Now you can view your groups list, read and respond to group conversations, add group events to your calendar and more in Outlook on every platform. Read more about groups in Outlook.

You can now access groups in Outlook within Outlook for Mac, iOS and Android.

Availability: Groups integration in Outlook is rolling out in Outlook for Mac, iOS and Android, for Office 365 commercial customers. Groups integration is currently available in Outlook on Windows desktops and the web.

Skype for Windows 10 is generally available

With the launch of the Windows 10 Creators Update, Skype for Windows 10 has graduated from preview and is ready for everyday use. Skype for Windows 10 now includes exclusive features such as mini view, SMS relay for Windows Phone and Skype Translator for calls to mobile phones and landlines. It is easy to use Skype with keyboard shortcuts, conversation search and a redesigned group video calling view that brings everyone even closer together. Read more about Skype for Windows 10.

The new mini view of a Skype for Windows 10 video chat is being shown, overlaying a website being viewed.

Skype for Windows 10 is generally available with new exclusive features such as mini view and more.

Availability: Skype for Windows 10 is available for all customers as part of the Windows 10 Creators Update.

Office 365 security and compliance updates

Earlier this month, we announced several Office 365 security and compliance updates that help enterprise subscribers better protect, detect and respond to threats within their organization. Office 365 Threat Intelligence, now generally available, leverages the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph to help you stay ahead of the evolving threat landscape. Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) Safe Links is now available in Word, Excel and PowerPoint to protect users from clicking malicious links. ATP also includes new reports to help you understand your organization’s health. Advanced Data Governance, also now generally available, applies intelligence to help you retain high value data while reducing your risk profile. Lastly, a new Data Loss Protection (DLP) policy management page helps you configure and enforce sensitive data policies across your organization. Read more about these security and compliance updates.

Availability: Office 365 Threat Intelligence, Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) improvements and Advanced Data Governance are all available and included for Office 365 Enterprise E5 and Secure Productive Enterprise E5 customers. ATP Safe Links is now available in Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Windows desktops, for Office 365 Enterprise E5 customers (or Office 365 ProPlus customers with ATP).

Other Office 365 updates this month

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. If you’re an Office 365 Home or Personal customer, be sure to sign up for Office Insider to be the first to use the latest and greatest in Office productivity. Commercial customers on both Current Channel and Deferred Channel can also get early access to a fully supported build through First Release. This site explains more about when you can expect to receive the features announced today.

Digital transformation in the media and entertainment industry.

The digitization of content has completely changed how media companies think about the creation, production, marketing, distribution and monetization of content. As their audiences find new ways to consume entertainment, whether it’s through tablets, smartphones, connected TVs, PCs, gaming or mixed reality devices, the competition for attention has never been greater. This evolution has disrupted traditional business models and is driving organizations across the industry to identify new ways in which they can quickly and securely produce and deliver the right content, at the right time to any device – all backed by business insights and projections which can be used to drive future decision making.

More and more organizations in the media and entertainment industry are turning to cloud providers to minister to run their compute and storage needs and are recognizing the further of malleability, security and scalability. For these organizations, having the attainment to speedily scale uphill and all along dealing out knack then needed changes the cost curve for producing content. Once the content is ready, advanced search and hurting content recommendations lessening to increased consumption. Advances in computer vision and natural language admin (NLP) will goal these changes even supplementary.

From working with NBC Sports to power the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic games livestream across devices, including Connected TVs for the first time, to delivering content storage, media encoding, rendering, advanced analytics and more, Microsoft is partnering with companies across the media and entertainment industry to help enable digital transformation. At the National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB 2017), we are excited to announce several new partners and customers who have chosen Microsoft’s cloud to power their digital transformation:

  • Avid selects Microsoft Azure as preferred partner to power their business: Avid is a leading technology and multimedia company that specializes in audio and video; specifically, digital non-linear editing systems, management and distribution services. With this strategic partnership, Microsoft Azure will power Avid and all new joint customers’ content, globally, and we will co-develop cloud-based solutions and services for the media and entertainment industry, powered by the Avid MediaCentral Platform, the industry’s most open, tightly integrated and efficient platform designed for media. With a cloud-based offering built on Avid’s portfolio of the industry’s best and most comprehensive creative tools and media workflow solutions, the partnership will enable media organizations and creative professionals to quickly and easily leverage the efficiencies, flexibility and agility that the cloud enables.
  • Verizon Digital Media Services offers integrated Microsoft Azure Storage: We also recently announced with Verizon Digital Media Services that it will make cloud-based storage from Microsoft Azure available to all Verizon Digital Media Services Edgecast Content Delivery Network (CDN) customers. Azure Storage will now power Verizon STORE, the cloud-based origin storage offering on the Edgecast CDN, providing an even more convenient option for resilient, infinitely scalable object storage that is ideal for media and metadata.
  • Crackle, a unit of Sony Pictures Television Networks, selects Microsoft Azure as a streaming service partner: Crackle programs Hollywood movies, popular TV shows, original series and feature films for the world’s connected audience. Azure helps power the streaming network’s services and allows consumers to view content at anytime, anywhere on every connected device.
  • Availability of Skype TX for Radio; new Skype TX hardware integrations with Newtek: Earlier this month we announced the availability of Skype TX for Radio with partner Broadcast Bionics – an industry first enabling delivery of high-quality audio enabling producers to bring on guests from Skype’s network of hundreds of millions of users across the globe – a significant improvement for radio broadcasters and podcasters worldwide. Additionally, one of our innovative partners, Newtek, released the TriCaster® TC1, the first affordable end-to-end 4K IP video production system that offers multiple studio-grade Skype TX channels for adding remote video guests to live broadcast.

The next wave of digital transformation

With a diverse and growing set of ways in which audiences can consume media and entertainment, it is not only important to ease the creation of content but also ensure that data is serving up smart insights about what content resonates with audiences. In 2016, global internet advertising revenue surpassed global TV ad revenue for the first time[i]. As our world becomes more digital, advertisers, content creators and distributors will move past general demographic information and increasingly require more granular customer details for TV like they do for the internet. Over-the-top (OTT) solutions will help here but it is also important that there are end-to-end monetization strategies that go with it. At NAB some of our customers and partners are showing off how they are evolving their businesses to take advantage of intelligence to create more meaningful connections with their customers.

  • Ooyala, a Microsoft partner and leader in premium video platforms, media logistics and advertising, demonstrated how Ooyala Flex, their media logistics platform, integrates with Microsoft Cognitive Services to simplify metadata capture by extracting transcripts, detecting faces within videos, and analyzing text to detect key topics. Ooyala then uses that rich metadata to recommend relevant videos to viewers and to deliver targeted advertising.
  • UFA GmbH (UFA), one of Germany’s oldest and most distinguished entertainment brands, is a highly efficient creator of entertainment content. UFA already had this long-term vision pioneering a cloud-based production workflow. They now have brought their archive and the content distribution into Microsoft Azure – with the aid of the Microsoft partner Interlake and nexx.tv. Using Microsoft’s Cognitive Services, UFA is able to make its video content actionable and accessible in completely new ways, such as automatically translating and tagging the content, to see inside the video. The vision is to bring the entire production process into the cloud, from recording to play out.

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Office Store investments bring new opportunities to developers

With the continuing momentum of the Office Store, we are delighted to share that starting this spring we’ll begin supporting Chinese, Russian, Dutch, Brazilian (Portuguese) and Italian language apps alongside the opening of 8 additional store fronts (Russia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Brazil). Additionally, based on partner feedback, we are excited to announce that we’ll be adding subscription pricing for apps in the Office Store allowing developers to charge a monthly recurring fee for their solutions.

These enhancements increase the opportunity for developers to promote and distribute apps globally or within the 31 individual selectable markets where the Office Store is available. Developers will have an even greater choice between free, trial, paid and subscription versions of their apps, broadening their reach to entirely new users, customers and segments. As Peter Duff, President and CEO of Adlib explains, “Partnering with Microsoft to offer Adlib PDF Publisher in the Office Store has opened us up to a completely new market segment that has traditionally been out of reach. The subscription model will allow customers to use our enterprise functionality without an upfront IT capital expenditure.”

Apps for Office and SharePoint scenarios extend across Microsoft products and interact with external data. For example, imagine your key business data appearing live right within Excel or your travel plans being booked from within Outlook and then updated real time in your calendar appointment.

In October, developers are welcome to begin updating and/or submitting subscription apps in the Seller Dashboard. And starting in November, Office Store users will be able to purchase subscription apps. Click here for instructions for how to update your app link.  For those developers who wish to submit apps, or update their apps in new markets, submissions will open in December. Office Store customers will have access to local language apps and store fronts by early spring.

The Office Store is available to all customers of the new Office and can be accessed directly within Office applications and at Office.com. Hundreds of business and productivity apps are available, created from well-known ISVs to individual developers and start-ups. You can also build your app and reach these customers. In fact, Office users have already downloaded well over 1 million apps from the Store!

Not only are we are making it easier for customers to find apps that make them more productive, we are providing an opportunity for developers who may have never developed for the Microsoft platform before – and the new development model makes it easier than ever for developers to build, run and maintain adding value to both their business and their customers.

SkyDrive introduces smart files in Windows 8.1

When we designed SkyDrive for Windows 8.1, we thought a lot about how storage needs are growing much faster than device hard drives. So we invented smart files, which allow you to have your files always with you while being unconstrained by storage capacity.

In the Windows 8.1 preview we saw consumers using SkyDrive in two distinct ways. The first group of people are very conscious of what they have saved to disk and most of their files are online-only. We found that the majority of people using smart files take up 80% less disk space than they would without smart files. The second group of people are on the other end of the spectrum: they explicitly chose to have all their files available offline, and so have their entire SkyDrive stored locally.  This showed us that users understand smart files and are tailoring the feature to their needs.

 

 

Although smart files are a fraction of their original size, they behave identically to any other file. A great example of this is how smart files show up in Bing Smart Search in Windows 8.1. This feature, which is rolling out over the coming weeks, allows you to search from the desktop for the content of Camera Roll photos that have had text extracted from them.

For example, you might have taken a photo 6 months ago of the menu of your favorite restaurant, but can’t remember where it’s buried in your Camera Roll and want to remember the dish you had. You can simply type in the restaurant name on your desktop and Bing Smart Search will search text of your Camera Roll photos and pull up the picture of the menu with the restaurant name printed on it. With the power of smart files, this will work even if your Camera Roll is marked for online-only access. The moment you open the photo, it will be instantaneously pulled from the cloud for you to view the full version.

 


People are starting to take photos not only to capture special moments, but also to keep track of everyday information, so we are really excited about this scenario and proud to unveil this valuable OCR search feature.

Just weeks away from the general availability of Windows 8.1, we’re very excited to not only continue allowing you to have your files always with you, but to make your files smarter.

Start working social with Yammer

To help our customers with their enterprise social adoption, we are continuing to drive the Social Journey forward with a series of videos, prompts, and other resources to help you understand how Yammer can help change the way you work together. Find out how to begin your interactive social journey here.

Power BI for Office 365 preview and Power BI in Excel updates

We are excited to share that today the Power BI for Office 365 preview has been updated to include natural language search through Q&A as well as our improved experiences to two Power BI add-ins in Excel, Power Map and Power Query, which provide customers with improved data 3D mapping visualizations and data search, respectively.

We’ve had our preview open for an initial wave of customers over the past month and are encouraged by the enthusiastic response we’ve received. For more details please check out the Data Platform Insider blog and Excel Blog.

To learn more and register for the preview visit www.powerbi.com. You can also download Power Map and Power Query along with sample datasets on the Power BI add-in Getting Started page. To see Power BI for Office 365 in action, check out this demonstration. Tell us what you think by posting in the comments below or tweeting us at @SQLServer #MSBI #PowerBI.