CATAPULT SYSTEMS: CHOOSING OFFICE 365 IS A SLAM DUNK! Blogs: Today’s guest bloggers are Sean McNeill, Cloud Services Specialist, and John Santiago, General Manager, at Catapult Systems, a national Microsoft-focused IT consulting company that provides application development, enterprise solutions and infrastructure services. Catapult Systems has 400 employees who work with mid-market companies and large enterprises across the U.S.


Cloud computing is a hot topic with our customers these days. Because of the economic benefits, we’re seeing tremendous interest in cloud services among our customers. They are looking for IT administrators to focus on more strategic projects instead of ongoing maintenance of on-premise software. And all this while not having to worry about disaster recovery and unpredictable costs.


The majority of our customers were using on-premise software, while one fourth switched from Google Apps or another competing cloud platform. When moving to the cloud, most customers evaluate Google Apps and other competitive offerings before making a decision. In the end, they choose Office 365 because they want to stay within the Microsoft family. We see three reasons why customers choose Office 365:

Working with existing software: Office 365 works better with their existing software. Since both IT staff and employees are already familiar with Office, it enables them to be fully productive right from the start. In fact, most employees see no difference between Office in the cloud and Office on the desktop. It just works-and that’s a very compelling offering.

Moving to the cloud at their own paceAnother reason why customers choose Office 365 is the ability to move to the cloud at their own pace. If you’re a 10,000-person organization, it defies logic to take a big bang approach and move your entire organization to the cloud without first pilot testing it. Companies don’t want to impact all of their users at the same time. What’s more, they want a safety net. They want the ability to go back to an on-premise environment if the cloud doesn’t meet their needs.

Because Google Apps delivers its solutions online only, clients are left with no choice but to move to the cloud in one giant step. By contrast, Office 365 provides more flexibility. Users can choose whether to move to a pure cloud environment in one step or move to the cloud in smaller steps. The Office 365 hybrid environment provides customers the flexibility to integrate cloud services into an on-premises infrastructure, helping them to move to the cloud at their own pace. For example, Office 365 synchronizes with their on-premises Active Directory (AD) infrastructure, meaning that the IT department doesn’t have to create new global address lists and user identities for employees in the cloud. They can instead rely on the identities from their on-premises AD.

Enterprise credibilityGoogle is an advertising company. Over 95 percent of its revenue comes from advertising. On the other hand, Microsoft has a long track record of working on productivity solutions tailored for enterprises. It’s made a huge investment in security, much more than the average company can make itself. Our customers realize that, and it simplifies their decision.


Over the last couple of years, we’ve helped many customers switch from Google Apps to Office 365, including three mid-size organizations ranging from 400 to 1,200 users within the last six months. There are a number of reasons why we’re seeing customers flee Google Apps for Office 365:

Outlook email experience: A key reason why customers abandon Google Apps is that they miss Microsoft Outlook.  We recently talked to an executive assistant responsible for managing multiple calendars. Doing so with Google Apps was so cumbersome that she ultimately started using Outlook on her own. Unlike Google Calendar, which required her to put everyone’s events onto one calendar, making it difficult to see whose calendar she was updating, with Outlook, she could see multiple calendars side-by-side, making it easy to coordinate calendars and schedule meetings.

When we told her we were there to help her company move back to Office, her reaction was, “Thank God!” She wasn’t the only one. After using Google Apps for a month, employees across the organization were exerting so much pressure on the IT department that the company decided to switch to Office 365.

Fidelity of Office documents: This is a huge issue with Google Apps. Most people use Microsoft Office. So, working with customers and partners outside of the organization becomes difficult when using Google Apps. The file formatting gets lost as documents are sent back and forth between organizations.

Employees using Google Apps are often forced to convert their documents into Word or Excel in order not to lose formatting, adding a layer of complexity to their already busy workloads. Rather than taking the extra step to make documents presentable to the outside world, many companies find that it’s easier to work natively within the Office suite.

Hidden costs: Yet another disappointment for Google users is the unanticipated costs associated with Google Apps. Companies assume that the cost of Google Apps is $50 per user per year. But once they factor in the price of training and lost productivity, the costs are actually much higher. On top of that, many companies end up paying extra for third-party tools not included with Google Apps, such as the advanced ability to archive and manage data. After discovering that Google Apps doesn’t fully meet their needs, customers continue to use Microsoft Office. Thus, they end up shouldering the cost of two productivity suites-Google Apps plus the Microsoft Office licenses they’d already been paying for.  In the end, they realize that Google Apps is not cheap. Office 365 is actually a better deal!

For customers that are considering a move to the cloud, the best way to understand the benefits of Office 365 is to see them firsthand.  When we bring customers into a room and show them the amazing services included with Office 365 and how Office 365 works seamlessly with their on-premises environment, it really opens up their eyes. When we demonstrate the rich, familiar experience across multiple devices, their interest only grows. And when we tell them they can move to the cloud at their own pace, it’s a slam dunk!

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WWW.OFFICE.COM/SETUP BLOGS: WINDOWS Blogs: This topic lists the keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams.


  • The shortcuts in this topic refer to the US keyboard layout. Keys for other layouts might not correspond exactly to the keys on a US keyboard.
  • If a shortcut requires pressing two or more keys at the same time, this topic separates the keys with a plus sign (+). If you have to press one key immediately after another, the keys are separated by a comma (,).



To do this Press
Show keyboard shortcuts Alt+/
Go to Search Alt+E
Start a new chat Alt+N
Open Help Alt+H
Open Settings Alt+G
Go to the next section Ctrl+F6
Go to the previous section Shift+Ctrl+F6
Close a dialog or move the focus back Esc



To do this Press
Open Activity Alt+1
Open Chat Alt+2
Open Teams Alt+3
Open Meetings Alt+4
Open Files Alt+5
Go to the previous list item Alt+Up arrow key
Go to the next list item Alt+Down arrow key
Go to the previous tab Alt+Left arrow key
Go to the next tab Alt+Right arrow key



To do this Press
Move the focus to the compose box C
Expand the compose box Alt+X
Send a message when the compose box is expanded Ctrl+Enter
Open the emoji menu Alt+Q
Attach a file Alt+A
Start a new line Shift+Enter



To do this Press
Accept a call Ctrl+Alt+A
Decline a call Ctrl+Alt+D
Start an audio call Ctrl+Alt+C
Start a video call Ctrl+Alt+V
Mute or unmute audio Ctrl+Alt+M
Turn video on or off Ctrl+Alt+O
Switch to or exit full screen mode Ctrl+Alt+F

EASILY BRING YOUR CUSTOM DOMAIN TO OFFICE 365 WITH GODADDY Blogs: Bharath Rambadran is a senior product marketing manager in the MicrosoftOffice Division focused on the Office 365 customer experience.

GoDaddy logo - of all sizes purchase Office 365 for the tremendous productivity firepower the service offers.  One key benefit of powering email, document sharing, and communications technology with Office 365 is the customers’ option to use their own custom domains (e.g., and  You can purchase your own domain from a domain registrar, such as GoDaddy.  Fifty percent of the organizations that sign-up for Office 365 have custom domains and, of those, 35% of them purchase their domain through GoDaddy’s domain registration service.  Until now, these Office 365 customers had to go to to connect their domain with Office 365 for email and other services by manually adding DNS records, one-by-one.  Customers have asked that we make the process faster and easier to bring custom domains to Office 365 because the process was error-prone and multi-stepped.  As a result, we’ve created an easy-to-navigate setup wizard.  However, for those who’d prefer manual domain setup, they can still select that option.

If you’re an Office 365 Enterprise, Education, Midsize, or Government customer with a GoDaddy registered domain(s), Office 365 enables you to update your DNS records automatically in the Office365 domain integration wizard.  The wizard simplifies and speeds up the setup process, helping customers quickly get the full potential of Office 365’s professional email and online meetings.

Instead of manually adding the DNS records at the GoDaddy website, you provide your GoDaddy credentials while walking through the setup wizard.  We’ll add all the required DNS records to your GoDaddy domain for you!  The process is not only faster, but it helps prevent tedious mistakes that can slow down verification and prevent email from working correctly. This new feature substantially improves the customer experience around one of the most common scenarios for setting up an Office365 account.

Watch the video for a visual walkthrough and see how easy it is to add your own GoDaddy domain to Office 365.  Please let us know what you think the comments below.

–Bharath Rambadran

Original Post:

WHAT MICROSOFT TEAMS CAN DO FOR YOU Blogs: Microsoft Teams is a chat-centered workspace in Office 365. It brings people, conversations, files, and tools into one place, so everyone has instant access to everything they need. Watch the video to see what Microsoft Teams can do for you and your teams.

Sign in to Microsoft Teams

  1. Look for an email invitation from Microsoft Teams in your Inbox. Select Open Microsoft Teams in the email.
  2. Sign in with your work or school account.

NOTE: To use Microsoft Teams, you need an Office 365 account with a Business or Enterprise Office 365 license plan. For more information, see How do I get access to Microsoft Teams.

Sign in to Microsoft Teams -

Get the app you want

Microsoft Teams is available as a desktop app and as a mobile app for iOS and Android.

  • Go to

You can also run Microsoft Teams as a web app.

  • Go to

Get the apps -

OFFICE 365 NEWS ROUND-UP: JUNE 28 Blogs: Many exciting things have happened since our last news round up. The Build Conference wraps up today, where we heard about the Windows 8.1 preview which is now available for download. Earlier this week, we celebrated the one year anniversary of the acquisition of Yammer with an update to our enterprise social road map. On June 17, we announced that video messaging has become a full-fledged feature in Skype.

I hope you got a chance to read about how Energy retailer AGL Energy Limited simplified email support and saved with Office 365 and why FLO Wine chose Office 365 to improve collaboration for their small business.

Here is a round-up of some of these and other key news items from the last couple weeks:

How Office 365 Pays Off For Two SMBs. Microsoft Office faces more competitors than ever, but Office 365 gives it a leg up with small and midsize businesses seeking to cut costs and improve collaboration.

Exchange 2013 and SharePoint 2013: Great alone, even better together. IT administrators may have Exchange and SharePoint set up and working in their respective circles, with Exchange handling email nicely and SharePoint working well for collaboration. However, they may not be taking full advantage of key combination features.

50 Percent of Fortune 500 Using Windows Azure. In just a year, Windows Azure has grown to over 200 services for the platform, more than doubled their customer base (now at 250,000) and are seeing an average of 1,000 new customers per day.

The Future of the Cloud Looks Sunny Indeed! Cloud computing adoption continued to rise in 2013, with nearly 75% of businesses using some sort of cloud platform (up from 67% last year).

Popular apps come to Windows 8. There are great apps hitting the Windows Store all the time. In fact, at Computex in Taipei just 2 weeks ago, Microsoft highlighted the growth from 70,000 apps to 80,000 apps in just 3 weeks.

Microsoft’s Twitter-based tech support. Learn how Microsoft uses Twitter to proactively reach out to existing customers that are struggling, with gusto and to great effect across all of its brands.

Original Post:

MS OFFICE ZERO-DAY EXPLOITED IN ATTACKS – NO ENABLING OF MACROS REQUIRED! Blogs: A new zero-day flaw affecting all versions of Microsoft Office is being exploited in attacks in the wild, and no user is safe – not even those who use a fully patched Windows 10 machine.

Even worse: targets do not have to anything except run a malicious file in order to get compromised, as the exploit doesn’t require them to enable macros or do anything else.

MS Office zero-day -


The existence of the flaw was revealed by McAfee researchers on Friday, and confirmed by FireEye researchers on Saturday. The latter shared details about it with Microsoft weeks ago, and were waiting to publicly reveal the flaw once Microsoft pushed out a patch. The patch is still to be released.

“The root cause of the zero-day vulnerability is related to the Windows Object Linking and Embedding (OLE), an important feature of Office,” McAfee researchers noted.

The flaw is exploited through a specially crafted Microsoft Word RTF (Rich Text Format) file, which contains an embedded OLE2link object. The object instructs Word to send a HTTP request to a remote server controlled by the attackers, to retrieve from it a malicious .hta file masquerading as a RTF file.

.hta file is an executable, and in this case it loads and executes a malicious script that closes Word(i.e. the winword.exe process), downloads additional payloads, and starts Word again and shows a decoy document.

“Because .hta is executable, the attacker gains full code execution on the victim’s machine. Thus, this is a logical bug, and gives the attackers the power to bypass any memory-based mitigations developed by Microsoft,” the researchers explained.


Who is leveraging this zero-day is unknown. According to FireEye researchers, the exploit “downloads and executes malware payloads from different well-known malware families.”

The booby-trapped Word documents are being delivered to victims as attachments in emails, but none of the researchers mentioned anything specific about them. McAfee says that the attacks have been going on since late January.

Hopefully, Microsoft will push out a patch this Tuesday. In the meantime, users can protect themselves by not opening any Office file that they aren’t positively sure they are coming from a trusted location or entity, and by enabling Office Protected View. Apparently, the exploit can’t bypass the protection offered by that feature.

HOW TO INSTALL MICROSOFT OFFICE PICTURE MANAGER IN OFFICE 2016/OFFICE 365 Blogs: Microsoft Office Picture Manager was included in Office 2003, 2007, and 2010, but not in Office 2013. Users had hopes that it would be in Office 2016/Office 365, but it is not. Fortunately, the same zero-cost technique that works to install it with Office 2013 also works with Office 2016/Office 365.
In a previous article here at Experts Exchange, I explained how to install Microsoft Office Picture Manager 2010 with Office 2013. This was necessitated by Microsoft‘s removal of Picture Manager from the Office 2013 suite — it had been included in Office 2003, Office 2007, and Office 2010. Many users, this author included, had high hopes that the folks at Microsoft would include it in Office 2016/Office 365, but they did not.Microsoft‘s position on this is that Windows Photo Gallery (previously called Windows Live Photo Gallery), which supersedes Picture Manager, has the same functionality as Picture Manager, and more. Whether that’s true or not, many users still prefer Picture Manager, and if you went straight from Office 2010 (or earlier) to Office 2016/Office 365, you may be surprised and disappointed to find that it is missing. This article explains how to install Picture Manager with Office 2016/Office 365.

Having mentioned Office 365, let’s take a detour on that. Office 365 has a subscription (recurring) licensing model, while Office 2016 has a perpetual (one-time) licensing model. Currently, one of the Office 365 subscriptions (Office 365 Business Essentials) has only web versions of the Office modules, while the other Office 365 subscriptions (Office 365 Business, Office 365 Business Premium, Office 365 Home, and Office 365 Personal) have both web versions and Office 2016 desktop versions. The various plans contain different Office modules and have different costs. I am not documenting the plans or even providing URLs in this article, as I expect Microsoft to change the plans and the links over time. When you’re ready to move forward with an Office 365 subscription, a web search for “office 365” will certainly find the latest plans and prices. In the meantime, if you want to experiment with a free, one-month trial of Office 365, including the Office 2016 desktop apps, I published two video Micro Tutorials here are at Experts Exchange that should be helpful:
How to get a free trial of Office 365 with the Office 2016 desktop applications
How to install the Office 2016 desktop applications that come with the free trial of Office 365 Home

While many of the Office 365 subscriptions currently (and surely will in the future) contain desktop versions of Office 2016 modules, Picture Manager is not currently (and almost surely will not be in the future) included with any Office 365 subscriptions. This, of course, makes perfect sense, since it isn’t even an Office 2016 module! However, installing it as described in this article will work alongside both the web and desktop versions of the Office 2016 modules that are part of Office 365 subscriptions.

Back from the Office 365 detour, let’s continue with the installation of Picture Manager. As mentioned in my previous article, Picture Manager is a component of SharePoint Designer 2010, which is available as a free download at the Microsoft site:



The 32-bit/64-bit distinction refers to the bit-level of your Office applications, not the bit-level of your Windows. For this article, I used my system that contains the 32-bit Office 2016 apps that were installed as part of the Office 365 subscription in the two video Micro Tutorials mentioned earlier (on 64-bit Windows 7).

Note that Picture Manager is not a component of SharePoint Designer 2013. Furthermore, Microsoft announced at the Ignite 2015 conference that there will not be a SharePoint Designer 2016, i.e., SharePoint Designer 2013 is the final release of that product. This means that SharePoint Designer 2010 is the last version to contain Picture Manager.

After downloading the correct bit-level for your Office environment, run the SharePoint Designer 2010 setup program. You will see the license agreement, which I recommend reading in its entirety, but the key term is this:

1. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS. You may install and use any number of copies of the software on your devices.

Acceptance of the license agreement will result in a legal installation of Picture Manager, i.e., one that is in license compliance.

Continue with the setup wizard and you’ll see this:

Click the Customize installation button and in the Installation Options tab, click the drop-down arrow in all three main areas under Microsoft Office, selecting Not Available:

After selecting Not Available in all three main sections (Microsoft SharePoint Designer, Office Shared Features, Office Tools), you’ll have this:

Now Expand Office Tools by clicking the plus sign and you’ll see Microsoft Office Picture Manager. This is the only component that you need to install. Click the drop-down arrow next to Microsoft Office Picture Manager and select Run from My Computer, causing the red X to disappear. Then click the Install Now button:

The installer will run and you will receive the installation completed dialog:

Here’s what my Office program groups looked like before the Picture Manager installation:

Here’s what they look like afterwards:

There’s a new Microsoft Office group next to the Microsoft Office 2016 group and it contains MicrosoftOffice Picture Manager, which works alongside the Office 2016/Office 365 applications:

Article Update on 15-January-2017: My thanks to reader Roberto Bertolini, who was kind enough to provide some screenshots showing what happened during his installation on Windows 10. First, here’s his screenshot of the Installation Progress dialog:

Second, here’s his screenshot of the dialog showing the choices for the update settings:

Third, here’s his screenshot of the W10 Start Menu with the new Picture Manager program group:

Thanks again to Roberto for sharing. I’ve updated the article in the hopes that it will help other members during installation.

NEW OFFICE INSIDER SLOW BUILD ROLLING OUT ON WINDOWS DESKTOP blogs: Office Insiders on the Slow ring are being treated to a set of new features to check out on Windows desktop, courtesy of a fresh build that is now rolling out. While there’s nothing new to see in Word, Microsoft has highlighted some handy new features headed to Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.


MS Office Insiders


A new #InsiderSlow build 8201.2025 is available for Windows desktop. See what’s new with @office in May: .



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Here’s what’s new in version 1705 (Build 8201.xxxx) on Windows desktop:

  • Excel: Enhanced data import functionality – Easily import and shape data from various sources. Manage workbook queries and connection with the Queries & Connection side pane, and share queries with others via ODC files.
  • Excel: Keep the copy – Copy your cells and , before you paste, you can still do other tasks like typing or inserting cells.
  • Excel: New data transformation: Add Column From Examples – In the Query Editor, create a new column by providing sample values. As you type, Excel detects the required transformations and shows a preview of the new column.
  • Outlook: Improved attachment options – When attaching files to an email, you can more easily select whether to add it as a cloud file or as a traditional attachment.
  • Outlook: Quickly access the groups you use the most – Groups you’re most likely to interact with now appear at the top of the list.
  • PowerPoint: Closed captions for video: – Add closed captions to a video to make it accessible.

If you’re already an Office Insider and Office 365 subscriber, you can check out the latest Office Insider Slow features by heading to File > Account > Update Options > Update Now in any one of the Office desktop apps.

OFFICE APPS HIT THE WINDOWS STORE IN PREVIEW FOR SURFACE LAPTOP Blogs: Microsoft‘s Office desktop apps are launching in the Windows Store today, coinciding with the launch of the new Surface Laptop with Windows 10 S. The Office suite, having been brought to the Windows Store using Microsoft‘s ‘Project Centennial’ desktop app bridge, is available to Surface Laptop owners only as part of a preview install and update process, according to an Office on Windows 10 S FAQ initially spotted by Microsoft leaker WalkingCat. - Office apps hit the Windows Store in preview for Surface Laptop

Microsoft clarifies that, while the install and update process is in preview, the apps themselves are not. Still, during the preview period, the following apps are only available to install for Surface Laptop users with Windows 10 S:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneNote for Windows 10
  • Outlook (not available in preview for Office 365 Education plans)
  • Access (not available in preview for Office 365 Education plans)
  • Publisher (not available in preview for Office 365 Education plans)

It’s worth noting that OneNote is the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) version of the app that has been available for some time.

Though the bulk of the suite is made up of bridged desktop versions of the Office apps, they are the 32-bit versions; 64-bit versions are not available via the Windows Store. Likewise, they are not compatible with COM add-ins, Microsoft points out.

As for the Office Mobile apps, which were previously the only versions of Office apps available on the Windows Store, Microsoft is repositioning them smartphones and tablets with screen sizes under 10.1-inches. Given their “Mobile” designation, this makes much more sense.

Again, the preview period limits the new Office apps to Surface Laptops running Windows 10 S. Microsoft notes that the apps will be available for purchase and installation on other Windows 10 devices after the preview period is over. Finally, as a bonus for Surface Laptop owners, Microsoft is offering one free year of Office 365 Personal for laptops that ship during the preview period.



Office 365 is Microsoft‘s software plus services offering that includes office productivity apps and cloud storage. The service allows for users to install Microsoft Office on their PCs, storage space on OneDrive and 60 Skype minutes per month. There are various offerings for consumers and business wishing to use Office 365.

Here are the various subscription plans for Office 365 available to regular, non-business consumers:

  • Office Online: Includes online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for free.
  • Office 365 Personal: Includes access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access for home use on one computer and one tablet, 1 TB of additional OneDrive storage, and 60 minutes of Skype international calls per month.
  • Office 365 University: A version of Office 365 Personal, but for those in universities and offered at a discounted price.
  • Office 365 Home: Includes access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access for home use on up to five devices by up to five users and five tablets, 1 TB of additional OneDrive storage per user, and 60 minutes of Skype international calls per month.