Cloud Services you can trust: Security, Compliance, and Privacy in Office 365

When you make a decision to place your trust in a cloud services provider for productivity services, security, compliance, and privacy are top of mind. With over a billion customers on Office and decades of experience running online services, we understand what it takes to earn and continue to maintain your trust and confidence in Office 365.

Our construct for security, compliance, and privacy in Office 365 has two equally important dimensions: Built-in capabilities that include service-wide technical capabilities, operational procedures, and policies that are enabled by default for customers using the service; and Customer controls that include features that enable you to customize the Office 365 environment based on the specific needs of your organization.

We will look at Built-in capabilities and Customer controls for each of the key pillars of trust – Security, Compliance, and Privacy – in more detail below.


Security of our customers’ information is a key trust principle. We implement policies and controls to safeguard customer data in the cloud and provide unique customer controls that you can use to customize your organizational environment in Office 365.

Built-in capabilities

As an Office 365 customer, you will benefit directly from in-depth security features that we have built into the service as a result of experience gained from years of building enterprise-grade software, managing a number of online services and billions of dollars in security investments. We have implemented technologies and processes that are independently verified to ensure high security of customer data.

Some key aspects of our built-in security capabilities are:

  • Physical security – We monitor our data centers 24/7 and we have technologies and processes to protect our data centers from unauthorized access or natural disasters
  • Security best practices -We use best practices in design like Secure Development Lifecycle and operations like defense-in-depth to keep your data secure in our data centers
  • Data encryption – Every customers’ email content is encrypted at rest using BitLocker Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption
  • Secure network layer – Our networks are segmented, providing physical separation of critical back-end servers from the public-facing interfaces at the same time our Edge router security detects intrusions and signs of vulnerability
  • Automated operations like Lock Box processes – Access to the IT systems that store customer data is strictly controlled via lock box processes. This access control mechanism is similar to a system where two people have to turn the key for an action to be allowed.

Customer controls

As a result of Office 365 offering productivity services to a wide range of industries, we have built both features and choices that you can control to enhance the security of data based on the needs of your organization.

Some key aspects of our customer controls for security are:

  • Exchange Hosted Encryption – Enables delivery of confidential business communications safely, letting users send and receive encrypted email directly from their desktops as easily as regular email.
  • S/MIME – Enables encryption of an email messages and allows for the originator to digitally sign the message to protect the integrity and origin of the message. As part of our continued investment in security technologies that Government and Security conscious customers care about, we are adding support for S/MIME for Office 365 in the first quarter of Calendar Year 2014.
  • Rights Management Services – Enables a user to encrypt information using 128-bit AES and use policies on email or documents so that the content is appropriately used by specified people.
  • Role based access control – Allows administrators to enable access to authorized users based on role assignment, role authorization and permission authorization.
  • Exchange Online Protection – Allows administrators to manage your company’s Anti-virus and Anti-spam settings from within the Office 365 administration console.
  • Identity Management – Provides organizations with various options for identity management such as cloud based identity, identities mastered on-premises with secure token based authentication or hashed passwords to integrate into the Office 365 identity management system based on the security needs of your organization.
  • Two factor Authentication – Enhances security in a multi-device, mobile, and cloud-centric world by using a second factor, such as a PIN, in addition to the primary factor which is identity.


Another key principle of Office 365 trust is Compliance.  It is expected that commercial organizations have regulations and policies that they must comply with to operate businesses in various industries. These policies can be a mix of external regulatory requirements that vary depending on industry and geographical location of the organization and internal company-based policies.  Office 365 provides built-in capabilities and customer controls to help customers meet both various industry regulations and internal compliance requirements.

Built-in capabilities

Office 365 stays up-to-date with many of today’s ever-evolving standards and regulations, giving customers greater confidence.  To bolster this and to continue earning your confidence, we undergo third-party audits by internationally recognized auditors as an independent validation that we comply with our policies and procedures for security, compliance and privacy.

Some key aspects of built-in compliance capabilities are:

  • Independently Verified – Third party audits verify that Office 365 meets many key world-class industry standards and certifications
  • Control framework – We follow a strategic approach of implementing extensive standard controls that in turn satisfy various industry regulations. Office 365 supports over 600 controls that enable us to meet complex standards and offer contracts to customers in regulated industries or geographies, like ISO 27001, the EU Model Clauses, HIPAA Business Associate Agreements, FISMA/FedRAMP
  • Comprehensive Data Processing Agreement – Our Data Processing Agreement comprehensively addresses privacy and security of customer data, helping customers comply with local regulations

Customer Controls

We provide Compliance controls within the service to help our customers comply based on the policy needs of their organization.

Some key customer controls for compliance are:

  • Data Loss Prevention – Helps customers to identify, monitor and protect sensitive data through content analysis
  • Archiving – Allows organizations to preserve electronically stored information retaining e-mail messages, calendar items, tasks, and other mailbox items
  • E-Discovery – Permits customers to retrieve content from across Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online, and even file shares


Privacy is our third trust principle.  As more and more customers are relying on online service providers to keep their data safe from loss, theft, or misuse by third parties, other customers, or even the provider’s employees, we recognize that cloud services raise unique privacy questions for businesses.

To meet your needs, we are continually developing technologies to enhance privacy in our services. We call this privacy by design – which is our commitment to use best practices to help protect and manage customer data.

Built-in Capabilities

Key built-in capabilities and principles of Privacy in Office 365 are:

  • No Advertising – We do not scan email, documents, build analytics or data mine to build advertising products. In fact, we do not use your information for anything other than providing you services you have subscribed for.
  • Data Portability – As an Office 365 customer, your data belongs to you, and you can export your data at any time with no restrictions. We act only as a data processor and provider of productivity services, not as a data owner
  • Notice and Consent – When we act upon your data, we let you know why and we ask for permission in advance or redirect any enquiries to our customers unless legally prevented to do so.
  • Breach Response – We have strong, tested and audited processes to inform you if there is a breach and remediate issues if they occur.
  • Data Minimization – We strive to minimize the actual amount of customer data that our internal teams have access to.

Customer Controls

In addition to built-in capabilities, Office 365 enables you to collaborate through the use of transparent policies and strong tools while providing the distinct ability to control information sharing.

Some examples of customer controls for privacy are:

  • Rights Management in Office 365 – Allows individuals and administrators to specify access permissions to documents, workbooks, and presentations. This helps you prevent sensitive information from being printed, forwarded, or copied by unauthorized people by applying intelligent policies
  • Privacy controls for sites, libraries and folders– SharePoint Online, a key component service of Office 365 that provides collaboration functionality has a number of privacy controls. One example is that SharePoint Online sites are set to “private” by default. A second example is that a document uploaded to a SkyDrive Pro is not shared until the user provides explicit permissions and identifies who to share with.
  • Privacy controls for communications In Lync Online, another key component service that provides real time communications in Office 365, there are various administrator level controls as well as user level controls to enable or block communication with external users and organizations. One example is blocking access to federation in Lync. Similarly there are controls throughout the service for the admins and users to ensure privacy of their content and communications.

Department of Defense makes Office 365 available for purchase

The U.S. Army announced an award for Cloud Services email and calendaring, unified capabilities, and collaboration tools has been made to Microsoft for Office 365. The Blanket Purchase Agreement is available to any Department of Defense (DoD) Service, agency and mission partner without additional competitive process. This opportunity gives Microsoft the ability to work at all levels within the DoD to provide commercial cloud services.

Microsoft has a long history of partnering with the Department of Defense. In November 2012, the Army, Air Force and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) expanded access to Microsoft solutions in a contract-partnership that ensures standardization, interoperability, and enhanced security through modernized technology infrastructure and virtualization that helps reduce costs and foster new levels of cross-agency collaboration.

Microsoft Office declares Get it Done Day!

Like many of you, I woke up today with a full “to-do” list. 30-minute commute, 8 a.m. meeting in the office, back-to-back meetings including a Lync video call with my team in San Francisco, 150 (and growing) unread emails in my inbox, a long list of Yammer conversations to catch up on, and somehow I need to squeeze in time for a workout and plan that family winter vacation.

Sound familiar? It should, my day is a lot like yours and millions of others who are juggling busy personal and professional lives. Our always on, always connected lifestyles mean our to-do lists never stop growing, while time seems to move faster, with the lines between our work and personal lives blurring more than ever before.

In fact, in a new study conducted by Harris Interactive, over half (55%) of office workers said they are expected to be able to get work done no matter where they are, and more than one third (37%) said they do their best thinking outside of the office. The study also uncovered some surprising things people would do to accomplish more from wherever they are–like take a pay cut or give up vacation. This is a strong signal about the shifts in play in the workplace and the trends employers have to pay attention to if they want to attract, motivate and retain the best and the brightest people, today and moving forward.

That’s why Microsoft is declaring November 7 Get It Done Day. A day to spark action among people looking to balance life’s demands, on their own terms, whether they’re the chief financial officer or the chief family officer. Today, we’re celebrating what’s truly possible when busy people meet productivity tools that get the job done. From anywhere. Offline or online. On a PC, tablet, Mac or phone.

Take, for example, Jo-ann Olsovsky of BNSF Railway Co. Jo-ann and her team chose Office 365 for more than 40,000 employees (90% of which are mobile) because it provides the modern tools they need to bridge generation gaps, work from anywhere, and across multiple devices. Office 365 will help keep the trains running on time, literally.

So what gives Microsoft the right to boldly declare this day? We wrote the book on getting things done (in Word no less). Along the way, we’ve become experts on all the things that can stop things from getting done – the enemies of done. You know them. We hate them.

Maybe you’ve experienced it while at the doctor’s office and the WiFi doesn’t work. Or on a business trip when you forgot to save the report to your mobile device. With Office 365, you can work offline, sync later and turn down time into done time. Or instead of waiting for someone to email them to you, access your documents securely from any device with SkyDrive Pro.

Over a billion people–that’s 1 in 7 on the planet–rely on the familiar experience of Office to get things done. We love that, and we’ve learned so much about what it takes to help people be truly productive. But the world is changing, and Office is changing too. Now in the cloud, Office 365 brings familiar tools, reinvented and built around the way people want to work today. Flexibly. Responsive. On the go. On multiple devices. It’s getting strong traction around the world–Office 365 Home Premium has over two million subscribers, Office 365 is officially Microsoft’s fastest growing commercial product ever, 60% of the Fortune 500 companies have purchased Office 365 in the last 12 months…and we’re just getting started!

Since the service began rolling out earlier this year, we’ve delivered over 100 new Office 365 features to people and businesses. Today, we’re announcing new ones, including updates for Office Web Apps, Yammer, Power BI and household sharing for Office 365 Home Premium. We will continue to deliver subscription value with new Office 365 features and capabilities designed to help people get things done, from anywhere–without compromise–all with the privacy, security and trusted brand of Microsoft behind them.

So, are you ready to get it done? If so, we want to hear from you! Join in the action by visiting and sharing via #GetItDone how you get things done with Office and Office 365. Editing a kid’s school paper in SkyDrive while riding the morning commuter train? Show us. Using OneNote to capture a speaker’s key points and share it with your team while on a business trip in Paris? We want to see the Eiffel Tower in the background.

We hear all the time how companies are benefiting from Office 365, and now it’s time to hear from you about what’s possible when people are empowered to untether themselves and their ideas. Office 365 is not the Office you used to know–we want to hear how you’re getting it done, anywhere, in the cloud, on your phone, on your tablet, on your PC, via video, via social, offline, online, and even at the beach!

SharePoint hits the road for the Working Social Tour

With the Working Social Tour now underway and co-hosted by SharePoint, it’s a great time to talk about how Yammer is revolutionizing the workplace. But don’t take it from us-you can see for yourself at the tour’s next FREE event in New York City on Tuesday, November 5. The first stop in San Francisco was a huge success, coinciding with the launch of Yammer Moments, and SharePoint was there to live-tweet the event and capture the excitement. The training opportunities and executive lunch beforehand were a great way to get introduced to Yammer, polish your social skills and network with experts across numerous industries, and the New York event promises the same great opportunities.

Working Social Tour NYC agenda

First, hear keynote speaker Adam Pisoni, Yammer Co-founder and CTO, talk about how Yammer can transform the way you work. It’s more than enterprise social-it’s about collaboration, disruption and empowerment. Adam shows real stories about real people whose lives have been changed through Yammer, along with stories of how they now are changing others’ lives. See some of these stories on the Yammer Moments site.

Next, a panel of executives from a variety of industries will discuss how Yammer has changed their respective organizations. The stories’ narratives are similar and mirror the idea that social rollout is more of a “pull” than “push”–the power of the network is derived from the engagement of the users. This is in line with the Gartner findings that adoption is 80% organizational change and 20% technological.  (Gartner, The Nexus Effect and How the Nexus of Forces Alters Established Architecture Models, Sept. 2012.) You will learn best practices, how to overcome the struggles and obstacles of shifting communication to social and unique success stories about the social journey.

From there, you’ll have the chance to attend various breakout sessions, ranging from an introductory overview session, to a deep dive session filled with integration updates, product announcements and best practices.

The event closes with a cocktail reception where attendees can mix it up with Yammer and Microsoft executives and professionals from an array of organizations. On top of being a great opportunity to network with industry experts, there are also booths where you can preview products and hear about the latest improvements, watch Twitter discussions surrounding the event and see the power of Yammer in real-time.


Enterprise social encompasses both measurable and immeasurable benefits, but Yammer offers both. While the increased productivity and collaboration advantages are clear, Yammer also adds intangible value to businesses. According to a recent Gallup study, only 13% of global employees are engaged in the workplace. Yammer increases engagement by flattening organizations and giving a megaphone to employees at every level. This isn’t simply giving workers empowering technology, this is giving workers a voice. Yammer puts the ideas, knowledge and innovation that is trapped in individuals into an open environment. Just as SharePoint and Office 365 leverage technology to improve productivity and streamline workloads, Yammer leverages human capital. It harnesses communication and concepts and turns them in actionable projects. It transforms the way that people work and changes how organizations get work done. Companies that don’t embrace and leverage enterprise social will be disrupted, but in today’s world of accelerated pace of change, Yammer helps you compete and win in an increasingly fast, and increasingly smart marketplace.

Register for Working Social Tour in NYC or Amsterdam

Book your place now for the Working Social Tour taking over New York City on November 5 and Amsterdam on February 11. For people who are not yet sold on the idea of enterprise social, the Working Social Tour is FREE, so you have nothing to lose.

Go deeper with Yammer

There is an entire track dedicated to enterprise social and Yammer at SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas, March 3-6, 2014. Learn about further integration and new features, get Yammer-certified, learn to develop apps with Yammer, and dive deep into community management, user adoption, increasing engagement, and much more!


Yammer is expanding to all Office 365 Enterprise customers

There have been a lot of new
announcements happening lately that involve SharePoint and our audiences, and in
celebration of the Get It Done Day kickoff,
we would like to announce another. Yammer Enterprise will now be included with
all Office
365 Enterprise
plans. With
this, all existing Office 365 Enterprise plan customers will receive licenses
for Yammer Enterprise.

find out more about Yammer Enterprise with Office 365, recent product and
roadmap updates, check out Jared Spataro’s post on the Office 365 for Business blog here.

How take advantage of Microsoft Office?

Office Setup


Its a adeptly known fact that the pace of intensely developed fine-environment is quickening difficult than all enterprises. Iformation Technology (IT) is enjoyable bleeding edge of this pattern. We constructed Microsoft FastTrack to pro going on IT relationships grasp this bend by making it simpler for them to have an effect on to the cloud and have the funds for a assenting reply their matter exaltation speedier. Included taking into consideration Office 365 at no added lawsuit, Microsoft FastTrack is the Office Setup 365 client leisure goings-on gain for our involve clients.

Microsoft FastTrack has empowered on peak of 22,000 clients, moved 2.45 PB of recommendation and is right now going occurring as well as to greater than 4,000 supplement clients consistently. We have far afield along than 800 FastTrack engineers concerning the world, accessible to benefit you and your abettor in 12 dialects, giving best practices, knowledge and running.

FastTrack helps IT groups arrange, locally simple and aspiration selection of Office 365 inside their dealingscrossways on peak of Exchange, SharePoint, Skype, Yammer and Office applications. To significantly more clients, we included doings advance for Notes, Gmail, GroupWise, baby book shares, Box and Google Drive.

One of the keys to any bring to simulation leisure doings, subsequent to an attachment has sent the subsidiary apparatuses, is to ensure individuals are learning and utilizing them. The innocent most renowned protester assets for selection incorporate our Awareness units to outlook familiarity subsequent to Office 365 situations, the Office Training Center for client preparing content, and the Productivity Library to lead people in HR, R&D, Finance, Legal and Sales profit the best adoration from Office Setup 365.


New FastTrack present for SharePoint 2013 movements

As you prepare for onboarding, we can foster you taking into account messages and document hobby from subsidiary re-premises situations and cloud suppliers later than Notes, Gmail, GroupWise, sticker album shares, Box and Google Drive.

Today, we are satisfied to relation a constrained period permit of motion administrations from going in this area for-premises SharePoint 2013 to Office 365accessible at no bonus cost to qualified Office 365 clients until March 31, 2017. This manage to pay for is accessible to clients along along then no less than 150 licenses for a certified administration or object for their Office 365 occupant. For clients who insults this meet the expense of, the FastTrack computer graphics will evaluate your SharePoint 2013 setting, and furthermore you fabricate and slay an accord to involve from your as regards-premises organization destinations and MySites to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, individually. Allude to the come taking place back the maintenance for FAQs for an entire rundown of things accessible for leisure leisure pursuit. To begin, sign into FastTrack and request the find the maintenance for from the rundown of accessible offers.

FastTrack helps clients include their organizations

FastTrack is building driven by endeavor to previously you diminish the period and cost of hobby, and resolve accord and reception challenges all the more effortlessly. As the FastTrack bureau works together in the middle of clients, we profit from those encounters and utilize the greater part of that figuring out how to persistently include the administration. With more clients finding the advantages of Office 365 and FastTrack, relocations are currently expanding at a plenty rate of 10 percent for each month. For instance, organizations subsequent to CSC, a main IT administrations handing out, and Jabil, a worldwide maker, have utilized FastTrack to badly be not a hundred percent to Office 365 to construct profitability and build occurring coordinated effort.

FastTrack is for ever and a day advancing

In the course of recent months, weve for all time modern FastTrack to habitat your issues by improving the FastTrack computerized involvement also and extending the extent of administrations conveyed by our designing organization. Take in more approximately whats incorporated (or not) by watching this webcast and perusing our administration depiction. Visit the Office 365 Roadmap to locate out just approximately additional supplement redesigns, components and upgrades originating from Microsoft FastTrack.

Need to pull in also FastTrack? Sign in at to make your customized completion plot and demand FastTrack assert happening.

We anticipate helping you concern to Office 365.

The Garage Series: Unleashing Power BI for Office 365

In this week’s show, host Jeremy Chapman is joined by Michael Tejedor from the SQL Server team to discuss Power BI and show it in action. Power BI for Office 365 is a cloud based solution that reduces the barriers to deploying a self-service Business Intelligence environment for sharing live Excel based reports and data queries as well as new features and services that enable ease of data discover and information access from anywhere. Michael draws up the self-service approach to Power BI as well as how public data can be queried and combined in a unified view within Excel. Then they walk through an end-to-end demo of Excel and Power BI components–Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View, Power Map and Q&A–as they optimize profitability of a bar and rein in bartenders with data.

Last week Mark Kashman and I went through the administrative controls of managing user access and mobile devices, but this week I’m joined by Michael Tejedor and we shift gears completely to talk data, databases and business intelligence. Back in July we announced Power BI for Office 365 and how this new service along with the  using the familiar tools within Excel, enables you can to discover, analyze, visualize and share data in powerful ways. Power BIThe solution includes Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View, Power Map and as well as a host of Power BI features including Q&A.  and how using the familiar tools within Excel, you can discover, analyze, visualize and share data in powerful ways. Power BI includes Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View, Power Map and Q&A.

  • Power Query is a data search engine allowing you to query data from within your company and from external data sources on the Internet, all within Excel.
  • Power Pivot lets you create flexible models within Excel that can process large data sets quickly using SQL Server’s in-memory database.
  • Power View allows you to manipulate data and compile it into charts, graphs and other visualizations. It’s great for presentations and reports
  • Power Map is a 3D data visualization tool for mapping, exploring and interacting with geographic and temporal data.
  • Q&A is a natural language query engine that lets users easily query data using common terms and phrases.

In many cases, the process to get custom reports and dashboards from the people running your databases, sales or operations systems is something like submitting a request to your database administrator and a few phone calls or meetings to get what you want. I came from an logistics and operations management background, it could easily take 2 or 3 weeks to even make minor tweaks to an operational dashboard. Now you can use something familiar–Excel–in a self-service way to hook into your local databases, Excel flat files, modern data sources like Hadoop or public data sources via Power Query and the data catalogue. All of these data sources can be combined create powerful insights and data visualizations, all can be easily and securely shared with the people you work with through the Power BI for Office 365 service.

Of course all of this sounds great, but you can’t really get a feel for it until you see it. Michael and team built out a great demo themed after a bar and using data to track alcohol profitability, pour precision per bartender and Q&A to query all of this using normal query terms. You’ll want to watch the show to see how everything turns out and of course to see all of these power tools in action. Of course if you want to kick the tires and try Power BI for Office 365, you can register for the preview now.

Next time, we’ll kick off a two-part special focusing on small business use of Office 365 and getting everything up and running with Office 365 Small Business Premium.

Real-time co-authoring in the Excel Web App: Why and how we did it

What is real-time co-authoring?

You can check out all of the new real-time co-authoring features on SkyDrive and Office 365, but the biggest changes you’ll experience are:

  • Real-time presence. The ability to see what your collaborators have selected in the spreadsheet and if they’re currently editing a cell.
  • Real-time data. When someone changes the content, you see the new data immediately.
  • List of collaborators. At the top right of your screen, a list shows everyone working in the file and lets you click their name to jump to their location.

Figure 1: Real-time presence and co-authoring in Excel Web App.

Why we did it

We’ve heard feedback that customers would really like to see more collaboration features. We did some site visits, met at conferences, and invited people to visit the Microsoft office so we could observe how you use the Excel Web App to collaborate with each other. We found that one of the biggest challenges with collaboration was that it wasn’t easy to discover where other people were working in the workbook. Because of this, content would appear without any indication of the change. To provide a first-class collaboration experience, we knew we needed to solve this problem.

How we did it

To truly understand how co-authoring works today, we need to start with how it used to work. The Excel Web App has had co-authoring for many years, but it hasn’t been real-time. In the past, your browser would communicate with the server using a timer. Depending on how active you were in the spreadsheet, the browser would ask the server for updates anywhere from every few seconds to every few minutes. As a result, you would see the changes eventually, but there could be quite some time between when the other person updated the spreadsheet and when they appeared on your screen. If you were trying to work together with someone else, the speed of these updates just wasn’t fast enough.

Figure 2: Browsers used a timer and only received updates from the server when they asked for them.

To get us to real-time, we added a component on the server that sends notifications to all browsers connected to a workbook each time selection or content changes. This means whenever you type in a cell or move your selection rectangle to a different place, the server immediately sends an update to everyone, and their browsers immediately download the new information. You can think of it like a school ringing the lunch bell once the food is ready so that all of the students know to pick up their meals. This eliminates unnecessary server requests from the browser, since browsers don’t have to ask if there are changes when there aren’t any. It also greatly reduced the amount of time between the update making it to the server and everyone else receiving it, since browsers are notified immediately when a change is available. With these changes, the time it takes to see other collaborators’ updates decreased from 2-30 seconds to less than 1 second on average.

Figure 3: Browsers now get updates as soon as they are made since all of the browsers are always connected.

Optimizing the data transfer

In designing the model, we quickly realized that if everyone is active in the spreadsheet, we could be sending quite a bit of information over the network, resulting in slower connections and higher data plan costs. To remedy this, we send updates for only the things you need. We do this by having the browser tell the server what part of the workbook it’s looking at so that the server only sends down the relevant portion. For example, if I make a change on sheet1 while you are looking at sheet2, we wouldn’t send it to you unless you switch to sheet1. Additionally, we segment certain types of information so that if only a single thing changes, we don’t have to send the whole package again. A good example of this is selection: if there are 20 people in the workbook and only 1 person changes their selection, we send you that one person’s new location rather than resending all 20. The result is much less data over the wire, which means faster collaboration and better data plan usage for you.

Figure 4: Only the user in the middle received the change to A1 since the third user can’t even see it.

Introducing Office Remote

Today we’re excited to announce Office Remote, a new app from Microsoft Research that turns your Windows Phone 8 into a smart remote allowing you to interact with Microsoft Office 2013 or Office 365 documents on your PC. The app gives you the ability to control Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents from across the room, so you can walk around freely during presentations.  To learn more about how the Office Remote app came to be, go to the Inside Microsoft Research Blog and then check out the Windows Phone Store to download and give Office Remote a try!

Atominx: Growing together with Office 365

Technology has always fascinated me. My first experience with computing was at age 13, when my mom brought home a used PC. I couldn’t stop using it. Looking at the screen was almost like being in a second world. You could write text and then change it in an instant. There were so many things that you could do compared to working with paper, and that really amazed me.

Initially, I thought I wanted to fix computers, but when I entered the university, I began to enjoy the creative side of technology. While at Manchester Metropolitan University, I designed a website for a veterinary clinic. From there, I got my first paid client, and my work started to snowball.

In addition to the amazing capabilities that computers make possible, I’ve always been intrigued by the pace at which technology is advancing. I want to be the first to know about every new release. I want to learn it and tell people about it, so it’s no wonder that I ended up in my current profession.

Powering My Business with Office 365

When I first started Atominx in 2009, it was a one-man shop. Today, I’m the director of a 10-person staff. Like technology itself, the growth of our company has been accelerating very rapidly. To facilitate our success, we rely on Microsoft Office 365. Not only does Office 365 help us to collaborate effectively with both designers and customers, but it also helps us show our customers that we are business professionals, equipped and ready to meet their needs.

At Atominx, I initially chose Google Mail [Gmail] because it was free. But as I hired more people, it became clear that Gmail wasn’t able to keep pace with our collaboration and business needs. Our employees and most of our freelance designers were using Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010, but they couldn’t use Outlook because it was difficult to interoperate with Gmail. With Gmail, it was sometimes difficult to send or open meeting invitations and attachments. To improve our collaboration capabilities, I ended up piecing together several third-party solutions.

As the head of a small business, I don’t have the time to help my employees and freelancers troubleshoot constant problems. I just need a solution that works. I realized that we were outgrowing Google and that we also needed to develop a single communication domain and a more professional identity.

In October 2011, Atominx began using Office 365 and I’ve never looked back. It offers all the features we need, and it’s a solid, complete solution that works well with both PCs and mobile devices. Just reading about all the integrated services and productivity enabled by Office 365 made me want to switch. But as I’ve used Office 365, I now realize it’s not just the features that make it such a great solution. It’s the way everything works together so seamlessly. Gmail felt fragmented, and we needed to supplement it with other products to fill in the gaps. But with Office 365, all the capabilities are there, and they all work in tandem as a single, unified solution.

One of the things I love about Office 365 is that we always have the latest technology to power our business. We never have to download anything. Instead, when we open Office 365, new updates and security fixes are simply there. I find that truly magical.

Visiting the Place Where Technology Is Envisioned and Developed

Whether it’s a bank ATM machine or a mobile phone, many of the advances that we use in our day-to-day lives hail from Redmond. I had always wanted to visit the place where so much technology is being developed. To my great excitement, I was recently invited to Redmond!

As part of my visit, I toured the Microsoft Envisioning Center, which is all about future technologies and their potential to shape our world. My tour made me realize that Microsoft developers aren’t just thinking about technology for the here and now. They’re looking to the future. I was also fascinated by the amount of work that goes into making a specific product or service. With software, you simply use it when it’s released. You never think that people have been working on it for years.