All workers welcome with Microsoft 365

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Today at Microsoft Ignite, we unveiled a new vision for empowering First line Workers in the digital age and introduced Microsoft 365 F1—a new offering that brings together Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security to deliver a complete, intelligent solution to empower all workers.

The modern workplace requires companies to meet new employee expectations, connect a more distributed workforce, and provide the tools that allow all employees to create, innovate, and work together to solve customer and business problems. A truly modern workplace brings out the best in employee ingenuity, creates a culture of innovation and action, and welcomes and empowers all workers from the executive team to the Firstline Workforce.

Firstline Workers comprise the majority of our global workforce. Numbering two billion people worldwide, they are the people behind the counter, on the phone, in the clinics, on the shop floor, and in the field. They are often the first to engage customers, the first to represent a company’s brand, and the first to see products and services in action. They form the backbone of many of the world’s largest industries, and without them, the ambitions of many organizations could not be brought to life.

We see an opportunity for technology to give Firstline Workers a more intuitive, immersive, and empowering experience. Microsoft is in a unique position to help companies tap into the potential of their Firstline Workforce with our commercial product offerings, spanning Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Microsoft IoT, Microsoft AI, and Microsoft HoloLens and the Windows Mixed Reality ecosystem.

The introduction of Microsoft 365 F1 represents a significant next step towards our vision of involving the Firstline Workforce in digital transformation by empowering every worker with technology.

Transforming the First line Worker experience

Microsoft 365 F1 includes the capabilities and tools to enable every worker to turn their ideas into action. It fosters culture and community, with Skype Meeting Broadcast for interactive town hall meetings and Yammer to help employees find and share best practices across the company.

Microsoft 365 F1 makes it easy to train and upskill employees, with Microsoft Stream to share dynamic, role-based content and video, and SharePoint to easily distribute onboarding and training materials and manage institutional knowledge in one secure place.

It supports firstline productivity and digitizes business processes, with Microsoft StaffHub, a purpose-built app for Firstline Workers to manage their workday and Microsoft PowerApps and Flow to automate everyday activities. Today, we’re announcing new capabilities coming to StaffHub, including the ability for employees to clock in/out and track tasks. We are also making it easier for employees to stay connected in StaffHub, by integrating messaging with Microsoft Teams, the hub for teamwork, and highlighting corporate announcements made in Yammer. Finally, we’re enabling customers to connect StaffHub to workforce management systems and other tools with the availability of general APIs.

Microsoft 365 F1 streamlines IT management, minimizes cost, and extends security to all employees and endpoints. Azure Active Directory provides management of employee identity and access; Microsoft Intune helps secure devices; and new features in Windows 10 simplify the management of Firstline Workers’ experiences, supporting locked down single purpose devices with Windows Assigned Access and automated deployment with Windows AutoPilot.

Finally, we recognize the importance of providing Firstline Workers streamlined and secure devices that minimize total cost of ownership. Today, we’re announcing new commercial devices with Windows 10 S from our OEM partners HP, Lenovo, and Acer. Starting as low as $275, these devices benefit from cloud-based identity and management and are ideal for firstline environments.

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Accelerating business in a digital financial market—KeyBank trusts Microsoft 365

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To say that KeyBank is growing is an understatement. The bank just announced that it ranks ninth in the U.S. according to the Small Business Administration. This represents a 43 percent jump in dollar volume from 2016 levels, more than doubling its loan commitment since 2015.

KeyBank accounts for this success by focusing on serving small businesses that help to build prosperous communities across the country. This financial services company is also banking on the Microsoft Cloud platform to provide employees with the highly secure, modern workplace they need to deliver the responsive service that customers expect in today’s digital business environment.

Here’s how Keith Silvestri, chief technology officer of KeyBank, describes his company’s decision to work with Microsoft:

“At KeyBank, meeting our clients’ business needs is our primary focus. Key grows by building enduring relationships through client-focused solutions and great service. To meet those needs and to ensure our competitive edge, we have begun our journey to both private and public cloud platforms for select applications. Having met our strict compliance, security, and risk requirements, Microsoft was our choice as a strategic partner in this journey. With its alignment to our digital-first approach, adopting Microsoft 365, which includes Office 365, Windows 10, and the Enterprise Mobility + Security Suite, and moving to the Azure cloud platform, will position us to achieve our technology goals faster. We look forward to offering our clients new possibilities and enhanced capabilities through our partnership with Microsoft.”

It’s great to know that KeyBank trusts Microsoft Cloud services to empower employees, meet its regulatory obligations, and safeguard its customers’ financial data with comprehensive, intelligent cloud protection services.

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New to Office 365 in December—extending human ingenuity with everyday AI

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Earlier today in San Francisco, Harry Shum, executive vice president of Microsoft AI & Research, demonstrated how Microsoft is infusing intelligent technologies across our core products to make artificial intelligence (AI) available to everyone, with the simple goal of helping people deliver their best work.

Office 365 is built on Microsoft’s powerful platform for AI that makes advancements in machine learning and AI accessible to every developer and organization. From document translation to intelligent threat detection, AI is already enhancing the productivity experience of over 120 million commercial Office 365 users.

New Office 365 AI capabilities this month help subscribers discover insights from data, leverage organizational knowledge, arrive on time for events, and more. Read on for details.

Automatically unlock rich insights with AI (preview)

Every day, millions of Office 365 subscribers rely on Excel to perform complex analysis and derive value from their organizations’ data with intelligent tools like Flash Fill and advanced data transformation. For many, however, extracting key insights from a new data set can be intimidating. Today, we’re announcing the preview of Insights in Excel—a new service that automatically highlights patterns it detects, which makes it easier for everyone to explore and analyze their data. Powered by machine learning, Insights helps identify trends, outliers, and other useful visualizations, providing new and useful perspectives on data. Insights begins rolling out in preview to Office insiders this month.

An animated screenshot demonstrates Insights in Excel.
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Excel will provide automatic insights.

Master company lingo with machine learning

Every workplace is unique, and understanding the internal acronyms in use across an organization can be essential to success. Today, we announced a new Microsoft Word feature called Acronyms. Powered by machine learning, Acronyms helps people understand shorthand that is commonly used in their own workplaces by leveraging the Microsoft Graph to surface definitions of terms that have been previously defined across emails and documents. Acronyms will begin rolling out to Word Online for Office 365 commercial subscribers in 2018.

A screenshot shows the Acronyms feature used in Word Online.
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Master company acronyms in Word Online.

Get to events on time with Outlook

In 2017, we rolled out several new capabilities in Outlook that help users automatically detect trips and deliveries, triage email, schedule meetings, and more. Today, we’re expanding this set of AI-powered tools by bringing Cortana to the Outlook mobile app to help users stay on top of their day. When it is time to leave for appointments, Outlook will now send a notification—with directions for both driving and public transit—taking into account current location, the event location, and real-time traffic information. Time to leave in Outlook is rolling out to iOS users this month in markets where Cortana is available.

An animated GIF demonstrates the "Time to leave" feature in Outlook.
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Outlook will notify you when it’s time to leave for your next event.

Bring people, ideas, and content together with Microsoft Whiteboard Preview

This month, we also announced the preview of Microsoft Whiteboard for Windows 10 devices—a freeform digital canvas where people, ideas, and content can come together. Microsoft Whiteboard Preview is built for teams who ideate and work together across multiple devices and locations. Unlike traditional whiteboards, the app uses AI to recognize freeform drawings and turn them into standard shapes, so it’s easier to create great-looking tables, diagrams, and flowcharts using only a pen. Users can work together in real-time on shared content and automatically save to the cloud to pick their work up later from another device. Microsoft Whiteboard is now available in preview from the Windows Store.

Find text in images with intelligent search


Earlier this year, we introduced the ability for OneDrive and SharePoint to automatically recognize the content within images and detect whiteboards, screenshots, receipts, and more. Today, we are expanding this capability to automatically extract searchable text from those images, making it easier to find a wide range of content, including receipts and business cards, using memorable search terms and without needing to know where the images are stored. Text in image search is currently rolling out and will be available to all Office 365 commercial subscribers by the end of December.

Three smartphones display intelligent search in images.
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Search for text in images stored in Office 365.

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 Monthly Channel and Semi-Annual Channel can also get early access to a fully supported build through Targeted Release (Clients Services). This site explains more about when you can.

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Office 365 Education delivers the next wave of innovation for inclusive and collaborative learning

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Our ongoing commitment to create more inclusive and collaborative learning environments continues today with the arrival of a number of powerful updates to Office 365 Education. Building on the momentum of OneNote Class Notebook, which has surpassed more than 15 million notebooks created since the beginning of this school year, and the launch of Microsoft Teams for Education, we have worked with students, teachers, and research institutes to ensure that Office 365 continues to deliver the best learning outcomes. This week at Bett, we’ll share how Office 365 Education enables teachers to engage every learner—ensuring equality and inclusion in schools to empower all students to do their best work.

Today’s updates to Office 365 Education include enabling students to write a paper using only their voice, thanks to Dictation in Office, the latest feature to join Microsoft Learning Tools, as well as improved access to assignments and class collaboration with the Microsoft Teams iPhone and Android apps. What’s more, we are delivering on the number one most requested feature from teachers, page locking in OneNote Class Notebook—allowing teachers to provide students with read-only access—and we will further help teachers save time through assignment and grade integrations with leading Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Student Information Systems (SIS), including Capita SIMS in the U.K. Office 365 Education gives teachers and students the power to unlock limitless learning. And best of all, it’s free for teachers and students.

Inclusive Learning Tools for better student results

Classrooms are diverse. Seventy-three percent of classrooms have students with reading levels that span four or more grades, and up to 50 percent of instructional time can be lost managing the students’ varying needs. Learning Tools is proven to help, and we are humbled by the results. In a recent study, it was shown to increase reading speed and comprehension for students of all abilities, leading to test scores that were 10 percent higherthan students who did not use Learning Tools.

We are incredibly excited to see strong adoption of Learning Tools with more than 7 million monthly active usersacross Word, OneNote, Outlook, Edge, and Office Lens. Based on feedback from teachers, students, and parents, we have been working on extending the capabilities of Learning Tools even further—and today we are excited to announce several updates.

  • Dictation in Office—This simple yet transformational tool will help students of all abilities to write freely by using only their voice. Starting in February, Dictation will be available in Word, Word Online, PowerPoint, Outlook Desktop, OneNote Windows 10, and OneNote Online—and in more than nine languages.

Animated screenshot displays Dictation in Office.

  • Read Aloud—Allows students to hear the contents of an email while each word is highlighted in sync. It will soon be available on Outlook Desktop in more than 30 text-to-speech languages.
  • Immersive Reader—To further support students of different backgrounds, Immersive Reader now supports an additional 10 new languages. It is also coming to even more platforms in 2018 and will soon be available on Word for Mac, iPhone, and Android, as well as Outlook Desktop and OneNote for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
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Office 365 1

New features for teaching and learning in Microsoft Teams

Since delivering Microsoft Teams for Office 365 Education last year, we’ve seen educators around the globe boost collaboration and learning outcomes using Teams as their digital hub. In addition to our recent announcement, we’re releasing a number of features that will make setting up, collaborating, and managing a classroom in Teams easier than ever before.

  • Assignments support—Using the Teams app on their iOS and Android mobile phone or tablet, students can now access upcoming assignments, receive new assignment notifications, and turn in their work. Teachers can create new assignments, as well as review and make edits to existing assignments all while on the go. We also improved the search function on mobile to ensure both students and teachers can quickly find and navigate to individual assignments.
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Office 365 2
  • On Demand Translation—Students and teachers will soon be able to turn content in a chat or in a team channel into the language that their tenant is configured in. This powerful feature allows teachers and students to converse comfortably in their chosen language and removes all language barriers.
  • Assignment Analytics—Now teachers can track assignment engagement in real time—at a glance—to see who’s viewed and turned in their work.
  • Join Codes—Saves teachers valuable time by allowing them to simply invite students to a class. This capability will also prove helpful for staff and PLC teams, ensuring an effortless start to collaborating with co-workers.
  • Reusing a Team as a Template—Teachers can reuse an existing team as a template when creating a new team and can customize what they want to copy over—from channels, tabs, team setting, apps, and even users.
  • Decimal Grading—Teachers can provide grading feedback in their preferred way using Decimal Grading.

New OneNote features for teachers

OneNote is also receiving helpful new features, which we know are going to prove popular among teachers.

  • Capita SIMS—Updates to Class Notebook include assignment and grade integration with more than 35 of the most widely used LMS and SIS, including Capita SIMS in the U.K. These integrations are coming to OneNote for Windows 10, OneNote Online, and OneNote iPad, and will reduce administrative burden and save teachers time.
  • Page Locking—To further simplify classroom workflows, we are delivering on the number-one request from teachers for Class Notebooks—enabling lock pages. Teachers can now lock pages as read-only after giving feedback to the student.
  • Interactive math calculators—In OneNote, we are also enabling Desmos interactive math calculators, a set of popular applications for STEM teachers.
  • New stickers—We also added four new fun sticker packs: Feathered Friends, Science, Circus Animals, and Arrows.
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Office 365 3
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Introducing the Microsoft 365 Admin Center


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Last year, at Inspire, we unveiled Microsoft 365, bringing together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security, to deliver a complete, intelligent and secure solution for the modern workplace. In October Microsoft 365 Business reached general availability, representing an integrated solution designed to simplify IT for small and medium-sized businesses.

We know that our customers, from small businesses to large enterprises, rely on the admin center for a broad set of activities. From an administration perspective, our vision for Microsoft 365 is to help simplify IT by unifying management across users, devices, apps and services. Today marks an important step in that vision as we are rolling out a new admin experience for all Microsoft 365 customers. This will be a single place for admins to get started with Microsoft 365 and discover the breadth of management capabilities and experiences available to them.

Integrated into this admin center is both the new Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Center, dedicated to providing security and compliance specialists with integrated management capabilities across Office 365, Windows, and EMS, as well as Microsoft 365 Device Management, dedicated to providing integrated device management capabilities across Intune, Office, and Windows. The Security and Compliance Center will be available shortly, with Device Management to follow afterwards. Please look forward to additional details.

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Over the coming months we will continue investing in more integrated, streamlined administration experiences across Microsoft 365 to help organizations become more productive and secure while optimizing their IT resources. We will also continue to improve the admin’s user experience, so admins can complete their tasks faster and easier and get more done with their day.

For Microsoft 365 customers, once this is rolled out to your tenant, you will automatically have the new admin experience. You can login as you usually do, or navigate to to try out the new admin experience.

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