The new Office Garage Series: Client Configuration Management 101

This week our hosts Jeremy Chapman and Yoni Kirsh explore group policy, roaming settings and go under the hood with demonstrations of redirecting update paths and new Office Telemetry tools. They also catch up with Office engineers Skji Conklin and Chris Yu on the level of IT control between the MSI-based Office Professional Plus 2013 Install and the Click-to-Run based Office 365 ProPlus install. See the new episode: www.microsoft.com/garage .

Office 365 ProPlus Administrator Series: Addressing Compatibility Concerns with Office 365 ProPlus

Author: Jeremy_MSFT Originally published to the Office 365 Preview blog. Office 365 ProPlus is designed to be compatible with existing Office files, add-ins, dependent applications and other customizations. It includes new tools to help IT organizations maintain configuration, performance and health characteristics of Office programs and adopt new versions of Office quickly. New tools for Office telemetry allow administrators to quickly troubleshoot issues at the endpoint level or monitor and manage Office programs centrally in an organization. Side-by-side support allows users to have more than one version of Office installed, giving a valuable tool to assist with transitions from older versions of Office to Office 365 ProPlus. If for any reason there are dependencies on an older version of Office, users can always go back to that version. Office Telemetry Telemetry is new to Office and provides the primary functions of maintaining the health of Office programs in a managed IT environment and helping with migrations from previous versions of Office. Telemetry is native to Office desktop apps and can be accessed via the Office Telemetry Log, an Excel-based spreadsheet that reports Office events in a sortable and filterable way. The Office Telemetry Log will allow IT admins to quickly troubleshoot issues local to that PC. The events from the Office Telemetry Log are also optionally sent to a central location and data processing service in order to provide a consolidated view across an organization. This is important for maintaining performance and compatibility characteristics when using Office and also when assessing customizations and compatibility of previous Office versions and the files created with those versions. The intent of the new Office is to maintain compatibility at the file level across Office versions, but when inconsistencies do surface, Office telemetry is designed to alert IT admins and allow them to make proactive decisions to correct and prevent issues.   The Telemetry Dashboard guide explains telemetry capabilities and how it is implemented Telemetry in Office 365 ProPlus consists of five key components: Inventory Agents Shared folders Telemetry Processor Database Telemetry Dashboard The inventory agent is integrated as part of the new Office 365 ProPlus Preview and Office Professional Plus 2013 Preview. By default, the inventorying function is turned off, but can be enabled post installation or using Active Directory Group Policy controls. Inventory agents will also be available for Office 2003 and newer clients, but they are intended for use in migration projects and not as a part of ongoing health and performance management. The inventory agent collects information from the Office Telemetry Log and will detect customizations such as add-ins, custom code (COM and Browser Helper Objects) and Apps for Office. It also reports on product version and architecture.   The Office Telemetry Log collects Office events stored in Windows and displays them in Excel When inventory agents are enabled, the IT admin also specifies a shared folder location to save the inventory agent’s output files. A data processing service then processes the output files and adds entries into a SQL Server database. Finally, the Telemetry Dashboard displays reporting views from the SQL database in Excel to provide an aggregate view of Office versions, commonly used files, errors and events, plus add-ins and related solutions. Side-by-Side Version Support While it has traditionally been possible to install Office side-by-side with other older versions of Office, there have been several side-effects with having this configuration. These side-effects include prompting for and performing Office installation repair when loading the older program, removal of older Outlook versions and Start Menu shortcuts in the same folder among other issues highlighted in KB2121447 . Office 365 ProPlus is designed to allow side-by-side version support with older versions of Office. As a compatibility tool, this means the user is able to keep older versions of Office installed and in the unlikely event that a user encounters a file that does not function properly in the new Office program, they can open the older Office program and open the file from within that program. Office 365 ProPlus running alongside Office 2003 on the same system Default file associations for Office file formats (DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, etc.) will be assigned to the last version of Office installed in Windows 7 and align with how Windows 8 assigns default file associations in the operating system. To assign default file associations to the older Office version an installation repair of the older Office version will assign default file associations to the older version. Likewise, an installation repair on Office 365 ProPlus will reassign default file extensions back to the newer version. These approaches may be automated when an IT administrator pre-installs Office 365 ProPlus and wished to retain default file associations on older version until the user is trained. See Best practices for maintaining Office 2010 or equivalent articles from previous releases for more information about required command line scripting to automate the repair command. Existing Customizations with New Click-to-Run Installs Office 365 ProPlus was designed to support existing extensibility models for Office programs, including Object Model APIs, Web services and protocols, VBA, Office Add-ins and document-level customizations. In fact, in side-by-side installations, Office 365 ProPlus will examine desktop application customizations existing from previous installations of Office and load those when Office 365 ProPlus programs are executed. Customizations found in %AppData%LocalMicrosoftOffice such as OFFICEUI custom ribbon extensions and CUSTOMUI files. In the example below, I have customized Microsoft Word in Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 with a “Touch” ribbon tab and installed a third party add-in called “DYMO Label.” After installing Office 365 ProPlus and launching Word 2013, both the “Touch” tab and “DYMO Label” add-in are available.     Office Professional Plus 2010 customizations automatically applied to Office 365 ProPlus in side-by-side configuration This functionality also extends to the Office on Demand applications. If your organization is using Office 2007 or newer, file compatibility combined with familiar ribbon controls and applied pre-existing customizations should help ease user transition to the new Office. More Resources There is a lot of new content both in product and on TechNet to explain Office Telemetry, check out Deploy Office Telemetry Dashboard on TechNet. There is also more information coming out on the Office Next blog about these and further topics, so stay tuned.

Office 365 ProPlus Administrator Series: Configuring Office 365 ProPlus Applications and Experiences

Author: Jeremy_MSFT Originally published to the Office 365 Preview blog. Office 365 ProPlus was designed to enable administrators to control the configuration, installation and updating experience using familiar processes and tools. Because Office 365 ProPlus is rooted in application virtualization, a number of new tools have been developed to enable configuration management using enterprise software distribution and script-based processes. Some organizations may allow users to log in to office365.com and install their own Office programs directly from the Internet, however, this requires that users are comfortable performing this task and they have the rights to install applications on their computer. In most cases, this will be a normal case for Office 365 users who install on their personal devices or home PCs, but may not meet the requirement of a locked-down and managed environment where users are provisioned as Standard Users in Windows. In cases where users do not or cannot self-install, Office 365 ProPlus has been built to allow IT administrators to install Office on behalf of their users. This applies both to Windows image-based installations as well as standalone installs from the network, software distribution, local media or the Office 365 service. By default Office 365 ProPlus receives automatic updates, but IT can elect to disable automatic updating of Office programs and deploy only tested and approved Office builds. The Click-to-Run installation technology and toolset provides flexibility and control to manage how Office 365 ProPlus is installed and updated as well as where installation media is stored. Click-to-Run Components and Tools for the Administrator As I mentioned above, if you come from a systems management background, the first question many will ask is, “where are the bits?” The design of Office 365 ProPlus is to store installation files online via a publicly-accessible service. This allows people to perform self-installation and managed deployments to point to online installation source for initial installs and ongoing software updates. The installation files are also accessible to be downloaded and imported into enterprise software distribution tools or operating system deployment tools. The  Office Deployment Tool enables automated deployment of Office 365 ProPlus. There are three primary components needed to enable managed or “push” deployments of Office 365 ProPlus: Office 365 ProPlus installation files setup.exe bootstrapper to initiate the installation process configuration XML file to govern how and from where Office is downloaded and installed   Contents of the Office Deployment Tool The Setup and configuration XML tools are packaged together as the Office Deployment Tool and available on the Microsoft Download Center . Setup.exe in this case performs two primary tasks – it downloads Office 365 ProPlus, Visio and Project programs to a local file location using the /download command and it controls how Office programs are installed using the /configure command. Both commands point to a configuration file to govern what is downloaded and how Office is configured. The configuration XML file governs both what is downloaded and how Office Click-to-Run is applied to the target computer. The controls relevant to downloading installation source from the http://officecdn.microsoft.com/ site are the following. Note: all controls are CaSe SeNsItIvE. Option Description Sample Syntax Add Parent control to determine source, architecture, product and languages to download. From CDN:               From local network:                Product The targeted products to download within the command. Multiple products may be nested under the control and multiple languages may be nested under the control. Office 365 ProPlus      SourcePath Location where the Office is downloaded to. If unspecified, the downloaded content will be saved to the folder where the setup.exe is located. OfficeClientEdition Determines the architecture of the product to download, 32 or 64 bit. Note: 32-bit is still the recommended architecture for new Office versions. Cross-architecture installations are not permitted; if a 32-bit Office version is already installed on a system, the 64-bit Click-to-Run package will not install and vice versa.   Or: OfficeClientEdition=”32″ OfficeClientEdition=”64″ Language Language determines the language DAT files to be downloaded with the Click-to-Run package. Version Version is used as part of the control and specifies the version to be downloaded. If version is not specified, setup.exe will download the latest build. Available version numbers will be posted to KB article in the future.     Downloading Click-to-Run Installation Source Click-to-Run builds are available for download from the Office 365 service. Administrators can use the configuration XML file to determine the architecture (x86 or x64), language and version number to download. The following screenshots show the process to download Office 365 ProPlus installation files from the service.   Setup tool and command line usage You can create XML files with commands specific to downloading, installing or uninstalling Office. Here is a sample of an XML I called download.xml to download the latest Click-to-Run builds of Office 365 ProPlus Preview and Visio Pro Preview.                               Progress after executing ‘setup.exe /download download.xml’ command   Office folder is downloaded and applied to the Office Deployment Tool folder   Office 365 ProPlus build is stored as DAT and CAB files in the ..dataversionnumber folder within the directory of setup.exe or SourcePath location In a managed IT environment, the IT administrator can execute an automated scheduled task every two weeks or so to download the most recent Office 365 ProPlus builds. The great thing is that new builds always contain the latest software updates and you don’t need to add them to the updates folder as with the MSI package, they are already slipstreamed into the build and installation times for the first release build will be comparable to future builds. It is good news if you build lots of PCs with task sequence-based setup or just wish that installs when the product is in the middle of the release cycle were as fast as they were with RTM builds. As someone with a Windows imaging background, I wish I had this sooner and that other components I install in my task sequences were updated similarly, because once you start layering in a service pack and more than ten additional software updates, MSI-based installs start to get very slow. Alternatively, the administrator can manually download the exact build desired by specifying the build number in the configuration XML file. If left unspecified, the download command will download the newest available x86 build of Office 365 ProPlus. Using Active Directory Group Policy to Deploy and Enforce Configuration Templates Let’s take a small detour from setup for a minute and discuss post-installation configuration. Ideally, Group Policy configuration is decided and implemented prior to rolling out any version of Office and in the case with Click-to-Run, we need Group Policy if we want to make configuration changes to how Office is set up. Office 365 ProPlus is designed to work with Active Directory Group Policy configuration management. Aside from the handful of controls available in the configuration XML file to govern Office 365 ProPlus setup, Group Policy is required for fine-tuned configuration management of Click-to-Run installation and run time. Group Policy adds unique settings for the Office 365 ProPlus service to manage how roaming settings are accessed, control software update behavior and determine which online services are allowed for storing files among thousands of other settings.   Local Group Policy Editor in Windows Group Policy is also used to configure security settings and how new telemetry features in Office 365 ProPlus and Office Professional Plus 2013 capture and report data for client performance. New telemetry
features also utilize Group Policy to block or enable Office Add-ins from running.  The Office 2013 Preview Administrative Template (ADMX/ADML) files can be downloaded now from the Microsoft Download Center and these apply to both the Office Professional Plus 2013 and Office 365 ProPlus packages.

Office 365 ProPlus Administrator Series: Configuring Office 365 ProPlus Applications and Experiences

Author: Jeremy_MSFT Originally published to the Office 365 Preview blog. Office 365 ProPlus was designed to enable administrators to control the configuration, installation and updating experience using familiar processes and tools. Because Office 365 ProPlus is rooted in application virtualization, a number of new tools have been developed to enable configuration management using enterprise software distribution and script-based processes. Some organizations may allow users to log in to office365.com and install their own Office programs directly from the Internet, however, this requires that users are comfortable performing this task and they have the rights to install applications on their computer. In most cases, this will be a normal case for Office 365 users who install on their personal devices or home PCs, but may not meet the requirement of a locked-down and managed environment where users are provisioned as Standard Users in Windows. In cases where users do not or cannot self-install, Office 365 ProPlus has been built to allow IT administrators to install Office on behalf of their users. This applies both to Windows image-based installations as well as standalone installs from the network, software distribution, local media or the Office 365 service. By default Office 365 ProPlus receives automatic updates, but IT can elect to disable automatic updating of Office programs and deploy only tested and approved Office builds. The Click-to-Run installation technology and toolset provides flexibility and control to manage how Office 365 ProPlus is installed and updated as well as where installation media is stored. Click-to-Run Components and Tools for the Administrator As I mentioned above, if you come from a systems management background, the first question many will ask is, “where are the bits?” The design of Office 365 ProPlus is to store installation files online via a publicly-accessible service. This allows people to perform self-installation and managed deployments to point to online installation source for initial installs and ongoing software updates. The installation files are also accessible to be downloaded and imported into enterprise software distribution tools or operating system deployment tools. The  Office Deployment Tool enables automated deployment of Office 365 ProPlus. There are three primary components needed to enable managed or “push” deployments of Office 365 ProPlus: Office 365 ProPlus installation files setup.exe bootstrapper to initiate the installation process configuration XML file to govern how and from where Office is downloaded and installed   Contents of the Office Deployment Tool The Setup and configuration XML tools are packaged together as the Office Deployment Tool and available on the Microsoft Download Center . Setup.exe in this case performs two primary tasks – it downloads Office 365 ProPlus, Visio and Project programs to a local file location using the /download command and it controls how Office programs are installed using the /configure command. Both commands point to a configuration file to govern what is downloaded and how Office is configured. The configuration XML file governs both what is downloaded and how Office Click-to-Run is applied to the target computer. The controls relevant to downloading installation source from the http://officecdn.microsoft.com/ site are the following. Note: all controls are CaSe SeNsItIvE. Option Description Sample Syntax Add Parent control to determine source, architecture, product and languages to download. From CDN:               From local network:                Product The targeted products to download within the command. Multiple products may be nested under the control and multiple languages may be nested under the control. Office 365 ProPlus      SourcePath Location where the Office is downloaded to. If unspecified, the downloaded content will be saved to the folder where the setup.exe is located. OfficeClientEdition Determines the architecture of the product to download, 32 or 64 bit. Note: 32-bit is still the recommended architecture for new Office versions. Cross-architecture installations are not permitted; if a 32-bit Office version is already installed on a system, the 64-bit Click-to-Run package will not install and vice versa.   Or: OfficeClientEdition=”32″ OfficeClientEdition=”64″ Language Language determines the language DAT files to be downloaded with the Click-to-Run package. Version Version is used as part of the control and specifies the version to be downloaded. If version is not specified, setup.exe will download the latest build. Available version numbers will be posted to KB article in the future.     Downloading Click-to-Run Installation Source Click-to-Run builds are available for download from the Office 365 service. Administrators can use the configuration XML file to determine the architecture (x86 or x64), language and version number to download. The following screenshots show the process to download Office 365 ProPlus installation files from the service.   Setup tool and command line usage You can create XML files with commands specific to downloading, installing or uninstalling Office. Here is a sample of an XML I called download.xml to download the latest Click-to-Run builds of Office 365 ProPlus Preview and Visio Pro Preview.                               Progress after executing ‘setup.exe /download download.xml’ command   Office folder is downloaded and applied to the Office Deployment Tool folder   Office 365 ProPlus build is stored as DAT and CAB files in the ..dataversionnumber folder within the directory of setup.exe or SourcePath location In a managed IT environment, the IT administrator can execute an automated scheduled task every two weeks or so to download the most recent Office 365 ProPlus builds. The great thing is that new builds always contain the latest software updates and you don’t need to add them to the updates folder as with the MSI package, they are already slipstreamed into the build and installation times for the first release build will be comparable to future builds. It is good news if you build lots of PCs with task sequence-based setup or just wish that installs when the product is in the middle of the release cycle were as fast as they were with RTM builds. As someone with a Windows imaging background, I wish I had this sooner and that other components I install in my task sequences were updated similarly, because once you start layering in a service pack and more than ten additional software updates, MSI-based installs start to get very slow. Alternatively, the administrator can manually download the exact build desired by specifying the build number in the configuration XML file. If left unspecified, the download command will download the newest available x86 build of Office 365 ProPlus. Using Active Directory Group Policy to Deploy and Enforce Configuration Templates Let’s take a small detour from setup for a minute and discuss post-installation configuration. Ideally, Group Policy configuration is decided and implemented prior to rolling out any version of Office and in the case with Click-to-Run, we need Group Policy if we want to make configuration changes to how Office is set up. Office 365 ProPlus is designed to work with Active Directory Group Policy configuration management. Aside from the handful of controls available in the configuration XML file to govern Office 365 ProPlus setup, Group Policy is required for fine-tuned configuration management of Click-to-Run installation and run time. Group Policy adds unique settings for the Office 365 ProPlus service to manage how roaming settings are accessed, control software update behavior and determine which online services are allowed for storing files among thousands of other settings.   Local Group Policy Editor in Windows Group Policy is also used to configure security settings and how new telemetry features in Office 365 ProPlus and Office Professional Plus 2013 capture and report data for client performance. New telemetry
features also utilize Group Policy to block or enable Office Add-ins from running.  The Office 2013 Preview Administrative Template (ADMX/ADML) files can be downloaded now from the Microsoft Download Center and these apply to both the Office Professional Plus 2013 and Office 365 ProPlus packages.

Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer (MCA) 1.0 and Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer (RCA) 2.1 Release Announcement. We’ve been busy…

Back in November 2012, we announced our Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer Tool (MCA) Beta client.  We have been very busy working to improve the testing options that are available from the MCA client.  Here’s what we’ve built for the 1.0 release. Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer Tool 1.0 We are excited to announce the 1.0 release of the Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer .  This tool is a companion to the Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer web site.  The MCA tool provides administrators and end users with the ability to run connectivity diagnostics for five common connectivity symptoms directly from their local computer.  Users can test their own connectivity, and save results in an HTML format that administrators will recognize from viewing results on the RCA website.   Click here to install the MCA 1.0 tool (Please visit the site to view this video) Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer The MCA tool offers five test symptoms I can’t log on with Office Outlook – This test is equivalent to the Exchange RCA test for “Outlook Anywhere (RPC over HTTP)”. There is an option to run the SSO test provided on the parameters page. I can’t send or receive email on my mobile device    – This test is equivalent to the Exchange RCA test for Exchange ActiveSync. ***New*** I can’t log on to Lync on my mobile device or the Lync Windows Store App – This test checks for the Domain Name Server (DNS) records for your on-premise domain to ensure they are configured correctly for supporting Mobile Lync clients. Also it connects to the Autodiscover web service and makes sure that the authentication, certificate, web service for Mobility is correctly set up. ***New*** I can’t send or receive email from Outlook (Office 365 only) – This test checks Inbound/Outbound SMTP mail flow and also includes Domain Name Server validation checks for O365 customers. ***New*** I can’t view free/busy information of another user – This test verifies that an Office 365 mailbox can access the free/busy information of an on-premises mailbox, and vice versa (one direction per test run). Microsoft Lync Connectivity Analyzer Tool You will also notice the Lync Connectivity Analyzer Tool on the client page.  We are working on combining MCA with MLCA in the near future but wanted to make both these great tools available to customers now to improve our client diagnostics options. Feedback Send all feedback to  MCA Feedback . Please let us know what you think of the tool and whether this will be helpful in troubleshooting connectivity scenarios.  Also feel free to provide feedback on additional tests you would like to see added in the future. Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer 2.1 We are excited to announce the 2.1 release of the Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer web site.  The tool provides administrators and end users with the ability to run connectivity diagnostics for our servers to test common issues with Exchange, Lync and Office 365.  We have added new Office 365 Domain Name Server tests, enhanced existing tests, and improved the overall site experience. Be sure to check out the updates to the Remote Connectivity Analyzer website .    

What, exactly, do you get in an Office 365 plan?

Are you looking for more details about Microsoft Office 365 plans? Perhaps you’ve compared Office 365 plans and pricing and narrowed down your options, but you need more specifics. What exactly can you do in one Office 365 plan that you can’t do in another? What’s the best plan for your organization’s needs?  Are you in an IT team trying to understand the features of the online service compared to what you use today in your datacenter?   If this sounds like you, then the Office 365 Service Descriptions are a new reference here to help. These online articles detail which features are available in which Office 365 plans, such as Office 365 Enterprise E1 and Office 365 Enterprise E3, across all of the individual services, such as Exchange Online and Office 365 ProPlus.   The Office 365 Service Descriptions have been recently updated to better support the continuously updated Office 365 service.  The new service descriptions support continuous publishing so that they always reflect the most up-to-date version of the service.  Now that the documents are available on the web, we’ve added links from within the service to help admins compare and understand certain features in the context of the task they are performing.   Later in the blog post I’ll show you how to print a customized PDF file with the Office 365 Service Description content. And if you’re looking to filter out the columns and rows you’re not interested in, I’ll show you how to copy and use this data into Excel .   Updated Office 365 Service Descriptions now available A few weeks ago Microsoft announced the new Office 365 general availability release . In conjunction with the new release, we’ve updated the Office 365 Service Descriptions. Feature availability information is now available to you online, making it easy to access and link to. There are seven service descriptions available on www.technet.com .   Office 365 Platform includes information about the Office 365 hosted solution platform that is common across the other services.  The Office 365 Platform service description is where you’ll find details about Office 365 user management, support, service updates, privacy and security policies, and other operational details that apply across the individual services and are part of the core Office 365 service.  Exchange Online is a hosted messaging service offered in some Office 365 plans that web-based email, calendar, contacts, and tasks from PCs, the web, and mobile devices. In the Exchange Online service description, you can easily see which Exchange features are available across Office 365 plans. In addition, you can compare Exchange Online feature availability to an Exchange Server 2013 on-premises environment. SharePoint Online is a hosted website service offered in some Office 365 plans that provides intranet sites, file storage, enterprise content management, social and collaboration tools, business intelligence solutions, and more. In the SharePoint Online service description you can easily see which SharePoint features are available across Office 365 plans. In addition, you can compare SharePoint Online feature availability to a SharePoint Server 2013 on-premises environment. Office Web Apps  allow you to open Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote documents in your web browser. Office Web Apps make it easier to work and share Office files from anywhere with an Internet connection, from almost any device. In the Office Web Apps service description, you can easily see what you can and can’t do in the Office Web Apps versus the installed new Office desktop apps such as Office 365 ProPlus. Office 365 ProPlus is the full Office desktop suite that is available in many of the Office 365 plans.  Office 365 ProPlus is the full Office desktop applications that you’re already familiar with, such as Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint delivered as a cloud-based service that provides a monthly subscription tied to a user account with the ability to install Office on 5 different PCs and Macs. In the Office 365 ProPlus service description, you can easily compare the subscription license version (e.g. Office 365 ProPlus) to the perpetual license, one-time purchase version (e.g. Office Professional Plus 2013) of the Office desktop suite. Project Online is a hosted project portfolio management (PPM) service that works in conjunction with SharePoint Online. Project Online enables team members to work and collaborate on their projects from anywhere with an Internet connection. In the Project Online service description, you can easily compare Project Online service-level features with a Project Server 2013 on-premises environment. Lync Online  is a hosted communication service offered in some Office 365 plans that gives users access to presence, instant messaging, audio and video calling, rich online meetings, and extensive web conferencing capabilities. In the Lync Online service description, you can easily compare Lync Online service-level features across office 365 plans.   Want an easy bookmark? Use this shortened URL to quickly access the Office 365 Service Descriptions, aka.ms/o365sd .   Feature availability tables for each service Go ahead and dig into any of the product service descriptions. You’ll find each top level service description has a table comparing feature availability across SKUs. For example, if you click the SharePoint Online Service Description you’ll find a SharePoint feature availability table. Use the table to compare feature availability across Office 365 families and SharePoint Server 2013—the on-premises solutions for customers that want to deploy and manage their own servers.    Click on a blue link in the Feature column to read more about that feature. For example, when you click the Ask me About me you’ll be redirected to an article that provides an overview of what the feature is and how it works, and includes links to product help content that explains the feature in even more detail. You’re able to get an overview of the service and decide which features are relevant for further investigation by you or someone else who needs to administer the service.  We’ve done our best to help you discover all that our services have to offer.   Print Office 365 Service Descriptions Printing a topic from any of the service descriptions is simple and easy. Whether you’re printing a single topic or multiple topics, you can always be sure that you’re downloading the most updated information about the Office 365 services.   1. From any Office 365 Service Description article, click the printer icon in the top-right corner of the TechNet page. 2. Select Print This Topic or Print Multiple Topics . 3. If you’re printing multiple topics, then click Start . You’ll see a new toolbar appear at the top of every TechNet page. 4. If you find a topic that you want to add to your list of topics to print, click Add This Topic . 5. When you’re ready to print, click on Collections Topic(s) to see the list of topics you selected to print. 6. You can drag and drop topics around in the list, if you want a certain topic to go above or below another.   7. When you’re ready to print, click Generate . Note: At this point, if you’re not already, you’ll need to sign in to TechNet with a Microsoft account, such as your Hotmail, SkyDrive, Xbox, or Outlook.com username and password.    8. When the PDF document is complete, you’ll see a blue link to Download Your Document . Now you can save, email, and print that PDF document. Use Microsoft Excel to filter and sort large feature tables Every service description includes a feature availability table. The table allow you to easily scan for what you want to know — is a feature available in the Office 365 plan you’re interested in?   Sometimes when doing a comparison of the different Office 365 offerings  you might find it easier to copy and paste the tables into Microsoft Excel. This will allow you to customize your view, by hiding columns that aren’t valid to your needs and by filtering rows to focus on the features you’re trying to compare
across plans. With Excel, you can search for a feature by name and quickly jump to that row in the table. Excel maintains the help article links, so you can always find more information about a particular feature.   Keep in mind, we’re continually updating the service descriptions to match the current state of the service. If you create an offline copy of these tables, you won’t see those changes.   If you have comments or questions about the Office 365 Service Descriptions, we’d love to hear from you. Just send your feedback to Office 365 Service Description Feedback . Your comments will help us provide the most accurate and concise content.

Updated Exchange Server 2010 Deployment Assistant

Audience: Exchange/Office 365 for Enterprises Administrators Author: Robert Mazzoli, Senior Technical Writer, Exchange   We’re happy to announce that the Exchange Server 2010 Deployment Assistant has been updated and now includes support for Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 3 (SP3) and the latest version of Office 365. The Exchange Server 2010 Deployment Assistant supports configuring new Exchange 2010 installations, configuring hybrid deployments using Exchange Server 2010, and migrating your existing on-premises Exchange organizations completely to Office 365.   Check out the full announcement at the Exchange Server blog here .   For those of you not familiar with the Exchange Server Deployment Assistant , it’s a free web-based tool that asks you a small set of simple questions and then, based on your answers, creates a customized checklist with instructions to deploy or configure Exchange 2010 or Exchange 2013. Instead of trying to find what you need in the Exchange library, the Deployment Assistant gives you exactly the right information you need to complete your task.     For those administrators who want to configure or incorporate Exchange Server 2013 in their organization, check out the Exchange Server 2013 Deployment Assistant here .

Updated Exchange Server 2010 Deployment Assistant

Audience: Exchange/Office 365 for Enterprises Administrators Author: Robert Mazzoli, Senior Technical Writer, Exchange   We’re happy to announce that the Exchange Server 2010 Deployment Assistant has been updated and now includes support for Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 3 (SP3) and the latest version of Office 365. The Exchange Server 2010 Deployment Assistant supports configuring new Exchange 2010 installations, configuring hybrid deployments using Exchange Server 2010, and migrating your existing on-premises Exchange organizations completely to Office 365.   Check out the full announcement at the Exchange Server blog here .   For those of you not familiar with the Exchange Server Deployment Assistant , it’s a free web-based tool that asks you a small set of simple questions and then, based on your answers, creates a customized checklist with instructions to deploy or configure Exchange 2010 or Exchange 2013. Instead of trying to find what you need in the Exchange library, the Deployment Assistant gives you exactly the right information you need to complete your task.     For those administrators who want to configure or incorporate Exchange Server 2013 in their organization, check out the Exchange Server 2013 Deployment Assistant here .

Project Online: Some early questions we are seeing in support

I just published a couple of posts on the Microsoft Project Support blog over on TechNet covering a couple of issues that appear to be catching our customers out. The first is one on adding Project Online to an existing Office 365 plan that has not yet been upgraded with the recent service upgrade – Project Online- Why can’t I add it to my Office365 yet-   and the second relates to adding one plan to another – such as adding Project Pro for Office 365 to a Project Online plan – Project Online- How do I add Project Pro- I hope you find these useful – and let me know how Project Online is going for you if you have already jumped in!

The new Office Garage Series: Who Moved My MSI?

In the latest Garage Series for IT Pros post, our adventurous desktop specialist hosts Yoni Kirsh and Jeremy Chapman explain the differences between Windows Installer Package (MSI) and Click-to-Run package types, how to download Click-to-Run builds for use with software distribution tools, when it’s necessary to provision user accounts in Office 365 and Yoni tests whether Office 365 ProPlus can be installed before our skydiver, Fully Sik, hits the ground. Tune in at http://www.microsoft.com/garage .   To view previous episodes, check out the Garage Series for IT Pros Archive .