Announcing the new Office 365 Deployment Center

The new Office 365 Deployment Center is the place to find the tools, guidance, and technical resources to help you pilot and deploy Office 365.  With Microsoft’s recommended approach, you can set-up a 25-user pilot quickly and experience the full set of Office 365 service features including the new Office applications.  Then, smoothly move your entire organization into production and add advanced features, when needed.    1.          Pilot the full set of Office 365 features quickly          Send email via your desktop, phone, or tablet.          Share documents and collaborate online with SharePoint Online and Office Web Apps.          Run online meetings and communicate with others using Lync Online.          Create documents with the new Office applications, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, and Lync.   2.         Transition to production smoothly with the same tenant          Transition your pilot users to deployment.          Scale to the rest of your organization.          Migrate email.          Deploy Office 365 ProPlus to all your users.   3.        Add advanced features if and when you need them such as hybrid configurations for Exchange and SharePoint, and single sign-on.   Go to:  and start your pilot today!

Office 365 ProPlus Administrator Series: Office 365 ProPlus Security Considerations

Author: Jeremy_MSFT Originally published to the Office 365 Preview blog. Office 365 ProPlus changes the security and data management story from securing end points and activities on the end point to decisions for securely accessing data. In order to enable users to switch from one device to another and resume working with their content, it means that either they log into a remotely hosted environment or that endpoints have access to remotely-stored documents. Office 365 ProPlus optimizes for the best experiences on devices while also providing rich browser-based experiences with Office Web Apps. In either constellation, Office 365 ProPlus does not use a Remote Desktop Protocol-based architecture where the user logs into a remote system and views that from the endpoint. Files and content will move to the consuming device whether viewed through a browser or with rich clients, so securing access to files is a key consideration. If your organization is not quite ready to move email or file storage workloads to Office 365 Enterprise services – with Exchange and SharePoint functionality available – then Office 365 ProPlus may be the best fit because your email services and files will be stored on your premises. The only data Office 365 ProPlus will need to store in the cloud are User Principle Names and related minimum user attributes for handling activation and roaming settings information (primarily HTTP links to files and custom dictionary entries).  Everything else in that case remains in your infrastructure using traditional data management and access models. Securing the Service Some of the primary vectors for Office 365 security have been discussed in this series as they relate to authentication and authorization to Office 365 services and which services are permitted as save-to or open-from locations. For the latter configuration, Office 365 ProPlus and Office Professional Plus 2013 may be managed by new Group Policy settings to optionally restrict storage to SkyDrive or third party cloud storage locations. You may also limit sign-in credentials to Organizational IDs and disable sign-in to personal IDs or disable sign-in altogether. Disabling sign-in completely applies best to Office Professional Plus 2013 installs of Office, where activation is performed via Key Management Service (KMS) or Multiple Activation Key (MAK). Access to files and services may be augmented by Rights Management Services and/or multifactor authentication used in conjunction with Active Directory Federation Services to provide secure authentication and authorization to your organization’s files. Securing Clients Office 365 ProPlus includes enterprise-class security controls and fully-supports Group Policy configuration management. Additional features carried over from Office 2010 include Protected View, Data Execution Prevention (DEP) support, trust locations and documents, Office file validation and file block and ActiveX Kill Bit. For many organizations, the default security settings for Office 365 ProPlus are suitable and for those of you with highly locked-down environments, Group Policy enables thousands of settings via ADMX administration templates to fine-tune Office settings to fit your needs. Securing Office on Demand and Web Apps Office on Demand is a new delivery model allowing users to stream complete Office applications from a SkyDrive Pro location. It enables users to get quick access to Office applications and their files on essentially any Windows 7 or newer PC with an Internet connection – and without ActiveX controls disabled by the admin. But what does this mean for the files accessed via these unmanaged or non-owned PCs? Because the user in this case has access to SkyDrive Pro from the unmanaged PC, Office on Demand works to provide an excellent viewing and editing experience. If that user elects to download a copy and view it in Notepad or a browser, the file has already made it to the local hard drive of the computer. While Office on Demand does enable a more compelling user experience in this case, it doesn’t diminish security if those files were already accessible from that unmanaged computer. Much more to come This post only scratches the surface of security considerations scoped to the client and essentially was written to answer a few very frequently-asked questions I get when presenting Office 365 ProPlus to large organizations. Check out the  Security overview for Office 2013 Preview on TechNet for further information on product and service security as it relates to Office Professional Plus 2013 and Office 365 ProPlus. Also be sure to download the Office 2013 Preview Administrative Template files (ADMX/ADML) for Group Policy management.

The new Office: What are your options, what's changed and what's new?

With the availability of the commercial service for the new Office, Wednesday marked the inaugural full episode of the Garage Series for IT Pros show. In this episode, our desktop specialist hosts, Jeremy Chapman and Yoni Kirsh, walk us through the differences between Click-to-Run and MSI-based Office versions, the new IT Pro capabilities, the premise of the new Office including a demo of user-based, multi-device support. Watch as they install and demonstrate a highly-customized Office 2010 co-existing with the new Office, and show side-by-side capability and shared customizations. Tune in at .

Office 365 ProPlus Administrator Series: Activation Experiences in Office 365 ProPlus

Author: Jeremy_MSFT Originally published to the Office 365 Preview blog. Office 365 ProPlus activation is tied to the users provisioned your organization’s Office 365 tenant. When a user signs in for the first time after product installation, Office 365 ProPlus requests the user to sign in one time activate the installation. Activation Sign In screen Because the Office 365 service handles the activation, there are no product keys to add into your deployment procedures and Key Management Services (KMS) are unnecessary. Activation status can be managed by the Office 365 administrator in order to add or remove users. Changes to the user accounts and activation status are designed to appear at the clients as applications are launched. Apps will automatically look at account status information and if a user has been deprovisioned – the user will be informed that there are no Office licenses assigned to his user account and close the application. Notification window stating that there are no Office licenses available to the user This solves for a key consumerization of IT challenge when users bring in their own devices and expect software to be loaded on otherwise personal devices. With in-house line-of-business applications, the applications can check for access to internal files and respond accordingly. Third party applications – like Office in this case – are more difficult to de-activate, as they tend to have a perpetual activation without any ties to your organization. In the consumerization of IT scenario, you are essentially leasing the software to users while they are employed by your organization. With Office 365, termination of employment along with subsequent service deprovisioning will allow you to de-activate Office installs allocated to that user on his or her personal devices. In cases where the user is offline without access to the Internet, Office 365 ProPlus will remain in an activated state for up to 30 days without Internet connectivity. If the desktop applications go into a de-activated mode due to non-use, applications can be re-activated connecting to the Internet and the Office 365 service. Office 365 ProPlus is built to make the activation and de-activation process easy and manageable, but people using Office 365 ProPlus are anticipated to connect to the Internet frequently to ensure uninterupted service. In cases where computers are always completely offline or only operated within a corporate firewall, Office Professional Plus 2013 is an excellent option. For more in-depth information about Office 365 ProPlus activation, check out the Overview of licensing and activation in Office 365 ProPlus Preview on TechNet.

The Latest on Lync-Skype Connectivity

Last week Microsoft announced that Lync-Skype connectivity for presence, IM, and voice will be available to all Lync users by June. Today a follow-up article was published on the Lync Team Blog that provides additional details, as well as answers to the most frequently asked questions. For the full story, see Lync-Skype Connectivity Arriving by June .

The Latest on Lync-Skype Connectivity

Last week Microsoft announced that Lync-Skype connectivity for presence, IM, and voice will be available to all Lync users by June. Today a follow-up article was published on the Lync Team Blog that provides additional details, as well as answers to the most frequently asked questions. For the full story, see Lync-Skype Connectivity Arriving by June .

New Ignite Webcast – Hybrid Deployment

Ignite Webcasts are online sessions led by Microsoft Office 365 Product Managers, Engineers and Support staff. The Ignite webcast series addresses Office 365 technical subjects and scenarios and is beneficial to anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of the Office 365 suite.  View the Ignite Site  for more information about Ignite programs and webcasts. You can view past Ignite Webcast sessions and materials  here  and be sure to see upcoming Ignite Webcasts on the  Ignite Events Page . Be sure to download the Calendar invite below to see all the webcast information. We are excited to announce our next Ignite Webcast and have our host and Office 365 Architect, Daniel Kenyon-Smith, back to give us  an overview of migration capabilities, limitations and available tools of Hybrid Deployment .  This is a great opportunity to ask questions and join a discussion with our Microsoft presenter. Bring your questions!    Our webcast will be led by  Daniel Kenyon-Smith.  Daniel is an Office 365 Architect in Microsoft Consultancy Services in the UK. Daniel works with large enterprise customers to help them migrate to Office 365. You can view Daniel’s last Ignite Webcast presentation here . Remember, to sign up for this webcast please  download and save the attached calendar invite below . We are excited to see you there!    —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Presenter :  Daniel Kenyon-Smith,  Office 365 Architect in Microsoft Consultancy Services in the UK.    Date/Time: Wednesday  March 6 th , at 12:00 PM Pacific Time . (1 Hour presentation) Live Meeting Information: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Join online meeting Join by Phone  +14257063500        +18883203585          Find a local number   Conference ID: 27579341    Forgot your dial-in PIN?  |    First online meeting?      [1033])!]   Audience: Office 365 for professionals and small businesses Office 365 for enterprises

Finding relevant content for your service

Office 365 is a service that is continuously being improved and updated to provide the best experience for you, our subscribers. As updates are being rolled-out, we want to make sure you can find the relevant support and help content that will solve your issues. You can learn more about updates on the  Office 365 service updates wiki. We want to let you know about the terminology we’re using in help, support, and community content to denote Office 365 pre-service upgrade (Office 365 pre-upgrade for short) being used when the steps and information applies to the service without the upgrade. Other content may refer to Office 365 after the service upgrade to denote that it applies to the upgraded service. For the best experience to find help content we recommend that you and your users always sign-in to Office 365, and follow the ‘learn more’ links, or search using the Question mark in the upper right-hand corner. If you are not sure whether you are using Office 365 after the service upgrade, see  “Am I using Office 365 after the service upgrade?” to learn more. When posting in the Community forums we’ve created two tags, ‘pre-upgrade’ and ‘after-upgrade’, to help you distinguish if your question or post applies to a specific service. We hope this helps customers find relevant information while using Office 365. Are you running the upgraded Office 365? Sign in to the community and leave a comment below to let us know what you think.

The new Office 365 general availability

Today Microsoft is announcing the generally availability of the new Office 365.  Learn more about this exciting announcement from the official Office 365 Blog .  Customers who sign up  today will receive the new Office 365. Existing Office 365 customers can get more information about the service upgrade at their respective center for  Small Business and Enterprise . Some enhancements, like the updated Office Web Apps, are available to existing Office 365 customers today. The service upgrade includes new features and enhancements across all of the different services and here are a few select highlights: Office 365 ProPlus – Your Office as a service Office 365 ProPlus is your full Office suite offered as a subscription service.  It is the Office 365 equivalent of the volume-licensed Office Professional Plus 2013 and includes the same full apps: Access, Excel, InfoPath, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Lync, Publisher, and Word.  Office 365 ProPlus can be installed on up to five different devices per user, unlike traditional Office which is licensed per device.  Office for Mac is also included through Office 365 ProPlus, so you can easily have Office on all of your devices. Even though Office 365 ProPlus is a cloud-based service, these Office programs aren’t running up in the cloud. Instead, you download Office 365 ProPlus from the Office 365 portal and install it on your computer, so you can use Office when you’re offline, just like previous versions. Office 365 uses Click-to-Run technology to make the download and installation of Office 365 ProPlus fast and simple. Click-to-Run uses virtualization technology to run Office 365 in a self-contained environment on your computer, which allows you to run Office 365 ProPlus side-by-side with an earlier version of Office.  For more information, see the Office 365 ProPlus system requirements . New Outlook Web App The Outlook Web App (OWA) is updated with a fresh, modern look similar to the new Office suite.  The new look simplifies the navigation and interaction to help you focus on the content and get work done faster.  The new redesign also helps bring touch and screen-size specific experiences to OWA optimized for phones and tablets! Take a look at the same inbox viewed across three different sized screens:   First, you can see the new OWA on a traditional browser. The refreshed, clean look uses accents and just-in-time information to reduce clutter. For example the blue highlights unread messages and you can see contextual options (Delete & Flag) on the selected message, but not for the other messages until you hover over them. Also, with the new reply inline feature, you can reply to a mail without opening a new window to help streamline your email responses. Second, we have the tablet optimized experience. Notice the touch-friendly buttons around the edges for common tasks such as, creating a new mail, switching to calendar and contact, searching, and refreshing your inbox. To move between conversations, just tap the mail you want to view.   Third, we have the phone optimized experience. Designed for the vertical orientation, the bottom navigation is consolidated for the smaller screen. You can still see your full inbox, quickly search, and see similar email statuses like the [Draft] label to let you know you have an unfinished message. Swipe left to right across a message to get four message management options, to mark a mail as either read/unread, file to a folder, flag, or delete. You can also bulk select mail and apply these same mail management options to multiple emails at once. SkyDrive Pro SkyDrive Pro is the new name for the MySite document library. Your default storage is increasing from 500MB per user to 7GB, or a 14x storage increase for free! Another part of that is the SkyDrive Pro folder sync feature that lets you sync your SkyDrive Pro with your computer for offline copies that automatically sync with Office 365 when you make changes. The folder sync works with team sites and their documents as well. The new SkyDrive Pro shows you all of your documents and lets you quickly see if they are shared or locked to you. You can also see the last person to update the file. To sync offline copies to your computer just click the Sync button up in the top right-hand corner below your name. Clicking on the three dots by a file brings up a preview of the file using the Office Web Apps and quick actions you might want to take such as start editing the file, sharing it with co-workers, or copying the URL to embed in an email or presentation. Lync makes meetings more personal A large part of how people communicate is non-verbal, yet for many people today most work is done over email and through voice only conversations. Lync is designed to help people communicate and now you and your colleagues can feel like you’re in the same room with the new Lync multi-party HD video conferencing. Up to 5 live video streams can be viewed at a time and if the meeting has more people with video, Lync will automatically switch to the person talking. Now whether you work in a global organization or you’re a road warrior traveling to meet with clients you can be a part of the conversation and not miss a moment. We want to hear from you. Sign in to the community and leave a comment below to let us know what you think.

The New Office: Garage Series for IT Pros

The New Office is here and so is the new Garage Series for IT Pros. Join our seasoned desktop specialist hosts every Wednesday in the Microsoft Garage.  Watch weekly as they: push the limits with XStream Installs of Office from the Air, Land and Water; inform you with never-before seen demos and answer your toughest questions – including commentary from Office engineers and Mark Russinovich. Check out  this trailer for a peek at what’s in store in the series.