Category Archives: Office

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Three user experience updates Office announced today – Windows Experience Blog

Today, over at the Microsoft 365 Blog, Office announced user experience updates for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook that will roll out gradually over the next few months. These changes are inspired by the new culture of work and designed to deliver a balance of power and simplicity.
For an overview of these changes, check out this video by Jon Friedman, our Chief Designer for Office. 
Here are some highlights from their post:
“Office is used by more than a billion people every month, so while we’re excited about these changes, we also recognize how important it is to get things right. 
These updates are exclusive to Office.com and Office 365 – the always up-to-date versions of our apps and services. But they won’t happen all at once. Instead, over the next several months we will deploy new designs to select customers in stages and carefully test and learn. We’ll move them into production only after they’ve made it through rigorous rounds of validation and refinement.
The initial set of updates includes three changes. 
Simplified Ribbon. 
A new, updated version of the ribbon is designed to help users focus on their work and collaborate naturally with others.  People who prefer to dedicate more screen space to the commands will still be able to expand the ribbon to the classic 3-line view.
The first app to get this new experience will be the web version of Word. That update will start to roll out to select consumer users today on Office.com. Select Insiders will then see the simplified ribbon in Outlook for Windows in July.  
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Windows offer our deepest, richest feature set – and they’re the preferred experience for users who want to get the most from our apps. Users have a lot of “muscle memory” built around these versions, so we plan on being especially careful with changes that could disrupt their work. We aren’t ready to bring the simplified ribbon to these versions yet because we feel like we need more feedback from a broader set of users first. But when we do, users will always be able to revert back to the classic ribbon with one click.
New Colors and Icons. 
Across the apps you’ll start to see new colors and new icons built as scalable graphics – so they render with crisp, clean lines on screens of any size. These changes are designed to both modernize the user experience and make it more inclusive and accessible.  
The new colors and icons will first appear in the web version of Word at Office.com.  Then, later this month, select Insiders will see them in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows. In July, they will go to Outlook for Windows, and in August they will begin rolling out to Outlook for Mac.
Search.
Search will become a much more important element of the user experience, providing access to commands, content, and people.   With “zero query search,” simply placing your cursor in the search box will bring up recommendations powered by AI and the Microsoft Graph.
Commercial users can already see this experience in action in Office.com, SharePoint Online, and the Outlook mobile app, and it will start rolling out to commercial users of Outlook on the web in August.
We plan on carefully monitoring usage and feedback as the changes roll out, and we’ll update our designs as we learn more.”
Head over to the Microsoft 365 Blog to read more!
Updated June 13, 2018 6:06 am

Microsoft Education unveils new Windows 10 devices starting at $189, Office 365 tools for personalized learning, and curricula to ignite a passion for STEM

Our ongoing commitment to empower every student to create the world of tomorrow continues today with several new announcements for education. Whether igniting interest in STEM, learning in 3D, helping students of all abilities improve their reading, writing, and comprehension, or saving teachers time and helping them collaborate, we know technology has the power to unlock limitless learning.
I love hearing about the inspiring results we see from schools using Microsoft Education products, and we’ve been pleased to see more schools choosing Windows this year.
This week at Bett, we’ll show new Windows 10 and Windows 10 S devices from Lenovo and JP, starting at just $189, providing more options for schools who don’t want to compromise on Chromebooks. We’ll add new capabilities to our free Office 365 for Education software, enabling any student to write a paper using only their voice and making it easier to access Teams via mobile devices. And we’re making STEM learning fun with a new Chemistry update to Minecraft: Education Edition and new mixed reality and video curricula from partners like BBC Worldwide Learning, LEGO®* Education, PBS, NASA, and Pearson.
New Windows 10 devices starting at $189 and free professional development
Affordability is the top priority for many schools. Shrinking budgets can lead schools to choose devices with a stripped-down experience and a limited lifespan, unfortunately costing more over time and offering less to students. Our new Windows 10 devices won’t force schools to compromise on features, giving schools cutting-edge tools like touch, inking, and 3D as well as free accessibility technology like Learning Tools, which improve reading comprehension by 10 percentile points for students of all abilities. This week, building on the success of our expansive education device portfolio, we’ll be showing new 2-in-1s under $300 and notebooks under $200. Our new devices include:
Two new Lenovo devices to give schools great performance at a great price.

The Lenovo 100e, a brand-new Intel Celeron Apollo Lake powered PC, starting at just $189 USD**.

The Lenovo 300e, an affordable 2-in-1 convertible PC with pen support, starting at $279 USD.
Two new devices from JP, one of our largest partners in emerging markets.

The Classmate Leap T303 laptop with Windows Hello, starting at $199 USD.

The Trigono V401 2-in-1 with pen and touch, starting at $299 USD.
These new devices join the HP ProBook x360 11 EE, which continues to be one of our best-selling 2-in-1 devices in education at just $299 USD and the recently released HP Stream 11 Pro G4 EE PC starting at $225 USD. They are all spill resistant and ruggedized to avoid accidental breakage, have long battery life to avoid charging wires all over the classroom and have faster connectivity.
With Intune for Education, it’s easy to set up and manage Windows devices. With Microsoft 365 Education schools can get our complete software solution with free Office 365 Education and starting next month, with purchase of certain Microsoft 365 Education licenses, they can also get free Professional Development to help train teachers on how to get the most from their new technology.***
Personalized learning drives better results
Office 365 is built to support every type of learner, with assistive technology natively built-in and tools like Word, OneNote, and Teams that give every child a voice in the classroom. We are proud to offer teachers in 146 countries Office 365 Education for free, and there are a number of new updates coming to Office in the next month, including:
Starting in February, we will introduce dictation in Office 365 to help students write more easily by using their voice.
Microsoft Learning Tools improves reading, writing, and comprehension for all students, especially the one in five students who have a learning difference. Starting in February, we will introduce dictation in Office 365 to help students write more easily by using their voice. Immersive Reader functionality will also expand Word for Mac, iPhone, Outlook Desktop, OneNote iPad, and OneNote Mac with support for many new languages.
OneNote Class Notebook, which has added more than 15 million new student notebooks since the beginning of this school year, will now include assignment and grade integration with the most widely used School Information Systems in the UK (SIMS Capita).
To further simplify classroom workflows, we are delivering on the number one request from teachers for Class Notebooks, enabling them to lock pages as read-only after giving feedback. In OneNote, we are also enabling Desmos interactive math calculators, a set of popular applications for STEM teachers.
Teams, a digital hub for the classroom, is now accessible on iOS and Android so teachers and students can now keep track of their assignments and classroom conversations on their phones or tablets. To enable language learners to engage in classroom conversations, our newest updates will also make it easy to translate any conversation or chat into another language.
PowerPoint will now allow teachers to record their lessons including slides, interactive ink, video, and narrations and publish to their Stream channel in Teams classrooms. This way, students can view from anywhere in advance of class, so class time can be used for conversation. Stream will also add automatic captioning to the videos to make them accessible to all learners.
Our recently announced partnership with PowerSchool – the leading global education technology platform for K-12 – will help create classroom efficiencies, enable collaboration and provide insights that allow teachers to spend more time teaching and less time focused on administrative tasks.
Sparking creativity with STEM
Igniting a passion for STEM in today’s students will help prepare them for the future. We’re committed to giving teachers new ways to teach these subjects with fun curricula that sparks students’ innate creativity, a skill that is predicted to be one of the top three most desired skills by employers in 2020.
One way we do this is through MakeCode, which today announced a new Cue Education app, available first on Windows, new curricula for Computer Science with MakeCode for Minecraft, and a new MakeCode for micro: bit Windows 10 app.
Chemistry comes to life through Minecraft
Nothing shows the power of creativity in STEM education more than Minecraft: Education Edition, which is already being used in classrooms in more than 115 countries. This spring, a new and free Chemistry Update will enable teachers to use the familiar world of Minecraft and game-based learning to engage students of all ages in chemistry. Through hands-on experimentation, students can learn everything from building compounds to more difficult topics like stable isotopes.
Mixed reality for immersive learning
Our research shows the most effective learning involves multiple regions of the brain. In the era of mixed reality – which includes augmented and virtual reality, we are working with our partners to deliver products and experiences that will help teachers push the boundaries of their curricula.
Over the last year, we have seen remarkable instances of teachers and institutions using Microsoft HoloLens to bring 3D experiences to life in the classroom. With the release of Windows Mixed Reality immersive VR headsets that start at $299, we provide a more affordable entry point for mixed reality in the classroom.
To support that effort, today we are announcing three important program updates:

Pearson – the world’s largest education company – will begin rolling out in March curriculum that will work on both HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality immersive VR headsets. These six new applications will deliver seamless experiences across devices and further illustrate the value of immersive educational experiences.
We are expanding our mixed media reality curriculum offerings through a new partnership with WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project****, for distribution nationally on PBS LearningMedia. This effort brings cutting-edge Earth and Space Science content into classrooms through digital learning resources that increase student engagement with science phenomena and practices.
To keep up with growing demand for HoloLens in the classroom we are committed to providing affordable solutions. Starting on January 22, we are making available a limited-time academic pricing offer for HoloLens. To take advantage of the limited-time academic pricing offer, please visit, hololens.com/edupromo.
New partnerships in STEM learning
Lesson plans that encourage hands-on and visual learning drive deeper engagement from students, and we’re excited to partner with some of the world’s most respected brands to bring teachers exciting new lessons in time for the next school year.
Starting this March, we’ll be partnering with BBC Worldwide Learning to bring the stunning BBC Earth natural history film Oceans: Our Blue Planet to classrooms and museums around the world, starting with the release of the film in museums this March. As part of the multi-faceted partnership, we are also exploring ways to expand this content across the Microsoft Education portfolio.
Starting this March, we’ll be partnering with BBC Worldwide Learning to bring the stunning BBC Earth natural history film Oceans: Our Blue Planet to classrooms and museums around the world, starting with the release of the film in museums this March.
And together with LEGO® Education, we’ll be offering a new free online Hacking STEM lesson plan that has students use the Pythagorean Theorem to explore and measure topography in 2D/3D space. Acting as environmental surveyors and engineers, students build tools with LEGO® bricks from the Simple & Powered Machines set or cardboard to create and visualize an initial transportation plan for the development of an island National Park in Excel. They then bring their National Park to life by adding topographic elements.
With all of these new experiences available in time for the upcoming school year, there’s never been a better time for schools to try Microsoft Education. We will continue to work hard to deliver innovative technology for educators around the world to unlock limitless learning for students of all abilities.
*LEGO, the LEGO logo are trademarks and/or copyrights of the LEGO Group. ©2018 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved. **$219 global pricing ***If at least 30 qualified licenses are purchased between February 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018, you can schedule free in-person or virtual Professional Development led by certified Microsoft training partners. Learn more on microsoft.com/education. **** “Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms,” is a cooperative agreement awarded to WGBH from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under cooperative agreement award No. NNX16AD71A.

Introducing Surface Book 2, the most powerful Surface Book ever

When you think about Microsoft and you hear our mission – to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more – it’s powerful. As product makers, we have to believe in the reasons we build our products. From Office to Windows to Surface, this is a notion that drives us.
As a team we work together to create products with seamless interactions from the silicon to the software. You see this across the entire Surface family – Pen, Dial, touch, voice – they opened so many doors to allow people to work and create in new ways.
When we launched Surface Book two years ago we set out to build the most powerful and versatile laptop, to breakdown the boundaries between what you can imagine and what you can create, and we’ve been so inspired by how people have used Surface Book through their entire creative process.
But people still want more, and creators continue to push the limits of what technology can do. So, we built the laptop of the future for the creators making the future. A laptop powerful enough to fuel the next wave of computing across mixed reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and immersive gaming.  A laptop that empowers the designers, developers, artists, and scientists to imagine and build without limits and without compromises. To achieve more.
We can’t wait to see what you will do with Surface Book 2.
Introducing the new Surface Book 2 – the most powerful Surface laptop yet

Surface Book 2 removes the barrier between the desktop and the laptop by giving mobile professionals the power of a desktop, the versatility of a tablet, and the freedom of a light and thin laptop in one beautifully designed device. Whether you’re a developer, a digital artist, a designer, or an accountant, you can bring your ideas to life anywhere, because Surface Book 2 is a portable powerhouse.
We made no compromises building the most powerful Surface laptop ever. When the team talks about Surface Book 2 they call it Beauty and the Beast. Gorgeous design meets unstoppable power in this laptop. With the latest 8th Gen Intel Core processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 and 1060 discrete graphics options, Surface Book 2 is up to five times more powerful than the original and is twice as powerful as the latest MacBook Pro. All this power and Surface Book 2 still provides all-day battery life – up to 17 hours of video playback. That’s 70% more than the latest MacBook Pro.
The new level of performance provided by Surface Book 2, along with the all-day battery life is what will continue to make this product perfect for product designers, gamers, architects, and developers who need the power of a desktop but crave the mobility of a laptop that doesn’t weight 8-10lbs. Surface Book 2 with the 13” weighs 3.38lbs and the 15” Surface Book 2 at 4.2lbs, there has never been this much computational power in a mobile form factor this light. This is a product that can stay with you from the moment your inspiration strikes to making it a reality.
You can show off your meticulously designed PowerPoint deck or complex Pivot tables in Excel with Surface Book 2’s stunningly vibrant and crisp PixelSense Display with multi-touch, Surface Pen, and Surface Dial on-screen support. You won’t believe how much the colors and 3D images will pop in PowerPoint on these machines. The 15” Surface Book 2 delivers almost seven million dazzling pixels – 45% more than the MacBook Pro – giving artists and professionals alike amazing pixel density on an even larger creative canvas.

In product making, we believe every detail matters. And you see that come to life in the detachable display and hinge of Surface Book 2, which has been redesigned to provide a smoother, faster detach into Tablet or Studio Mode. And when you detach to sketch an idea or watch a video, the Surface Book 2 turns into the world’s thinnest and lightest 8th Gen Intel Core i7 PC, giving customers a powerful portable studio for those who want a single, device that can follow you from concept to sketch to creation. Surface Book 2 brings you a full array of ports, including USB-A, USB-C, and full-size SD card reader which makes it easy to connect other devices, accessories and memory cards without the need for a bag full of dongles.
The best of Office and Windows
Whether you’re a finance manager running Excel models with millions of rows of data, an animator using 3D and morph transitions to present in PowerPoint, or a writer using the Surface Pen and intelligent ink to edit in Word – we developed Surface Book 2 to remove the boundaries between your ideas and creation. Giving you the seamless integration you need to do even more extraordinary work.
All that power and versatility also make this the ideal laptop for some of the most exciting features of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The Photos app will give you new ways to personalize and share your visual stories. And a range of new experiences allows you to create and interact with 3D objects. Use them in PowerPoint, Word, Excel, or the Mixed Reality Viewer app to view 3D in the real world. The Fall Creators Update is also the best version of Windows for PC gamers, giving them the performance boost of Game Mode and access to faster streaming through Mixer, experiences that show beautifully on Surface Book 2.

Great PC gaming and Windows Mixed Reality experiences
Surface Book 2 is designed to play as hard as it works. So when you’re done with work for the day and you want to game, Surface Book 2 is powerful enough to handle the most popular PC games at 1080p and 60 FPS – in some cases matching the graphics performance of game consoles like Xbox One. With built-in Xbox One Wireless support on the 15” you can pair your Xbox One controllers and compatible headsets to play with no cords or additional dongles required. And with so much innovation in the mixed reality space, we’re proud to share that Surface Book 2 is ready for Windows Mixed Reality Ultra. Connect a compatible headset and controller for apps and experiences with crisper visuals and a higher refresh rate (90 frames per second), including the highest-performance VR games.

The power to create
From the early days of Surface Pro to the launch of the original Surface Book, we’ve had incredible feedback from photographers and artists who loved the ability to shoot tethered or draw on a super portable device that could also run Adobe Creative Cloud desktop applications. The power of Surface Book 2 will help artists and professionals across the creative spectrum take their work to the next level. More power means faster renders and effects so you can make quick edits and decisions to get you to your finished work. And a deeper partnership with Adobe means even better integration between Surface Book 2 and the Adobe Creative Cloud, including new Surface Dial functionality coming to Photoshop to keep you in your flow and let you easily access and modify your most frequently used brush settings.
As a team, we believe that products are a reflection of the people who make them, and the people who use them. We put our heart and soul into building a laptop of the future, for people who want to create the future – creators who see no limits, data scientists designing deep neural networks, engineers, architects, movie makers, and gamers. Surface Book 2 is a tool for everyone who wants to achieve more.
And I’m so pumped to get these products into customers’ hands. To see what you will do with the most powerful Surface laptop. Be the first to experience and pre-order the Surface Book 2 at a Microsoft Store or retailer near you. Surface Book 2 13” will be available for pre-order beginning November 9th in the United States and additional markets around the world, along with Surface Book 2 15” in the United States at your local Microsoft Store and Microsoft.com. Delivery will begin on November 16th.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and mixed reality headsets available today; Announcing Surface Book 2

From the initial launch of Windows 10, we’ve been on a mission to empower the creator in all of us. We believe in the fundamental human need to create to propel the world forward.
Today, we deliver the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update offering breakthroughs in creativity – from bringing mixed reality and 3D to the masses, to faster broadcasting for gaming, to turning photos and videos into real memories, and so much more. The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update can be experienced on a wide variety of Windows 10 PCs and on a range of Windows Mixed Reality headsets available for the first time today.
We believe the PC is the ultimate canvas for creativity and can empower people to create like never before. This is why we are building Surface to be the ultimate laptop and are delighted to introduce the Surface Book 2, the most powerful Surface yet.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is packed with new innovations including, new Inking experiences like inking directly on PDFs, a new Find my Pen feature, Continue on your PC with Cortana or your phone’s browser including, Microsoft Edge for seamless Windows experiences across devices, enhanced security and privacy features, and improvements in accessibility, including Eye Control. I’m excited about these innovations and in particular four big bets that deliver on our vision for creativity:
Mixed reality for the masses
With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, we introduce mixed reality to the masses. With mixed reality, we seek to fundamentally improve the way you create, communicate and play. You can transcend time and space and immerse yourself in any environment, helping ideas break free from the boundaries of paper or screens.

Until now, any practical use of mixed reality required the use of a headset and for immersive virtual reality, you had to mount cameras in the corners of your home. And you couldn’t take your headset with you to a friend’s house or your workplace.

That changes with the availability of Windows Mixed Reality headsets. For the most immersive mixed reality experience, our partners, Acer, Dell, HP, and Lenovo are launching the very first Windows Mixed Reality headsets today, beginning at $399 for headsets bundled with advanced motion controllers. Samsung’s innovative mixed reality headset, the Samsung HMD Odyssey, will become available on November 6th. Windows Mixed Reality headsets are the only headsets that don’t require you to drill holes into your walls and you can take them on the go.
The Fall Creators Update also includes the Mixed Reality Viewer, which brings mixed reality to the PC. By simply using the camera on your PC, you can see 3D objects mixed into your actual surroundings – people, places, things, or anything you can imagine.

It’s so exciting to see so many components coming together to introduce the world to mixed reality, from innovative and affordable new Windows Mixed Reality headsets to technology to experience mixed reality on your PC. Now you can enjoy travel, sports, live concerts, and gaming like never before in your own virtual home with content from over 20,000 apps in the Windows Store.
3D offers next boost to human productivity
3D will offer the next major boost to human productivity, enabling a next generation of computing that moves far beyond the 2D world we’ve been confined to. This is so powerful because 3D is truly representative of the world you live in – improving the way you comprehend, retain, and learn.

With the Fall Creators Update, we enable anyone to create in 3D. Over 100 million people use Microsoft Paint every single month and now with Paint 3D they can all become 3D creators – easily manipulating objects, creating and sharing in 3D. With the Fall Creators Update, you can now bring 3D objects into your Office files, including PowerPoint presentations and Word documents, to dramatically improve your storytelling and improve comprehension. Objects can rotate and animate within your presentation. And with the Mixed Reality Viewer, you can easily drop your 3D creations into the physical world. 3D is great for students, professionals or anyone who wants to create.
Gaming becomes even more interactive
Gaming is the fastest growing form of entertainment because it is incredibly interactive. And, gaming has never been more popular on Windows, with nearly 200 million monthly active users gaming on Windows 10.
In fact, with an explosion of interest in eSports and interactive game streaming, more people spend time watching gameplay than actually playing games. We launched Mixer, the only near real-time, interactive game streaming service, to help everyone broadcast, watch or interact with other gamers.

With the Fall Creators Update, we are making Mixer even better – you can now launch and jump into a game stream faster than before. And Game Mode enables gamers to access more power of the PC and dedicate it to games, delivering a more performant gaming experience on Windows 10.
The next era of gaming is coming this fall with the new improvements in the Fall Creators Update, immersive gaming experiences for mixed reality, and the upcoming launch on November 7 of Xbox One X, the world’s most powerful console built for true 4K gaming.
Creating memories with photos & videos
Photos and videos have never been more popular on Windows, with more than 250 million active users of Photos on Windows 10. Trillions of photos and videos exist digitally, but how do we ensure these precious images can be retained as memories?

Our Photos app is totally reimagined in the Fall Creators Update, so you can easily convert photos into memories and stories with personalized 3D effects, Ink, transitions, and video – no editing experience required. You can take photos from your vacation and simply and easily edit them into a collage of photos and videos with a soundtrack, theme, Ink, and cinematic transitions. And with 3D, you can make objects dynamic, like a soccer ball bursting into flames as it passes the goalie and soars into the net.
Announcing Surface Book 2
The PC is the platform to power the next wave of creativity and Surface is the tip of the spear of innovation to help drive this next wave forward.

One of the most powerful ways to experience the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is on the Surface family of devices. We are building Surface to be the ultimate laptop, infusing versatility, performance, and design into every product we make and creating a stage for the best of Windows and Office. More than ever there is a need for a class of high-performance devices that don’t compromise the versatility and style of a laptop customers want.
Today, we’re excited to introduce the latest in the Surface family: Surface Book 2 – a powerhouse laptop with amazing graphics and up to 17 hours of battery life. Now available in a 13” and 15” option, Surface Book 2 is the most powerful Surface we’ve ever built. With the latest 8th Generation Intel Dual-Core and Quad-Core processors and NVIDIA GeForce GPUs, Surface Book 2 has up to five times the graphics performance of the original Surface Book and is twice as powerful as the new MacBook Pro.
But more than just raw power, Surface Book 2 is built for the way you work and create. It gives you the power of a laptop, the versatility of a tablet and the freedom of a portable studio all in one beautifully styled device.
Surface Book 2 is powerful enough to run professional software like Adobe, Autodesk, and Dessault flawlessly and plays popular PC games at 1080p, 60 FPS, including demanding titles like Forza Motorsport 7 and Gears of War 4.
Surface Book 2 joins Surface Laptop and Surface Pro to round out a strong portfolio of laptops that are designed to not only allow people to experience Windows Mixed Reality and gaming, and be productive anywhere, but to empower the artists, designers, developers, and engineers who are leading the next wave of creative innovation.
The new Surface Book 2 laptops start at $1499 and will be available for pre-order on November 9th in the US, with the 13” also available in additional markets. To learn more about Surface Book 2, visit Panos’ blog post.
The need to create has never been more important. We want Surface to continue to inspire and enable creativity and we’re excited to work with our partners to deliver incredible modern devices. The Windows ecosystem fosters incredible innovation, and this holiday, there will be a range of beautifully designed and feature-rich devices. These include new Windows 2-in-1s, laptops, all-in-ones, gaming PCs that feature Intel’s new 8th Generation Intel Core processors, the latest NVIDIA GPUs enabling Windows Mixed Reality experiences, long battery life, and OLED and 4K screens for the most stunning visuals.
From new PCs from Surface or our partners, new Windows Mixed Reality headsets and motion controllers – to the world’s most powerful console in Xbox One X – you can choose a Windows device to empower the creator in you.