Tag Archives: cuttingedge

How do I get access to Office 365 preview versions?

Organizations that want cutting-edge productivity features and don’t mind a little risk can receive more experimental…


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Office 365 preview versions before Microsoft distributes standard releases.

Like the Office Insider program that gives participants early access to the latest feature updates to Microsoft Office applications, a global administrator can use the Office 365 admin center to determine who gets access to the targeted release for the newest features. Microsoft calls the more widely distributed version its standard release, which is the refined service that goes to all customers.

Setting up the Office 365 preview option

Companies that participate in the targeted release program get a first look at fledgling features that can help the organization get its IT staff ready to support new functionality and determine if any security or compliance adjustments will need to be made.

By default, all users in an Office 365 tenant get the standard release. To configure the targeted release Office 365 previews for select users or the entire organization, administrators need to make adjustments in the Office 365 admin center.

To configure the targeted release Office 365 previews for select users or the entire organization, administrators need to make adjustments in the Office 365 admin center.

Sign into your Office 365 account, go to Settings and select Organization profile. Find Release preferences and click Edit. Administrators can then choose to enable or disable Office 365 targeted release.

  • To enable targeted release for all users, choose Targeted release for everyone, click Next and then select Yes to confirm.
  • To enable targeted release for selected users, choose Targeted release for selected users, click Next and then select Yes to confirm. You can then add individuals by searching for their names and clicking the plus to add them. Click Save and then Close when complete.
  • To disable targeted release, choose Standard release, click Next and then select Yes to confirm.

Administrators can also add users in bulk and add or remove users from targeted release at any time. Once the administrator makes the change, it can take up to 24 hours for the modification to take effect in the organization’s Office 365 tenant.

It’s important for administrators to follow any established business policies or procedures related to this Office 365 preview option to avoid any surprises for end users. For example, an administrator might send a notification to employees designated for the Office 365 targeted release. This note should remind users that they are using a service that is not yet in general release. The targeted release might have issues that the administrators can forward to Microsoft for the company to fix for a future release.

Experience HDR and 4K with the Insects Demo Experience on Xbox One X

When you pick up your Xbox One X on November 7, you’ll experience many of the latest cutting-edge technology features that will be focused in gaming for years to come like 4K Ultra HD, High Dynamic Range, or HDR as it’s better known, as well as Spatial Audio. To help showcase these new features to you, even if you may not have the 4K display to run, we developed an interactive demo known as “Insects.”

Originally developed by the Xbox Advanced Technology Group for game developers, “Insects” was designed to help teams easily see and hear just how the dramatic the differences can be between the various technologies.

Over time, the team realized how fun and effective the experience was, and so we’re making it publicly available the same day that Xbox One X launches, on November 7 to be viewed on your console. “Insects” will be available to download from the Microsoft Store on your console.

If you don’t have an Xbox One X to experience this interactive demo, we have included a variety of screenshots here that showcase all the elements of the video to give you a sense of what features like HDR and 4K bring to your games.

On Xbox One X, the beauty of “Insects” is the option to toggle between the various formats. Once you’ve completed the initial Guided Tour, you can, at any time, turn 4K on or off, as well as HDR and Spatial Audio. You can also pause the experience and zoom in on various elements.

Better yet, you can even change the time of day and alter the colors of the ladybug and flowers, all while toggling 4K, HDR, and Spatial Audio on or off to your heart’s delight. Also, if you download Insects on an Xbox One X and display it on a 1080p display, switching 4K mode on and off will showcase super-sampling in all its beauty.

If you really want to dig into the details, you can even use Pixel Highlighting to show you what areas of the scene are being affected by HDR or Wide Color Gamut. We think you’ll find it remarkable to see the detail pop into focus when you turn 4K back on, or see the range of detail and color when you do the same with HDR. Our personal favorite is switching HDR on and off at night and looking at the moon. It’s such a simple, but great illustration of the technology.

We hope you enjoy the “Insects” demo experience on Xbox One X and we can’t wait for you to feel true power when the world’s most powerful console launches on November 7.