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The world of business technology is ever turning, ever growing, ever evolving. If it’s not your job to keep your finger on the tech pulse it can seem like an impossible task. However, it is our job! So why not let us do the hard work for you and keep you in the know. Our own Head of Technical Innovation and Internal Systems, Roger Turner, has compiled this list of all the need-to-know Microsoft business technology news and updates that are on their way to a computer screen near you!

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Your handy list of Microsoft business technology news

Changes coming to Outlook desktop client

A simplified ribbon: Users will have the option to collapse the ribbon into a single row of most commonly used commands. The ribbon will also be customisable where users can pin and remove commands from the ribbon based on their preferences and expand the ribbon back to the multi-layered, classic ribbon at any time.

Coming Soon preview pane: The “Coming Soon” preview pane will enable users to preview, read about and experience changes that are coming soon to email and calendar. Users will be able to turn on this experience with an on/off toggle which will require Outlook to restart. Users are also encouraged to provide feedback in the new Coming Soon pane.

Other Changes: Additional user experience updates to the folder pane, message list, message, and calendar read/compose screens. The updates include typographical, alignment and use of text colour to simplify the experience, making it easier to use and more efficient for customers.

Microsoft to bring multi-user virtualisation to Windows and Office with Windows Virtual Desktop service

Microsoft’s new Windows Virtual Desktop is on its way. This service will allow enterprise subscription customers to run Windows, Office and third-party apps in Azure virtual machines. You will be able to virtualise a whole desktop or individual Microsoft applications and hold remote desktop sessions with multiple users logged on to the same Windows server.

Microsoft Office 2019 for Windows and Mac

Ready to upgrade your go-to Office applications? From the 1st October, Microsoft has been rolling out Office 2019, its on-premises Office suite for Windows and Mac. Office 2019 is the successor to Office 2016. It’s the “perpetual,” on-premises version of Microsoft’s Office suite and includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Project, Visio, Access and Publisher.

Microsoft’s Surface Hub 2

Looking forward to getting your hands on the Surface Hub 2, Microsoft’s interactive whiteboard? Well, a little bit of patience will be required! Microsoft’s new plan is to launch Surface Hub 2 in two phases, with the new conferencing system hardware coming in Q2 2019 and the new system software for it in 2020. But it’s so beautiful that we think it’s definitely worth the wait.

Microsoft to unify search across Windows 10, Office 365 and Bing with Microsoft Search

This is going to make your life easier! Microsoft is both refining and expanding its unified search mission so to deliver a single smart search box across Windows 10, Office, Bing, Edge and more. In other words, you’ll be able to access what you need faster with minimum effort. This supercharged search engine will be on it’s way to you in the coming months.

Microsoft Teams News

Did you know Microsoft has a social hub for teamwork? Teams is Microsoft’s competitor to Slack, and it is adding a whole lot of new industry-specific and role-based features, including more meeting capabilities and AI-powered options to the anchor of its Office 365 suite.

Microsoft, SAP and Adobe take on Salesforce

Microsoft is teaming up with Adobe and SAP to create a single model for representing customer data and make it simpler for businesses to move data between platforms. This new Open Data Initiative will also provide more transparency regarding how data is used as well as improved privacy controls.

Microsoft wants to do away with more passwords

Constantly forgetting your passwords? It’s a common problem that Microsoft has been looking into. Businesses that use Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD) will now be able to use the Microsoft Authenticator app on iOS and Android in place of a password to log into their business applications.

Microsoft launches Azure Digital Twins

Microsoft is currently testing Azure Digital Twins, their new service which gives enterprises the ability to create digital models of real-world environments. This means that IoT devices and sensors can be connected up to Azure cloud for intuitive engagement with the physical world. This will be particularly useful in environments such as offices, manufacturing, electrical grids, schools, etc.

Azure Files

Azure Files is coming, but what is it? To put it simply, Azure Files ia a fully managed file share solution in the cloud. Azure file shares can be mounted concurrently by cloud or on-premises deployments of Windows, Linux, and macOS. Additionally, Azure file shares can be cached on Windows Servers with Azure File Sync for fast access. It can be used to completely replace or supplement traditional on-premises file servers or NAS devices. Common scenarios would be:

  • Relieve pressure on a full file server
  • Online Backup via replication
  • DR Solution for small offices

At the moment Microsoft has not indicated when this will be released, only that they are working on it at the moment.

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