Microsoft announced new icons for its Office suite all the way back at the end of 2018, but the rollout of those new icons hasn’t been exactly quick. Today, however, Microsoft announced build 11514.20004 of the Office apps which is being rolled out to Office Insider Fast users on Windows, and it sees the four most prominent apps in the suite getting new icons.
Specifically, we’re talking about Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook, all of which now have the product icons revealed last year. The new Outlook icon was made available for the iOS app earlier this week, too. You may see a couple of issues with this, though. Pinned tiles for the apps may not update with these icons, plus associated file types won’t display the new icons either. Only the product icons themselves have been updated, with a broader rollout coming soon.
As for new features, Word now supports basic co-authoring of documents that contain macros, whereas you would previously be locked out of a document if someone else is editing it. Basic co-authoring means AutoSave and real-time typing won’t be available, and you also can’t edit the VBA macros in co-authoring mode.
In addition to the new features and changes, the new builds come with a range of bug fixes for a lot of the Office apps. These include an issue where Word would constantly display a “Checking for changes” message, Access creating an extra shortcut, and more. You can see the full list of changes here.
The new build should show up for you automatically, but you can try checking manually for updates if you haven’t received it yet.
Microsoft’s positive approach toward harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) has been accentuated multiple times in recent months. In January, Microsoft joined the SciKit-learn consortiumto help make AI accessible to all. Then, last month, the tech giant collaborated with Accenture, initiating the Microsoft Business Group to empower enterprises through Azure services.
Today, the Redmond-based firm has announced a free, online course, dubbed ‘AI Business School’. As is indicated by the name, the series will aim to empower business leaders, and educate them on how to solve business-specific problems involving AI.
Mitra Azizirad, CVP for AI Marketing at Microsoft, is responsible for the launch of this initiative, along with her team. Describing the reasons behind the need for knowledge regarding AI in business, Azizirad said:
“There is a gap between what people want to do and the reality of what is going on in their organizations today, and the reality of whether their organization is ready. Developing a strategy for AI extends beyond the business issues. It goes all the way to the leadership, behaviors and capabilities required to instill an AI-ready culture in your organization.”
The course materials include case studies, guides, and short videos of lectures that can conveniently be accessed by business executives whenever they are free. Importantly, most of the content is focused around the impact of AI in three key areas identified by Microsoft. Namely, company strategy, culture, and responsibility. However, videos providing some introductory context to AI technologies relevant to industries in current times are included as well. Unlike some of the company’s past educational AI-centric initiatives, this one is completely non-technical in nature.
Microsoft has conducted case studies on a number of companies, such as U.S.-based manufacturing services company, Jabil. These have helped provide it with further information on how various techniques described in detail in the course can be, and have been, implemented. The aforementioned case studies were created using AI Business School’s strategy module, with graduate business school INSEAD partnering with the Redmond giant to help accomplish this task.
Business culture and responsibility have also been hallmarked as two of the key areas upon which the course has been based. Azizirad especially noted the importance of openly sharing data across various departments and business functions, calling it the “foundation of AI”. Furthermore, Microsoft’s market research indicated that the deployment of AI systems in a responsible manner is considered quite a significant factor by business leaders.
Typically, Microsoft releases new Windows 10 Insider Preview builds on Wednesdays, or later in the week, as the first two days of the week are reserved for testing. But as we get closer to a feature update being finalized, the Fast ring builds start showing up more frequently. Today, the firm released Windows 10 Insider Preview build 18351 to the Fast ring.
As you’d expect at this point, there are no new front-facing features. Microsoft is focusing on fixes, as Windows 10 version 1903 will be finalized this month, for a public release in April.
Here’s what got fixed and improved:
If you haven’t been able to get the game State of Decay for free (for a limited time), we’ve just made more slots available! Whether you’ve tried it in earlier builds or haven’t had the chance yet, these instructions have everything you need. We’ve also made fixes to improve the download and install experience thanks to your feedback, so please try again if you had problems before.
We fixed an issue from recent builds that could result in monitors being missing from the built-in Color Management application.
We fixed an issue causing Explorer.exe to crash for some Insiders when Jump list content was updated.
We fixed an issue resulting in some devices unexpectedly experiencing a 30 second wait before pin re-entry was available after a pin was incorrectly entered on the lock screen.
We fixed an issue where the time shown on the clock in Windows Sandbox might not match the clock outside of Windows Sandbox.
We fixed an issue resulting in Emoji 12 emoji showing up as boxes in certain XAML text fields.
We fixed an issue where text scaling values did not persist across upgrades for Win32 applications.
Due to a Narrator reading reliability issue for the “Change how capitalized text is read” feature, the feature has been disabled starting in build 18351.
We fixed an issue where the mouse pointer color might be incorrectly switched to white after signing out and signing back in.
Of course, there are still some known issues. Here’s what’s still broken:
Launching games that use anti-cheat software may trigger a bugcheck (GSOD).
Creative X-Fi sound cards are not functioning properly. We are partnering with Creative to resolve this issue.
While this flight contains some night light improvements, we’re continuing to investigate reported issues in this space.
Some Realtek SD card readers are not functioning properly. We are investigating the issue.
We’re investigating reports of the Chinese version of multiple games not working.
We’re investigating an issue where region settings are being reset on upgrade for some Insiders.
We’re investigating an issue preventing VMware from being able to install or update Windows Insider Preview builds. Hyper-V is a viable alternative if available to you.
If you install any of the recent builds from the Fast ring and switch to the Slow ring, optional content such as enabling developer mode will fail. You will have to remain in the Fast ring to add/install/enable optional content. This is because optional content will only install on builds approved for specific rings.
Once Windows 10 version 1903 ships next month, Insiders on the Fast ring will start seeing builds from the 19H2 development branch. Currently, Skip Ahead is already testing 20H1, which is slated for release in the first half of 2020.
As always, you can install today’s build by heading over to Settings -> Update & security -> Windows Update -> Check for updates. If you’re not on the Fast ring and you want to enroll, head to the Windows Insider Program tab.
www.office.com/setup – The overhauled symbols for Microsoft’s Office 365 applications have now begun taking off on office com setup. This is by all accounts a slow rollout, with Microsoft organizing Office 365 business clients until further notice (by means of Neowin).
Microsoft disclosed the new symbols back in November, five years after the last upgraded occured for the dispatch of Office 2013. At the time, the organization clarified that “our plan arrangement was to decouple the letter and the image in the symbols, basically making two boards (one for the letter and one for the image) that we can match or separate. This enables us to keep up commonality while as yet stressing effortlessness inside the application.”
The first applications to get overhauled symbols on office com setup are Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, SharePoint, Yammer, Microsoft Teams, and OneDrive. It stays to be checked whether other Office 365 applications like Delve, Forms and Sway will pursue, yet we likewise realize that the Skype symbol will likewise get some affection sooner rather than later.