Office 365 for Mac will drop support for macOS 10.13 High Sierra next month

Office 365 for Mac apps will no longer be supported on macOS 10.13 High Sierra or older starting November 10, 2020. Microsoft announced the change on its Office 365 message center, and users of these older versions macOS will no longer get app updates and new features starting next month.

“As of the Microsoft 365 for Mac November 2020 update, macOS 10.14 Mojave or later is required to receive updates to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. If you continue with an older version of macOS, your Office apps will continue to work but you will no longer receive any updates including security updates”, the company explained.

New installs of Office 365 for Mac will also require macOS 10.14 Mojave or newer starting next month. The Office 365 apps for Mac are currently available from both the Mac App Store and a standalone installer you can get on office.com/setup Either way, Office 365 (now Microsoft 365) subscribers get monthly updates with quality and security fixes every month,.

The soon to be unsupported macOS 10.13 High Sierra was released three years ago, and Apple releases a new major update for its desktop OS every year in the fall season. Big Sur, the next major update be the first version of the OS compatible with both Intel-based and ARM-based Macs. During its annual developer conference in June, Apple announced that Microsoft had already recompiled Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for the first ARM-based Macs that are expected to ship later this year. a work office setup

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Microsoft unveils new features coming to Outlook and other Microsoft 365 services

Microsoft is kicking off Ignite 2020, and as usual, there’s a big news drop to start things off. Included is a whole bunch of new things that are coming to Microsoft 365. There are a ton of Teams features, but other Microsoft 365 services are getting updates as well.

Outlook is getting some improvements, as you’d probably expect. Bookings is getting a new UI, along with new features for customization. On iOS and Android, Outlook is getting Play My Emails in more regions, voice commands for composing an email, reactions for emails, and QR connect to authenticate your Azure AD account. The new Outlook for Mac, using Microsoft Sync, is going to be available next month, but you’ll have to turn it on with a toggle.

Next up is Microsoft Search, which is getting new features later this year. Search is getting integrated into Teams, and it’s also coming to Windows search. New Microsoft Graph connectors are generally available, and Admin Feedback will allow employees to submit feedback to their administrator to help improve Search.

In the SharePoint and Yammer department, there’s a new Share To feature, which lets you share news to either service, along with Teams, with one click. There’s also a new All Company feed in Yammer, letting you share news to everyone at once, and in SharePoint, there’s a Boost feature to prioritize announcements in employees’ feeds. There are also new Insights to help understand reach and engagement, and there are new built-in templates. People are going to be able to upvote answers to questions in Yammer as well.

Next up, Project Cortex is starting to mature as SharePoint Syntex. It allows you to teach AI to extract data from documents, and then it can apply metadata to that data.

Microsoft is also rebuilding Microsoft Stream. The idea is to do for videos what Office has done for documents, and it should be just as easy to find a create, share, and find videos in your organization. The new Microsoft Stream will arrive in Q4 of this year.

In Excel, users can connect to Power BI datasets, so they can use tools that are familiar to them. For example, you can use PivotTables or something along those lines.

Microsoft also announced some new features for IT professionals. Microsoft Tunnel is a remote access solution with Endpoint Manager and lets your smartphone connect to on-prem resources. Also, Endpoint Manager now supports managing virtual endpoints like Windows Virtual Desktop.

Most of the features announced are coming later this year.

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Microsoft says new App Store game streaming rules will offer bad customer experience

Earlier in the day, Apple released an update to its App Store guidelines, including some changes in its regulations regarding game streaming. Previously, the App Store did not allow game streaming services like Google Stadia, Microsoft xCloud, and Nvidia GeForce Now because Apple claimed that it cannot review each game being made available via the service.

With the recent changes in the guidelines, game streaming services are now allowed… as long as publishers submit each game for Apple’s approval separately. Microsoft has now cited concerns with Apple’s strategy, and hasn’t taken kindly to the Cupertino tech giant’s “olive branch”.

In a statement to The Verge, Microsoft explained that:

This remains a bad experience for customers. Gamers want to jump directly into a game from their curated catalog within one app just like they do with movies or songs, and not be forced to download over 100 apps to play individual games from the cloud. We’re committed to putting gamers at the center of everything we do, and providing a great experience is core to that mission.

Microsoft’s concerns do appear to be valid since the core experience of game streaming involves ideally having all games in one place and being able to switch from one title to the other without breaking immersion too much. While Apple does allow publishers a “catalog” app to list all their games in one place, accessing them would still require interaction with their respective App Store listings, an experience Microsoft obviously does not prefer.

Another caveat in Apple’s guidelines is that developers will have to allow users to sign up for the service in the app, meaning that Apple gets a 30% cut, and they’ll have to support the “Sign in with Apple”. This is already something Epic Games is battling against the Cupertino firm in courts, and while Microsoft hasn’t publicly cited concerns against the pricing model in this case, it would definitely strengthen Epic Games’ case if the Redmond giant decides to take this to court as well.

Source: The Verge

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New integrations with Microsoft 365 bring productivity to Samsung devices

Today, at the Galaxy Unpacked event, Microsoft and Samsung shared the latest innovations in the long-term partnership announced last year. These new features bring the best of Microsoft’s productivity apps to the new Samsung Galaxy devices announced today.

New integrations enable you to bring your important notes and tasks across devices. Samsung Notes can automatically sync with your OneNote feed in Outlook on the web or OneNote as an image. You will also be able to sync Samsung Reminders from your Galaxy Note20 to your Windows 10 PC across Microsoft To Do, Outlook, and Microsoft Teams experiences.

For more details, read the full announcement on the Windows Experience Blog. We’re excited to see this partnership continue to bring the best productivity solutions to new Samsung devices.

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Microsoft Teams for iOS updated with 3×3 grid view support for iPads and more

Microsoft Teams is being updated on iOS that bring a few new features. The iPadOS app now supports a 3×3 grid view in meetings. Additionally, an option to toggle a setting that reduces the amount of data consumed in video calls is being added to iOS. The Android app also adds a few new features such as the ability to send meeting invite links to users that do not have a Teams account.

The Redmond giant began rolling out support for 3×3 video views back in May for the desktop clients. The addition of this feature on the iPad makes it a nifty one since the larger screen real estate can accommodate more participants. The new update brings support for a 2×4 grid on On iPhones, leveraging the portrait orientation. In addition to this, the iOS app is adding a new daily agenda view to view and share upcoming meetings.

Here is the full changelog for Teams on iOS that is now rolling out:

  • See more videos in your calls and meetings. 2×4 on iPhone, 3×3 on iPad
  • New setting to reduce the amount of data Teams uses while video is on
  • Choose which number to dial for org contacts with more than one phone number
  • Single sign-on access for bots and tools in Teams that use your org credentials
  • Daily agenda view of upcoming meetings. Join, edit, or share them with contacts

The Teams release notes page on Microsoft Support also mentions that Cortana voice support has been added to the app starting August 18. However, the changelog does not mention the addition. Cortana in Teams is currently rolling out only for users in the U.S., with a wider rollout expected in the future.

The Android version of the app was also updated today, however, the changelog seems to be the same from earlier versions, suggesting that it could be a bug-fixing update.

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Recording audio for PowerPoint presentations

Did you dread having to name your audio file before being able to insert it? Worry no more. You can now click a button and start recording.

Requirements

  • Enable microphone permissions if prompted.

How it works

1. On the Insert tab, click Record audio.

2. In the Record Audio pane, click the Record button.

3. When you are done recording, click the Stop button.

4. To listen to your recording and make sure you are satisfied with it, click the Play button.

5. If you are satisfied, click the Insert button. If you are not, click the Discard button and repeat steps 1 through 4. 

Tips and tricks

  • Speak clearly and conversationally, but feel free to pause in between thoughts.
  • Speak more deliberately if you notice accuracy issues.
  • Move to a quieter location or use headphones if you see background noise getting picked up.
  • You can always trim your audio clip afterward so do not worry about ending your recording too fast or starting it too early.

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