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  • Of course you don’t want to buy Office 2019

    Posted on February 7th, 2019 at 07:45 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Nice of Microsoft to reinforce that point.

    Microsoft is saying more about its customers than its products with the three new ads. MS obviously doesn’t think its customers are savvy enough to figure out the “tests” are rigged to use features in Office 365 that aren’t in Office 2019. They aren’t Challenges. They’re feature demos.

    Of course the products are different. The feature sets are different. And, of course, reliance on the internet is different — when Microsoft’s servers go down, you can take your fancy cookie-cutter resume building program and stick it where the sun don’t shine.

    I guess that’s something good to know if you need to list the population of every state in a spreadsheet. Except it’s, you know, old data.

    I recall vividly that you couldn’t even get Excel to show updated stock quotes until a year ago. I moved to Google Sheets for that very reason. Never looked back.

    UPDATE: Still confused about the differences between Office 2019 and Office 365? Gregg Keizer at Computerworld just published an in-depth look. Suffice it to say the landscape’s changed greatly, and it’ll no doubt change again.

  • Office 365 experiences widespread outages Thursday, January 24, 2019

    Posted on January 24th, 2019 at 16:02 PKCano Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft Office 365 has been having problems since 9:21 AM EST today. Users have been unable to access their email. Reports have been widespread. The Register reported that Users in the UK and much of Europe were affected.

    There have also been reports from South America and Africa.  And Downdetector.com shows an even wider outage.

    cbronline gives this analysis

    At the time of writing it had yet to update its public-facing status page, which showed normal service, but an update for administrators blamed a “subset of mailbox database infrastructure [that] became degraded, causing impact.”

    At 1.54pm it changed that attribution, with Microsoft 365’s status account on Twitter instead saying “a subset of Domain Controller infrastructure is unresponsive, resulting in user connection time outs” and pledging mitigation.

    Have any of you experienced a problem?  Let us know.

  • Patch Lady – the Office 365 admin center

    Posted on January 7th, 2019 at 23:35 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Patch Lady here – for those of you that are admins in Office 365 I would highly recommend bookmarking the Office 365 admin center and especially to make sure that you have access to the message center inside of it.  It’s a key way to keep aware of updates and changes.  On my cheapest Godaddy Office 365 subscription I don’t have the ability to forward the alerts to other email addresses, but on my higher Office 365 subscriptions (a Office 365 Business plan and a Microsoft 365 E5 plan just to be aware of the nuances and changes with each plan).  You can also download the Office admin center app on an iPhone or android and log in with admin credentials to get the same info.

    Today they announced they are adding more forensic features that turn on more auditing by default.  This is a very good thing and starts to get the online better aligned with on premise in terms of forensics.

    Now if I can just get Advanced Threat Protection features built into EVERY Office 365… yes I know… never happy am I?

     

    Updated feature: Exchange Online mailbox audit to add mail reads by default

     

    To ensure that you have access to critical audit data to investigate security incidents in your organization, we’re making some updates to Exchange mailbox auditing. After this change takes place, Exchange Online will audit mail reads/accesses by default for owners, admins and delegates under the MailItemsAccessed action.

    This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID: 32224.

    How does this affect me?

    The MailItemsAccessed action offers comprehensive forensic coverage of mailbox accesses, including sync operations. In February 2019, audit logs will start generating MailItemsAccessed audit records to log user access of mail items. If you are on the default configuration, the MailItemsAccessed action will be added to Get-mailbox configurations, under the fields AuditAdmin, AuditDelegate and AuditOwner. Once the feature is rolled out to you, you will see the MailItemsAccessed action added and start to audit reads.

    This new MailItemsAccessed action is going to replace the MessageBind action; MessageBind will no longer be a valid action to configure, instead an error message will suggest turning on the MailItemsAccessed action. This change will not remove the MessageBind action from mailboxes which have already have added it to their configurations.

    Initially, these audit records will not flow into the Unified Audit Log and will only be available from the Mailbox Audit Log.

    We’ll begin rolling this change out in early February, 2019. If you are on the default audit configuration, you will see the MailItemsAccessed action added once the feature is rolled out to you and you start to audit reads.

    What do I need to do to prepare for this change?

    There is no action you need to take to derive the security benefits of having mail read audit data. The MailItemsAccessed action will be updated in your Get-Mailbox action audit configurations automatically under AuditAdmin, AuditDelegate and AuditOwner.

    If you have set these configurations before, you will need to update them now to audit the two new mailbox actions. Please click Additional Information for details on how to do this.

    If you do not want to audit these new actions in your mailboxes and you do not want your mailbox action audit configurations to change in the future as we continue to update the defaults, you can set AuditAdmin, AuditDelegate and AuditOwner to your desired configuration. Even if your desired configuration is exactly the same as the current default configuration, so long as you set the AuditAdmin, AuditDelegate and AuditOwner configurations on your mailbox, you will preclude yourself from further updates to these audit configurations. Please click Additional Information for details on how to do this.

    If your organization has turned off mailbox auditing, then you will not audit mail read actions.

  • New Office installations will be 64-bit, not 32-bit. If you have 32-bit add-ins, watch out!

    Posted on December 24th, 2018 at 10:45 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    From joep517:

    Here’s a note from the Office 365 admin center:

    Office ProPlus and Office 2019 will now be installed with 64-bit as the default setting. Previously, the default setting was 32-bit at installation. This change will begin rolling out in mid-January, 2019.

    After this change takes place, the 64-bit version of Office will automatically be installed unless you explicitly select the 32-bit version before beginning the installation process.

    If you install the 64-bit version, but wanted the 32-bit version instead, you must first uninstall the 64-bit version before installing the 32-bit version. The same is true if you installed the 32-bit version but want to install the 64-bit

    Watch out! This could really screw up people if they don’t pay attention and have many 32-bit Office add-ins.

  • That “new” Office app? There’s less – and more – than meets the eye

    Posted on December 19th, 2018 at 11:23 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft blogland is abuzz with news about a new! improved! Office app for Windows 10 called, doh, Office.

    MS 365 VP Jared Spataro just posted:

    Last year, we updated Office.com with a new experience focused on two simple things: helping users get the most out of Office and getting them back into their work quickly. The streamlined site has clearly resonated with customers, and now more than 40 percent of Office 365 web users start their work by visiting Office.com.

    Starting today, we’re bringing this experience to Windows 10 in the form of an app, simply called Office. It’s now available to Windows Insiders (Fast) and will roll out to all Windows 10 users soon. The app itself is free and it can be used with any Office 365 subscription, Office 2019, Office 2016, or Office Online—the free web-based version of Office for consumers.

    The announcement goes on to say that you’ll be able to use this new app to, basically, do everything you can do right now pretty easily with OneDrive and the Office.com portal.

    But there’s one thing the announcement doesn’t mention. Mary Jo Foley explains that this new Office (there must be two dozen things running around called “Office”) is, in fact, a Progressive Web App. Which is pretty cool. Not a UWP (“Metro” “Windows Store”) app, but a real, live presumably working PWA.

    The future is coming fast.

  • More amazing prices on Office 365: 6 users/one year for $55; 1 user/1 year for $40

    Posted on December 6th, 2018 at 13:08 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Two weeks ago I told you about a great deal on Office 365 Home from Amazon. This is the Real Deal, not some fly-by-night stuff.

    Now it seems Microsoft has lowered the price once again, but you need to act quickly.

    As of right now, if you use these (affiliate) links, you can get the 6-person one year subscription to Home for just $54.99 (US only), or the 1-person one year subscription to Personal for just $39.99 (also US only).

    The only difference between Home and Personal is in the number of users.

    If you already have Office 365 Home, you can buy this item and use the key to extend your current subscription by one year. Just be sure you use the same Microsoft id to login to the new copy.

    Thx Paul Thurrott.

  • Amazing price on a legit copy of Office 365 Home

    Posted on November 28th, 2018 at 14:43 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Amazon — yes, Amazon — has an amazing price on Office 365 Home.

    As of this moment, it’s $59.99 for a one-year subscription to Office 365 Home, for up to 6 people. Make sure you choose the “Download” option.

    If you already have Office 365 Home, you can buy this item and use the key to extend your current subscription by one year. Just be sure you use the same Microsoft id to login to the new copy.

    Also make sure that the price hasn’t gone up since I posted this!

    Thx Office Watch.

    UPDATE: Preston Gralla has an article in Computerworld that explains why moving from the bought-n-paid-for version of Office 2019 to the annual-rent Office 365 may be a good idea.

    It used to be that whenever Microsoft released Office with a new version number — for example, Office 2016 — that version was more powerful than any other available. That’s no longer the case. Office 2019 is considerably less powerful than Office 365. There’s nothing new in Office 2019 that hasn’t already been available for quite some time to millions of Office 365 subscribers (the company says it has more than 31 million subscribers to consumer editions), and in fact, Microsoft left several features out of Office 2019 that it had introduced in Office 365 over the past few years.

  • Patch Lady – When 365 isn’t the same 365

    Posted on November 27th, 2018 at 22:44 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I have a version of Office 365 that I purchased through godaddy as well as the top of the line Microsoft 365 E5 license.  I do that in order to compare the top to the bottom.  And one of the things I’ve noticed is that on the Godaddy implementation of Office 365 that often you can’t get to the same screens nor do they have the same options.  Take as example the Office secure score web site that walks you through making sure you can protect your email system as much as possible  https://securescore.office.com/#!/dashboard  I can get to that interface with the top of the line 365 program, I can’t get to it via the Godaddy offering.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/securitycompliance/office-365-secure-score

    One could argue that Godaddy should know to set things up securely but if there’s one thing I’ve always found with vendors…trust but verify.

    For example one rule that needs to be set up is a block forwarding rule

    Can you set up this best practice in Godaddy’s implementation of Office 365, honestly I can’t tell.

    Bottom line be aware that the different vendor implementations of 365 means you may not have all the options you see talked about on the web.