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  • Office (er, Microsoft) 365 authentication heads for the hills

    Posted on September 28th, 2020 at 17:11 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you’re trying to log in to Microsoft 365, and can’t get past the authentication step, you aren’t alone.

    Per Brad Sams:

    Microsoft is aware of the issue but at this time there is not an ETA for a fix. Amusingly, the support account for Microsoft 365 on Twitter recommends that you check your account dashboard for MO222965 but when you try to authenticate, it fails… If you are already logged into an app or dashboard, you should be safe to utilize that feature but do not log out.

    I expect it’ll be fixed in short order.

    Here’s the official notification:

    Man, if Microsoft itself can’t install patches to its key service without blowing things up….

  • Outlook went down for four hours yesterday. What happened? How did Microsoft fix it?

    Posted on July 16th, 2020 at 07:14 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Spoiler: No, there was no buggy update. No emergency patch. Just sheer incompetence.

    Microsoft promises to give us details in five days, after the rage has died down. (I bet it takes that long for the PR folks and Legal to give an OK to whatever excuse is offered.)

    Here’s what apparently happened, based on an anonymous post and some great sleuthing by @NetDef.

    Details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Patch Lady – issue with Outlook

    Posted on June 20th, 2020 at 14:39 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    To those of you in the Ask woody forums that have been hitting this (see this and this ) read on..

    A bug in the June updates is causing “Something is wrong with one of your data files and Outlook needs to close” as noted in

    To workaround the issue, follow that post:

    Right Click the Windows Start button, and then choose Run.

    In the Open box, type regedit, and then select OK.

    In the left pane, expand Computer and then expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\PST

    Under the PST key delete the registry keys below and then restart Outlook:

    “LastCorruptStore”=”C:\\Users\\user.REDMOND\\AppData\\Local\\Microsoft\\Outlook\\look for your email address here


    If that’s too much for you Diane Poremsky has an automatic registry fix download here.

    This appears to be impacting those mostly with PST files.

    Thanks to PK Cano for pointing me to those threads and to Diane Poremsky of

    <and ugh>

  • Office 365 becomes Microsoft 365: Less here than meets the eye

    Posted on April 13th, 2020 at 01:15 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Woody Leonhard

    Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that, as of April 21, the “rented” version of Office known as Office 365 will henceforth be known as Microsoft 365.

    Other than a bewildering array of new names and vague promises of future features, very little will actually change on that day.

    Mostly, if you’re currently subscribed to Office 365, you’ll soon be seeing (and paying for) Microsoft 365.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.14.0 (2020-04-13).

  • Office 365 mutates into Microsoft 365

    Posted on March 30th, 2020 at 13:06 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    There’s a whole lotta chaff flying around — and we haven’t yet played with The Real Thing — but here are the basics of Microsoft’s announcement earlier today:

    New Office features start rolling out to Office 365 subscribers today.

    Microsoft 365 Personal (one person, $70/yr) and Microsoft 365 Family (up to 6 people, $100/yr) available on April 21.

    If you’re an Office 365 renter, er, subscriber, you’ll become a Microsoft 365 renter automatically.

    Microsoft has a lengthy official list of new features here.

    Office 365 Business Essentials is now Microsoft 365 Business Basic

    Office 365 Business Premium is now Microsoft 365 Business Standard

    Microsoft 365 Business is now Microsoft 365 Business Premium

    Office 365 Business is now Microsoft 365 Apps for Business

    Office 365 ProPlus is now Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise

    Expect to see lots and lots (and lots and lots) of articles about the new features shortly. Remains to be seen how many will be useful for you.

    Mary Jo Foley has an excellent roundup on ZDNet.

  • Bill Jelen: Microsoft just released a fledgling version of TypeScript in Excel that will, in 20 years or so, supplant VBA

    Posted on February 20th, 2020 at 10:57 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Bill Jelen has just posted a fascinating video of the “Excel VBA Killer” known as TypeScript.

    For 16 years, people asked me if Excel VBA will be around forever. I always said, “Don’t worry – they can’t kill it until there is a viable replacement with a macro recorder.”

    Today, Microsoft released a public preview of Office Script, which offers a macro recorder that works. More or less. Most of the time. It’s hard to find, but if you have an E3 or E5 Office 365 subscription (can’t try this at home, folks), you can use the new macro recorder to create functioning TypeScript code.

    Jelen figures it’ll take 27 years or so before VBA Excel gets replaced entirely, but this most definitely looks like the way of the (far) future.

  • Microsoft backtracks on Office search changes

    Posted on February 11th, 2020 at 08:12 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    According to Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft has backed off its plans to change the search engine to Bing for its Office 365 Pro Plus customers. See Microsoft backtracks on ‘Bing-jacking’ Chrome with its Microsoft Search extension for more details.

  • Will Microsoft forcibly change the Chrome default search engine to Bing?

    Posted on January 22nd, 2020 at 07:43 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Is this “Office as a Service,” or just another poorly worded Microsoft announcement?

    I’m getting lots of questions about a bizarre but official post from ‘Softie Daniel Brown entitled Microsoft Search in Bing and Office 365 ProPlus. In it, Microsoft seems to be saying that everyone who installs the latest patch for Office 365 ProPlus will have their default search engine in Google Chrome changed to Bing.

    Starting with Version 2002 of Office 365 ProPlus, an extension for Microsoft Search in Bing will be installed that makes Bing the default search engine for the Google Chrome web browser. This extension will be installed with new installations of Office 365 ProPlus or when existing installations of Office 365 ProPlus are updated.

    Pardon me while I pick my jaw up off the floor.

    By making Bing the default search engine, users in your organization with Google Chrome will be able to take advantage of Microsoft Search, including being able to access relevant workplace information directly from the browser address bar. Microsoft Search is part of Microsoft 365 and is turned on by default for all Microsoft apps that support it.

    First of all, “Version 2002” is Microsoft’s incredibly stupid way of saying the February 2020 update to Office 365 Pro Plus. It’ll be available to the bleeding edge in February, but normal folks (on the “Semi-Annual Channel branch,” you gotta love the terminology) won’t see it until July.

    After the extension for Microsoft Search in Bing is installed, your users will see a Welcome screen. For example, the Welcome screen in Google Chrome looks similar to this:

    Can they do that?

    Not all devices with Version 2002 or later will receive the extension right away. That’s because we’re gradually rolling out this change, first to new installations and then to existing installations. So if you’re installing or updating to Version 2002 or later, and the extension isn’t installed, that is probably expected and not necessarily an error. It’s likely a future installation or update will install the extension and set Bing as the default search engine for Google Chrome.

    That’s either the worst Microsoft announcement I’ve seen this year — or it’s an incredible overstepping of antitrust proportions that deserves fire and brimstone.

    Do you read the announcement any differently? Is this perhaps an opt-in kind of thing, where you have to activate the extension (which is dirty pool, too, don’t get me wrong)? Or is Microsoft going to roll out Bing as the default search engine in Chrome for everybody who’s getting Office ProPlus … as a Service, of course.

    UPDATE: Catalin Cimpanu, over at ZDNet, is under the impression that this is for real — that Office 365 ProPlus will hijack your Chrome browser search engine. He goes over MS’s published methods for preventing the hijacking.

    Where’s the outrage? Or is this the new normal?

  • Microsoft 365 status update

    Posted on November 21st, 2019 at 14:09 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Günter Born has additional details.

  • Office 365 global outage is now fixed

    Posted on November 20th, 2019 at 07:49 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    A tale in three tweets…. (all times are US Central)

    Of course the Microsoft Office Status site requires a logon with an active Office 365 account.

  • Office 365 ProPlus to get support on Windows 7 after January 14, 2020

    Posted on October 7th, 2019 at 17:25 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft has decided to give Office 365 ProPlus users running Windows 7 some grace time after Windows 7 goes out of support on January 14, 2020. Office 365 ProPlus users will continue to get security updates for Office 365 ProPlus until January 2023. According to Microsoft this is to transition to a “support operating system”.

    See Windows 7 end of support and Office 365 ProPlus for details and more information.

  • MS Word and Google Docs now play nicely together

    Posted on August 19th, 2019 at 01:15 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Lance Whitney

    Just because you need to edit and share documents with someone who uses Google Docs doesn’t mean you have to renounce Word. It’s easy to work in both worlds. Here’s how.

    You’ve always used Microsoft Word to create and edit your documents. Over the years, you’ve become comfortable with its many tools, capabilities, and peccadillos. But now you need to collaborate with others who rely on Google’s productivity apps.

    Does that mean you have to adopt Google Docs as your default word processor? Not at all!

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.29.0 (2019-08-19).