The fact that Microsoft 365 is a constantly updating service is one of the main benefits of the platform. Subscribers pay their monthly fee because they know that the infrastructure is constantly updated, without the need of physically installing and maintaining updates.
Much of the time, these productivity-enhancing improvements often go unnoticed unless you keep a keen eye on product updates and patches from Microsoft roadmaps. For workers and businesses, it’s important to keep track of changes when they’re made, to get the best value out of your Microsoft 365 platform and achieve maximum productivity every day.
The Microsoft 365 roadmap now contains Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) updates that have been released, are coming soon, or in development. To keep you updated, here is a look at some of the most important changes coming to Microsoft 365 in 2019.
Windows 10 Updates
Windows 10 is an ever-updating platform and changes are constantly being made. Major changes tend to be packaged together in ‘versions’, of which the next is due to be released in April 2019. This update will be the seventh major update to Windows 10 since it was first released, and will be referred to as Version 1903, or by its codename, 19H1.
One of the more eye-catching updates to be included in this update is the Enhanced Windows Search mode, which will give users the ability to search through the entire PC, rather than one particular folder or library. This is particularly useful for those users who aren’t sure where information or a file is saved, and want the widest possible search base to ensure they can get quickly get hold of what they’re looking for.
Other changes include the extension of the ‘focus assist’ feature to include all full screen applications. When enabled, the focus assist blocks all notifications, sounds and alerts, letting you access a state of deeper, more focused productivity.
Here are some of the other minor changes the update will make to the user interface:
- Login screen will feature fluent design blur effects
- A broken internet connection will be signalled by a globe icon in the system tray
- Customize your own quick actions in the Action Centre. Current Windows defaults include Bluetooth, Network, Projects, and Tablet Mode.
- The Action Centre will also feature a simple background slider.
Office 365 in development
Perhaps the most significant overall change to Office 365 is not within the platform itself – it’s actually on Microsoft’s own website. Office 365 has been rolled in, along with Enterprise Mobility + Security, into the Microsoft 365 roadmap. While Office 365-only users can still filter changes that are relevant to them, it’s clear that Microsoft is quickly starting to view Microsoft 365 as the default option.
Within Office 365 itself, there have been a number of changes to the ways that apps operate and interact with one another, further tightening the integrated digital infrastructure that Office 365 creates. Microsoft Teams, for instance will soon integrate with Outlook on Mac devices, meaning Mac users can now also schedule meetings through Microsoft Teams directly from their inbox.
Within SharePoint, changes are regularly being made to improve the value workers can get out of their everyday tasks. For instance, a new ‘mega menu’ option is in development to improve the navigability of hub sites, which will allow users to filter via more specific features and view more detailed information about what they’re searching for. SharePoint will also soon offer custom page designs, as well as the ability to mention people directly using the ‘@’ symbol in private chats.
Security enhancements in Microsoft 365
Microsoft have made a number of tweaks to security, virus and threat protection in Microsoft 365, which have already started to be rolled out, but look to be fully deployed in the early stages of 2019. The most eye-catching of which is the change of the Windows Defender Security Centre to simply ‘Windows Security’. Within this, a range of other changes are soon to be made.
If you access virus and threat protection from the Windows Security panel, for instance, you’ll see that it’s easier to view security settings. Sections like ‘current threats’, ‘virus and protection settings’ and ‘ransomware protections’ now feature their own dedicated links to let you view advanced settings for each. This makes it quicker and easier to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your network’s security status.
Microsoft 365 will also soon give you the option to view information about the most recent malware scan in the ‘scan options’ page. With this, users will also be able to enable and manage a feature called ‘controlled folder access’, which will further protect your device and data from other types of ransomware and malware.
Microsoft 365: Improving user productivity with every update
While Office 365 and Windows 10 users will be able to access some of these changes, only subscribers to Microsoft 365 will be able to access each individual update. Microsoft 365 provides your business with a cloud-based platform that effectively combines software and operating system into a tightly integrated, constantly updating network.
Creating an effective digital infrastructure is never about sweeping, one-size-fits-all changes, it’s about creating a tightly integrated network with each small part working to its maximum productivity. This is what Microsoft 365 is about and this is the level of detail care and attention from which its subscribers constantly benefit.