SMB Tip: Keep Up-To-Date with New Microsoft 365 Features

Posted on September 22, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft 365 with 3 Comments

This week, Microsoft is holding its first-ever digital rendition of its IT pro-focused Ignite conference. And as such, you won’t be surprised to discover that the software giant has already announced hundreds of new features across Microsoft 365, especially for Teams.

Understanding what you get with Microsoft 365 is key to taking full advantage of the value provided by this solution. The problem? Keeping up with these changes can be a chore, and I say that from the perspective of someone whose job it is to do so.

The problem is that Microsoft doesn’t rely on an annual tradeshow to announce and release new Microsoft 365 features. Indeed, one of the benefits of Microsoft 365 is that all of it, even the parts that are not online services, are serviced as if they were online services. And that means that new features and other improvements arrive all the time.

So where can you find out what’s new?

Depending on the app you’re using—be it on desktop, mobile, or web—you will occasionally see a pop-up message describing recently added features. That can be useful for that particular app, but if you’re using, say, the Windows desktop version of Microsoft Word, it won’t you that a crucial new feature called Transcribe is only available via the web version of the app.

If you’re a Microsoft 365 admin, the admin center will likewise alert you to new features sometimes, and there’s a nice “What’s new” link that will navigate to a very detailed website about new admin center features.

You could always rely on Thurrott.com or other tech blogs to keep you up-to-date with new Microsoft 365 features, of course, but the sheer deluge of new features each month is daunting, and these sites can’t always cover it all. We do our best.

If you had to choose just a single source, I strongly recommend keeping tabs on the official Microsoft 365 blog using an RSS reader or similar technology. Here, Microsoft does a surprisingly good job of providing timely information about its updates. I’m particularly happy with its comprehensive monthly updates, the most recent of which is here, which provides a nice rundown of all the new features from that month. It sounds semi-obvious, but different parts of Microsoft communicate differently, and Microsoft 365 is by far the best at getting information out quickly and clearly. Best of all, I bet most people would be surprised by how much functionality is added to Microsoft 365 each month. It just keeps getting more valuable.

You’re not yet using a commercial version of Microsoft 365? Then please try a free month of Microsoft 365 Business Standard, which includes access to the Microsoft 365 desktop, mobile, and web apps, and 1 TB of cloud storage, and can be accessed by up to 25 users. And I’ll be writing a lot more about Microsoft 365 this month to help you get started.

Elevate the Conversation!

Join Thurrott Premium to enjoy our Premium comments.

Premium member comments on news posts will feature an elevated status that increases their visibility. This tab would allow you to participate in Premium comments with other premium members. Register to join the other Premium members in elevating the conversation!

Register or Subscribe

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register