As it does each month, Microsoft is providing its Office 365 customers with news about a new set of updates today. It’s also highlighting some of the Office 365 updates coming next month to Surface and Windows 10 users.
I’ve already written about those latter updates, and you can read more about them in Microsoft is Enabling New Surface Pen Scenarios in Office 365. Here, I’ll focus on what’s new for May. (Though many of these features won’t arrive until later.)
Among the highlights are:
OneDrive Files on Demand. Announced at Build 2017 earlier this month, OneDrive Files on Demand marks the return of OneDrive placeholders, but in a more efficient form. This feature will be included in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, but Windows Insiders will be able to access it starting in June.
New OneDrive Share experience. Also announced at the SharePoint Virtual Summit, a new File Explorer-based OneDrive Share interface will roll out to consumer and commercial subscribers starting in June. It will work in Windows 7 and Windows 10, and a version is coming to the Mac as well.
Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI. Available now in public preview for Office 365 commercial customers, this new utility combines the intelligence of Office 365 usage reports with the interactive reporting capabilities of Power BI, Microsoft says. “This means admins can visualize and analyze their organization’s Office 365 usage data, create custom reports and share the insights with Power BI—pivoting by attributes such as location and department. This better understanding of how their users adopt and use Office 365 can help admins drive more targeted end user training and communication.”
SharePoint communication sites. Announced last week at Microsoft’s SharePoint Virtual Summit, SharePoint communication sites let you create mobile-ready intranet sites where you can share resources, news and information across your organization. Communication sites feature Yammer integration and are easy to create and customize. They will be made available first to Office 365 commercial subscribers on First Release starting in June.
SharePoint and Microsoft PowerApps integration. Also announced at the SharePoint Virtual Summit, Microsoft is enhancing PowerApps to enable the creation of custom forms and “rich, digital experiences” from within a SharePoint list or library. “This will help your company transform team and organizational processes, with users creating, viewing and interacting with data from your custom form or app, rather than default SharePoint forms” Microsoft explains. Office 365 commercial customers will see the capability sometime this summer.