Microsoft 365 Evolves, Comes to Education

Microsoft 365 Evolves, Comes to Education

Today, Microsoft announced that it is bringing Microsoft 365 to the education market, even as it adds new capabilities to the expansive offering.

Microsoft 365, as you may recall, is basically “Microsoft as a service,” an offering that spans Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security, and Windows 10.

When it first launched over the summer, Microsoft 365 came in two versions, Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Enterprise, each tailored to specific needs. Today, Microsoft has announced two new Microsoft 365 offerings, Microsoft 365 Education and Microsoft 365 F1.

Microsoft 365 Education, as its name suggests, is aimed at the education market. It includes Office 365 for Education, Enterprise Mobility + Security, Windows 10, and Minecraft: Education Edition. Microsoft says it “gives students, faculty, and staff everything they need to create and collaborate securely.”

Microsoft 365 F1 targets the so-called “firstline worker” in the enterprise. These are the users who “are first to engage customers, represent a company’s brand, and see products and services in action,” Microsoft says. This offering provides Office 365 F1, Enterprise Mobility + Security, and Windows 10.

In addition to the new offerings, Microsoft is announcing other enhancements to Microsoft 365 across the board. These include a new group of inexpensive Windows 10 S-based PCs from Fujitsu, HP, and Lenovo that target those firstline workers, and start at just $275, new remote deployment and device management capabilities for Windows 10, and enhancements to Microsoft StaffHub.

Microsoft is also announcing Microsoft Graph-powered enhancements such as a private preview of Bing for Business, LinkedIn integration with Office 365 profile cards, improvements to Office 365 search, and the ability to search for people and content inside your organization directly from your Windows taskbar. (I assume this is tied to the My People feature in Windows 10, but it’s not clear yet.) Additionally, Microsoft is adding new intelligent capabilities to Excel, such as support for new data types and integration with public data sources.

On the IT pro front, Microsoft 365 is picking up FastTrack for Microsoft 365, which provides planning, guidance and assistance; Office 365 Usage Analytics (in early 2018) for analyzing and visualizing usage data; and new Intune capabilities like enhanced support for Windows AutoPilot, Office 365 ProPlus deployment, Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection configuration, Win32 app deployment, and more. Also, HP and Lenovo will support Windows AutoPilot starting in January, alongside Microsoft Surface.

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Conversation 4 comments

  • CaedenV

    25 September, 2017 - 5:05 pm

    <p>Very curious to see the edu pricing. In the early days of MS's cloud service offerings they made office free for student use, but the pricing for staff and office use put the package out of reach of most small to mid-sized schools. Then as Google Apps became more accepted (and free) it really limited the usefulness/value of MS Office products being used in the classroom.</p><p>I suppose this is being considered as a binary decision by MS on charging a lot for the few schools that will pay for the product, vs slashing prices for broader adoption… though I view this as a mistake. I recently moved from the education side of IT to a law office, and we are already seeing some candidates who have limited familiarity with MS Office compared to Google Docs. Now in the law field we need office because of all the custom macros and scripts in use… but in a normal business setting this is simply not going to be the case and we are going to see a huge shift from Office use to Google docs as the user base is simply more familiar with the product… and frankly from an IT perspective Google Docs is WAY easier to manage (partly because there is nothing to manage… but if 0 management gets the job done… well, who am I to argue there).</p><p><br></p><p>As a MS fan I hope they dramatically cut costs to regain footing in schools. Without them they are going to loose the majority of businesses for cheaper/simpler Google Docs solutions.</p>

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