New to Office 365 in May—updates to Skype for Business, Outlook, SharePoint and more

Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.

This month, our updates to Office 365 include real-time chat integration into Office 365 web experiences, as well as new capabilities in Outlook and Visio. We also cover key announcements for SharePoint and OneDrive for Business made earlier this month.

Real-time chat in Office 365 web experiences for commercial customers

Last month, we announced deeper integration of Skype for Business into Word and PowerPoint for Windows desktop. Now for commercial customers we’re integrating real-time chat into Office Online—the web versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Simply click the blue Chat button to start a conversation with everyone editing in the browser at the same time, for any document stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. Learn more about real-time chat in Office Online.

Chat in real-time while you collaborate in Office Online documents stored in the cloud.

We’re also rolling out Skype for Business chat within Outlook on the web. Click the Skype icon in the top navigation bar to access contacts, search your organization and start a chat alongside your Outlook mail and calendar experience. You can also begin conversations by clicking the IM button in a person’s contact card.

Skype for Business chat integration into Outlook on the web enables real-time conversations, as well as access to your contacts and people search within your organization.

Outlook updates across platforms

We have a number of updates coming this month to Outlook, helping you stay on top of what matters and get stuff done on all your devices—even your wearables!

  • Watch face support for Outlook for Android Wear—Outlook on Android Wear already lets you interact with notifications, read email and reply with preset messages or voice dictation. In next week’s update, you will be able to stay on top of your day with a quick glance at the Outlook watch face. See your schedule overlaid on the dial and get details on upcoming events. It will also be easier to manage your inbox with a view of how many new emails you have and who they’re from before diving in to the details with a single tap. You can even personalize your watch face color to fit your style for the day.

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Outlook watch face on Android Wear.

  • Improved language support for Outlook for Mac—Outlook 2016 for Mac now supports Arabic and Hebrew and provides right-to-left language support. We’ve also introduced a new editor with enhanced formatting support, addressing a top request from customers.
  • OneDrive and Skype for Business integration in Outlook for iOS and Android—Collaborate on documents more easily in Outlook by emailing a link to a file stored in OneDrive for Business, keeping all the recipients on the same page with the latest version. Coming in next week’s update, you’ll be able to quickly join Skype Meetings in one tap from Outlook’s event details view.

Outlook on iOS and Android devices now lets you insert links to OneDrive for Business files in email (left), and in next week’s update, join Skype Meetings in one click (right).

  • Pre-populated attachments in Skype Meetings—Files you attach to a Skype Meeting request in Outlook 2016 or Outlook on the web now automatically load into the Skype Meeting document bin as soon as participants join. Cloud attachments automatically assign permissions to meeting attendees. That way everybody can collaborate during the Skype Meeting. Learn more about preloading attachments into Skype for Business meetings.

SharePoint and OneDrive for Business enhancements for Office 365

Earlier this month, we unveiled our new cloud-first, mobile-first vision and roadmap for SharePoint. We’ve already started rolling out some of those improvements to help empower people, teams and organizations to intelligently discover, share and collaborate on content from anywhere and on any device.

It’s simpler and more powerful to share files and collaborate from any device. Now you can use OneDrive for iPhone and iPad to seamlessly share, edit and take offline any files stored in SharePoint document libraries, Office 365 groups and OneDrive for Business. On the web, you can copy files from OneDrive for Business to a SharePoint team site or Office 365 group. The new Discover view in both the web and OneDrive for Android helps files find you, minimizing search time with recommendations powered by the Office Graph. We’ll expand these capabilities to more platforms later this year.

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OneDrive improvements make file sharing and collaboration simpler and more powerful on any device.

We’re also updating SharePoint to make your intranet more mobile, intelligent and personalized. The new SharePoint mobile app will provide full-fidelity, on-the-go access to your company content, sites and apps—available on iOS by the end of June and on Android and Windows later this year. In Office 365 on the web, we’ve renamed Sites to SharePoint and we now provide a modern, new SharePoint home page with access to team sites, search and views into activity across your teams and organization. SharePoint document libraries and lists (coming soon) have a simple and familiar new look based on OneDrive, while still offering intuitive access to the rich content management and customizability of SharePoint. Soon we’ll integrate PowerApps and Microsoft Flow directly into SharePoint. Stay tuned for more!

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The new SharePoint mobile app (left) and modern SharePoint home in Office 365 (right).

AutoCAD 2013/2010 file support in Visio Pro for Office 365

Over 12 million people use Visio to visually communicate complex information, document business processes and more. Now Visio Pro for Office 365 customers can insert and open the latest AutoCAD 2013 and 2010 file formats. Architects, engineers, operations teams and others can collaborate more effectively on AutoCAD design documents in Visio with capabilities such as co-authoring, commenting and annotation. You can even add data on top of your layout and design to provide operational insights. For example, import an AutoCAD diagram of a building and add people and facilities to the floor plan to more easily track resources or simply highlight key architectural information to share with others. Sign up for a free webcast on July 12 to learn more about using Visio to collaborate on AutoCAD files.

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Visio can help you add smart shapes and data visualization on top of AutoCAD floor plans.

Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office 2016 | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office on Android. If you’re an Office 365 Home or Personal customer, be sure to sign up for Office Insider to be the first to use the latest and greatest in Office productivity. Commercial customers on both Current Channel and Deferred Channel can also get early access to a fully supported build through First Release. Thanks for your continued feedback and support!

—Kirk Koenigsbauer