Microsoft updates make Office 365 smarter and more secure

How to get Microsoft Office for free
guteksk7/Shutterstock
There was a time when Microsoft’s business was primarily based on Windows with some Office productivity suite activity on the side. Now, the company is into cloud services, hardware, gaming, and a number of other business, and yet Office remains vital to its productivity strategy.

That’s likely why the company continues to improve Office, while simultaneously pushing the apps to other platforms. For February 2017, Microsoft is injecting some of its machine intelligence work into Office and making a number of tasks easier and more efficient.

First up is a feature that Microsoft originally introduced at its Ignite 2016 event in September 2016. Specifically, QuickStarter for PowerPoint helps users create new presentations by creating a set of default slides.

Type in a topic, and QuickStarter creates a curated outlined, some recommendations on categories, associated Creative Commons images, and research suggestions. QuickStarter is available in PowerPoint 2016 for Office Insiders in the Fast ring.

Next up are some enhancements to the Word 2016 Editor feature, which provides real-time writing assistance to users. The new Editor pane provides more information in terms of advanced spelling, grammar, and style recommendations, and enables users to scan entire documents in one place. The Editor pane replaces the old Spelling & Grammar pane, and is available to the Office Insider Fast ring.

microsoft announces february 2017 office 365 updates news in 2

Microsoft also provided a review of some new functionality that’s been released in the past few months. Office 2016 for Mac now supports the Touch Bar on 2016 MacBook Pro machines, providing task-specific virtual function keys. And Cortana can now scan Outlook.com and Office 365 email messages for promised tasks and automatically generate reminders that show up in Windows 10.

Finally, Microsoft has improved security in Office 365 with a few new features. First up is Office 365 Secure Score, a security analytics tool that helps organizations understand their security configurations and what actions to take to improve security and reduce risk. Office 365 Intelligence keeps organizations aware of potential cyber threats and provides information from the Microsoft Intelligence Security Graph.

Overall, Microsoft’s February 2017 set of updates to its Office productivity suite is all about leveraging the company’s machine intelligence capabilities to make working in Office easier and more secure. Note that a few of the newest features are only available to Office Insiders, and you can sign up here to participate in that preview program.

Mobile

The most expensive Galaxy S10 could be the priciest Galaxy phone we've seen

Not long now; with 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Computing

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.
Computing

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…
Mobile

You'll soon be able to pay for goods with the Motiv smart ring

Remember Motiv's activity tracking smart ring? It's back with a raft of new features that adds biometric identification and token authentication, all on a device that fits on your finger.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Computing

Is it worth spending more for the Surface Pro, or is the Surface Go good enough?

The Surface Go versus Surface Pro -- which is better? While the higher price tag of one might make you think it's an easy choice, a deeper dive into what each offers makes it a closer race than you might assume.
Computing

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.
Computing

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.
Computing

Yes, Android apps can run on your PC, and it's easier than you think

Wish you knew how to run Android apps in Windows? It's easier than you might think and there are a number of different ways to do it. In this guide, we break down the steps so you can follow along with ease.
Computing

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.
Computing

How to share an external hard drive between Mac and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.
Computing

Should you buy the affordable MacBook Air, or is the MacBook Pro worth the price?

Though they both share Retina Displays and similar keyboards, there are still some specs differences and other changes that differentiate the new 2018 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. In this guide, we stack the two up against each other.
Computing

Chip off the auction block – Intel’s i9-9990XE may be sold to the highest bidder

Intel's alleged Core i9-9990XE may only be sold at auction to OEMs, meaning that only a few of the 14-core, 28-thread, 5GHz CPUs will ever see the light of day in specific devices and systems.
Android

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019: Complete Coverage

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are likely to dominate the news. For…