Skip to main content
Skip to main content
Microsoft 365

What’s new: May 2015

As the updates and enhancements delivered last month show, Office 365 is continually being improved to help you get more done at home, school and work. Check out the new capabilities in OneNote and or the new and updated apps for phones, and get a look at what’s next with the Office 2016 Public Preview and the Office for Android phone Preview. For business users there are new change management, Data Loss Protection (DLP) and data analysis capabilities, plus integrations, connectors and a new email archive migration service. The simplified and enhanced OneNote Class and Staff notebooks will help educators get a jump on the new school year. And for developers there’s a host of updates—from documentation and code samples to on-demand webcasts. Leave us a comment to let us know what your favorite new feature is. If you missed last month’s updates, see What’s new: April 2015.

Office 365 Personal, Office 365 Home, and Office 365 University updates

Office 2016 Public Preview now available—Get an early look at the next release of Office on Windows desktop (Fall 2015), and help shape and improve the future of Office. Read the blog post to find out what’s new for documents, collaboration, data analysis, and security. To see if the program’s right for you, visit the Office 2016 Preview site.

OneNote updates—Now you can search handwritten notes in OneNote notebooks saved to OneDrive—in 25 languages—just like you search typed text and text within images. And with OneNote for the Apple Watch, you can access your content on the go. Quickly check your to-do list, or capture ideas or to-do’s by just tapping and dictating.

OneNote for Mac updates—One of the top-requested features is here! You can now record meetings, conference calls, classes, interviews, brainstorm sessions, or personal journals, with any notes you type while recording synced to the audio. Plus, you can now view equations added from OneNote for Windows and recover sections or pages of notes you deleted accidentally.

OneNote welcomes three new partners—cloudHQ integrates your cloud apps for easy collaboration—like automatically syncing your OneNote notebook with a folder in Dropbox—and helps keep everything safely backed up. Equil connects the physical surfaces of notepads and whiteboards to digital notebooks like OneNote. And with the new OneNote plug-in for WordPress, you can quickly transform your notes into meaningful blog posts.

New ways to get more done in—A refined inbox, new ways to collaborate, an upgraded calendar, and more are rolling out in Preview now and will be available to a broader audience through an opt-in program soon. These are the first of many innovations. Share feedback, recommend features, and vote for the ideas you like in the newly launched open forum Outlook UserVoice.

Office for Android phone Preview now available—Get an early look at how the Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps make documents, spreadsheets and presentations look their best on your Android phone, and help shape and improve the app experience on Android phones. To participate in the Preview program, join the Microsoft Office for Android community.

Office Lens Android available in Google Play Store for free—This popular app that turns your phone into a pocket scanner is now available for Android as well as iPhone and Windows phones. The app recognizes the corners of a document, whiteboard, electronic screen, or any rectangular media and automatically crops, straightens, enhances and cleans up the image, then enables you to save it to OneNote or OneDrive.

Updates to the OneDrive Android and Windows Phone apps—OneDrive now supports Android Wear. With the OneDrive watch face, each time you activate your watch, you see a photo from the last 30 days. With Cortana search integration, finding files in your personal OneDrive with Windows Phone is now simpler. Just say what you’re searching for—for example, “OneDrive search for Hawaii sunset photos” or a specific word or phrase in an Office document or PDF—and Cortana will find it for you.

Office 365 for Business updates*

New ways to manage change and stay informed—Recent Office 365 updates help you plan, prepare and communicate to your organization, simplifying change management. First Release now gives you more controls for managing change and, in response to your requests, more updates and new features are rolling out through First Release. And to help you stay better informed, the Office 365 Message Center and the Office 365 for business roadmap have been improved.

Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online now integrated—Save time, sell more with the new integration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online with Office 365. The new CRM app for Outlook integrates your email and contacts. Easily share information with OneNote and use Excel Online to do a quick analysis—right from Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. These plus integrations with PowerPoint, SharePoint, Skype, Word, and Yammer will boost your productivity.

Easier email archive migration—Moving email archive data to the cloud is now easier with the new Office 365 Import Service, which provides two options for speeding up the process of importing PST files into Exchange Online mailboxes. Find out how you access the import service, who’s eligible, and more about the public preview, which will last through August.

Clutter updates—Clutter, which moves less important emails out of your inbox and keeps you focused on what’s important, will be on by default in Office 365 starting in June. There are also new administrative controls to help you manage Clutter in your organization, and the way Clutter interacts with users has been improved, with new alerts and weekly summary notifications.

New DLP capabilities for sync in OneDrive for Business—New administration features allow your IT to manage the sync function in OneDrive for Business to limit potential data leakage. This new DLP capability helps ensure that your users are able to sync files only to managed or domain-joined PCs. Find out how easy it is to set up and manage.

Easier to save and share files to OneDrive for Business from Outlook Web App—Outlook Web App now lets you save attachments you received in email directly to your OneDrive for Business folder. Plus, Outlook Web App now automatically notifies you if the file you’re trying to send is over your organization’s message size limit and gives you a one-click option to upload the file to OneDrive for Business.

Updates to OneNote Class Notebooks and OneNote Staff Notebooks—Get ready for the next school year! The OneNote Class Notebook is now automatically available to all teachers and faculty with Office 365 Education—no more complicated permissions and setup scenarios. The OneNote Staff Notebook is easier to use too. It’s rolling out to all new and existing Office 365 Education E1 and E3 customers and is also going global. Both notebooks also got new features plus new APIs and LTI support for automation and learning management system (LMS) integration.

Updates to Power Query—Check out the 11 new or improved features in Power Query, including support for all Excel 2013 desktop SKUs, OData V4 support and support for custom ADFS Authentication Services. Power Query got a performance boost too—loading medium and large datasets into your Excel Workbook is now faster.

Power Map for Excel updates—A new core feature, Custom Regions, was added to Power Map.  Custom Regions lets you map data to the regions that matter to you, even if they’re not the traditional zip code, county, state or country regions. You can use custom regions for scenarios with sales districts, school districts, congressional districts, land lot development, crop rotation, more. You can now customize the formatting of your Power Map legends too.

Coming soon—analyze Office 365 data with Equivio Zoom—eDiscovery capabilities powered by Equivio Zoom are coming to Office 365, starting with a preview in June. Equivio Zoom helps you analyze unstructured data within Office 365, perform more efficient document review, and make decisions to reduce data for eDiscovery, so you can meet legal and compliance challenges and reduce eDiscovery costs.

New way to create connectors to set up email flow in Office 365—The connector experience in Office 365 was completely overhauled. Now there’s no guesswork—you can know up front whether you need to create connectors for your email scenario. Enhancements to the connector setup wizard make setting up your email flow easier, and you can now validate that a connector works before you start using it.

First network partners to offer ExpressRoute for Office 365—Network partners that provide connectivity between Office 365 services and your on-premises network are a key part of delivering ExpressRoute for Office 365. The launch partners that will offer ExpressRoute for Office 365 first this summer are AT&T, BT and Equinix. More ExpressRoute network providers will add Office 365 to their service offerings soon.

Sway rollout to Office 365 business and education First Release customers—Sway is rolling out to Office 365 business and education customers in First Release. Sway makes it simple to create and share polished, professionally designed, interactive content. The features that have been added for business and education users include simultaneous coauthoring, creating interactive charts and embedding Office documents (like Excel charts and graphs).

Sway rollout to all business and education customers, plus more updates—Sway for Office 365 has started rolling out to all business and education customers. Sway now supports six more languages for business and home users. And now that you can now insert Wikipedia snippets about people, places and other terms, add personal and community images from Flickr, and add new structure to your Sway with the Grid Card, you can create even more amazing Sways.

Office 365 developer updates

Monthly Dev Digest for May—Check out this round-up of what’s new in dev. Find out about the latest updates for Office 365 developers and the new and updated documentation, code samples and patterns and practices samples, plus podcasts, blog posts and Office Store news. This month’s digest also includes a list of the top 10 Build and Ignite sessions you can watch on-demand.

Please note that some of the updates may take time to show up in your Office 365 account, because they’re being rolled out to customers worldwide.

—Andy O’Donald @andyodonald


*Not all updates apply to every Office 365 plan; please check the individual post for specifics.

You may also like these articles

Image for: Logo for the "Rise of the IT leader" infographic, with an arrow pointing upward.

The rise of the IT leader

Gain insights to help you become an IT leader.

Image for: Featured image displays two employees holding documents, engaged in a meeting.

Collaboration hacks from real-life teams

Download the new eBook, “Collaboration hacks from real-life teams,” to learn how companies have reinvented their workplace culture to compete in an information-intensive, interconnected world, where innovation happens in real-time, around the clock and across time zones and geographies.

Image for: Image shows a collage featuring a man checking his email from a mobile device, another contemplating an email and the letters "IT."

3 ways to outsmart shadow IT

Download our new infographic to learn how IT can help the business before business users help themselves.