Skip to main content
Microsoft 365

Improving the Office app experience in virtual environments

Microsoft 365 is designed to help organizations digitally transform workplace collaboration. Many customers that I work with use virtualization, and they’re always looking for ways to cut costs and improve the user experience. To help, we acquired FSLogix last November, and today I’m pleased to announce four new capabilities to further improve the user experience in virtualized environments:

  • FSLogix technology, which improves the performance of Office 365 ProPlus in multi-user virtual environments, is now available at no additional cost for Microsoft 365 customers.
  • Windows Server 2019 will add support for OneDrive Files On-Demand in the coming months.
  • Office 365 ProPlus, our flagship Office experience, will be supported on Windows Server 2019.
  • And we’ve added new capabilities to Outlook, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams in Office 365 ProPlus to improve the user experience in a virtualized environment.

Get the same reliable experience with Office apps in any environment with FSLogix

The FSLogix container technology is now fully integrated with Office apps in virtual environments. This technology improves the speed and reliability of virtualized Office apps to feel like the experience of using Office apps on a dedicated machine. The FSLogix containers work in virtualized environments, including those provided by Microsoft, Citrix, and VMWare. This technology is now included at no extra charge if you are licensed for any of the following Microsoft solutions:

  • Microsoft 365 E3/E5/A3/A5/Student Use Benefits/F1/Business
  • Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5
  • Windows 10 Education A3/A5
  • Windows 10 VDA per user
  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Client Access License (CAL) and Subscriber Access License (SAL)

Learn more about FSLogix.

Easily access OneDrive Files On-Demand with Windows Server 2019

Using OneDrive Files On-Demand, people can access all their files in OneDrive while only downloading the ones they’re using to save hard drive space on their devices. In the coming months, Windows Server 2019 will support OneDrive Files On-Demand for virtualized Office apps users. This support will couple the fast access to files that users love, with reduced User Profile Disk storage requirements and cost savings that businesses need. Learn more about how to take advantage of this new capability with Windows Server 2019.

Run Office 365 ProPlus on Windows Server 2019

While Office 365 ProPlus provides the best experience when running on Windows 10, we know some of you rely on Windows Server to provide virtual desktop services for your users. For those still needing to migrate from Windows Server 2008/R2 before it reaches end of support in January 2020, or from Windows Server 2012/R2 before it is no longer supported as a platform for ProPlus, I’m happy to share that we’ll support Office 365 ProPlus running on Windows Server 2019. This enables you to take advantage of the Files On-Demand capabilities coming to Windows Server 2019 I mentioned above, and to leverage the latest Windows Server platform.

Get a better experience with Office apps in virtual environments

There are also significant enhancements to the virtualization experience for several apps in Office 365, including Outlook, OneDrive, and Teams.

  • Outlook Cached Mode improvements help people running Outlook on virtual desktops access email and calendars faster:
    • Sync Inbox before Calendar means people get faster access to email so they can start working right away.
    • Reduce the number of folders that are synced by default, and an Admin option to reduce the Calendar sync window; both of which help syncs complete faster.
  • OneDrive now features a per-machine installation option, allowing people to share a single installation of the OneDrive app while still maintaining their own individual folders and files as if they are on their own device.
  • Teams also has a per-machine installation for Chat and Collaboration. In the coming months, we’ll offer Calling and Meetings in Teams through Audio/Video Media optimization in collaboration with Citrix. We’re also planning additional Teams enhancements, including improved app deployment, support for Windows Virtual Desktop, performance enhancements, and optimized caching for non-persistent setups.
  • Windows Search per-user index allows each user profile to persist its own search index, so that search is fast and individualized.

If virtualization is an important part of your IT strategy, we think you’re going to love these new capabilities. If you’re interested in evaluating the Office 365 apps enhancements we announced today in your own virtual environment, please visit the Microsoft Download Center.