Friday, December 9, 2011

Office 365 updates

There have been some quiet improvements to Office 365 recently. Probably the best place to visit on a regular basis to see what these updates are on a month by month basis are:

 

Service updates for Office 365 for enterprises - http://community.office365.com/en-us/w/office_365_service_updates/service-updates-for-office-365-for-enterprises.aspx

 

Service updates for Office 365 for professionals and small business - http://community.office365.com/en-us/w/office_365_service_updates/service-updates-for-office-365-for-professionals-and-small-businesses.aspx

 

Some of the highlights include:

 

- Lync client for MAC

- Official support for a wider range of browsers including IE9 and Chrome

- 64 bit version of Directory Sync

- Access to SharePoint site for external users via Windows Live IDs

 

Another improvement is the provision of Self Service Password resets for administrators. Full details of this can be found at:

 

http://community.office365.com/en-us/b/office_365_technical_blog/archive/2011/11/30/office-365-self-service-password-reset-for-administrators-grid-user-post.aspx

 

What excites me the most are the improvements to SharePoint and these are covered in this blog post:

 

 http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/blog/Pages/BlogPost.aspx?pID=1002

 

The biggie here I reckon is the provision of Business Connectivity Services (BCS). This will allow SharePoint online to easily start connecting to external data sources. This should start to open up the flood gates for third party apps to hook into SharePoint.

 

Most interestingly of all is that most of these update have come under the radar, with little fanfare. What it does importantly illustrate is that Office 365 continues to improve and I’ll bet will continue to do so at an even more rapid pace.