Archives / 2015 / December
  • Summing up the year of 2015 and embracing 2016

    Tags: Personal

    Wow, 2015 has been one really interesting year for me! For the 9th year I will do my summary post (here’s the olde ones:  2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006).
    2015 started really cool with me joining Avanade here in Sweden and boosting the Collaboration efforts. It is an incredible team we have here and some amazing customers and opportunities ahead and I don’t regret this move for a second. And now in December I internally switched role to an even more interesting position – Nordic Digital Workplace Architect. Avanade has really understood what a Digital Workplace is and I’m really looking forward to focusing even more on this. Enough of Avanade talk, but if you’re interested in working in the front line of the future Digital Workplace and with us, contact me!


    Over the years I’ve done less writing about technical stuff, partly because I’m not that deep into this as I once was but mainly due to the fact that I’ve been bored about what has happened in this space over the last few years. BUT – as you will notice within a few months, things are happening! *wink, wink*

    This year I started a new series of blog posts called What’s new on the Office Roadmap. It’s a direct result of Microsoft being unable themselves to communicate their plans. The current roadmap site is despite all the feedback a disgrace. I’ve logged and blogged 31 changes since March – which is awesome, there are some really nice things coming and I do look forward to seeing this running in my clients tenants. Office 365 is killing the competition now when it comes to collaboration and productivity.

    The most read articles, from this year is:


    Also this year I’ve been invited to speak at conferences. Actually I’m invited to way more conferences than I can speak at, which is cool. Thank you! You can find all my presentations at this page


    For the sixth time I was awarded the Microsoft MVP award. Thanks Microsoft. I love the interaction we now have with the SharePoint and Office 365 teams!!!


    Last year I didn’t have any specific predictions more than 2015 would be about services. I think we’ve seen this happen; Windows 10 is almost like a service, Office 365 is expanding more than ever, Azure is kicking some serious butt.

    What about 2016? I think 2016 will be mainly two things:

    • Microsoft will be cool again. I’m not talking about ninja cats or things. Microsoft is once again driving and inventing the future. Microsoft is doing a lot of things right at the moment (well except for Windows Phone, 2016 might be the last year unless they do something revolutionary)
    • It’s all about the users. Users doesn’t care about tech, well at least not the majority. The users choose the servvice, technology, product, app, hardware they like – coporate policies or not, IT departments just have to understand that. Consumerization of Enterprise IT has been  on the wall for some time and next year it will happen.

    Happy new year

    Happy new year to all my followers and readers. 2015 was great but 2016 will be awesome. I haven’t been this excited about what is going to happen since…I don’t know when.

  • What’s new on the Office Roadmap – 2015-12-18

    Tags: Office 365

    A christmas update to the Office Roadmap! It looks like Microsoft has abandoned their bi-weekly update schedule and is now updating whenever they can (please, I got a job to do!). This time it’s a few new thingies but mostly a clean up of old released stuff.

    Happy holidays everyone!

    Changes 2015-12-18

    Now Launched

    • Analyze Office 365 data with Equivio Zoom: the eDiscovery features now allows you to integrate Equivio machine learning capabilities. This is some cool stuf that I need to experiment with. The compliance and eDiscovery fetaures of Office 365 is just getting stronger and stronger. (From in development)
    • FastTrack | Improving Intune onboarding with MDM: Get on board the Office 365 train even faster with improved Intune onboarding stuff (from in development)

    Rolling out

    • Office 365 Protection Center: The Compliance center is renamed to Protection Center. A very good move since the features of the Compliance center is expanding so much. Also a new and improved UI is on the way. (New)
    • Removal of Delivery Reports from Outlook on the web: Delivery reports of mail will be removed from OWA. It will remain in the Outlook client though. I don’t mind if they kill of this feature totally. It’s just annoying and since you can always decline to send a delivery report it has no purpose. (new)
    • Unlimited storage for OneDrive for Business: Unlimed, limited, unlimited…the story goes on. Read the full post here. That post is written by the Office chieftain Jeff Teper, compared to previous OneDrive posts, so it might be true… (from in development)
    • Work Management in Office 365: Planner is rolling out to all First Release customers. Wohoo. Note that it is a preview rolling out. More info. (from in development)

    In Development

    • Manage Yammer licenses in Office 365: Yammer licensing on a per user bases. I interpret that as we can turn off Yammer for most of our users. This is not a new thing or changed thing, just a rename of the title and description.
    • New Yammer User Onboarding and Sign Up Experience: Yet another of the things we complained about for years are now being fixed in Yammer. Somehow I think the Yammer team are feeling how they slowly are being drowned and now finally with the last bits of air they have are trying to get their head over the surface, trying to survive… (new)
    • Office 365 Groups: Outlook on the Web and Outlook Groups app user interface improvements: A better UX for Groups – very welcome, especially for large organizations (new)
    • Real time presence for PowerPoint: No description available (new)
    • Real Time presence in PowerPoint for desktop: No descriotion available (new)
    • Skype Meetings: This one is interesting. “Free online meetings from Skype for Business…”. What does this mean? At least I can set up meetings using Skype today…Anyone? (new)

    Moved off into the Previously Released list

    • Add-in deployment via Click-to-Run
    • Automatic Relationship Detection
    • Automatic Time Grouping
      Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) integration for Click-to-Run
    • Click-to-Run manageability gaps addressed for IT pros
    • Clutter for your inbox on by default
    • Create and collaborate on Visio diagrams using Office-like experience
    • Create and Edit Comments in Excel Modile for iPad
    • Custom Tiles
    • Deferred Updates
    • ExpressRoute for Office 365
    • FastTrack | Providing the customer success service
    • FastTrack | Request Service Onboarding
    • Getting started experience in Visio
    • Improved sync slider and lean storage footprint on small devices in Outlook 2016
    • Information Rights Management (IRM) protection now added for Visio files
    • Keyboard access for Pivot Tables and Slicers in Excel
    • Keyboard access for Shape Panel in Visio
    • Mark emails as Clutter in Outlook 2016
    • Modern Attachments in Outlook 2016
    • New and Modern Charts
    • New capabilities for Yammer iOS app
    • October 2015 Improvements in Excel Mobile for Windows
    • October 2015 Improvements in Excel Online
    • Office 365 Groups: mobile app
    • Office 365 Help Pane
    • Office 365 Notification Pane
    • Office 365 Video
    • Office 365 Video – Embed
    • Office 365 Video Update
    • OLAP Connection Support in Power View
    • Optimized file picker in Outlook on the web
    • Organization support card
    • Outlook for Android opens IRM protected emails
    • Outlook for iOS opens IRM protected emails
    • PivotChart Drill-Down Navigation (this one was never on the list previous to this)
    • PivotTable Field Search
    • Producer controls for Skype Meeting Broadcast
    • Purchase & Subscriptions Experience Refresh
    • Quick data linking in Visio
    • Real-time Co-authoring in Skype for Business
    • Real-time Yammer group activity indicators
    • Refreshed stencils and smart shapes in Visio
    • Search Refiners in Outlook Web App
    • SharePoint Online will start to transition to using TLS to send email securely in our datacenters
    • Skype for Business for iOS
    • Smart Rename in Power Pivot
    • Subscription Management Experience refresh
    • Support for small screen portrait layouts in Outlook 2016
    • Sway for Windows Document Import
    • Top teacher-requested features added to OneNote Class Notebooks
    • UserVoice coming to Outlook on the web
    • Video Based Screen Sharing
    • Yammer for Apple Watch
    • Yammer Next Group Notifications
    • Yammer to use Azure Media Services for Video Encoding

  • What’s new on the Office Roadmap–2015-12-11

    Tags: Office 365

    Third update in about a week on the Office Roadmap, and just as the last update this one isn’t that big. A couple of “fixes” and two new things

    Changes 2015-12-11

    Rolling out

    • Multi-select Attachments in Outlook 2016: This was “Launched” a couple of weeks ago, but now it’s not. Perhaps a new category – “Rolling Out”? (from Launched)
    • Public Folder eDiscovery & In-Place Hold: Compliance search on public folders. Wasn’t public folders dead? (from In Development)

    In Development

    • Office 365 Connectors: One of my absolute favorite new features as of lately. I blogged about this one a couple of weeks back. Keep an eye on this one peeps! (new)
    • Yammer user profile update from Azure AD: “All key properties from Azure Active Directory users will be one way synchronized to Yammer. “. I quoted it directly. So, is this a one way, as in one time, or can you override the profile properties? At least they are listening on stuff we asked for years ago… (new)

  • What's new on the Office Roadmap - 2015-12-09

    Tags: Office 365

    More updates on the Office Roadmap! This time around just a few ones but also some interesting things to notice. But before we list the updates let's take a look at the actual roadmap site that has received an update which should make it easier for you to filter and find out what's new.

    Office Roadmap filters

    This is a very welcome update and could possibly make the roadmap site useful, but I'm sad to say unless they have a proper change log. I'm not going to bother that much but instead rely on my own blog :-)

    So what's new…

    Changes 2015-12-09

    Now Launched

    • First Release: Office 365 ProPlus and Office 365 Business: Allow users of your organization to enjoy the first release program of Office is now launched. I really recommend reading this article about the Office update branches. (New)
    • PowerPoint Online: Ongoing improvements: better formatting etc is now launched (from rolling out)
    • Word Online: Improving feature capabilities: almost same as above, more cool Word online features rolling out in a steady pace (from rolling out)

    Rolling out

    • First Release: Select People support for SharePoint & OneDrive for Business: The SharePoint team and OneDrive team has finally jumped aboard the First Release train (New)
    • Message Center in Admin Center Preview: the new admin center receives more updates, this time time focused on the Message Center. Looks good! (New)

    In Development

    • Office 365 Admin app - Push Notifications for Message Center filters: Configurable Push Notifications for the Admin App. Good stuff (New)
    • Office 365 Groups: creation policy in Azure Active Directory: Las week this new feature popped up in the Rolling out category, turns out it is not. I guess Microsoft don't want to scare the AD admins, we all know they are a bit sensitive, aight! (from Rolling out)

    Other interesting finds…

    When stuff is to old to be on this list they are moved into the previously released category or if stuff is cancelled they are moved into the Cancelled bucket.  Two items has mysteriously disappeared from the Cancelled list, just if they never ever existed - wonder why? This happened once before, with "Forms on SharePoint Lists" in April. Well, we shouldn't speculate to much, it's likely normal clean up…

    • Document Conversations for OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online
    • Evolving the Outlook Web App options page

  • What's new on the Office Roadmap - 2015-12-04

    Tags: Office 365, Office 365 Groups

    December updates incoming! The Office Roadmap has once again been updated and this time with quite a few new additions to the roadmap. Note that there is very anticipated and important updates to Office 365 Groups - have a read and enjoy!!

    Changes 2015-12-14

    Now Launched

    • Capacity Management capabilities in Project Online: Colored heatmaps and stuff in Project Online (from Rolling out)
    • Compliance Search Conditions: Improved search experience in the compliance center (from Rolling out)
    • Data Loss Protection (DLP) for Office desktop: Data loss prevention features in the Office client (Excel, PowerPoint and Word). Cool! (from Rolling out)
    • DKIM Outbound for Exchange Online Protection: outbound validation of e-mails (from Rolling out)
    • FastTrack | Data migration to OneDrive from Google Drive: Fast track center now offers migration from Google Drive to OneDrive (from In Development)
    • FastTrack | Skype for Business Onboarding Expansion: onboarding guidance for PSTN Conferencing and Calling Plans, Cloud PBX etc (from In Development)
    • FastTrack | Azure Rights Management Onboarding: RMS Onboarding, isn't this just checking a check box? (from In Development)
    • FastTrack | Project Online Onboarding: Get them projects in the cloud (from Rolling out)
    • New per-user licensing for Sway: license Sway per user! Which essentially means, we can now shut down Sway on a per user basis. (from In Development)
    • Office 2013 Windows client modern authentication public preview: ADAL based sign in for ye old Office client (2013) is now in PUBLIC PREVIEW.  (From Rolling out)
    • Office 365 Groups: auditing: Office 365 audit reports now includes changes in Office 365 Groups. This is huge in making Office 365 ready for enterprises. Go Groups! (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: Support compliance requirements: Another awesome Groups update. You can now put holds on Groups - which will put a hold on mailboxes, files, calendars etc in the Group! (From In Development)
    • OneNote Online: Record Audio clips & Insert File: OneNote Online is a bit more pimped with Audio clips (NEW)
    • Project Online content pack for PowerBI: Project Online data in PowerBI - a match made in the clouds (from In Development)
    • Resource Engagement Workflow in Project Online: improvements for Resource Managers in Project Online (from Rolling Out)
    • Sway admin controls over Insert tab content sources: Important enterprise focused update of Sway that allows admins to control from where the Sway users can insert data (from In Development)
    • Sway in Service Health Dashboard: Sway traffic lights in the admin portal (from In Development)

    Rolling out

    • Multiple timeline bars in Project Online: a new and pimped and more efficient timeline bar in Project Online (from In Development)
    • Office 365 Groups: creation policy in Azure Active Directory: A new policy option in Azure AD that allows admins to restrict group creation to certain users. Previously this could only be controlled through the Exchange policy settings - but that policy only affected creation through Exchange, Outlook and the Outlook Groups app. This new policy applies to all endpoints (read Microsoft Graph, PoSh etc). (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: dynamic membership: AWESOME! We will be able to create Office 365 Groups and base them on dynamic memberships, for instance have all users with the value "Project Manager" in their title in one group etc. (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: naming policies for aliases: the naming policies only applied to the display name of the group previously, now it will also apply to the e-mail alias. (NEW)
    • Office 365 Multi-Channel Catalog Support:: Improvement to the Education, Government (Public), and Charity sections allowing them to purchase any commercial service (NEW)

    In Development

    • FastTrack | Office 365 ProPlus Upgrade Assistance: Onboarding center will help ProPlus customers to upgrade to the 2016 version. **giggles** (NEW)
    • Office 365 Admin app - Group functionality: Group Administration is coming to the Admin App (from In Development, previously this one was called Office 365 Admin app updates October 2015)
    • Office 365 Admin app - Push Notifications for Message Center: opt-in or out to push notifications (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: data classification & extensible policy: This one is HUGE folks. And it just explains how important Office 365 Groups is for Microsoft and Office 365. This update states that we will be able to classify Groups (secret, confidential, unclassified etc) AND we will have the option to specify an endpoint that is called whenever a Group is created! BOOM! Take that Yammer! (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: deletion recovery: get them Groups back from the dead with a single click (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: expire inactive groups: Awesomeness just keep coming! (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: files quota management: Get better control of the amount of data your groups use (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: general usage reporting: Usage and Engagement reports in the Admin Center (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: hidden membership support: Currently the membership is open, this update will allow you to have hidden memberships, very good for privacy reasons (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: mobile application management: The Outlook Groups app will be a managed app in Intune (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: multi-domain support: This one has been high on my whish list. Have control of the e-mail domain used by the Groups (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: naming policy in Azure Active Directory: the description on this one is a copy of the dynamic membership one, see above, but I do think it is about having the naming policies not only in Exchange but also in AAD. (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: Office Delve discovery & insight: Groups in Delve! Can't beat that! (NEW)
    • Office 365 Groups: usage guidelines: Better options for you to have guidelines about the usage of Groups within your organization. I'm thinking like the TOU in Yammer. So one more feature from Yammer is moving into Groups (NEW)
    • Outlook on the web: Addition of “Distribution Groups” Option and Removal of “Other” link: Just a re-org of the menus in OWA. (NEW)
    • Per user licensing for Yammer: I see this as we can now turn of Yammer and only let the handful of people that still likes it use it… (NEW)
    • Project Online - Portfolio Dashboard: More reports based on best practices and industry standards (NEW)
    • Project Online - Portfolio Dashboard for iPad: Same as above but for the illiterate. (NEW)
    • Skype for Business Mac Client Preview: Them Appleheads will love this, we gotta give them a chance to participate in our meetings sometime :). (NEW)

About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is the Nordic Digital Workplace Lead working at Avanade. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint  and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for seven consecutive years.

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