Microsoft updates Windows 10 and Office 365

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IGNITE 2016: Office 365 gets a host of productivity and security tweaks

Microsoft has announced a spate of Windows 10 and Office 365 features at its Ignite conference in the US, with the goal of boosting productivity but not at the expense of cyber security.

First up, Microsoft announced that Outlook for iOS and Android will be fully powered by the Microsoft Cloud for Office 365 service for its commercial users, and will natively support Exchange Online mailboxes so that no mailbox data is cached beyond the Office 365 environment.

To expand the scope of the security on offer in Office 365, Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Protection is being extended to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, and it will share threat intelligence data with Microsoft’s Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection.

satya-nadella-microsoft-adobe-azure-684x513As a result, both services will benefit from the information gleaned when detecting, investigating and responding to attacks on an enterprise’s networks.

Security Focused

Alongside this, Microsoft also announced the 1 October release date of Enterprise Mobility + Security E5, which will offer the Azure Information Protection service so that companies can easily classify, label and protect sensitive data in the cloud and in mobile systems.

The service will be bundled with the Secure Productive Enterprise package, also released on the same date, which includes a suite of productivity and security tools covering Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security.

The most noteworthy security tweak is Microsoft’s Windows Defender App Guard for its Edge Browser, which uses a virtualised security feature to isolate the critical functions of the browser in a hardware-based container, which according to the company means that if the browser comes into contact with malware it cannot infect a business’ network and other devices through the machine.

Adding Intelligence

Microsoft also announced a plethora of artificial intelligence powered tools for its Office 365 portfolio, including the preview of new capabilities for Cortana.

Delve Analytics has also been re-branded MyAnalytics and acts as a personal analytics service in Office 365, so that users can see how they spend their time at work. Another tool announced was the Relationship Assistant designed to help sales people better manage relationships with customers for the “soon-to-be-released” Dynamics 365 for Sales.

All these products are indicative of Microsoft’s strategy to bring productivity, cloud, security and business intelligence technology closer together, and expand the reach of Office.

Redmond also confirmed that Windows Server 2016 will be generally available to buy from mid-October.