Office 365 Service Updates in November

I’ve highlighted my favourites and the ones that are most popular with customers below. Smile





Office 365 Global Expansion: 22 New Countries
Office 365 trials are available in 22 new countries: Argentina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Egypt, Estonia, Iceland, Indonesia, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine and UAE.

Office 365 Global Expansion: Russia and Korea
Previously only available through enterprise agreements or our syndication partners, Office 365 trials and commerce are now available directly in both Russia and Korea.

Admin self-serve password reset
Administrators now have the ability to reset their own password through text (SMS) message and an alternate email address. For the administrator password reset to work, you must have already provided a phone number on which you can receive a text (SMS) message and an alternate email address. The email address must not be your Office 365 email address, because if you can’t sign in to your Office 365 account, you can’t retrieve email sent to that address. Enter this information in the user management area. To get there, click Admin, and under Management, click Users. On the Settings tab, enter the email address in the Alternate email address box. On the Properties tab, enter the mobile phone number in the Mobile phone box.

Additional Information:

Learn more about this feature by reading the blog post What was that password?

For enterprises, see Reset an administrator's password

For professionals and small businesses, see Reset an administrator's password

Source of authority transfer
This update allows Office 365 administrators to deactivate and reactivate dirsync to switch between managing their users’ master source of information on-premises or in the cloud. Previously, when customers used the Office 365 migration wizard to activate dirsync to synchronize user data with the cloud, they could not revert to managing user data with on-premises Active Directory without calling support.

Additional Information:
Learn more about changing the source of authority by reading the article Directory synchronization and source of authority

Lync client for Mac
Customers who own Office for Mac 2011 Standard and have usage rights for Lync for Mac 2011 now have the ability to download Lync for Mac from the download section of Office 365. Lync for Mac 2011 enables Mac users to see their colleagues’ online presence while working in Outlook or collaborating on Office documents. It enables them to quickly send an instant message, start a video chat, or schedule an Online Meeting right from within Outlook for Mac 2011.

Additional Information:
Learn more about Lync for Mac licensing here
See the blog announcement Mac Users: Download Lync for Mac 2011 Today​

Mac unified downloads page
A unified downloads page is now available to give Mac users a single location to download Office for Mac desktop setup configuration software and Lync for Mac 2011. To get these downloads, log into your Office 365 account and visit the download section.

Additional Information:
To learn more about how to set up your Mac for Office 365, see Set up your Mac for Office 365 for professionals and small businesses, or Set up your Mac for Office 365 for enterprises.

Official support for OS X Lion added
We have added to Office 365 official support for the OS X Lion operating system.

Improvements to the “Add a Domain” experience
We have improved the ‘Add a Domain’ user experience by clarifying the domain re-delegation process and providing in-context links to relevant Help articles.

Additional Information:
To learn more about adding your domain to Office 365, see Add your domain to Office 365 - Office 365 for enterprises or Add your domain to Office 365 - Office 365 for professionals and small businesses

Client access control improvements
We have made improvements to client access controls provides Office 365 administrators with the ability to block external access to Office 365 based on the IP address of the external client. This blocks all external access to Office 365 except Exchange Active Sync; all other clients such as Outlook are blocked. It also blocks all external access to Office 365 except for passive browser based applications such as Outlook Web Access or SharePoint Online.

Additional Information:

Read the Microsoft TechNet article here

Read the support help article here
For more information about AD FS 2.0 RTW, visit the following Microsoft website: General information about AD FS 2.0 RTW

Directory Synchronization tool 64-bit support
The 64-bit version of the directory synchronization tool is now available for our enterprise customers. The 64-bit version now uses Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) 2010 as the underlying synchronization engine. FIM is installed silently when you run Setup. The 64-bit version of the directory synchronization tool shares exact functional parity* with the existing 32-bit software. Therefore, refer to the existing directory synchronization documentation for all other deployment and configuration information. *Note: Multi-forest Active Directory is not supported.

Additional Information:

More details, including the upgrade path from the 32-bit version, can be found in the wiki post, Directory Synchronization tool 64-bit support.
View additional directory synchronization information here

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Troubleshooting support tool
The new Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Troubleshooting support tool is a comprehensive, self-help solution that helps customers solve questions or issues they may have with the Office 365 suite of services. The Office 365 DIY Troubleshooting Support Tool is free and available in the "Troubleshooting" section of The Troubleshooter pinpoints key technical support issues and provides immediate solutions so customers do not have to post questions to the community or submit a support request ticket. The tool’s interface displays hundreds of possible help and support Office 365 assets (i.e., help topics, articles, videos, wikis, blog posts, etc.). As you move through a list of troubleshooting options, the tool dynamically displays funneled-down content to lead you towards the answers you need.

Additional Information:

Read the Support Made Simple blog announcement

Use the DIY Troubleshooting Tool now

SharePoint Online access for external users via a Windows Live ID
Microsoft is helping to support the many scenarios in which you work with others, particularly those who are not part of your company, such as vendors, trusted business partners, customers, and clients. . Windows LiveID support adds external sharing capabilities in SharePoint Online enabling companies to invite external users in to view, share, and collaborate on their sites. The feature is turned off by default, but a company’s SharePoint Online Administrator can enable external sharing for the whole company. Then each individual site collection owners can decide if they wish to share externally. Every Office 365 SharePoint Online customer, at the tenant level, (not per subscription) includes 50 Partner Access Licenses (PALs) that can be used for external sharing. Customers are not currently required to obtain additional PALs for external sharing beyond 50 users and can have up to a maximum of 1,000 PALs until the next major update of the Office 365 service at which time Microsoft may choose to make it available as a paid add-on.
Note: Microsoft supports invited external users signing in to the service using a Microsoft Online Services ID and/or a Windows Live ID, which includes, and user names, plus regional derivations of LiveID user names.

Additional Information:
To learn more, please read Share a Site with External Users for midsize businesses and enterprises or Share the Team Site with External Users for professionals and small businesses

SharePoint Online addition of Business Connectivity Services (BCS) via WCF endpoint
Business Connectivity Services (BCS) in SharePoint Online enables customers to connect to external data sources via Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Web Services endpoints in both read and write modes. These datasources are often line-of-business (LoB) applications that sit behind customer firewalls, or are being transitioned to the cloud, like SQL Azure. SharePoint will support external lists and data columns, the Business Data Catalogue (BDC) service for WCF connectors and the Secure Store Service partitioned at the customer SharePoint Online Administration Center (at the tenant level). Currently, there are some components of BCS that are not supported, including external data search, rich client integration, profile pages, and direct connectivity to SQL Azure without a WCF endpoint.

Additional Information:
For all the new rich documentation on BCS within SharePoint Online, please visit the SharePoint Online Developer Resource Center.
To learn more read Introduction to Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint Online or What's New for BCS in SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online improved ability to recover SharePoint site collections
Enterprise customers now have the ability to restore full sub sites. As a result, they no longer need to contact Office 365 support to request restoration.

SharePoint Online support for IE 9 and Chrome
In addition to earlier versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox, SharePoint Online now officially supports Internet Explorer 9 and Chrome. Just launch your favorite browser and then visit your favorite SharePoint Online team site or intranet company site, use work with the Office Web Apps, and more.,

Office 365 Global Expansion: Brazil
Office 365 trials and commerce are available Brazil as of November 8, 2011.

Office 365 Global Expansion: New language support
We have added new language support for Portuguese-Portuguese.

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