August 2016 updates for Office 365 include new inking features and Windows Information Protection

August 2016 updates for Office 365 include new inking features and Windows Information Protection

The pace of change within the Office 365 software suite is so fast that each month the team takes to the official Office blog and shares a lengthy list of new features that were introduced in the previous four weeks.

This month they are sharing all of the improvements that have been added during August and also announce an even faster way to see early builds of Office 36.

Here is the rundown.

Ink Math Assistant and Ink Replay

- Using your stylus in OneNote you can now write out equations and then have them solved and then see the steps that were used to get to that answer. Microsoft calls it thinking with ink and I call it pure magic because I was always bad at math. It is currently only available in OneNote for Windows 10.

- Replay inking in Office apps is like a screen recorder for ink based annotations that lets you see the sequence of someone marking up a document. It is currently available in OneNote on Windows 10 but will soon expand to other programs in Office 365 including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Windows Information Protection (WIP)

I thought WIP was the acronym for the Windows Insider Program but apparently that is unofficial. In Office Windows Information Program (WIP) is to help enterprises maintain control over company data and prevent the inadvertent sharing of that information. At the same time the user gets to take care of their own personal data and share it as they choose. It does require that the user indicate if data they create is for work or personal use so that company IT only removes work related data if necessary due to a lost device or other issue.

This feature is now available to Office users with the mobile apps across all platforms and will soon be available on desktops.

Improvements to the Outlook on the web People Experience

Organizations can now enhance the data behind the contact details for members of their company by adding info discovered through the Microsoft Graph. Examples of some of the information that can be accessed is position in the organizational chart, co-workers, team members and files, email and meetings you each have in common.

This is now available to commercial customers in Outlook on the Web and similar experiences will be coming to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business in the future.

Visio Program Expansion

Using Visio Online Preview you can view Visio files using just your web browser and the Visio for iPad app lets you access those same files from your iPad.

These are only available either through the Office 365 First Release program for teh Viso Online Preview or the Office Insider Program for Visio for iPad.

In addition to all of the above, there were also improvements to accessibility, in app assistance including live chat for Office 365 Home and Personal subscribers in the US and updates for the Microsoft Edge Office Online browser extension.

Finally, Microsoft also shared that they will be offering an Office Insider Fast program for Windows desktops, Mac and Windows Mobile devices (Android and iOS to follow). This new level of access to pre-release builds of Office will put members on the same builds that are being used inside of Microsoft.

Learn more about the Office Insider Program here and be sure to catch all of the August Office 365 update details on the Office 365 blog.

But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.

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