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Office 365 New and Upcoming Features

In our efforts to keep you informed of the new features and enhancements Microsoft is rolling out to Office 365 accounts, we share the following information with you.

Available Now: Focused Inbox

Focused Inbox provides two views of your inbox; Focused and Other. Emails that matter most to you are viewed in the Focused tab while the rest remain easily accessible, but out of the way, in the Other tab. You’ll be informed about new emails appearing in the “Other” tab view, and you can switch between tabs at any time.  All emails remain in your inbox; no emails are moved.

Focused Inbox is a refinement of a previous feature called Clutter, which moved less important emails to a folder called Clutter.  As Focused Inbox rolls out, Microsoft will stop moving messages to the Clutter folder. The Clutter folder will be demoted to a regular user folder, allowing it to be deleted.

The emails in your Focused Inbox is determined by an understanding of the people you interact with often, and the content of the message itself.  If you need to fine tune your Focused Inbox, just use the “Move to Focused” or “Move to Other” options.

To turn the Focused Inbox feature off in the Outlook web client, go to the Gear, Mail, Layout, Focused Inbox.

Available Now: @mentions

@mentions add an element to email collaboration.

Mentioning someone else

Simply type the @ symbol anywhere in the body of your email and start typing to pick the person you want to address. 

Once you've chosen the person you want to address, their name is highlighted in the message, helping them know they are being asked to take an action in your message.  If the person isn’t part of the email conversation already, they will be automatically added to the To… line of the email.

Mentioned by someone else

@mentions also helps you be aware of what you’ve been asked to do. Outlook adds an @ symbol in the message list for the messages you’ve been mentioned in, so you can see at a glance which emails require your action before you open them.

For messages where you’ve been mentioned, Outlook also updates the preview text of the message. Instead of a preview of the first words of the email, Outlook shows you a preview of the text immediately following your mention.

Outlook also includes a filter so you can sort to see only the messages where you’ve been mentioned.  Once you’ve opened the email, the highlighting of your name in the body of the email helps you quickly find where you’ve been mentioned.

Coming soon: Up Next

Up Next provides a quick view of what is next in your day based on your calendar.  Above the Inbox, you will see a listing of what the next meeting is.  Clinking on the meeting gives you meeting details as well as actions like accept, reschedule and decline.   Clicking on Agenda gives you the same actions you would get in the calendar such as join the meeting in Skype.

Coming soon: Share Calendar Availability

This new feature provides available times for a possible meeting within an email.  Within an email reply, you can bring up your calendar and graphically drag and drop slots you currently have available on your calendar.  These options are then shown as an availability card in your email.

Coming soon: Travel and Package Notifications

In the coming months, Microsoft will be making enhancements to travel notifications and package delivery notifications.  Office 365 will extract essential information from the an airline reservation email and present it in a card view within the email.

In addition, Office 365 will extract essential information from the email regarding a package delivery and present it in card view.

Coming soon: A New Home Page for Office 365 users

Redesigned Interface

Microsoft will begin rolling out a new home page experience to Office 365 users.  Now, when you log in to Office 365, you have immediate access to all your online applications and recent documents.  The new home page experience will be available on phone, tablet, PC, and Mac platforms.

Seamless Office Install

Microsoft is making it easier for Office 365 users to get the latest version of their mobile applications and desktop software.  You will be able to download and install Office on your device with one click from the home screen.

Microsoft is also making it easier to install Office 365 mobile applications from your desktop. Simply choose the application you want to install, then send an email or an SMS to the device you want to install it on.

Tool Tips

New tool tips will highlight new and unused features, including recently added applications and actions users need to take.

Additional information: New Home Page User Experience

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