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Matt Scherocman

Microsoft Sway for iPhone is now available

Sway for iPhone Rolls Out to New Markets

Sway is an application that focuses on productivity in a mobile and cloud-oriented world. The app assists with pulling together content, formatting, and then sharing it via various media channels and social networks. Microsoft has expanded its rollout of Sway to many countries where English is an official language. A full list of countries where Sway is available can be found at the bottom of the Sway for iPhone blog from January 8, 2015.

What is Sway?

Sway is a single interface application that provides users with access to all of their social networks and media channels at once. The app lets users create, format, and publish content, including links, images, and videos. Users can create and share their ideas with anyone via the Sway app, and can pull content from anywhere. Sway is integrated with social networks and the internet, as well as OneDrive and the device that it is used on, allowing users to gather information effortlessly when creating a post, often referred to as a “sway”.

Sway for iPhone

What is the VALUE of Sway?

Sway can be used in a multitude of ways.  It is great for personal use if you want to make a highlight of a vacation that you took and send it to a friend.  Maybe you are helping to plan a wedding and you want to send a variety of themed ideas to the bride.  Sway has a very real business application as well.  If you are putting together a business presentation for a potential client, a Sway can be built to include videos, images and relevant websites.  Maybe you are planning executive travel and you want to put together an interactive itinerary for your boss.  Sway is great for sparking ideas, business collaboration and knowledge updates, all from the device you like to use, in the place that you like to use it. 

The Mobile Authoring Experience

Users can log into Sway for iPhone with the same user account information they use on the web, synchronizing Sway across all devices. Sway lets users create content that is polished and interactive to share with others, and has an adjustable interface for viewing on any device. Users can combine text and pictures into a layout creator that will finalize the Sway’s appearance, and can modify existing Sways from their iPhone.

Voice-to-text capabilities are accessible on this application, making it even easier to add content on the go. Sway has instant links to share through social media or email, and can be viewed by anyone without additional software needs. The interface also makes it easy to change the layout and formatting features with a “Mood” button, automatically adapting the content to a layout the user desires. Click-and-drag features make changes and adjustments easy, and Sways can be created and modified offline. The application will sync changes once the internet connection is restored.

Global Rollout is the Goal

Microsoft is slowly rolling out Sway for iPhone to English-speaking users in an attempt to perfect the application before it releases a global edition. The goal is to bring in more users to improve the application experience in as many ways as possible before a complete rollout to all iPhone users. Check out more insight and previews at the Office Blog

 

Matt Scherocman

Windows Server 2003 nears its security deadline

Windows server 2003

For those organizations who’ve been planning on upgrading some of your legacy Windows Servers, especially the 2003 variety, but just haven’t found a compelling enough reason to do so, you’ll want to go ahead and put those upgrade plans in high gear!

In July of this year there will no longer be any more security updates for this server. Unlike the retirement of XP, where Microsoft continued with anti-malware definitions, in this case when the server goes out of support and becomes an unsupported product Microsoft will NOT be issuing any anti-malware protections.

The ‘so-called’ security updates will end on July 14, 2015. Microsoft is recommending that organizations not rely on what they deem as ‘up to date’ security patches as Microsoft has found them not to be ‘secure enough’ or effective enough for out of date/support operating systems. If you’d like to know what your migration options are and what makes sense for your organization we are always ready, willing and able to help you figure out your next move. You can contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 800-900-1150

 

Matt Scherocman

OneNote for iPhone Updates: Making Easy Access Easier

OneNote was rolled out for iPhone and Android to offer quick access to your notes, no matter where in the world you are. As such, the goal is to keep things efficient and accessible, and Microsoft does just that with regular updates. The most recent updates to OneNote for iPhone include two features that offer more assistance to users on the go.

onenote for iphone

Notification Center Widget

The new Notification Center includes a widget from OneNote. A widget is a component of an application that allows users to perform functions or access services, such as the social media widgets on smart phones and tablets that allow instant posting from the widget rather than having to open the application. iPhone users with the latest version of OneNote that are running iOS8 on their smartphones and tablets can utilize this widget, which can be enabled in the Notification Center, providing instant access to notes, lists, and other OneNote posts.

The iOS Notification Center allows users to have quick access to information and actions outside of applications, which saves time and effort, including the OneNote Today widget. This tool is designed to include all of the features that users need on a single screen such as recent notes, buttons for adding notes, photos, or lists, and today’s date with a click/scroll option to access tomorrow’s notes. Users can click on “Note” to create a new note, “photo” to launch the Office Lens application, and “list” to create a new list page.

To add this widget, iPhone users simply need to download the latest version of OneNote from the AppStore. Once that’s done, users can visit the Notification Center to enable the widget, drag it to the top of the list, and utilize the feature anytime.

Anywhere Access

In addition to the widget, OneNote now also offers enhanced access from anywhere. Using OneNote on multiple devices is easier than ever with the new update that syncs all Recent Notes across devices. Essentially, this will show users their most recently edited notes, regardless of the device the note was edited on or the device being used to access the OneNote app. Users can simply pick up their iPhone and access all notes from their desktop, tablet, or other devices instantly, and in the same order on every device.

Microsoft is always looking for small ways to make big improvements in accessibility and these new additions to OneNote for iPhone is just another example of this.  To read more about these updates and how to utilize them,click here

Matt Scherocman

Microsoft Office Online Sees Increased Accessibility

Although Office Online was designed with accessibility in mind, upgrades are always needed for continuous improvement. These started with Office Online utilizing WAI-ARIA(Web Accessibility Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Applications), which is a new accessibility standard for blind or low vision web users. Of course, this was just the start. More recently, users are finding all kinds of new tools and features that increase their ability to use Office Online products despite their need for assistance. Microsoft has made a conscious effort to make their products more user-friendly for people with disabilities.  Enhancements are focused on giving everyone a level playing field to maximize the use of Office products and software.

Microsoft Narrator

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Stephanie Donahue

Office 365 E1 vs E3 - The SharePoint Online Discussion

Sharepoint Online

So many versions of SharePoint!  If you have seen the licensing chart lately, it’s starting to become a game of Where’s Waldo when it comes to figuring out what features are available in which version of SharePoint.  Are you On-Premises?  Online?  K1, E1, E3, E4?  Bingo anyone?!  The most common question when reviewing Office 365 licensing is whether or not to make the jump from E1 to E3.  But with all 300 of the features detailed in a complicated spreadsheet, how can you make sense of all the noise?  How do you know what your organization needs?  

SharePoint Online (SPO) Licensing Basics for O365 Enterprise Plans

Microsoft labels its Office 365 Enterprise level licensing as E1, E3, and E4.  The different levels designate the Office, Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint features that are available to your organization; where E1 is more basic and E4 is fully featured.  For many companies, the decision between E1, E3 and E4 comes easy based on needs around Exchange and Lync.  However, with growing flexibility around assigning licenses that can be ”mixed and matched” to individuals within an organization, there has been additional conversations popping up about who needs what.

In SharePoint terms, E3 and E4 are pretty much the same.  This leaves us to describe the differences between E1 and E3. For those already familiar with SharePoint, the differences can be summed up by comparing E1 to SharePoint Standard and E3 to SharePoint Enterprise on-premises.  However, while one could say the comparisons are similar, the functionality for SharePoint on-premises is not identical to SharePoint Online and so you cannot make the assumption that all functionality can be matched one for one.

When it comes it understanding why you would need to upgrade from E1 to E3, it’s easiest to look at the key features.  

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