Saturday, 17 September 2016 14:06

Microsoft includes Google Drive and Facebook photos in Outlook.com and Office 365

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Microsoft has extended its collaboration tools — create, edit and share — to Google Drive, Facebook and other cloud storage for Outlook.com webmail and Office 365 users.

The company announced that it has added three enhancements to Outlook.com webmail make sharing simpler and enhancements to Office 365.

First, it extended the cloud storage capabilities for Outlook.com by adding support for Google Drive (it already supports One Drive, Azure, Box, Dropbox and more). Second, it added the ability to share Facebook photos from Outlook. Finally, it made it easier to find files and photos buried in long email conversations.

Android and iOS users of Outlook have had the Google Drive facility for some time – it is now part of Outlook.com and shows as a source when attaching files.

The second enhancement allows Outlook users to open Facebook from within the app and browse and attach photos. Photos are organised as they are on Facebook: “Photos of me” are the ones that you’ve been tagged in and “My photos” are the ones you’ve uploaded.

The third enhancement — finding attachments in long conversations — now extracts all attachments into a pop-up box in date/time order for easy selection.

Enhancements will be rolled out progressively. These should also extend to Windows 10 Mobile version in a future update.

Microsoft seems to have had a significant second wind regarding Outlook.com and recent enhancements include AR HoloLens support, Facebook style “Likes” called Mentions, and a range of user experience layout changes.

More Office 365 updates

Perhaps the biggest is that the task of a unified experience across Windows, macOS, iOS and Android is almost complete. The majority of Windows-based features and apps are now on all supported operating systems.

This includes a new guest access feature giving the ability to include people outside of the company in an Office 365 group. Once added, guests receive a welcome email, are granted access to group files in SharePoint Online, begin receiving email messages and calendar invites sent to the group, and can access the group in Office on the web and the Outlook Groups mobile application.

They also have automatic access to cloud-based file attachments. Guests have the option to leave the group at any time, and visual indicators remind all members of guest participation in the group across all Outlook experiences.

Visio Online and Visio on iPad bring Visio diagrams to most platforms and updates include one-step data linking for diagrams and advanced design and collaboration with the enhanced AutoCAD support.

Microsoft has also beefed up its data centres to ensure it meets sovereignty rules and security.

In local news, Qantas Airlines has adopted Office 365 for its 13,000 global employees and is implementing advanced collaboration and scheduling. Skype for Business has been implemented as well as the Enterprise Mobility Suite three cloud-based services — Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium, Microsoft Intune, and Azure Rights Management — for user identity and access management, mobile device management, and file and data protection capabilities.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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