November 12, 2019

At Microsoft, we’re committed to protecting your data and helping your organization stay current and secure in today’s fast-moving, complex technology environment. And we’ve designed new innovations for Office 365 ProPlus to do just that. As announced at Microsoft Ignite 2019 last week, we introduced:

  • An update to the Office cloud policy service.
  • Deeper integration for managing Office 365 for Mac using Jamf Pro.
  • New tools for Configuration Manager to better plan Office deployment projects.
  • New security features for the Office client.
  • New Group Policy setting to enable users to install Insider builds.

Together, these new functionalities help you more efficiently adopt, deploy, and manage Office 365 ProPlus—regardless of the size of your organization and the platform you choose.

Cross-platform support* for the Office cloud policy service

The Office cloud policy service—initially announced for Windows earlier this year—is a cloud-based service that enables IT admins to enforce policy settings for Office 365 ProPlus users. The settings are enforced across devices, whether domain-joined, Azure Active Directory (AAD)-joined, or completely unmanaged. In short, the policy settings roam with the user.

Today, we’re introducing an update to add cross-platform support for Office on the web, Android, Mac*, and iOS* devices, giving administrators the ability to manage Office policies from a single portal for all their Office users. To learn more, read this article


Easier Office 365 for Mac management using Jamf Pro

Today, we’re announcing deeper integration for managing Office 365 using Jamf Pro. Our integration with the new Application and Custom Settings experience, which was demonstrated at the Jamf Nation User Conference (JNUC), allows IT admins to easily set Office 365 policies using a familiar forms-based interface. Mac administrators can centrally configure security, privacy, and update policies to deliver the very best Office 365 experience to their users, including:

  • Enabling friction-free sign-on to Office 365
  • Controlling privacy and telemetry options
  • Reducing the attack surface for sensitive devices
  • Increasing compliance levels through feature enablement
  • Lowering support costs by implementing desired update workflows


Pilot health and inventory tools to deploy faster

We’ve brought a pair of updates to the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager—you probably know it as Config Manager—to help IT admins streamline parts of the device upgrade process. The first of these shows the health of pilot devices as it relates to a forthcoming upgrade. Pilots are a subset of devices you’ve selected to validate before deploying. With this update, that subset will also show the upgraded health of selected devices, including which are ready to upgrade right now. For those not ready, you can see what issues are blocking the upgrade and remediate those for faster deployment.


The second update, which enhances your existing inventory tools, leverages device telemetry to determine which devices running Office 365 ProPlus are ready to update to newer release. This update also provides insight into issues that are blocking an immediate upgrade, giving you the information needed to remediate problem areas.


Pilot health and enhanced inventory tools are just the beginning. With 80% of Office 365 ProPlus admins using Config Manager, we’re continuing to prioritize upgrades for the Config Manager console—including features like recommended configurations.


Safe Documents and Application Guard for enhanced file protection

On Tuesday, we shared Safe Documents, a new capability that brings the power of Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) to Office 365 ProPlus.  When a user has a document in Protected View and wants to consider that document “trusted”, the field will be automatically checked against the ATP threat cloud before release. Admins will have advanced visibility and response capabilities, including alerts, logs, and visibility into similar threats across the enterprise.


We also showed an early, live demo of Application Guard capabilities integrated with Office 365 ProPlus. When available in mid-2020, Microsoft 365 customers will be able to open an untrusted Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file in a virtualized container instead of Protected View. From there, users will be able to view, print, edit, and save changes to untrusted Office documents—all while benefiting from hardware-level security. If the untrusted file is malicious, the attack is confined to the isolated container and the host machine is untouched. Users will be able to leverage Safe Documents to “trust” a document securely, and full reporting and audit trails will be available through ATP.


Group Policy to allow users to experience Office Insider builds  

Enabling your users to self-select into the Office Insiders program is as simple as delivering a policy.  This can be done by using the Office Cloud Policy service which is available in and via group policy. This policy makes it easy for you to enable which users can self-select their device to receive the Office Insider builds as they become available in order to try new features. Read more in this article.

Microsoft Teams deployed with Office 365 ProPlus

As a quick reminder, when you update to Version 1908 of Office 365 ProPlus in January, Microsoft Teams will be rolled out to existing installations on the Semi-Annual Channel. Learn more about deploying Teams as part of Office 365 ProPlus in this article.

Office 2010 End of Support

Finally, support for Office 2010 is ending in October 2020—but with Office 365 ProPlus, you can continue to stay current with the latest Office tools and security features, like the ones we described above. Read more in this blog.


Catch up on all other Office 365 ProPlus deployment content recorded at Ignite by following this guide. As always, learn what’s new in Office 365 ProPlus, watch our YouTube Deployment Insider channel, and join Office Insider Program.

You may also find the following additional resources useful:

*Office cloud policy service support for Mac and iOS devices is expected to roll out soon.

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