We take a look at the latest news around Microsoft, including more Linux options added to Windows 10 and Azure Portal, along with the latest plans for the next set of SharePoint updates.
First to the news that Microsoft is offering developers more options on Windows 10 with three of the most popular Linux distributions coming to the Windows Store.
Microsoft already offers Ubuntu Linux via its Windows Subsystem for Linux in Windows 10. Now Ubuntu, SUSE Linux, and Fedora will all be available to install directly from the Windows Store, making it easy to run Linux apps on any Windows 10 device.
Once a developer has turned on ‘developer mode’ in the Windows 10 settings menu and turned on support for Linux, they will be able to go into the Windows Store and install support for any of the three above Linux systems with just a click.
Microsoft Executive Vice President of Windows and Devices Terry Myerson commented: “We’ve simplified the install of Ubuntu by bringing it to the Windows Store. We also announced we are working with SUSE Linux and Fedora Linux running on the Windows Subsystem for Linux – to bring them to the Windows Store. Now, Windows is the only platform that can run both Windows apps and Linux apps side-by-side.”
Microsoft has also announced preview availability of the Bash shell in its Azure Portal. This is called Azure Cloud Shell, and is the Ubuntu Bash shell automatically configured to work with users’ accounts.
Elsewhere Microsoft has given an indication of its future plans for SharePoint, including roadmap information and its vision of enabling digital transformation across organisations.
Details of a new Feature Pack 2 for SharePoint will be confirmed at September’s Ingnite Conference, but the indications are that it will incorporate solutions “that can power new solutions on premises, in hybrid experiences and in Office 365.”
And whilst Microsoft will continue to support its SharePoint Server on-premises users, a number of forthcoming SharePoint updates will be available first for SharePoint Online/Office 365.
On the roadmap front, Microsoft is talking about personalised search capabilities for SharePoint in Office 365, which will show results not just for Sites and Files, but also People.
In addition, there are plans for SharePoint and OneDrive’s sharing aspects. This will include a new OneDrive Files on Demand feature, which will enable the sharing of Office 365 files from Windows 10’s File Explorer and the Mac’s Finder, and will work both internally and for sharing outside an organisation.
An Offline Folders feature (currently available for Android devices) is also planned for iOS devices, allowing a user to store files to mobile devices when they don’t have an Internet connection.
And finally, Microsoft has announced the public preview of the Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI, which is aimed at enabling more targeted user training and communication.
Previously the usage reports in the Office 365 admin centre have provided administration staff with insights into how users adopt and use the various services in Office 365. The content pack will combine the intelligence of these usage reports with the interactive analysis capabilities of Power BI, providing a range of enhanced insights. In turn these will allow admin staff to prioritise user training requirements and improve levels of user communication.
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