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Microsoft enhances Office for virtual environments

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 02 July, 2019

Microsoft enhances Office for virtual environments

Microsoft is adding new capabilities to its Office app aimed at improving the experience in virtual environments.

The new capabilities, which have been introduced following Microsoft's acquisition of virtualised app provisioning platform FSLogix, were announced yesterday by Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365 Jared Spataro.

Spataro announced that FSLogix's container technology is now available at no additional cost for Microsoft 365 customers.

FSLogix technology has now been fully integrated with Office apps in virtual environments. FSLogix is a set of solutions that can improve the performance of Office365 in multi-user virtual environments.

These solutions include a profile container, Office container, application masking and Java version control technologies. These containers are designed to work in virtualised environments, including Microsoft, Citrix and VMware environments.

Key capabilities include the ability to redirect profiles to a network location to maintain user context and minimise sign-in times in a non-persistent environment; use application masking to manages access to an application or item; and specify the version of Java to be utilised by specific URLs or applications.

Meanwhile, Microsoft plans to shortly add support for OneDrive Files On-Demand for virtualised Office app users running Windows Server 2019. This will allow users to free up space on their devices by making designated files online only, while specifying which files and folders should always be available locally.

To support customers who rely on Windows Server to provide virtual desktop services, Microsoft will also introduce support for Office 365 ProPlus running on Windows Server 2019.

Finally, several individual Office apps have been enhanced to improve the virtualisation experience, such as a new per-machine installation option of OneDrive and Teams, and Outlook Cached Mode improvements to help people running Outlook on virtual desktops more quickly access emails and calendars.

Microsoft is also currently developing a new Windows Virtual Desktop service, which is currently in public preview and expected to be commercially available later this year.

This service will support multisession Windows 10 implementations and support for Windows Server Remote Desktop Services and related applications.

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