Are you on Office 365/Exchange Online for email?

Have you received an email like this recently?


Well, it turns out everyone on Office 365 did.

If you would like the originator of the email (the From: field) to be something specific for your Enterprise organization (to avoid help desk calls or questions from confused end users), here’s an article around how to change the that field to something more IT friendly:

Posted by: kurtsh | April 27, 2015

INFO: Technical Content for Surface 3 & Surface Pro 3


Explore the technical aspects of Surface and learn how to plan for, deploy, manage, and support Surface devices in your organization.

Here’s a sample of the Table of Contents:

Get drivers for all of the components in Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 2, and Surface Pro devices, as well as updates to the system firmware that have been released via Windows Update.

Get started with deployment
Find best practices to help you deploy Windows on Surface devices, and better manage those devices moving forward.

  • Download the Surface Pro 3 Deployment and Administration Guide
  • Plan for Surface deployment
  • Find step-by-step deployment guidance
  • Learn how to easily manage and keep Surface devices up to date

Stay informed
Keep up with the latest announcements, guidance, resources, and events for IT professionals managing Surface devices.

  • Visit the Surface for IT Pros blog
  • Find recent Surface and Windows 8.1 knowledge base (KB) articles

Find support
If you are trying to fix a hardware issue or searching for technical expertise, you can contact Surface warranty and software support:

  • Call to submit an incident
  • Microsoft Premier Customers: Submit an incident with Microsoft Premier Online

* Fees may apply. Customers opening incidents for hardware issues will not be charged unless the issue is determined to be outside of warranty coverage.

NOTE: There is a section specifically on configuring UEFI:

Advanced UEFI security features for Surface

  • Manually installing the UEFI update
  • Manually configuring additional security settings
  • Automating additional security settings

Posted by: kurtsh | April 27, 2015

VIDEO: Introducing Groups for Office 365

This is not new however I realized that I don’t actually have a post on this potentially very valuable feature within Office 365:  “Groups”

Introducing Groups for Office 365


Accessible through, Groups for Office 365 give end users the ability to join/create groups that are applicable to services across Office 365.  Think of a grouping of users called “Workers on Project X” that can be:

  • Message everyone in the group (like an Exchange Email Distribution List)
  • Given permissions to a file folder using SharePoint Online (like a SharePoint Membership Group)
  • View a single discussion’s threaded email history online to allow new members to get caught up (like a Yammer Group) and even interact with the discussion via your own personal inbox
  • Share a schedule/calendar across the group (via SharePoint Calendars)


Office 365 Groups is accessible in the Outlook folder window online at

imageThat’s what Groups is designed to do:  Solve the problem have having different grouping types across the entire Office 365 service.  These services were created with their own grouping systems but Office 365 Groups are designed to bring all of those together.

Read more about Office 365 Groups here:

Posted by: kurtsh | April 23, 2015

VIDEO: Introducing Office 365 Video

Overview of the new enterprise video streaming solution for Office 365. See how it works and how to use it.  Just published this month to reflect the complete solution.

Introducing Office 365 Video

imageSome folks mistakenly believe that Skype for Business was “just Lync 2013 renamed”. 

Nothing could be further from the truth.  Here’s a list of capabilities that only Skype for Business has, that greatly differentiate it from Lync 2013, as written up by our Enterprise Voice Specialist, Christian Burke.

Skype for Business New Feature Matrix

Enterprise Voice in Office 365

Companies can now begin to originate dialtone directly into Skype for Business Online.  This essentially opens up a new class of worker where the on-prem PBX may not be the most useful/flexible option. 

Broadcast Meetings

Ability to deliver town hall style meetings to 10,000+ attendees creates an entirely new audience for Skype for Business. 

Cloud Meeting Recording

Where Lync 2013 meeting recordings were stored on the client, now all meeting recordings are stored server side which improves DLP and also makes sharing and distribution dramatically easier.

Improved Desktop/App Sharing

Full HD resolution screen sharing using H.264 at up to 15 FPS utilizing dramatically lower bandwidth instead of leveraging legacy RDP (Lync 2013).   This improves the experience to truly compete with WebEx in terms of desktop and application sharing.

Call via Work

Universal desktop to PBX integration instead of CTI based Lync 2013 Remote Call Control.  Allows Skype for Business to enhance the functionality of any PBX.

Improved voice and call controls

Dialpad, transfer, hold, and other critical voice control functions are improved not only with the new interface but also in the server workflow engine.

Skype Web App

Instead of utilizing Lync Web App (Lync 2013) for web based conferencing, the new browser-based Skype Web App dramatically improves meeting join experience meaning faster connections with a drastically reduced failure rate.

OneNote is default Whiteboard

Collaboration is improved by leveraging OneNote for the whiteboard app instead of the Lync 2013 Whiteboard.

Server Side Conversation History

Now all conversation history is stored server-side which means all devices will see identical conversation history.  Lync 2013 showed client side meaning that each device saw a different list.  This was not optimal for mobility devices.  Server side in Skype for Business completely solves this.

SILK is default audio codec

All Skype for Business communications are now leveraging the improved audio codec of SILK instead of Real Time Audio (RTA).  The user experience is dramatically improved.

Connectivity with Skype Consumer

With Skype for Business, communications with Skype Consumer now includes all modalities including IM, Presence, Audio,  and Video.

Dozens of minor enhancements

From auto meeting rejoin to Windows Fabric stability improvements, the entire ecosystem has been improved to make Skype for Business a true Enterprise-grade Universal Communications platform.

imageI’m sure this is written somewhere else but I’ve gotten tired of having Read Mode as the default viewer for Word 2013 files. 

I NEVER, EVER, EVER use this mode.  I always switch to Print Layout as I am almost always editing the document I’m opening, and thus it makes no sense for this view to every be used for me, much less the default. (?!?)

To make Word documents open in the “Print Layout” view instead of “Read Mode” when you first open the document, within Word 2013:

  1. Open a new document
  2. Click File –> Options
  3. Uncheck the box under “General”, “Start Up options” that reads:
    ”Open e-mail attachments and other uneditable files in reading view”
  4. Click Okay.

imageWe have received feedback that customers want to include the Surface App (formerly Surface Hub App) to their custom Windows 8.1 image without going to the Windows Store.

Today we are solving this issue, by making the Surface App available over the Microsoft Download Center.

Customers can now download the Surface App, and make the App part of their own custom image – without the need of a Microsoft Account or access to the Windows Store.


We’re all seeing it: more of our basic consumer experiences include technology in one way, shape or form, from mobile apps, loyalty, enhanced point-of-sale and direct customer engagement.  These factors and more provide a platform for hospitality brands to differentiate themselves through digital touch points.  Hospitality brands are transforming themselves to digital businesses by exploring new ways to serve their customers, including placing technology closer to the customer dining experience.

Join this unique webcast to hear from our Global Director for Hospitality & Travel, Greg Jones, as he discusses ways in which Microsoft is partnering with innovative companies to deliver unique restaurant experiences.  Greg will be joined by Ziosk President & CEO, Austen Mulinder, as they discuss transforming the tableside dining experience.

During the webcast you will hear about:

  • Microsoft’s vision for the customer journey in hospitality
  • Ziosk successes in delivering this unique experience
  • How you can gain greater insights to your business and customer needs through tableside ordering
  • Results that show this solutions increases staff retention and satisfaction

Date: 5/21/2015
Time: 9:00 AM PDT
Duration: 30 minutes

imageLast month, Mark Russinovich, Microsoft Technical Fellow & Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft Azure, attended ChefCon 2015 and participated in a panel discussion entitled, “Have Your Bets on Open Paid Off?”

Watch the recording of Mark Russinovich and other industry leaders from Facebook & The Gap discuss the beneficial impact of openness:

“Have Your Bets on Open Paid Off?”


Do you find yourself in the desktop a lot on your Surface Pro?  Tired of manually initiating the soft-keyboard to type things in when you’re using the device as a tablet?

Check out Tabtip On-Demand.  I think it’s a must have for Surface Pro owners.

Tabtip On-Demand is a great tool for mobile users with Tablet PC which adds the missing keyboard « on-demand » functionality to the user’s desktop. It is also able to scroll through web pages and push application windows into view, thus textboxes are not covered by the keyboard. Tabtip On-Demand also makes the keyboard available by mouse click (optional) on the desktop as well as in the Modern UI (Windows 8 and above).

Many applications still run on the desktop rather than in the Modern UI. If you are one of those users who feel that the lack of keyboard showing up automatically on the desktop is just a pain, this tool is made for you.

If the tablet input panel is not available, Tabtip On-Demand pops up the on-screen keyboard (OSK) instead.

TabTip On-Demand


TabTip On-Demand – ”Scroll into view”


If you use the desktop a lot on your Surface Pro, while you’re walking around with it in tablet mode, check out Tabtip On-demand.

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