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Microsoft Planning Global Rollout of Office 365 Management Portal

Microsoft today announced a worldwide commercial rollout of its Office 365 Admin Center management console, which will start happening in a few weeks' time.

The rollout brings Admin Center up from the preview stage. The Admin Center preview was launched in September and Microsoft subsequently updated it in November. Organizations have been able to test the preview from the classic Office 365 management console since that time, but today Microsoft announced that Admin Center will be generally released "as the default experience" for organizations. This update will start appearing "over the next few weeks" for subscribers, the company indicated.

It will be possible to switch back to the old management portal, though, Microsoft promised. The old management portal currently has a "sneak peek" link for those wanting to see what's coming.

New Features
Office 365 Admin Center has a new search bar at the top. It can be used to find users and groups right now.

Admin Center has a reports capability. It currently shows the number of active users. It also provides e-mail traffic details, plus subscription activation information.

Coming Features
Microsoft plans to enhance the Admin Center's reporting capabilities "in the coming months" to show information about specific Office 365 apps. For instance, the portal will be able to show reports on the use of "OneDrive, SharePoint, Yammer and Skype for Business." It also will get a reporting capability to show operating system use.

Microsoft is planning to add contextual help next to tasks within the Admin Center portal. Users will get detailed descriptions "to quickly make settings, user or configuration changes," Microsoft indicated. There will be video help, too.

Lastly, Microsoft is promising that organizations will be able to customize the dashboard in Admin Center according to the user's role in the organization. "Your feedback made it very clear that admins have very different roles and priorities and you need the ability to tailor the admin center to meet the needs of your role," Microsoft's announcement explained.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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