Office 365 “First Release”

If you have been following the news about Microsoft over the last 8 – 12 months you will undoubtedly have come to the realization that they have changed!  Microsoft has made a 180 degree turn and are now on the path of being “agile”; things are happening almost at lightspeed within all of their product groups with the two most visbile representations being Office 365 and Azure.  If you deal with these porducts at all you will know what I mean when I say this is NOT your father’s Microsoft!

Microsoft is now on the path of bringing many new features into Office 365 at breakneck speed.  The idea is that new features will come onstream as they are deemed to be “ready” and it is up to the user community to “vote” with their use of the feature.  Some may disappear, many will live and grow, but the days of waiting years for new features to show up in Microsoft products are long gone.  If you are in the Microsoft Cloud then the new features are coming hard and fast.

Office 365 has an administration setting that allows you to turn on “First Release” which is a way to get new features delivered to your tenancy in advance of the “general populace” receiving the feature.  As a rule, First Release can give you access to new features up to 3 weeks before the feature goes live across the Office 365 world.  It is a way for you to be on the bleeding edge and may or may not be appropriate for your particular tenancy.  But, if you like to live with a bit of an adrenaline rush, First Release is the way to go!

My friend, boss and fellow MVP, Sean Wallbridge, created this short video to explain how to enable First Release in your tenancy.  I hope you find it informative!