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Internet Explorer

1. End of Internet Explorer Support for IE 8, 9, and 10

Beginning January, 2016, Microsoft announced that it would only provide technical, security, and other supportive updates for the current version of Internet Explorer (IE), version 11.  All other versions of IE must be updated to version 11, otherwise those supportive features will not be provided to your browser, which puts your computer system at risk for exploitation from malware and operative issues.  

How do I get IE 11?

If you already have an updated Operating System, meaning Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10, you should already have Internet Explorer 11 and shouldn't worry.  This was provided as a feature of Windows Updates.

How Long with IE 11 be Around?

IE 11 will be around for the lifespan of today's Operating Systems (Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10).

What difference does Internet Explorer 11 provide over the Older Versions?

A lot of differences are provided in Internet Explorer over the older ones.  For starters, Internet Explorer provides a number of additional features that help in running websites and more graphical-content (videos, pictures, etc.) better.

The key reason to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 is because this version has better protections against malware and other security-concerning events encoded within, which will aid you tremendously when surfing the Web.  

This is not to say that you may now surf the Web recklessly once you upgrade to Internet Explorer 11, however, security is best conducted in layers, so every layer provides better protections in a variety of ways.  

Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions about how to check about whether you need to upgrade. 


1. Microsoft's New "Out of Office" Features Makes Vacations Easier to Enjoy

Vacation is a time to relax. However, as we all can attest to, the weeks leading up to it can often be as stressful as the time off is fun, as you rush to get packed and finish all those important to-dos before you set your “Out of Office” message. Microsoft has added new features to the "Out of Office" so its easier to enjoy your time off without feeling like meetings still have required attendance.  

Outlook on the web now makes it easier to clear your calendar and automatically decline meetings before you head out for some time away from the office. When you set an automatic reply in Outlook on the web, Outlook will offer to do the following on your behalf:

  • Block your calendar so people know you’re away.
  • Clear existing meetings on your calendar by declining/canceling them.
  • Automatically send a response to incoming invitations while you’re away.

Block your calendar

One of the most common things you do before taking time off is block time on your calendar so people know you are going to be away. Now, when you set your automatic reply, select the option Block your calendar and Outlook on the web will create an appointment for the duration of your automatic reply.

When a colleague looks up for your availability with the Scheduling Assistant, they’ll see you as Away.

Clear existing meetings by declining or canceling them

Another task to take care of before leaving the office is to decline and cancel events currently on your calendar. Now, when you set an automatic reply, Outlook on the web finds all events that occur while you’re away and gives you the option to indicate which meetings you would like to cancel or decline, as well as give you reply options to include.

Outlook on the web selects all meetings with attendees by default, leaving events without any attendees unchecked (since those are usually reminders or notes users create for themselves). If there is a meeting you don’t want to cancel, simply uncheck it from the list and Outlook on the web will leave the event on your calendar.


Automatically send responses to incoming invitations

Of course, work doesn’t stop while you are away from the office. Outlook is now able to automatically decline a new invitation on your behalf. With this option, others will know you won’t be attending a meeting that pops up while you’re away.

After responding on your behalf, Outlook will leave the invitation in your inbox so that you can still know what happened while you were gone.

How can I start taking advantage of this?

These options will start rolling out today to Office 365 users of Outlook on the web, as well as to users of the new Outlook.com. From Mail or Calendar, click the gear  icon ⚙  in the upper right corner and select Automatic replies.

Outlook on the web makes going on vacations less stressful 4-left

Outlook on the web makes going on vacations less stressful 4-right

Settings from Mail. Settings from Calendar.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Which users have access to these new features?

A. This feature is available to users with Office 365 subscriptions that include Exchange Online and to users of the new Outlook.com.

Q. Will these features work in other Outlook applications (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone)?

A. You need to set up your Automatic replies through Outlook on the web, but once you do that your meetings will automatically be cleared and your calendar blocked in all Outlook applications using the same account. Based on usage, we will evaluate bringing this feature directly to the other applications.

Q. When will these features be available?

A. We have already begun rolling these features out to users of Office 365 and the new Outlook.com and expect the rollout to be complete in the next couple of weeks.

Read more about these new features Here

Office 365

1. New Features in Outlook on the Web

From Microsoft Office 365 Team

Today, Microsoft announced updates to the web version of Outlook in Office 365. As part of Microsoft's ongoing work to deliver the richest email and calendar experiences on the web, they are rolling out an improved user interface (UI) and new features that help you be more efficient, stay on top of your inbox, and better manage your calendar. Formerly known as the Outlook Web App (or OWA for short), our browser-based Outlook experience will simply be referred to as “Outlook on the web” going forward. Let’s take a closer look at what’s new.

A cleaner look for greater efficiency

Outlook on the web now sports a simplified, cleaner UI to help you work more efficiently. This starts with the new action bar available across our Mail, Calendar, People and Task experiences in Outlook on the web. The action bar provides quick access to the most common commands, whether you are clearing out your inbox, replying to an email, or adding an event to your calendar.

We made a number of tweaks and improvements throughout the UI for a cleaner look. The email subject line is larger and more prominent, and messages in the reading pane are now indented for easier reading. In Calendar, more prominent buttons make creating a new meeting request straightforward and navigation of your calendar simpler.

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The new unified Action bar (highlighted in orange) spans Mail, Calendar, People and Tasks and provides quick access to the most commonly used commands, including search.

Stay on top of your inbox

We’ve added new tools to help you sort through your email and identify the most important items to tackle first.

  • Pin—You can now pin any message in your inbox to have it highlighted in yellow and kept at the top of your inbox. Pins are a terrific way to keep important messages handy and prevent them from getting buried in your inbox.

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Pinned messages are kept at the top of your inbox and easily identified with a yellow highlight.

  • Sweep—Sweep provides a simple set of actions to manage emails from specific senders. It is great for managing reoccurring messages like newsletters, digital coupons, and other email received on a regular basis. With Sweep, you can choose to keep messages from a specific sender for a specified number of days, only keep the latest message, or delete all messages from the sender. This feature first debuted as part of our consumer Outlook.com email service—and we are excited to bring it to Office 365 customers!
  • Archive—One-click archiving allows you to quickly move messages out of the inbox to a folder of your choice.
  • Undo—We included a dedicated Undo button so you can quickly undo unintended actions with a single click.
  • Improved single line view—If you prefer the single line message view over the traditional reading pane, Outlook on the web now includes a preview of the message contents in-line with the subject. In addition, you can now perform common actions in bulk, which makes managing your inbox not only easier, but also a lot faster.
  • Immersive reading pane—When in single line view, clicking a message now displays the message in the same window—no pop-up or separate windows!

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With the preview pane turned off, the single line view of your inbox now provides a preview of the message contents to quickly scan your inbox. Messages you want to read can be opened with a single click.

Craft visually engaging emails

Expressing yourself in email has never been easier—or more fun! Outlook on the web now provides the ability to easily resize images, add custom borders, apply shadow effects, rotate images and more. We’ve also added a full set of emojis to help you better express yourself.

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New image formatting tools make it easier to tell your story in pictures.

Finding the people you want to reach has also been improved. When you place your cursor on the recipient line (To, Cc, Bcc), Outlook on the web shows a list of the most common people and distribution groups you have been emailing. As you type, the list of recipients is automatically refined to filter only those matching your search. The list of common recipients is intelligent and adapts as the people you email changes over time.

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As you add recipients, Outlook on the web suggests people and distribution groups that you most commonly email.

Better ways to manage your calendar

Planning your schedule can be tough—so we’ve made improvements to Calendar to help you manage both your work and personal life. One of these improvements is a five-day weather forecast included right in your calendar. Icons next to each day give you a quick look at the forecast; simply click one to see a more detailed view. Never be without your umbrella again!

In addition to the traditional color-coding approach, Calendar now supports charms—icons you can apply to Calendar items as visual cues that help you quickly identify specific types of events. Add an airplane charm to an upcoming flight, a knife and fork for a business dinner, or a music note for a piano class. There are a number of charms to choose from, and once added, each charm appears in the lower right corner of the calendar event.

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Calendar now includes a five-day weather forecast and charms.

In addition to weather and charms, additional features in the Calendar experience include:

  • Email reminders—You can create email reminders for any Calendar event. You can specify the recipient list, include a quick message, and set the day and time you want the email reminder to be sent. This is a great feature to keep everyone updated on important items and deliverables.
  • Birthday and Holiday calendars—We created Birthday and Holiday calendars to help you easily manage your work and personal life. These calendars can be overlaid across your work calendar or viewed separately.

A better mobile browser experience

To deliver outstanding email and calendar experiences on Windows Phone, iOS and Android, we built the mobile Outlook apps to deeply integrate with these platforms. But occasionally users need to interact with their Office 365 email without installing an app—for example, when they are borrowing a friend’s phone. They can do this by signing in at outlook.office365.com from the device’s mobile browser.

To enhance this mobile browsing experience, we’ve made a number of UI and navigational improvements, including:

  • Updates to closer resemble the UI look of Outlook apps on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
  • Improved navigation for switching between Mail, Calendar and People.
  • More prominent search command.
  • Ability to switch between emails without returning to the message list.
  • Time strip updated to show the full week within the calendar.
  • Improved UI for creating new events and using the scheduling assistant in Calendar.

Your voice, loud and clear

In addition to the new features we’re announcing today, we’re making it easier for you to provide feedback to us. We want to foster an ongoing conversation by giving you a direct line of communication to the team that builds Outlook on the web, while also providing you the opportunity to see what other users are saying.

With the rollout we’ll be adding an Outlook on the web forum to Outlook UserVoice, where you can share your feedback, recommend features and vote for the ideas you like best. Joining the conversation in the updated web experience is easy—just click Feedback under the gear icon and add your suggestion without leaving your inbox.

Rollout of these changes

These changes are now live for Microsoft Office 365 customers.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Does anything change in how I access my email through the web?
  2. No, your email address, sign in page, emails, calendar and contacts will not be affected. You will simply have a richer interface and additional features.


  1. Can I delay receiving the new updates or go back to the old experience?
  2. No, to enable us to fulfill our commitment to continually improve our products, these enhancements to the product cannot be delayed or rolled back.


  1. Is the updated Outlook on the web UI available for my tablet?
  2. Our Outlook apps provide the best email and calendar experiences on tablets. The improved mobile browser experience is currently only available from smartphone browsers (iPhone, Android and Windows Phone). We will be updating the tablet UI at a future point in time.

2. Office 365 now supports larger email messages—up to 150 MB

For the last few years the largest email message you could send or receive in Office 365 was 25 MB. While 25 MB is more than enough for the majority of email, you might bump up against that limit when trying to send large slide decks, spreadsheets or videos.  We’re pleased to announce that Microsoft has increased the allowed maximum message size to 150 MB effective immediately.

Note: You may be able to send and receive large messages up to 150 MB, but your associates outside your organization may not. Whether it’s because their mail is hosted on a different email service or system that doesn’t support large message sizes, or they’re an Office 365 customer but haven’t changed their settings, they may not be able to receive your large message.

3. Microsoft Office 365 Now Supports Message Encryption!

As part of the Office 365 E3 licensing package, Microsoft Office 365 will now include features that can be used to encrypt emails that contain sensitive data, even to users outside of your organization.  

What constitutes Sensitive Data?

  • A bank sending credit card statements to customers over email.
  • An insurance company providing details about the policy to clients.
  • A mortgage broker requesting financial information from a customer for a loan application.
  • A healthcare provider using encrypted messages to send protected HIPAA and other healthcare information to patients.
  • An attorney sending confidential information to a client or another attorney.
  • A consultant sending a contract to a client.
  • A therapist providing a patient diagnosis to an insurance company.

Using encryption methods like those provided via E3 licensing provides additional layers of security in order to ensure that non-authorized individuals cannot view information that they are not privy to.  It also provides encryption for those emails when they are stored  within your Outlook profile, which can be critical when data is being moved during migration to a new server.

If your organization is already paying for E3 Licensing, this benefit is being offered at no additional cost to you.  Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about how to use this feature.  

If you are interested in discussing the addition of E3 licensing to your organization's suite of services, please your IT Point of Contact or Manager to contact the Help Desk to discuss the purchasing of these services, the costs, and how to get these services implemented organization-wide.  We will be happy to assist you. 

4. A New Home Page for Office 365 Users is Coming!

Earlier this month, Microsoft began to roll out a new, more intuitive home page experience for Office 365 users. This update brings a fresh new look and feel to the Office 365 welcome page, and a range of new features for both administrators and users.

The new Office 365 home page enables more consistent and unified experiences for work, education and home users across every device. This new platform also helps Microsoft respond to user feedback and deliver innovative new features at a faster pace than ever before.

Simple, responsive design

Introducing a new home page experience for Office 365 users 1

Microsoft simplified how people access their Office 365 applications and documents. Now, when you log in to Office 365, you have immediate access to all your online applications and recent documents to help you get to what you need faster.

As part of this update, they've also taken the opportunity to add improved page responsiveness for a better, more consistent experience across all your devices. Office 365 lets you get your best work done, no matter what device you’re using, and the new home page will look beautiful on your phone, tablet, PC and Mac.

Tool tips

Microsoft wants to make sure that their Office 365 users get the most out of their Office 365 experience. New tool tips help highlight new and unused features, including recently added applications and actions users need to take.

Seamless Office install

Lastly, Microsoft made it easier than ever for Office 365 users to get the latest version of their mobile applications and desktop software. Now, you can download and install Office on your device with one click from the home screen. They've also made it easier to install Office 365 mobile applications from your desktop. Simply choose the application you want to install, then send an email or an SMS to the device you want to install it on.

What’s next

Over the next few months, you’ll see the new home page replace the default log-in experience for Office 365 users. Let them know what you think! And don’t be surprised if they respond to your feedback. They supposedly read every piece of feedback they receive and work to make your Office 365 experience the best it can be.

Read more about this exciting update Here


1. Windows XP End of Support Notice

As of April 8th, 2014, ETTE ceased all support for Windows XP based machines.   ETTE support expiration includes loss of technical support, access to Microsoft Office licensing, antivirus licensing, and possible technical measures that may block access to ETTE systems from Windows XP machines.

We have contacted all impacted user's supervisors to provide upgrade options.  If you are still running Windows XP on a computer owned by your organization and have not heard from an IT employee, please contact helpdesk@ette.biz.