Today, Microsoft officially announced that SharePoint Online will be receiving an update over the next couple of days. The long-awaited changes include upgrades to Office Web Apps that improve editing, collaboration and mobile devices. Official support for Internet Explorer 7 will be ending at the same time, as many of the updated features require functionality only available in IE 8 or later web browsers. IE 7 will continue to work with SharePoint Online, just not with the new features.
Here’s the full text of the announcement:
Office Web Apps update improves editing, collaboration and device support; IE7 support endsWithin the next 24 to 48 hours, we will begin delivering a service update of new features to SharePoint Online. Organizations on Office 365 will receive this update seamlessly. However, individual users who are still running Internet Explorer 7 may have a diminished user experience after the update.
New features in Office Web Apps
Using web-based versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote you can view, edit, and work together on Office documents from nearly anywhere. And with the latest update, you’ll get more editing and formatting controls, co-authoring support across the web apps and expanded device support, including editing from tablets. Learn about the new features.
What to expect during the service update
There are three things you may encounter during the planned maintenance period between 07 November 2012 and 14 November 2012.
- There may be moments when administrative functions (such as granting permissions or creating new document libraries) will be temporarily disabled. These should be brief, but could last up to 30 minutes.
- New documents that are added to SharePoint between 07 November 2012 and 14 November 2012 won’t be indexed for searching during the maintenance period. Indexing will resume on 14 November 2012, and documents that were added during the maintenance period will be indexed at that time.
- SharePoint content will be read-only for up to 30 minutes. This will only happen once.
End of support for Internet Explorer 7
Internet Explorer 7 is not compatible with the updates to Office Web Apps. For the best user experience, Office 365 users should use a modern web browser.Our system reports indicate that you have 1 person in your organization who connected to Office 365 with Internet Explorer 7 between 01 August 2012 and 01 September 2012. We urge you to upgrade this user to a current version of Internet Explorer immediately to preserve the user experience. Instruct this user to run Windows Updateto upgrade the browser.See the Admin Task Wiki for information about support for Internet Explorer 7.
Questions about this service update? Visit the Service Update Wiki for all the answers.
The Microsoft Office 365 Team