Office 365 for IT Pros 2021 Edition Published!

Seventh (2021) Edition of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook Available Now

New Microsoft Fiscal Year, New Version of Office 365 for IT Pros

We publish Office 365 for IT Pros on a yearly schedule with a new edition every July to coincide with Microsoft’s fiscal year. Many Microsoft engineering activities focus on year end, so it makes sense for us to align on the same date. No one else tries to document Office 365 the way we do with monthly updates covering the breath of Office 365. For the 2020 edition, those updates spanned 200 major chapter changes. In other words, we practically rewrote the book over the last year.

To give an indication of why we updated so much, over the last four months we have used the integration between Planner and the Message Center in the Microsoft 365 admin center to track the notifications Microsoft sends to Office 365 tenants. In that time, 314 tasks have been created. There are some duplicates, and extra tasks are created when Microsoft updates notifications after dates shift. Even so, Microsoft has notified tenants about more than 250 different changes since January 2020. Tracking change has never been more difficult.

Planner reveals the number of recent changes in Office 365
Figure 1: Planner reveals the number of recent changes in Office 365

Six Weeks of Effort Delivers a Refreshed Book

Over the last six weeks, the writing team and our indefatigable technical editor have been busy going through the 600,000 words of the 2020 edition to add new content, modify or move text where needed, and trim old or outdated material. We looked at every screen shot and took new ones where necessary. We checked every PowerShell example and updated the code if we found bugs or new ways of approaching problems. We also moved some of our larger examples to our GitHub repository to make it easier for people to download and use the code. The last changes to text were made at 21:00 UTC on June 30, just getting in under the deadline for updates. It was a tough time.

The good news is that we have a great book, packed full of information. We’re confident that this is our best edition yet. The content is updated, it’s arranged in a more logical fashion, and it’s brimming with tips and inside information. None of the writers has violated their Microsoft NDA to reveal information that we shouldn’t, but we do describe what we’ve found about the technology as we work with it in what we hope is a practical and approachable manner.

Subscribers Please Renew!

Selling yearly subscriptions to the book helps pay for the time and effort we need to research, test, and write about Office 365 and the wider Microsoft 365 ecosystem. The resulting funding makes sure that we can release monthly updates to ensure that the latest information is available to subscribers.

We have sent notices to existing subscribers of the EPUB/PDF version to let them know how to extend their subscription for the 2021 edition. As previously announced, people who bought a full-price copy in June will receive a code to include the 2021 edition in their subscription. Unfortunately, we can do nothing for those who bought the Kindle version of the book. We have no idea who bought the Kindle version as Amazon controls the relationship with the customer and we have zero visibility about any sales. If you’re in this category, please consider transferring your allegiance to the EPUB/PDF version and use one of the many online services available to convert the EPUB file to MOBI format, which can be read on Kindle devices.

If you’re not a current subscriber, we’d love if you’d join our growing community. All support is most gratefully received. Head to our Gumroad.com page to get your copy of Office 365 for IT Pros (2021 Edition).

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