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Mar 07, 2017 09:49 AM EST

Microsoft To Get Office 365 Even Better & Safer, Adds Amazon Alexa & Intensifies Bugs-Hunting Program

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Microsoft Office 365 is about to get another big boost from another tech giant. The company's cloud-based software offerings are getting some sort of integration with Amazon's Echo speakers and other Alexa-powered devices. Microsoft made the huge announcement this week.

Microsoft Announces New Office 365 Integration

According to TechCrunch, Amazon Alexa will now support Microsoft Office 365's calendar functions, thus providing Office 365 users a hands-free experience when checking their next meeting or scheduling important business lunch and more. The move could see Microsoft Office 365 getting into the world of artificial intelligence and automation, while for Amazon Echo, it's about making their way into the corporate world and expanding their foothold in a work environment.

The addition of Alexa is just one of several in recent weeks that sees Amazon Alexa becoming the central hub for work collaboration, instead of just controlling the smart home. Amazon first added support for Microsoft Outlook Calendar earlier this month. The Outlook support includes access to Hotmail, MSN and Live email accounts.

In addition to the Office 365 support, Alexa has also Google Calendar support since launch, however, the Google Calendar are intended for consumer-facing email services only. On another hand, Microsoft Office 365 is designed for business use, TechCrunch reported.

The integration with Alexa means lots of things for Office 365, it can help Office 365 users in keeping up their work schedule, sending emails, making their PowerPoint presentations, and even collaborating with other workers.

Unfortunately, the Alexa integration will be limited to calendar queries only as both companies still busy working with the integration process. For now, the Office 365 Alexa integrations are only available in the U.S., U.K., and Germany, but more are expected to come in the next couple of days. To set up a new Alexa integration, they can go to Amazon Alexa website.

Microsoft Intensifies Bugs-Hunting Program, To Make The Cloud-Based Offerings Even Better

In other Office 365-related stories, Microsoft has just raised the bounty for its Office 365's bugs-hunting program. The software giant has just decided to double the pay with software developers who find bugs in the company's Office 365 software offerings.

The ZDNet reported that starting March 1 to May 1 of this year, the software giant will double the maximum amount it will pay to bugs hunters. The company will now be offering security researchers between $1,000 and $30,000, depending on the severity of the vulnerability or flaws they discover in the Office 365 software.

The company's Office 365 bugs-hunting program covers bugs found in outlook.office365.com, outlook.office.com. Outlook.com and portal.office.com. Currently, the company's ongoing regular bounty pays security researchers between $500 (minimum payment) to $15,000 per qualifying bug in dozens of domains that have mentioned above. Additionally, Microsoft may also pay up to $100,000 for defense against mitigation bypasses or advanced forms of system hacking.

As mentioned earlier on Microsoft Security Response Center, the software giant's hosted enterprise email solution plays a vital role in customer security as it is the gateway for accessing user information, which includes emails, calendar, contacts and other critical information. The company's Office 365 admin portal is the central management interface for managing user access and its plays a key role in protecting tenants and tenant admins from a security breach.

Finally, the company's latest bounty changes encourage security researchers to focus more on core web applications in the company's Office 365 offerings. For more about the company's bugs-hunting program, software developers and security researchers may visit the Microsoft Security Tech Center website.

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