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IT@Cornell


Office 365 Upgrade

From 8 pm on December 4 through December 6, Microsoft upgraded Cornell's email and calendar system for faculty and staff (Office 365). This effort is part of Microsoft's global upgrade of Office 365.

All faculty and staff who use Office 365 were emailed with details about what to expect during the upgrade. 

Quick summary of the upgrade

Microsoft originally estimated that upgrading the whole campus would take 8 calendar days. The upgrade began at 8 pm (Eastern Time) on December 4 and had finished by December 6. Accounts were upgraded throughout  this period (including business hours). Microsoft did not notify individuals ahead of time, but everyone received an email notification from CIT afterward.

Get ready for the upgrade

You'll want to make sure your computer is ready for the upgrade and that you know what to expect during the upgrade. The IT or computer support staff in the colleges and units, and Cornell’s IT Service Desk, will be able to help you if you need.

The upgrade began at 8 pm (Eastern Time) on December 4 and had finished by December 6. Accounts were upgraded throughout  this period (including business hours). Microsoft did not notify individuals ahead of time, but everyone received an email notification from CIT afterward.

Upgrading your account took about an hour or so. Individuals could keep working with their email and calendar during the upgrade, but it may have been slow.

Hint: To get the best experience and the most features, consider using Outlook Web App, Outlook 2010, or Outlook 2011 for your email and calendar. Apple Mail with OS 10.7 or 10.8 and Thunderbird are also CIT-supported but have limited features by comparison.

What's new and improved?

After the upgrade, you won’t see differences with Outlook 2010 (Windows), Outlook 2011 (Mac), Apple Mail with OS 10.7 or 10.8, or Thunderbird. They’ll work like they did before. Some Apple Mail users may need to check their settings.

The upgraded Outlook Web App (outlook.cornell.edu) is much improved, with more of the features available with Outlook. And unlike Outlook, you can get to Outlook Web App anywhere you can use a web browser. 

The upgraded Outlook Web App:

  • Has a streamlined look and feel
  • Supports search for people and messages
  • Opens multiple calendars in a single, overlaid view to make it easier to spot availability
  • Lets you reply to messages without opening a new window
  • Links together similar entries in your Contacts folder automatically
  • Can be used offline with certain browsers when a network connection isn't available
  • Works well with tablets and smartphones
  • Looks nearly identical to Outlook 2013 (available but not yet supported at Cornell)
  • Works best with Internet 9 or higher, Firefox 17 or higher, Chrome 24 or higher, and Safari 6 or higher

Find out more about the new Outlook Web App, or sign in to see Outlook Web App for yourself.

The upgrade also positions Cornell for additional Office 365 services, such as Lync (instant messaging and audio, video, and web meetings) and SharePoint (document sharing and collaboration), and enables individuals to use apps such as OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad if they choose.