As announced earlier this month, work has begun on the fourth edition of Office 365 for IT Pros. For those of you who are not familiar with the history of this book, here’s a quick summary.

  • The first edition, titled Office 365 for Exchange Professionals, was released in May 2015 during Microsoft’s Ignite conference. At 623 pages long it was the culmination of months of writing (and rewriting, as Office 365 kept changing) by the author team, and focused primarily on transitioning to Office 365 from an Exchange Server admin’s perspective. As a side note, we used a different document layout in that edition. In today’s format, it would come in at about 580 pages.
  • The second edition, titled Office 365 for Exchange Professionals, September 2015 edition, grew to 750 pages, by expanding coverage of existing topics, updating everything that had changed or been made obsolete, and adding coverage of new topics.
  • The current edition, titled Office 365 for IT Pros, 3rd Edition, was released in June 2016. At around 800 pages, plus hundreds of pages more in supplemental material, coverage was expanded even further to address the needs of the wider IT pro community when it comes to Office 365. Hundreds of changes and new features released by Microsoft needed to be included, and ongoing weekly updates have grown the book to more than 900 pages today.

Now it’s time to bring the fourth edition to life. Microsoft has shipped entirely new features and services that deserve inclusion in the book, as well as making changes such as introducing an entirely new Azure Active Directory PowerShell module (necessitating the testing and and replacement of nearly 200 PowerShell samples in the book). We also need to go through the entire book, end to end, and make sure that it remains clear and technically accurate.

Most importantly, we want to make sure that the fourth edition continues to address your needs as an IT pro in a cloud-first world. For that, we’re asking for your help in shaping the content that will be included in the new edition. We’ve created a short survey to collect your thoughts and feedback. It should take only 5-10 minutes to complete.

Click here to answer the survey

The goal is to have the fourth edition available in May June, depending on the release of some features on Microsoft’s road map.

We understand that news of a new edition of Office 365 for IT Pros will raise some questions, so here are some answers to the questions we hear the most:

Q: Will the fourth edition be free for people who already own a copy of the book?

A: We provide free updates for the edition of the book that you purchase (here’s the list of updates that have been shipped for the 3rd edition so far). New editions are sold separately, which is necessary to justify the huge investment of time required to update and maintain the book. We will, as always, provide a discounted upgrade to existing Office 365 for IT Pros, 3rd Edition customers for a limited time when the new edition is released.

Q: What happens to the third edition?

A: Updates will continue for the third edition until the fourth edition is released. After that, no further content updates are planned for the 3rd edition, however we may still make updates to fix significant errors (as we did for previous editions after they were superseded).

Q: How long before the fourth edition gets replaced?

A: By the time the fourth edition is released, the third edition will be 11 months old. We expect the fourth edition will remain current for at least 9 months as well. With the number of changes and new features in Office 365 every year, a 9-12 month publishing cycle seems to be the best way to stay current.

Q: What formats will the eBook be available in?

A: We plan to continue with the PDF/EPUB format, and also make available a Kindle format via the Amazon store. If you have other preferences, please take the survey and let us know. If there is enough demand for another eBook format we will look into it.

Q: Will there be a print edition?

A: We don’t plan to provide a print edition. The rate of change in the book would render any print book almost immediately out of date.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

About the Author

Paul Cunningham

Paul is a former Microsoft MVP for Office Apps and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul no longer writes for Practical365.com.

Comments

  1. Ejaz Ahmed

    Hello Paul,

    You have done an amazing on job on keeping 3rd edition up to date so very well and thank you. Will it be heavily discounted for someone who has 3rd edition already purchased recently. Buying a book every year seems costly though I agree that it takes a lot of time and effort from your side to keep it up to date.

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