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Microsoft 365 Updates

All of the updates to the Microsoft 365 services can be found in your admin centre, but here is a summary of the important changes from the last week.

Microsoft Teams

Changes to video layout in Teams meetings

The number of participants that can be viewed simultaneously during a Teams meeting will increase from 4 to 9, and Microsoft are working on increasing this limit even further soon. This will roll out late April to early May.

This change is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID: 63341

Teams meeting and chat experience improvements

Easily access meeting options from within a Teams meeting in progress: It will be easier for meeting organizers to quickly and easily change their presenter and lobby settings once a Teams meeting starts by providing an easy to access link directly in the participants pane. This new functionality will be present for both scheduled and “Meet Now” meetings.

Download a participant report in a Teams meeting: Meeting organizers, especially teachers, often need to know who joined their Teams meetings. Soon you will be able to download a participant report, found in the roster view that includes join and leave times for participants.

Audio playing on presenter device will be shared in the live event: Today, if you are screen sharing content with audio in a Live Event, attendees won’t be able to hear the audio of that content. With Share System Audio in Live Events, your live event attendees will now be able to hear the audio of the content that you are screen sharing. This feature works just like share system audio in Teams Meetings.

Teams updates to provide enhanced meeting and administration controls, and security enhancements

There are several updates to provide additional controls on how Teams meetings are accessed and experienced as well as additional administration and security enhancements:

  • Update default policy to enforce lobby in meetings, Roadmap ID 63388
    • Anyone using the default policy will notice that they will have the lobby enforced for default meetings. This is great, and makes sure people can’t drop in on your meetings without you admitting them.
    • Rolling out mid-April
  • Assign a policy package to a batch of Teams users, Roadmap ID 63390
    • This is a powershell cmdlet to allow quick assignment of multiple users to policy packages – a time saving feature for admins.
    • Rolling out mid-April
  • Control profile picture settings in Teams, Roadmap ID 63389
    • Configured by tenant admin, this policy setting helps tenants promote a safer work or school environment by preventing inappropriate content from being used in profile pictures.
    • Rolling out mid-April
  • Set a default policy for “Who can present” in Teams meetings, Roadmap ID 63206
    • Tenant admins will be able to set a new default policy for who can present. When organizers schedule a Teams meeting, the default tenant setting is honored, unless modified in the Meeting options. The default value is set to “everyone” and can be updated via PowerShell:
      • Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity Global -DesignatedPresenterRoleMode “Insert Value
      • Values: OrganizerOnlyUSerOverride, EveryoneInCompanyUserOverride, EveryoneUserOverride
    • Rolling out early May
  • Change in meeting join experience, Roadmap ID 63355
    • Users who don’t have a meeting creation policy assigned will see a pre-join screen indicating that the meeting hasn’t started. These individuals will be automatically admitted into the meeting once a user with proper permissions joins and starts the meeting.
    • Users who have both meeting creation and meeting chat policies set as disabled can’t start a scheduled meeting and can’t chat before or after the meeting. Once the meeting has started, the user will be allowed to join and chat in the meeting.
    • Rolling out end of April
  • Providing privacy for participants who call in to a meeting via PSTN, Roadmap ID 63309
    • Phone numbers will be masked to external users.
    • Rolling out early May

Priority Notifications promotion extended

The promotion has been extended until July 1st 2020.

What are priority notifications?

Priority notifications

Messages can be marked as urgent, where they will be notified every 2 minutes for 20 minutes, to make sure your recipient sees it.

After the 1st July, then your access to urgent messages will depend on your license:

Microsoft 365 Business Standard (used to be Office 365 Business Premium), and Enterprise E3/E5 (and their education equivalents) will get unlimited urgent messages – lower packages will all be limited to 5 urgent messages per user per month.

Tags feature roll out delayed

The roll out of tags will now be completed by the end of June (previously March). This is Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 57651.

What are tags?

Using tags, team owners can organize users based on a common attribute, such as role, project, skill, training, or location. After team members have tags, the team owner or a tagged team member can create a channel post, @tagName, that notifies only the users who have that tag (in this case @tagName). Tags are team-based; you have to a be a member of a team in order to use an associated tag.

For example, you could send a message to all cashiers in a store or all nurses in a specific hospital ward.

Tagging option

It’s basically a way of sub-grouping people within a team, so that you can make sure they get notified of relevant messages.

Microsoft Outlook

S/MIME support on Android

There is an update currently rolling out to the Outlook for Android app, to support S/MIME with automated certificate delivery. These certificates can be delivered using InTune, or another Mobile Device Management solution, to allow Android users to digitally sign and encrypt messages.

Visual cue for work/school account on iOS

  • When a user is logged in to a work or school account, the Office or Exchange icon will appear at the top of the New Message or New Event creation pages.
  • When a user is logged in to a personal account, the display icon will represent the account type (Outlook.com, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.).

Separation of work/school contacts from personal contacts on Android and iOS

To minimize the chance that someone in your organization accidentally sends an email or event with work related content to a personal contact, Outlook will only suggest people from Azure Active Directory who are relevant to a user when they are using their work account. Personal contacts will remain accessible but require a deliberate action to add a recipient from a personal contacts list.

When someone is using a personal email account, Outlook will suggest only people from local contacts. The work directory remains accessible but requires a deliberate action to add a recipient from the work account.

SharePoint

New rich-text editor for text fields with SharePoint lists

Users will soon have access to a new rich-text editor (RTE) on multi-line text fields with when editing a SharePoint list or library.

RTE access

Microsoft Word

At some time in April, you’ll be able to share Word for the web documents in “Review mode”, which limits recipients access so that they can only add comments or tracked changes in the document.

Link settings

Microsoft Office Desktop Apps

The desktop apps have been updated with some security, bug and performance updates – if you do not have automatic update enabled, it’s time to update!

Summary

For full details of these updates, and more, head to the Microsoft Message Center. Log in to your admin portal, and select Health, Message Center.

Always Networks are a Microsoft Silver partner, specialising in supporting Microsoft 365 services – if you need any help then contact us today.

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Nick Shaw

Nick Shaw

I'm Nick, a knowledgeable and versatile security focussed network specialist. I have years of experience delivering complex projects for large and small organisations alike. As a full-stack engineer, I look at the end to end requirements and come up with a solution to match, rather than focussing just on one aspect. When I'm not working, I have three main interests: my family, football (Barnsley FC) and motorsports.

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