Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-40

Welcome to the September 27 – October 3, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Twenty-one features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, Microsoft 365 Groups, Outlook (Android), Forms, and Project.

New dates for existing meeting series have been added. One new event is an Exchange ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ AMA session on Thursday, October 8th at 9am Pacific. The spotlight event of the week is the “Enabling Remote Work with Microsoft Teams: The New World of Virtual Events” webinar on Thursday, October 8th at 9am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include a look at what’s new for September 2020 in Teams, SharePoint and Project, as well as a Microsoft IT Showcase article on the lessons learned by Microsoft from applying Zero Trust during COVID-19.

Noteworthy item highlights include a reminder about Office 2013 client connectivity to Office 365 services, a reminder about the retirement of SharePoint 2010 workflows, and information on the general availability of SharePoint Syntex, as well as the five biggest Visio updates announced at Microsoft Ignite 2020.


OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

Below are the items added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week…

Note: The Estimated Release dates listed below are subject to change. The direct link provided for each item can be used to determine if the estimated release date has been updated since the time of publication.

DescriptionFeature IDEstimated ReleaseDetails
Microsoft Project: Deploy Project for the web in Named Environments67156March CY2021Added: 29 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Project
Organizations have more flexibility in how they deploy Project. In addition to using Project in the Default environment, you can now use it in Named Environments.
Forms: Specific User Sharing for Response Collection67157October CY2020Added: 29 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Forms
With this update, Microsoft Forms owners will now be able to send out a survey to collect responses from specific users or security groups. (You now have the new option in the “Send to Collect Responses” dropdown menu to select that “Specific people in my organization can respond.”)
Office 365: Microsoft 365 Groups support for Information Barriers67159December CY2020Added: 29 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft 365 Groups
Microsoft 365 Groups will soon support Information Barriers. Information barriers help you create communication barriers, sometimes referred to as ethical walls, between users within your organization. This allows you to restrict communication and collaboration between two people or groups to avoid a conflict of interest or to safeguard internal information.
Office 365: Microsoft 365 Groups ownership governance experience67160November CY2020Added: 29 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft 365 Groups
Microsoft 365 Groups ownership governance in the Microsoft 365 admin center is designed to help manage the problem of ownerless Microsoft 365 Groups by providing a view showing the number of owners for each group, along with a way to assign group owners and to send an email asking group members to take ownership. We are also adding a filter that enables you to see all groups with zero owners.
Exchange: Microsoft 365 cross-tenant SMTP domain sharing in private preview67161January CY2021Added: 30 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Exchange
We are adding the ability for an SMTP domain to be shared across multiple Exchange Online tenants. This is particularly beneficial for organizations that undergo mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, as it allows users in more than one tenant to receive email for the same email domain.
OneDrive: Create Shared Library67163November CY2020Added: 30 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive
Simplified and streamlined experience for creating new TeamSites from OneDrive web.
SharePoint: New experience to add content types to lists and libraries67164October CY2020Added: 30 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
Custom content types that are available to your SharePoint sites can easily be added to lists & libraries that allow multiple content types. In those SharePoint lists & libraries that allow multiple content types, a new ‘Content type’ option will be available in the ‘Add column’ menu.
Outlook for Android: Play My Emails from favorite people71481December CY2020Added: 30 September 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Set Play My Emails option to read out emails only from your Favorite People. Cortana will read out new emails from only people you identify as favorites and are unread in the last 72 hours.
Microsoft Teams: Improvements to Meeting notes67142October CY2020Added: 01 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Meeting notes will now support 100 users by default and, participants who have access to notes will no longer run into issues where they lose access. Also, if anyone joins your meeting past after it is scheduled and, doesn’t have access to notes, they can now request access from the notes owner in one click.
Microsoft Project: Create attachments on tasks67151February CY2021Added: 01 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Project
Add file attachments or links to any task in Project.
Microsoft To Do: Plan your day better with urgent and important task suggestions in My Day67155October CY2020Added: 01 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: To Do
Microsoft To Do has a list called My Day where users can add the tasks they wish to focus on today. We are introducing a new section in the suggestions pane of the My Day list where we will surface some urgent and important tasks to help users plan their day better.
Microsoft Teams: Inline message translation in DOD67165December CY2020Added: 01 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, DOD
With a simple click, people who speak different languages can fluidly communicate with one another by translating posts in channels and chat. Inline message translation will ensure that every worker in the team has a voice and facilitate global collaboration.
Microsoft Teams: Include computer sound when sharing a Desktop or Window on Mac for World Wide Multi-Tenant and GCC67168October CY2020Added: 01 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
You can now include your computer’s sound when you share a Desktop or Window on Mac. This is great when you are sharing a video and want your audience to hear its audio during the meeting.
Microsoft Teams: Include computer sound when sharing a Desktop or Window on Mac for GCC-High and DoD67169November CY2020Added: 01 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC High, DOD
You can now include your computer’s sound when you share a Desktop or Window on Mac. This is great when you are sharing a video and want your audience to hear its audio during the meeting.
Microsoft Teams: Freehand by Invision available in the popped-out meeting window67170October CY2020Added: 01 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
You can now use the Freehand by Invision app to collaborate in meetings that pop out in the new meeting experience. Have fun sketching new ideas and brainstorming from the comfort and safety of a Teams Meeting.
Microsoft Teams: 3×3 gallery view for Microsoft Teams Rooms68935November CY2020Added: 01 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
View up to 9 meeting participants during a Teams meeting in the 3×3 gallery view.
Outlook for Android: Play My Emails71375November CY2020Added: 01 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
Play My Emails in Outlook for Android can be used by customers in Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and India.
OneDrive: Sharing links that block download for video files67166October CY2020Added: 02 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive
Block Download support is now extended for video files.
Microsoft Teams: Set Presence Status duration for Government clouds68937December CY2020Added: 02 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, Gov
Teams users will soon have the ability to change their presence for a specific period of time.
Microsoft Teams: New Offline Presence Status for Government clouds68939December CY2020Added: 02 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, Gov
Teams users will soon have the ability to change their presence to “Offline”. This will allow them to have full access to Teams while signaling to colleagues that they are unavailable.
Microsoft Teams: Share System Audio on Mac68941October CY2020Added: 02 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
This will allow Mac desktop users to include audio when sharing their Desktop or Window during a Teams meeting. Once enabled, any audio that is playing on the user’s machine will be shared in the live event for participants to hear.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Microsoft Teams can help your employees stay connected and collaborate with each other, especially in the current unprecedented time where remote work is a reality of employees around the world. Being able to chat, do video meetings and collaborate on Office documents within Teams can help companies stay productive. Whether you are a small business, a non-profit or a large organization, you can get started with Teams within Microsoft 365 or Office 365 suite – even before deploying any other Office app or service. Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review Teams implementation for collaboration, chat and meetings. We’ll share key configurations, considerations, best practices, and resources to get your users up and running quickly. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Recognize key success factors for technical and user readiness, (2) Identify pre-requisites and tenant setup for your environment, (3) Install the Teams clients appropriate for your organization, (4) Configure policies that enable your preferred user experiences, and (5) Leverage collaboration features to enhance remote work scenarios.

Working from home offers the opportunity to maintain your workflow while allowing flexibility in how and where you get your work done. Shifting to a remote worker status can be an adjustment as you look for ways to balance home and work life, maintain focus and be fully productive. Microsoft Teams can help you stay connected to your team while providing access to all of the tools and resources you need to get your work done. Join us to learn tips that can help set you up for success as you transition into a ‘work from home’ scenario. During this session, we’ll share: (1) Guidance for setting up your home environment for work, (2) Best practices for maintaining your workflow while working at home, (3) Tips for staying connected to your team while remote, and (4) Insights for effectively supporting a remote team.

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams.

Discover everything you need to facilitate a successful upgrade to Teams. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Understand why a formal plan is crucial for upgrade success, (2) Identify the steps to the upgrade success framework, (3) Recognize common attributes of successful customers, and (4) Create and implement their own upgrade plan. The audience for this session is All (Business Sponsors, IT Admins, User Readiness/Change Manager, Project Lead).

Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review how you can deploy commonly-used applications directly within Teams, enabling your users to work more efficiently and effectively by accessing everything they need in a single interface. This foundational workshop covers basic capabilities across app management and security. With over 400 out-of-the-box applications available (and growing), you’re sure to find an app, or two, that your team can begin using today in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Identify suitable apps to meet the needs for your organization, (2) Recognize common attributes of successful app deployment, (3) Navigate security and compliance considerations for Teams’ apps, and (4) Determine the next steps to deploy an app to your environment.

Determine the most suitable approach based on your current Skype for Business implementation and upgrade goals. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Understand common scenarios and upgrade approaches, (2) Visualize the user experience for each approach, and (3) Determine the optimal upgrade approach for your organization.  IT Admins are the primary audience for this session.

Have you spent significant time and resources to prepare for a meeting and still felt it wasn’t productive? Have you attended a meeting only to leave feeling like not much was accomplished? Join this class to learn how to make your meetings engaging, productive and effective. Microsoft Teams can help make your meetings worth showing up for. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Use Teams for your entire meeting experience, (2) Record your meeting, making it easy for those who couldn’t attend to get caught up, (3) Keep important meetings at your fingertips by pinning them for easy access, and (4) Assess which audio and video devices are best for your meeting needs.

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our ‘Go Deeper’ sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. Explore ways to determine the best approach for creating workspaces for projects and workgroups. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Determine the best approach for your collaboration needs (chat versus teams & channels), (2) Create workspaces for your team to provide the best teamwork experience​, and (3) Determine best practices in Microsoft Teams​ to enhance productivity. Note: This session was previously called ‘Learn tips for taking Microsoft Teams to the next level – Part 1’.

Are you looking to ensure users have optimal experiences with meetings and voice capabilities in Teams? During this session, we’ll discuss tools, reporting and best practices to help you manage service quality — from establishing a proactive  strategy to resolving common quality issues as they arise. We’ll build upon best practices from Teams experts and make it real with examples of common scenarios that may arise as your organization embraces meetings and voice capabilities in Teams. Join us for an expert-led workshop for guidance on key resources and actionable insights to manage audio and video quality with Microsoft Teams. Your users will thank you for it! After this session, you will be able to: (1) Define key service metrics and user experience factors for quality, (2) Recognize concepts and metrics in core tools and resources that help you assess usage and quality, (3) Identify key indicators of poor experience in common scenarios and relevant actions to address, and (4) Establish a proactive quality management strategy to ensure optimal user experience.

Are you ready to add PSTN calling capabilities to Microsoft Teams? Join Microsoft Teams Engineering subject-matter-experts as they demystify the options for adding PSTN calling to Teams, provide you with best practices for configuring calling options and show you how to monitor call quality. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Understand the history of voice services in Microsoft products, (2) Identify what calling options in Microsoft Teams are right for you, (3) Configure your calling options in the Teams admin portal, and (4) Monitor and use call quality tools in Teams.

Do you want to get more done in Teams? Receive targeted and timely updates? Access services directly through Teams? Apps let you complete tasks, receive updates and communicate. This session introduces you to the key activities needed to get started with adding applications, bots and connectors in Microsoft Teams today. Through a series of live demonstrations and best practices, you’ll leave this session with everything you need to start using apps in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) See how applications, bots and connectors can help you be more efficient while working in Teams, (2) Select an application, bot or connector for your workspace, (3) Install an application, bot or connector, and (4) Use an application, bot or connector in your workspace.

When: Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 9:00am PT | We are very excited to announce a Microsoft Exchange Post Microsoft Ignite ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ (AMA)! An AMA is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. Join in the Microsoft Exchange AMA Space, and don’t forget to add this AMA to your calendar.

When: Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. The events industry transformed overnight, and Microsoft Teams played a big part in this transition. In Episode 7, we’ll sit down with members of the Microsoft Teams product group and learn how they are building the future of high-scale communication with Microsoft Teams. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

Data needs to be protected wherever it’s stored and whenever it travels, and you need the tools to monitor policy violations and risky behavior. Join us to explore how to implement a comprehensive and integrated approach across devices, apps, cloud services, and on-premises. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Identify, monitor and automatically protect sensitive information across Office 365, (2) Help classify and protect documents and email, and (3) Use policies to enable BYOD scenarios by protecting data at the app level. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

Execute your defined upgrade approach as part of your formal upgrade plan. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Recognize the upgrade settings in your O365 tenant admin portal, (2) Understand technical tips and considerations for a successful upgrade, and (3) Apply the appropriate settings in the Portal to execute your upgrade. The primary audience for this session is IT Admins.

With the dramatic shift to remote work, we all continue to seek creative ways to stay connected and productive in our jobs. How do we recreate those meetings, calls, and large events that previously brought us together and helped us achieve our business goals? Do we have the right tools and devices to do so? And how do we do all of this while keeping security top of mind? These aren’t easy questions to answer. This one-hour session will give you the opportunity to test drive Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and Power BI in a live cloud environment. A facilitator will guide you as you create a virtual company-wide meeting and explore how to: (1) Build a communication and collaboration hub, (2) Engage employees through chat and polls, (3) Set up automated meeting captioning, translation, and transcripts, and (4) Use analytical tools to make sense of data, categorize it, and make it easier to visualize.

Designed for those who are already familiar with Microsoft Teams, our ‘Go Deeper’ sessions offer insights and best practices. Learn how Teams can help organize your workday and make it easier to stay connected with colleagues. Learn tips and tricks for managing and organizing work and communications in Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Leverage formatting best practices to help get your messages noticed (and responded to), (2) Easily find files, chats and projects, (3) Implement strategies to manage and organize your work, and (4) Simplify your workday. Note: This session was previously called ‘Learn tips for taking Microsoft Teams to the next level – Part 2’.

We designed Microsoft Teams to be a virtual office you can take anywhere you go. Work seamlessly and transparently with your remote team and discover greater collaboration and productivity. Join us for this session and explore how to avoid communication sinkholes and do more together, no matter where you are. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

Today’s workforce can work from anywhere, on any device, and on any app. Security teams need to understand threat signals from disconnected products and optimize security with minimal complexity. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Safeguard users from malware attacks such as phishing and spoofing with Office 365, (2) Use the Windows Defender ecosystem to proactively monitor and protect your users, (3) Utilize Office 365 ATP to help protect users from bad links and attachments, and (4) Let machine learning and automation protect users from threats. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

When: Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. In Episode 8, learn about new Teams deep dive help videos for administrators as well as other resources to get your support teams and help desk up to speed. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

Whether you are switching from Skype for Business or brand new, join us to learn the basics of how to use Teams to chat with your colleagues and collaborate on projects. Join us for this session and leave this with everything you need to start using Teams. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Set up your profile and notifications in Microsoft Teams, (2) Use chat and calling for 1:1 and group conversations, sharing and collaboration in Microsoft Teams, (3) Schedule and conduct meetings in Microsoft Teams, and (4) Align your team and teamwork in Microsoft Teams.

Identity is at the center of security: don’t compromise when it comes to your company’s valuable information. Join us to explore how to use secure authentication, govern access, get comprehensive protection and set the right identity foundation. During this 2-hour interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Enable password protection, (2) Bring multi-factor authentication to your Windows 10 users, (3) Protect your users and data through Office 365 multi-factor authentication, and (4) Use conditional access to protect across devices, locations and apps. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.

When: Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 9:00am PT | The recent shift to remote, hybrid and on-premise work has IT professionals across every industry looking for more solutions and support for deploying Microsoft Teams. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new live webcast series. In Episode 9, which is one of the most requested episodes, we’ll feature tips, tricks and gotchas on managing guest access in Microsoft Teams. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!


BLOG ROUNDUP

September has been an eventful month filled with exciting news and announcements. Before we dive into the new product features released this month, we want to address feedback we’ve heard from you regarding the performance of Microsoft Teams and share some of the investments we’re making to improve it. Last week at Ignite, we announced many new features coming to soon to Microsoft Teams. Be sure to read on to see features that have started rolling out in September.

Related:

This post includes all the SharePoint and related tech updates that rolled out in September 2020. This is the all-inclusive roadmap release recap for all things SharePoint and related technology. Highlighted features include Expiring external guests’ access to SharePoint and OneDrive documents, new “create list” experience for SharePoint sites, new calendar and gallery views for Microsoft Lists, edit in grid view option for “quick edit”, and much more! All the features listed began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 as of September 2020 (possibly early October 2020).

Our team recently updated the items on the Microsoft 365 Public Roadmap. You can see our upcoming features and when those features will be available! This post has a look at the features released in September 2020, as well as a look at others coming soon. The September 2020 features include: (1) Task Custom Fields, (2) Group by Assigned to option, and (3) Self-service onboarding. The upcoming features include: (1) Project & Roadmap in Microsoft Teams, (2) Export to Excel, and (3) Share projects with groups you do not own.

The world, and ways employees work, have been forever changed by COVID-19. Thanks to Microsoft cloud technologies like Microsoft Teams, Azure Active Directory, and Microsoft’s modern security approach, Zero Trust, employees no longer need to physically be in the office to be productive. Microsoft’s global workforce continues to successfully work from home using Microsoft-issued devices, personal devices they’ve enrolled in Microsoft’s device management solution, or remote desktops through Windows Virtual Desktop. “As the corporate world changed over the past year, so has the way we access corporate resources,” says Mark Skorupa, a principal program manager on Microsoft’s digital security team. “The power of the cloud already opened the doors for us to move away from on-premises corporate network models. When COVID-19 hit, we didn’t skip a beat.” Recently, employees on Microsoft’s Zero Trust team virtually sat down at Microsoft Ignite 2020 to share their biggest takeaways from applying Zero Trust in an age of remote work. | Related: Microsoft Advanced Compliance Solutions in Zero Trust Architecture


NOTEWORTHY

As previously announced, Office 2013 clients’ connections to commercial Office 365 services will not be supported after October 13, 2020. After this date, ongoing investments in the Office 365 cloud services – including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business – will proceed based on post-Office 2013 requirements. We recommend that organizations with Office 2013 clients consider migrating to Office 365 ProPlus. Support for Office 2016 and Office 2019 connections to Office 365 cloud services will continue until October 2023. Up to date information on current system requirements can be found under on the Office system requirements page, with related timelines available in the Office system requirements matrix.

As part of the evolution of the Microsoft 365 service, we periodically evaluate the capabilities of the service to make sure that we’re delivering the utmost value to customers. After careful consideration, we concluded that for SharePoint 2010 workflows, Microsoft 365 customers would be better served by modern workflow solutions. SharePoint 2010 workflows have been retired since August 1, 2020 for new tenants and will be removed from existing tenants on November 1, 2020. This applies to all environments where Power Automate is available as a replacement solution (excluding the Department of Defense until Power Automate availability). If you’re using SharePoint 2010 workflows, we recommend migrating to Power Automate or other supported solutions. A retirement announcement banner has been introduced on multiple workflow pages: “Starting 11/1/2020 6:00:00 AM, SharePoint 2010 workflows will be retired and users will no longer have the ability to run or create 2010 Workflows.”

We are thrilled to announce that SharePoint Syntex, the first product from Project Cortex, is available today. SharePoint Syntex uses advanced AI and machine teaching to amplify human expertise, automate content processing, and transform content into knowledge. SharePoint Syntex is generally available as a user-based add-on for Microsoft 365 plans for commercial customers. SharePoint Syntex is the first product coming out of our investments in Project Cortex. In addition to SharePoint Syntex, we’ll be releasing other innovations later this year that help you organize information into topics and deliver knowledge across Microsoft 365 apps. We’ll have more details to share on Project Cortex topic experiences later this year.

Visio was well-represented at this year’s first-ever all-digital Microsoft Ignite. We hosted six sessions that covered a variety of product topics, from recently released features to our vision for the coming months. Of everything we discussed, there are five updates we’re particularly excited about. We’ve (briefly) recapped those here and will post additional details for each on Tech Community in the coming days. But if you’re anxious for those details sooner, check out the associated Ignite sessions videos linked below. The five updates are: (1) General availability of Data Visualizer add-in, (2) Self-service purchase, (3) Visio in Atlassian Confluence, (4) Visio for the web enhancements, and (5) Amazon Web Services (AWS) shapes are coming soon. | Related: Purchase Visio cloud subscriptions with your business domain

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