Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2020-44

Welcome to the October 25 – 31, 2020 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Seventeen features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, Outlook (Windows, Android, iOS), Exchange, Forms, Microsoft Information Protection, and Project.

Several existing meeting series have added dates for November, and there is one new event – an “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) session on Productivity Score, on Tuesday, November 17th at 8am Pacific. The spotlight event of the week is the last session of the “Enabling Remote Work with Microsoft Teams” series – Manage Guest Access in Microsoft Teams – on Thursday, November 5th at 9am Pacific.

Blog posts in last week’s roundup include a look at what’s new in October 2020 for Microsoft 365, Teams and SharePoint, along with a practical guide for managing sharing with OneDrive.

Noteworthy item highlights include a reminder about the retirement of SharePoint 2010 workflows, a reminder about the timeline when the Teams app will no longer support Internet Explorer 11, the availability of “Plus Adressing” in Exchange Online, and recent updates in PowerPoint for Mac.


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 Graph: Office 365 Service Communications API availability in Microsoft Graph68720March CY2021Added: 26 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Graph
The Office 365 Service Communications API will soon be made available through Graph.
Exchange: Customizable Message Expiration Timeout Interval for Exchange Online68839December CY2020Added: 27 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Exchange
We’re introducing the ability for email admins to customize the message expiration timeout interval to less than 24 hours.
Exchange: Update to Exchange Online Reply-All Storm Protection68840March CY2021Added: 27 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Exchange
This update will give admins the ability to customize the various thresholds and the reply block duration for their organization in regards to a reply-all storm. Additionally, we will provide insights and reports in the modern Exchange admin center for detected reply-all storms and, information about the blocked replies.
Microsoft Project: Convert the existing Roadmap groups accesses to use the new Common Data Service APIs59929March CY2021Added: 28 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Project
In order to deliver against the Common Data Service (CDS) platform of data usage, we will convert the existing Roadmap groups accesses to use the new CDS APIs. This will allow users to have access to the data within CDS.
Outlook for Windows: Option to start meetings late64944December CY2020Added: 28 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Windows
Similar the option to end meetings early, we are adding the option to have the meetings you create start 0-15 mins after the specified time. You will be able to set this up in Options/Calendar/Calendar options once it is released.
Microsoft Teams: Targeted communications in GCC68841November CY2020Added: 28 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC
Targeted communication allows team members to message everyone in a specific role at the same time by @mentioning the role name in a post. For example, you could send a message to all cashiers in a store or to all nurses in a hospital.
Microsoft Teams: Live Event Presenter for iPad68846November CY2020Added: 29 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Live Event Presenters can now present from their iPad to the audience.
Microsoft Forms: Progress Bar for multipage Forms and Quizzes for Government Clouds68843November CY2020Added: 29 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Forms, Gov
Microsoft Forms now provides a setting on multi-page (multi-section) Forms/Quizzes which, when enabled, will show responders a progress bar. The progress bar is a visual indicator telling the responder how far they are through the survey, e.g. “Page 1 of 3”. Note: this feature is off by default on new forms and quizzes.
Microsoft Teams: Increasing Chat Size from 300 to 1000 Participants68844November CY2020Added: 29 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Currently, 300 meeting participants can be part of the meeting chat; this feature update will allow 1000 participants to participate in the meeting chat.
Microsoft Information Protection: Manual sensitivity labeling available in Office apps for Government clouds63662December CY2020Added: 30 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, Gov
You can now apply sensitivity labels to important documents and associate the labels with protection policies within the Outlook and Word/Excel/PowerPoint applications. The labels can also be associated with actions like encryption and visual marking.
Outlook for Android: End user options for Delegate permissions67273November CY2020Added: 30 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Android
You can extend permissions to have your delegate manage email and calendar events on your behalf by granting permission to read, create, change or delete items in your folders. Colleagues who have delegate permissions can add a Delegate Mailbox account to Outlook for Android.
Outlook for iOS: End user options to extend Delegate Permissions67274November CY2020Added: 30 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – iOS
You can extend permissions to have your delegate manage email and calendar events on your behalf by granting permission to read, create, change or delete items in your folders. Colleagues who have delegate permissions can add a Delegate Mailbox account to Outlook for iOS.
Microsoft Teams: Together mode for GCC-High and DoD68847November CY2020Added: 30 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, Gov
Together mode uses AI segmentation technology in meetings to digitally place participants in a shared background, making it feel like you’re sitting in the same room with everyone else.
Microsoft Information Protection: Automatic and recommended sensitivity labeling available in Office apps for Government clouds68848December CY2020Added: 30 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, Gov
Automatic and recommended sensitivity labeling, based on content inspection, is natively built into Office apps within Outlook and Word/Excel/PowerPoint applications on Windows (in the Office 365 subscription version of the Office apps) and Office Online.
Microsoft Information Protection: Automatic and recommended sensitivity labeling available in Office apps for Mac for Government clouds68849January CY2021Added: 30 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, Gov
Automatic and recommended sensitivity labeling, based on content inspection, is natively built into Office apps within Outlook and Word/Excel/PowerPoint applications on Mac.
Microsoft Information Protection: Data-at-Rest Encryption for Microsoft 36568922March CY2021Added: 30 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP, Gov
Data at rest encryption for Microsoft 365 provides customer key based encryption across multiple M365 workloads. Tenant administrators can configure a single data encryption policy using customer managed keys and assign it to the tenant.
Whiteboard: Whiteboard will be available in Microsoft Teams Rooms73905December CY2020Added: 30 October 2020
Status: In development
App / Service: Whiteboard
Whiteboard will be added to Microsoft Teams Rooms.

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.

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’.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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’.

Design a user readiness strategy to help your users love and adopt Teams. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: (1) Recognize factors that influence user acceptance and adoption, (2) Define core value messaging for Teams in your organization, and (3) Outline your awareness, training and support activities. The audience for this session is: User Readiness/Change Manager.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

When: Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 8:00am PT | Productivity Score has reached general availability and we are hosting an “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) to make sure you have an opportunity to get answers to any technical questions you may have about. An AMA is a live, online, text-based question-and-answer event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. Join us Tuesday, November 17th from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time to connect with the product managers and engineers behind Productivity Score. Anyone can ask a question. Simply make sure you’re a Tech Community member, then: (1) Visit the Microsoft 365 AMA space at 9:00 a.m. PT (We’ll actually open up the space 24 hours in advance for everyone not in the Pacific Time zone.), and (2) Submit a question by selecting Start a new conversation—and do this for each new question. At the end of the AMA, the Microsoft 365 AMA space will close and become a read-only resource. We will post a final recap within 72 hours. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

Leverage the intelligent and integrated Microsoft solutions to help your organization achieve its compliance goals by joining the Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Meeting Organizational Compliance Requirements free one day online training session. Level 200-300 (Intermediate to Advanced) content. Technology covered: Data classification, labeling, governance, policy violation remediation, eDiscovery, audit, risk assessment. In this session you will: (1) Learn to use intelligence to identify, protect and govern your important data, (2) Learn to intelligently identify and remediate critical insider threats and risks, (3) Learn how to use the latest eDiscovery and audit capabilities to find relevant data and respond efficiently, and (4) Learn how to simplify and automate IT risk assessment.

To support your efforts to deliver and deploy updates to the Windows 10 devices being used by remote, onsite, and hybrid workers across your organization, and manage those devices effectively, we are continuing our series of weekly “office hours” for IT professionals here on Tech Community. During office hours, we will have a broad group of product experts, servicing experts, and engineers representing Windows, Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Microsoft Intune, Configuration Manager), security, FastTrack, and more. They will be monitoring the Windows 10 servicing space and standing by to provide guidance, discuss strategies and tactics, and, of course, answer any specific questions you may have. Office hours are text-based; there is no audio or virtual meeting component. To post a question, you just need to be a member of the Tech Community. Simply visit the Windows 10 servicing space and click Start a new conversation. At the start of office hours, we’ll pin a post outlining the individuals on hand, and their areas of expertise. Can’t attend at the designated time? Again, no problem. Post a question in the Windows 10 servicing space up to 24 hours in advance and we’ll make sure we review it during office hours.

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.


BLOG ROUNDUP

After quickly moving to remote and hybrid work models this spring, organizations are now seeking sustainable ways to help people collaborate, be productive, and prioritize their wellbeing for the long haul. To help, this month we’re announcing the general availability of Productivity Score to help you understand, and improve upon, the way work gets done across your organization. We’re also investing in technology to help you include everyone in digital transformation, from the information workers learning new ways to connect and collaborate to the two billion Firstline Workers who need solutions to help them work safely and effectively and bring their best selves to work. Speaking of Firstline Workers, we’re so excited to release a new Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare offering to help the teams on the frontlines of patient care. Read on for details on that, plus new features across Microsoft 365 to help people easily book physical workspaces, create Microsoft Forms on-the-go, make data more discoverable to Excel users, get better visibility and control into their threat landscape, and more. Let’s dig in.

Related:

This month we have a packed blog with a lot of new features that are now generally available to improve your experience with meetings and calling, chat and collaboration, as well as a number of new updates to Microsoft Teams devices. This blog also contains a few industry specific items for Education, Firstline Workers, and our Government customers. We have updates on Teams platform capabilities and we’re introducing a new section called “App spotlight” that showcases 3rd party apps available in Teams.

Related:

This post includes all the SharePoint and related tech updates that rolled out in October 2020. This is the all-inclusive roadmap release recap for all things SharePoint and related technology. October 2020 brought some great new offerings: SharePoint Syntex, Organization Chart web part, new IT controls for Microsoft Lists, Microsoft Lists – commenting, OneDrive widget for iPhone, Task in Teams GA, and more. All the features listed began rolling out to Targeted Release customers in Office 365 as of October 2020 (possibly early November 2020).

With today’s reality of remote work and online learning, people need the ability to share content—documents, presentations, photos, videos, lesson plans, you name it—to get work done. And because of this, security around internal and external sharing is more important than ever before. While the ability to share content with colleagues both inside and outside the organization helps people stay productive and connected, you must protect against risks. Accidental sharing of sensitive information or sharing with unintended recipients can pose a threat to the integrity and privacy of your data, people, and devices. OneDrive helps you define secure, virtual perimeters for sharing content, educate people about your policies for secure collaboration, and monitor how people share to discover and address gaps. In this practical guide, you’ll learn about how you can easily manage secure external sharing. | Related: OneDrive Tips for Beginners and Pros


NOTEWORTHY

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.”

Beginning November 30, 2020, the Microsoft Teams web app will no longer support IE 11. This means that after this date, customers will have a degraded experience or will be unable to connect to Microsoft 365 apps and services on IE 11. For degraded experiences, new Microsoft 365 features will not be available or certain features may cease to work when accessing the app or service via IE 11. While we know this change will be difficult for some customers, we believe that customers will get the most out of Microsoft 365 when using the new Microsoft Edge. We are committed to helping make this transition as smooth as possible. Customers have been using IE 11 since 2013 when the online environment was much less sophisticated than the landscape today. Since then, open web standards and newer browsers—like the new Microsoft Edge—have enabled better, more innovative online experiences. We believe that Microsoft 365 subscribers, in both consumer and commercial contexts, will be well served with this change through faster and more responsive web access to greater sets of features in everyday toolsets like Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, and more.

As announced at Microsoft Ignite 2020, support for plus addressing is now available in Exchange Online. Thanks to our UserVoice site, this feature was identified as the number 1 request for Exchange Admins and we acted on that to bring it to Exchange Online. Plus addressing allows users to dynamically create unique email addresses that deliver messages to a user’s mailbox, but are easily distinguished from messages sent to the user’s regular email address. There are two main use cases for this. Some customers want to filter incoming email and move certain messages to their own folders. Other customers have business solutions (such as support ticketing systems) that add a case ID to an email address to help track support threads. Support is currently scoped to mailboxes with support for distribution lists and Groups expected in December 2020. Plus addressing can be enabled for your organization via PowerShell.

Record Slide Show is an easy to use tool that allows you to create narrations to go along with your slides. During a time of remote meetings and learning, alternate methods of presenting are becoming more and more important in our day to day lives. We’re excited to announce that new updates are now available on PowerPoint for Mac that allow users to record presenter video and inking during their Record Slide Show sessions. These new capabilities will enable you to create more robust recorded presentations. We hope that this feature can help simplify your presentation recording process and better engage your audience. Recent upgrades to PowerPoint for Mac make recording audio and inserting it into your slides simple with the new Record Audio pane. With the Export/Save As Animated GIF feature, you can create your ideas in PowerPoint! Use shapes, images, ink, animations, and transitions to create a wide variety of GIFs. With the Link to this Slide feature, you can save time and avoid any confusion by creating a link that will open the file and take them directly to a specific slide in your presentation.

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