Office 365 Weekly Digest | 2021-04

Welcome to the January 25 – 31, 2021 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Twenty-three features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, including updates for Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, Exchange, Microsoft 365 Compliance Center, Microsoft Defender for Office 365, and Microsoft Information Protection.

There are a few new events, with two “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) sessions – Lists on February 11th, and Office Scripts on February 16th. The third event is the “Reimagine the Employee Experience” event with Satya Nadella and Jared Spataro on Thursday, February 4th at 6am Pacific. Note: This is also the spotlight event of the week. It does appear that all of the standard meeting series now have the full February schedules posted.

Highlights from last week’s blogs include details on what’s new in Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams in January 2021, the centralization of OneDrive settings into the SharePoint admin center, and 5 identity priorities for 2021 to strengthen security for the hybrid work era and beyond.

Wrapping up the post are noteworthy items on recent visual updates for Microsoft Planner, forms and rules configuration in Microsoft Lists, information on how companies are securing devices with Zero Trust practices, and recent updates for hybrid MFA and hybrid identity.


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
Excel: Track tasks with @mentions49291March CY2021Added: 26 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Excel
Use @mentions in comments to create, assign and track tasks within your workbook.
Forms: Shorten URL when sending Forms to collect responses75243February CY2021Added: 26 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Forms
In Microsoft Forms, you can now choose to use a shorter URL in some scenarios directly, enabling the responders easier to type and access the link for specific situations.
Office 365: Admins can choose to allow users to self-select their Office Update channel79809February CY2021Added: 26 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365
This feature will allow an admin to enable the user to self-select the Office channel within the Office client, resulting in an immediate change on the user’s device. Starting with the February 2021 update to the Office ADMX templates there is a new policy called ‘Show the option for the Office Update Channel experience’. It can be found in the ‘Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Microsoft Office 2016 (Machine)/Miscellaneous’ and ‘User Configuration/Administrative Templates/Microsoft Office 2016/Miscellaneous’ nodes.
SharePoint: Simplified MUI editing for multilingual communication sites79847March CY2021Added: 26 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint
This new feature allows the same user, with the right permissions, to update site navigation, site title, site description and site footer in all the languages enabled in your communication site.
Microsoft Defender for Office 365: Enhancements to Spoof Intelligence70590March CY2021Added: 28 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Defender for Office 365
Spoof intelligence experience for Security Admins will introduce enhancements so that Admins can setup spoof configurations, manage spoof allow/block lists for a tenant, review insights provided by spoof intelligence and view/export detailed spoof detections report. This feature provides a clearer, easier way for Security Admins to manage ability for a sending infrastructure to be able to spoof a particular domain or a user (email address) for both Cross-Org (External) and Intra-Org (Internal) email messages using “Spoof intelligence tenant allow/block list overrides policy.” As a Security Admin, you can view, add, update, delete spoofed domain pairs using this Policy or optionally using the PowerShell cmdlet.
Microsoft Defender for Office 365: Allowing URLs and Files with Tenant Allow/Block List70591June CY2021Added: 28 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Microsoft Defender for Office 365
One of the ways EOP protects customers is by blocking malicious attachments, URLs, and certain senders from reaching end users. We also understand that from time to time, customers may have special needs to block something on their own that our filters might find to be not malicious. In order to provide a way for our customers to do this at time of click and during mail flow, we’re developing a portal to help you self-serve and do it yourself. This portal will give admins the opportunity to explicitly allow or block attachments, URLs, senders and even certain recipients in your Office 365 tenant. This phase of this rollout enables explicitly allowing files and URLs.
Microsoft 365 compliance center: Microsoft Compliance Manager general availability for DoD70592March CY2021Added: 28 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: M365 Compliance, DoD
Compliance Manager is the next generation of the existing Compliance Manager and Compliance Score solutions, which have been in commercial public preview since November 2019. With Compliance Manager, you will benefit from intuitive end-to-end compliance management, a vast out-of-the-box assessment template library and built-in automation to scale your compliance across global, industrial, and regional standards.
Microsoft Teams: Meetings – Live Captions in additional languages70593July CY2021Added: 28 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Today, Teams meetings live captions is available for English. We will enable live captions in additional spoken languages such as German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, and Dutch.
Microsoft Information Protection: Granular conditional access policies via “Sensitivity Labels” for SharePoint Online sites70594June CY2021Added: 28 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP
Admins will have the ability to use Azure AD conditional access policies to trigger multi-factor authentication (MFA), device and location policies on a specific SharePoint site collection based by simply attaching CA policies to a label. Then these labels can be applied to Sites and now users access these sites will have to go through the CA policies in order to gain access.
Exchange Online: Label for external email messages received70595February CY2021Added: 28 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Exchange Online
Exchange will make available a PowerShell cmdlet so that admins can enable the protections against spam & phishing threats from external senders. This will be achieved by presenting a new label on emails called “External” in the message list in Outlook on the web and, in some Outlook clients, a “mail tip” at the top of the reading pane with sender’s email address.
Microsoft Teams: Share to Microsoft Teams from Outlook70598March CY2021Added: 28 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Send a copy of email messages or conversations, including attachments, into Teams chats and channels or start a Teams chat related to a specific email message. Share to Teams supports Outlook on the web, Outlook for Windows, and the new Outlook for Mac Preview.
Microsoft Teams: Anonymous Presenter Support for Live Events70599March CY2021Added: 28 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
You may allow an anonymous user who does not have and MSA or AAD identity to be a presenter in your live event.
Microsoft Information Protection: AIP client and scanner data available in Audit and Activity explorer70600February CY2021Added: 28 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: MIP
Azure Information Protection (AIP) customers can now access data in Microsoft 365 compliance center Audit logs and Activity explorer, in addition to the AIP Analytics portal. This means that all data logged via AIP client and AIP scanner can be witnessed along with the rest of the Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) data sets from native Office apps and other cloud resources.
Microsoft Teams: Walkie Talkie for GCC70601March CY2021Added: 28 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC
Walkie Talkie, a push-to-talk experience that enables clear and secure voice communication over the cloud, enables teams to communicate instantly and always stay on the same page. This native built-in app in Teams turns employee or company-owned Android smartphones and tablets into a walkie-talkie, reducing the number of devices employees must carry and lowering costs for IT.
Microsoft Teams: Get a “Meet Now” Meeting link70602February CY2021Added: 28 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams
Users can now copy a “Meet Now” meeting link without starting the meeting from the Calendar tab which can be used later.
Office 365: Dictation improvements in Word and Outlook including voice commands70596March CY2021Added: 29 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Office 365 (Outlook , Word)
Dictation has new UI and settings to control a profanity filter and automatic punctuation. Voice commands make editing and formatting your dictated text easier than ever.
Microsoft Teams: Virtual Breakout Rooms for GCC-High70604February CY2021Added: 29 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Teams, GCC-High
Meeting hosts can create breakout rooms to be used by meeting participants for smaller group discussion. They can assign participants to a room and call them back to the larger group when the breakout is complete.
SharePoint Syntex: Document understanding model – extractors position awareness70605February CY2021Added: 29 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: SharePoint Syntex
An explanation enhancement to specify document region where an entity may appear in a content understanding model.
OneDrive: 64-bit OneDrive (Public Preview)70694March CY2021Added: 29 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive
A preview of 64-bit OneDrive is now available for download. It will only be supported on AMD64-based devices.
OneDrive: 64-bit OneDrive70695March CY2021Added: 29 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: OneDrive
OneDrive is now available as a 64-bit install for AMD64-based devices.
Office 365: Dictation improvements in Word for Mac including voice commands79976March CY2021Added: 29 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Word – Mac
Dictation has new UI and settings to control a profanity filter and automatic punctuation. Voice commands make editing and formatting your dictated text easier than ever.
Office 365: Dictation improvements in Outlook for Mac including voice commands79977April CY2021Added: 29 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Mac
Dictation has new UI and settings to control a profanity filter and automatic punctuation. Voice commands make editing and formatting your dictated text easier than ever.
Outlook for Windows: New location for key Outlook modules68205March CY2021Added: 29 January 2021
Status: In development
App / Service: Outlook – Windows
The main modules in Outlook such as email, calendar, tasks and people are moving to a new app bar on the left of the folder pane. You can customize the app bar by pinning preferred Outlook and Microsoft 365 apps. This change can be previewed with the return of the Coming Soon toggle.

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.

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.

Join Microsoft Teams experts as we review high-value scenarios including incident management (help desk), employee engagement, and productivity that can be enhanced through simple integrations in Teams. We focus on popular enterprise applications your users may already be using every day. Come see how easy it is to connect your systems, increase automation, and deliver improved experiences by bringing the apps your organization relies on into Teams. After this session, you will be able to: (1) Understand common app integrations for Teams across multiple scenarios and user personas, and (2) Understand third-party apps available for key scenarios.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

To be productive in a remote environment, your employees need to be able to safely collaborate from anywhere. Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Enabling Remote Work with Microsoft Teams helps you provide a remote workforce with the tools, resources and solutions they need to stay connected and productive. Join us to learn how to get the most out of Microsoft Teams online meetings, calling, video and chat, and empower your workforce to work from any location on any device. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Enable your people to meet and collaborate from home, (2) Make productivity applications available on any device, and (3) Deliver the best remote user experience.

When: Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 6:00am PT | Please join us, Satya Nadella and Jared Spataro to discover our commitment to empower people and teams be their best at the Reimagine the Employee Experience digital event. See new ways to bring together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights with everyday work. Visit Microsoft 365 Twitter on Thursday, February 4 at 9:00 AM Eastern Time for a link to the digital event.

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.

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.

In this training, you will learn how to protect your organization’s identities, data, applications, and devices across on-premises, cloud, and mobile – end to-end using the latest tools and guidance. This event covers intermediate to advanced content (level 200-300) and includes the following technologies: Threat Protection, Information Protection, Identify and Access Management, Security Management. In this workshop you will: (1) Increase level of understanding on how Microsoft delivers security across Microsoft 365, (2) Increase knowledge of security features and solutions, and (3) Connect with local technical experts and FastTrack resources.

When: Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 9:00am PT | Please join us for an ‘Ask Microsoft Anything’ (AMA) on Microsoft Lists – Your smart information tracking app in Microsoft 365 – has several new updates and resources to help you track information, organize work and get things done. An AMA is a one-hour online forum similar to “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. This AMA gives you the opportunity to connect with members of the product engineering team who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback. Post any questions or feedback you have about Microsoft Lists for this event in the Microsoft 365 AMA space. The Microsoft Lists experts will be available during the hour to respond. Be sure to add this event to your calendar!

Remote work requires smarter workflows. Microsoft 365 Virtual Training Day: Building Microsoft Teams Integrations and Workflows shows you how the Microsoft Teams developer platform makes it easy to integrate your apps and services to improve productivity, make decisions faster and create collaboration around existing content and workflows. Join us to learn how to build apps for Teams and create integrated, people-centered solutions that can transform productivity in your organization, whether you’re on-site or working remotely. During this two-part training event, you will explore how to: (1) Build modern enterprise-grade collaboration solutions with Microsoft Teams, (2) Transform everyday business processes with Microsoft 365 platform integrations for Power Platform, SharePoint and Microsoft Office, and (3) Use the wealth of data in Microsoft Graph to extend Microsoft 365 experiences and build unique intelligent applications.

When: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 9:00am PT | We’re so excited to announce our first-ever Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) for Office Scripts! The AMA will take place on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PT in the Excel AMA space. Add the event to your calendar and view it in your time zone here. During this AMA, you will have the opportunity to share your questions and feedback about Office Scripts and receive responses directly from our product team. Facing trouble with automating on Excel for web? Have an idea that would make our feature better? Let us know- we’re eager to hear and learn from you! Looking forward to seeing you at the AMA.

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. Each session is limited to 15 participants, reserve your seat now.

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.


BLOG ROUNDUP

If this year has taught business leaders anything, it’s that people make all the difference. And from experiences that make it easier for everyone to engage in large meetings to partnerships that enable frontline workers, we are committed to helping our customers use technology to unleash the power of their people. New announcements in Microsoft Teams make it easy for everyone to engage in large meetings, help connect organizations, empower frontline retail workers, and more. New capabilities help make it easier to prioritize and organize tasks, access lists on the go, and use custom functions in Microsoft Excel workbooks. Application Guard, which helps desktop users stay safer and more productive by opening Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files in a virtualized container, is now generally available for everyone with Microsoft E5 or E5 Security subscriptions.

Related:

This blog post outlines all the great Teams features released in January 2021, including Approvals in Teams, Offline autosend, meeting chat moderation settings, add a shared calendar to a Teams channel, Microsoft Teams Secure Score recommendation, Task publishing feature in Tasks for Teams, and many, many more!

Related:

As we continue to power innovative experiences across Microsoft 365, we also realized that now, more than ever, admins need increased centralized control over content across the organization. Aligning to our coherence and modernization efforts, we are working hard to unify these experiences by bringing consistent design, naming conventions, look and feel to enable a smoother admin experience across the Microsoft 365 admin suite. And today we’re happy to announce that the OneDrive and SharePoint admin centers are converging into one, giving you holistic control and streamlining the admin experience. With the new integrated admin center, you can manage everything at an organizational level all in one place: control internal and external sharing, set user access controls, manage default storage limits, enable user device notifications, specify retention policies, and manage sync controls for OneDrive. We’ve also improved the user interface to provide a more consistent experience and support Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 compliance, enhanced reporting, and added the Global Reader admin role, which provides a read-only view of SharePoint admin center. When you assign the Global Reader role to an admin, they can view—but not edit—all administrative features and settings in all Microsoft 365 admin centers, which helps you delegate admin responsibilities more efficiently.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed how organizations run their businesses. It’s also changed the way we work, learn, and collaborate. What hasn’t changed is the critical role identity plays in helping organizations to be secure and productive. Identity has grown at an unprecedented pace—from 300 million monthly active users (MAU) in March 2020 to 425 million today. Organizations around the world have accelerated the adoption of security and collaboration apps. But behind these numbers are stories of customers like you, working tirelessly to help your organizations stay ahead. Our 2021 recommendations will help you strengthen your identity and security foundations for the long term, so you can be ready for whatever comes next. | Related: Why operational resilience will be key in 2021, and how this impacts cybersecurity


NOTEWORTHY

If you’re like us, crossing a completed task off your list gives you a boost. The simple, visual act of striking that to-do is both satisfying and energizing. You did it and you can do it again. That’s exactly why we introduced confetti animation in Planner last year: that burst of color represents pride in your completed work and offers motivation to finish the work ahead. It’s also why we’re excited to announce even more visual cues to help you do the same, all of which are now available in both the Planner web app and the Tasks app in Teams. These include: (1) A checklist progress bar, (2) Confetti animation for completed tasks, and (3) Confetti animation for a completed checklist.

Going beyond the out-of-box experience doesn’t always require coding or separate tools. With Microsoft Lists, you can further customize forms and notifications with a few clicks, or a copy/paste of JSON code. Both capabilities are now rolling out into Microsoft 365. Create simple if/then rules, based on changes to list information, to set reminders and send notifications. Users with edit permissions on the list can create and manage rules. Users with read-only permissions can’t create or manage rules. Once the feature is available to your users, they’ll be able to create a rule by selecting Automate and then Create a rule in the list command bar near the top of the page. | Related: New Microsoft Lists adoption center

Organizations are seeing a substantial increase in the diversity of devices accessing their networks. With employees using personal devices and accessing corporate resources from new locations in record numbers, IT leaders are seeing an increase in their attack surface area. They’re turning to Zero Trust security models to ensure they have the visibility they need, and their data is protected as its accessed from outside the corporate network using a wider variety of devices. We surveyed IT leaders around the world to determine how they’re using Zero Trust practices to protect their devices and enable access to the corporate network from unsecured devices.

It’s never been more important to enforce MFA. As part of our efforts to make hybrid MFA deployments simpler and more secure, we’ll be updating empty authentication numbers with users’ public phone numbers if those numbers are being used for MFA. Starting February 1, 2021, for synced users who are using public profile numbers for MFA, Microsoft will copy the public number to users’ corresponding authentication number. Once the authentication number is populated, the MFA service will call that authentication number, instead of the public number. Microsoft will copy subsequent changes to the public number over to the authentication number until May 1, 2021 (except deletions of the public number).

We continue to hear from you that hybrid identity is as important as ever, even as more apps move to the cloud. In Azure AD, our key hybrid identity tool is Azure AD Connect. This comes in two flavors based on your use case needs: Azure AD Connect sync which lives on-premises, and Azure AD Connect cloud sync which is powered by the cloud. We are constantly improving these capabilities based on your feedback, to make it easier to deploy and configure while also improving security, scale and throughput. We’re announcing Azure AD Connect cloud sync is generally available! This was formerly known as Azure AD Connect cloud provisioning during its preview. We have also made significant updates to our classic Azure AD Connect sync tool with improved scale and performance. Azure AD Connect cloud sync is the future of our hybrid identity sync capabilities. It moves all the heavy-lifting of the transform logic to the cloud. It also reduces the on-premises footprint with light-weight agents that can be distributed for enterprise-grade availability. Customers can deploy this either standalone, or even alongside Azure AD connect sync. When deployed together, it allows you to connect disconnected AD forests that arise from merger and acquisition or remote office location scenarios.

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