Microsoft 365 Updates: October 2021


AMT’s Monthly Microsoft 365 Updates keep you up to date with new features and important announcements from Microsoft. Microsoft 365 has a continuous roll-out of changes. We filter out the announcements that we think will be most relevant to our customers and send them out in an easily digestible form. Here are the Microsoft 365 October updates.

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M365 Records Management, Information Governance & eDiscovery– Optimised behaviour of file versions preserved in SPO & ODB

To improve the consistency of experience and improve performance, any file with multiple versions that is deleted from SharePoint or OneDrive which is preserved to the Preservation Hold Library (due to its applicable retention label, retention policies or eDiscovery holds) will now be retained as a single file containing its full version history, rather than each version being retained as individual files as has been the case until now.

OneDrive and SharePoint: Improved Move/Copy user experience

When a user moves or copies a file or folder within OneDrive or SharePoint, they will see a new dialog-based experience to choose the destination for their content. There is no change to the underlying Move or Copy capabilities—all limitations, errors and admin settings will be unimpacted.

Move Copy Experience

Modern site-level term store

The experience to create & manage site-level taxonomy terms has been updated to match the experience available in the modern term store available in the SharePoint admin centre. This experience improves the ability to navigate your taxonomies, create and edit terms and allow you to make the best of your investments in classifying & discovering your Syntex & SharePoint content.

This experience will be available by selecting “Term store management” under “Site Administration” in Site settings.

Modern site level term store

Private drafts for SharePoint pages and news

This new feature will provide users the ability to create private drafts for pages and news posts. A private draft will be visible to only the page author, the people the author chooses to share it with, and site admins. Users will be able to create and edit content that’s not ready for others to see except the people with whom users want to collaborate.

New SharePoint Site templates – retail and non-profit

This update will bring four new SharePoint site templates to retail customers, non-profits, and healthcare organisations. The updates will allow organisations to better track, manage information, and collaborate. This will rollout across desktop, web and mobile.


  • The new retail management and store collaboration templates allow retail customers to manage the store operation more efficiently and foster a better collaboration environment.


  • The new volunteer centertemplate will allow organizers to point volunteers to one place to find key information, access learning materials, and connect with other volunteers.


  • The new healthcare collaboration template will allow medical practices and healthcare agencies with a safe, secure way to share information that can help you provide better patient care and reduce operational costs.

SharePoint: Updates to the site creation experience

Microsoft will be updating the site creation experience to make it easier for site creators to select the right type of SharePoint site, understand roles, and site permissions. Updates to this experience will include refreshed graphics, expanded site descriptions, and additional context for different permission levels in the Site permissions panel.


A new search results page is coming

A new search results experience in Teams for Desktop clients will be launched to make finding messages, people, answers and files faster and more intuitive. This redesigned search results page features better context, faster results, improved filtering capabilities with AI-powered relevance based on the people and content you engage with most in Teams and other Microsoft 365 services.

Paging in Large Gallery

This feature introduces paging to help you view up to 98 videos by choosing Large Gallery (Teams meetings currently supports up to 49 videos). This is rolling out on Windows, desktop and Mac.

View Switcher- a new dedicated menu of view options in Teams Meetings

This new feature will place all of the view related options that are found in Teams Meetings (Gallery, Large Gallery, Together Mode) into a separate, dedicated menu called View Switcher. This will show up on the top left of the meeting window.

View switcher

Co-organiser Meeting Role

Organisers will soon be able to assign the co-organiser meeting role to up to 10 specific people they invite to their meeting. Co-organisers will be granted most of the capabilities of the organiser in the meeting, including being able to access & modify the meeting options for the meeting.

Usage of the co-organiser role for a meeting will be optional. If users choose not to use the co-organiser feature, there will be no change.

Focus time experiences in the Viva Insights Teams App

Viva Insights is enhancing the focus time experience for users of Viva Insights in Microsoft Teams. Users will have the ability to enroll in a focus plan and modify their focus plan settings directly from the Teams app, a function currently accessible from the Viva Insights web dashboard. Additionally, users will have access to a new focus mode experience.

Users who have booked focus time will receive a notification as their focus time nears. Upon clicking the notification, the user will enter the focus mode experience in Microsoft Teams. The focus mode experience includes access to Headspace focus music and a focus timer. Users who do not have access to Headspace will have access to a breathing exercise when entering focus mode.

Microsoft 365 Suite

In Preview: Microsoft 365 now includes the core functionalities of Visio

In this feature update (preview), Microsoft are adding Visio in Microsoft 365 commercial plans for your tenant users at no additional cost. Visio in Microsoft 365 comes with a web app that offers core functionalities of Visio and allows users to create, edit, and share professional diagrams and integrates with a variety of Microsoft solutions, including Microsoft Teams, for a collaborative diagramming experience.

Microsoft are making changes to LinkedIn integration with the Microsoft 365 people card

Users will no longer be required to bind their LinkedIn account to their Microsoft 365 account to view LinkedIn information on the profile card in Outlook for the Web. The contact email address is automatically submitted to LinkedIn for lookup (but not stored), and where a match is found, basic public information will be included in the Microsoft 365 profile card. Users will still have to bind if they want to see relationship info or info only visible to themselves and not public e.g. experience/education in common and skills/endorsements.

In addition to these improvements, LinkedIn integration includes Intro text from the LinkedIn member’s profile as well as recent LinkedIn posts and shared articles where available.

This non-bind experience will also be coming to Outlook Desktop, Outlook Mobile and Teams soon.


Yammer: Official Communities

Official communities are designated communities to ask questions and get answers, to connect and learn from others. When communities are marked as official, they create legitimacy and build trust over the conversations and content shared. The interactions in official communities set the example within your organisation’s network. Network admins designate the official communities in your organisation.

Network admins will have the ability to designate the official communities in your organisation.

Power Platform

(Updated) Power Apps can now display images from Microsoft Lists

New apps that use the SharePoint connector to add a list as a data source may display images from the list if they are present in the list. Existing apps can also be updated to show images.

Microsoft Viva

Microsoft Viva: Praise History in Microsoft Viva Insights

The Praise app in Microsoft Teams is designed to help recognise the effort that goes into the wide-ranging, collaborative work that Teams users do. Users can send Praise to their colleagues through the messaging extension pinned to the Teams messaging bar for most users or through the Microsoft Viva Insights app in Teams. With Praise history, users will be able to view their sent and received praise over the past six months. Praise history will be shown in Viva Insights and will include Praise sent from both the messaging extension and the Viva Insights app. Additionally, all Praise sent in Teams will include a link for users to view their personal Praise history in the Viva Insights Teams app.


Passwordless phone sign-in with Microsoft Authenticator experience changing

If you use passwordless phone sign-in, you will see the new experience once you update the app. This change is being made to reduce the chance of inadvertent approval for unsolicited passwordless authentication attempts.

  • Rather than the current ask of Pick 1 of 3, it will now ask users to Enter the number.

Passwordless sign-in old/new