Microsoft 365 Updates: September 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 September updates.

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New Feature: Improvements to the Text web part for SharePoint pages and news

Authors of SharePoint pages and news will be able to paste images into the Text web part and align the images to the left, right, or centre with text wrapping.

Microsoft are also addressing feedback on the text line spacing by reducing the line spacing size between header and body text, and in between bullets points.

SharePoint Text Web Part Improvement

SharePoint Navigation Switcher

This feature update will bring users a new navigation option feature for SharePoint team sites. Team site owners will be able to switch the team site navigation orientation from vertical to horizontal. Additionally, site navigation visibility can be turned off completely. This new navigation option allows site owners to customize their team site by changing navigation’s orientation and visibility to achieve a different look and feel, layouts, and alignment styles.

New SharePoint hub to hub associations

This release will add the ability to associate a SharePoint hub site to another hub site to expand search results across multiple hubs in your organisation. This will enable users to discover relevant content when searching on any sites related to the associated hubs.


Chat Delete Capabilities within Supervised Chats

Earlier this year, through the Supervised Chat feature, Microsoft provided the capability to block restricted users from starting new chats unless an appropriate supervisor is present.

They are continuing to iterate on this experience and will soon provide another tool for supervisors to be able to delete any inappropriate chat within those supervised environments.

The ability to delete chats will ONLY be available for users assigned the “Full permissions” role within the Chat permissions role policy within the Messaging policy options.

Breakout Rooms Presenter Support

Microsoft are adding the ability for organiser to extend the management of Breakout Rooms to specific presenters. This feature will enable meeting organisers to add and remove presenters as Breakout Room managers.

By taking control from Breakout rooms management panel, appointed presenters will be allowed to perform Breakout room operations as manager or meeting organiser, as well as joining Rooms as Breakout Room manager.

This is rolling out on desktop only.

Reply to specific chat message in Teams Desktop

With this update, Microsoft Teams Desktop users will receive the long awaited ability to reply to specific messages in chat from the message actions menu. This will help bring more context into conversations. This feature has already been available on the iOS and Android apps.

Reply to specific chat message on Teams Desktop.

Join meetings anonymously from your Teams desktop app (across clouds)

Today, if you want to join a meeting hosted in a different cloud to one of your tenant, you are directed to use the Teams web experience. We are improving the experience to allow users to join meetings across clouds from their desktop app anonymously.

Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams moving to general availability

In addition for Calling Plans and Direct Routing, Microsoft is introducing Operator Connect as third option for integrating PSTN calling capabilities in Teams.

We did work closely with key operator partners worldwide for integrating our infrastructure to make it simple to integrate operator services in Teams, with close to none configurations required.

Operator Connect enables Teams administrators to select the operator of their choice and then enable them for number provisioning in their tenant, and it is now moving to general availability together with several operators.

This is rolling out to Microsoft Teams service.

Content from camera now launched in Teams

As hybrid workplaces become more common, we’re excited to let you know that content from camera will soon be available in Microsoft Teams. This option enables users to stream content from directly from physical artefacts such as whiteboards and documents in a legible way. During a Teams call, users will be able to access the projection options simply by clicking Share Content from camera.

Two key projection options:

  • Whiteboard mode: Users can point their laptop webcam to their whiteboard to project it to their audience. If the camera detects a whiteboard in view, it is straightened, zoomed in and the presenter’s hand or body does not block the content as she writes on it.
  • Document mode: Users can attach an external USB camera, such as a document camera, mounted over a document, to project to their audience.

Restarting a Teams Live event

For some Teams Live Events, you may want to restart the event after it has already started, or after you have ended it. Until now, this capability was not available. However, soon you will be able to restart a Teams Live Event if it is accidently ended it or if there is a connection issue during the event.

Microsoft Suite

Co-authoring on Microsoft Information Protection encrypted documents in Office Desktop is Generally Available

Microsoft Information Protection enables you to protect your most sensitive content using an integrated, unified, and intelligent approach including the ability to apply encryption to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents using sensitivity labels. With this unique capability, multiple users can now edit these documents in real-time with AutoSave, empowering teams do their best work while maintaining the protection across the document lifecycle.

OneDrive: New Command Bar

With this update users will be able to easily identify the right file and access primary commands. The new simplified view will permit users to focus on the content while at the same time being visually pleasing.

New command bar

Announcing general availability of OneDrive data in Content Explorer

With the availability of OneDrive data in Content Explorer, you will be able to review sensitive information, sensitivity labels, and retention labels detected on files and documents in OneDrive within the Content Explorer in the Microsoft 365 compliance centre.

OneDrive data will appear as a new workload in Content Explorer. To view information about data classification applied to OneDrive data, select OneDrive from the All locations list in Content Explorer.

OneDrive Content Explorer

Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms: Manage and organise your forms and quizzes now

End users in your organisation will be able to easily archive and manage their own personal forms into different collections which will allow them to work more productively and feel more in control of their personal content. Additionally, this new update will provide a smooth experience for users when they switch between different products in (e.g. PowerPoint, Word, Excel, OneDrive).

In addition, users will also be able to:

  • Better archive and manage quick polls/instances that are generated through Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and PowerPoint
  • Easily manage their forms/quizzes/polls and quickly locate the certain file they are looking for among user-created, shared and group forms

This is the view that users will see after they create and manage forms /quizzes into collections from their personal forms.

Collection is supported in mobile view as well. Below shows how the collection looks like on small screens.

Microsoft Forms: New Mobile Friendly Experience for Form Creation/Analysis

Form designers who create forms and analyse results from Mobile will now have a much more mobile friendly experience that is optimized for their device, making Forms even easier to use. This will be available to New forms and Existing forms in the browser first and then a few weeks later in the Office Mobile app.

Microsoft Forms new App “Polls” in Teams

Microsoft Forms has always focused on providing the best polling experience to our customers. However, according to customer feedback and telemetry, we have determined that many people don’t know the “Forms” App provides polling capability in Teams.

To provide a better experience we are delivering a new Teams app specifically for polling capabilities. This new app will be discoverable in Teams meetings/chats as “Polls”.

Microsoft Viva

Insights in Microsoft 365 to become part of Microsoft Viva

In the coming months, personal productivity and wellbeing insights that are currently available to users via the daily briefing email, MyAnalytics digest email, and Insights Outlook add-in will be updated to reflect the Microsoft Viva brand. Microsoft Viva is a new employee experience platform that empowers people and teams to be their best from anywhere. Powered by Microsoft 365 and experienced in the flow of work through Microsoft Teams and Outlook, Microsoft Viva brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights.

Viva Connections (Public preview) is rolling out

Viva Connections, part of Microsoft Viva, is your gateway to a modern employee experience. The Viva connections app incorporates a customisable dashboard, the feed, and relevant resources all in one experience in the Microsoft Teams mobile app.

This Public preview release includes the ability to:

  1. Set a SharePoint home site from the SharePoint admin centre
  2. Create, author, and manage a dashboard from the home site
  3. Use Video news links to communicate announcements
  4. Use the new Dashboard and Feed web parts on the home site
  5. Brand the Viva Connections app for the desktop and mobile experiences for Android and iOS

Note: The preview is off by default and requires admin configuration to enable.