Office 365 Updates: April 2020
AMT’s Monthly Office 365 Updates keep you up to date with new features and important announcements from Microsoft. Office 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 Office 365 April updates.
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Teams meeting and chat experience improvements
Microsoft are pleased to announce the following updates to improve the Teams meeting and chat experience:
- Easily access meeting options from within a Teams meeting in progress: Microsoft are making it easier for meeting organisers to quickly and easily change their presenter and lobby settings once a Teams meeting starts by providing an easy to access link directly in the participants pane. This new functionality will be present for both scheduled and “Meet Now” meetings.
- Download a participant report in a Teams meeting: Meeting organisers, especially teachers, often need to know who joined their Teams meetings. Soon you will be able to download a participant report, found in the roster view that includes join and leave times for participants. Available in the roster view, meeting organisers can download the report that includes those users who joined while the organiser was present. This feature is only available with the meeting while the meeting is active. Available on desktop (Windows and Mac) and the web. The default for the feature will be DISABLED. The Admin will need to go turn this on through a PowerShell cmdlet to be able to utilize this feature:
- Set-CSTeamsMeetingPolicy – Identity Global – AllowEngagementReport “Enabled”
- Audio playing on presenter device will be shared in the live event: Today, if you are screen sharing content with audio in a Live Event, attendees won’t be able to hear the audio of that content. With Share System Audio in Live Events, your live event attendees will now be able to hear the audio of the content that you are screen sharing. This feature works just like share system audio in Teams Meetings. Once enable, any audio that is playing on the user’s machine will be shared in the live event for participants to hear. Note: This feature will only be available for Presenters/Producers in a Live Event joining from the Windows Desktop Teams Client with ScreenSharingMode set to “Single application” or “Entire screen”.
- Screen Share from Chat: The option to start a screen share from a 1:1 or group chat will now be governed by the ScreenSharingMode policy. Further, the ability to “add audio” to a screen share from chat session (if you want to talk to someone while screen sharing) will be governed by a user’s AllowPrivateCalling setting. This ensures that users who have AllowPrivateCalling disabled cannot start audio calls via screen share from chat.
- Starting a screen share from chat:
- Setting the ScreenSharingMode policy in Teams Admin Center under Meeting Policies:
New: Yammer app for Microsoft Teams
After users install the app, it will appear in the navigation left rail in Microsoft Teams. They will be able to join community discussions, share announcements, attend live events, and connect with coworkers similar how they interact in the Yammer web or mobile apps. It’s Yammer, but inside Teams.
This differs from the current Yammer Tab experience in Teams, which ties Yammer to a specific channel using a tab.
New: Changes to video layout in Teams meetings
Microsoft are pleased to announce that the number of participants that can be viewed simultaneously during a Teams meeting will increase from 4 to 9. Additionally we are working on increasing this limit even further so that more participants can be viewed simultaneously.
Microsoft will begin rolling this out in late April and expect to be complete by early May.
New: Raise a Virtual Hand in Teams Meetings
The new raise hand feature in Teams allows meeting attendees to identify that they wish to speak by toggling the hand icon in the meeting control bar, making it easier to actively participate in meetings. Raise hand will be available initially for PC, Mac, and web-based clients. Support for mobile applications will follow.
- Gradual roll out in mid-April.
- Expect feature support in government environments in late-May.
Updated: Tags in Microsoft Teams
Using tags, team owners can organise users based on a common attribute, such as role, project, skill, training, or location. After team members have tags, the team owner or a tagged team member can create a channel post, @tagName, that notifies only the users who have that tag (in this case @tagName). Tags are team-based; you have to a be a member of a team in order to use an associated tag.
For example, you could send a message to all cashiers in a store or all nurses in a specific hospital ward.
Admins can restrict tagging to team owners or allow any team member to add tags to other team members. Team owners may limit tagging for their team.
Updated: Yammer Conversations web part for SharePoint
Modern SharePoint sites and pages that use the Yammer Conversations web part will begin displaying the new Yammer Conversations web part experience.
- Users will be able to create any type of Yammer post directly in SharePoint
- Users will be able to upload images and files into Yammer conversations directly in SharePoint
- Users will be able to start a conversation in any community
New: SharePoint Spaces Preview
SharePoint spaces is a web-based, immersive platform which allows your users to create and share mixed reality experiences.
Microsoft are gradually rolling out SharePoint spaces (Preview) to Targeted Release customers in April 2020. Microsoft will update this post when we start the rollout for standard release customers.
New: Third party online meeting providers in Outlook for Android
Online meeting providers such as BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Zoom can provide updates to their Outlook add-ins to enable the new experience.
- When an add-in is installed on a user’s mailbox by their Exchange administrator, it will override the default Teams or Skype options available to users when creating a new online meeting.
- Add-ins installed by end users will not override the default Teams or Skype option and will have no impact on the meeting creation experience in Outlook for Android.
Microsoft Bookings to be added as an Office 365 app
Microsoft Bookings makes it easier for your users to manage appointments both inside and outside of your organization. With this update, Bookings will transition from an add-in to an integral part of Office 365.
Microsoft Bookings will be On by default, which gives all of your users the ability to create and manage a Microsoft Bookings mailbox and calendar.
Updated: OneDrive Sync Version History
Users will see a new entry in the context menu in Finder, File Explorer, and OneDrive Activity Feed. Version history will allow users to download previous versions of a file as well restore or delete previous versions.
New and updated usage reports in Microsoft 365 Admin Centre
Microsoft are adding a card to the usage reports homepage in the Microsoft 365 admin centre to highlight application use that reflects remote work. They are also releasing a new report for Microsoft 365 Apps (formerly Office 365 ProPlus) usage and adding new data points to some of the usage reports.