Office 365 Updates: December 2018

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 December updates.

Read November’s Office 365 updates here.

If you would like to receive these updates in newsletter form, once a month and straight to your email, please click subscribe below.

Office 365

Content type syndication will stop publishing content type changes to OneDrive for Business (MySites) by default 

Microsoft are changing the default behaviour of content type syndication service. By default, content types will stop being published to OneDrive for Business sites (MySites) in SharePoint Online.

This change will increase the reliability and performance of syncing content types to sites. It is rare to use content types inside OneDrive for Business, so for most deployments, these performance and reliability improvements should have little or no impact.

This change does not impact content type publishing in sites outside of OneDrive for Business.

This rollout will start on the 31st of December.

Additional information

New Feature: Sharing links that block download 

Sharing links that block download is a new Office 365 feature.

Users will be able to share a link to Office documents that block recipients from downloading copies but still allows them to view the document in Office Online.

Users can create links that block download by using the common Sharing experience that exists across Office 365. By going into Link Settings they’ll be able to toggle the ‘block download’ option for view-only links.

Microsoft will be gradually rolling this out to customers in late November and the rollout will be completed worldwide by the end of January.

Additional information


Microsoft are releasing multiple new features for Outlook on the web 

These new features are currently being rolled out to Outlook on the web:

– Use improved response tracking: We’ve improved how Outlook handles meeting responses. Previously, when you selected “Don’t send response” or turned off the “Notify organiser” toggle, Outlook wouldn’t register your response to the meeting and the organiser wouldn’t know your response. With this change, when you select “Don’t send response” or turn off the “Notify organiser” toggle, Outlook won’t email your response to the organiser but will update the meeting invite with your response. The meeting organiser and invitee both have to be in Office 365 for improved response tracking to work.

– Use Teams for online meetings: After this change takes place, if your organisation has enabled Microsoft Teams, the new Outlook on the web will use Teams as the default online meeting tool instead of Skype for Business. If your organisation hasn’t enabled Teams, the new Outlook on the web will continue to use Skype for Business. This update will only show in the new Outlook on the web and not in the classic experience.

These features have begun gradually rolling out, and rollout will be completed in January 2019.

Updated Feature: Outlook for iOS user experience updates 

Microsoft will start to roll out a new design in Outlook for iOS. These changes are tailored to create faster and more focused experiences with more context at a glance.

As part of ongoing Office 365 user experience updates announced this summer and the new icons revealed last week, the changes to Outlook for iOS include:

– A bold blue header and updated typography across email, calendar, search experiences and account and contact avatars for instant recognition and ease of navigation to and within the app

– Enhancements to the Focused Inbox and Other toggle and message filtering experience

– Subtle design additions including sensory improvements and haptic feedback with swipe Users will be able to update Outlook for iOS when it’s available to them through the iTunes Appstore roll out that’s taking place over the next few weeks.

Updated: The new Outlook on the web – Email LinkedIn connections from Outlook 

We are rolling out a new feature to the new Outlook on the web, powered by LinkedIn, to enhance the way you connect and collaborate with people outside your organisation. With this update, you will be able to send emails to many of your first-degree LinkedIn connections directly from the new Outlook on the web, without needing to have their email addresses stored in your contacts just by typing their name in the To line when composing a new message.

This new feature is made possible by securely connecting your LinkedIn account with your Microsoft 365 or Office 365 account. Connecting your accounts shares basic info – such as your profile, your contacts, and your calendar – to improve your daily experience both with LinkedIn and Office 365. We respect your privacy and honour the settings you chose, including who can see your email address. To learn more about privacy and settings click here – User consent and LinkedIn account connections data sharing.

Microsoft will be gradually rolling this out to Targeted Release customers who are using the new Outlook on the web client in early January, and the rollout will be completed worldwide by the end of April 2019. This rollout is excluded from Office 365 subscriptions in special cloud environments.


Microsoft are releasing multiple updates for SharePoint News 

When this change goes into effect, you’ll be able to:

– Designate specific sites as organisational news sources. Once you’ve designated a site, users will see organisational news articles interleaved with their personalised news feed. The organisational news will be distinguished by special visual styling. In the SharePoint mobile app, you can filter to see all news, personalised, organisational, or news you’ve saved for later.

– Organise how news displays in the news web part. The news web part will be updated to allow page authors to organise their news articles into a specific order, as opposed to the automatic rotation that occurs today.

– SharePoint news will now support audience targeting. If you’ve set up groups within your organisation, you’ll be able to target pages and news to these groups. The news web part has a checkbox to allow page authors to choose to show all news, or news targeted based on a group the current user is a member of. The SharePoint mobile app and SharePoint home experiences will always filter news targeted to the current user (there is no option to change or disable this setting, unlike the news web part).

Microsoft gradually rolled these updates out to Targeted Release organisations in early December. The rollout will be completed worldwide by the end of February.

Updated Feature: Ability to view and apply site designs from within a SharePoint Site 

Until now, you could only apply site designs to existing sites by using PowerShell. With this update, Microsoft are providing a new site setting to view any applied site designs and apply additional ones.

After this change takes place, there will be a new site setting option for site owners to display a new site design information panel. If any site designs have been published to the tenant they will be displayed in the picker. Only site owners and site collection administrators have access to invoke this panel – and it respects any additional scopes on the published site designs, so only those available to the viewer will be displayed. If any sites designs have been applied to the site they will also be displayed and can be selected to view what changes were applied.

We’ll be gradually rolling this out to Targeted Release organisations in mid-December, and the rollout will be completed worldwide by the end of December.

List View web part supports list templates 

Microsoft are updating SharePoint web parts: Document library and lists. The List web part now supports announcement lists, promoted links, contact lists, and issue tracking lists. Any of these lists can be added to your pages the same way custom lists were added.

Roll out will gradually be completed for Targeted Release customers in the end of November, and the rollout will be completed worldwide by the end of December.


New Feature: Dynamic membership support for Microsoft Teams 

Dynamic membership reduces the administrative overhead of managing members and helps ensure the right people are always involved. Dynamic Membership works by using a defined set of rules that look for certain user attributes in Azure Active Directory. A team can be added to an existing Office 365 group with dynamic membership, or an existing team’s membership can be set to dynamic.

Additional information

Multiple new features are coming to calling in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft are excited to announce that they’re releasing several improvements to calling functionality in Microsoft Teams. These features will be rolling out soon, and some will require administrator action to enable.

These features are not available for GCC organisations.

After these changes roll out to your organisation, you’ll see the following new features:

Shared Line Appearance – Handle multiple calls on a specific number called a shared number. This feature can configure any enterprise voice-enabled user with a shared number with multiple lines to respond to multiple calls. A set of users can set themselves up for shared line appearance, by being in a delegation relationship, which can be set up via Teams client settings.

Call Park – Place a call on hold in the cloud rather than on your phone, for you or someone else to retrieve from another endpoint in your organization using a unique code. This feature requires admin action to enable. You can enable this feature using PowerShell cmdlets and by setting the TeamsCallParkPolicy’s AllowCallPark Setting.

Group Call Pickup – Users can answer incoming calls from their colleagues from their own phones. This increases the availability of a user’s line by enabling other users to answer an incoming call. A user can set up a call group using the Teams client call settings. A user in a call group can manage the notifications coming via group call using the Teams client notification settings.

Location-Based Routing (In Preview) – LBR makes it possible to restrict the routing of calls between VoIP endpoints and PSTN endpoints based on the location of the parties in the call. It also enforces call authorization rules on whether or not calls can be routed to PBX or PSTN endpoints based on the caller’s geographic location. LBR requires administrator action to enable. You can enable this feature using PowerShell cmdlets and with the TeamsCallingPolicy’s PreventTollBypass setting.

These features will begin rolling out in mid-December, and we anticipate rollout completion by the end of January 2019. PowerShell cmdlets will be required to enable Location-Based Routing and Call Park.

When these features roll out to your organization, the following feature documentation will be updated with the instructions and cmdlets necessary to enable these features:

– Shared Line Appearance

– Group Call Pick up

– Location Based Routing setting will be added to the TeamsCallingPolicy

– New Call Park cmdlets documentation will be added here

Additional information

Microsoft have created multiple new roles for Teams administrators

They’re bringing new administrator roles to Microsoft Teams. This update is available in your Microsoft 365 admin centre today.

Microsoft 365 administrator roles map to common business functions and give people in your organisation permissions to do specific tasks in the Microsoft 365 admin centre. We’ve created four new roles specifically for admins responsible for Microsoft Teams. These new roles are:

– Teams service admin: Can manage all aspects of Microsoft Teams except license assignment. This includes policies for calling, messaging, and meetings; use of call analytics tools to troubleshoot telephony issues, and management of users and their telephony settings. They can also manage Office 365 Groups.

– Teams communications admin: Can manage calling and meeting features of Microsoft Teams, including phone number assignments and meeting policies. They can also use call analytics tools to troubleshoot issues.

– Teams communications support engineer: Can troubleshoot communication issues in Teams using call analytics tools, and can view full call record information for all participants involved.

– Teams communications support specialist: Can troubleshoot communication issues in Teams using call analytics tools, and can view call record information for the specific user being searched for.

These new admin roles are now available to assign in your Microsoft 365 admin centre or by using PowerShell. These updates are not currently available for GCC organisations.

Additional information


OneDrive retiring support for Mac OS X 10.10 and 10.11 

The OneDrive engineering team is committed to bringing you the best, most secure, end-user experience possible. To support that commitment, the OneDrive Desktop application (sync client) will look to phase out support for Mac OS X Yosemite 10.10 and 10.11. These changes will go into effect February 1st, 2019. 

Additional information