Office 365 Updates: May 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 May updates.

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New: Group chat for up to 250 people

Microsoft are increasing the maximum chat size from 100 to 250 in response to customer requests.

New: Adding background images and effects in Teams meetings

Tenant administrators are able to assign a user-level policy to control how users engage with background effects in Teams meetings. For example, you may choose to allow your users to customise their background by uploading their own images.

New: Raise a hand

When a meeting participant has raised their hand, an icon will appear next to their name in the roster view as well as their profile picture or video on the main meeting stage. Participants can lower their hand, and any presenter can lower individual hands in the meeting.

New calling and meeting experience

Users are able to view meetings and calls in separate windows from the main Microsoft Teams client. Additionally, meeting and call controls such as mute, video, chat, leave and others will now be located at the top of the meeting window so that they are always available and never block the underlying content. This new experience will also include recently announced features such as 3×3 video, raise hands, and custom backgrounds (as mentioned above).

This will roll-out OFF by default and users will have the ability to turn on the new experience via the user setting: General > Turn on new meetings and calling experiences.

Note: In the future Microsoft will enable this functionality by default, but they want to provide users extra time to become familiar with having meetings open in their own separate window. Moving forward they will provide more details via Message centre.


Invite a group of distribution list to a Teams meeting

When scheduling a meeting in Teams, you will be able to invite both distribution lists and modern groups as well as individuals.

After adding a list or group, Teams will 

  • Deliver the meeting invitation to all members of list and
  • Send the invitation to group members based on their subscription to group events.

Both distribution lists and modern groups will be discoverable within the people picker when scheduling Teams meetings.


New: Save for later web part available on modern pages

Microsoft are adding a new Saved for later web part for SharePoint modern pages. With the Saved for later web part, each user can see the content they’ve saved when they view your page. Page authors can determine the source of Saved items that will show on the page: All saved items (to show all of the page viewer’s items across SharePoint) or Saved items from this site (to show all of the user’s saved items from the site on which the page is located).

Additional information

Feature update: New layout for see footer

There is a new site footer layout for SharePoint communication sites. The new Extended layout features an enhanced experience for viewers and provides more navigational control for site authors. Footer layouts hold two levels of navigation and can be edited in the Change the look panel without losing formerly saved links and labels at any time.

Additional information

New feature: SharePoint home sites

A home site is the top landing page for your organisation’s intranet. You can designate any communication site to be the home site with a simple PowerShell cmdlet.

By making a communication site the home site, that site will have a highly visible and unique entry point in the landing experience of the SharePoint mobile app. In addition, your home site will be automatically setup to be an organisational news site and have organisation-wide search configured.

New feature: Schedule pages and news posts in SharePoint

Microsoft are introducing the ability for SharePoint page authors to schedule pages and news posts for publication at a future date and time.

New feature: Teams support in the SharePoint Migration tool

The SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT) will soon let users migrate to Microsoft Teams in addition to SharePoint and OneDrive. Users will be able to select a team that they own and then define the channel they want to use as the destination.


New Feature: Outlook introduces Incident Notifications for IT admins

Microsoft 365 tenant global administrators and Office Apps Administrators will be notified about incidents affecting their users with a new right-side panel notification in Outlook for Windows.

New Feature: Outlook on the web – send later

Users will be able to delay the delivery of an individual message or use rules to delay the delivery of all messages using Outlook on the web. This feature is already available in Outlook for Windows and Outlook for Mac.


PowerPoint Live Presentations

Microsoft will soon release Live Presentations for PowerPoint for web, which allows audience members to see slides and a live transcript of the presenter’s spoken words (including live translation) on their devices.

Live Presentations


Screen recording available in Microsoft Stream

A feature for screen recording is now available in Microsoft Stream. Video creators can use options to record any window or screen, add mic or system audio, and include webcam video. There is no need to download any new software, the tool is web based and works with latest version of Edge or Chrome.

Additional information