Office 365 Updates: October 2018

Oct Office 365 Updates

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 October updates.

Read September’s Office 365 updates here.

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Office 365

New updated look for Office 365 desktop apps 

Microsoft are updating the look of the top line ribbon and the icons for Office’s desktop applications. Users will see new colours and scalable icons in the topline ribbon for Desktop versions of the app. The icons are newer and more modern that are simpler and more accessible.

Targeted release customers will already have this update, however, all Office 365 organisations will have this rolled out within the next couple of months.

Additional information

Updated feature: The help and support pane is now available from the Office 365 Navbar 

The new and improved help and support pane provides contextual help on top issues, access to the latest support information, and the ability for admins to customise the pane with their company’s helpdesk information. The same services that power help and support in Office desktop clients, are now extended to the web.

You can see this today in the new Outlook in the web that is available to Targeted Release organisations. It will be coming to more Office 365 web apps over the next six months, starting with

Updated feature: Ribbon in Word Online, PowerPoint Online and Excel Online 

Microsoft have simplified the Ribbon in Office Online to make the feature easier to use and to put the focus squarely on content and collaboration. Once this change is complete, you will see a simplified ribbon where commands are laid out in a single row. There is no change to the functionality of the ribbon and your users will be able to opt out of this experience if they prefer the previous version.

Microsoft will begin gradually rolling this change out to Targeted Release now and the rollout will be completed worldwide by the end of December.

Updated feature: migrating to the Office 365 gallery

Office 365 gallery enables you to learn about and explore your apps. The office 365 gallery now exceeds functionality. As a result, Microsoft will be migrating from to the Office 365 gallery in December.


New feature: Conditional access for non-compliant devices 

Conditional access provides the control and protection businesses need to keep their corporate data secure, while giving their people an experience that allows them to do their best work from any device. Conditional access will restrict the ability for users to download attachments from email to a local machine when it is not compliant. With the power of Office Web Apps, users can still continue to view and edit these files safely without leaking data to a non-compliant machine. You can also choose to block attachments fully.

Worldwide rollout completion by the end of November.

Exchange Online – Calendar AutomateProcessing changes through PowerShell 

Starting on November 15, 2018, new room and equipment mailboxes (resource mailboxes) that you create in Exchange in Exchange Online PowerShell will have a new default value for the calendar processing property named AutomateProcessing. The new default value will be AutoAccept. The previous default value was AutoUpdate.

Additional information

Updated feature: Disabling Basic authentication in Exchange Online – Public preview now available 

Microsoft are updating the status of the Disabling Basic authentication in Exchange Online feature and making it available to all customers via public preview.

Basic authentication in Exchange Online accepts a username and a password for client access requests and blocking Basic authentication can help protect your Exchange Online organisation from brute force or password spray attacks. Lately there has been an increase in the occurrence of these types of attacks, and so Microsoft are accelerating the release of this feature as it helps prevent them.

Additional information


New feature: @Mentions in page comments in SharePoint Online 

Users will be able to @mention their colleagues in the comment section of modern pages and new posts. The functionality is available in SharePoint Online and in SharePoint online mobile apps for Android and iOS. The person who is mentioned will be notified via push notification in the SharePoint Online mobile app and in email.

If the mentioned individual does not have access to the page where they are mentioned, then no notification is sent. When mentioning a person, the commenter is made aware if the person does not have access to the page they are being mentioned in, and that they will not be notified of the mention.

Rollout to Targeted Release organisations started last week and the rollout will be completed worldwide by mid-November 2018.

New feature: Create a reminder in SharePoint Online 

After this change takes place, if you have a custom date column in a list or library, you can now create an email reminder a number of days in advance of the date column selection.

Microsoft started rolling this out earlier this month. Roll out complete by the end of October.

Additional information

SharePoint Admin Centre improvements 

Microsoft are making improvements to the new SharePoint admin centre.

The new SharePoint admin experience provides a completely revamped SharePoint admin centre. It draws heavily on modern principles with an administrative console designed to help IT achieve more, meaning users can too. Beginning in late October, Microsoft are adding new capabilities to include:

– The ability to set as your default admin centre
– Improvements to managing group-connected sites
– New options to manage and configure hub sites and associated sites
– Additional options to allow for configuring default site creation properties

Microsoft will be gradually rolling this out to Targeted Release “entire org” customers in late October. Worldwide rollout completion by the end of January.

New feature: Add Microsoft Teams to existing Office 365 Groups directly from SharePoint Online team sites 

Adding a Microsoft Teams instance to existing Office 365 Groups from SharePoint Online team sites is a new O365 feature. Only users who are group owners can perform this action. The option only appears if Teams is enabled in your tenant for SharePoint team sites already connected to an Office 365 group, but not yet connected to Microsoft Teams. Roll out will begin soon to Targeted Release organisations and will be fully available, globally, by the end of the year.


Updated feature: Microsoft Teams Help Experience 

Microsoft are streamlining and enhancing the help experience in Microsoft Teams to ensure product help is up to date and most relevant to end users. We are replacing the “Feedback” icon with “Help”, integrating additional help assets and removing the FAQ, Conversation & T-Bot options. T-Bot will continue to appear in some users chat history. Clicking the T-Bot icon will redirect users to the new help experience. Users can simply hide this icon to remove it from their chat list.

Complete worldwide rollout by the end of October, 2018.

What’s new in the Microsoft Intune Service Update for last month

This service release reflects engineering work conducted last month.

We’ve introduced some changes that we’re excited for you to try out, for example:

  • Windows 10 app deployment using Intune
  • Outlook Mobile app configuration policy
  • Support for always-on VPN for Android enterprise work profiles
  • Issue SCEP certificates to user-less devices

Additional information