Keeping up to date on the Microsoft Cloud can be a daunting challenge. The Ketchup workshop brought to you by the Leadership Through Data training team and Microsoft MVP, Sara Fennah, is here to help.
We get our information from the following sources:
- Microsoft 365 Admin Center – Messages
- Microsoft 365 Roadmap website
- Tech Community blogs
- Microsoft Learn documentation
- Microsoft News stories
- Conference Book of News (where conferences have been held by Microsoft in the period)
For the January 2023 Ketchup, we looked at changes announced prior to 3pm (UTC) on Sunday 8th Jan 2023, when there were 1418 items listed covering all types of cloud incl government and 1188 for the worldwide cloud. You can access this at any time yourself via https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/microsoft-365/roadmap?filters=.
Please remember that the Microsoft Cloud changes daily and the exact availability date of features in each Microsoft 365 tenant can vary.
Let’s ‘Ketchup’ with some stats since last time. Since our last Ketchup in October 2022, 206 items have been added to the Roadmap and 140 items have launched or started rolling out and 297 features are in development and due by end of March 2023. There is still a strong focus on Microsoft Teams, but also a good investment in the compliance space too.
The Microsoft 365 Update Cycle
One of the reasons it’s hard to give precise release dates is the way the Microsoft 365 update cycle works and you’ve probably heard some of the terms used here. You may also wonder how some people seem to know about features before others and this is due to been invited into the private preview phase. During private preview phase access to a feature is under a non-disclosure agreement, but once that period ends they can share experiences during the phase. It’s how MVPs like Sara can often be writing about features only hours after they are released, but not say anything before hand.
Predictions from the last Ketchup
In the last webinar back in October 2022 we listed out features that we hoped to show you in this January webinar. Of these those highlighted are now rolling out or have been released. Teams Premium is now in Preview but the others are still in the pre-release phase with only some private preview tenants having the features.
Looking back – October 2022 to January 2023
Out of the 483 items launched or started rolling out since June we have chosen these items to show the changes.
Signatures can now be stored with your Outlook profile and as such be available almost everywhere you use Outlook. Simply create your signature as normal from Outlook desktop or web apps. Mobile apps are not yet supported.
Microsoft Loop is a family of tools which provides collaboration on snippets of information rather than needing to create a whole document. These snippets are called Components. We’ve had Loop components in Teams Chat messages for about a year now and they are rolling out to Outlook for web and desktop. The superpower of these components is that they remain editable even after they have been sent and can be edited by creator & recipients. Internal users only at this time.
The available components are slightly different in an email but they work in the same way as those in teams chat and components can be copied and pasted between Outlook and Teams retaining their editability.
See https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/office/use-loop-components-in-outlook-9b47c279-011d-4042-bd7f-8bbfca0cb136 for more information on Loop components in Outlook and Microsoft Loop: Flexible Canvas App | Microsoft 365 for details on Microsoft Loop and the plans for Loop pages and the Loop app.
Currently only supported in Outlook for web but rolling out to Outlook desktop and mobile soon, you can now react to an email message, just like you can a Teams message. It’s slightly less visible than in Teams as there are no notifications of a reaction being received.
Outlook for web will not spot duplicated contacts and offer to fix this when you are viewing the people card.
For more information see https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/merge-duplicate-contacts-in-outlook-658a8741-54a0-454c-ba03-9092524c563c
Teams Premium Preview
Microsoft Teams Premium Preview is now available with full rollout set for February. Not all the promised features are available in the preview as yet and some will follow during the year after release. This feature set is not intended for all users of Teams.
The features can be seen as falling into 5 categories:
- Meeting Customisation
- Meeting Protection
- Meeting AI Features
- Virtual Appointments
Meeting Customisation features allow organisations to add their own branding to meetings with a branded lobby, customised backgrounds, custom together mode scenes, custom meeting templates, meeting themes plus create and assign custom policy packages for easier administration.
Meeting Protection features include adding a watermark to videos and shared content to help protect sensitive shared information by adding the email of the attendee so any screenshots taken or video captured shows who took the image/recording. Sensitivity labels can be used to restrict features in a meeting such as apply watermarking, limiting lobby bypass, restricting recording, preventing copy & paste from chat.
Meeting AI Features
Meeting AI Features are not available in the preview, as at launch. These include automatically generated chapters in meeting recordings, time markers in meeting recordings showing when you joined/left plus when you were mentioned and the much anticipated auto generated tasks.
Webinars are also getting some new features with a refreshed webinar creation screen rolling out to everyone which includes the ability to limit numbers who can register. The advanced webinar features with Teams Premium are a green room for presenters only to use prior to meeting start, ability to control which presenters are visible on screen, a wait list for registrations once webinar is at capacity, manually approve registrations and reminder emails to registered attendees.
Virtual Appointments are aimed at businesses who have customers scheduling appointment to be held over Teams. Premium features in this space do include the SMS notifications, analytics in Teams admin center and scheduled queue view which were previously announced and now only to be in Teams Premium. Additional features include customised waiting room, chat with attendees in the waiting room and post appointment follow ups.
Some features are licensed by meeting organiser and can be applied to meetings they create, believed to be those set in meeting options, such as adding watermarks and preventing recording. Other features are per user and only available where the individual is licensed for Teams Premium such as assigning or being assigned custom policy packages. Many of these details will be confirmed as the preview phase comes to an end. It should also be noted that Sensitivity Labels for meeting also requires a Microsoft 365 E5 license for the users creating the meetings and assigning the sensitivity label.
For more information on each see https://teamsqueen.com/2022/12/21/what-is-microsoft-teams-premium-and-who-needs-it/ and https://teamsqueen.com/teams-premium-articles/
Scheduling Pop Outs and Updated Webinar Creation Dialog
When scheduling a meeting in Teams desktop app the new meeting is now a pop out, which allows users to view their calendar without having to leave the meeting creation window.
Additionally, there is a new dialog box when creating webinars. This new dialog also supports the advanced webinar features from Teams Premium so users without the premium licence will not be able to set all features. Premium features include the waitlist and registration approval.
This new dialog is not available in all scenarios. For more details on enabling the new webinar feature if it is not available by default see https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/set-up-webinars?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583#configure-the-new-webinar-experience-with-powershell
Activity Feed Unread Only Toggle
The Microsoft Teams activity feed can get very busy. This toggle simply hides all the notifications you have read so you can focus on those you haven’t seen yet.
Remember to customize your notifications in Teams to get the most from them. Manage notifications in Teams – Microsoft Support
Ever wanted to send a lightbulb 💡 or even Clippy 📎as a reaction to a Teams message? Wel,l now you can with a full set of emoticons for the reactions. Just be sure to stick to work appropriate ones 🤜🤛!
Excel Live allows you to share your Excel files on the Teams meeting stage in a way that allows all meeting participants to not only see the file but also collaboratively edit it, without needing to open the file separately. Accessed from the Share button in the meeting and available for files stores in OneDrive, SharePoint or Teams.
Delay Delivery/Scheduled Send
Sending messages out of hours is frowned on and in some areas of the world is it is even against employment legislation for a manager to send an employee messages out of hours. Thus scheduled send! Simply right click the send button and chose the date and time for the message to be sent.
We’d recommend writing your message in the “Format” message box so that you don’t accidently send the messge by hitting enter on your keyboard when you plan to send a scheduled message.
A user can now delete a Teams chat thread. See Delete a chat thread in Teams – Microsoft Support for more information.
This action only deletes that users copy of the messages and they messages cannot be found by searching in Teams. Meeting organizers cannot delete meeting chat, but a participant can. To remove a chat without deleting it you can choose Hide instead of delete.
This does not impact on retention rules as messages covered by retention are held in the substrate holds folder which is available to eDiscovery searches. See https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/compliance/retention-policies-teams?view=o365-worldwide&WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583#how-retention-works-with-microsoft-teams for more detail on retention and Teams messages.
Meeting Experience enhancements on web & desktop
The meeting toolbar is being changed, but the experience will be the same across desktop and web. The Raise hands button has been separated from other reactions, the View button moved to sit with the other buttons and the menu shorted to grouping commands into categories.
Additionally, you will note that the meeting display when joining from teams for web is no much more like that on desktop app, though default display is only 4 videos still, you can now page through the videos if more people have their cameras on.
Security, Defender, Purview, Compliance and Information Protection
DLP Complex Conditions (And/Not/Or)
Data loss prevention rules with multiple conditions have become more flexible. Previously multiple conditions within the same rule were always joined as And conditions. They can now be joined as Or or And Not. For more information on DLP rules see https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/compliance/create-a-dlp-policy-from-a-template?view=o365-worldwide&WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583
DLP Enhancements with Trainable Classifiers, Content Explorer & Alerts
DLP policies now also support not only Sensitive Information Types as a trigger for the protection provided by the policy, but also sensitivity labels, retention labels and trainable classifiers.
Additionally, when reviewing the categorised information in the Purview portal under Data Classification > Data Explorer; Data Classification > Trainable Classifiers or via DLP alerts feedback can be sent to Microsoft when false matches are detected to help improve the accuracy of the detections going forward. Obviously the challenge here is that you will need to send the content to Microsoft attached to the feedback which may not be permissible in some scenarios.
For more information on giving feedback on trainable classifiers and sensitive information types see https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/compliance/data-classification-increase-accuracy?view=o365-worldwide&WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583
For more generic information about working with Trainable Classifiers see https://learn.microsoft.com/microsoft-365/compliance/classifier-learn-about?view=o365-worldwide&WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583#see-also
Manually apply sensitivity label in Adobe Acrobat
Adobe Acrobat DC now supports the use of Microsoft 365 Sensitivity Labels and they can be applied when working directly in that tool. There are registry changes required to enable this feature. More details can be found at https://nikkichapple.com/how-to-use-sensitivity-labels-with-your-pdf-files/
Increased Limits in Disposition
There have been some changes to the limits with respect to disposition of retained items using the disposition review feature. The per label 1,000,000 item limit covering both pending & disposed items has been removed, though the tenant limit of 16,000,000 total items remains.
Subject to staying under the tenant limit items which have been disposed of using disposition review will be visible for 5 years in Disposition interface and in the Audit Log for up to 10 yrs (licensing dependent). The audit log can also be exported to Microsoft Sentinel or other tools for longer retention if required.
Organizations requiring disposition evidence could also consider using Power Automate.
Power Automate flows:
- Are triggered by end of retention period
- Can provide multiple disposition approval paths from a single label
- Can assign custom document permissions for disposition approval
- Can provide reviewer with a customised set of document metadata and update such based on the outcome of the review
- Be used to generate a PDF certificate of destruction
To find out more see https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/security-compliance-and-identity/customize-retention-and-deletion-to-help-meet-your-specific/ba-p/3613111?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583#:~:text=Power%20Automate%20integration%20with%20Data%20Lifecycle%20and%20Records,flow%20at%20the%20end%20of%20a%20retention%20period.
Multiple Account Passwordless Support on Authenticator for iOS
Passwordless sign in to Microsoft 365 using the Microsoft Authenticator app on iOS now supports multiple Microsoft 365 accounts from a single device. This will be very useful for consultants or users who work in organizations with multiple Microsoft 365 environments.
For more information on passwordless sign in with the Authneticator app see https://learn.microsoft.com/azure/active-directory/authentication/howto-authentication-passwordless-phone?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583
SharePoint, Stream, Viva & OneDrive
Sensitivity Label in Sharing Dialog
To help users remain compliant with business processes even when DLP is not configured to look at sensitivity labels, the label assigned to a document will now show in the sharing dialog box. This is currently available when sharing from OneDrive and is rolling out to all other share interfaces over the coming months.
Activity Column in OneDrive
OneDrive on the web now has a new column, Activity. This helps users see what collaborative actions have taken place on their documents recently, including edits by other uses and recent sharing activity.
Search transcript in Stream on SharePoint
The transcript on recordings store in Stream on SharePoint now includes a search feature to help find the correct part of the video. Stream can automatically generate transcripts for videos recorded or uploaded without.
Retirement of Stream – Feb 15th 2024
That feature related to Stream powered by SharePoint. The older or ‘Classic’ Stream is being retired. Depending on how your organisation has used Stream in the past, older videos may need to be migrated into SharePoint based storage before the retirement in Feb 2023. Details on the retirement and migration options are available from the retirement announcement https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-stream-blog/update-on-stream-classic-retirement-last-day-of-service-set-for/ba-p/3712075?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583
Many of the features in this section are premium features for Microsoft Viva. For details about the licensing of Microsoft Viva, download the comparison table from Viva plans & Pricing https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/microsoft-viva/pricing
Briefing Email Enhancements
The Viva Insights briefing email is the only feature of Microsoft Viva that many people know about. There will be a short pause (expected to be up to 6 weeks) in the delivery of the email this month (Jan 23) as enhancements are put in place. Following that time users will be able to choose to Favorite or Hide sections of the email based in its usefulness to them.
In the Viva Insights app in Teams, users can also edit settings on the briefing email to choose which sections they wish to favorite or snooze
For more general information on the briefing email see More on the briefing email https://learn.microsoft.com/viva/insights/personal/briefing/be-overview?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583
Quiet Time Settings
Quiet time settings are a premium Viva Insights feature and allow users to mute Teams & Outlook notification on mobile devices at certain times of day or days of the week. Whilst this can be done in the mobile app settings per device, the option set quiet time across Teams and Outlook across all mobile devices used by the user is beneficial to users with more than one device, plus its easy to find in the Teams Viva Insights app on desktop and web.
Scheduled Send recommendations in Outlook powered by Viva Insights (premium) prompts users to send email during working hours using a scheduled send. This feature currently only works for colleagues not external people.
See https://learn.microsoft.com/viva/insights/personal/use/schedule-send?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583 for more information.
Effective Meeting Insights
Effective meeting insights powered by Viva Insights premium allows users to see trends in their meeting habits to help them make the most of the meetings and their time.
See https://learn.microsoft.com/viva/insights/personal/teams/effective-meetings?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583 for more information.
This feature also includes a breakdown of meeting categories and a meeting effectiveness survey which is sent to internal attendees of the meetings you organise to help organisations reduce unnecessary meetings.
Viva Engage incl Storyline
Viva Engage is the new name for Yammer used from Microsoft Teams app. Previously this app was called Yammer Communities. The new feature which has been added is called Storyline and this allows users to post a generic update without needing to link it to a community. A storyline post is a bit like a public LinkedIn post, rather than a post into closed group, which is a post into a Yammer community.
Users can follow other users to see their posts on the storyline. For more information see https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/topic/viva-engage-stories-88bcdd30-1ae1-4cbb-97cc-aa4e315e76e2
Additional Premium Viva Engage features will be coming soon, such as posting a video update (called Stories), the ability for organisational Leaders to post messages and broadcast to their direct reports, the whole organisation or selected groups (called Leadership Corner)
Topics in Yammer & Teams
Viva topics tags are now supported in Teams messages and Yammer (incl Viva Engage app) posts. These tags link to the topic pages in Viva Topics. To learn more about Viva Topics in general see https://learn.microsoft.com/viva/topics/topic-experiences-overview?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583
Another premium Viva Insights feature is to make the most of Viva Insights created Focus Time diary slots and is called Focus Mode. This feature mutes notification during focus time and runs a headspace mediation mode with music, plus integrates with Microsoft To Do, to bring everything you need into one tidy bundle to get your tasks done during that precious time. For more information on Focus Mode see https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-viva-blog/introducing-headspace-a-new-focus-mode-and-quiet-time-settings/ba-p/2431919?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583
Learning Path Creation
Viva Learning is designed to bring day-to-day learning into everyday work. Many organisations need to suggest a route through the mass of learning materials available for their users to get the most of this tool. As part of the Viva Learning premium offerings admins can create Learning Paths to do just this. For more information on these paths see https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/viva/learning/creating-learning-paths?WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583
Search in Office 365 now finds files sent as traditional attachments and also show the attachment icon 📎on the search results.
Another enhancement is that when searching for Teams messages in Microsoft Search or in Teams the link takes you to the conversation with the specific message highlighted rather than just showing the individual message.
@Mentions to create & assign tasks in Excel, Word
When creating Comments in Excel or Word @mentioning a person now offers the ability to assign them a task which is managed by Microsoft To Do.
M365 Admin Health Dashboard
A new page has been added to the Microsoft 365 Admin Center to give an overview of all the health and issue notification across Microsoft 365. This is designed mainly for smaller organisations but is useful for any administrator who has a Microsoft 365 wide role. See https://learn.microsoft.com/microsoft-365/admin/manage/health-dashboard-overview?view=o365-worldwide&WT.mc_id=M365-MVP-5004583 for more details.
At the moment based on what is currently on the roadmap we hope to be able to show you these features next time. If you have any requests for features that you would like us to cover in the Ketchup or on the blog, please do let us know.
- Working Hours & Locations
- Teams Meeting Chat from Outlook Meeting Appointment
- Microsoft Teams
- Teams Premium Release
- Magnify Slide in PowerPoint Live
- Video Filters
- Busy-on-Busy User Settings
- Automatic lowering of raised hands
- OneNote replacing Wiki and Meeting Notes
- Purview, Compliance and Information Protection
- Scope Sensitivity Labels to Client Application
- Default Sensitivity Label for SharePoint Site
- Sensitivity Bar in Office Documents
- Power Automate Integration
- New Communication Classifiers, e.g. corporate sabotage, money laundering
- Information Barriers v2
- Label Email based on Attachment Label
- Co-Organizer to manage breakout rooms
- SharePoint, Stream, Viva & OneDrive
- Microsoft Syntex Pay-as-you-go
- Coherent Search across Bing, SharePoint, Microsoft 365
- Migrate Workflows to Power Automate Flows
- Hide the Preservation Hold Library
- Microsoft Viva
- Updated Viva Connections App
- Viva Connections support for iPad
- Answers in Viva
- Topic Name Similarities Resolution
- Topic Categories
- Via Topics in Teams Channels
- Planner Integration with Viva Goals
- Office 365
- Mind Maps in Visio for web
- Teams apps working across Office apps
- Enhancement to Project for Web in line with Project Online