M365 Updates

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Keep track of upcoming changes, including new and changed features, planned maintenance, or other important announcements.

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Introducing smart backgrounds for Planner

Users will be able to add a relevant and unique background image to a Planner plan from a list of recommendations. This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 66578.   When this will happen   We will begin this roll out in early January and expect it to be complete at the end of January 2021.   How this will affect your organization   This new Planner feature allows users to view smart image recommendations and add a relevant and unique background image to each plan, Powered by Designer. The image recommendations are based on the title of the plan.   What you need to do to prepare   You might want to notify your users about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate.

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Announcing general availability of mandatory labeling policy in Office apps

Microsoft Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) will soon support the enforcement of the Microsoft Information Protection policy setting, Require users to apply a label, before they can save documents or send emails. This feature is supported on all platforms (Windows/Mac/iOS/Android/Web) for Outlook and all platforms except the web for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Support for mandatory labeling on the web for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will be available early 2021. This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 68873.   When this will happen   Rollout will begin in late December and is expected to be complete by mid-January.   How this will affect your organization   The following enhancements will soon be available to your organization: Office apps will enforce the existing policy setting to ‘Require users to apply a label to their emails or documents’ in the Microsoft 365 compliance center under Information protection > Label policies. Office apps will display a new dialog to enforce users to select a label before they can save unlabeled documents or send mail.   What you need to do to prepare   This feature will not be enabled by default. Admins must enable the policy setting Require users to apply a label to their emails or documents in the Microsoft 365 compliance center (Information protection > Label policies). For admins that already have this policy enabled in their tenant, this feature will be enabled as soon rollout is completed. Learn more about label policies and sensitivity labels.

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Full screen support in new meetings experience

As promised in July, we are bringing Full screen support back in the new meeting experience for Teams desktop applications. This feature is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 67171 When this will happen We rolled this out in late October.     How this affects your organization   The feature is accessible via meeting controls under More options (…) > Full screen. On Mac OS, you can also access it by using the native “Full screen” control on the top left corner of the meeting window.   On Mac OS, the meeting window fills up the whole screen in Full screen mode. The title bar on the top and task bar on the bottom of the window are hidden. On Windows OS, only the taskbar is hidden in Full screen mode. To focus attention on content that is shared during a meeting, use Focus mode, accessible via More options (…) > Focus mode. In Focus mode, content uses the entire meeting window. By removing other Teams elements from the window, this mode makes it easier to focus on content.   What you need to do to prepare   You might want to notify your users about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate.

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Exclude specific files from OneDrive sync

We are introducing a setting that allows you to exclude newly added OneDrive files from syncing to the cloud by file name or extension on Windows devices. This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 66188.   When this will happen   This setting is available in OneDrive version 20.201 in the Insiders ring in early November. The setting will be generally available in early December.   How this will affect your organization   This setting lets you prevent the OneDrive sync app (OneDrive.exe) from uploading specific files to OneDrive or SharePoint. For example, you can exclude .lnk files to avoid syncing new shortcut files. No errors appear for the skipped files, and the files remain in the local OneDrive folder. In File Explorer, the files appear with a “do not enter” icon in the Status column. This change is visible to end users via a new excluded icon and will not result in a red X error.   What you need to do to prepare   You can find the new setting in the admx/adml files that ship with OneDrive version 20.201. If you are currently using the admin center setting to block certain file types from being uploaded from the OneDrive sync app, you will need to first enable this new setting, make sure it’s applied by restarting the OneDrive sync app, and then disable that current setting in admin center. If you enable this setting, the sync app will not upload new files that match the rules you specified. There is no impact on existing files uploaded to OneDrive and SharePoint.

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New: Microsoft Lists undo and redo commands

With the release of undo and redo capabilities, users who edit their lists when in grid view will be able to retract any unwanted changes or bring back previously entered information. This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 68810   When this will happen   Targeted release: Gradually rolling out through mid-November Standard release: Gradually rolling out from mid-November to late December   How this will affect your organization   Two changes are part of this feature rollout. First, users will now be able see Undo and Redo commands as they modify lists, whether they are working on the list in SharePoint, the Lists app in Microsoft 365, or the Lists app in Microsoft Teams. Second, users will be able to use the following keyboard shortcuts to perform undo and redo operations while editing from grid view: Undo for Windows: Control + Z Redo for Windows: Control + Y AND Control + Shift + Z Undo for Mac OS: Command + Z Redo for Mac OS: Command + Shift + Z   What you need to do to prepare   You might want to notify your users and update any related training.

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Announcing Forms polls in Microsoft Teams meetings

Major update: Announcement Applies To: All By integrating Teams and the Forms app, we are creating a new way for meeting presenters to poll attendees. Adding a Forms poll in Teams Meetings uses the customized meetings experiences outlined in MC224434 (October 2020).   Key points   Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 68837 Timing: begins mid-November through early December 2020 Roll-out: tenant level Control type: user control and admin control Action: review and assess by November 19, 2020   How this will affect your organization   This feature is available on Teams desktop (Windows and Mac, version and Teams on the web. Any meeting presenter can add the Forms app as a tab in the Teams meeting. Before the meeting, the presenter can create draft polls. During the meeting, the presenter can create and launch polls that any attendee can view and answer. All attendees will be able to see the results in real time, and respondents can respond to a poll after the meeting if the poll has not been closed. Attendee view of Teams meeting poll that has been launched After the meeting, meeting presenters can evaluate responses in the meeting tab; export responses to an Excel workbook; or review responses on the web in the Forms app.   What you need to do to prepare   Meeting organizers can set who should be a presenter when creating a meeting or after a meeting has begun. If you would like to manage who in your tenant should have the presenter role, adjust the default value of the Who can present? setting in Meeting options in the Teams client. If you do not want presenters in your tenant to be able to poll meeting attendees using the Forms app, you will need to block the app in the Microsoft Teams admin center.

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New feature: Adding personal accounts in Teams coming soon on desktop

Major update: Announcement Applies To: All We are pleased to announce that we are extending the support for adding personal accounts that already exists in Teams Mobile applications to the Teams desktop apps (Windows and Mac OS).   Key points   Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 68845 Timing: Phased roll out Roll-out: tenant level Control type: admin policy Action: review and assess by November 19, 2020   How this will affect your organization   On November 19th, we will begin a staged rollout of personal account (via MSA) support in the Teams Desktop apps for Windows and Mac OS, extending the support that already exists in Teams Mobile applications. We will roll out in phases, taking customer feedback into account, and we will pause rollouts over the U.S. holidays. New users will be able to sign in with a personal account after installing the Teams app. Existing users with a work or school account, will see an option to add one personal account via their profile menu. Work and personal experiences will run in separate windows to visually differentiate them. You can manage the ability for users to utilize personal accounts via policy. To learn more about the policy see: How to restrict sign-in on desktop devices Note: Users of Teams mobile can continue to add or use their personal accounts via configuration policies for Intune for Android and iOS. This policy was announced in June 2020 (MC214328).   What you need to do to prepare   Review your policy to ensure the appropriate experience for your organization. Additionally you may want to update your training and documentation.

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Theme and Fluent icon updates in Teams on the web

We are updating the default and dark theme colors in Teams on the web and will also update Fluent icons to align other Microsoft 365 applications. Key points Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 68721 Timing: Public Preview: late November (previously mid-November) Standard release: mid-January (previously early December) Government cloud: mid-February (previously mid-January) Roll-out: tenant level Action: review and assess   How this will affect your organization     When your users access Teams on the web, the default and dark themes will be updated as well as the icons for all themes. Microsoft uses the Fluent design system to ensure a cohesive and accessible design for all Microsoft products and users. Most changes are subtle, such as: Added drop shadows between panels Rounded corners for square graphical elements (like buttons) Color adjustments to the default and dark themes Current design Updated design   What you need to do to prepare   You might want to notify your users about this change.

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Introducing new scenes to Together Mode

Introducing new scenes in Together Mode This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 68749   When this will happen:   We will begin rolling this out in mid-November and expect to complete by mid-December.   How this will affect your organization:   Now your tenant can change Together Mode scenes to the Microsoft provided images.   What you need to do to prepare:   You may consider updating your training and documentation as appropriate.

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Microsoft Teams – Virtual Breakout Rooms

Breakout rooms allow meeting organizers to split main meetings into smaller sessions for focused discussions. Key Points: Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID: 65332 Timing: begin in mid-November and expect to complete by end of November Control: Admin and Organizer   How this affects your organization:   Once available, follow the steps below to setup and use Breakout rooms. Administrators As an admin, ensure users can schedule private meetings with the following settings: Allow scheduling private meeting = on Allow Meet now in private meeting = on Allow channel meeting scheduling = on Allow meet now in channels = on Meeting Organizers and Participants To see the breakout rooms option within your meetings, you must turn on the new Teams meeting experience by Clicking on your profile image within Teams Selecting Settings Checking the “Turn on new meeting experience” option within General settings. Restart your Teams client. You can double check that the setting is setup correctly by starting a meeting and verifying that the meeting opens in its own window. Make sure all participants, including the meeting organizer are using the latest version of Teams. If joining on Android or iOS mobile or tablet, make sure participants go to their App Store and download the latest update. As a meeting organizer, join a channel / private scheduled meeting, or channel / private meet now meeting. Once you are in the meeting you should see the breakout room option next to the raise hand control. You must be a meeting organizer to see the option. Meeting attendees and presenters will not see the breakout rooms option.   What you need to do to prepare:   As an admin, review and share the settings to ensure they are set correctly for your organization and your users. Additionally, you may wish to share the information below with your users to help them prepare. Features available for Organizer: Breakout room setup on Teams desktop client Create breakout rooms in scheduled private meetings (including recurring) and private meet now meetings Meeting organizers can manage rooms and hop between rooms freely Setup breakout rooms during an active meeting Create up to 50 breakout rooms in a single meeting Add, remove, delete breakout rooms Rename rooms to the title of your choice Reassign room participants from one room to another before as well as while the rooms are open Room transition: as an organizer, you can decide if participants get moved to the room automatically when you open the room, or, if they need to click to confirm the move. The “auto-accept” setting is available per meeting. Send an announcement that will show up as a meeting chat message in each room. Chats, files, and recordings: only the organizer will always have access to all rooms meeting artifacts Features available for the participants:: Join breakout rooms from web, desktop, iOS, iPads, Android mobiles and tablets. Note that organizers cannot move participants who joined via Desk phones or Teams devices join to a breakout room, they can stay in main meeting as their breakout room. Participants join the room as presenters, so they can present, share Whiteboard, etc. freely. Participants cannot add others to meeting chat, copy meeting details, nudge others to the meeting, or use “call me back” Hoping between rooms: Meeting participants cannot hop back to main meeting or between rooms on their own. They must wait for the meeting organizer to pull them back to the main meeting. Chat during the breakout session. Chat and artifacts shared during meeting are viewable for room participants. Chats, files, and recordings: Participants have access to artifacts, but only organizer has access to the links – if link is shared by meeting organizer, then participants will have access Multi-device join: breakout room is not supported when the participant joins the same meeting and same account from multiple devices Where and when can I set up breakout rooms? You can set up breakout rooms after you join the meeting as the organizer. You can bulk create rooms at the start, or manually add or remove rooms. You can set up breakout rooms from desktop client, but not in mobile and web. We plan to enable the ability for you to set up breakout rooms before the meeting very soon. When can I assign participants to breakout room? You can assign participant when you are setting up the rooms. You can do so manually before the rooms open or reassign participants to a different room while the room is open. You can also auto-assign the participants to rooms when you first set up the rooms in the meeting.

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Free for one year: users can join Team meetings via call-in number

If you do not choose to activate the free offer, there is no impact to your organization. If you activate dial-in Audio Conferencing, when licensed users create Teams meetings, the body of the meeting invitation will include a phone number that people can dial to join meetings. The person using the dial-in number does not need a license. To activate free dial-in Audio Conferencing, from within Admin center go to Purchase services > Add-ons and then select the free Microsoft 365 Audio Conferencing Adoption Promo. Then assign the licenses to users in your organization. If you choose to take advantage of the free offer, let the employees you have licensed know that their Teams meetings invitations will include a dial-in phone number. Learn more: New discounts on meeting and calling experiences in Microsoft Teams Set up Audio Conferencing for small and medium businesses

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Play My Emails in Outlook for iOS launching internationally

End users can also opt in or out of Play My Emails by following these steps: Open Outlook for iOS Go to Settings Select Play My Emails Turn off the toggle next to the account(s) you want to enable/disable Play My Email is available Office 365, Outlook.com and Gmail accounts. However, you can play email from only one account at a time, even if you have Outlook set to All Accounts. Play My Emails requires an active network connection to the cloud. What you need to do to prepare Admins can manage the in-app experience with an app configuration setting from your mobile application management solution such as Microsoft Intune. You might want to notify your users about this new capability.

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