M365 Monthly Update: July

With the start of the new financial year well underway, Microsoft 365 updates are keeping up with momentum. We’ve summarised the top 10 with the focus firmly shining on Teams.

1. Windows 365

What’s new:

Windows 365 is a new way to experience Windows 10 or Windows 11 as a cloud service, streaming the full Windows experience — including apps, data and settings — to any device from the Microsoft Cloud. Windows 365 also creates a new hybrid personal computing category called Cloud PC, which uses both the power of the cloud and the capabilities of the device to provide a full, personalized Windows experience.

Why is this important?

Windows 365 is designed to give organisations a new, flexible and secure way to empower distributed workforces, temporary and seasonal employees and workers with a need for specialised workloads.

When is it coming: Starting end of H2 2021

2. Music Mode for Teams

What’s new:

This new feature release can be used to transmit high fidelity music. Users will be able to conduct online music lessons, transmit music performances, or other non-speech content.

Why is this important:

This update provides the option for the user to transmit high fidelity music. Teams will automatically adjust the audio bit rate based on the available bandwidth, going down to 48 kbps while still delivering good music quality. There is also the option for users to turn off components such as echo cancellation, noise suppression, and gain control if needed.

When is it coming:

Starting end of July 2021

Completing end of September 2021

3. Add topics to Microsoft 365 user profiles 

What’s new:

Users in your organisation will be able to add topics directly to their profile card in Microsoft 365 apps and services or through Office Delve. This is part of a range of new features to the profile card in Microsoft 365 and beginning in early August.

Why is this important:

– Topics are terms that individuals can add to their profile through their profile card or Office Delve.

– Users can add topics to their profile to make it easier for people to learn more about them.

– Topics can be skills, projects, and even hobbies.

– When others search for a term that matches a topic on their profile, their name and profile picture may show up in search results across Microsoft apps.

When is it coming:

Starting early August 2021

Completing mid-October 2021

4. New Microsoft Teams recommendations in Microsoft Secure Score 

What’s new:

Microsoft Teams is receiving new security recommendations for Microsoft Teams. 

Why is this important:

– Microsoft Teams customers will see the below five new improvement actions in Secure Score.

– Restrict dial-in users from bypassing a meeting lobby.

– Limit external participants from having control in a Teams meeting.

– Restrict anonymous users from starting Teams meetings.

– Require lobbies to be set up for Teams meetings.

– Configure which users are allowed to be present in Teams meetings.

When is it coming:

Starting mid-July 2021

5. Custom Branding with Teams Meetings 

What’s new:

This new release of meeting Join Custom Branding will allow tenant admins to upload their company logo to the Teams admin portal so it appears on the meeting pre-join and lobby screens for meetings organised by members of their tenant.

Why is this important:

This update gives users who join your meetings a branded experience distinctive to your tenant. The feature is part of the Advanced Communications license, meaning the logo will appear only if the meeting organiser has the license.

– Multiple logos can be upload at once, allowing you to assign different logos to different people or groups if that’s helpful for your tenant.

– You will have an option to preview how the logo looks before uploading.

When is it coming:

Completing late July 2021

6. Fluid live components in Teams chat 

What’s new:

Co-authoring content in Teams just got easier. Now you can send a chat message containing a live component that can be edited inline—in real time—by everyone in the chat.

Why is this important:

Fluid components in Teams chat allow end users to send a message with a table, action items, or a list that can be co-authored and edited by everyone in line and in the future will be shareable across Office applications like Outlook. Users will be able to quickly align across teams, and get work done efficiently by copy and pasting components across Teams chats.

When is it coming?

Starting mid-August 2021

Completing late August 2021

7. SharePoint News Boost 

What’s new:

Prioritise important news and announcements at the top of news feeds across Microsoft 365.  Additionally, you can even prioritise visibility of a news article for a set time that you can control.

Why is this important:

You can now boost important news posts on organisational news sites, to all employees & ensure higher readership.

When is it coming:

Starting mid-August 2021

Completing late August 2021

8. Pin a chat message in Teams

What’s new:

Users can now pin a specific message, providing chat members with quick access to critical content at anytime.

Why is this important:

Any member of a chat will be able to pin/unpin any specific chat message to the top of the chat header, for all members to see. Users can click on the pinned message to go to the original message in the chat thread. Currently, only a single message can be pinned at a time.

When is it coming:

Starting mid-August 2021

Completing late September 2021

9. The new modernised SharePoint Store in SharePoint Online

What’s new:

The SharePoint Store has been updated to a new modern experience that includes a streamlined acquisition flow for third-party apps.

Why is this important:

With this update, SharePoint admins and site users with full control permissions will be able to acquire or request third-party solutions in the new streamlined experience. There is no change to the current entry points or permissions model for the SharePoint Store. Additionally, there is no change to how you set whether users can acquire apps from the SharePoint Store.


When is it coming:

Starting end of July 2021

10. New Teams presenter modes 

What’s new:

The new meeting presentation feature release will allow presenters, while sharing a screen in Presenter modes, to be able to present in two new presentation layouts in an immersive experience alongside their content.

Why is this important:

This release will provide the presenter with two new options while screen sharing in the Teams Desktop app:

Side-by-side: When a presenter selects Side-by-side mode, participants will see the presenter’s video feed and content overlaid on a background image.

Reporter mode: In Reporter mode, participants will see the presenter’s video feed superimposed over the background image while having the content over their shoulder, placed diagonally

When is it coming:

Starting mid-August 2021

Completing mid-September 2021

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