M365 Monthly Update: May

There’s no shortage of new Microsoft 365 features and updates this May. This month’s article features a range of services – from locking meetings to chatting with external guests to new admin guides, there’s an update waiting for you! 

1. Organisers can lock meetings

What’s new:

Within the desktop app in-meeting experience, organisers can choose to lock their meetings to prevent subsequent unwanted join attempts.

Why is this important:

Users attempting to join a locked meeting by any means (e.g. from web, desktop, mobile, PSTN, and devices) will not be able to do so. There will be a message to say that the meeting is locked.

When is it coming: Completed mid-June

2. Skype for Business online retires in July 2021

What’s new:

Microsoft Teams has become the core communications client for Microsoft 365, this is a reminder the Skype for Business Online service will retire on 31st July 2021. At that point, access to the service will end.

Why is this important:

After 31st July Skype for Business online will be retired. Note: this does not effect Skype consumer service nor Skype for Business Server products are affected by the retirement of Skype for Business Online. Organisations are encouraged to move to Teams today.

When is it coming: End of July

3. Recommended files coming to Windows

What’s new:

Microsoft Office displays a list of recommended files on the File tab, or the start page on Word, Excel, or PowerPoint on Windows. This list allows you to keep track of work around you and quickly access files with activity you value most such as edits, mentions, comments by people you interact with.

Why is this important:

Recommended files in Office has been available on Office.com and Office for Mac and is now coming to Office on Windows. This feature uses machine learning to predict which files you’re most likely to want to work on next and presents those as a set of cards you can choose from. Only files that you have access to in OneDrive or SharePoint are suggested.

When is it coming:

Starting early June

Completed by mid-September

4. Group chat with external users in Teams 

What’s new:

This new external group chat feature enables your users to initiate and participate in group Teams chats with users from outside your organisation, AAD identity required.

Why is this important:

Expanding on the existing ability for Teams users to find, participate in 1:1 chat, call and set up meetings with external users, external group chat in Teams supports up to 250 participants across multiple organisations in a single chat. This is rolling out on Teams desktop, web and mobile.

When is it coming:

Starting mid May

Completed late June

5. Migrate content from Dropbox to Microsoft 365

What’s new:

Admins will start to be able to take advantage the expanded support for third-party cloud providers and migrate content from Dropbox to Microsoft 365.

Why is this important:

This release will enable you to migrate your Dropbox folders, files, and users to OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams in Microsoft 365 and collaborate all in one place.

As you connect to a Dropbox for Business account, the service begins discovering users and their files. The service will automatically map to an individual’s OneDrive accounts, but you can also manually map to a specific OneDrive user account, SharePoint site, or a Teams channel.

When is it coming:

Late May

Early June

6. Sharing links for Microsoft Lists is now available!

What’s new:

This release will allow users to now share Microsoft Lists using the same sharing links that they have been using for files and folders.

Why is this important:

Users can now share entire lists using sharing links. The experience is identical to the sharing links experiences that are supported for files and folders. The same admin controls that apply to sharing files and folders will also apply to lists and list items

When is it coming:

Starting mid may

Completed in June

7. Headspace mindfulness content in Microsoft Viva Insights is nearly here

What’s new:

The Microsoft Viva Insights app in Teams will introduce a curated set of guided meditations and focus music from Headspace. This will be accessible via the app Homepage to help users start their day grounded, relax their mind before a big meeting, or find focus before starting an important project.

Why is this important:

A Headspace meditation to mindfully wrap up the day will also be integrated into the virtual commute. In just a few minutes a day, meditation and mindfulness with Headspace can help users lower stress, increase focus and ease teamwork.

Requirement: Only users with provisioned Exchange Online mailboxes can access features within the Viva Insights app in Teams.

When is it coming:

Starting mid-April

Completed late July

8. IE11 desktop application to retire on windows June 15 2022

What’s new:

IE11 desktop application will be retired on 15th June 2022. This means that the IE11 desktop application will no longer be supported and afterwards will redirect to Microsoft Edge if a user tries to access it.

Why is this important:

This is not to be mistaken for the end of M365 support for IE11. From 17th August this year all of your M365 apps will stop working on IE11 rendering it practically obsolete. From 15th June next year it will disappear altogether, giving you a year long goodbye.

When is it coming: June

9. Customize the properties for the Yammer Communities app in Teams

What’s new:

The Microsoft Teams admin will soon be able to customize the following properties for the Yammer Communities app in Teams within their tenant:

  • App name
  • App description
  • App icons
  • Accent colour

Why is this important:

The fantastic Yammer plug in will soon be customisable by Teams admins. Customizing the app is perfect for companies that have given their Yammer network custom branding that fits with their corporate identity. Additionally, you can change the Yammer app icon to one that reflects communities, or change the app name to “Yammer”.

When is it coming: Completed in June

10. New Guide: Discover and configure sites that require IE mode

What’s new:

To detect the sites that need to use IE mode, many admins follow the Enterprise Site Discovery process. This new step-by-step guide (also known as the Configure IE mode for Microsoft Edge assistant) will help automate configuration of the Enterprise Site Discovery, get IE mode recommendations from a cloud-based tool, and create an Enterprise Mode Site List that you’ll deploy to your users.

Why is this important:

Currently, you must manually configure Enterprise Site Discovery which involves many time-consuming tasks. This includes whether you’re using Group Policy or Configuration Manager.

The guide provides an easy-to-use interface and tools to discover sites and create a site list for IE mode in Microsoft Edge from an admin perspectives regardless of the management tool you use. Scripts are provided to make deployment easier and will help shorten the time by exporting your site list to an .xml file that’ll be ready to deploy to your users.

When is it coming: The setup guidance, accessible here, will be available mid-May 2021

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