Microsoft 365 Updates: October

With Microsoft’s flagship conference Ignite starting on the 2nd November, it’s a good time to catch up on some of the recent updates to Microsoft 365 before the big announcements next week. Next month we’ll shortlist our top ten updates from Ignite and why you should start planning for a more resilient, reimagined future for your organisation.

1. Co-organiser meeting role

What’s new:

Organisers will soon be able to assign the co-organiser meeting role to up to 10 specific people they invite to their meeting. Co-organisers will be granted most of the capabilities of the organiser in the meeting, including being able to access & modify the meeting options for the meeting.

Why is this important?

Once this feature has been enabled, a “Choose co-organisers” meeting option will be available. The meeting organiser can click on the selector box to open a dropdown menu where they can choose from the list of qualified people who have been invited to the meeting.

Co-organisers can do the following:

– Access and change meeting options

– Bypass the lobby

– Admit people from the lobby during a meeting

– Lock the meeting

– Present content

– Change another participant’s meeting role

– End the meeting for all

When is it coming:

Start late November

Complete early December

2. SharePoint: Updates to the site creation experience

What’s new:

The site creation experience is being updated to make it easier for site creators to select the right type of SharePoint site, understand roles, and site permissions. Updates to this experience will include refreshed graphics, expanded site descriptions, and additional context for different permission levels in the Site permissions panel.

Why is this important:

The updated site creation experience is designed to help site creators quickly understand the differences between a communication site and a team site.

These updates will also include improvements to the site permissions panel, so site owners and members can easily understand the differences between permission levels. Users will be able to hover over the information icon for more details.

When is it coming:

Start early November

Completing by mid December

3. New Stream features

What’s new:

This feature update will enable users to toggle features, such as transcripts and comments, on and off for all viewers in the web player. Audio and video files must be stored in OneDrive and SharePoint.

Why is this important:

Users will see a ‘video’ settings button in the upper right-hand corner of any video or audio file stored in OneDrive or SharePoint that they own.

When is it coming:

Start early November

Complete by mid December

4. Focus time experiences in the Viva Insights Teams App

What’s new:

Viva Insights is enhancing the focus time experience for users of Viva Insights in Microsoft Teams. Users will have the ability to enrol in a focus plan and modify their focus plan settings directly from the Teams app, a function currently accessible from the Viva Insights web dashboard.

Why is this important:

– The “Protect Time” tab of the Viva Insights Teams app will be updated with a modified interface and will allow users to enrol in a focus plan directly from the tab.

– Users who are enrolled in a focus plan will see a card on the “Protect Time” tab with insights on their past focus time kept and upcoming focus time booked.

– The Viva Insights settings page of the app will be updated to provide users with the option to configure their focus plan preferences.

– Users who are already enrolled in a focus plan will begin receiving a Teams reminder notification to enter focus mode.

When is it coming:

Coming soon

5. Private drafts for SharePoint pages and news 

What’s new:

This new feature will provide users the ability to create private drafts for pages and news posts. A private draft will be visible to only the page author, the people the author chooses to share it with, and site admins. Users will be able to create and edit content that’s not ready for others to see except the people with whom users want to collaborate.

Why is this important:

Authors of SharePoint pages and news will be able to create private drafts. When a private draft is created, only the creator and site admins can see the page (including from within the Pages library).

When is it coming:

Start early November

Complete by mid December

6. View Switcher for Teams meetings

What’s new:

This new feature will place all of the view related options that are found in Teams Meetings (gallery, large gallery, together mode) into a separate, dedicated menu called View Switcher. This will show up on the top left of the meeting window.

Why is this important:

Users will no longer have find these options in the three dots to reveal extra views. Options will now be in a separate dedicated menu on the top left.

When is it coming?

Start late October

Complete by mid November

7. Lists in Microsoft Teams: Comment and @mention people on list items in Teams

What’s new:

The new release will bring the commenting capability available for Lists on the web to Lists within Teams. Users will be able to view, delete, and add comments on a list item inside Teams. Comments will stay with the list item regardless of it opening on SharePoint, Microsoft Lists on the web, or Teams.

Why is this important:

Users collaborating on list items within a Teams channel will be able to add and view comments within Teams itself. These comments stay with the list item and can also be viewed in Lists on the web.

When is it coming:

Start mid October

Complete by late October

8. Microsoft Viva: Praise history in Microsoft Viva Insights

What’s new:

Users can send Praise to their colleagues through the messaging extension pinned to the Teams messaging bar for most users or through the Microsoft Viva Insights app in Teams. With Praise history, users will be able to view their sent and received praise over the past six months. Praise history will be shown in Viva Insights and will include Praise sent from both the messaging extension and the Viva Insights app.

Why is this important:

Praise sent and received history will automatically begin tracking for users in the Viva Insights Praise dashboard. Admins can disable Praise history by disabling Praise in the Teams admin centre – doing so will disable Praise messaging extension, Praise in the Viva Insights app, and Praise history.

When is it coming:

Start mid November

Complete by late November

9. Microsoft Teams: A new search results page is coming

What’s new:

A new search results experience in Teams for Desktop clients will be launched to make finding messages, people, answers and files faster and more intuitive. This redesigned search results page features better context, faster results, improved filtering capabilities with AI-powered relevance based on the people and content you engage with most in Teams and other Microsoft 365 services.

Why is this important:

All users in your organisation will receive this new experience when they use search and reach the search results page. This search aligns with the broader O365 search experience.

When is it coming:

Start early November

Complete by mid November

10. Teams Meeting Recordings Auto-Expiration in OneDrive and SharePoint

What’s new:

As part of the evolution of the new Stream (built on SharePoint), Microsoft are introducing the meeting recording auto-expiration feature, which will automatically delete Teams recording files stored in OneDrive or SharePoint after a pre-set period of time.

Why is this important:

New recordings will automatically expire 60 days after they are recorded if no action is taken. The 60-day default was chosen as, on average across all tenants, most meeting recordings are never watched again after 60 days. However this setting can be modified if a different expiration timeline is desired.

When is it coming:

Start early January

Complete by mid February

We release a monthly Microsoft 365 updates blog at the end of each month. Read last month’s blog here.

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