In October we are accustomed to seeing many new usability features that are showcased at Microsoft Ignite.
We highly recommend catching some of the Ignite sessions that interest you and we will follow up with our favorites next month.
Here are some important updates you’ll see rolling out to your tenants soon!
Microsoft Forms new App “Polls” in Teams
This is a current capability that is underutilized and is getting some needed attention.
Microsoft Forms has always focused on providing the best polling experience to customers. However, according to customer feedback and telemetry, Microsoft has determined that many people don’t know the “Forms” App provides polling capability in Teams.
To provide a better experience we are delivering a new Teams app specifically for polling capabilities. This new app will be discoverable in Teams meetings/chats as “Polls”. Any forms you created previously will not be affected and no action is required on your part to preserve older forms or add Polls to your Teams
This feature is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 84567
This feature is expected to be rolling in in mid-October and complete by the end of November.
Viva Connections – Praise History
The Praise app in Microsoft Teams is designed to help recognize the effort that goes into the wide-ranging, collaborative work that Teams users do. 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. Additionally, all Praise sent in Teams will include a link for users to view their personal Praise history in the Viva Insights Teams app.
This feature is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 85639
Rollout will begin in mid-November and complete by the end of November.
Improvement to the Text web part for SharePoint pages and news
Microsoft has added the ability to paste inline images into the Text web part so that images can be closer to the text and text can wrap around the images. This is a great addition to the Text web part and should roll out everywhere by the end of October.
Authors of SharePoint pages and news will be able to paste images into the Text web part and align the images to the left, right, or center with text wrapping.
Microsoft is also addressing feedback they had about text line spacing by reducing the line spacing size between header and body text, and in between bullets points.
SharePoint Navigation Switcher
Another great new SharePoint feature is the ability to change the navigation in team sites. This rollout should be complete in late November.
This feature update will bring users a new navigation option feature for SharePoint team sites. Team site owners will be able to switch the team site navigation orientation from vertical to horizontal. Additionally, site navigation visibility can be turned off completely. This new navigation option allows site owners to customize their team site by changing navigation’s orientation and visibility to achieve a different look and feel, layouts, and alignment styles.
This feature is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 85568.
- The Vertical option displays site navigation on the left of the site content
- The Horizontal option displays site navigation on the top of the page just below the site header like on a SharePoint communication site
(Updated) Sharing Links for Microsoft Lists is now available, or will be soon! Sharing links for lists rollout should be complete by the end of October.
This release will allow users to now share Microsoft Lists using the same sharing links that they have been using for files and folders.
This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 81965
OneDrive and SharePoint: Improved Move/Copy user experience
Microsoft is refreshing the user experience to make it easier to navigation to move and copy files and folders.
This should begin releasing in October and be complete in mid-November.
This feature is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 85567.
When a user moves or copies a file or folder within OneDrive or SharePoint, they will see a new dialog-based experience to choose the destination for their content. There is no change to the underlying Move or Copy capabilities—all limitations, errors and admin settings will be unimpacted.
Yammer: Official Communities
Official communities are designated communities to ask questions and get answers, to connect and learn from others. When communities are marked as official, they create legitimacy and build trust over the conversations and content shared. The interactions in official communities set the example within your organization’s network. Network admins designate the official communities in your organization.
Network admins will have the ability to designate the official communities in your organization.
To take advantage of this feature, network managers will need to:
- Get a baseline for determining what groups will be marked as official
- Determine official community guidelines
- Publish a request an official community form for community admins to fill if they’ll like their group marked as official
- Determine the official community review process
- Evaluate ongoing official community engagement
- Get the word out
This feature should be available by the end of October.
Have a great October and a Happy Halloween!
It’s May 2021 and the news from Microsoft is not slowing down! To help you keep up with what is going on in M365, here are some of the most important updates from the productivity stack.
Manage how long guests can access SharePoint and OneDrive documents
Updated Rollout Timeline – This feature begin rolling out at the end of May and complete by the end of June.
You will soon be able to create a policy that automatically revokes access for external guests to SharePoint Online (SPO) sites and individual OneDrives after a defined period of time.
This policy is not retroactive; it does not apply to guests who already have access to sites, documents and files.
You can enable this policy, which applies to both SPO and OneDrive, in the SharePoint admin center.
Until you enable the policy, there will be no change in how long new guests may access shared content.
This feature is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 43797.
New: Launch your portal using the SharePoint Portal launch scheduler
Rollout Timeline – Targeted release: Late May / Standard release: Mid July
This new SharePoint Portal launch scheduler will help coordinate and schedule launch details for high-traffic sites (portals). This feature provides a great end-user experience when launching a brand-new portal by enabling you to release new sites in scheduled phases, as well as better monitor site quality and performance.
This feature can only be used on modern SharePoint communication sites.
Site owner permissions (or higher) to the site are needed to schedule a portal launch.
This feature is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 70799.
Export Lists to CSV
Rollout timeline – rolled out at the end of April
Sometimes Microsoft just likes to throw in an unannounced surprise feature. In modern lists, there has been the Export to Excel feature, but now you have the option to also export to CSV on Windows machines. On Macs, you only have the option to Export to CSV.
Note: Unfortunately, when the feature was rolled out, the changes were visible in both document libraries and lists and Microsoft is working to correct this issue by late May, and only show the new CSV option inside lists.
(Updated) Introducing a SharePoint app bar that features global navigation
Targeted release is complete.
Roll out to Standard tenants will begin in early May and complete by the end of May.
Your SharePoint modern communication and team sites will soon feature the SharePoint app bar which provides quick access to customizable global navigation as well as other intranet resources. The SharePoint app bar makes important content and resources easily accessible for users on these sites, regardless of where they might be in SharePoint.
Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 70576
Users access the SharePoint app bar from the upper left-hand side of the browser on the SharePoint start page and throughout modern SharePoint sites. The SharePoint app bar improves global wayfinding and dynamically displays personalized content for sites, news, and files.
Microsoft has published guidance for The SharePoint App Bar Experience
(Updated) SharePoint site templates
Microsoft has updated the rollout timeline for SharePoint Site Templates. Targeted Releases (selected users and organizations): rolling out from late May (previously late April) to mid-June (previously mid-May).
Standard Release: rolling out from mid-June (previously mid-May) to late June.
This new SharePoint release of scenario-based site templates will help you expand what’s possible with content, pages, and web parts while helping you quickly get started building your own site. Each template contains pre-populated content and web parts that are fully customizable to meet the needs of your organization. This is rolling out on SharePoint Online and mobile.
This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 70574.
Block Download Permissions for Teams Meeting Recordings on OneDrive
Updated rollout timeline: The rollout of this change will begin in mid-May (previously early April) and it expect to complete in early June (previously end April).
When this change is implemented:
- All new Teams meeting recordings uploaded to OneDrive and SharePoint will get the same permissions as outlined here, except that everyone who would normally receive view-only permissions will now also be blocked from being able to download the recording by default for non-channel meetings (i.e. the ones going to the recorder’s OneDrive). MIcrosoft will update that documentation to reflect the added block download restrictions once the feature is deployed. This change that will block downloadability of Teams meeting recordings will apply only to non-Channel meetings (aka “adhoc” meetings). Meeting recordings from meetings hosted in a Teams channel are uploaded to the doclib on the SharePoint team site backing that Teams channel. As such, it inherits the permissions from that team site to maintain its collaborative nature. It is recommended that you do not use Channel meetings for sensitive topics where you do not want members to have full access. A separate post and roadmap item will be created for the channel meeting recording solution in the future.
- Any time the recording is shared with someone else, block download permissions will continue to be set by default. Only the recording edit owners will have the ability to explicitly override that setting and re-share with download permissions if they choose to do so. That will be an explicit action, so the owners will not be at risk of accidentally oversharing.
If you prefer to make the transition to Teams meeting recording on OneDrive and SharePoint after these enhanced download permissions are implemented, we recommend that you opt out of that experience as described here.
- Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 70543
(Updated) Microsoft Teams: introducing organization-wide backgrounds (preview)
Rollout is planned from mid-May (previously early May) to mid-June (previously late May).
Currently, your end users can replace the background in a video meeting or call with an image, if you have enabled this feature for Teams desktop apps and Teams on the web.
We are introducing, via a preview feature, the ability for you to provide backgrounds that end users have access to across the organization.
This feature will require an Advanced Communications license when it becomes generally available in July. If users do not have an Advanced Communications license, any organization backgrounds applied during the preview will no longer be available.
The Advanced Communication license is not bundled with other licensing, it is add on licensing calculated per user per month and is only required for meeting organizers.
Microsoft has published more information about this add on sku in Advanced Communications add-on for Microsoft Teams.
This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 80193.
Microsoft Teams: Profile menu update, relocating profile menu links to a new menu in the title bar
Rollout to Standard release will begin in late May and complete by early June. Rollout to GCC will begin in mid-June and complete by early July.
Microsoft has named the Profile menu the “Me Menu”. Settings, Zoom Controls, Keyboard Shortcuts, About, and Check for Updates is moving from the Me Menu to a new menu in the title bar.
Teams: Create tasks from Teams chats or channel posts
Rollout will begin early May and be complete in late May.
This new feature will allow users to create Tasks from Teams chats or channel posts and enable them to identify tasks that arise naturally in Teams conversations while ensuring important work isn’t overlooked. This will rollout on Microsoft Teams desktop and mobile.
This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 68696.
How this will affect your organization
This feature will unify tasks in the Teams Task app in your organization. Select More options on a Teams message to choose Create task and track in the Tasks app in Teams. All tasks created from chats and posts will appear with all of a users tasks in the Teams Tasks app. Individual tasks can be added to My tasks and collaborative tasks can be added to any shared plan.
Both will include a link back to the original chat or channel post to provide context. Your users will be able to add accountability by assigning tasks, setting due dates, priority, assignments, and even add notes right from their chat or channel post.
NOTE: The Tasks app must be installed to use this feature. Tasks is on by default unless your organization has made explicit changes to exclude Tasks.