Happy New Year!
In 2022 Microsoft is bringing us some great new functionality to the M365 experience. Here are some changes that are coming soon!
(Updated) Microsoft Teams: Hide your own video in Teams meetings
Microsoft has updated the rollout schedule for this gem! If you are like me and get distracted by your own video in meetings, you will appreciate this change!
Currently, it is not possible to hide your own video on the stage. This can contribute to meeting fatigue as we are constantly processing our own image during calls. This new feature update will expand the ability for users to hide their own video on the stage for themselves while others will still be able to see it and thus not disrupt the video experience during the call.
New feature will help to tackle various situations:
- No more overlaying of the me video box and other participant’s video or content
- Seeing yourself can bring stress for the brain having to process an extra load of information, not mentioning the distraction – you can avoid this by hiding your own video from your stage
- For meetings where you desire to have your video on, you will not have to compromise anymore between the meeting fatigue and being visually included
- Having video on helps create closer connections or can be even required in some meetings – by hiding your video, you can relax and still meet this requirement
- An indicator in the form of a cropped part of your own video image will never let you forget your video is on and avoid any undesired circumstances
The feature will be rolling out for the Windows and Mac desktop client.
This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 86370.
When this will happen:
Standard: We will begin rolling this out in January and expect to complete rollout in early February.
GCC: We will begin rolling this out in late January and expect to complete rollout end of February.
GCC-H: We will begin rolling this out in mid-February and expect to complete rollout end of March.
DoD: We will begin rolling this out end of February and expect to complete rollout mid-March.
The experience will change from the screenshot on the left to the screenshot on the right.
When this rolls out in your tenant, here is how users can make the change:
- Go to the Me video menu – you can find it in the Me box, clicking on …
- Select Hide for me. Your Me box is going to roll either vertically or horizontally depending on the position of your gallery. If you no longer wish to be hidden, select Unhide for me by clicking on the arrow available in the collapsed state.
- You can easily hide or unhide yourself when clicking on the menu next to your name in roster too.
Mute Notifications During Meetings
This is another great enhancement to Teams that will be particularly helpful when you are in a meeting, but are receiving notifications from a different meeting chat.
The current experience of receiving notifications during meetings is highly distracting and there is no easy way to turn off these notifications making it highly painful for users. This feature will introduce a setting to help the user turn OFF notifications during meetings.
- Global Setting to turn OFF notifications during meetings – A user can find these settings by clicking on the ellipsis next to the profile picture -> Going to global settings -> Notifications -> Meetings. This will turn off notifications for all the meetings
- Allow/Mute Notifications through the uBar – A user can wish to turn ON/OFF notifications on a per meeting basis through the setting provided in the meeting tray.
This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 87452.
When this will happen:
This feature will start rolling out in early February and should be completed by mid-March.
Users will be able to make changes to their settings by going to either the user profile notifications or the uBar within a meeting.
(Updated) Chat with users with Teams personal accounts
Here’s an update to share with your Governance team. You’ll need to make an organizational decision on whether you would like to allow chats with personal Teams accounts to happen within your tenant.
Chat with Teams will extend collaboration support by enabling Teams users to chat with team members outside their work network with a Teams personal account. Customers will be able to invite any Teams user to chat using an email address or phone number and remain within the security and compliance policies of their organization.
Will roll out on web, desktop and mobile.
- Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 88381
- Timing: begin roll out in early December and expect to complete in mid-January (previously mid-December)
- Control: Admin control via PowerShell and Teams admin center
- Action: Review and assess for your organization.
How this will affect your organization:
With this update Teams users in your organization will be able to start a 1:1 or a group chat with Teams users who are using their personal accounts and vice-versa. IT Admins will have the option to enable/disable this at a tenant and individual user level with two possible controls:
- Control to enable or disable the entire functionality. If disabled neither users in your organization and users in their personal accounts will be able to chat with each other.
- Control to define if Teams users with a personal account can start a chat or add users from your organization to a chat. If disabled, only users in your organization will be able to start a chat or add users with their personal accounts.
Note: Settings will rollout default on.
What you need to do to prepare:
If you would like to opt-out from this functionality you would be able to do so via the Teams admin portal under the External Access section. Optionally you could use PowerShell commands to opt-out all users or individual users from this functionality.
Settings to update:
Tenant level: CsTenantFederationConfiguration
User level: CsExternalAccessPolicy
Pairing naming convention between Teams channels and corresponding SharePoint folders
This new release will update the channel rename experience in Teams to simultaneously rename the corresponding folder in SharePoint sites whenever a channel in Teams is renamed. We are taking this step to eliminate the difficulty in tracking, across all Microsoft 365 endpoints, that occurs when a channel in Teams is renamed and the corresponding folder’s naming convention is not updated accordingly in SharePoint. This will rollout on Teams desktop and web.
- Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID: 72211.
- Timing: late February through late April
- Roll-out: tenant level
- Control type: admin control
- Action: review and assess
This new feature’s pairing of the naming convention between Teams channels and the corresponding SharePoint folders will help to eliminate confusion across all Microsoft 365 endpoints, providing greater clarity for users.
This new feature will be available for all Standard and Private channels that are renamed after the rollout.
- For Standard channels – The corresponding folder in SharePoint will be renamed.
- For Private channels – For Private channels, the corresponding folder in SharePoint will be renamed.
- For legacy Teams channels that were renamed prior to this rollout – There will be no change in experience. When a legacy channel is renamed after this release, it will simultaneously rename the corresponding SharePoint folder.
- Upon renaming a channel, the new folder name will only reflect the same name in the corresponding OneDrive sync client when the whole document library has been synched. When only the channel folder is synched, the new name will not be reflected in the OneDrive sync client.
- SharePoint name auto-updated when Teams channel renamed
You might want to notify your users about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate.
Review any automated script dependency on channel folders in SharePoint.
(Updated) Improved Teams Guest User Usability
Microsoft has updated the timeline for some enhancements to the guest user experience which will be helpful in managing your guest access to different tenants.
Rolling out in early January (previously early December) and expect the rollout to be completed by late January (previously late December).
- A guest user can now decline a pending guest invitation within Teams app
- When the guest user clicks Decline, Teams Tenant List will not show the tenant with the pending invitation and in the Account Management tab
- A guest user can now initiate leaving an org (taking the user to the portal where the user can now leave a guest tenant)
- When the guest user clicks Leave Org, user will be guided on how to leave a tenant from Teams and Azure Portal
- A guest user can now manage guest tenant list by choosing to hide/show guest tenants
- When the guest user clicks Hide/Show, the tenant will be shown (or hidden) in the Menu under the tenant list.
New Content Scenarios for My Feed Web Part on SharePoint
The following new features are being added to the My Feed Web Part:
- Suggested Task
- These are tasks or actions you have requested by or of you. They also may be tasks or actions you promise to do. These tasks are pulled from your email conversations.
- People Highlights
- These comprise of Birthdays, Work Anniversaries and Change of roles for people who you work with. The information is only visible for those who have chosen to share it on LinkedIn.
- Meetings out of routine
- These are meetings scheduled on Teams or Outlook and are out of your usual working hours. This allows your users to either request for a reschedule or act on the meetings as appropriate.
This rollout will begin mid-January and be completed by late January 2022.
The updated Feed Web Part will enable your users to have access to more content types and engage them in what is happening around them. They will be able to see updates on different file collaboration activities, stay up to speed on what actions to take, view upcoming meetings and recordings and be up to date with events around their colleagues’ work life events.
To surface the Feed Web Part, follow the steps here: Use the My feed web part (microsoft.com)
(Updated) Rich text and images in Planner task notes
Microsoft is adding support for rich text (bold, italics, underline, etc.) and images in the Planner task notes field.
NOTE: We will update this post once we have Microsoft Graph documentation for the new rich text task notes field available.
This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 85688.
When this will happen:
We expect to begin rolling out the new rich text task notes field in mid-February (previously mid-December) and we expect to complete the rollout by late March (previously early February).
Microsoft is introducing a new rich text enabled task notes field in the Planner Microsoft Graph API. This will result in two task notes fields in our API – the new “rich text task notes field” and the existing “plain text task notes field.” When this feature launches, Planner for the Web and for Teams (Tasks app) will support rich text in task notes. Other Planner experiences in iOS, Android, SharePoint, and Power Automate will only support plain text task notes, but we plan to update these apps to support rich text at a later date.
When this feature update is deployed, all existing task notes content will be preserved in the new rich text enabled task notes field, so users will be able to continue viewing and editing notes without interruption.
Microsoft will maintain compatibility between the rich text task notes field and plain text task notes field by ensuring both fields’ contents stay in sync.
- If a user edits the rich text task notes field, all content is synced to the plain text task notes field automatically. Any rich content is converted to plain text and synced to the plain text task notes field.
- If a user edits the plain text task notes field via the Microsoft Graph API or via a client which only supports the plain text field, the contents in the plain text task notes field is synced to the rich text task notes field without modification. Therefore edits to the plain text task notes field will result in the removal of any pre-existing rich text, text formatting, or images in the rich text notes field.
- If a user chooses to insert images in the rich text task notes field, a preview of the image will appear in the task notes field. End users should not see any interruption in their Planner experiences. They can continue using task notes as they do today but gain the ability to insert rich text and view image previews in task notes if desired (for Planner experiences which support it).
What you need to do to prepare:
If your organization has custom applications interacting with our Microsoft Graph Planner API, make sure to update the apps to support the rich text task notes field as soon as it is available to take advantage of the new notes capabilities. Microsoft will maintain support for the existing plain text task notes field in our Microsoft Graph Planner API for at least 36 months.
If your organization has applications or workflows which parse the task notes to trigger logic based off contents in the notes field, we recommend users continue to input only plain text in task notes and not apply text formatting or insert images into task notes. Such apps should also be updated to avoid parsing task notes or applying logic to contents in the task notes as these are not recommended uses of the task notes field in our API.
Viva Topics automatically organizes content and expertise across your organization, making it easy for people to find information and put knowledge to work.
Experience improvements to the Topic Card
The Topic card will now expand to read longer descriptions, show the job title for contacts, and navigate in-context with the Live Persona Card. These improvements will help users stay in-context with their flow of work.Features coming to the Topic card:
- More action appears to expand a long description
- Job title appears as additional information for the people listed
- Tapping on a person navigates to in-context to the Live Persona card
This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 82175.
This is rolling out January and should be complete mid-January.
This change will positively impact end users using the Viva Topic card in SharePoint Modern pages, as it is an improvement for usability.
Have a great January, we are looking forward to all the great improvements in communication and collaboration in 2022!