Microsoft made over 100 updates and announcements in the month of July 2023 for the Microsoft 365 platform. Don’t have time to read them all? We’ve gone through all of them and put together what we feel are the most important updates for you to be aware of.
Microsoft has introduced a new Outlook notification style reminders for Windows preview. It is a pop-out window that organizes users’ meeting/event reminders and task reminders in one place. It allows for snoozing and dismissing reminders or joining Teams meetings directly from the window. Roll out of the feature is already in progress and expected to be completed by mid-august. There is no expected impact on organizations and the feature will default to “OFF” in the user's settings, unless their migrated settings (from their previous Outlook client that they toggled in from) indicate otherwise, in which case they will be defaulted to ON.
Teams users will soon be able to use the "Join" button for third-party meeting invitations rather than finding and clicking on the meeting link. This change will be effective for third-party meetings created from Outlook or OWA, and visible in both the Teams desktop and mobile application versions. The feature is scheduled to roll out as a Preview feature starting August 2023 and should complete by early September 2023.
With the Forms Add-on in PowerPoint, you can now embed a survey in your PowerPoint presentation where your audience can partake live via a QR code. The results are displayed in real-time as part of the presentation. There are permission controls to limit who can respond to the survey. To add this feature, go to your PowerPoint application, select the Insert ribbon, and select “Get Add-ins” > “Forms”. You will have to create a survey in Microsoft Forms first to display it in the add-in. This feature has already started rolling out and should complete early this month.
We will be turning on intra-organizational protection by default for high-confidence phishing messages that contain malicious or spam-based URLs in Microsoft Defender for Office 365. If you want to opt out of this behavior or opt in to additional protection you can adjust your preferences within the anti-spam policy. If you do nothing, the policy will default to act on messages containing high-confidence phishing URLs after rollout.
Starting in September 2023, Microsoft will begin including new Microsoft Teams as part of the new and existing installations of Microsoft 365 apps for Windows. The new Teams desktop client for Windows has been reimagined from the ground up with performance in mind, providing a faster, simpler, and more flexible experience. The new Teams client installs and loads faster, letting you launch the app and join meetings more quickly, giving you more time to focus on the business tasks.
In response to the increased cybersecurity needs of organizations and with close coordination with CISA, Microsoft has decided to increase security log availability for all customers. Purview Audit standard users will now have 30 additional types of log data included in their subscription. Additionally, the default retention period for Audit Standard customers is now increased to 180 days. This will greatly improve visibility into the average Microsoft tenant for security teams and compliance offices. CISA hopes that these changes will help it better combat nations' state APTs looking to attack American companies.
You can try out the new audit features and view the logs available via compliance.microsoft.com -> Audit.
Currently, any given team can have a maximum of 430 channels (200 standard channels, 200 shared channels, and 30 private channels). This will soon increase to a maximum of 1,000 channels per team, which can be any mix of standard and shared channels along with up to 30 private channels. This is important for any team that is using Microsoft Teams channels for managing recurring or cyclical topics, such as projects, initiatives, temporary workgroups, etc., as it will provide significantly more space for doing so. For these use cases, we would recommend implementing a standard channel naming convention to denote when a channel has entered an archived state, along with ensuring your users know how to use the show/hide feature to manage channel visibility so that only relevant channels are displayed.