May 2024 Microsoft 365 Announcement Highlights

2024-06-21 05:23:55
Posted by aeadmin on Jun 20, 2024 10:23:55 PM

Microsoft made over 100 updates and announcements in the month of May 2024 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 is introducing a few game-changing updates to Intune in May.  First, macOS devices will now support platform single sign-on (SSO) for enrollment.  This helps end-users provision their devices easier and faster with Microsoft 365 credentials as well as automatic sign in to M365 apps.  Second, Microsoft is also rolling out the new Windows Autopilot device preparation feature.  This new Autopilot option is faster and more configurable.  It brings near real-time reporting on Autopilot deployment progress with various embedded links to devices and policies to help with any troubleshooting needed. The out-of-box (OOBE) experience for end-users also gets an update, with clearer indications of how close the setup process is to completion as well as a different set of recovery options in case of any issues during deployment. With the May update also brings various additions to security.  The Microsoft Defender for Endpoint security baseline has received an update, allowing it a quicker turnaround time for updates as well as improved reporting.  The second security addition is with BitLocker recovery keys.  End-users will now be able to grab their recovery keys straight from the Company Portal (web or app versions) in case of a lockout. This feature can be disabled by Intune admins if desired.

Microsoft 365 continues to evolve, introducing new capabilities that significantly enhance user productivity and collaboration. The latest update to the file viewer in Microsoft 365 brings a suite of performance, collaboration, and interactivity upgrades that streamline workflows and make file management more efficient.

Key Enhancements:
Performance Improvements: Files now load up to twice as fast, reducing wait times and boosting productivity.
Copilot Integration: Directly within the file viewer, Copilot offers summaries, answers questions about file content, and extracts information, enhancing the file experience.

People View & Favorites: Easily see who has access to a file and add files to your favorites for quick access.
PDF Editing: Merge and remove pages from PDFs without leaving the file viewer.

Annotations & eSignatures Mark up various file types and securely request electronic signatures, all within the file viewer.
copilot file viewer

Starting June 30, 2024, new actions will be made available to users in Power Automate for desktop.

How does this affect me?  The following actions will be made available to all users:
- Insert column into data table
- Delete column from data table
- Delete empty rows from data table
- Delete duplicate rows from data table
- Clear data table
- Sort data table
- Filter data table
- Merge data tables
- Join data tables
- Read from CSV text variable
- Convert data table to text

These new actions are intended to reduce the time spent on authoring desktop flows relevant to use cases with data tables to assist users when creating flows with complex logic.

The Microsoft Digital Defense Report 2023 highlights the average monthly detection of 11 token replay attacks per 100,000 active users in Microsoft Entra ID and around 18,000 multifactor authentication (MFA) fatigue attempts. It introduces new developments in Entra ID Protection aimed at simplifying the deployment of risk policies and enhancing organizational security against emerging threats. Key updates include Microsoft-managed policies for Conditional Access, an impact analysis workbook for assessing policy changes, a new dashboard for risk insights, and features like on-premises password reset and User Risk Investigation Copilot, currently in public preview, to mitigate user risks. The report emphasizes the importance of these tools in protecting against attacks such as anomalous graph usage, token theft, and attacker-in-the-middle (AitM) attacks, and invites feedback on these security measures.

entra id dashboard

Microsoft started rolling out a new prebuilt model to process sensitive information from files stored in a SharePoint library at the end of May. This model is able to identify and extract sensitive information such as credit card numbers, driver's license numbers, bank information, etc. General Availability rollout is expected to be completed by the end of June.

Microsoft stopped developing Viva Topics back in February of this year, and announced that it will be retired on February 22, 2025. After retirement, the Topic Center will be converted to a SharePoint site, and all of the existing Topic pages will be converted to standard SharePoint pages. Users will be able to manage and update the SharePoint pages to keep topics up to date. For AI generated topics, Microsoft recommends using Copilot to continue to index the pages and be used to respond to users' questions.

SharePoint Online historically has not had the ability to centrally manage version history for document libraries.  Every library created would have a default setting to store up to 500 major versions for every file and site owners would have to manually adjust this as needed.  Storing this many versions may make sense in cases involving important documents, but doing so for lower-value documents can drive up storage costs without clear benefits.  This new feature will allow SharePoint admins to define version history limits at the tenant level for all newly created sites and OneDrive accounts.  Choosing the automatic setting will leverage an algorithm to optimize version storage to preserve sufficient high-value, recent versions while reducing older, lower-value versions for each file.  Choosing the manual setting will allow the SharePoint admin to set a custom tenant default limit on the number of major versions stored and/or auto-delete versions after a specific period of time.  Optimizing version settings has the potential to significantly reduce storage costs for your organization and these new administrative features will make it much easier to do so.

The options and tools available in the Microsoft Purview compliance portal for protecting data from insider risk are in constant evolution.

Adaptive Protection uses machine learning to identify the most critical risks and dynamically apply protection controls from Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Data Lifecycle Management and Entra Conditional Access.

Microsoft has announced a new feature that allows for an HR resignation date to be used as a condition for risk level in Adaptive Protection for organizations using HR Connectors.

A data connector can be setup to import human resources (HR) data related to events such as a user's resignation or a change in a user's job level. The HR data can then be used by the insider risk management solution to generate risk indicators that can help identity possible malicious activity or data theft by users inside your organization.

This update is scheduled beginning in late June with a completion targeted for late July 2024 and no action is required for this update.

To configure user’s risk level for Adaptive Protection, admins can visit Insider Risk Management > Adaptive Protection (preview) > risk levels for Adaptive Protection.


Microsoft Purview is introducing a new Audit Log Query API that allows customers to programmatically query and retrieve their organization's Audit activity logs. Admins with access to search the Audit log will be able to access the audit logs through the new Audit Log Query Graph API. To access the new API, customers need to register their application with Microsoft Graph and add the relevant Graph permissions. The rollout is expected to begin in early January 2024 for Preview and mid-June 2024 worldwide.

Conditional formatting is a feature in Microsoft Outlook for Windows and Web to make messages that meet defined conditions stand out in the message list by using different font colors. The users can specify conditions that an incoming message should meet, such as a sender’s name or email address.

Users have the ability to highlight messages meeting specific conditions in the message list using various font colors. They can define conditions for incoming messages, such as sender's name or email address, similar to rules.

To create conditional formatting rules, go to Settings > Mail > Conditional Formatting. These settings are configured per account, and they will apply across all folders.

Conditions supported:
- From
- I'm on the To line
- I'm not on the To line
- I'm on the Cc line
- I'm on the Cc line or To line
- Subject includes

Users can select from a list of 25 different colors. These colors are all accessible and available for Light and Dark modes.

Microsoft Purview: Generative AI (GAI) is being adopted at an unprecedented rate. AI fuels innovation and productivity but also poses risks – organizations are concerned about the risky AI use and sensitive data loss through AI apps. The AI hub is a central location in Microsoft Purview that helps organizations secure data in AI, including Microsoft AI applications such as Copilot for Microsoft 365 and non-Microsoft AI applications. With this set of capabilities, organizations can safely adopt AI without having to choose between productivity and protection.

Use Cases: 
- Viewing insights and analytics into AI activity in your organization.
- Using policies to protect data and prevent data loss in AI prompts.
- Implementing compliance controls to apply optimal data handling and storing policies.

Microsoft Purview AI hub will be visible within the Microsoft Purview portal and the Microsoft Purview compliance portal and will consist of three tabs (analytics, policies, and activity explorer).

Analytics will display getting started steps, recommendations, and insights into AI usage:

Figure 1

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Figure 2

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Policies will display recommendations and policies that have been created by Microsoft Purview AI hub:

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Activity explorer will display events related to AI:

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Tags: exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, data loss prevention, DLP, microsoft teams, bookings, Microsoft Entra, Office 2013, outlook, Purview

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