Microsoft 365 update for November 2019

Even though this is November’s 365 update, it’s most definitely a Christmas edition so happy holiday’s everyone 🙂 I’ve included the round-up of the announcements from Microsoft Ignite in this month’s update that are either generally available or scheduled for release this year.

In this month’s update:

SharePointhome sites, sensitivity labels support, expand/ collapse lists, conversations in file cards, expiring access for externals

Teamsnew file experience, private channels, multiwindow, Linux Teams client, new messaging extensions, pinned channels, Outlook integration, Tasks in Teams, Yammer for Teams, first line worker improvements, advisor, app catalog, Teams Rooms in admin portal, safe links

OneDriverequest files, save for later, upload & sync large files, recommended view, block download, PC folder backup, language localization for email

PowerAppsPowerApps in libraries, publish apps in Teams

Power Automate Teams-centric actions & triggers

RelatedProject rollout, Fluid Framework preview, sticky notes, Sheet view in Excel, upload files in Forms


SharePoint home sites

Home sites are communication sites that are the main landing page for your intranet. Home sites bring together news, events, video and conversations – like a super hub site!

Things to note about home sites are they are integrated with a new version of the SharePoint start page via the My SharePoint link. From this link users will see news, sites, documents and items saved for later, all personalized for them thanks to Microsoft Graph.

SharePoint home sites & start page from the My SharePoint link

All you need to do to set your communication site as a home site is run this PowerShell cmdlet:

Set-SPOHomeSite -HomeSiteUrl <siteUrl>
Find out more:

Sensitivity label support for SharePoint & OneDrive

Applies to both SharePoint & OneDrive, sensitivity labels uses Microsoft Information Protection- based encryption to apply labels to files saved in SharePoint or OneDrive right within the Word, Excel or PowerPoint files, on desktop or on web.

SharePoint & OneDrive will understand the sensitivity labels applied and enforces the settings that correspond with each label. When you download a file from SharePoint or OneDrive, the sensitivity label travels with the file and the settings remain enforced.

Apply a sensitivity label from within Word
Find out more:

Expand/ collapse button for lists

A new “Expand” button is coming in December for SharePoint lists and libraries. The expand button will make lists & libraries fill the screen by hiding the site’s navigation. To make the site’s navigation re-appear, users can click the corresponding “Collapse” button.

Expand button will be available for SharePoint lists & libraries from December 2019
Find out more:

Conversations within the File card

The file card experience continues to be improved by Microsoft, now with the inclusion of your conversations. When you hover over a file in SharePoint or OneDrive, a conversations pivot will show relevant emails, meetings or Teams conversations.

The conversations displayed are only visible to those users who took part in them.

Find out more:

Access expiration for external users

This was one of the announcements from Microsoft Ignite 2019, but worth highlighting in its own right. You will soon be able to set mandatory expiration periods from the SharePoint admin center and will apply across SharePoint and OneDrive (modern and classic).

External users will automatically lose access to content on a site by site (or OneDrive by OneDrive) basis. SharePoint site admins and OneDrive owners be able to extend or remove access for the selected users.

Admins can set access expiration period on shared content
Find out more:


New file experience in Teams

Continuing to bring the power of SharePoint into Teams, the new Files experience in Teams includes the ability to sync files to your PC or Mac, see rich previews across 320+ file types, create views and work with metadata, see document life-cycle signals, review on-hover file cards, pin files to the top, take actions like check in and check out, and much more.

The new files experience within Teams
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Private channels have their on SharePoint site collection document library

Each private channel in Teams has its own SharePoint site collection optimized for file sharing and fast provisioning. The separate site collection is to ensure access to private channel files is restricted to only members of the private channel. Each private channel will have a lock icon next to it as an indicator.

A private channel site collection syncs data classification and inherits guest access permissions from the site collection of the parent team. Membership to the site collection owner and member groups are kept in sync with the membership of the private channel within Teams.

Any changes to the membership of Owner or Member groups in SharePoint Online will be reverted to private channel membership within four hours automatically.

Find out more:

Teams Linux client

The new Linux client for Teams will support the main Teams capabilities like chats, meetings, calling as expected so people who use Linux client at work or educational institution can collaborate with others on Teams. Users will be able to install native Linux packages in .deb and .rpm formats.

Now in public preview!

Find out more:

Multiwindow (IGNITE 2019)

The Multiwindow capability will provide the option to pop out chats, meetings, calls or documents into separate windows to help you streamline your workflow. Multiwindow capabilities will start rolling out early next year.

Multiwindow in Teams

New messaging extensions (IGNITE 2019)

New messaging extensions including Polls and Surveys are coming to Teams chat and channel conversations. Click on “…” at the bottom of the message compose box in a chat or channel to access these extensions and solicit instant feedback on shared items or questions. These will start rolling out later this year.

Pinned Channels (IGNITE 2019)

Pinned Channels allows you to keep important channels at the top of your teams list for easy access. This capability will be available later this year.

Pinned Channels in Teams

New integration between Outlook & Teams (IGNITE 2019)

Coming soon you will be able to move an email conversation from Outlook, including attachments, into a Teams chat or channel conversation by clicking on the ‘’Share to Teams’’ in Outlook. You will also be able to share a conversation from Teams to an Outlook email by clicking on the more options (‘’…’’) icon in a conversation.

You will also get actionable missed activity emails which make it easy to stay on top of missed conversation in Teams. The missed activity emails show the latest replies from the conversation, and allow you to respond directly from within Outlook.

This will start rolling out early next year.  

Tasks in Teams (IGNITE 2019)

Available early next year, Tasks in Teams consolidates your tasks across Microsoft To Do, Teams channels, Planner and Outlook. Smart views will include tasks assigned to you, the priority as well as start or due date. You can choose the view that works the best for them – list, boards, charts, schedules – to get things done.

Tasks in Teams
Find out more:

Yammer in Teams (IGNITE 2019)

Yammer will soon be accessible, right within Teams. IT admins and end users can also pin the app on the left navigation rail in Teams to have easy access to Yammer – helping everyone stay up to date with their communities and participate in organization-wide conversations.

It will start rolling out early next year.

Firstline worker improvements (IGNITE 2019)

SMS Sign-in: low friction way to sign into Teams with a phone number and one-time SMS passcode. Available in public preview next year.

Off shift access: A new setting to provide a notification to Firstline Workers when they access the Teams app on their personal device outside payable hours. It will start rolling out early next year.

Global Sign-Out: Sign-out at once from all the apps firstline workers use on their shift. This feature will initially be available as a public preview for Android devices early next year and in preview for iOS devices thereafter.

Delegated User Management: This enables Firstline managers to manage user credentials and approve password reset requests via the My Staff portal. It will be available as a public preview early next year.

Graph API enhancements: provides two-way communication between a workforce management system of your choosing and Shifts to enable enterprise-scale configuration. And with new open source integration templates on GitHub, customers can integrate Teams with Kronos and JDA. JDA connectors are available now and Kronos coming later this month.

Advisor for Teams

Advisor for Teams assists IT admins in planning a successful Teams deployment for their organization, offering recommended plans and a collaboration space for the deployment team to streamline the roll out of all the Teams workloads, including messaging, meetings and calling workloads.

This feature is currently in public preview.

Advisor for Teams
Find out more:

Teams app catalog

The new app catalog for Teams provides administrators details such as name, description, certification status, publisher, and policy details for applications available in their Teams environment. The certification status within the catalog covers a 2-tiered program – Publisher self-attestation and a rigorous Microsoft 365 Certification.

This will start rolling out by end of this year.

Teams Rooms in the admin portal

Teams Rooms in the Teams Admin Portal will allow the IT admins to manage the device inventory for your organization and do tasks such as assign configurations, restart devices, monitor and diagnose. This will start rolling out later this year.

Safe links, powered by Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection safeguards Teams messages from harmful links in real time. When a web address (URL) is shared in a private chat or channel conversation, Teams will perform a time-of-click verification of web addresses and alert you of any risk such as malware or viruses.

Safe links in Microsoft Teams
Find out more:


Request files

Now rolling out, the request files functionality allows you to create special links to request files from others. Anyone with the file request link will be able to upload files without having to sign in. Best of all, uploaders will only be able to upload files. They can’t view, edit, or even see who else may have uploaded to the request.

Request files in OneDrive
Find out more:

Save for later

Available in both OneDrive and SharePoint, you can now bookmark files and folders for later access. You will see an aggregate of everything you have saved in the “Saved for later” section in your OneDrive making it easy for you to quickly get back to content from your OneDrive or a shared library.

Save for later in OneDrive
Find out more:

Upload and sync large files

Uploads of file sizes up to 100 GB are now supported in SharePoint, Teams and OneDrive. To complement these large uploads, also announced by Microsoft is the availability of differential sync for PC and Mac, bringing the ability to sync only the parts of large files that have changed, not the entire file.

Find out more:

Recommended view surfaces files trending around you bringing attention to important files you may not want to miss, based on actions like a recent edit from a fellow collaborator, comments and @mentions, highlighting a file you recently opened, and general file activity trends.

Block download for more file types (IGNITE 2019)

Introduced earlier this year, the block download capability enables you to not allow users to download Office files. This will help avoid out of date copies of files and maintain access contract. This functionality is being extended to images, 3D, PDF files and more soon.

Block download is being extended to more file types

PC folder backup with OneNote and cross-volume support

PC folder backup (formerly referred to as Known Folder Move) allows you to implement OneDrive features to your important Windows folders such as the desktop, documents & pictures.

Soon, support for cross-volume moves while backing up known Windows folders will allow users to back up their important folders even when they are on a different volume than the OneDrive folder. 

By the end of this year, users with local OneNote notebooks will now have their OneNote’s automatically backed up as a part of the PC Folder Backup move.

Find out more:

OneDrive and SharePoint email language localization

Emails will now be localized where possible to the preferred language of recipients as defined in their AAD and Exchange settings. In the case of multi-recipient emails the built-in logic will consume content and site languages to localize emails.

Find out more:

Power Apps

Power Apps for SharePoint libraries

With Power Apps already integrated into SharePoint lists, the same sort of capability is being rolled out to SharePoint libraries. This will also extend to lists and libraries outside of OneDrive and SharePoint, for example files and lists tabs in Teams will allow Power Apps customization too.

Power Apps in SharePoint libraries
Find out more:

Publish Power Apps as Teams apps (IGNITE 2019)

You can now publish Power Apps as Teams apps for easy use and access. Custom apps can be published directly to your company’s app catalog in Teams, making them more discoverable. New updates also improve the experience of adding these apps to Teams.

Publishing Power Apps as Teams apps

Power Automate

As announced at Ignite 2019, Microsoft Flow now goes by the name Power Automate, but as well as its workflow building capabilities it also now adds robotic process automation (RPA) features and the addition of Power Virtual Agents and AI Builder.

Teams-centric actions & triggers with Power Automate (IGNITE 2019)

These new Teams focused actions opens up new kinds of automated workflows within Teams. Users can create a trigger for specific actions when someone new joins their team, notifications within Teams when a certain keyword is mentioned, automatically set focused time and to save notes to OneNote. These will be available to users later this year.

Power Automate creating actions within Teams


Microsoft Project rolls out worldwide

Project is now rolling out worldwide to existing Project Online Professional and Project Online Premium customers. Designed to be visual, easy to use, and collaborative, you can manage your work flexibly.

The new Microsoft Project
Find out more:

Fluid Framework public preview and private developer preview

Introduced in May 2019, Fluid Framework is now in public preview for end users and private preview for developers. Public preview will let users to crowd-source meeting agendas, take notes, or simply keep track of your thoughts. 

Private preview will let developers can begin leveraging the rich component model flexibility to adapt and extend these scenarios in their organizations.

Sticky notes in Outlook on the web

You can now view, edit, and create notes directly in Outlook for the web, making it easier than ever to keep track of your notes as you go through email. Sticky Notes in Outlook for the web will begin rolling out next month to all users.

Sheet view

Sheet View allows users to sort and filter the data they need, and then select an option to make those changes visible just to themselves or to everyone working in the document. Once selecting to make changes just for yourself, that filter and sort will not affect other collaborators’ view of the workbook.

Sheet View is rolling out to all users using Excel on the web over the next few weeks.

Sheet View in Microsoft Excel

Upload files within Forms

Now Microsoft Forms enables you to allow users to include file uploads. You can easily create a resume collection form, a claim form, or a photography competition form. Once you successfully add a file upload question, a folder will be automatically created in your OneDrive or SharePoint.



3 thoughts on “Microsoft 365 update for November 2019

  1. Willene Steptoe December 29, 2019 / 6:06 pm

    This excellent website really has all of the information and facts I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


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