Microsoft 365 update for April 2020

Here’s a look at what’s been released and is upcoming through the month of April 2020:

SharePoint stock images, managed metadata service, audience targeting, shy header, SharePoint spaces (preview),

Teamsmore videos in meetings, raise hands, background effects, iOS background blur, live captions iOS & Android, limit increases for Live Events, share system audio, end meeting for all, call recording for 1-1, Yammer app, praise, edit cross-channel posts

Teams (Education & GCC)remote learning (Education), live events for A1 (Education), private channels (GCC), advisor (GCC)

Teams (admin)meetings dashboard, local media optimization, profile pictures, new app analytics, batch policies

OneDrive sensitivity labels, version history, delete locked files, sync app updates

Power Appssimplified identity provider config, global search additional entities, simplified portal themes, data loss prevention, support for file & image data types, AI Builder number prediction, new geospatial features, connector certification, AI Builder prediction model updates, teams context variables, mixed reality, UX enhancements on mobile

Power Automateapproval workflows for hub sites, robotic process automation GA, 6 AI builder model types, 15 new connectors, gmail connector

Power BIdesktop feature summary Feb/March, shortcuts in Android, navigation builder GA, paginated reports,

Power Virtual Agentsfeature wave 1 summary

Project Cortexoffice hours, demo – content capture, modernized MMS

RelatedOpen in review mode only, conversations in the file card, O365 Groups name change, usage reports

SharePoint

Stock images

You can now access thousands of free-to-use stock images from the SharePoint image file picker experience, alongside recent, web search, your organization, OneDrive, site, upload and from a link.

Stock images in SharePoint.

Find out more:

Modernized filtering & tagging in the Managed Metadata Service

The updated term store experience allows you to create/ manage terms and term sets in SharePoint and makes it easier to manage your company’s taxonomy, plus with the addition of a new content type gallery manage custom content types from the SharePoint admin center.

NOTE: These changes do not affect existing term customizations or the classic term store management experience, nor does it affect the classic experience for managing content types. Content types are also still stored in the content type hub.

The new term store experience (left) and content type gallery (right) in the SharePoint admin center.

Find out more:

Site navigation & footer now has audience targeting

SharePoint site owners can now filter navigational links to specific audiences by using audience targeting – in the same way you can for news and pages. Once switched on by site owners, any site editor can target menu links to specific audiences using Microsoft 365 Groups or security groups.

Find out more:

Shy header for modern & hub sites

Now you will notice that as you scroll down a modern or hub site, the header will shrink to maximize the reading space on a page. This shy header feature works on both desktop and mobile versions.

The shy header (right) shrinks dynamically as you scroll down the page.

Find out more:

SharePoint spaces enters preview

SharePoint spaces, Microsoft’s web-based, immersive, mixed reality experience is in preview. Space’s allow you to build sites and add web parts for your 3D objects, 360° images and videos, 2D images and text, and more.

SharePoint spaces is now in preview.

Find out more:


Teams

Up to nine simultaneous videos in Teams meetings

Microsoft have announced they are increasing the number videos displayed within the Teams meeting stage from 4 to 9. This new experience optimizes for attendees who have enabled video and places the remaining audio-only participants below the meeting stage.

This feature is currently rolling out world-wide.

Find out more:

Raise hands feature

The raise hands feature allows meeting attendees to identify they wish to speak. When raised, both attendee and presenter can lower their hand.

This feature is expected to start rolling out w/c June 4 2020.

Find out more:

Background effects

Now generally available, background effects allow meetings attendees to change their video background from a list of images. Coming mid-May, users will be able to upload their own custom background images.

Background effects in Microsoft Teams.

Find out more:

Background blur for iOS

Background blur, already a feature in the desktop app, is coming to iOS. This feature is rolling out now.

Live captions for iOS and Android

Live captions allow participants to follow along with what is said during Teams meetings. This feature is now available for iOS and Android in English.

Find out more:

Limit increases for Live Events

Microsoft have announced a temporary increase for Live Events held in Teams, Stream or Yammer. Rolling out w/c May 4, they include:

  • Attendee limit: events can support up to 20,000 attendees
  • Concurrent events:  50 events can be hosted simultaneously across a tenant
  • Event duration:  event length has been increased to 16 hours per broadcast

This temporary increase will be in place until July 1.

Find out more:

Share system audio in Live Events

In live events, attendees will be able to hear all the audio playing on the presenters machine using the desktop client.

Share system audio in live events.

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End meeting for all participants

Meeting organizers will now see a button called “end meeting” which will end the meeting for all participants.

End meeting for all participants in Teams meetings.

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Recording for 1-1 calls

Just like for meetings, you can now record your 1-1 calls in Teams. Functionality is the same as for meetings, in which the call participants will be notified the call is being recorded.

Find out more:

New Yammer app for Teams

Yammer now has its very own app for Teams. The Yammer app is fully interactive within Teams, allowing you to watch live events, share announcements, pin conversations, and mark best answers just as you would in Yammer directly.

The new Yammer app for Teams.

Find out more:

New praise badges

Microsoft have released three new badges as part of Praise – courage, optimism and inclusive to celebrate people making a difference during challenging times.

Three new praise badges are now available in Teams.

Find out more:

Edit cross-channel posts

Cross-channel posting now supports editing a message after it has been posted. Additionally, you can add or remove channels to reach a wider audience or have a focused conversation.

Find out more:

Teams meetings for remote learning (Education)

Microsoft are offering guidance on how teachers can continue to connect and support students by using Teams.

  • Get the latest on which Teams meetings features to use now and what is coming soon from this webinar here.
  • Set up a Microsoft Teams meeting for your online classroom directly from within Canvas, Blackboard, Schoology, and other LMSs. Learn how with this guidance.
  • Keep students safe in Teams meetings with these helpful guidelines.

Find out more:

Live events for A1 faculty licenses

Starting in early May, Microsoft Teams live events host capabilities will be available to education users with a Microsoft Office 365 A1 faculty license, at no extra cost.

That means users with A1 faculty licenses, which is free to accredited educational institutions, can host and broadcast live events.This will be automatically disabled on July 1, 2020.

Find out more:

Private Channels for GCC

Limit which team members can see the conversation and content within a particular channel. You can right-size channel participation and exposure without having to create discrete teams to limit visibility. Private channels in GCCH and DoD are coming soon.

Advisor for Teams GCC (preview)

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. This feature is currently in public preview.

Meetings dashboard for Teams admins

The new meetings dashboard gives admins insight into usage, user feedback, network health, meeting details, devices, and more from a single place.

Teams meetings dashboard for admins.

Find out more:

Local media optimization

Local Media Optimization for Direct Routing improves voice quality by keeping media streams local within the boundaries of corporate networks. It also supports streams between Teams and SBCs even if they are behind corporate firewalls not visible to Microsoft directly.

Find out more:

Policy to prevent upload of profile picture

Teams desktop and web will honor the Outlook Web mailbox policy setting that can control whether users are able change their profile pictures.

Find out more:

New app analytics and reports experience

Teams admins will soon be able to see each app in their tenant, their type, and how many users and teams are actively using the app. Additionally, app policies and settings allows admins to manage permissions, define how apps are displayed in the Teams experience, and control availability of custom apps.

Analytics and reports in Teams.

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Batch policy assignment

Teams admins can use batch policy assignment to streamline the process of assigning policies or policy packages to a large group of users. A batch can contain up to 20,000 users and admins can specify users by their object Id, user principal name (UPN), Session Initiation Protocol address, or email address.

Find out more:

New meeting controls for Teams admins

Microsoft have introduced the following new controls to help manage Teams meetings:

  • Default lobby setting – the default Teams policy has changed to make external users wait in the lobby before joining a Teams meeting
  • Lobby settings for PSTN participants – Any user who schedules a Microsoft Teams meeting will now see a separate setting to control the lobby for Audio Conferencing (PSTN) participants in the Meeting Options page of a given meeting

OneDrive

Sensitivity labels in OneDrive

Sensitivity labels with protection for Office files is now generally available in OneDrive and SharePoint.

Sensitivity labels for Office files in OneDrive and SharePoint.

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Version history via file browser on desktop

Users will now be able to view, restore and delete previous versions of their files directly in their desktop via File Browser or Mac Finder.

Version history for the OneDrive desktop client.

Find out more:

Delete a locked file

This new feature allows you as the file owner to override that lock and delete an Office file in your OneDrive while someone (or yourself) has it open, intentionally or not.

Ability to delete a locked file in OneDrive.

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Sync app updates

Microsoft have released updates to the sync app for Windows and Mac, through the Insiders, Production and Deferred rings of validation. Deferred Ring was previously referred to as the Enterprise ring.

Find out more:


Power Apps

Simplified identity provider configuration (public preview)

With this preview feature the Power Apps team are introducing a simplified experience to create and manage authentication settings and identity provider configuration. The experience aims to provide better discovery of supported providers, in-app guidance for makers / administrators and reduce common configuration errors.

Simplified identity provider configuration in Power Apps portals.

Find out more:

For Power Apps portals, included as part of the April 2020 release wave 1, global search will support additional entities, including custom.

The portal global search is accessible using the search icon in your portal and allows you to search across different entities, but was limited to cases, articles, forum posts, blogs and web pages only.

Power Apps portals now has additional global entity support.

Find out more:

Simplified themes in portals studio (public preview)

This feature update provides a simplier, easy to use config experience for makers. Currently in public preview:

  • Enable basic theme
  • Change to preset theme
  • Create new theme
  • Copy preset theme

Find out more:

New data loss prevention policy capabilities (public preview)

Microsoft have announced new data loss prevention policies for the Power Platform. These new capabilities include a new enhanced user interface in the admin center for defining DLP policies, which additionally enables the ability to block connectors as well as user interface support for including HTTP Connectors in DLP policies.

Take a look at the new DLP policy capabilities in Power Platform.

Find out more:

Support for File and Image data types for use in UCI Model driven Apps

We are pleased to announce the preview release of controls that support the new File and Image data type for use in UCI Model driven Apps for the web.  This capability is released with version 9.1.0000.15943.  This new control also supports annotations for images.  Images are not supported on mobile.

Find out more:

AI Builder numerical prediction (preview)

Now in preview, prediction models in AI Builder now support a capability to predict a number. AI builder number prediction can be used to predict things like product ratings, price estimates and time to completion.

Find out more:

New geospatial features coming to Power Apps

Several new geospatial features are coming soon to Power Apps. Powered by Azure Maps services, you can add these components with the ease of drag-and-drop and low-code development. these new features include interactive maps and address suggestion.

Interactive maps in the Power Apps studio.

Find out more:

Connector certification in ISV studio

Microsoft have announced that the Connector Certification experience is now available in ISV Studio! As part of the certification experience, you can use the Connector Certification to submit your connector, manage and track the connector through certification, and communicate with Microsoft from within the ISV Studio experience.

Find out more:

New prediction model performance page in AI Builder

The Power Apps team have announced an updated prediction model performance page in AI Builder. There is now a performance grade to help give you a better idea of how the model is performing. We’ve also added a new performance tab on the training details pane to provide more detailed information to help you evaluate performance.

Find out more:

Teams context variables for Power Apps

As part of the April 2020 release wave 1, Microsoft are releasing Teams context variables within Power Apps, which will give you access to information like which channel, team, or group your app has been embedded in. 

The most exciting context variable, however, is the sub entity ID, which allows a maker to deep link to a particular page of an app embedded inside of Teams.

Context variables for Teams in Power Apps.

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Mixed Reality in Power Apps (preview)

Mixed reality capabilities are coming to Power Apps, bringing in new features tailored for mixed reality such as validating fit before work begins, taking measurements and communicating better for 2D and 3D models.

Introducing mixed reality in Power Apps.

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UX enhancements to model-driven apps on mobile

The Power Apps team have announced a new, responsive UX deigned for mobiles. Model-driven apps’ UX supports the need for taking quick actions on your information, in a familiar and recognizable way on mobile. Areas addressed as part of the enhancements include:

  • A prominent header
  • Navigation
  • Commanding

Find out more:


Power Automate

Approval workflows for adding a site to a SharePoint hub site

Microsoft have announced that you can now easily setup approval workflows directly from the SharePoint hub site settings, or create your own hub join process using the new Approve a hub site join request and Cancel a hub site join request actions for the SharePoint connector.

Require approval workflows for associated sites to join a SharePoint hub.

Find out more:

Robotic process automation, UI flows generally available

Microsoft have announced this month that it’s robotic process automation (RPA) capability, UI flows is now generally available. UI flows brings together the rich feature set of API-based digital process automation (DPA) that is available today, with RPA UI-based automation to create a truly end-to-end automation platform.

Robotic process automation in Power Automate with UI flows.

Find out more:

Six AI builder model types now generally available

Six AI Builder preview model types are now generally available as part of the AI Builder 2020 Wave 1 updates, including:

  • Form Processing – analyzes the structure of your documents to locate and extract key-value pairs and table data from form documents.
  • Object detection lets you count, locate, and identify objects within an image.
  • Sentiment analysis helps you identify positive or negative sentiment in emails, social media, customer reviews, or any text data you want to analyze.
  • Language detection identifies the predominant language of a given text. The model analyses the text and returns the detected language with a confidence score. 
  • Key phrase extraction identifies the main points in text. For example, given the sentence “The food was delicious and there was wonderful staff”, the model would identify “food” and “wonderful staff” as key phrases.
  • Text recognition  extracts words from documents and images. It uses advanced optical character recognition (OCR) to detect embedded print and handwritten text. 

Find out more:

15 additional Power Automate connectors

Microsoft have announced the introduction of 15 new connectors from several partners, plus an update of the Azure AD Integrated authentication the SQL server connector.

The updated SQL connector in Power Automate is now generally available.

Find out more:

Changes to the Gmail connector

In line with Google’s data security and privacy policies, customers using a Gmail consumer account (email addresses ending with @gmail.com or @googlemail.com) will have certain limitations on the set of connectors that can be used along with the Gmail connector in a flow. This change began rolling out on May 1 2020.

Find out more:


Power BI

Service and Mobile February/ March 2020 feature summary

The Power BI team have announced the release of several new features including BYOK for Power BI Premium GA, incremental refresh GA, the Power BI tab in Teams plus much more!

Find out more:

Shortcuts available in the Power BI Android app

Android shortcuts are now supported in this Power BI Android app release. Create shortcuts to any report and dashboard on your device home screen, and get straight to the content without having to navigate through the app.

Find out more:

Custom navigation builder enters GA

The new navigation builder for Power BI apps is now generally available (GA). This feature gives reporting teams the power to customize navigation for end users, so they can find content quickly and understand the relationships between different reports and dashboards. 

Custom navigation in Power BI is now generally available.

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New features in paginated reports

Four new features are coming to Power BI this month related to Paginated Reports, including:

  • General Availability of external e-mail address support for subscriptions for both Power BI reports/dashboards and Paginated Reports (Premium only)
  • Paginated Report support is now available in the Export API (currently in preview)
  • Subreports feature (coming soon)
  • Paginated View feature (coming soon)

Find out more:


Power Virtual Agents

Power Virtual Agents feature summary wave 1

Several new features were included as part of the April/ May 2020 release wave 1. These features include:

  • Languages
  • Geos
  • Multi author support
  • Export and import chatbots
  • Pass context to a chatbot
  • Share information across topics with global variables
  • Improved Power Automate Integration
  • Better integration with Microsoft Power Platform

Find out more:


Project Cortex

A new feature to the M365 update, we will keep you up-to-date on all the latest news related to Project Cortex.

Example of a knowledge center in Project Cortex.

Project Cortex Office Hours

Microsoft have been running the Office Hours meetings since late March to let you engage with the Microsoft project team about Project Cortex. The next meeting is scheduled for May 20.

Find out more:

Demo – content capture in Project Cortex

The latest spotlight demo shows how easy it is to use content understanding to recognize document categories like contracts and capture key metadata with Project Cortex.

Find out more:

Modernizing SharePoint Managed Metadata Services (MMS)

As mentioned earlier in this update, the managed metadata service is being updated in preparation for the general release of Project Cortex.

Find out more:


Related

Open in review mode only – Word for the web

When people share documents with Open in review mode only selected, recipients who open the document in Word for the web will be limited to adding comments or leaving tracked changes.

Open in review mode only in Word for the web.

Find out more:

Conversations in the file card experience

The conversations feature will show relevant emails, meetings and Teams conversations to the person reviewing the file hover card information.

When someone sends an email, a Teams chat, or a meeting invitation that references a file from SharePoint or OneDrive, that conversation is displayed in the file hover card with a link to the conversation(s).

Find out more:

New & updated usage reports in Microsoft 365 admin center

Microsoft have improved their usage reporting offering based on the increased remote workers within organizations. Areas usage reports have been improved are within remote working trends, which Microsoft 365 apps people are using, calendar activity and usage trends across all Microsoft 365 services.

Activity graph in Office 365 active users report.

Find out more:

O365 Groups to become Microsoft 365 Groups

In line with the recent changes to the names of the Microsoft 365 Personal and Family Subscriptions, Microsoft have announced they will also be renaming Office 365 Groups to…you guessed it Microsoft 365 Groups!

Find out more:

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