The Microsoft 365 monthly update includes updates and recently recent features across all of Microsoft 365. Press a button to read about an individual technology or continue reading for more. You can take a look back at previous monthly updates here, plus take a look at our weekly roadmap roundup.
Immersive Reader is now available
The Microsoft Immersive Reader technology, currently built into Word, OneNote, Outlook, Teams, and other Microsoft apps, will soon be available for documents stored in SharePoint. The Immersive Reader uses proven techniques to improve reading and writing for people regardless of their age or ability.
Find out more:
- Roadmap ID: 81954
- Immersive Reader comes to PowerPoint and OneDrive plus more updates for Dyslexia Awareness Month
Migrate content from Dropbox & Google Workspace with Migration Manager
After the release for migrating Box content into Microsoft 365, now you can migrate your Dropbox and Google Workspace folders and files into OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams in Microsoft 365 using the Migration Manager within the SharePoint admin center.
Migration Manager lets you scale your migration project as much as you need. Located in the modern SharePoint Admin Center, Migration Manager guides you through the setup of your agents and the creation of your tasks.
Find out more:
- Roadmap ID: 82015 (migrate from Dropbox)
- Roadmap ID: 82014 (migrate from Google Workspace)
- Migrate content from Box, Dropbox, and Google Workspace into Microsoft 365
Export lists to CSV in Microsoft Lists
Export to CSV is an additional export option now available for Microsoft Lists. Lists has always had, and maintained, integration with Excel – to either bring table data in, or to export to analyze your list data back in Excel. The limiting factor was the different experience for Mac – which, for some time, was not an option.
For Windows you can export to Excel or CSV, for Macs, you can only export to CSV.
Note: The export to CSV is currently only supported inside Lists; the team is aware of this design issue and working on it.
Find out more:
Updated sharing experience for Microsoft Lists
Users can now share entire lists using sharing links with more granular control options, leveraging the same sharing capabilities you might be familiar with when sharing files and folders, which brings to Lists the ability to share with everyone, only certain people, view/edit and the ability to set sharing expiration.
Note: The same admin controls that manage sharing for files and folders will also apply to lists and list items.
Find out more:
Turn on/ off comments in Microsoft Lists
This new feature will allow you to turn off/on comments for individual lists. Any user with manage list permission on the list will be able to access this setting in Advanced settings. Admins can already turn off or turn on comments for their entire organization in the admin center.
Find out more:
Yammer conversation insights
Yammer conversation insights empower authors and community managers to measure the reach of their conversations and announcements – to understand what content resonates best, and what doesn’t.
As you analyze these insights, you’ll see discussion impressions and engagement more clearly, you’ll recognize trends, and see how people react specifically and over time.
Find out more:
In Teams: Dynamic view, presenter mode, large meeting support, custom attendee registration, improved exp for sharing content, include computer sound Mac, breakout room timer, Edge/ Chrome browser meeting updates, updated settings for attendees video, AI-based noise suppression Mac, improved participant list, updates to Microsoft Forms Poll in Teams Meetings, new calling exp, Teams casting, external group chat, Adobe approvals
Dynamic view automatically arranges the elements of your meeting for an optimal viewing experience. As people join, turn on video, start to speak, or begin to present in a meeting, Teams auto-adjusts and personalizes your layout.
Find out more: How to present in Microsoft Teams meetings with dynamic view
Presenter mode empowers presenters to customize how their video feed and content appear to the audience with powerful professional layouts. The first layout, Standout, is now available to show the speaker’s video feed as a silhouette in front of shared content. That way, you can easily direct your audiences’ attention through hand gestures and facial cues, without making the viewer choose between the speaker and the content. Stay tuned for the next two layouts coming soon: Reporter and Side-by-side.
Find out more: Preview exited, now GA: PowerPoint Presenter View in Teams
Large meeting support
Hold interactive meetings and webinars with more attendees—up to 1,000 people, including chats, polls, and Live Reactions. If you go over that limit, your meeting seamlessly scales to accommodate up to 10,000 people in a view-only experience. During this time of increased remote work, you can take advantage of view-only broadcasts for up to 20,000 attendees through the end of this year.
Find out more: Teams view-only meeting experience
Custom attendee registration
Add a custom attendee registration page to your meetings or webinars to better manage attendance before your virtual event starts. You can add custom questions and images to learn more about your audience and promote your brand. Once your attendees finish registering, they’ll automatically receive a confirmation email with a calendar invite to join the event.
Improved experience for sharing content in a meeting
The new share content experience helps presenters find their desired content more quickly and easily. Windows are consolidated into a single bucket to provide a concise view and all PowerPoints are automatically organized to present with PowerPoint Live. Now you can focus on the content of what you’re sharing instead of rummaging through the correct content to share in your meeting.
Find out more: Share content in a meeting in Teams
Include computer sound when sharing on Mac
Mac desktop users can now include audio when sharing their desktop or window during a Teams meeting. This is great when sharing a video with voiceover and music. It allows everyone to watch simultaneously without echoes or sync issues. You can find this setting in the share content.
Breakout room timer
Organizers can now set a timer for Breakout rooms from the Breakout Room settings. Once the timer has expired, rooms will automatically close, and participants will return to the main meeting.
Find out more: Use breakout rooms in Teams meetings
Edge and Chrome browser meeting updates
Edge and Chrome browser users are now able to change the Teams meeting layout to 2×2 Gallery view, Together mode, and Large gallery. With the ability to see up to 49 participants in a single screen, you can enhance your virtual meeting experience where participants feel closer together even when you are apart.
Updated settings for attendees video
There are three new ways that you can now manage your attendees’ camera:
- Meeting attendees are able to turn their camera on or off to share video by default. You can also configure to have all attendees’ camera disabled by setting Enable camera for attendees to Off from the Meeting Options web page before the meeting.
- Once this new setting is turned Off, you can also reverse this setting during the meeting to allow all attendees to turn their camera on.
- Finally, you can also enable or disable the camera for individual attendees
Note: that these settings do not automatically turn on attendees’ camera or affect presenters and meeting organizers. This feature aims to focus on attendees to prevent disruptions during a meeting and help create a safe meeting environment.
AI-based noise suppression for Mac users
AI-based noise suppression is being expanded for Mac users. Real-time AI noise suppression feature automatically removes unwelcome background noise during your meetings. Your audio feed is analyzed to filter out the noise and retain only the speech signal. You can also control how much noise suppression you want, including a high setting to suppress more background noise. This feature is now available for all Mac users except devices with M1 ARM processor.
Improved participant list
The participant list is now broken out into three sections: Lobby, Presenters, and Attendees. For Lobby, you can now review the full list of people waiting before admitting them all into the meeting. Attendees are sorted in alphabetical order and those who raise their hands are elevated to the top of the participant list.
Updates to Microsoft Forms Poll in Teams Meetings
Two updates have been released for Microsoft Forms Poll in Teams Meetings. Firstly, within the Polls tab of your Teams meetings, you now receive intelligent suggestions for polls to launch during your meeting.
Secondly, you can launch multiple-choice quizzes (previously known as “Correct Answer Choice”) in your Teams meetings. For this new type of poll question, perfect for trivia questions or knowledge checks, you can mark one or more choices to be correct. After your meeting participants vote, the correct answer(s) to the multiple-choice quiz are shown in the Results card.
Find out more: Poll attendees during a Teams meeting
New Calling Experiences
Simplify the calling experience with a streamlined view that shows contacts, voicemail, and calling history together. Previously, you had to select each of these in different tabs. Now, it is consolidated in the same screen, making it easier to initiate or return a call with a single click.
Find out more: Understand calling in Microsoft Teams
Call Merge gives end users the capability to merge their active 1:1 call into another 1:1 or group call. For example, during a call with someone (or a group), you need to ask someone else a question. With this feature, you may add them directly into the first conversation seamlessly. This applies to Teams VOIP calls and PSTN calls.
Find out more: Merge calls in Teams
Microsoft Calling Plan expansion
Microsoft Teams Calling plans provide a fast and simple way to deploy calling in Microsoft Teams with no on-premises equipment. We have expanded our geographic coverage to nine new markets including New Zealand, Singapore, Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Finland, Norway, Slovakia, and Luxembourg. This means that customers in 27 markets can now use Microsoft-provided calling plans to place and receive PSTN calls in Teams.
Find out more: Calling plans in Microsoft 365
Branch Office Survivability on Teams phones
With this new capability, users in a Branch Office can continue to make PSTN call on Teams phones to other users even if the Branch office loses internet connectivity. This is beneficial for the continuity of communication and adds a layer of confidence that information can be conveyed even when connectivity may be jeopardized.
Find out more: Survivable Branch Appliance (SBA) for Direct Routing
Teams casting with Mobile Phone for Microsoft Teams Rooms
For quick ad-hoc sessions that don’t necessarily require setting up a formal meeting, people can use Teams casting to wirelessly connect to a Teams Room running on Windows, and display content from their mobile phone. Users can broadcast their screen and cast content stored locally on their device or accessible via Office 365.
Find out more: Cast content from a mobile device to a Microsoft Teams Room
Group chat with external users
Chat with up to 250 participants across multiple organizations in a single chat. This makes it easy to start a chat with external partners, just like how it’s done today within an organization. External group chat is expanding on the existing ability for Teams users to find, participate in 1:1 chat, calls, and set up meetings with external Teams users in federated organizations.
This feature is part of Microsoft Teams Connect, which enables users to share a team with guest users, and share channels as well as chat with people from multiple organizations right from their own tenants.
Adobe Sign Integration in Approvals App
There may be times when you need something approved and recorded with more formal attestation and adding signatures to the approval process is necessary. With the new Adobe Sign integration, you can create an approval request with a natively integrated electronic signature. Once submitted, signers are notified with an email and can easily review and sign. Approvals keeps track of the entire workflow right in the context within Teams.
The following updates were announced forTeams Government Community Cloud (GCC), US Government Community Cloud High (GCC-High), and/or United States Department of Defense (DoD):
- Breakout room timer
- Polls in Teams Meetings
- Updates to Data loss prevention (DLP) for Microsoft Teams
- Team templates
The following updates were announced for Teams Education:
- Supervised chat: Supervised chat grants designated educators permissions to start chats with students and blocks students from creating new chats unless an appropriate educator is present. Find out more.
- Career Coach – Microsoft Teams for Education app powered by LinkedIn: Career Coach is a Microsoft Teams for Education app powered by LinkedIn that provides personalized guidance for higher education students to navigate their career journey. Find out more.
- Add assignments to Office 365 calendar: This is a setting that educators can select for individual assignments or turn on in Assignments Settings for their whole class. Once toggled on, the calendar feature adds an entry at the due date and time for that assignment on Teams and Outlook calendars for both educators and students.
- OneDrive: Android – Night time reading mode for PDF viewing. Roadmap ID: 72230
- OneDrive: Dialog on First-Time deletion of File(s). Roadmap ID: 70702
- OneDrive and SharePoint: Adjusting version retention for PST files. Roadmap ID: 72237
- OneDrive: Request Files for GCC High and DoD. Roadmap ID: 72228
- OneDrive and SharePoint for Business: Immersive Reader support in OneDrive and SharePoint. Roadmap ID: 81954
In OneDrive: Immersive reader, link settings to the Quick Permissions, external expiring access, exclude files from sync Mac, PDF viewing updates for iOS/ Android, Request Files GCC/ DoD
Users can now open documents directly in the Immersive Reader from inside OneDrive and SharePoint and leverage learning tools to change the appearance of your document by using Text options, set Text Size, Spacing, Font, and Themes that suit your learning needs , select Play at the bottom of the window to hear your document read aloud and to see the text highlighted simultaneously change the fonts , etc.
Find out more: Learning Tools in Word
Link settings to the quick permissions
Quick Permissions are a more intuitive and discoverable drop-down menu to help you easily select permission levels ( Can edit or Can view). Microsoft are now adding an additional entry point to Link settings from the Quick permissions dropdown that provide more granular sharing control, so you easily can change link types and sharing permissions.
Find out more: Share OneDrive files and folders
Expiring access for external users
To protect shared files, administrators can set a mandatory expiration period to ensure access doesn’t last forever and help avoid leaking organization data by accident. This policy can be enabled in the SharePoint admin center (both modern and classic) and applies to both OneDrive and SharePoint. Once the policy is implemented, external users will automatically lose access to content on the site-by-site level (or OneDrive-by-OneDrive level).
Note: SharePoint site administrators and OneDrive owners will have the authority to extend or remove access for the selected users.
Find out more: Set an expiration date for Anyone links
Exclude specific files from sync on macOS
Microsoft have enabled functionality in OneDrive for macOS that allows IT admins to prevent the OneDrive sync app from uploading certain files to OneDrive or SharePoint. IT admins who are managing macOS devices in their organizations can enable this setting using the prescribed plist file entry to prevent users from uploading specific file types such as .exe or .mp3 when they sync their OneDrive files.
When this setting is enabled, the sync app doesn’t upload new files that match the specified keywords, and the files remain in the local OneDrive folder. In Finder, the files will appear with an “Excluded from sync” icon in the Status column, and users will see a notification in the OneDrive activity center explaining why the files aren’t syncing.
PDF viewing updates on iOS and Android
Several updates have been released around PDF viewing for iOS and Android:
- Jump to Page for PDF viewing: Users of OneDrive for iOS and Android will be able to to navigate quickly to specific pages in PDFs.
- Outline for PDF viewing: Outline creates a clickable table of contents to help people who use OneDrive on iOS and Android to quickly navigate PDFs.
Request Files for GCC High and DoD
The Request Files feature is now available for GCC high and DoD. With “Request Files” users can collect data from internal and external stakeholders using an upload-only link.
Find out more: Create a file request
In Power Apps: Edit portal VS Code extension, PVA integration, Power Apps Ideas, Power Fx integration with model-driven apps, new Power App solutions, canvas apps in Teams, SAP ERP connector GA, Portals support for CLI, alternate key limits, custom pages & modern app designer
Edit portal with Power Platform VS Code Extension (public preview)
The VS Code extension for portals adds the capability to configure portals using VS Code and utilize the built-in Liquid language IntelliSense enabling help with code completion, assistance and hinting while customizing portals interface using VS Code. In the preview capabilities:
- Power Apps CLI support from VS Code terminal
- Portal’s file icon theme
- Autocomplete support
Find out more: Use the Visual Studio Code extension (Preview)
Power Virtual Agents integration using “Chatbot” component (public preview)
Power Apps portals allow you to add a Power Virtual Agents chatbot to answer questions posted by a visitor on your portal page. A chatbot (bot) configured with different topics, and trigger phrases, can automatically respond to questions posted by a visitor in a chat conversation. In the preview capabilities:
- Add bot from Dataverse environment
- Add bot to all pages
- Add bot to specific pages
Note: That your portal version must be 9.3.4.x or later and Starter portal package version 9.2.2103.x or later for this feature to work.
Find out more: Add chatbot to a page (Preview)
Power Apps Ideas
Introducing Power Apps Ideas: AI-powered assistance now helps anyone create apps using natural language. The Power Apps team have fine-tuned one of the most advanced natural language AI models on the planet, a model known as OpenAI GPT-3, to automatically generate Power Fx formulas based on natural language input.
The Power Apps team are also adding GPT-3 and other Microsoft AI technology directly into Power Apps Studio in a way that will help every maker quickly build the apps they need and more easily learn advanced concepts in the process.
Power Fx integration with Model-driven Power Apps commanding and Dataverse calculated columns and rollups
Power Fx will be a great language for a wide spectrum of makers, from no code seamlessly through pro code. The Power Apps team have also been working hard on integrating Power Fx with more products across the Power Platform and beyond:
- Dataverse calculated columns. Use Power Fx formulas for calculated columns and rollups in Dataverse, a more modern and powerful alternative to existing facilities.
- Acumatica. Reaching beyond the Power Platform and even Microsoft, Acumatica has integrated Power Fx for calculated fields on forms, that can both reference other fields and do aggregate calculations on related tables.
Profile+, Boards, and Perspectives – three new Power Apps solutions
The Power Apps team have announced the preview release of three new Power Apps Solutions on Dataverse for Teams: Profile+, Boards, and Perspectives. These template solutions are helping organizations accelerate their journey to digital transformation by integrating Line of Business applications directly into the collaboration fabric of Teams.
- Profile+: The Profile+ solution helps you quickly look up colleagues, understand org structure and roles, and learn about open positions
- Perspectives: The Perspectives app is a place to listen and be heard in your organization. Start a discussion on any topic by simply posting a question or a conversation starter
- Boards: With Boards, you can create shared space to collect Information and resources relevant to a particular topic and organize them by categories
Add canvas apps in Teams
The Power Apps team have simplified the “add to Teams” command in Power Apps to make it even easier to add your existing Canvas apps to Microsoft Teams. The new interface adds a new “Add to Teams” button along with the “Download app” button in the side panel.
Find out more: Add your canvas apps to Microsoft Teams
SAP ERP connector GA
Last year, Microsoft announced the public preview of an SAP ERP connector for Power Apps and Power Automate. Now, the SAP ERP connector in Power Apps and Power Automate has reached general availability (GA). Microsoft have fixed many issues to improve the error handling, diagnostics, stability around authentication, data types and other issues that have been reported by customers.
With this release, customers can use the SAP ERP connector in production workloads. The SAP ERP connector is certified by SAP for integration with SAP S/4HANA and SAP ERP.
Find out more: General availability of the SAP ERP connector
Portals support for Power Apps CLI (public preview)
With this feature, Microsoft Power Apps portals supports Power Apps CLI to enable CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment) of portal configuration. You can now check-in the portal configuration to source control and move portal configuration to any environment using Power Apps CLI. In the preview release:
- List all portal websites from the connected Dataverse environment
- Download portal website content
- Upload portal website content
Find out more: Portals support for Microsoft Power Platform CLI (Preview)
Increased alternate key limits
The Power Apps team have announced that they are increasing the the number of Alternate keys that can be used in a table in Dataverse (Alternate keys were previously known as Entity keys). All tables use the Primary Name as a lookup to locate records, this is a string value.
Alternate keys let a user specify additional columns that can also be used to retrieve records. This is useful if you need to look up records based on something other than a string (for example an Order ID number, or a Case ID). Alternate keys also enforce record uniqueness on the column(s) that are part of the key.
Find out more: Work with alternate keys
Custom Pages and the Modern App Designer
As announced at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit, the unification of canvas and model-driven apps continues to grow with two new capabilities:
- Custom Pages: Custom Pages, backed by the full flexibility of the Power Apps canvas to craft pixel-perfect UX, connect to over 400 data sources, and leverage Power Fx for approachable low-code logic, will now be able to embed seamlessly within model-driven applications.
- Modern App Designer: Assembling a fully responsive application backed by Dataverse takes just a few clicks. Drop in robust, declaratively-generated grids and forms simply by selecting a table. Preview the running app live in the designer, and craft custom pages right inline.
In Power Automate: Process advisor GA, 6 new connectors, desktop update, new machine management for desktop flows, Adobe
Process advisor for Power Automate now generally available
Process advisor, now generally available, is a process mining capability that provides insights into how people work and takes the guesswork out of automation. You can now map workflow tasks, discover organizational bottlenecks, and identify which time-consuming tasks are best suited for automation—all from within Power Automate.
Find out more: Process advisor
6 New Connectors in April
Another six connectors were added in April, including:
Find out more: 6 new connectors in April
Power Automate Desktop May 2021 update
The May 2021 update of Power Automate Desktop has been released! New features and updates have been added, with a summary below:
- Update notifications are now available in Power Automate Desktop
- Additional resources are now available under the ‘Help’ menu option
- A timeout parameter has been added in ‘Launch browser’ actions
- Localization work has now been completed for Power Automate Desktop
Find out more: Power Automate Desktop May 2021 update
Connect directly to machines and new machine management for desktop flows
Previously, you needed to install and configure an on-premises data gateway to trigger your desktop flows from the cloud. The Power Automate team have announced that Power Automate Desktop can now connect your machine directly to the cloud and run desktop flows without the use of a gateway. Also announced are new machine-management capabilities to help scale your robotic process automation (RPA).