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.
In SharePoint: Calendar week layout, Microsoft Feed, Planner integration with Viva Goals
Microsoft Lists: Calendar Week Layout
There is a provision to create multiple calendar views – using both month and week layouts. Week Layout also supports all features from the month layout including the drag and drop operations to reschedule items and conditional formatting to color code items on the canvas. Once you create the view, you can drag and drop items in a calendar to schedule, reschedule or unschedule them.
Find out more: Create a calendar view from a list
Microsoft 365: Microsoft Feed
Microsoft Feed provides users with a mix of relevant content from across Microsoft 365 that helps users discover and learn about people and interests relevant at work. The feed is personal to users and will show users content based on what’s likely to be most relevant to the current user at any given time.
Find out more: Search made simple
Planner integration with Microsoft Viva Goals
This allows you to view your team tasks and update the relevant Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) in Viva Goals. As you update and complete your day-to-day plans and tasks in Planner, everything gets update and helps show progress in Viva Goals automatically.
Find out more: Make Your Goals a Reality with OKRs and New Capabilities from Microsoft Viva Goals
In Teams: View full chat thread, view video recordings inside LMS, paging on video gallery, meeting toolbar updates, live stream meetings to Meta, federated group calling, edit/ delete events support for messages – bot chats, update files to your approval request, notification granularity
View the full chat conversation thread
When users search for a chat message in Teams and click on a message result, their search will now display the full context of the conversations related to the result, regardless of the age of the messages.
Find out more: Now in public preview: View the full chat conversation thread after clicking on search results
View video recordings and attendance reports inside LMS
Teachers and students will be able to access video recordings and attendance reports inside their LMS itself. The Microsoft Teams Meeting LTI app has enabled availability of these artifacts inside LMS. This feature will be available to use in all the LMSs incorporating Teams Meeting LTI app.
Find out more: View and download meeting attendance reports in Teams
Paging on Video Gallery
When you are in Gallery view, and there are more videos than can be shown at once on the meeting stage (the maximum number varies depending on your device configuration and internet bandwidth), navigation controls will appear below the Video Gallery to see additional videos of the attendees. You can use these controls to view more video participants.
Find out more: Now in public preview: Paging on Large Gallery
Meeting Toolbar Usability Improvements
The Meeting toolbar in Microsoft Teams just got a usability upgrade! With new features that include dedicated buttons for raising hands and switching between view modes, navigating your next meeting just got a little easier.
Find out more: Meeting toolbar usability improvements
Live stream Teams meetings and webinars to Meta Workplace Live
Live stream your Teams meetings or webinars directly to Meta Workplace Live using the new Workplace Live app integration. This allows attendees to watch live meetings and webinars within their Workplace groups or catch up later by watching a recording on Workplace. Simply add the Workplace Live app to your Teams meeting or webinar, sign in using your Workplace account, and select the Workplace Event you’d like to live stream.
Find out more: Delivering new webinar experiences with Microsoft Teams
Enhanced webinar management experience with customized options
Now when you select the webinar template, you’ll see a new structure and expanded options to customize registration details and settings specific to each event. The new management experience will offer capabilities around setup, registration and reporting.
Find out more: Get started with Teams webinars
Federated group calling
Easily start a group Teams call from a chat with federated colleagues outside your organization, including video and screen sharing — all over an internet connection without any PSTN usage charges.
Find out more: Native chat experience for external (federated) users in Microsoft Teams
Start Whiteboard from a Teams meeting for Teams Rooms on Windows
Teams Rooms on Windows users can now start a Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams meetings using the one-touch in-meeting share content function from meeting room consoles. With our new patterns of work, whiteboarding is a key feature to enable collaboration between in-room and remote users.
Find out more: Manage the Whiteboard in Microsoft Teams
Meeting chat on Gallery, Large gallery, and Together mode for Teams Rooms on Windows
In-room users can use meeting room consoles to show or hide chat on the front-of-room display alongside meeting participants and/or content when in Gallery, Large Gallery, or Together mode. The functionality is available to users through the View Switcher on meeting room consoles, and IT admins can configure whether to hide meeting chat entirely for a room.
In-meeting notification improvement for Teams Rooms on Windows
New enhancements to in-meeting notifications for Teams Rooms on Windows create closer alignment with the familiar Teams desktop experience. Critical notifications that require a user action will continue to be available and actionable with informational notifications on the front of the room screen.
Edit and delete events support for messages in user: bot chats
Currently, message events can be accessed by developers. This feature allows developers to access, edit, or delete event updates on messages in user:bot chats.
Upload files to your approval request via Power Automate portal
Files that are uploaded within the Power Automate portal will now show within the view details window of an approval request within Teams.
Admins can use Intune to determine the types of content a user can see in a notification on their mobile lock screen.
These features are currently available for Teams for Education customers:
- Jupyter Notebook integration with Assignments – Python Jupyter Notebooks (.ipynb) and Python Script files (.py) is now able to be rendered in Teams Assignments. This allows you and your students to distribute, edit, and execute python code directly in Teams Assignments.
- Insights for Rubrics in Assignments – Rubrics can be added to assignments to help educators to provide a consistent set of criteria and support students by outlining expectations for them to align to.
- New Updates in Reflect – Updates include breathing exercises, updates to promote inclusivity, check-in ideas & Make check-ins a routine with one click.
- Phonics Rules Challenge Assignments in Reading Progress – Educators can turn personalized lists of practice words into Reading Progress assignments in one click with the Challenge assignment feature.
- Forms / Quiz support for images in multiple choice questions – We are excited to share that you are now able to use images as an answer in Microsoft Forms and Quiz. Visualization is a crucial form of support that helps students process content and create connections, particularly for learners who are still developing their language skills.
- Microsoft Forms’ new cover page and distribution experience – Forms now allows you to get creative with your cover page using AI capability that suggests thousands of themes based on the topic of your form.
- New Updates in Teams Meetings – Sign language view, multiple questions/ quizzes poll, images in polls.
- Parent Meeting Scheduler – To allow teachers to engage in more frequent, and easier communication with parents and guardians, we have included the capability for a *virtual* Parent/Teacher meeting, integrated within the Parent app.
These features currently available to Microsoft’s commercial customers in multi-tenant cloud environments are now rolling out to our customers in US Government Community Cloud (GCC), US Government Community Cloud High (GCC-High), and/or United States Department of Defense (DoD):
- Teams calendar now includes scheduling form pop-outs for GCC-High and DoD
- View attendance report on Microsoft Teams for Android and iOS for Government clouds
- Express yourself in Teams meeting for DoD
- Disable or Enable all Attendees’ Video for DoD
- Automatically view up to 49 videos (7×7) in Teams meeting for GCC-High and DoD
- Manage attendee audio permissions for DoD
- Frontline workers using shared devices can use Edge and Yammer apps on Android alongside Teams – Microsoft’s shared device mode allows frontline workers to easily authenticate by automatically signing users in and out of all the apps that have enabled this feature. In addition to Microsoft Teams and Managed Home Screen being generally available, Edge and Yammer apps on Android are now in public preview.
In Power Apps: Dataverse available with a Developer environment, IP based cookie binding, shared device mode, virtual tables creation wizard,
Making Dataverse available for all makers
You can work on Power Platform using Dataverse for building applications where now you can work with relationship modeling in Canvas applications, leverage Model driven applications, build virtual tables, Power FX, formula columns, ALM and much more.
Developer environment is great place for you to build and run the apps with Dataverse in your own personal space, without restriction and then eventually share and deploy to production environments. Developer environment honors tenant’s default DLP policy and hence a secure place for makers to start the experience while honoring their organization policy.
Find out more: Power Apps Developer Plan
IP based cookie binding in Dataverse is Generally Available
IP based cookie binding is a security technique that helps protect Dataverse against cookie replay attacks. A cookie replay attack occurs when an attacker intercepts a valid cookie and exploits it to impersonate the user who originally created the cookie.
IP based cookie binding addresses this threat by evaluating the IP address associated with the cookie in the request. If the IP address in the request does not match the IP address of the device where the cookie was originally created, the Dataverse API will automatically reject the cookie and prompt the user with a message indicating that their session may have been compromised.
Find out more: Block cookie replay attacks in Dataverse
Power Apps Shared Device Mode (SDM)
Microsoft recently announced the public preview of Shared Device Mode (SDM) on Android. Frontline workers will now be able to quickly, easily, and securely log in and out of their devices when handing off mobile devices or sharing kiosks. This single login will apply to Power Apps, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Managed Home Screen, Microsoft Edge, and Yammer. This feature is particularly useful for industries like Retail, Healthcare and Manufacturing where multiple users share devices, often within a shift with tight time constraints.
Note: Public Preview of Shared Device Mode for Power Apps for Android starts with availability beginning with the 3.23011.13 version. IOS availability will be announced at a later date.
Find out more: Introducing shared device mode
Virtual tables creation wizard now in Public Preview
Microsoft have announced that makers can now create virtual tables directly in the maker portal in just a few minutes using a guided creation wizard. With this new experience, you can create virtual tables from SharePoint and SQL without any code, and without leaving the maker portal. In minutes, you can set up your connection, pick your SharePoint Site or SQL Database, select your SharePoint List or SQL Table, and your virtual table will appear in table hub ready to use. You can optionally choose to configure your connection references and table details, such as column and table names, which was not possible for virtual tables until now.
Upon creating the virtual table, it will act like a standard Dataverse table, from which you can create relationships with other data in Dataverse, build apps, or use it in a flow.
Find out more: Create virtual tables using the virtual connector provider (preview)
In Power Automate: Power Automate Desktop update, manage flows via web APIs, 13 new verified connectors, 20 new independent publisher connectors, Power Automate hosted RPA, Excel’s new automate tab
Power Automate for desktop update January 2023
The January 2023 update of Power Automate for desktop (version 2.28) has been released. Here’s a summary of the latest new features and updates:
- Power Automate now performs a certificate check during login
- Error screenshots can now be prevented from being captured
- More SharePoint connector actions are now available in Power Automate for desktop
- Captured UI elements will now be more efficient
- Text-based selectors have now been introduced
Find out more: January 2023 update of Power Automate for desktop
Manage Power Automate Desktop flows using Web APIs
Microsoft have recently introduced Web APIs, which can let you manage desktop flows without the need of using UI – allowing administrators and Automation Center of Excellence teams to manage at scale. Power Automate Web API allows you to:
- List available desktop flows
- Get the schema for desktop flows
- Get the status of a desktop flow run
- Get desktop flow outputs
- Trigger a desktop flow run
- Cancel a desktop flow run
Find out more: Work with desktop flows using APIs
13 New Verified Connectors and 12 updates
The Power Automate team announced that in December, we launched 13 new verified connectors and 12 updates from different service owners. These connectors have solutions and tools for Business Management, Sales and CRM, Marketing, Content and Files, Productivity, Communication and much more.
Find out more: 13 New Verified Connectors and 12 Updates released in December 2022
20 New Independent Publisher Connectors
20 new Independent Publisher connectors were published in December. These connectors have solutions and tools for Social Media, Human Resources, Productivity, Lifestyle and Entertainment, and much more.
Find out more: 20 New Independent Publisher Connectors in December 2022
Microsoft Power Automate hosted RPA
Power Automate now supports two hosted RPA scenarios that provide developers and Center of Excellence admins a simple way to set up and scale automations:
- Individual hosted machines, now available in preview, enable developers to build or test automation and business users to run automation.
- Hosted machine groups are generally available and automatically scale workloads to optimize unattended automation in production, delivering improved business process continuity and governance at scale.
Find out more: Announcing new releases for Microsoft Power Automate hosted RPA
Excel’s new Power Automate tab
xcel’s new Automate tab allows you to tackle your automation needs quickly using Power Automate. Within this tab, you can now build Office Scripts and enhance their capabilities using Power Automate.
Office Scripts in Excel allows you to automate your Excel tasks by recording and replaying your actions on different workbooks and worksheets. Use Office Scripts to combine multiple workbooks into a single workbook, control when calculations happen within your workbook, and so much more.
Find out more: Get more done with Excel and Power Automate
In Power BI: Datamart January 2023, Report Server January 2023 Feature Summary, multi-language reports for Power BI, embed Power BI org-wide apps into Teams, back/ restore updates for large datasets, connected Excel Tables, my workspace governance improvements, Dataset Scale-Out, on-premises data gateway, Viva Goals + Metrics integration
Datamarts are a public preview feature in Power BI Premium (and Premium Per User) that enable self-service users to securely collect, store, analyze, and share their data in a unified, low code solution. This months update includes:
- Updates to the datamart editor
- Takeover ownership
- Connectivity to any SQL client
Find out more: Power BI Datamart – January 2023 Feature Summary
Power BI Report Server January 2023 Feature Summary
The January 2023 Power BI Report Server release has updates to features like the Report Server web portal, Modeling, Reporting and much more.
Find out more: Power BI Report Server January 2023 Feature Summary
Building Multi-language Reports for Power BI in 2023
The Power BI team recently announced an essential function in DAX named USERCULTURE which provides the ability to write measures which implement report label translations dynamically, plus another new feature named Field Parameters which offer a much better foundation for implementing data translations.
Following this, there is now new guidance for building multi-language reports that embraces these new Power BI enhancements. This guidance has been designed to teach content creators using Power BI Desktop the skills required to add translations and multi-languages support to PBIX project files.
Find out more: Building Multi-language Reports for Power BI in 2023
Embed your Power BI organizational apps in Microsoft Teams
You can now embed entire Power BI organizational apps in Microsoft Teams tabs. Until now, this has been one of the top feature requests for Power BI integration with Microsoft Teams. It helps teams and organization put the full Power BI org app experiences directly where people work every day. By adding Org apps in channels and meetings, you enable everyone to access the data they need.
Find out more: Announcing – Embed your Power BI organizational apps in Microsoft Teams Channels and Meetings
Backup and restore improvements for large datasets near the size limit
In August 2021, the Power BI team announced general availability (GA) of backup and restore for large datasets. Rolling back large datasets was not without challenges for large datasets near the max dataset size. But thanks to the latest improvements, you can now even restore a backup file when the dataset size is near the SKU limitation. You no longer need to be concerned that size limits impact restorability.
Now, you can now use a new /forceRestore option with the restore command to overcome this limitation.
Find out more: Announcing backup and restore improvements for large datasets near the size limit
Connected Excel Tables from Power BI (Public Preview)
Before now, you could only analyze live Power BI data in Excel using PivotTables (with the Analyze in Excel feature) but with this new experience, you’ll be able to use Excel tables to analyze live Power BI data and answer critical business questions with familiar spreadsheet functions. This new connected experience enables you to export refreshable data to Excel from a Power BI visual.
Find out more: Announcing Connected Excel Tables from Power BI (Public Preview)
My workspace governance improvement (Public Preview)
My workspace is the personal workspace every Power BI user has for working with their own content. The Power BI team have announced the Public Preview of several features that address these friction points. These new features allow admins to gain access to the contents of any user’s My workspace, designate a capacity for all existing and new My workspaces, and prevent users from moving My workspaces to a different capacity that may reside in a non-compliant region.
Find out more: Announcing My workspace governance improvement (Public Preview)
Power BI Dataset Scale-Out (Public Preview)
The Power BI team have announced the public preview of Power BI Dataset Scale-Out, a dataset feature enabling enterprise customers to support large-scale Power BI solutions without any additional administrative overhead or infrastructure complexity.
The idea is to let Power BI scale the number of dataset replicas and load-balance client connections dynamically to meet query processing demands at critical times up to the maximum available compute resources (vCores) of the underlying Premium capacity. During low-demand times, Power BI can automatically scale back to decrease the number of replicas again.
Find out more: Announcing the Public Preview of Power BI Dataset Scale-Out
Viva Goals + Metrics integration
The Power BI team have announced the general availability of the Viva Goals Power BI integration and three new Metrics features specifically answering common customer asks. A new, optional column for milestones, scorecard time zones, and a handy auto collapse / auto expand feature.
Find out more: Announcing: Viva Goals + Metrics integration, scorecard time zones and more