Another month has passed, and we have another group of new features from Microsoft 365 to review! This month, we’re going to break our own rule and cover some updates that aren’t yet released to the public, as well as cover some updates that are now available in preview. Let’s get started with something that is available for preview today, but currently has a limited number of features.
Microsoft Loop is Now Available
Microsoft Loop has been a long time coming. It was first announced at Microsoft Build in 2019 and is finally available for use. We’re so excited about it that we made a YouTube demo showcasing what it can do. We’re just seeing the beginning of the wave with this release, but we can already see the potential of Loop changing the way we collaborate with each other. Watch the video and start collaborating in a whole new way.
Microsoft Copilot Coming Soon
Copilot isn’t available yet for most of us. If you are on a Home or Personal subscription to Office 365, and jump through some hoops you can turn Copilot on in Microsoft. Currently, that is the only place you can try Copilot. If it is as awesome as the demos say, it might just change the nature of work. We’ll be talking about it in upcoming versions of this blog when released, but for today we’ll say that Copilot will know all about you, your emails, documents and PowerPoints, and can create files for you with your tone and style, driven by your data. Anticipating the very next fear we all have with that statement, your content will still be secured by the same rules as it is today. Introducing Copilot doesn’t suddenly mean all your information is available to the public. Microsoft promises to integrate Copilot into Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, Power Platform and have already delivered Copilot for Security and Copilot for Viva Sales. Exciting times we live in, huh?
SharePoint Site Updates
Next, let’s review a change to the way SharePoint shares a site with an external guest. After going live in March there was a shift from the SharePoint Invitation Manager to the Azure B2B Invitation Manager. That feels like a bunch of marketing words, but the difference is real. The first thing to cover is that if you have shared resources with an external guest those will still be shared, you won’t need to do anything. This also won’t change any settings from what they were prior to the change. There are some big changes to how the sharing happens for your guest. First, if they don’t already have a Microsoft account, they won’t be required to get one. Because Azure B2B supports conditional access, you are in control of what happens when a guest first logs into your tenant and can even enforce the use of MFA before they can access the shared resource. This new sharing is turned on by default in all new tenants since 3/31 and is available to existing tenants with a configuration change. This page from Microsoft shares all the details.
Exchange Online Updates
We’ve all had that “Oh what have I done” moment after pressing send on a critical email and then realizing what a horrible, career-defining moment we’ve just had. Microsoft is in the middle of rolling out a change (more to come next month) to the way Exchange recalls messages that makes that recall action twice as likely to succeed. They can’t do anything if your email is opened immediately, but with a little luck, you’ll survive that never-should-have-been-sent email. Please note that you should still proofread every email before smashing send and, in some cases, take a moment to cool down first. Also, if the email leaves your organization the odds of getting that sent email back go way, way down.
When was the last time you opened OneDrive in your browser instead of Windows Explorer or Finder? Yeah, it’s been a while for us too. You might want to take a peak right now; it’s been given an update that makes it much more useful. The whole user experience is growing on us. Files are now sorted by recent activity across all the places they are stored and easily filtered based on the document type. That means regardless of where the document lives, the things you’ve worked on most recently will show up at the top of the list. We’d hate to fall into a recency bias, but the odds are good the document you are looking for is the one you worked on yesterday, right? You’ll never find a better path to a specific document than OneDrive in a browser, at least until the next paragraph!
Microsoft Teams Updates
As promised, we’ll finish with a couple of Teams updates that aren’t live yet. On March 27th, Microsoft released the “Public Preview” of the new Teams client and it was big news. The new client is 2x faster to start, 2x faster to join a meeting, shows content much faster, and does all that in half the memory and disc space. It is important to note that the new client isn’t a finished product and so you will find yourself flipping back and forth between the old and new if you do turn it on. For example, we find we need to start the old client just to leave a team. Even with those limitations we find that the much-improved way the new client handles multiple tenants has us spending most of our time in the new client. As excited as we are about the new client, we might be just as excited to know that parts of the new client user experience will be coming to the old client. That includes both the new channel experience and the new Files App. Both will be arriving in April for most of us. The new Files app is intended to make working with documents in Teams closer to the experience you get with a browser or Windows Explorer allowing you to spend more time in Teams. Looks like we might have just found a better way to find that document you need, even better than the new OneDrive in a browser!
Feeling a little overwhelmed by the pace of change and innovation in the world of collaboration? We can help. JourneyTEAM has a team of professionals who can help you unlock the full value of your Microsoft 365 investment and help your teams take advantage of all the platform has to offer. We can also help you create your first intranet, your first Document or Records Management Policy, or any other part of your Microsoft 365 To-Do list. Please reach out to us with any questions, today!
Article written by Kevin Zollinger, Senior Functional Consultant on the Content and Collaboration Team