Eighth Update for 2022 Edition
The Office 365 for IT Pros eBook team is delighted to announce that the eighth update for the Office 365 for IT Pros (2022 Edition) eBook is now available. Subscribers for the EPUB/PDF version can download the updated files from their Gumroad.com account or by using the download link in their original receipt. We’ve updated the files on Amazon.com for our Kindle customers, but these need to contact Amazon to get the updates. The companion volume received a minor update. Full details about how to download updates can be found in our FAQ.
81st Monthly Update
This update is the 81st in a series stretching back to May 2015. Each month, we handle the same mixture of Microsoft updates to functionality, clarifications, delays, and new information or insights derived from experience gained with the Office 365 suite. The March 2022 update is no different, as you can see from our change log.
Changes varied from the introduction of Azure AD B2B cross-tenant settings (important for the preview of Teams shared channels in March) to Yammer groups coming under the control of the Microsoft 365 group expiration policy to the arrival of MTA-STS for Exchange Online. We also have Microsoft Search revealing Exchange messages in search results, including in Bing. In Teams, custom praise badges are no more, but loop components are generally available for chat (except for federated chats).
Another change is a feature which has not yet fully landed in tenants is that Microsoft increased the default retention time for Teams meeting recordings from 60 to 120 days. The extra time is based on customer feedback. Although most teams meeting recordings are never viewed, no one wants to go looking for the recording of an important meeting to find that it’s gone. If in doubt, use retention labels to ensure that Teams doesn’t remove recordings you want to keep.
On the programming front, we rewrote the section covering PowerShell and the Graph and added details about using Azure Automation with Microsoft 365. Finally, there’s an interesting update to sensitivity labels to control the default sharing link settings at a per-document level.
All of this plus a bunch of cleaning up, rephrasing, and removal of old text. It’s been a busy month. Next month (update 82) will continue apace. Although Teams shared channels will probably be the major new functionality which becomes available (in public preview) during March, the nature of Microsoft 365 is that new things happen all the time. For that reason, we produce a fully-updated Office 365 for IT Pros book each month. It’s the only way to keep abreast of what’s happening.
Meanwhile Prices Rise
Today, Microsoft increased the monthly subscription for many Office 365 and Microsoft 365 SKUs. For Office 365 E3 and E5, the rise is $3/user/month. Although that doesn’t sound a lot, the extra monthly charges mount up, so it’s wise to review the licenses your tenant uses with an eye on removing unused licenses where possible. In addition to composite licenses like Office 365 E3, review the use of add-ons like Microsoft Viva Topics and the advanced compliance features like communications compliance policies. It’s all great technology, but it’s surprising how much add-ons for a group of users increase a tenant’s monthly invoice from Microsoft.
Some people will immediately go to the old Microsoft Services Online (MSOL) PowerShell cmdlets to check licenses assigned to accounts. These cmdlets work but be aware that Microsoft plans to move to a new license management platform on June 30, 2022. When this happens, the old MSOL and Azure AD license management cmdlets will cease working. Microsoft recommends that you use the Microsoft Graph SDK for PowerShell to upgrade scripts by replacing the soon-to-be-deprecated cmdlets with cmdlets from the SDK. Here’s an example to start you off. Stay tuned for more information on this point in Office 365 for IT Pros updates!