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Files for Monthly Update #94 for the Most Comprehensive Office 365 Book Available for Download
The Office 365 for IT Pros team is delighted to announce the availability of monthly update #94. The files for the April 2023 update are now available from Gumroad.com and Amazon Kindle. Details of the changes made to individual chapters are available in our change log. We’d appreciate if subscribers download and use the updated content because a lot has changed over the last few months and it would be a pity to refer to old information after it has been updated. You can always access the latest files through your Gumroad account or by using the link in your original receipt. See our FAQ for more information.
Major Microsoft Announcements in March
March 2023 featured several major Microsoft announcements that will affect Microsoft 365 operations over the coming years. The most important announcements are:
- Microsoft 365 Copilot: We don’t expect to see this in production until much later in the year, perhaps after the Ignite conference. No details are available about licensing. The Security Copilot announcement might also affect how Microsoft 365 organizations work in the future. There’s a lot of hype around artificial intelligence and machine learning at present, and we plan to take a pragmatic approach to assessing how the technology works when exposed to the rigors of day-to-day operations.
- The Loop app: Now in public preview, but Microsoft must resolve important issues like compliance and eDiscovery before general availability. Loop components are already available in OWA, Teams, Outlook desktop, and the Office web apps. The biggest issue we have with Loop technology is that it’s very inward-focused and currently doesn’t support collaboration with external people.
- The Teams 2.1 desktop client is now available in public preview. Many features work in the public preview but some major chunks of functionality are missing (like breakout rooms).
- The plan to block email from unsupported on-premises Exchange servers. Starting initially with Exchange 2007 servers in hybrid organizations, this plan will evolve to bring all Exchange on-premises servers into scope. Our recommendation is that hybrid organizations should eliminate unsupported Exchange servers from their roster as soon as possible.
We mention these changes in the current edition of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. However, there’s not much that we can say at this point about the operational and practical aspects of these technologies as they’re either incomplete or unavailable. We will keep a close eye on what happens and incorporate the information into future Office 365 for IT Pros updates as time goes by.
Alongside these important topics, day-to-day change continued unabated. Among the changes are:
- New licensing rules for Microsoft Teams Rooms devices come into effect on July 1, 2023.
- The Microsoft Entra admin center is replacing the Azure AD admin center.
- Authenticator lite is available in Outlook mobile clients to avoid the need to deploy the Microsoft Authenticator app when implementing multi-factor authentication.
- Detail about just what the Syntex-SharePoint Advanced management license covers is becoming available, like the block file download policy.
- Spatial audio is available in Teams meetings. You can also use green screen backdrops for Teams meetings – and mesh avatars are now in public preview (but don ‘t work with the Teams 2.1 client).
- The Microsoft 365 user profile card supports pronouns in apps like Teams and OWA.
We can only predict that a similar batch of changes will appear in April.
On to the 2024 Edition
The Office 365 for IT Pros eBook first appeared in 2015. We even had a print version then, something that’s impossible now given the volume and type of change that happens monthly. The size of the book is also a challenge for on-demand print runs, most of which are designed to cater for much smaller books (like novels). We moved to annual editions in 2016 and the current version is the ninth in the series.
We’ve started work on the tenth (2024) edition. If all goes well, we will deliver the new edition on July 1, 2023. We issue new editions on July 1 because it aligns with the start of the Microsoft fiscal year. We hope that our subscribers will stay with us for another year when the 2024 edition is available. Meanwhile, on to update #95 as we continue to improve the 2023 edition.