Office 365 for IT Pros November 2023 Update Available

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Office 365 for IT Pros November 2023 Update

The Office 365 for IT Pros eBook team is delighted to announce that the 101st monthly update is now available for download. Subscribers to the PDF/EPUB version can download the updated files from using their account or the link contained in the receipt emailed to them when they subscribed. People who bought the Kindle edition from Amazon can ask Amazon support to make the update available to them.

Office 365 for IT Pros Monthly Update 101

As in any month, the latest update covers a variety of topics. For example:

  • New data about user numbers released in Microsoft’s FY24 Q1 results (Teams now has 320 million monthly active users).
  • Deprecation of the Set-UserPhoto and Get-UserPhoto cmdlets.
  • A new organization setting to allow tenants avoid roaming signatures until Microsoft fixes the problem with OWA signatures.
  • The storage consumed by Loop workspaces (but not Loop components used in apps) will count against tenant SharePoint storage quotas.

During the month, we also published details of how to use the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK (and PnP.PowerShell) create and update Microsoft Lists. This led to the addition of a small paragraph in chapter 23 and is an example of the kind of research the writing team does to improve the quality and coverage of the book.

We also expressed our annoyance at the number and persistence of the annoying pop-up messages Teams insists on displaying to users.

For more information about changes in the 101st update, please see our change log. Details of how to download updates can be found in our FAQ.

New Teams Client Becomes the Only Teams Client in March 2024

The biggest change for many Microsoft 365 tenants is the launch of the new Teams client, which attained general availability on October 5, 2023. There’s no doubt that the new Teams client is an advance over the “classic” client in terms of performance, resource consumption, and some functionality (like guest access to multiple tenants). Microsoft still has some work to do to attain full feature equivalence across the two clients, but this will come in time. A useful web page explains where Microsoft hopes to make progress and where functionality differs across the two versions.

Nice as it is to have the new client, I think people were surprised when Microsoft issued message center notification MC686187 on October 31 to tell customers that Microsoft plans to remove the classic client on March 31, 2024. People using the classic client at that time will receive an automatic upgrade to the new client, even if they’d really prefer to stay with the old version.

The new Teams client isn’t available yet for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), so VDI users are unaffected by the deprecation and will not be automatically updated. The same is true for Teams Room and Surface Hub devices, which need a special version of the new client to deal with their environments.

I fully understand Microsoft’s desire to remove the classic client. They’ve invested a ton of engineering effort to move away from the Electron-based roots of the old client to develop a new client that answers many of the criticisms expressed over the years. They don’t want to be forced to keep two very different client code bases functionally equivalent as new features roll out, (like using Microsoft Designer to generate custom images for announcement channel posts).

Maintaining two client code bases is an expensive proposition, as Microsoft knows well from their experience with Outlook. Reducing engineering and support costs is one of the prime motivating factors in the effort to deliver the Monarch “One Outlook” client. Microsoft is already pushing customers away from the old Win32-based Outlook for Windows desktop client with tactics like insisting that only Monarch will support Microsoft 365 Copilot.

No Votes for Customers

Forced client transition to gain new functionality is part of living with a cloud service. It happens. Customers don’t get to vote (unless you want to return to an on-premises deployment). Oh well, upward and onward toward the 102nd monthly update for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook, due on December 1.

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