Blog

  1. Questioning Six Reasons Why Backing up Office 365 is Critical August 20, 2020 10:02 am - The need (or not) for a backup solution for Office 365 data is hotly debated. Although good reasons can exist for buying a backup service, some of the reasons advanced by backup vendors are classic FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt). A recent report issued by a major backup vendor contains some points that deserve close examination. Here's what we think.
  2. Use Background Images and Blur in Teams Meetings April 6, 2020 12:09 am - Teams supports the selection of an image to use as the background for meetings. For now, you can choose from a set of images selected by Microsoft, but soon users will be able to upload their own images and use them in Teams meetings. While we wait for Microsoft to complete some work on admin framework to control image upload, a workaround is available to use custom images today.
  3. Change to Outlook Groups Displays High Unread Counts September 24, 2020 1:00 am - Outlook for Windows has supported Microsoft 365 Groups since 2015. The developers chose a seen/unseen model for Groups, but now Outlook has switched to a read/unread model, meaning that the unread counts for Groups can suddenly seem much higher than before. It's a one-time change that aligns Outlook desktop with OWA and Outlook Mobile and there's an easy way to set all unread items to be read. But you might want to tell people that this change is coming!
  4. Bringing the Active Directory Drink Attribute to Azure AD September 23, 2020 1:00 am - The Active Directory schema includes a drink attribute. This didn't make the transition to Azure AD, but you can use one of the custom attributes to make drink show up on Microsoft 365 profile cards. This might not seem like a good use of your time, but it's actually an illustration of how to put the Microsoft Graph Explorer tool to good use.
  5. Microsoft Updates the Exchange Online Management Module (V2.0.3) September 22, 2020 1:00 am - Version 2.0.3 of the Exchange Online Management PowerShell module is now available for download. The new release contains many useful enhancements including full support for certificate-based authentication, the ability to restrict cmdlets loaded into a session, and support for simultaneous connections to Exchange Online and the Security and Compliance Center.
  6. Making Outlook the Default Mail App for iOS14 September 21, 2020 1:00 am - Apple allows iOS14 users to select a different email app to be the default. The switch to Outlook is easy, and you can also pin Outlook to the Home Screen to make it easier and faster to access the app. Remember to check for users running iOS12 because Microsoft no longer supports these devices are for Outlook updates. Fortunately, PowerShell helps to find devices running iOS12 by checking their mobile device connection status.
  7. Microsoft Launches V1.1.6 of PowerShell Module for Teams September 18, 2020 12:10 am - Microsoft has launched version 1.1.6 of the PowerShell module for Teams (MicrosoftTeams). The new module makes the Skype for Business Online connector unnecessary because it contains the New-CsOnlineSession cmdlet needed to create a new session to use the cmdlets used to manage Teams policies.
  8. Why Microsoft Extends Office 365 Notification Dates For New Functionality September 17, 2020 8:56 am - Microsoft publishes notifications about new Office 365 functionality in the Microsoft 365 message center. Sometimes the dates advertised for the delivery of the new software are pushed out when Microsoft updates the original notifications. All of which means that tenant administrators need to spend a little time tracking updates to make sure that they're prepared when Microsoft eventually delivers.
  9. Teams Badge Count Service Makes App Pill Counts More Reliable September 16, 2020 8:00 am - We bet you never knew about the importance of app pill counts. Well, the badge counts shown by apps like Teams are guides for users to know when new information is available. It's important enough for Teams to invest in a new Teams Badge Count service to improve the accuracy of the new item counts shown to users. Here's what's happening.
  10. Monitoring Guest Accounts Added to Teams September 15, 2020 7:40 am - You can easily add people from outside your Office 365 tenant to the membership of Teams, but some oversight of who those people are and what teams they join is probably needed. This PowerShell script shows how to find records in the Office 365 audit log and figure out if they relate to the creation of new guest accounts before sending email asking to justify the addition of the new account.
  11. Turbocharging the Analysis of Office 365 Data with PowerShell Hash Tables September 14, 2020 12:06 am - PowerShell hash tables are very efficient at retrieving data, which is just what's needed when thousands of Office 365 accounts need processing. Our script to analyze usage data extracted from the Microsoft Graph was turbo-charged when we replaced list objects with hash tables, all of which makes it much easier to identify underused Office 365 accounts and save some money on licensing spend.
  12. Preview of Teams Migration API Has Slack in Its Cross-Hairs September 11, 2020 7:39 am - A preview of a new migration API for Teams is with ISVs. The API is to migrate data from other chat platforms (Slack is the obvious target) to Teams. There's still no news about solid APIs for tenant to tenant migration or backup and restore for Teams. Microsoft is really interested in moving people off competitor platforms to Teams. It seems they are less interested in doing some of the heavy lifting involved in tenant management and restructuring.
  13. Teams Rolls Out New Conversation Button September 10, 2020 7:02 am - Adding a New conversation button to the Teams client user interface might seem like an insignificant UI tweak. However, keeping replies with their topics is important because it helps users find information and helps compliance searches assemble full conversations. Not many would think about how a UI change affects compliance and eDiscovery searches, but we do...
  14. Replacing Videos in Microsoft Stream September 9, 2020 9:19 am - Sometimes the videos uploaded to Microsoft Stream need some post-production work. You can replace a video with a new file and keep some but not all of its attributes. The operation is straightforward and easy, but be sure to keep a copy of the original video just in case you need to revert to it.
  15. Creating Customized Badges for the Microsoft Teams Praise App September 8, 2020 9:25 am - The Microsoft Teams Praise app is used to acknowledge the achievements of people. Different badges exist to highlight various ways people contribute to teams. Now you can create custom badges and publish them for use in the Praise app. All sorts of interesting ideas come to mind. How artistic can you be?
  16. Speeding Access to Office 365 PowerShell Data Using Where Instead of Where-Object September 7, 2020 9:28 am - The Office 365 for IT Pros eBook includes many PowerShell examples, and while we mostly concentrate on illustrating the principles of how PowerShell is used to solve problems, we do care about performance. Which is why we're always interested in finding ways to speed up our code. This this article we explore how to use the Where method to replace the Where-Object cmdlet to filter objects. The good news is that it's an easy way to get better code performance.
  17. Using Planner in Offline Mode September 4, 2020 9:30 am - Microsoft Planner is able to work in offline mode when disconnected from the network. In this article, we describe what the browser client can and cannot do when it's not connected. The thing is that Microsoft hasn't told anyone that Planner can work offline. No blog, no documentation, and no Office 365 notification. Isn't that strange?
  18. Teams Upgrades File Sharing to be Consistent with Office 365 September 3, 2020 12:11 pm - Teams is adopting the common file sharing mechanism used by Office 365 applications. The change is now going on and should be deployed worldwide by the end of September. With Teams in the fold, we can say that sharing is done consistently across Office 365, which can't be a bad thing.
  19. Teams Gets New Meeting Pre-Join Experience September 2, 2020 3:22 pm - Microsoft has spruced up the Teams meeting pre-join screen to gather all the settings that participants can use to configure their audio and video for a meeting. The browser interface is slightly different because browsers don't support background effects. The new screens are better than before and are a good example of how to apply rationalization and simplification to UX design.
  20. September 2020 Update Available for Office 365 for IT Pros September 1, 2020 2:00 am - Files for the September 2020 update of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook, the only always-updated book available for Office 365, are now available. Subscribers can download their updates from Gumroad.com or Amazon Kindle.
  21. Word Online’s Clever Transcription August 31, 2020 2:38 am - Word Online now boasts the ability to generate transcripts by listening to meetings or conversations and feeding the recording to Azure Cognitive Services. While the thought of using voice-generated text might seem strange at first, Word's ability to capture text through dictation or transcription is surprisingly good.
  22. Updated Version of the Graph User Statistics Script Available August 29, 2020 12:21 pm - Office 365 usage data for several workloads is available through the Microsoft Graph. A PowerShell script is available to grab Graph data and use it to figure out if accounts are in active use. V1.2 of GetGraphUserStatisticsReport.PS1 is available in GitHub and should be better performing when processing thousands of accounts.
  23. Teams Search Autosuggested Results Includes Files August 28, 2020 2:00 am - A recent change to Teams search means that matching files are included in the autosuggested list generated as users type in search terms. It's a small but good change. The files data comes from SharePoint Online sites the user can access and their personal OneDrive for Business account.
  24. Finding Teams and Yammer Groups with PowerShell August 27, 2020 2:00 am - Microsoft 365 Groups are used by applications like Teams and Yammer. The PowerShell Get-UnifiedGroup cmdlet finds groups, but can it find the groups enabled for Teams and Yammer? Here's some idle musing on the topic which might or might not interest you.
  25. When a Teams Retention Policy Goes Bad and Data Disappears August 26, 2020 1:12 am - A change made to an Office 365 retention policy for Teams personal chats in the KPMG tenant removed data for 145,000 users. That's unfortunate, and it underlines the need for admins to understand how retention policies work. Maybe the people involve did and it was a simple slip that could happen to anyone, but perhaps it will cause tenant admins to reflect on how they make changes to organization configurations.
  26. Sorting Out Teams, Conversations, Topics, and Replies August 25, 2020 12:03 am - Teams channel conversations are composed of threads formed by base topics and replies. Unfortunately, the Teams client UI makes it easy for users to add topics when they should post replies. The good news is that the Teams development VP at Microsoft has admitted that something needs to be done. That, and a positive response to a User Voice request, makes us think that something will happen soon.
  27. Come in Internet Explorer – Your Time is Up August 24, 2020 12:42 am - Office 365 Tenants need to stop people using Internet Explorer. On November 30, Teams stops support for IE11; nine months later, the rest of the Microsoft 365 apps cease support. According to Microsoft, the only browser in town is the new Edge (which has an IE mode), but most will keep on using Chrome, Firefox, Brave, or Safari as they do today.
  28. Teams Improves its Fit and Finish August 21, 2020 1:00 am - Some recent small changes in Teams will make users happy because the product's fit and finish is improving. Speaker attribution for live captions makes conversations easier to follow and faster updates from Exchange mean that out of office notifications and change in presence states are picked up faster. These aren't earthshattering changes, but they do make Teams more pleasant to use.
  29. Blocking Email Forwarding from Power Automate August 19, 2020 9:17 am - Power Automate (Flow) can forward email from Exchange Online mailboxes to external recipients. This isn't a great idea if you want email kept within the control of your data governance framework. Power Automate now inserts x-headers in the email it sends, which allows the use of transport (mail flow) rules to detect and reject these messages if required.
  30. Microsoft Drops Office 365 Auditing for Sway August 18, 2020 3:45 am - Office 365 notification MC220283 says that Microsoft has retired support for organizations to audit Sway activities. In other words, no more Sway events in the Office 365 audit log. This might or might not be a problem for your tenant, depending on how much use you make of Sway and if you have the necessary licenses. But the real problem is the lack of communication before Microsoft removed the feature. That's not good.
  31. Teams Makes Background Effects Persistent Across Meetings August 17, 2020 12:00 am - In a surprise update, Microsoft announced that Teams meetings now use persistent background effects. Once you choose an effect, Teams will use it in meetings when video is enabled. It's a small but nice change that will help users. We need more of this kind of update across Office 365.
  32. Planner Highlights Plan Changes but No Sign of Auditing Support August 14, 2020 8:26 am - The Planner browser UI now displays a notice to users when someone else has changed tasks in a plan. This is useful, but it would be much better if Microsoft enabled support for the Office 365 audit log so that events happening in Planner flowed into the audit log. There's no sign of that happening, despite requests for three years or more.
  33. The 1-2-3 of Exchange Online Certificate Based Authentication for PowerShell August 13, 2020 9:13 am - Exchange Online PowerShell is a critical automation tool for many Office 365 tenants. In 2021, Microsoft will remove basic authentication for PowerShell, so it's time to change over to modern authentication. For scripts that run as batch or background jobs, that means converting to certificate-based authentication. In this post, we explore how to get the self-signed cert to glue everything together.
  34. Analyzing Quarantined Messages with PowerShell August 12, 2020 9:06 am - Exchange Online Protection puts problem messages into quarantine if it suspects that they contain spam, malware, or a phishing attempt. Instead of using the Security and Compliance Center GUI to work with quarantined messages, you can analyze details of quarantined messages with PowerShell to create some basic statistics and find messages that should be released.
  35. Reviewing Email Quarantined by Exchange Online Protection August 11, 2020 8:18 am - Exchange Online Protection (EOP) quarantines suspicious messages to stop spam, malware, and phishing email arriving into Exchange Online inboxes. Administrators can review quarantined messages. Reviewing messages can find some problems, like messages that shouldn't have been stopped. But reviews take time, and sometimes other stuff gets in the way, which means that quarantined messages expire without anyone ever asking the question "why."
  36. Teams Meeting Policy Restricts Automatic Meeting Joins to Organizers August 10, 2020 8:45 am - Microsoft has updated the Teams meeting policy to restrict automatic meeting joining (aka lobby bypass) to organizers. This is likely to be most popular with schools, but enterprirse will see value in being able to force participants to pass through the meeting lobby before joining in some circumstances. And remember, a meeting organizer can always change the settings before the meeting begins.
  37. MailTips: Useful Guidance for Good User Email Habits August 7, 2020 8:48 am - Exchange Online generates automatic MailTips to advise email creators that recipients are out of offce or the message is addressed to too many recipients. Custom MailTips for mailboxes, distribution lists, and other mail-enabled objects, including language-specific translations, give additional guidance to users as they create messages. Overall, MailTips are worth spending some time on to get right within an Office 365 tenant.
  38. Customizing Privacy Controls for Microsoft Graph Insights with the Graph Explorer August 6, 2020 9:32 am - The Microsoft Graph collects huge amounts of signals about Office 365 user activity. Some of that data is used to generate insights into information that might be interesting to users. You can already disable insights in Delve, and now Microsoft allows you to disable insights elsewhere in Office 365. The downside is you've got to patch the Graph organization settings to limit insights, and that might just be outside the ability of the average tenant administrator. Unless they use the Graph Explorer to do the job.
  39. Customizing the Office 365 Profile Card with Graph Explorer August 5, 2020 7:59 am - Microsoft announced that Office 365 tenants can customize the user profile card, which is nice. The only thing is that an update to the Microsoft Graph is done to apply the customization. Most tenant administrations probably aren't literate with Graph programming, so that presents a problem. Until you realize that the Graph Explorer can be used to do the job without you needing to write a single line of code.
  40. Petri GET-IT for Teams Virtual Conference August 4, 2020 1:44 pm - Petri.com is running a free 1-day virtual conference on the topic of Microsoft Teams on August 12. All are welcome to attend. The jokes will be awful, the timing lousy, and the information insightful. That's a pretty explosive mixture, delivered by experts (well, except me) packed full of knowledge. So much so that their heads swell on an ongoing basis...
  41. Azure AD My Sign-Ins Activity Report Now Generally Available August 4, 2020 7:24 am - Microsoft announced that the Azure AD Sign-in Activity Report for end users is now generally available. Good progress has been made since the preview, but some problems still persist. It's fair to ask end users to review their sign-in activity, but to have a chance of catching problems, the data you ask people to review must be understandable by them, and sometimes the data in this report isn't.
  42. Microsoft 365 Admin Center Manages Default Authentication Policy for Exchange Online August 3, 2020 10:00 am - The Microsoft 365 admin center includes the ability to manage settings for the default Exchange Online authentication policy. You might have other policies to allow selective access with basic authentication to some protocols; these policies must be managed with PowerShell. Authentication policies are part of the journey to eliminate basic authentication from Exchange Online, now expected to happen in mid-2021.
  43. August Update for Office 365 for IT Pros (2021 Edition) August 1, 2020 12:59 pm - The August 2020 update for Office 365 for IT Pros (2021 Edition) is now available. Subscribers can download the updated files from Gumroad,com. Kindle buyers can ask Amazon to make the update available to them. The August update includes changes to 18 of the 24 content chapters, which is pretty typical for the kind of change that happens inside Office 365.
  44. Microsoft’s Worldwide Push to Convince Office 365 users to Install Outlook Mobile July 31, 2020 7:16 am - Microsoft plans to post notices in OWA to tell end users that their Office 365 licenses include Outlook Mobile. The hope is that more people will use Outlook Mobile instead of EAS or IMAP4-based clients like the default iOS mail client. Notices will appear in OWA and later Outlook desktop, but the good news is that you can disable these notices with a simple change to the tenant's organization configuration for Exchange Online.
  45. Finding Orphaned OneDrive for Business Accounts July 30, 2020 9:49 am - OneDrive for Business accounts belonging to ex-employees can be reassigned to others during the deletion workflow, but orphan accounts can accumulate over time. This post describes a PowerShell script to find orphan OneDrive accounts and add a user to the site so that anything there can be retrieved.
  46. Backing Up Exchange Online Mailboxes to PSTs Continues to be an Awful Idea July 29, 2020 9:26 am - Characterizing backup of Exchange Online mailboxes to PSTs as brain-dead might have been harsh, but it's an accurate assessment of the worth of this idea. Plenty of cloud-based backup offerings exist that can process Exchange Online data more securely and at scale. If you want to backup Office 365, stay away from PSTs and use a different product, after asking some questions to ensure that the backups deliver the value you expect.
  47. Exchange Online Protection Restricts Tenants from Sending Unprovisioned Email July 28, 2020 12:15 am - Exchange Online Protection monitors outbound email to pick up signs of potential compromise in Office 365 tenants. This can lead to EOP restricting a tenant's ability to send outbound email and force the administrators to check for compromised accounts or connectors and other problems before contacting Microsoft Support to ask them to lift the restriction.
  48. When Exchange Online Protection Blocks Email Senders July 27, 2020 8:50 am - Exchange Online Protection monitors email traffic in and out of Office 365 tenants. When a mailbox exceeds limits, it might end up being restricted, such as in the case when the mailbox might be compromised. We tried to find out when Exchange Online Protection restricted mailboxes and what to do afterwards. Here's what we discovered.
  49. Microsoft Cloud Growth Continues Unabated July 24, 2020 9:38 am - The Microsoft FY20 Q4 results included good news for its cloud segments with increasing activity, numbers, and revenue. Although we didn't get new user numbers for Office 365 and Teams, Microsoft included some other interesting data about Azure Active Directory and EMS in its narrative.
  50. Microsoft Trims Set of Calendar Events Created from Email July 23, 2020 8:55 am - Exchange Online will soon drop processing email to create calendar events for things like restaurant reservations. The good news is that travel details are still supported, meaning that you won't have to extract and enter details like flight numbers, departure times, and so on. And notifications for your Amazon deliveries continue too.
  51. Teams and Memory Management July 22, 2020 8:06 am - The Electron-based Microsoft Teams has a reputation of being a memory hog. Does the moniker fit? Well, it all depends on how you view how the Chromium memory model works. Some won't like the way memory is grabbed to cache data while others will think it quite reasonable to use available memory in this way.
  52. Office 365 Won’t Block Old Clients But End in Sight for Office 2013 July 17, 2020 9:08 am - Microsoft posted a reminder that connections from Office 2013 will no longer be supported for Office 365 service from October 13, 2020. Microsoft won't take any action to block legacy clients, but the writing is on the wall. Office 365 tenants need to decide how to replace Office 2013 by either upgrading to Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise (click to run) or switching to browser clients like OWA.
  53. Outlook’s Notification Pane for Office 365 Incidents July 16, 2020 12:16 am - Outlook for Windows boasts a new admin notification panel where incidents affecting the Office 365 tenant show up. It's an interesting idea, but you wonder if there aren't more important things for the developers to work on, especially as many other ways exist for administrators to find out when problems happen.
  54. Teams Messages from Hybrid Users Scanned by Communication Compliance Policies July 15, 2020 8:44 am - Communications compliance policies scan user messages to detect violations of company or regulatory rules. A change introduces support for hybrid users whose mailboxes are on Exchange on-premises servers. The change might not pick up many new violations, but it does increase the coverage and stops some violations sneaking through, which is always a good thing.
  55. Microsoft 365 Security for IT Pros Published July 14, 2020 12:15 am - The New Microsoft 365 Security for IT Pros eBook is now available from Gumroad.com. The book is modeled after Office 365 for IT Pros and covers the essential steps tenant administrators should take to secure and defend their organizations. Security is something that everyone involved in tenant administration needs to think about, so it's good to have some solid advice from the pros.
  56. Reading PDFs Protected by Sensitivity Labels with the Edge Browser July 13, 2020 9:00 am - The latest version of the Edge Chromium browser can read files protected by Office 365 sensitivity labels stored in SharePoint Online and Exchange Online. This might not be the feature that causes you to dump Chrome, but it's very useful when your tenant uses sensitivity labels.
  57. Language-Aware Spellchecking in Teams July 10, 2020 9:05 am - The Windows desktop client for Teams monitors text as users type chat and channel messages to detect if they switch language. And if they do, Teams can change language for spell checking. The code runs on the client and no data is transmitted back to base. It's all very intelligent, but you should warn users that it might happen.
  58. OneDrive Clients and Version History July 9, 2020 8:20 am - OneDrive clients have access to version history for files stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive (business and consumer). Until they don't, which is why I am grumpy today. As it turns out, the feature works on one PC but not another, and that's super-frustrating.
  59. Bulk Policy Assignment for Teams Users July 8, 2020 12:21 am - Teams supports the ability to assign policies to up to 5,000 users with background jobs. This makes it much easier to assign new policies to large groups of users. Unless you like writing your own PowerShell scripts to handle Teams policy assignment, this is definitely something that all Teams administrators need to know about.
  60. Disabling Chat for Teams Users July 7, 2020 8:57 am - You can disable Chat for Teams users, but is this a good idea? Chat is an integral part of Teams and disabling it seems like a bad idea for many reasons, not least being compliance as all you'll do is drive users to find another way to communicate - like WhatsApp.
  61. Use Office 365 DLP Policies to Block External Access to Sensitive Documents July 6, 2020 8:52 am - When you need to block external access to your most sensitive documents, Office 365 Data Loss Prevention policies and sensitivity labels combine to find and protect the documents. A really simple policy is enough to detect and block external access, and is covered by Office 365 E3 licenses. If you have E5 licenses, you can consider auto-label policies to find and protect sensitive documents at scale.
  62. Archiving Microsoft 365 Groups (and Teams) with PowerShell July 3, 2020 10:03 am - Once Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams reach the end of their useful life, it's good to archive them so that their data stays online and available for eDiscovery. A recent request looked for help to archive 600 Groups at the end of the academic year. The script described here might help solve the problem.
  63. Microsoft Introduces New Teams App Usage Report July 2, 2020 12:31 am - Microsoft has introduced a new apps usage report in the Teams admin center. The new report helps tenant admins understand how much use Teams apps get. However, if you want to do any detailed analysis, you will have to download the data to Excel and interpret it there.
  64. Office 365 for IT Pros 2021 Edition Published! July 1, 2020 12:01 am - The 2021 edition of Office 365 for IT Pros, the world's best book covering management and deployment of Office 365 is now available (July 1, 2020). The book is completely refreshed with material about SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Teams, Stream, Planner, OneDrive for Business, Yammer, and all the administrative interfaces (portals, PowerShell, and the Graph). It might take you 30 hours or more to read Office 365 for IT Pros (or so SharePoint tells us), but it will be more than worthwhile.
  65. Sensitivity Label Properties in SharePoint Search Schema June 30, 2020 8:45 am - Sensitivity labels are spreading across Office 365. Now you can search SharePoint Online to find documents with a specific label. And if you make an extra tweak to the search schema, you can find labeled sites too. All of which seems boring and uninteresting until you actually need to do it.
  66. How Stream Handles Deleted Users June 29, 2020 12:35 am - Microsoft Stream administration include a Manage deleted users option. However, you can't manage a deleted user until all trace of their account has been removed from Azure AD, which means that you usually must wait 30 days for an account to be hard-deleted. It's logical, but not in a good way.
  67. Microsoft Extends Increase for Attendees in Live Events to October 2020 June 26, 2020 1:22 am - Microsoft has extended the temporary increase in the limit for attendees at Live Events from 10,000 to 20,000 until October 1,2020. The extended limit reflects the popularity of online events during the Covid-19 pandemic. It's just a pity that they didn't tell more people about the extension.
  68. Outlook Mobile can be Default Mail App for iOS14 June 25, 2020 8:04 am - Among the announcements made by Apple at their annual developers conference is the welcome news that iOS14 will allow you to replace the default mail app and browser. This is great news for people who use Outlook for iOS. And you might even consider Edge as a browser.
  69. Office 365 Exposed Episode 19 and the 2021 Edition of Office 365 for IT Pros June 24, 2020 6:00 pm - Episode 19 of the Office 365 Exposed podcast covers the imminent release of the 2021 edition of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. Learn how we put the book together and how we keep track of what's happening inside Office 365 and the wider Microsoft 365 ecosystem. And how we take this information and incorporate it into the book.
  70. Sharing iOS Items to Planner June 24, 2020 8:21 am - The Planner iOS app now supports the ability to share items like tweets, Facebook posts, and web links and create them as new tasks in plans. It's a very useful feature announced in the Planner blog, but never highlighted to Office 365 tenants in a Message Center notification.
  71. Power BI Support for Sensitivity Labels Now Generally Available June 23, 2020 7:59 am - Power BI support for Office 365 sensitivity labels is now generally available. Inside Power BI, the labels are visual markers. Encryption is applied when Power BI objects are exported. The interesting thing is that the user who exports content doesn't have the right to change the label.
  72. Maintaining Office 365 PowerShell Modules June 22, 2020 8:19 am - Many PowerShell modules are available for Office 365 applications. Keeping them up to date can be a pain, so here's a PowerShell script to automate the task. Using the latest modules means that you can access new and updated cmdlets, which might make all the difference to your scripts.
  73. Updates for Groups Management in Microsoft 365 Admin Center June 19, 2020 7:57 am - The Groups section of the Microsoft 365 admin center has been overhauled recently and several useful changes were made. Restore deleted groups is the headline act, but the other updates also deliver value. Collectively, they make Groups easier to manage.
  74. Improving Searches for Teams Channel Conversations and Chats June 18, 2020 12:53 am - The standard Teams search function can unearth a lot of information in chats and channels. Using filters, precision searches, and contextual searches makes it easier to find what you need, even if you might have to learn some new tricks. But life is full of new experiences, and so is search.
  75. Here Comes Office 365 for IT Pros 2021 Edition June 17, 2020 12:15 am - The 2021 edition of the Office 365 for IT Pros ebook will soon be available. Read about an author's perspective on working on the book and why it's different to other books.
  76. Noise Suppression for Microsoft Stream Videos June 16, 2020 12:51 am - You can now enable noise suppression for Stream videos during the original upload or afterwards. Speech is isolated from background sounds to make it clearer and more distinct. You can apply noise suppression to lots of different videos, but you can't to Teams meeting recordings because noise suppression is already done for those videos.
  77. Teams Channel Information Pane Displays System Messages June 15, 2020 8:06 am - The new information pane available in Teams desktop and browser clients gives information about recent contributors and is the relocated home for system messages. You can certainly debate what makes someone a recent contributor as some of those listed don't seem to be too active. Maybe it's one of those AI algorithms that will be tweaked over time...
  78. Download Participant Report from a Teams Meetings June 12, 2020 7:57 am - Teams meeting organizers can download a participant report to note who attends a meeting and when they were present. If you forget to download a report while the meeting is active, you'll have to make up the attendance roster, and that would be a bad thing.
  79. Reporting Deleted Stream Videos June 11, 2020 8:47 am - Microsoft Stream doesn't support Office 365 retention policies, so you can't make sure that videos are kept for eDiscovery or compliance purposes. But a little lateral thinking and some PowerShell code quickly gives us a solution based on events from the Office 365 audit log, including emailing the report to someone designated to review videos before final deletion.
  80. Teams is the Most Difficult Office 365 Application to Backup June 10, 2020 1:28 am - Because it sits on top of so many Microsoft 365 components, Teams is easily the hardest Office 365 workload to backup. You can try to backup Teams by copying its compliance records stored in Exchange Online, but that's only a partial (and bad) solution that utterly fails to take the full spectrum of Teams data into account.
  81. Microsoft Automates Easing of EWS Throttling for Migrations June 9, 2020 6:15 pm - Many migration projects use Exchange Web Services (EWS) to move data to Exchange Online. EWS is using throttled to preserve resources. Here's how to lift the restrictions for up to 90 days, all without going near a support call.
  82. Find Guests in Office 365 Groups and Teams Where Guests are Prohibited June 9, 2020 1:45 pm - You can apply an Office 365 Sensitivity Label to control different aspects of Groups, Teams, and Sites. One of the settings controls whether guest users are allowed in group membership. We explain how to use PowerShell to search groups assigned a label to block guest access for existing guests, just in case you want to remove them.
  83. Teams Removes System Messages from the General Channel June 8, 2020 12:02 am - Teams is removing system messages from the General channel in teams. System messages tell users about events like new members, but they're really not that interesting, unless you're fond of tracking the comings and goings of members, much like a noisy neighbor behind a curtain. Uncluttering the General channel is no reason to let it degrade, so keep it for important stuff and force conversations into other channels.
  84. Why I’m Returning My Surface Earbuds June 6, 2020 1:32 pm - A few days after buying the Surface Earbuds, I am returning them to Microsoft. Poor sound and an uncomfortable fit in my ear mean that I'm reverting to my old Bose QC20 headphones, even though they have their own problems. The promised integration with Microsoft 365 applications isn't worth the paper it's written on, which is another reason for the Earbuds to go back.
  85. Upgrading PowerShell Scripts that Use Exchange Online to Send Email June 5, 2020 9:24 am - The combination of Exchange Online and PowerShell allows Office 365 admins to send messages for all manner of reasons. These scripts depend on SMTP AUTH connections and change is coming in this area with the deprecation of basic authentication. It's a good idea to take an inventory of scripts that send email, including those that use the .NET classes to do the job.
  86. June 2020 Offer for Office 365 for IT Pros June 4, 2020 2:38 pm - People who subscribe to the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook in June 2020 will receive a free update to the 2021 edition when it is released in July. Go ahead and buy a book as normal from Gumroad.com and we'll send you a code in July for a free upgrade.
  87. Outlook for Windows Stores Settings in Exchange Online Mailboxes June 4, 2020 1:04 am - Outlook for Windows is being upgraded to store its setting, including signatures, in Exchange Online mailboxes for Office 365 accounts. Essentially, the bulk of the settings controlled through Outlook options are stored in mailboxes and available to Outlook on all Windows PCs that an Office 365 signs into.
  88. How to Block Room Bookings with Exchange Online June 3, 2020 8:48 am - Many people are working from home at present, and you might want to block their ability to book meetings in physical rooms. Policies can be configured to stop the Exchange Online resource booking assistant accepting meeting requests sent to rooms, with exceptions granted to people allowed to make bookings.
  89. Why Teams Can’t Schedule Meetings with (Some) Teams June 2, 2020 8:51 am - You can use Microsoft 365 Groups and distribution lists to schedule meetings in the Teams calendar app, but sometimes you can't schedule meetings with Teams. That sounds odd, but it's because of the way that Teams selects groups from the Exchange Online GAL to show to users in the "picker" control to select meeting attendees. You can make changes to have Teams show up in the GAL, but that might not be enough if you want everyone in the team to receive meeting invitations.
  90. Office 365 for IT Pros Book Cover Office 365 for IT Pros June 2020 Update June 1, 2020 8:09 am - The June 2020 update for Office 365 for IT Pros, the world's best and only constantly updated book about Office 365 is now available. Subscribers can download updated files from their Gumroad account. If you've bought the Kindle version from Amazon, you can ask them for the updated files.
  91. Tracking Video Uploads to Stream May 29, 2020 8:37 am - Microsoft Stream will tell you how much of the tenant storage allocation has been consumed by uploaded videos, but not who's uploading the videos. You can find out by looking for video upload events in the Office 365 audit log. Once found, it's a matter of processing the events to extract useful information!
  92. Teams Meetings and Group Chat Limit Increased to 300 May 28, 2020 12:53 am - Microsoft is raising the limit for Teams meetings and group chats to 350 participants. The group chat limit was increased to 250 in early May. The new increase is temporary and Microsoft will review it in September to decide whether to keep it at 350. The update is already rolling out and should be available worldwide in mid June.
  93. OWA and Outlook Mobile Make Online Meetings the Norm May 27, 2020 8:38 am - Changes coming in May and June will allow organizations to make online meetings the norm when created by OWA or Outlook mobile clients. You can control the feature at the organization level and allow individual mailboxes to override the organization setting.
  94. Limiting Who Can Present in Teams Meetings May 26, 2020 12:08 am - A new setting available in Teams meeting policies allows Office 365 tenants to have per-user control over who can present at meetings. You might want to do this to stop guests presenting. or to limit some people from inviting others to present. I'm not quite sure what the use case is, but no doubt some people will find great value in the new setting.
  95. Use Office 365 Audit Data to Highlight Unused Permissions May 25, 2020 2:11 am - I've written many articles to explain how to use the Office 365 audit log to report different aspects of the platform. But taking action is much better than just reporting. In this post, we explain how to take a report generated from the Office 365 audit log and use it to drive some actions. In this case, removing the SendAs permission from people who aren't using it.
  96. OneDrive for Business and its Unlimited Storage May 22, 2020 8:49 am - Microsoft's service description for OneDrive for Business promises "beyond 1 TB, to unlimited" storage. In reality, most enterprise Office 365 accounts have 5 TB storage and won't need to go further. But you can... first to 25 TB and then even more in the form of SharePoint sites. You just have to talk nicely to Microsoft support.
  97. Using Microsoft Whiteboard with Teams May 21, 2020 8:14 am - Whiteboard is a digital canvas application that can be loaded into Teams meetings to allow participants to share and develop ideas. The app available in Teams isn't the most functional way to interact with Whiteboard, what whatever version you use can draw and sketch ideas to share with team members and other people within an Office 365 tenant.
  98. Handling Sensitivity Label Mismatches in SharePoint Online May 20, 2020 9:04 am - Support for sensitivity labels is generally available for SharePoint Online. Users can apply labels to classify and protect documents, but a mismatch can happen between labels applied to documents and the sites where the documents are stored. When this happens, SharePoint Online emails site owners to tell them that a mismatch exists.
  99. Using Teams Compliance Data for eDiscovery May 19, 2020 8:46 am - For compliance purposes, the Microsoft 365 substrate captures copies of Teams messages in Exchange Online mailboxes. The compliance records are indexed and discoverable, which means that they can be found by content searches. However, Teams compliance records are imperfect copies of the real data, which is a fact that seems to have escaped many people.
  100. Microsoft Introduces Roaming Signatures for Outlook for Windows May 18, 2020 3:04 am - Outlook for Windows is soon to support roaming signatures, but only the click-to-run version when connected to an Exchange Online mailbox. Still, it’s progress, and it will make the task of using the same signature on different PCs much easier. Good-looking signatures must still be generated for corporate branding purposes, so the ISVs selling email signature products don’t need to fret.
  101. Recording Screen Output with Microsoft Stream May 15, 2020 12:02 am - The new screen capture option is available in Microsoft Stream worldwide. You can capture a window, browser tab, or a complete screen and have the content uploaded and processed by Stream. The feature handles short (15 minute) videos and it's a nice way to capture lessons, how-to demonstrations, or even bug reproductions.

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