Blog

  1. New OWA Becomes Default for Mobile Browsers January 28, 2020 12:03 am - Not many Office 365 users choose OWA as their mobile client, but those who do will soon be forced to use the new OWA because Microsoft is removing the toggle to allow people to switch between the old and new versions in February, just like they did for workstation versions last July. The new OWA is a fine client, but its usefulness on mobile browsers is not as good as the functionality offered in Mobile Outlook, which continues to be our choice as the best mobile Office 365 email client.
  2. Office 365 OK for Chrome 80 SameSite Update January 27, 2020 3:41 pm - Chrome 80 appears on February 4 complete with "SameSite" updates to close off the potential for cross-site request forgery attacks. Office 365 has many web interfaces, so Microsoft has had to do some work to prepare for Chrome 80. Microsoft says that Office 365 is prepared but customers will have to apply patches for on-premises products, once the patches are available. Or stop using Chrome. Which mightn't be a bad thing.
  3. Auto-Label Policies in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business (Preview) January 27, 2020 9:13 am - A recent Teams Live Event hosted by Microsoft's Information Protection team discussed the automatic assignment of sensitivity labels to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business content. A preview is now available and Microsoft hopes to make this functionality available at the end of March 2020. You'll need Office 365 E5 or Microsoft 365 E5 licenses.
  4. Busy Office 365 Conference Line-up for 2020 January 24, 2020 9:33 am - Every year brings the opportunity to attend or present at Office 365 conferences. A pretty good lineup has developed for 2020 and I'm looking forward to making the rounds to learn more about Office 365 in places like New Orleans to Las Vegas to Oslo and Amsterdam.
  5. Phishing Attempt to Grab Office 365 User Credentials January 23, 2020 9:36 am - Office 365 users might receive a phishing attempt to say that they've just been paid by a UK healthcare group. The message shows some obvious signs to tell the recipient that it only contains trouble, but these signs are easier for humans to pick up than they are for machine learning. The combination of good message hygiene and user education should be enough to deflect phishing attacks.
  6. Using the Groups Admin Role January 22, 2020 12:10 am - The Groups admin role was added to Office 365 in November 2019 to allow tenants to assign responsibility for day-to-day group management to specific users through interfaces like the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. The role is still relatively unknown and probably not used in many tenants. In this post, we discuss how to use PowerShell to assign the role to those allowed to create new groups.
  7. Microsoft to Enable Recordings of Teams Meeting Recordings Outside Local Datacenter Region January 21, 2020 9:42 am - In mid-February, Microsoft will roll out a change to allow Office 365 tenants in regions where the Teams and Stream services are not co-located to record Teams meetings for the first time. This might be good news for you, but it might also pose a data sovereignty issue because once you start using Stream in another region, that's where the recordings will stay.
  8. SharePoint Library IRM Protection and Office 365 Sensitivity Labels January 20, 2020 8:30 am - Now that SharePoint Online supports Office 365 Sensitivity Labels, it's time to consider how to protect files stored in document libraries. When you compare the two approaches, there's really only one winner. And there's no surprise in saying that the winner is Office 365 Sensitivity Labels.
  9. Setting Custom Recipient Limits for Exchange Online Mailboxes January 17, 2020 9:40 am - Exchange Online now supports a custom recipient limit for mailboxes of between 1 and 1000. The limit controls the maximum number of recipients a mailbox can add to a message. Think of the fun you could have by setting the recipient limit on manager mailboxes to something small, like 6....
  10. Teams Gets Enhanced Scheduling Experience January 16, 2020 3:38 am - Microsoft has given the Teams desktop and browser clients an "enhanced scheduling experience." In other words, the form used to create meetings is better than before. It's true that the new form looks a lot like Outlook and makes it easier to set up meetings, but don't think of Teams as the equal of Outlook in calendar management, because it isn't.
  11. Going to Vegas for The SharePoint Conference 2020 January 15, 2020 9:17 am - The SharePoint Conference 2020 takes place in Las Vegas on 19-21 May 2020. SharePoint is very important to Office 365 and it's important that tenant administrators understand SharePoint. Tony is going to Vegas to learn and to deliver sessions about Teams and Office 365 Sensitivity Labels. And avoid gambling, vice, and other bad things.
  12. Updating the Office 365 Groups and Teams Activity Report Script January 14, 2020 9:54 am - After a couple of years, it's time to update the Office 365 Groups and Teams Activity Report script. Written in PowerShell, the script analyzes the groups in an Office 365 tenant to figure out if each group or team is in active use. Because it's a PowerShell script, you can amend the code to your heart's content.
  13. Read Receipts Available for Teams Personal and Group Chats January 13, 2020 12:12 am - Teams users can now see read receipts for messages in private and group chats. The read receipt is a visual indication that someone has read a message rather than a positive signal back to the user, but it works well. Controls over read receipts are available at a user and tenant level (through messaging policies).
  14. Microsoft Tries to Deprecate Classic Azure Information Protection Client January 10, 2020 12:08 am - Microsoft retracted the announcement of the deprecation of the classic Azure Information Protection client and label management in the Azure portal. Office 365 sensitivity labels have taken over from AIP clients in most tenants, so the impact of this change is limited. However, if you still need to use an AIP client, you should move to the unified version.
  15. Microsoft Retreats From 1TB Limit for Auto-Expanding Archives – For Now January 9, 2020 12:01 am - In November, Microsoft set a 1TB limit for Exchange Online auto-expanding archive mailboxes. Now they've retreated and the latest service description says nothing about a limit. The two changes in the service featured little or no customer communications and a total lack of any supporting material, like administrative controls to help manage archive mailboxes approaching the limit. While a limit has gone for now, it will be back.
  16. Posting Microsoft 365 Roadmap Items to Teams January 8, 2020 12:45 am - Finding it hard to keep up to date with Office 365? This post describes how to use PowerShell to post recent Microsoft 365 roadmap updates to a Teams channel.The message cards hold details of what an update contains, its status, the posting date, and the technology categories the item covers. Apart from posting to Teams, the script also creates a CSV file holding details of all the roadmap items that you can use for reporting and analysis.
  17. Microsoft Removing Legacy Office 365 eDiscovery Tools January 7, 2020 8:53 am - Microsoft announced the retirement of legacy eDiscovery tools from Office 365. The Exchange Online in-place holds and eDiscovery tool, Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery 1, and the Search-Mailbox cmdlet are being retired. All will be gone by mid-2020. It's a pity to see the Search-Mailbox cmdlet being removed, but time and progress make this kind of thing inevitable.
  18. Microsoft Fixes Teams Problem After SharePoint Site Rename January 6, 2020 9:33 am - Teams and SharePoint Online share a connection through the Files Channel tab. Unfortunately, if you rename the URL of a SharePoint site, the connection broke. The good news is that Microsoft has now fixed the problem. Some pesky bugs got in the way, one of which stopped the connection being restored. But the developers persisted and the final bug was fixed last week.
  19. Office 365 for IT Pros Book Cover January 2020 Update Available for Office 365 for IT Pros January 5, 2020 3:29 pm - Office 365 for IT Pros is the only book that is continuously updated to track progress of Microsoft's Cloud Office service. The January 2020 update is now available for subscribers to download from Gumroad.com or Amazon. Fifteen out of 24 chapters are updated in this release. As always, we'd like subscribers to download and use the new content.
  20. Teams Priority Notifications Promotion Extended January 3, 2020 12:06 am - Teams supports priority notifications to nag users when something important happens and they need to respond. Enterprise Office 365 users can send as many urgent messages as they want, but Microsoft plans to charge frontline users to send more than five messages monthly.
  21. Using the Activity Tab in Teams Personal Chats January 2, 2020 10:38 am - Teams personal chats display an activity tab that allows you to get an insight into what person you're chatting with is doing. Some might worry that the other person will see something that they shouldn't, but there's nothing to worry about.
  22. Happy Office 365 Holidays 2019 December 23, 2019 12:12 am - The Office 365 for IT Pros Writing team is taking a short break for the holiday season. We'll be back in 2020 with new articles and insight into Office 365 as well as an update for the book on January 6. Everyone needs to recharge their batteries and we'll be using the holidays to prepare for all the work we know that's coming in 2020.
  23. The Final Days of Office 365 Video December 20, 2019 9:09 am - Microsoft has announced how the final phases of the migration from Office 365 Video to Stream will proceed. The biggest thing to understand is that you have until March 2020 to decide to migrate or delay - unless you've already migrated, in which case you don't need to do anything. Migration isn't particularly difficult unless you have done something special to customize Office 365 Video.
  24. Antivirus Exclusions and the Teams Desktop Client December 19, 2019 12:46 pm - Like all applications, the Microsoft Teams client has some "hot" files that the app depends on. Antivirus software processing can affect app performance if it conflicts with the hot files. You can exclude the Teams hot files from antivirus processing to see if that helps performance. Like anything to do with antivirus software, it's a question of balancing security and performance.
  25. Office 365 Message Encryption (OME) Making Protected Email Better December 18, 2019 8:34 am - Microsoft is releasing some updates to Office 365 Message Encryption (OME) in January. The detail in the announcement wasn't great, so we plunged in to find out what's happening. THe bottom line is that OME will use tenant domains to send email so that anti-spam filters will consider the messages to be authentic.
  26. The End of Delve Blogs December 17, 2019 9:58 am - Microsoft has announced that Delve blogs will no longer be supported in 2020. The news is unsurprising because Delve blogs have not been actively developed for several years. Office 365 tenants with content in Delve blogs must figure out where to move the content to. It might be the case that you don't need to do anything because the content isn't needed. If you do need to keep it, you could move Delve blog posts to SharePoint news or similar repositories.
  27. Blocking Outbound Messages Stamped with an Office 365 Sensitivity Label December 16, 2019 9:17 am - Exchange Online transport rules can block outbound email stamped with selected Office 365 Sensitivity Labels to make sure that confidential material doesn't leave organizations. The transport rule is very easy to construct with the only complication being the need to discover the GUID of the sensitivity label you want to block. Fortunately, PowerShell gives us an easy way to find a label's GUID.
  28. Microsoft Launches Office 365 in Switzerland December 13, 2019 1:59 am - Office 365 services are now available in Switzerland from Microsoft's datacenters located in Geneva and Zurich. The services available include Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Teams. Swiss tenants will continue to access other services like Stream and Planner from Office 365 datacenters in other regions.
  29. Publishing Content From Another SharePoint Site to Teams December 12, 2019 11:07 am - Publishing SharePoint Online content to Teams is a great way to make users aware of important information. The standard SharePoint web part makes it easy to publish content from the site belonging to a team. Things are a little more difficult when you want to publish content to a team from a different site. Fortunately the website tab comes to the rescue.
  30. How to Save SharePoint Online and OneDrive Files and Folders for Later December 11, 2019 10:16 am - We all store lots of information in the cloud and sometimes it is hard to find work that needs to be resumed or finished. OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online now boast the ability to mark files and folders for later. The two apps share a common list and make it easy for users to find work that they need to return to.
  31. Teams Replaces Commercial Cloud Trial with Exploratory Experience December 10, 2019 9:14 am - Microsoft Teams will soon offer users the chance to engage with an exploratory experience to see what Teams is all about. The new experience replaces the previous 1-year trial offer. Office 365 tenant admins who don't want users to test software can disable the ability to sign up for trial apps and services in the Office 365 Admin Center.
  32. How to Assign Presenters in a Teams Meeting December 9, 2019 10:52 am - Microsoft Teams now supports roles for meetings. You can assign the presenter role to specific participants, who then have rights to present and other actions, like recording the meeting. Everyone who's not a presenter is an attendee. These folk stay nice and quiet and listen to what's going on and all the good information shared by the presenters.
  33. How to Trim Videos With Stream December 6, 2019 10:17 am - Microsoft Stream now has the ability to trim content from the start and end of videos. The feature is very easy to use and is a good way to remove the seconds of lead-in often captured in recordings. Only the start and end of videos can be trimmed as there's no capability to remove content from the middle of recordings.
  34. Improved Role Management in the Office 365 Admin Center December 5, 2019 8:46 am - The Office 365 Admin Center is a critical tool for tenant admins. Recently, Microsoft has improved the management of role assignments by providing a way to compare what different roles can do. The idea is that if you know exactly what a role enables people to do, you're less likely to assign the wrong role to the wrong people.
  35. Outlook for iOS Can Finally Snooze, But Some Interesting Features Remain Unavailable Outside the U.S. December 4, 2019 8:21 am - Outlook for iOS finally supports the Do Not Disturb feature to suppress notifications for new email, something that Outlook for Android has been able to do for 18 months. iOS and Android are obviously different ecosystems, so the delay might have been caused by problems dealing with the Apple notification service. In any case, you can now snooze some or all of your email accounts. In other news, some of the more interesting features available to U.S. email accounts are still not available outside the reach of Cortana.
  36. Microsoft Fixes Irritation in Skype for Business Online PowerShell Module December 3, 2019 9:10 am - The Skype for Business Online PowerShell module is not well liked. It works differently to other modules and has some oddities, including the ability to disconnect sessions after 60 seconds and fail to reconnect. The new Enable-CsOnlineSessionForReconnection helps to keep sessions going, so that's one small but irritating oddity off what could be a long list.
  37. Office 365 for IT Pros 5-star rating Office 365 for IT Pros December 2019 Update Released December 2, 2019 6:44 am - The Office 365 for IT Pros team is proud to announce the availability of the December 2019 update for the eBook. Subscribers can download the updated files from Gumroad.com or Amazon. The December update includes changes to 21 of the 24 content chapters, so it's a pretty big update. Please download and use the updated files at your earliest convenience!
  38. Why Site Renames and Teams Private Channels Mean You Should Review the Usage of Get-SPOSite November 29, 2019 8:56 am - The Get-SPOSite PowerShell cmdlet is used to fetch details about SharePoint Online sites. It works well, but some recent functionality upgrades means that script writers need to be more precise about how they use the cmdlet. Most scripts don't need to process redirect sites or the sites belonging to Teams private channels, so why would you ask Get-SPOSite to fetch these sites?
  39. Why We Write PowerShell (for Office 365) Like We Do? November 28, 2019 10:16 am - Everyone's PowerShell style is different. Here at Office365ITPros, we try and write code to help people understand what's possible when working with Office 365. Our scripts are certainly not up to professional standard in that they're incomplete in many ways (comments are always good). But the code works and proves what you can do, which we think is important.
  40. How to Configure the Per-Site Anyone Link Expiration Policy for SharePoint Online Sites November 27, 2019 5:52 am - You can use PowerShell to configure a customized per-site Anyone sharing link period for different sites. Public sites might have a 365 day period while more confidential sites might have a more restricted period. All it takes is the Set-SPOSite cmdlet to set the necessary properties and you have a customized policy.
  41. Get Email Notifications When Office 365 Services Break November 26, 2019 7:44 am - Office 365 is a complex place and service incidents happen all the time. When something breaks, it's good to know what those problems are. A new feature in the Office 365 Admin Cemter enables you to get email notifications for service incidents that affect your tenant. It's all goodness, as long as the email service you choose to receive notifications remains in operation.
  42. Three Ways to use PowerShell to Send a Welcome Message to New Office 365 Users November 25, 2019 8:00 am - Multiple PowerShell modules are available to Office 365 administrators to automate common processes. In this case, we want to send a welcome message to new accounts. Three PowerShell modules are available, but what's the best in terms of performance and ease of use? There's only one answer and that's Exchange Online.
  43. Azure Active Directory Group Naming Policy: Prefix or Suffix? November 22, 2019 10:23 am - The Azure Active Directory Group Naming policy generates display names for new Office 365 Groups created by various applications. You can include a prefix or suffix in a group name, The approach taken by email favored prefixes because this gathered all distribution lists together in one place in the GAL. However, prefixes work better with applications like Teams.
  44. Using the Immersive Reader in Teams and OWA November 21, 2019 9:22 am - The Microsoft Immersive Reader exists to make messages more readable for those who need a little help. It's built into Office apps like Teams and OWA. Most people don't know this or don't need to use the reader, but those who do need support to access and understand text will find the Immersive Reader very helpful.
  45. How Office 365 Tenants Can Disable Self-Service Purchases for Power Platform Apps November 20, 2019 9:39 am - The prospect of allowing user-controlled purchases of Power Platform apps in an Office 365 tenant maddened many administrators. Microsoft promised to release a method to allow administrators control self-service purchases in a tenant. The MSCommerce PowerShell module is now available. Here's how to use it to disable self-service purchases.
  46. Teams Updates PowerShell Module for Private Channels November 19, 2019 9:40 am - Some new and updated cmdlets in a new version of the Teams PowerShell module are available to support private channels. The cmdlets and parameters are pretty straightforward for anyone used to working with Teams through PowerShell. Remember to read up and understand all about private channels before trying to work with them through PowerShell.
  47. OWA Supports Automatic Labeling for Office 365 Sensitivity Labels November 18, 2019 9:25 am - OWA now supports the automatic labeling of outbound messages with Office 365 Sensitivity Labels. The new feature uses Office 365 sensitive data types to detect content in messages that should be protected, and once detected, the message is stamped with a label before it passes through the Exchange Online transport service.
  48. Microsoft Acts to Stop OneDrive Users Excluding Sites from Searches November 15, 2019 10:46 am - OneDrive for Business owners could exclude their sites from Office 365 searches but they can't any longer after Microsoft acted to remove the capability from OneDrive site settings. All OneDrive for Business sites are now indexed and available to Office 365 searches.
  49. Use ORCA to Check Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection Settings November 14, 2019 9:51 am - ORCA is a project to help Office 365 tenant administrators validate their anti-spam and anti-malware settings against recommendations from Microsoft. ORCA is installed as a PowerShell module with just one cmdlet. After running Get-ORCAReport, you'll have a report containing recommendations and observations about your configuration.
  50. Native Federated Chat Now Rolling Out for Microsoft Teams November 13, 2019 9:36 am - Microsoft is rolling out an upgraded rich federated experience for Teams to replace the previous plaintext 1:1 chat experience. When enabled, you'll be able to send rich formatted text, emojis, and stickers to external Teams users in other Office 365 tenants and greatly increase the impact of your thoughts. The upgrade is rolling out now and should be complete worldwide by early December 2019.
  51. Four Videos About Interesting Tidbits from Microsoft Ignite 2019 November 12, 2019 9:49 am - Lots of announcements and other news flowed at the Microsoft Ignite 2019 Conference. Here's a YouTube playlist for four short videos about interesting topics from the conference. We cover Office 365, Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, and the famous "Office 365 substrate."
  52. Teams Quiet Hours Settings Valuable for Mobile Devices November 11, 2019 10:20 am - Tired of receiving Teams notifications when you're watching TV in the evenings? Turn on Quiet Hours to suppress notifications when you prefer not to be disturbed. And you can even turn off notifications for complete days too. All of this is only available for the Teams mobile client because it's the only that people are most likely to be using when they should be thinking about their work-life balance.
  53. Will Microsoft Teams Take Over from Email? November 9, 2019 2:18 pm - In a session recorded at Microsoft Ignite 2019, Tony Redmond discusses the question of will Microsoft Teams take over from email. The session covers the strengths and weaknesses of both technologies and makes recommendations for how organizations can take full advantage of Teams and email.
  54. Things You Might Know About Microsoft Teams That Might Be Useful Some Day November 9, 2019 4:09 am - Like any technology, Microsoft Teams has some lesser-known parts. At the Ignite 2019 conference, we had the chance to talk about topics from backups to DLP to background blur. You can listen to the recording of the session online and download a copy of the deck here.
  55. Office 365 Exposed Podcast Episode #17 November 8, 2019 12:07 am - Tony and Paul taped episode 17 of the Office 365 Exposed podcast at the Microsoft Ignite 2019 conference with guests Mark Kashman and Ross Smith IV of Microsoft. Topics discussed included SharePoint's success at reaching 100 million monthly active users, Project Cortex, and Intune.
  56. Testing the New Exchange Online REST-based PowerShell Cmdlets November 7, 2019 1:36 pm - Nine new REST-based PowerShell cmdlets are available for Exchange Online. They offer the prospect of better performance and reliability. Here are the code samples we used to test the new cmdlets for a theater session delivered at the Microsoft Ignite 2019 conference. Anyone wanting to explore the new cmdlets can use these examples to get going.
  57. SharePoint Online Gains New Office 365 Compliance Features November 6, 2019 12:40 pm - At the Microsoft Ignite 2019 conference, Microsoft described how SharePoint Online will use Office 365 compliance features such as sensitivity labels and information barrier policies to better protect information stored in SharePoint sites. The Office Online apps also gain support for sensitivity labels. The new features will enter a mixture of public and private previews starting November 20.
  58. Office 365 Groups to Support Sensitivity Labels November 5, 2019 11:31 am - At the Ignite 2019 conference in Orlando, Microsoft announced that Office 365 Groups will soon support sensitivity labels, but only to mark group containers with levels of sensitivity. The actual content of the containers, like the messages in Outlook Groups or Teams, will remain unaffected by the labels. For now.
  59. Microsoft Clamps Down on Auto-Expanding Archive Mailboxes November 4, 2019 11:03 am - In a surprise development, Microsoft reversed course for Exchange Online auto-expanding archives and imposed a 1TB limit. The promise of a bottomless archive that continually expanded to cope with user data is removed. Although it's reasonable for Microsoft to restrict the consumption of resources, suddenly implementing a limit is not, especially when you don't communicate with customers.
  60. Office 365 for IT Pros Looks Back at The First Microsoft Ignite Conference November 2, 2019 1:20 pm - In May 2015 we launched the first edition of Office 365 for IT Pros at the new Microsoft Ignite conference. At that event, we had printed copies of the book. Since then we have learned our lesson and haven't gone near hard copies, mostly because of the cost and complexity of coordinating content for a book that changes so often. If you're considering writing a technical book about cloud services, our advice is to go along the ePublishing route.
  61. November 2019 Update Available for Office 365 for IT Pros (2020 Edition) November 1, 2019 11:58 am - The Office 365 for IT Pros writing team has published the November 2019 updates for the eBook. Subscribers can download the updated files from Gumroad.com (EPUB and PDF formats) or Amazon.com (Kindle). This update touches sixteen of the twenty-four chapters. We'd appreciate if our subscribers can download the new files as we hate to think of you using outdated material.
  62. Teams to Support Federated Guest Access for Gmail Accounts October 31, 2019 9:27 am - Teams supports federated guest access for Gmail accounts using the identity provider framework of Azure B2B Collaboration. Office 365 tenants must first decide if they want Gmail accounts as guests in all or some teams before going down the federation route. Why Teams and not other Office 365 apps? It's all to do with the endpoint used by the client to connect. If it can handle federation, all good. If not, it's standard Azure B2B Collaboration.
  63. Running OWA as a PWA October 30, 2019 9:59 am - Modern browsers make it easy to pin websites to the Windows desktop and taskbar. Using OWA in this manner is great when network connections aren't too reliable, like the flaky connections you often have on airline Wi-Fi networks. Other Office 365 apps work fine too when pinned from the browser, like the Admin Center, Planner, To Do, and Stream.
  64. What Makes an Online Meeting Different to Outlook? October 29, 2019 9:35 am - Outlook can schedule online Teams or Skype for Business Online meetings. But what marks an online meeting as different to a regular Outlook meeting? The magic lies in a set of MAPI properties populated by Outlook to help meeting participants connect to the right online meeting. A little poking behind the scenes with MFCMAPI reveals more.
  65. Disabling Azure Active Directory Service Principal Might Block Power Platform Self-Service Purchases October 28, 2019 9:57 am - Microsoft annoyed many Office 365 tenant administrators when they announced plans to allow self-service purchases for the Power Platform apps. A curious note in the FAQ might reveal how tenants can block this feature. If self-services purchases depend on accessing your tenant directory, maybe you can disable the service principal that holds the role enabling that access.
  66. How to Post to Multiple Channels in Teams October 25, 2019 8:36 am - Microsoft Teams now supports the ability to post a topic to up to 50 channels at one time. It's a feature that no doubt some will welcome with open arms, but it does come with a downside. For one thing, multi-channel posts might lead to a form of the email reply-all storm. Another potential issue is that there's no good way to see the replies to all the messages posted in the target channels.
  67. Office 365 Exposed Pre-Microsoft Ignite Podcast October 24, 2019 10:37 pm - Paul Robichaux and Tony Redmond recorded episode 17 of their Office 365 Exposed podcast on October 23. It covers recent Office 365 news and an interview with Anna Chu of Microsoft. Anna is deeply involved in the organization of the Microsoft Ignite conference and we chatted about how sessions are selected and other topics.
  68. Office 365 Hits 200 Million Monthly Active Users October 24, 2019 10:11 am - According to Microsoft's FY20 Q1 results, Office 365 now has 200 million monthly active users. The interesting thing is that the growth has remained constant at about 3 million users per month since November 2015. Moving from 60 million users to 200 million over 4 years is impressive, but growth is probably going to become harder as the number of on-premises Microsoft customers decline.
  69. Outlook Mobile Adds Support for Office 365 Sensitivity Labels October 23, 2019 8:11 am - Outlook for iOS and Android now support marking and encryption of email with Office 365 Sensitivity Labels. Sensitivity labels can now be applied through Office ProPlus, OWA, and Outlook mobile. All that really remains to achieve full coverage for sensitivity labels across Office 365 are the Office Online and SharePoint/OneDrive browser interfaces. In other news, Outlook Mobile also supports S/MIME.
  70. Exploring OneDrive for Business Sharing Reports October 22, 2019 8:53 am - OneDrive for Business now allows users to generate an external sharing report. The report is designed to help people understand what files are shared in their account. The report generates a CSV file that has lots of data, but you need to understand how to make sense of the data.
  71. Helping Office 365 Users Access Azure Active Directory MySign-Ins October 21, 2019 8:38 am - Azure Active Directory now features the public preview of the My Sign-Ins feature, which allows users to see where their sign-ins originate and what applications are used to sign-in. It's a nice idea but Office 365 users are unlikely to find the page. We can help by creating a custom tile with a link to the My Sign-Ins page. The tile appears in the Office 365 apps menu and makes it easy for people to access their sign-in data.
  72. Office 365 for IT Pros and Microsoft Ignite 2019 October 18, 2019 3:33 pm - The Office 365 for IT Pros author team is busy packing for the Microsoft Ignite 2019 conference in November. We'll deliver sessions, tape podcasts, and staff booths, and come back with a ton of new information that we will incorporate into the December update for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook.
  73. Stopping Replies to Teams Conversations October 18, 2019 8:50 am - Teams is all about open communication, but sometimes you just want to make a statement and not have a conversation. You can do this by restricting replies to a topic, in which case only the original author and channel moderators can reply. And if moderation isn't used for a channel, team owners take that role.
  74. Information Barriers, Teams, and Problems Adding New Guest Accounts October 17, 2019 8:53 am - Office 365 Informatiom Barriers allow tenants to erect communication firewalls between different groups. Teams supports Information Barriers, but currently has a problem adding new guest accounts to team memberships. An easy workaround exists, but debugging what's going on is difficult because of the lack of clues.
  75. Microsoft Clamps Down on Old Teams Desktop Clients October 16, 2019 9:19 am - In an Office 365 notification to tenants, Microsoft says that the Modern Lifecycle Policy means that users must keep the Teams desktop up-to-date. The result is that users must make sure that their desktop client is no more than three months behind the latest software. If it is, they won't be able to use the desktop client until it is updated.
  76. Report Old Guest Accounts and Their Membership of Office 365 Groups October 15, 2019 8:20 am - Office 365 applications create lots of Azure Active Directory guest accounts. Here's how to find old accounts and check their Office 365 group membership. If you know the accounts that are old and stale and aren't members of any Office 365 group, you can consider removing them from your tenant.
  77. Report Office 365 License Assignments to User Accounts October 14, 2019 7:41 am - The Office 365 Admin Center includes reports of licenses assigned to users. The same information can be extracted with PowerShell, which means that you can analyze license assignments anyway you wish. The script is quick and easy, mostly because its error handling is non-existent, but it's enough to get going.
  78. Teams Makes New Filters Available October 11, 2019 8:34 am - The Teams desktop and browser clients now offer the ability to filter personal chats and channels. Filtering is a useful feature, but it does draw the attention to the lack of precision in the Teams search function that really needs a revamp if Teams is to be taken seriously as a "hub for teamwork."
  79. Reporting OneDrive for Business Storage October 10, 2019 6:49 am - It used to be more difficult to generate a report about the storage used by OneDrive for Business sites in an Office 365 tenant. Now it takes just a few lines of PowerShell. Here's an example of a simple but powerful script to do the job.
  80. The Many Ways to Report Teams Usage Data October 9, 2019 8:17 am - The Teams desktop and browser clients now boasts the ability to report per-team and cross-team analytics. The information is interesting (at least the first time you look at it), but some doubts remain about its accuracy when the different methods of reporting are checked against each other. I'm sure it's nothing more than timing, synchronization, or something else getting in the way.
  81. Exchange Online Protection Improves Zero-Hour Auto Purge (ZAP) October 8, 2019 5:46 am - The fight against spam and malware goes on unabated. ZAP, or zero-hour auto purge, is an Exchange Online Protection (EOP) feature that's getting some extra features to deal better with spam and phish malware. New policy controls are available to control the feature.
  82. Live Captions Available in Teams Meetings October 7, 2019 4:18 am - Teams now supports live captions for meetings, but only for the English language. If you speak slowly and clearly into a high-quality microphone, you have a good chance that your words will be correctly interpreted. On the other hand, if you mumble or turn away from the microphone, be prepared for some interesting results. Overall, a nice enhancement that will be appreciated for those who need the captions.
  83. OWA Embraces Office 365 Sensitivity Labels October 4, 2019 8:43 am - OWA now supports Office 365 Sensitivity Labels, which means that users can apply labels to mark and/or protect messages with encryption just like they can with Outlook. The update adds to the ways that sensitivity labels can be applied to Office 365 content, with the next step being to achieve the same support for the other online Office apps.
  84. Combining Microsoft Graph and Flow for Better Office 365 Adminstration October 3, 2019 12:25 am - The Microsoft Graph gives programmers a RESTful interface to Office 365 data. Flow allows even non-programmers to automate tasks by combining building blocks of Office 365 data and actions. Put the two together and you can generate some impressive results. In this example, we combine Graph and Flow to create some nagging emails to admins to encourage them to improve the tenant's Secure Score.
  85. Teams Voice Memos – Interesting Functionality with a Compliance Problem October 2, 2019 8:10 am - The Teams mobile clients allow users to record and send voice memos in personal and group chats. It's nice functionality, but from a compliance standpoint some glaring weaknesses exist in the way that Office 365 captures compliance records for these memos. No voice recognition, no metadata, nothing to search for. It's a compliance mess that Microsoft needs to clean up.
  86. October 2019 Updates Now Available for Office 365 for IT Pros (2020 Edition) October 1, 2019 7:42 am - The October 2019 updates are now available for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook.19 out of the 24 content chapters were updated in this cycle, proving once again that ePublishing is the only way to cover ever-changing cloud services like Office 365. Add in Azure Active Directory and other Azure services and it's easy to see why we all swim in a sea of cloud-charged changes. Subscribers can download updated book files from Gumroad.com or Amazon, depending on the format they bought.
  87. Report Exchange Online Mailbox Quota Usage Over Set Threshold September 30, 2019 8:18 am - Some Exchange Online mailboxes are quite small (2 GB for frontline users). Tenant administrators might want to monitor mailbox usage to make sure that quotas aren't unexpectedly exhausted. This post explains how to use a PowerShell script to calculate the percentage of mailbox quota used and highlight the problem if a threshold is passed.
  88. Turn Off Notifications for Selected Teams Conversations September 27, 2019 8:44 am - The ability for a Teams user to contriol the notifications they see for channel conversations is being expanded with a new option to mute specific conversations. This is useful when you've contributed to a conversation that becomes very chatty and floods your activity feed with updates. Direct @mentions and reactions to your replies still get notified even when a conversation is muted.
  89. Office 365 Groups, Send As, and the Missing NDRs September 26, 2019 8:35 am - You can configure Send As and Send on Behalf of permissions to allow Exchange Online users to send messages for an Office 365 Group. All is well if the messages arrive, but if they don't, the NDRs might not get to where you think they should go, such as a folder in the Recoverable Items structure. That's OK if the sender was told that a problem exists with a message, but they don't know anything happened.
  90. Azure Active Directory Risky Sign-In Policy Blocks Guest Access to Office 365 Tenants September 25, 2019 8:31 am - Office 365 makes extensive use of Azure Active Directory guest accounts. Implementing a risky sign-in policy is a good idea, but it can have the unfortunate side-effect of suddenly blocking guest accounts that could previously access tenant resources. If blocks happen, they can only be lifted through administrative intervention in the guest account's home tenant.
  91. Safe Links and Safe URLs Delay Email Delivery For the Right Reasons September 24, 2019 8:19 am - The Office 365 E5 plan includes Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), which builds on the anti-malware capabilities of Exchange Online Protection. ATP the includes Safe Attachments and Safe Links features, both of which can delay email delivery. I don't notice the delay but others do. In any case, the more protection you have against malware, the better.
  92. Teams Pinned Channels Highlight Favorite Discussions September 23, 2019 8:19 am - Microsoft Teams now supports the ability for users to pin their most important channels to the top of the teams list in the desktop and browser clients. Pinning channels is a good way of tracking what's happening in critical channels, especially when you belong to some chatty channels whose conversations might swamp your activity feed.
  93. Basic Authentication Dead for Exchange Online Connections September 20, 2019 3:36 pm - Microsoft has announced that basic authentication for multiple email connection protocols won't be supported after October 13, 2020. You won't be able to connect with EWS, EAS, IMAP4, POP3, or Remote PowerShell unless you use modern authentication. There's just over a year to prepare, but there's some work to be done.
  94. Why Office 365 Users Receive MyAnalytics Messages September 20, 2019 8:05 am - Microsoft is now rolling out MyAnalytics access to Office 365 accounts with an Exchange Online license.The first sign that anyone gets is when they receive one of MyAnalytics's well-intended messages to help them organize their work life smarter. Funnily enough, some people don't like the idea of Office 365 analyzing and reporting their work habits, which is why you might need to disable MyAnalytics for some mailboxes.
  95. Disconnected Mailbox Content Not Available for Office 365 Content Searches September 19, 2019 7:59 am - Microsoft has confirmed that disconnected Exchange Online mailboxes are not included in the sources scanned by Office 365 content searches, thus clearing up some misunderstandings that might have existed in the field. The bottom line is that if you want to search mailboxes that don't belong to accounts, you should use inactive mailboxes.
  96. Discovering URLs for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business Sites September 18, 2019 7:04 am - If you want to include SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business locations in an Office 365 content search, you need to know the URLs of the target sites. Finding the URLs can be problematic, but here's some easy ways to do the job. PowerShell, as usual, comes up trumps...
  97. How to Stop Users Adding Personal Retention Tags to Exchange Online Mailboxes September 17, 2019 7:02 am - Exchange Online allows users to add personal retention tags to their maiboxes through OWA settings. Some organizations don't like this, so they can deploy user role assignment policies to block the feature. It;s something that you could consider doing if you're preparing to switchover to Office 365 retention policies to impose the same retention regime across multiple workloads.
  98. Posting Notifications About Inactive Mailboxes to Teams September 16, 2019 7:33 am - Being able to generate a report of mailbox activity is nice, but being able to filter the report to find potentially inactive mailboxes and post that information to Teams is even better. A recent Petri.com article explains how to generate the report; in this post we explain how to extract information from the report to and post updates about inactive users to Teams.
  99. Using PowerShell Logging to Track Potential Attacks Against Office 365 September 13, 2019 8:07 am - Office 365 tenant administrators often make extensive use of PowerShell. It's a great tool to get work done across all the Office 365 workloads. However, hackers like PowerShell too, and it could be used to attack your tenant. If that happens, having PowerShell logs will allow you to find out exactly what the attacker did and where. With this in mind, shouldn't you enable PowerShell logging?
  100. The Return of The Experts Conference (TEC) September 12, 2019 8:46 am - A couple of weeks ago, I had the enjoyable experience of going to Charleston SC to present at the relaunched The Experts Conference (TEC). Niche Office 365 conferences seem to be quite the current trend and TEC is an excellent example of how small focused conferences are good to attend. You should consider it in 2021, which is the next time that TEC comes around.
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