1. December 2023 Update for Office 365 for IT Pros eBook is Available December 1, 2023 1:00 am - The December 2023 update (monthly update #102) for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook is now available for subscribers to download. While Microsoft has become obsessed with AI and Copilots, we've stayed focused on getting real work done with the tools available to most Microsoft 365 tenants. That seems like a more intelligent way for us to work than becoming fixated on technology that only some tenants can aspire to use.
  2. Declined Meetings Show Up in OWA and Monarch November 30, 2023 1:00 am - A new setting in OWA options allows users to choose to preserve declined meetings. Keeping details of declined meetings can help users to find information included in meeting details of data created during meetings like chats and meeting summaries, or forward the meeting to someone else if needed.
  3. Use Dictation to Compose Outlook Messages November 29, 2023 1:00 am - Now available for OWA and the Monarch client, Outlook voice dictation allows users to compose the body text of messages with speech-to-text transcription. A limited set of languages are available for now, but more to come. Learning how to compose email with speech is an acquired art and might required some AI help to produce acceptable results.
  4. How to Disallow Outlook Reactions November 28, 2023 1:00 am - Not everyone likes to respond to email with an emoji, which is why the options to disallow Outlook reactions through clients or mail flow rules exist. Everything revolves around the x-ms-reactions message header, which is what Exchange Online uses to understand if people can respond to email with emojis.
  5. Off to Amsterdam for the European SharePoint Conference 2023 November 27, 2023 1:00 am - The European SharePoint, Office 365, and Azure Conference (ESPC 2023) starts in Amsterdam on Monday, November 27. There's lots of Copilot and Viva content at the event, but a disappointing lack of coverage of Exchange Online and Entra ID, both of which are essential to any Microsoft 365 deployment. Oh well... you can't have everything and ESPC 2023 will be a great event.
  6. Teams Background Blur Evolves November 24, 2023 1:00 am - Teams background blur now comes in two flavors. The standard blur is what we've had since 2018. The new portrait blur applies a more subtle level of blurring and doesn't obscure background details as much as the standard blur option. It's a small but interesting addition to the range of video effects people can use during Teams meetings.
  7. Reasons to Pause Membership Processing for Entra ID Dynamic Groups November 23, 2023 1:00 am - A year ago, I wrote about the ability to pause membership processing for dynamic Entra ID groups. Now we return to consider the reasons for pausing processing. Mostly suitable circumstances occur when the directory is in a state of flux, often caused by corporate restructuring or similar scenarios. When this happens, you can pause processing for all dynamic groups and restart once the directory stabilizes.
  8. Reporting User and Group Assignments for Enterprise Applications November 22, 2023 1:00 am - A reader asked how to report user and group assignments for enterprise apps. As it turns out, this isn't particularly difficult, if you know where to look. Our script uses the Graph SDK to check service principals, filters out the apps to check, and extracts the user and group assignments before reporting what it finds.
  9. A New Approach to Reporting Exchange Mailbox Statistics November 21, 2023 1:00 am - Exchange mailbox statistics reports are usually produced using PowerShell cmdlets. However, using Graph usage data is a faster way to process mailboxes because it avoids the need to fetch mailbox statistics by running a cmdlet for each mailbox. This article describes how to speed things up in a way that will probably benefit larger organizations most, but every Exchange Online tenant can probably benefit.
  10. How Exchange Online Supports Granular Access to the Microsoft 365 Audit Log November 20, 2023 1:00 am - Entra ID administrative units are supported for granular access to the Microsoft 365 audit log. Exchange Online manages the audit log so it's core to the support. This article reviews how to restrict access to the audit log using compliance roles and RBAC and how administrative unit data is stamped onto audit events during ingestion to support restricted searches based on administrative units.
  11. Microsoft 365 Backup Heading for Public Preview in December November 17, 2023 1:00 am - On November 15, Microsoft announced Microsoft 365 Backup would enter a public paid preview in December 2023, Paid preview means that tenants must link a valid Azure subscription to Syntex pay-as-you-go to pay the $0.15 fee per GB per month for protected content. We'll know more once the preview begins and we get the chance to see just how fast backup and restore is.
  12. Report Email Proxy Addresses for Exchange Online Mail-Enabled Objects November 16, 2023 1:00 am - This article explains how to use PowerShell to report the email proxy addresses assigned to Exchange Online mail-enabled objects. Creating the list is straightforward, but figuring out how to use the list afterwards might need more creativity. To get things going, we show how to load the list into a hash table to resolve email addresses into display names.
  13. Customizing the Microsoft 365 User Profile Card with the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK November 15, 2023 1:00 am - This article describes how to use the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK to customize the user account properties shown by the Microsoft 365 user profile card. Previously this was possible using a Graph API request to the beta endpoint. Now everything is in production and Graph SDK cmdlets are available to make customization a tad easier.
  14. Shock and Horror About How the New Outlook Synchronizes User Data November 14, 2023 1:00 am - A Nov 9 article published by a German website expressed concern about the way that the new Outlook synchronizes user email data to Azure. There's nothing to worry about. Outlook synchronizes email data to be able to process the data to support features that the user's email server might not. It's what the Outlook mobile client has done for years.
  15. Microsoft-Managed Conditional Access Policies Coming to Eligible Tenants November 13, 2023 1:00 am - On November 6, Microsoft announced that they will deploy Microsoft-managed conditional access policies to eligible tenants. A conditional access policy controls the connections users want to make to apps or data by setting conditions. In this case, the Microsoft policies will require MFA before access is granted to apps like administrative portals.
  16. Microsoft Cancels the Teams Who Bot November 10, 2023 1:00 am - Message center notification MC687849 announces the retirement of the Teams Who bot. This was one of the original apps developed to show the potential of Teams. In truth, the bot was never very useful. Microsoft says that its functionality will be replaced with Copilot. You'll be able to query for the answers the Who bot provided for a small extra investment.
  17. Microsoft Details Compliance Support for Microsoft 365 Copilot November 9, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft has described the compliance support from Purview solutions for data generated by Microsoft 365 Copilot prompts and responses. There's nothing earthshattering in terms of what Microsoft is doing, but it's good that audit events and compliance records will be gathered and that sensitivity labels will block Copilot access to confidential data.
  18. Reporting the Storage Used by Loop Workspaces November 8, 2023 1:00 am - When Microsoft put the Loop app into preview, they didn't impose any restrictions in terms of licensing or workspace storage. MC678308 announces that Loop workspace storage will count against the tenant SharePoint Online storage quota. This article explains how to use the Get-SPOContainer cmdlet to fetch information about Loop workspaces and the storage they consume.
  19. Forwarding Teams Chat Messages November 7, 2023 1:00 am - From mid-November 2023, users have the chance to forward Teams chat messages. The feature works for 1:1, group, and meeting chats. The lack of a forward option in the Teams desktop and browser clients is a little surprising because the mobile client has been able to do this for some time.
  20. Reducing the Memory Footprint of Exchange Online PowerShell November 6, 2023 1:00 am - The Exchange Online developers issued three recommendations to improve performance and reduce memory consumption for Exchange Online PowerShell sessions, specifically those used by automated scripts that don't involve human interaction. I think two of the recommendations are very practical and worth implementing by everyone, even if you think everything is good with PowerShell.
  21. eDiscovery Still Doesn’t Handle Loop Components Seamlessly November 3, 2023 1:00 am - Following new support of Loop components for Teams channel conversations, it's sad to discover that Loop component eDiscovery remains challenging two years after the first appearance of component technology in a Microsoft 365 application. eDiscovery can certainly find Loop components, but creating a seamless picture about their usage is harder than it should be.
  22. Using Loop Components in Teams Channels November 2, 2023 1:00 am - Loop components have been available for Teams chat for nearly two years. Now they're coming to channel conversations. The loop files generated for the components are stored in the channel folder of the SharePoint Online site belonging to the team. Once posted, every channel member can edit the Loop component.
  23. Office 365 for IT Pros November 2023 Update Available November 1, 2023 1:00 am - The Office 365 for IT Pros eBook team is delighted to announce the release of the 101st monthly update (November 2023). Subscribers can download the updated files from The update covers many chapters and includes topics like the release of the new Teams client, which we learned on October 31 will become the only Teams client on March 31, 2024. Lots of ongoing change inside the Microsoft 365 ecosystem... Which is why a book like Office 365 for IT Pros is the only way to stay current!
  24. Exchange Online Tenants can Postpone Roaming Signatures October 31, 2023 1:00 am - A new Exchange Online organization setting postpones the implementation of roaming signatures for Outlook clients in a tenant. The setting only allows a postponement because Microsoft really wants all Outlook clients to use the signature data stored in user mailboxes. The extra time allows tenants that use PowerShell to manage OWA signatures to work as they did before roaming signatures came along and screwed things up.
  25. Using Microsoft Graph SDK Cmdlets to Create a SharePoint Online List October 30, 2023 1:00 am - An article last week discussed how to create SharePoint lists with the PnP.PowerShell module. In this article, we do the same with cmdlets from the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK. The results achieved with the Graph SDK aren't as good as those gained with PnP.PowerShell. Some of the SDK cmdlets don't function as expected and the resulting list is not as functional as the one generated by PnP. Oh well...
  26. Primer: Using the MFCMAPI Utility to See Inside Exchange Online Mailboxes October 27, 2023 1:00 am - The MFCMAPI utility is of great help to Microsoft 365 tenant administrators who want to understand the data apps store in Exchange Online mailboxes. An on-premises mailbox stores email data, but in the cloud, Microsoft 365 apps use Exchange Online as a convenient place to store data that needs to be accessible to services like Search and eDiscovery.
  27. Teams Grows to 320 Million Monthly Active Users October 26, 2023 1:00 am - In Microsoft's FY24 Q1 results, they disclosed that the Teams number of users had reached 320 million monthly active users. That's 80% of the overall number for Office 365 monthly active users. The two sets of numbers might not overlap precisely, but one thing's for certain - Teams is driving a lot of growth and revenue for Microsoft.
  28. Creating Custom Images for Channel Announcement Posts in the New Teams October 25, 2023 1:00 am - The new Teams client applies AI to the creation of custom announcement images by invoking Designer to generate images either from scratch or based on your input. The new mechanism generates some nice images that can be extensively customized with Designer. It's more complex than the way the Teams classic client handled custom announcement images, but the output is nicer.
  29. Creating a Teams Directory in a SharePoint Online List October 24, 2023 1:00 am - This article explains how to create SharePoint lists using cmdlets from the PnP.PowerShell module. The original data comes from a script to create a Teams Directory in HTML and CSV format files. The CSV data is imported into SharePoint to populate a list in a communications site. Everything works very smoothly, which begs the question why this kind of import isn't done more often. Perhaps it's because people don't know that it's possible. They do now.
  30. Blocking Access to Teams Meeting Chat in External Tenants October 23, 2023 1:00 am - A setting in the Teams meeting policy controls whether users can access the meeting chat in meetings hosted by non-trusted external tenants. By default, the setting is On, meaning that users can participate in chat for any meeting they join in any tenant. If you have concerns about this aspect of meetings, turn the setting Off and define trusted tenants.
  31. Teams and Microsoft Exchange PowerShell Modules Clash Over Required DLL October 20, 2023 1:00 am - After updating a bunch of PowerShell modules, I was dismayed to find a PowerShell module clash caused by a dependency on the Microsoft.Identity.Client DLL. The Exchange Online management module wanted a higher version of the DLL than the one loaded by the Teams module, so the Connect-ExchangeOnline cmdlet barfed. It's easy to understand the logic behind the problem, but it's hard to understand why Microsoft let it happen.
  32. How to Limit the Creation of New Teams to Private Access October 19, 2023 1:00 am - An interesting discussion in the Microsoft Technical Community about limiting the teams privacy mode to private for new teams caused me to try out the principles. The idea works, with caveats, and I wonder if anyone will use it in production. It's an interesting technique for using container management sensitivity labels that I'd never thought about before, so here it is.
  33. How to Control the Creation of Microsoft 365 Groups with the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK October 18, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft suggests that allowing every user to create new Microsoft 365 groups. That's mad. Controlling group creation through policy settings is the only way to go. It will avoid group sprawl (or team sprawl) and avoid a lot of administrative effort that will otherwise be devoted to cleaning up the mess of unused and unwanted groups. This article explains how to update policy settings to control group creation using cmdlets from the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK.
  34. How to Execute Bulk Updates of Primary SMTP Address for Distribution Lists October 17, 2023 1:00 am - Like any mail-enabled object managed by Exchange Online, distribution list proxy addresses determine if Exchange can deliver messages to an object. Sometimes the proxy addresses aren't correct or need adjustment, such as in the case when an organization wants to make sure that all distribution lists have primary SMTP addresses from a specific domain. This article explains how to use PowerShell to adjust the primary SMTP address when necessary.
  35. Microsoft 365 Groups with Long Names Cause Graph Errors October 16, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft 365 group display names longer than 120 characters will cause problems for Graph API requests attempting to fetch the groups. A workaround exists, which is to make the request an advanced query rather than a regular one. But the question really should be "who needs group display names that are longer than 120 characters?"
  36. Teams Displays Too Many Irritating Popup Messages October 13, 2023 1:00 am - Everyone likes a bit of help from time to time, but the number and persistence of irritating Teams pop-ups has become a real pain in the rear end. Worst of all, there's no way for administrators or end users to suppress Teams pop-ups, which keep on coming in an effort to bore end users to death. On a positive note, the new Teams client includes settings to allow users to choose the classic theme and revert to having channel posts display at the bottom of the screen instead of the top.
  37. How to Block User Access to Microsoft 365 PowerShell Modules October 12, 2023 1:00 am - The question of how best to block PowerShell access for Microsoft 365 user accounts deserved some consideration. The answer lies in service principals for the enterprise accounts created by Microsoft to allow PowerShell modules to authenticate with Entra ID. By restricting access to an assigned security group, you effectively block access to anyone outside that group.
  38. How to Remove Licenses From Disabled Accounts with PowerShell October 11, 2023 1:00 am - This article explains how to use PowerShell to remove licenses from disabled accounts, including some caveats such as not removing Exchange Online licenses. Organizations might want to do this to save money on Microsoft 365 license fees while an account is temporarily unused. Removal of Exchange Online licenses can result in the loss of a mailbox, and you don’t want that to happen if you’re disabling accounts just because someone is on a long-term sabbatical or other leave of absence.
  39. How to Create Dynamic Microsoft 365 Groups (and Teams) for Departments October 10, 2023 1:00 am - This article explains how to use PowerShell to create dynamic Microsoft 365 groups (and teams) based on the departments assigned to Entra ID user accounts. Creating a new group is easy. The trick in team-enablement is to wait for the synchronization between Entra ID and Teams to finish before you go ahead. After that, it's plain sailing.
  40. Microsoft Removes Exchange Online User Photo Cmdlets October 9, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft announced that they will deprecate the user photo cmdlets from Exchange Online from November 30, 2023. Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK cmdlets replace the EXO cmdlets because user photo data is stored in Entra ID. Although inconvenient for those who need to update scripts, this is part of an effort to rationalize how Microsoft 365 handles user profile information.
  41. Teams Town Hall Replaces Live Events October 6, 2023 1:00 am - Teams town halls are a new event type designed to host large audiences. Town halls will replace Live Events, which Microsoft will remove on September 30, 2024. If you've ever created a Teams webinar event, running a town hall will seem very similar. That's because the two event types follow similar methods to set up and manage events. Microsoft still has some features to build into Town Hall to make it functionally equivalent to Live Events. These features will come in time.
  42. Lessons About AI to Learn from Bing Chat Enterprise October 5, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft 365 tenants with eligible licenses can use Bing Chat Enterprise (BCE). It's a great way for users to become accustomed to dealing with AI prompts and generated results. First, users can discover how well-structured prompts generate better results. Second, they can see how a lack of care in reviewing results might get them into trouble because of AI-generated errors.
  43. How to Convert Custom Background Images for Teams 2.1 October 4, 2023 1:00 am - The Teams 2.1 client uses a different folder and naming convention for custom background images. People who switch must move their images, so here's a script to do the job by resizing images to meet Teams requirements, renaming the files to comply with the new naming scheme, and copying the files from the old to the new folder, It's PowerShell, so you can change the code as you like.
  44. How to Update Shared Mailbox Owners About Quota Usage October 3, 2023 1:00 am - An old script created to report quotas for user mailboxes provided the basis for email-based reporting of shared mailbox quotas. The old script used just Exchange Online PowerShell. This versions mixes Exchange Online and the Graph SDK and throws in some certificate-based authentication to boot to allow the script to send email from something other than the signed-in account.. It all comes together, using chunks of code from other scripts to speed up writing. It's the PowerShell way...
  45. Update 100 for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook October 2, 2023 1:00 am - The 100th update for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook is available for subscribers to download. Like any Office 365 for IT Pros update, #100 is packed full of new information, insights, and ideas drawn from across the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Things have changed enormously since the book first appeared in May 2015, but now we're looking forward to the next 100 updates!
  46. Microsoft Tweaks Outlook Search and Reminders September 29, 2023 1:00 am - Outlook keeps on evolving. Two recent changes are the addition of a Find Related search option in the desktop client and a reminders pop-out window for the Monarch (preview) client. Find related is a nice way to accelerate searches for all items for a conversation or from a sender. The reminders pop-out window seems to be an idea borrowed from the Outlook classic client, but maybe it's so much better when implemented for a browser client.
  47. Microsoft Limits Loop App to Microsoft 365 Product SKUs September 28, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft announced that the Loop app will be licensed for four Microsoft 365 product SKUs (two for SME, two for enterprise). Preview users that don't have one of the chosen licenses are unaffected, at least for now. The licensing decision doesn't affect the use of Loop components in applications like Outlook and Teams chat, but it is part of a trend to license new functionality in Microsoft 365 rather than the older Office 365 products.
  48. How to Monitor New Members Added to Teams September 27, 2023 1:00 am - I was asked how easy it would be to write a PowerShell script to monitor new teams members and reject any additions that met specific criteria. Easy, we said, so we set to creating a script to interrogate the unified audit log to find new member events. Once that was done, it's a matter of analyzing the events to find if we should reject the addition of any of the added members.
  49. How to Analyze User Email Traffic by Internal or External Destination September 26, 2023 1:00 am - After writing a previous article about using PowerShell to analyze message trace data, I was asked about analyzing user (or mailbox) sending patterns to discover who's sending email and where they're sending messages to. As in many similar situations, PowerShell is a great tool to use because of its flexibility. This article explains how to generate a per-mailbox report of how many messages are sent and the percentage of internal versus external, plus the external domains the email goes to.
  50. How to Create Dynamic Administrative Units with PowerShell September 25, 2023 1:00 am - A reader asked how they could create dynamic administrative units for every department in their directory. A PowerShell script does the job, even if some constraints in how Entra ID processes membership rules means that the rules can't be quite as precise as I would like them to be.
  51. Microsoft Makes Microsoft 365 Copilot Generally Available September 22, 2023 1:00 am - At a September 21 event in NYC, Microsoft announced that the Microsoft 365 Copilot digital assistant will be generally available to enterprise customers on November 1. Quite how many customers will be willing to cough up for license upgrades and $30/month Copilot subscriptions will soon be seen. The advent of the Copilot Lab to help users come to grips with building good prompts to drive Copilot is an excellent idea, but the focus on Monarch as the sole Outlook client might become a blocking factor for some.
  52. Chasing Performance When Reporting Teams SharePoint Site URLs September 21, 2023 1:00 am - It’s possible to use PowerShell to create a report detailing the SharePoint Online site URLs used with Teams. My first attempt used the Exchange Online module, but is the Graph any faster? As it turns out, not really. At least, not for interactive sessions using the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK (things are different when running SDK code using a registered app). I tried several approaches, but Graph permissions got in the way every time.
  53. Microsoft Signals the End for Exchange Web Services September 20, 2023 1:00 am - On September 19, 2023 Microsoft announced their intention to retire the Exchange Web Services API on 1 October 2026. The suggested replacement is the Microsoft Graph API. Microsoft acknowledges that some gaps exist that they need to close before EWS retirement happens, but one big issue they didn't discuss is what happens to the backup products that currently use EWS to backup Exchange Online.
  54. How to Disable Outlook Reactions September 19, 2023 1:00 am - Soon after they launched Outlook Reactions in 2022, Microsoft received requests to disable the feature. Now you can by adding SMTP headers to messages. Outlook clients will be able to add the header to stop recipients reacting and organizations will be able to create mail flow rules to add the header to selected messages. It's nice to have a way to disable reactions.
  55. Managing the Entra ID Registration Campaign for Stronger Authentication September 18, 2023 1:00 am - Entra ID includes a registration campaign feature to help organizations move users to stronger authentication methods like the Authenticator app. Running campaigns is a good thing, unless you decide to do it when the administrators are away from the office (like me) or users are unprepared. But it is time to get rid of SMS and voice responses to MFA challenges, so maybe you should schedule a campaign soon?
  56. Microsoft Launches Unified Picker for Teams Fun Graphics September 15, 2023 1:00 am - A Teams unified picker for fun content is now available in the Teams 2.1 client. The new picker replaces the existing options to add GIFs and stickers. I'm sure this update will be important to some people, but I'm more impressed by the change to improve the performance and reliability of synchronizing calendar updates between Outlook (Exchange Online) and Teams. All available soon.
  57. SharePoint Administrators Can’t Update Sensitivity Labels for Document Libraries September 14, 2023 1:00 am - For whatever reason, SharePoint Online doesn't allow administrators to control the settings of document libraries. In particular, default sensitivity labels. It seems crazy that other Microsoft 365 workloads allow administrators to manage the settings of things like mailboxes, groups, plans, and teams, but SharePoint Online holds steadfast to not allowing administrators go deeper than a site. It would be nice to see consistency around administrator access across all workloads.
  58. Microsoft Updates Entra ID Cross-Tenant Access Management September 13, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft announced three changes to Entra ID cross-tenant access settings that will improve how the settings work for large enterprise tenants in particular. One of the changes improves the blocking of Entra ID B2B Collaboration invitations extended to allow guest users access resources in a tenant. When Entra ID evaluates whether it should issue an invitation, it now takes the blocklist (if set) in the B2B collaboration policy and cross-tenant access settings into account. It's the way things should have worked from the start.
  59. Publishing Technical Web Sites Requires Editorial Oversight September 12, 2023 1:00 am - Technical web sites are 10 a penny these days, and the content published on many is worth the same. Good sites dedicate resources to copy and technical editing, and that's what makes a real difference in terms of article quality. If you're in Atlanta for the TEC 2023 conference, come talk to us about writing for
  60. Enable the MailItemsAccessed Event for Exchange Online Mailboxes September 11, 2023 1:00 am - Recent details released about the Storm-0558 attack on sensitive U.S. agencies revealed the importance of the MailItemsAccessed event for forensic investigations. Luckily, after Microsoft was a tad embarrassed by the recent Storm-0558 attack, tenants with Office 365 E3 or Microsoft 365 E3 licenses can capture the MailItemsAccessed event for mailboxes without having to pay for Microsoft Purview Audit Premium. But you might have to do a little work to ensure that the right audit configuration is used for all mailboxes.
  61. Controlling Who Receives Invitations to Teams Channel Meetings September 8, 2023 1:00 am - Teams channel meetings belong to a channel, but who receives the invitations for these meetings? The answer is "it depends" - on group settings and options. The underlying Microsoft 365 group might have a subscriber list of users who want to receive email for new events like meetings or the user might choose to send invitations to everyone. We discuss the mechanics and explore a way to schedule meetings in shared and private channels too.
  62. SharePoint News in Outlook September 7, 2023 1:00 am - The SharePoint News in Outlook feature allows users to email news items to recipients within the same tenant. It's like the Teams Share to Outlook feature and is just about as exciting. Some new templates allows users to post and email news items by displaying a screen to collect email properties. Interestingly, the feature supports multi-tenant organizations, but I suspect that this is an error.
  63. Microsoft Adds New Layer of Access Control for SharePoint Online Sites September 6, 2023 1:00 am - A new setting for SharePoint Online sites turns them into "restricted sites," meaning that only site members noted in assigned groups can access site content. I thought that's the way sites connected to Microsoft 365 groups work, but this is the "to be sure, to be sure" lockdown features. You can also restrict sites that aren't connected to Microsoft 365 Groups. Add some sensitivity labels and the block download policy, and sites can be pretty secure.
  64. Microsoft Adds Code Blocks to Loop App September 5, 2023 1:00 am - A recent update for the Loop app allows users to create and collaborate on code blocks. The editor is very simple and doesn't check syntax, but it could be a way for people (within a tenant) to collaborate and sketch out potential code solutions to problems. You can create Loop components from code blocks and use those components with Teams chat and Outlook messages, if you remember to stay within your tenant.
  65. Microsoft Strikes Deal with European Commission to Unbundle Teams September 4, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft has moved to resolve anti-competitive problems around bundling of Teams in Office 365 and Microsoft 365 by introducing new Microsoft 365 and Office 365 EEA licenses that don't include Teams. Existing customers aren't affected and can continue to use Microsoft 365 and Office 365 licenses that include Teams. At the same time, Microsoft promises to make it easier for third parties to integrate apps with Teams and the Microsoft 365 apps. We'll see how that turns out in the future.
  66. Office 365 for IT Pros Launches 99th Monthly Update September 1, 2023 9:40 am - The September 2023 update for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook (monthly update #99) is available for subscribers to download. Details of the update are available in our change log. However, sometimes the change log doesn't tell the full story about the updates we make to content. A chapter author might forget about a change they make, or maybe we rewrite something and don't mention it. The point is that the book is in a state of constant change to keep up with the updates Microsoft ships across the Microsoft 365/Office 365 ecosystem.
  67. Microsoft Removes Reuse Files Feature from Word August 31, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft has decided to remove the Reuse Files feature from Word. They haven't said why this is happening, but 8t might be linked to the launch Copilot for Microsoft 365. "AI-Lite" features like Reuse Files don't add a huge amount of value and possibly cloud the message about AI in Microsoft 365. The truth is that we don't know why Microsoft is removing Reuse Files from Word. Will they do the same in Outlook and PowerPoint?
  68. Teams Meet App to Manage Meetings August 30, 2023 1:00 am - Delayed until October 2023, the Teams Meet app will appear in the Teams 2.1 client to help users manage meetings more effectively. At least, that's the plan. The app works well for internal meetings but its review capabilities are limited when you attend meetings hosted in another tenant. The Meet app will be beneficial in large organizations where people attend lots of meetings, but will might be less effective in smaller organizations. It's worth looking at to decide if the Teams Meet app works for you.
  69. Microsoft to Offer Teams Premium for Self-Service Purchase August 29, 2023 1:00 am - Teams Premium Trial licenses are to be offered to end users in commercial tenants worldwide for self-service purchases from September 2023. I quite like some of the functionality available in Teams Premium, but I think organizations are better off using the "regular" Teams Premium trial licenses to run a test involving up to 25 users for 30 days. The results are probably going to be more indicative of the worth of Teams Premium than any individual test can be.
  70. Teams Admin Center Withdraws Dark Mode Support August 28, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft announced on August 17 that they are not proceeding with the implementation of dark mode support in the Teams Admin center. The news came as a surprise, but it's an indication of the lack of user interface consistency across the different Microsoft 365 administrative consoles. Token handling is another example. I can live without dark mode, but being forced to sign out by the Teams admin center is a pain.
  71. Microsoft Prepares Partners for Microsoft 365 Copilot August 25, 2023 1:00 am - A Microsoft 365 Copilot session for partners didn't reveal much new about the technology, but it did emphasize software, prompts, and content as core areas for implementation projects. Building good queries is difficult enough for normal searches, so how will people cope with Copilot prompts. And are the data stored in Microsoft 365 ready for Copilot? There's lots to consider for organizations before they can embrace Microsoft's digital office assistant.
  72. EntraExporter Tool Exports Details of an Entra ID Tenant August 24, 2023 1:00 am - The EntraExporter toolis a PowerShell module that generates details of objects in an Entra ID tenant configuration (like groups, policies, and users) and creates JSON files. It's a great way to capture point-in-time information about Entra ID (Azure AD) configuration. Although you can't replay the captured data to recreate objects, having all the information available is a great start if you need to restore or replay anything.
  73. Use Message Trace Data to Analyze Email Traffic August 23, 2023 1:00 am - This article describes how to use PowerShell to extract and analyze Exchange Online message trace data to figure out the volume of traffic to outbound domains and from inbound domains. You might think that this is the same information as available in the Exchange admin center mail flow report, but it's not. Once again, the value of PowerShell in retrieving and using data is evident.
  74. Monitor and Report Additions to Teams Membership August 22, 2023 1:00 am - A question about how to report specific changes to Teams memberships gave another excuse to use PowerShell with the unified audit log to deliver a solution. The idea is that you can check audit log entries to see when specific user accounts join the membership of Teams. Once you've found that data, it's a simple matter of creating email to share the results. All done with a few lines of PowerShell...
  75. Find Out Where Users Get Sensitivity Labels From August 21, 2023 1:00 am - A question about finding out which sensitivity label policy makes a label available to a user requires some PowerShell to figure out the answer with some human-friendly results. The outcome is a script that analyzes sensitivity label policies to find where a user gets their labels from. It’s another example of how useful PowerShell can be.
  76. Microsoft Changes Name of File Deleted Audit Event August 18, 2023 1:00 am - For years, I have scanned the audit log to find FileDeleted events to report deletions of SharePoint and OneDrive documents. Now, FileRecycled audit events are used instead. This wouldn't be a problem if Microsoft had told customers, but not a trace can be found to let organizations know that the audit data they use for compliance operations has changed. I don't know if this is the only activity name change, but given that one update has happened (and for a relatively important audit event), it's likely that others lurk in the undergrowth.
  77. Entra ID Guest Accounts Can Now Have Sponsors August 17, 2023 1:00 am - You can now define Entra ID guest account sponsors using the Entra ID admin center or PowerShell. A sponsor is an account or group that knows why a guest account exists. During operations like account reviews of the membership of a Microsoft 365 group, sponsors can help group owners decide if guest accounts should continue as members or should be removed. I'm sure others will come up with ideas for using guest account sponsors, but that's what we have for now.
  78. Updating Entra ID Risky Users with PowerShell August 16, 2023 1:00 am - Entra ID risky users are accounts that Entra ID Identity Protection detects as exhibiting signs of suspicious activity that might mean the accounts are compromised. In this article, we consider the value of Entra ID risky accounts and how they can be used in conditional access policies. And a look at the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK cmdlets that are available to risky users too!
  79. No Planner Desktop App is Available August 15, 2023 1:00 am - Some wonder why Microsoft never developed a Planner desktop app. It's probably due to a lack of engineering and support resources. But a good workaround exists because you can create a desktop app from the web site. For guest access to Planner in another tenant, a desktop shortcut might work. And there’s always the Tasks by Planner app in Teams. So maybe a Planner desktop app isn’t needed.
  80. Microsoft Replaces User Data Search with Standard eDiscovery August 14, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft has announced that they are replacing the user data search tool with Purview eDiscovery standard. The change will happen on 30 August 2023 and active user data search cases will be transferred automatically to eDiscovery standard at that point. The change makes sense because the user data search tool hasn't been enhanced much since its inception. Anyway, user data search cases were simply a special form of eDiscovery case, and now they're all the same.
  81. OWA Gets Search Refiners August 11, 2023 1:00 am - Two message center updates from August 1 cover OWA search refiners and a revamped search box (appearance only). One wonders why the two aren't covered by one notification and one Microsoft 365 roadmap item. Two notifications result in not a lot of change. The search refiners might please some users and be useful at times. but I wonder if the new font and borders for the search box will be noticed by the average user!
  82. Filtering Against the Entra ID Employee Hire Date Property August 10, 2023 1:00 am - A new preview capability supports filtering against the Azure AD employee hire date property (Entra ID). Two different filter types are available to support the PowerShell ge and le operators. One filter checks against a set date, the other uses a calculated date. Both work well, and hopefully this development means that the Entra ID developers will enable the same capability for the Get-MgUser cmdlet.
  83. Microsoft Makes it Easier for Tenants to Enable the Loop App August 9, 2023 1:00 am - The Microsoft 365 admin center contains a new option to enable the Loop app for everyone in a tenant. The setting overrides a previous cloud policy used to control access to the Loop app. It's the kind of change you'd expect to see as an app makes it way through preview to the point when it becomes generally available. In other Loop news, the Loop app is available as a PWA through the Microsoft Store.
  84. Entra ID Audit Captures Some But Not All Updates of User Account Properties August 8, 2023 1:00 am - A Twitter discussion about how to audit user account changes revealed that Entra ID does not capture details of changes to the usage location for an account. The possibility existed that the data might be present in the information ingested from Entra ID into the unified audit log, but that turned out not to be the case. Even if some properties are missing, a PowerShell script demonstrates the principle of how to report user account changes (old and new properties). But it would be nice if Entra ID captured details about changes to the UsageLocation property.
  85. Managing Assigned Licenses for Deleted User Accounts August 7, 2023 1:00 am - A reader asked why some deleted Microsoft 365 user accounts appear to have assigned licenses. That seemed strange because licenses are freed up for reuse when accounts are deleted, so we took a look behind the scenes to find out why some deleted user accounts keep license information in their properties and some do not.
  86. Microsoft Launches Simplified Sharing for Microsoft 365 Apps August 4, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft 365 apps now boast a simplified sharing experience. In other words, Microsoft has overhauled and revamped the dialogs used to create and manage sharing links. This is the first real change in the area since 2020-21. It's a good time to make sharing easier for people because the introduction of Microsoft 365 Copilot means that overshared files and folders will be exposed.
  87. Reporting Retention Tags for Exchange Online Mailbox Folders August 3, 2023 1:00 am - Exchange retention tags can be assigned to mailbox folders. In this article, we explain how to retrieve details of folder and personal tags assigned to folders plus the default archive and delete tags defined in the mailbox retention policy. We also explore if it's possible to report retention tags assigned to individual messages and conclude that it's not worthwhile.
  88. Clipchamp Coming to Microsoft 365 Commercial Customers August 2, 2023 1:00 am - On July 31, Microsoft announced that Clipchamp for Work will roll out to targeted release Microsoft 365 commercial tenants in the next few weeks. Although it's good that Microsoft 365 tenants will get a very capable video editor, the goodness of the announcement is reduced by the fact that Microsoft is not making Clipchamp for Work available for Office 365 enterprise SKUs. That seems like a great pity, but it's all part of Microsoft's plan to nudge customers toward Microsoft 365.
  89. Office 365 for IT Pros August 2023 Update Available August 1, 2023 1:00 am - Monthly update #98 is available for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. Subscribers can download the updated files from (PDF/EPUB) or Amazon (Kindle). Lots happened during July, some of which like Microsoft 365 Copilot and the Microsoft 365 Archive and Backup products, can't be covered in the book until the software appears in public preview. But that's the great thing about a book like Office 365 for IT Pros. Because we update the entire book every month, we can track and report on new solutions as they appear and we gain experience with them.
  90. Microsoft Briefs Partners about Microsoft 365 Backup and Microsoft 365 Archive Products July 31, 2023 1:00 am - At the Inspire conference, Microsoft briefed their partners about the Microsoft 365 Backup and Microsoft 365 Archive products they plan to launch at some time in the future. Microsoft's biggest advantage is their access to data and the speed at which they can process the information. Whether this gets people past the "all digital eggs in the Microsoft basket" issue remains to be seen.
  91. Teams Gets Inline Playback for Stream Videos July 28, 2023 1:00 am - Stream video playback in Teams chats and channels is now inline, meaning that the video plays direct without any need to call the Stream browser client. It’s a good update that makes watching Stream videos a very seamless experience. It would be nice if Microsoft can improve some other integration points where Stream and Teams touch because some of the other integration features don't work so well. In other news, SharePoint Online is rationalizing how it stores user photos.
  92. Microsoft Cloud Hits $111.6 Billion Annual Revenue July 27, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft's FY23 Q4 results wrapped up another strong year for Microsoft Cloud revenues. The $111.6 billion (actual) and $121.2 billion (run rate) results continue a strong record of growth. In other numbers, Entra ID now supports over 610 million monthly active users and EMS has over 256 million. All in all, lots of use for the Microsoft Cloud.
  93. Teams Supports 1,000 Channels July 26, 2023 1:00 am - An update coming soon increases the channel limit for regular and shared channels to 1,000. That should be enough Teams channels for anyone. Then again, a case can be argued that 25 channels should be enough to organize discussions for any team. In any case, you're going to have the opportunity soon to create channels to your heart's content. That is, until you reach the 1000-channel; limit.
  94. Stream for SharePoint Brings Back Automatic Transcript Generation July 25, 2023 1:00 am - Automated generation of Stream transcripts resumes in August. It's a nice feature to have because a transcript makes it much easier to follow what's happening as people discuss topics during online events. Stream transcripts won't be generated for existing videos. If you want those transcripts, you'll have to generate them manually.
  95. Teams Makes Meeting Participants Prettier with Maybelline App July 24, 2023 1:00 am - A new Maybelline video filters app allows Teams meeting participants to enhance their appearance during or before a meeting. 12 filters are available to apply AI-powered enhancements based on a 70-point map generated from a user's face. It's good if a filter helps you feel better about yourself when you join a call, but I can't help thinking that maybe Microsoft could work on more important functionality?
  96. Microsoft Entra ID Access Reviews Get Machine Learning Recommendations July 21, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft has added a machine learning feature to Entra ID Access Reviews. The new feature checks affiliation between users and the group being reviewed. It's an interesting idea, but only if the manager-employee relationships in your directory are accurate because that's what Entra ID Access Reviews use to check affiliation. Microsoft Entra ID Governance licenses are needed for the new features... Another $7/user/month!
  97. Full SharePoint Online Support for PDFs with Sensitivity Labels July 20, 2023 1:00 am - Sensitivity Label PDF support is now available in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. In effect, this means that SharePoint can protect and process PDFs in the same way as it handles Office documents. Given the widespread use of PDFs in many organizations, this is an important step forward for those wishing to protect their most sensitive information.
  98. Microsoft 365 Backup for SharePoint Online and Exchange Online (Soon) July 19, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft has announced that they will deliver Microsoft 365 Backup for Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive in public preview in late 2023. Microsoft has several advantages when it comes to access to data and ability to update APIs, but it also has to cope with the putting all eggs in one basket syndrome. We don't know how Microsoft will charge for Microsoft 365 backup, but it's likely to be on a consumption basis.
  99. Teams Gives Shared Channel Owners New Method to Request Cross-Tenant Trusts July 18, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft is making it easier for owners of Teams shared channels to request help if they run into a trust problem when adding a member from another domain. If Teams detects a problem with a missing trust, it flags the error to the channel owner and offers a link to a web page to seek additional support. Of course, the tenant might decline to trust the domain the channel owner wants to use, but that's a different story.
  100. Controlling the Outlook Monarch Client July 17, 2023 1:00 am - Outlook Monarch controls are available to help with the deployment of the new Outlook for Windows client in a mixture of Exchange settings and registry entries. You can block users from using the new client or adding consumer email accounts to Monarch. And best of all, you can disable the "try the new Outlook" toggle until you're ready for people to plunge into the brave new world of the revamped Outlook for Windows.

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