1. 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...
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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?
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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...
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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!
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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!
  39. Filtering Against the Azure AD 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. 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?
  53. 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!
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. 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.
  57. 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.
  58. Microsoft Launches Restricted Administrative Units in Preview July 14, 2023 1:00 am - Restricted administrative units (preview) are a new mechanism to support scoped management of Entra ID user accounts, devices, and security groups. You'll need Premium P1 licenses for the accounts assigned management roles for these AUs, but that seems like a small price to pay for the functionality.
  59. Microsoft Rebrands Azure AD as Microsoft Entra ID July 13, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft announced that they are rebranding Azure AD to become Microsoft Entra ID. This is just a name change and no functionality or licenses are affected. It's simply yet another Microsoft rebranding exercise like Microsoft 365, Purview, and Defender. The name change will start in the latter half of 2023 and be completed by 2024.
  60. Retrieving Azure AD (Entra ID) Privileged Identity Management Role Assignments July 12, 2023 1:00 am - PIM, or Privileged Identity Management, is a solution for managing the assignment of privileged Entra ID roles to users and groups. PIM role assignments can be active or eligible. If you report "normal" role assignments, you only see the currently active set. Some more processing is needed to fetch the PIM assignments. Here's our version of a script to do the job for holders of the Exchange administrator and Global administrator roles.
  61. Microsoft Plans for More Intelligent Versioning for SharePoint Online Document Libraries July 11, 2023 1:00 am - SharePoint Online makes extensive use of file versioning. Coming in November 2023, we will see SharePoint Intelligent Versioning based on usage and the probability that a version will be needed for a restore. The new intelligent mechanism will replace the current method of setting a fixed version count for document libraries. Sites that need fixed version counts can continue, but SharePoint intelligent versioning should become the default when the feature reaches general availability in early 2024.
  62. Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK V2.0 Reaches General Availability July 10, 2023 1:00 am - The Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK V2 attained general availability on July 4, 2023. Microsoft did a horrible job of announcing the news, but now that the SDK V2 is available, it's time to migrate scripts from earlier versions. Splitting the V1.0 and beta cmdlets into different modules is a big difference, as is renaming the beta cmdlets. But other points exist to consider as you migrate from the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK V1 to V2.
  63. Teams Admin Center Refreshes Search Facility July 7, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft announced that they are rolling out a refresh for the Teams Admin Center search feature. Useful as it can be, TAC search can output odd results. That's a pity because the TAC search feature would be a whole lot better if its results were less profuse and more reliable.
  64. Microsoft Graph Subscriptions API Available in Beta July 6, 2023 1:00 am - Up to now, the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK has not included a cmdlet capable of reporting the renewal dates for Microsoft 365 subscriptions. A new beta Graph subscriptions endpoint is a method to retrieve the renewal information. Even if you can't use an off-the-shelf cmdlet, you can still get the data.
  65. Microsoft’s New My Groups Page July 5, 2023 1:00 am - It would be nice to report that Microsoft's new My Groups page delivers great user-centric group management portal, but it doesn't. My Groups can't deal with distribution groups (lists), which is surprising because distribution lists are a valid Azure AD group type. What's worse is that the OWA option to manage distribution lists doesn't work any more. There's little evidence of Microsoft joined-up thinking here.
  66. Microsoft Cranks Up Deployment Schedule for Teams 2.1 July 4, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft released details about the deployment schedule for the new Teams client (2.1) on June 30, 2023. It looks like a lot of work to roll out the new Teams client will happen over the remainder of 2023. It seems like tenants can use the classic Teams client for at least until mid-2024, but soon there'll only be one Teams client in use, and that'll be Teams 2.1.
  67. Publication of Office 365 for IT Pros (2024 Edition) July 3, 2023 1:00 am - The Tenth edition of Office 365 for IT Pros, the only always up-to-date eBook covering Microsoft 365 Office services is now available for EPUB/PDF and Kindle. Existing subscribers for the EPUB/PDF version can upgrade to the 2024 edition for a low cost (and should have an email to tell them how). The new book is based on the 2023 edition but is completely revised and updated with changes and new material.
  68. How SharePoint Online Stores Files in the Preservation Hold Library June 30, 2023 1:00 am - The SharePoint Preservation Hold Library is where files needed for retention or hold purposes are stored. In the past, the library stored separate copies of each version of a retained file. Now it stores files complete with the entire version history, which is more intelligent and means that SharePoint consumes less storage for retention.
  69. Searching for SharePoint Files with Sensitivity Labels June 29, 2023 1:00 am - The need to find SharePoint documents with sensitivity labels might arise during a tenant divestiture to decrypt the documents before the split. As it turns out, searches against the SharePoint InformationProtectionLabelId property is a good way to find the files. After that, the need arises to decrypt the documents, which is where Microsoft Purview eDiscovery (premium) might come in handy.
  70. OneDrive Personal Gets File Exclusions June 28, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft 365 tenants have long been able to define file type exclusions for the OneDrive for Business sync client through the SharePoint Online admin center, PowerShell, or GPO. A change in the client now exposes the excluded file types to user view for the first time. Meantime, the OneDrive Personal client also gains support for file type exclusions.
  71. Using a Gmail Account with the Outlook Monarch Client June 27, 2023 1:00 am - The Outlook Monarch client is making steady progress. It's now due to replace the Mail and Calendar apps in Windows 11 at the end of 2024. This article discusses using the Outlook Monarch client with Gmail accounts. The integration is pretty good and will no doubt be popular with those who have a Gmail account.
  72. Security Researchers Demonstrate Exploit Against Teams External Access June 26, 2023 1:00 am - Security Researchers JumpSec demonstrated a weakness in Teams External Access by showing how to send malware to users via a federated chat. The exploit depends on another weakness in that attackers can interfere with the set of policy controls transmitted by the Teams server to clients. It's yet another reason why Microsoft 365 tenants should restrict external access to the set of domains they really want to chat with.
  73. Microsoft Information Protection Upgrades to Enhanced Encryption Algorithm June 23, 2023 1:00 am - After discussion in 2022 about potential vulnerabilities for the AES128-EBC cipher used by Microsoft Information Protection (MIP), an August upgrade enables AES256-CBC protection for sensitivity labels and other MIP components. Some care is needed to make sure that Exchange Server and other on-premises solutions work properly with the new cipher, but transition for Microsoft 365 tenants should be seamless.
  74. Using Collaborative Notes in Teams Meetings June 22, 2023 1:00 am - Collaborative meeting notes are a preview feature available for Teams meetings which uses a Loop component composed of three other components to capture the agenda, notes, and task list for meetings. Because the feature is based on Loop. it inherits the goodness and problems of the technology (like no guest access). But overall, this is a nice solution that will go down well in large organizations that run many internal meetings.
  75. Reporting User-Preferred MFA Methods for Azure AD User Accounts June 21, 2023 1:00 am - Being able to set user-preferred authentication methods for Azure AD multi-factor authentication hasn't been possible up to now. New Graph APIs make it possible to get and set authentication methods for Azure AD accounts. It's just another small step along the line to migrate away from the MSOL and Azure AD modules.
  76. Reporting Mobile Devices Synchronizing with Exchange Online June 20, 2023 1:00 am - In this article, we discuss how to create a report of registered devices known to the Exchange mobile device management framework. Microsoft hasn't made many changes to the way Exchange Online manages mobile devices connected to its mailboxes over the past few years and would prefer if organizations used Intune instead. But if you just want simple device management, Exchange delivers, and PowerShell reveals what devices are active.
  77. Microsoft Demands Additional Licenses for Planner and To Do Auditing June 19, 2023 1:02 am - MC590113 (June 16) contains the unexpected news that capture of Planner audit events and To Do audit events will require tenants to have Purview Audit Premium licenses. Microsoft has bundled Planner and To Do with Project to make the change more appealing, but it's really not. The sad fact is that little audit value is likely to be extracted from Planner and To Do events.
  78. Teams to Support Targeted Release for Commercial Tenants June 16, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft has announced that Teams now supports the Microsoft 365 targeted release mechanism, meaning that new Teams features should appear more consistently. The Teams preview program continues, but targeted release takes precedence. In other news, the Teams chat client in Windows 11 is being replaced by the Teams Free client. This probably won't make much different, but it's good to know.
  79. Assigning OneDrive Storage Quotas Based on Group Membership June 15, 2023 1:00 am - Although SharePoint Online doesn't support the allocation of OneDrive storage quotas via group membership, this is an easy solution to code with PowerShell. In this article, we discuss the steps needed to use groups to set a desired storage allocation for group members and how to apply those allocations to OneDrive for Business accounts. If you don't want to use groups, Azure AD administrative units or even Exchange Online dynamic distribution lists would work too.
  80. Keeping Tabs on Azure AD Apps in Your Tenant June 14, 2023 1:00 am - A new Microsoft 365 Audit Platform service plan is available to license solutions like App Governance in Microsoft 365 Defender for Cloud Apps. After a shaky start, App Governance includes some useful functionality, including a set of default policies to highlight apps that need some attention. If you don't have the necessary licenses to use App Governance, there's always the examination of raw data about app activity, like sign-in information for app service principals.
  81. Teams Introduces Animated Backgrounds for Meetings June 13, 2023 1:00 am - Teams animated backgrounds add something to meetings. According to Microsoft, it's "a dynamic animation for a more immersive virtual environment." Based on the limited set of background animated released by Microsoft (which currently can't be augmented by custom backgrounds), the effect might not be quite what you expect. In any case, animated backgrounds will please some and disappoint others, which is what happens in a very large service spanning over 300 million active users.
  82. Outlook DLP Policy Tips Highlight Email with Sensitivity Labels June 12, 2023 1:00 am - An update for Microsoft 365 Data Loss Prevention policies supports the configuration of oversharing popups for Outlook shown when a user composes email with specified sensitivity labels for either the message or any attachment. The idea is that the popup (a policy tip) helps the user to understand the problem and why they are violating a DLP policy so that they can address the problem before attempting to send the message.
  83. How Administrators Can Remove Meetings On Behalf Of Users June 9, 2023 1:00 am - Sometimes administrators need to intervene and cancel meetings on behalf of users. That's why the Remove-CalendarEvents cmdlet exists. The cmdlet scans a user mailbox to find meetings organized by the user for a defined period and cancels the events. Meeting participants receive a cancellation notice. It's a useful cmdlet to know about, just in case.
  84. Loop App Stores its Data in Syntex Repository Services June 8, 2023 1:00 am - When Microsoft released the preview of the Loop app, we figured out that Loop uses a special form of SharePoint Online to store its workspaces and pages. Now we know that Loop uses Syntex Repository Services, a new offering that allows apps to create storage partitions within SharePoint Online and use those repositories to store the files needed by the app. It's still early days for both the Loop app and Syntex Repository Services (in private preview) and many operational details need to be explored, but the new offering is an interesting choice for app developers when it comes to deciding where to store their data.
  85. Exchange Online Modifies Retention Processing for Deleted Items Folder June 7, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft is making a bunch of subtle tweaks to how Exchange Online MRM processes Purview labels for items moved to the Deleted Items folder. The changes make sure that settings in Purview retention labels are respected better by Exchange Online MRM. Like many of the changes made in the area of data lifecycle management, it's doubtful if end users will notice, but smart administrators might!
  86. Teams Expands Coverage for Group Policy Assignment June 6, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft 365 tenants using Teams group policy assignments to assign policies to user accounts now have a much larger range of policies to choose from, even if assignments can only be made through PowerShell for the moment. In other news, the Teams admin center now has support for dark mode, which is fine if you don't customize the theme of a Microsoft 365 tenant.
  87. Microsoft to Block OWA Premium for Unsupported Browsers in Fall 2023 June 5, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft has announced that in Fall 2023 they will force Exchange Online users who run unsupported browsers to use OWA Lite instead of OWA Premium. The restriction will start rolling out in September 2023 and be implemented worldwide by November. People who use browsers like Opera and Brave will be affected and be forced to use Chrome, Edge, or Firefox (or Safari on macOS) to use OWA Premium.
  88. The Right Way for Scripts to Request Permissions with the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK June 2, 2023 1:00 am - Using Connect-MgGraph scopes to request a precise set of permissions at the start of a PowerShell script is the right way to make sure that the script can run and access the data it needs to process. Two schools of thought exist. Is it best to use the Scopes parameter to define the set of permissions when connecting with Connect-MgGraph, or should you go ahead and connect and check afterward? I favor the first approach, but either way works.
  89. Office 365 for IT Pros June 2023 Update Available June 1, 2023 1:00 am - The Office 365 for IT Pros eBook team is delighted to announce the availability of the June 2023 update (update #96). Please download and use the new files! This is the last update we'll issue for the 2023 edition as the 2024 edition will appear in July. Existing subscribers will be able to update to the 2024 edition at a very attractive price when the new book is available.
  90. Office 365 Reports Stole My Code May 31, 2023 1:00 am - The success of the PowerShell Community is rooted in sharing knowledge and code. This makes it difficult when a company like Office 365 Reports (AdminDroid) steals code from PowerShell scripts written by other people and uses the code for their commercial purposes. I don't like when this happens. I don't like when the miscreant ignores my protest, so this article explains what happened and why this is a simple case of plagiarism.
  91. OWA and Teams Share User Work Locations May 30, 2023 1:00 am - Work locations are a new concept that OWA and Teams share in an attempt to make it easier for people to schedule meetings with knowledge of where participants are working from. It's a nice idea but the implementation is sadly flawed because of a lack of flexibility in defining or customizing locations. Let's hope Microsoft improves the feature in future.
  92. Azure AD Access Token Lifetimes and Long-running PowerShell Scripts May 29, 2023 1:00 am - Sometimes, long running PowerShell scripts encounter the problem of Azure AD access token lifetime expiration. In other words, the default lifetime of tokens issued by Azure AD is too short to allow the script to complete before the token expires. Two solutions exist. Use a token lifetime policy to prolong access token lifetimes or check in code for potential expiration and renew when necessary.
  93. Microsoft Graph Early Adopter Badges and Other Stuff May 26, 2023 1:00 am - I now have a Microsoft Graph Early Adopter badge. I didn't ask for it. The badge just arrived via email. Which brings me to how to deliver product feedback. Sure, you can make comments via GitHub, but that ignores a perfectly good feedback portal developed to allow people to give direct feedback (including requests for new features) to Microsoft. You won't get a badge for providing feedback via the portal, but it's the right thing to do.
  94. Configuring Browsers for Microsoft 365 Apps Side-by-Side Viewing May 25, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft didn't do a great job of announcing the side-by-side viewing feature for Microsoft 365 apps. It seemed like the only reason for the feature was to drive usage for the Edge browser. As it turns out, you can choose to have Microsoft 365 apps use a different browser, and the tools to do that are now available.
  95. Organization Messages Available to Madden Microsoft 365 Users May 24, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft 365 includes a framework to create, send, and manage organization messages to users. It's a good idea, but the implementation is sadly limited. First, you're restricted to messages that Microsoft wants administrators to send to boost consumption of the Office apps. Second, you can't customize the text or the appearance of the messages. Last, the dashboard to manage organization messages is half-finished.
  96. Scheduling Appointments in the Teams Calendar May 23, 2023 1:00 am - Nearly seven years into the product's existence, Teams offline meetings can now be scheduled through the Teams calendar, but only for Teams private meetings. Making it possible to set aside time for private commitments and in-person meetings is sensible and a good change. The only mystery is why it took so long to happen.
  97. Planning Sensitivity Labels for Meetings May 22, 2023 1:00 am - Planning the introduction of sensitivity labels for meetings means that you pay attention to label scoping and naming. Having too many meeting labels will confuse users and the same will happen if the label display names don't convey their purpose. This article explains some simple steps to take to make sure that your meeting labels work well.
  98. Microsoft Retires the Board View from the OWA Calendar May 19, 2023 1:00 am - The Outlook board view originated as Project Moca, an app to organize items from Outlook and other sources, then became the board view in the OWA calendar. That status lasted two years and now Microsoft will retire the board view from Outlook on June 26, 2023. It's probably because Microsoft 365 boasts a surplus of ways to record notes in some shape or form. That, and the fact that hardly anyone uses Outlook boards.
  99. Stream Web App Improves Recording Capabilities May 18, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft is upgrading the Stream web app with some nice features to make it easier to create good-looking recordings. My favorite is the Stream teleprompter, but that's only because I fluff my lines so often that having a teleprompter to work with will reduce the number of retakes I have to do. Other changes include being able to use window as a video background and some important updates for video transcripts, including yet another reason to make sure that every user account has a photo.
  100. Making Loop Tasks Work Across Teams, Outlook, and Planner May 17, 2023 1:00 am - A May 10 post reveals how Loop task list components can synchronize with Planner (using a roster container) to make the Loop tasks available to other apps like To Do. It's the first implementation of Planner roster (or lightweight) containers, meaning that the containers holding tasks are not associated with a Microsoft 365 group. Everything seems to work very smoothly and the technology is available now.

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