1. SharePoint Online Block Download Policy for Teams Meeting Recordings March 21, 2023 1:00 am - SharePoint Online has a new block download file policy that stops users from downloading Teams meeting recordings. The policy applies to all sites and OneDrive for Business accounts in the tenant and is due to be part of the feature set covered by the Syntex-SharePoint Advanced Management license.
  2. SharePoint Online Gets Closer to Azure AD March 20, 2023 1:00 am - SharePoint Online is embracing Azure AD more closely by forcing new tenants to use the integration between the two Microsoft 365 components. In addition, site sharing will use the Azure AD invitation mechanism instead of SharePoint's own code. The changes make a lot of sense and shouldn't cause much disruption for tenants. It's a good reminder to check the relevant policies that control external access via Azure B2B Collaboration.
  3. Teams Enhances Audio For Meetings March 17, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft continues to improve the sound quality available in Teams meetings with support for spatial audio and ultrasound howling detection (feedback echo). Spatial audio depends on the right equipment and aims to help you know who's speaking in a meeting. Howling detection means that Teams detects when multiple people in a physical room join a meeting and suppresses audio to avoid a feedback loop.
  4. Document Azure AD Conditional Access Policies with the IdPowerToys App March 16, 2023 1:00 am - The first app in a new community project called IdPowerToys helps Azure AD tenants to document conditional access policy settings in PowerPoint. The information used to document the CA policies is extracted (manually or automatically) from Azure AD, analyzed, and output as a PowerPoint presentation. It's a nice way to see what CA policies exist in a Microsoft 365 tenant and helpful if you want to rationalize the set of policies in use.
  5. Teams Includes People Insights in User Profile Card March 15, 2023 1:00 am - Teams now displays People Insights on the User Profile card. The insights come from LinkedIn and Viva Insights and are intended to keep people informed. The user profile card already includes lots of information and it's debatable whether knowing when birthdays come around for your LinkedIn contacts adds much value. As always. beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
  6. Pragmatic and Practical Security is Better than Hard-line Security March 14, 2023 1:00 am - The Azure AD sign-in frequency controls how often accounts must reauthenticate. Setting an unreasonably short value makes it more difficult for people to work because Azure AD constantly nags for credentials, including MFA challenges. I experienced the effect of such a policy last week and it wasn't nice. Security policies need to be practical and pragmatic as well as effective.
  7. Teams Adds Explicit Consent for Recorded Meetings March 13, 2023 1:00 am - A new setting in the Teams meeting policy allows Microsoft 365 tenants to dictate that meetings organized by some or all users must gain explicit consent from users before they can be recorded. The new control is intended to help address privacy concerns that some users might have. This article describes how to apply the policy setting and its impact on meeting participants.
  8. Teams Admin Center Options for Bulk Policy Assignments March 10, 2023 1:00 am - Teams bulk policy assignment options include two features in the Teams admin center, batch jobs, Azure Automation and plain-old PowerShell. In this article, we examine the options in the Teams Admin Center to revert policy assignments back to the global (default) policy and a way to perform Teams bulk policy assignments for selected accounts. And we mention the other methods that exist which don't involve the Teams admin center.
  9. How Exchange Online and Outlook use Machine Learning March 9, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft uses machine learning in Outlook and Exchange Online to create the basis for what they call intelligent technology like suggested replies and text prediction. To generate the language models used to figure out how Outlook should respond to users, Microsoft needs to copy data from user mailboxes for processing. The data is removed and the results stored in user mailboxes once processing is complete. Is this an issue for Microsoft 365 tenants? It all depends on your view of how data should be processed.
  10. Microsoft 365 Profile Card Gains Support for Pronouns March 8, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft 365 pronouns for display in apps like Teams and OWA can now be enabled on a tenant-wide basis. Displaying pronouns is a topic that can cause strong feelings for some, so organizations should take their time and plan an implementation before rushing to deployment.
  11. Preparing for the Teams 2.1 Client to Arrive March 7, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft is dropping lots of hints to the press about the imminent arrival of the new Teams client (V2.1), due to arrive in public preview in late March 2023. According to reports, the new Teams client will deliver better performance while using 50% less memory and making fewer demands for CPU. It all sounds great. With the new client coming into sight, it's time to prepare Teams update policies to make sure that the right users get the new software at the right time.
  12. Microsoft Releases Version 5 of the Microsoft Teams PowerShell Module March 6, 2023 1:00 am - Version 5.0 of the Microsoft Teams PowerShell module contains a major overhaul for the Get-CsOnlineUser cmdlet, which receives better filtering capabilities. The overhaul is part of Microsoft's ongoing efforts to modernize and enhance the cmdlets inherited from the Skype for Business Online connector. Although there's still work to do to fix some glitches, the update is welcome.
  13. Azure AD Moves to Block OAuth App Hijacking March 3, 2023 1:00 am - The new Azure AD app property lock feature (in preview) prevents attackers updating the credentials for an Azure AD enterprise app so that they can get an access token and exploit the app's permissions. This technique has been used in several attacks, notably the infamous SolarWinds exploit in 2021. The app property lock is not mandatory and it's important to keep on checking the audit log to make sure that attackers don't creep into your tenant.
  14. Comparing Azure AD Guest Accounts and Exchange Online Mail Contacts March 2, 2023 1:00 am - Mail contacts have long been used by Exchange organizations to provide an identity for external people. Contacts show up in the GAL to make it easy for users to send messages to external people and they can be included in distribution lists. The downside is that mail contacts are only available to Exchange Online. Perhaps the time is right to consider switching focus to Azure AD guest accounts? We explore the option here.
  15. Office 365 for IT Pros March 2023 Update Available March 1, 2023 1:00 am - The Office 365 for IT Pros March 2023 update is available. Subscribers can download the updated files from Gumroad or Amazon. The March 2023 update contains lots of new content and changes ranging from the fallout of the Yammer rebranding to the general availability of Teams Premium. It's an important update to download and use.
  16. How to Use SharePoint Online’s New Block Download Policy February 28, 2023 1:00 am - The new SharePoint block download policy applies at the site level to stop users downloading files, even to work with them using the Office desktop apps. It also stops people printing and synchronizing files. In this article, we explain how to apply the policy with PowerShell, including how to apply the SharePoint block download policy to all sites assigned a certain sensitivity label.
  17. How to Run the Test-Message Cmdlet February 27, 2023 1:00 am - The Test-Message cmdlet is a useful tool to check if Exchange transport rules and DLP policies work correctly. You can input a test message to see what happens as the Exchange transport service applies transport rules, DLP policies, and auto-label policies based on the message contents and properties. Nice as it is to have the Test-Message cmdlet, human knowledge of what transport rules should do is probably an even more important asset.
  18. Outlook logo Outlook COM Add-Ins Nearing the End of the Line February 24, 2023 1:00 am - A recent article got me thinking about the Report Message and Report Phishing Outlook add-ins and how the new Monarch client can't use COM add-ins. Microsoft is busily updating its add-ins to move away from COM to embrace the new approach based on HTML and JavaScript. If Microsoft is taking this action, I hope the same is happening in ISVs and in-house development teams who generated COM add-ins in the past.
  19. Sensitivity Bar Appears in Office Desktop Apps February 23, 2023 1:00 am - The subscription versions of the Office desktop apps now boast a sensitivity bar to show users what sensitivity label applies to the document they're working on. It's a good change because it means that people have full access to information about available labels. You can opt to hide the sensitivity bar, meaning that you hide the name of the sensitivity label rather than the complete bar.
  20. Exchange Online Disables New Inbound Connectors February 22, 2023 1:00 am - Exchange Online will create a new inbound connector but won't activate it until the tenant gives a business justification to Microsoft Support. The restriction applies only to tenants created after January 1, 2023. Microsoft isn't saying why they implemented the restriction, but it's likely because of a security concern. In any case, the deafening silence from Microsoft has left ISVs that depend on inbound connectors in a very bad place.
  21. Microsoft Introduces New Syntex-SharePoint Advanced Management License February 21, 2023 1:00 am - Applying a default sensitivity label to a SharePoint Online document library is just one of the set of security and management and governance features requiring the new Syntex Advanced Management license. The new license is in preview so all the features that it covers might not be fully baked. Microsoft 365 customers might well ask if this is yet another example of Microsoft bundling features into a new paid-for add-on license. Of course it is. You don't expect new functionality for free, do you?
  22. How to Disable the Viva Engage Core Service Plan February 20, 2023 1:00 am - As part of its rebranding of Yammer to Viva Engage last week, Microsoft added the Viva Engage Core service plan to user accounts. Which is nice, unless a tenant had blocked Yammer. The new service plan means that accounts can now use Yammer In many cases, it won’t matter too much that users can now access Yammer, but in other instances it will. In any case, we should tidy up by removing the Viva Engage Core service plan from any account that already blocks Yammer. Some PowerShell does the trick, but it would have been nice if Microsoft had thought things through a little more.
  23. Exchange Online Rolls Out Improved Message Recall February 17, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft announced that the new Message Recall feature is rolling out to tenants worldwide. They hope to increase the success rate for recalls imitated by users from 40% to 90%. Significant limitations exist. Message recall only works from Outlook for Windows and recall can only handle messages that remain within the same Exchange organization. Even so, the prospect of a huge improvement in the success rate will make the new feature very attractive to the people who really need to recall a message.
  24. Change to Microsoft Teams Free Version Means Downgraded Functionality February 16, 2023 1:00 am - On April 12, 2023, Microsoft will retire the original version of Teams free introduced in 2018. If you want to stay using a free version, Microsoft has Teams for Home. However, the functionality isn't the same and there's no migration tools available to move from one platform to the other. In this kind of situation, it might just be time to bite the bullet and pay for Teams.
  25. Teams and Mesh Avatars February 15, 2023 1:00 am - Mesh avatars are a new visual way for people to participate in Teams meetings. A mesh avatar is a 3D representation of a person used instead of a video image. Some will consider the notion of using an avatar in a meeting abhorrent, but it's really not that bad and can be very useful at times. Using avatars is an intensely personal decision. For some, it might be their first step into the metaverse. For others, it could be their last (until something better comes along)...
  26. Microsoft Dumps Yammer Brand February 14, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft announced that they will rebrand Yammer as Viva Engage. The decision isn't surprising given the relative lack of success the Yammer brand has had within Microsoft 365 since its acquisition in 2012. The hope is that the now-renamed Yammer can forge ahead and be more successful under the Viva brand. Time will tell.
  27. Mastering the Foibles of the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK February 13, 2023 1:00 am - After a while, you discover the holes in any technology. In the case of the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK, some inconsistencies await unwary developers. The SDK doesn't like $Null, doesn't support pipelining, insists on specific property casing at times, sometimes accepts user principal names and sometimes doesn't, and sticks valuable data in hash tables hiding in a property you might know nothing about. Good as it is to have the SDK cmdlets, they need to be treated with care as you transition from the old Azure AD and MSOL modules.
  28. Reporting Exchange Online Meeting Room Usage Patterns February 10, 2023 1:00 am - Room mailboxes are still heavily used for in-person meetings. It’s good to know how often and when rooms are used, which is why we have the room mailbox report script. In the second version of the script, we include code to figure out the daily usage pattern of individual rooms and for all rooms across the organization. The graphics in our bar chart are crude, but the chart is generated with a few lines of PowerShell, so feel free to improve the script.
  29. Cleaning up Teams Premium Trial Licenses February 9, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft makes a 30-day Teams Premium trial license available to allow customers to test the premium features. Once the trial finishes, it's a good idea to clean up and remove the Teams Premium trial licenses from the Azure AD accounts that participated in the trial, especially as the trial license has the same display name as the paid-for Teams Premium license. You can accomplish the task through the Microsoft 365 admin center, but we explain how to do the job with PowerShell too. The same technique works to remove any specific license from a set of user accounts.
  30. Teams Meeting Templates: Helping to Organize Better Meetings February 8, 2023 1:00 am - Teams Premium is now generally available. Not all its features are online yet, but Teams meeting templates are, so we tested them to see if they help users to organize better meetings. After playing around with templates, including the optional use of sensitivity labels to control template settings, we conclude that this is a nice feature to have but maybe not one that will influence the buying decision for Teams Premium.
  31. How to Purge Guest Accounts with Unredeemed Invitations from Azure AD February 7, 2023 1:00 am - It's easy to invite people to become guest users in a Microsoft 365 tenant, but some of the invitees never accept the invitation. Perhaps they don't need to redeem the invitation to do work or maybe it's because they don't want to. In either case, Azure AD guest accounts with unredeemed invitations can accumulate and become stale. In this post, we discuss how to use PowerShell to find and remove those stale accounts in a safe manner.
  32. Microsoft Retires Azure Automation Run As Accounts in September 2023 February 6, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft plans to retire Azure Automation Run As Accounts on September 30, 2023 and replace them with managed identities. I don't have any issue with the proposal because managed identities are more secure and a better overall solution. It would have been nice if Microsoft had communicated the change more broadly. I guess if you were in the know, you found out about this development, but maybe the average Microsoft 365 tenant administrator might have struggled to discover what's happening.
  33. Tweaking the Teams and Groups Report Script February 3, 2023 1:00 am - Discovering new PowerShell tricks is always a delight, especially if they help solve problems. In this post, I cover a situation where a trick from the dawn of PowerShell helped answer a query about the Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams activity report script. I also discuss why better alternatives exist to the Export-CSV cmdlet when it comes to exporting report data containing non-ASCII characters.
  34. The Steadily Increasing Average Revenue Per User Microsoft Extracts from Office 365 February 2, 2023 1:00 am - Every quarter, Microsoft reports its progress in growing Office 365 revenue. An important measure is the average revenue per user (ARPU), which has grown steadily over the last few years as Microsoft convinces customers to upgrade to more expensive licenses. Microsoft's desire to drive ARPU higher won't stop, so customers need to keep an eye on the licenses they buy to make sure that the licenses are suitable for the organization and assigned to the right people... and that no licenses are left unused.
  35. February 2023 Update for Office 365 for IT Pros February 1, 2023 1:00 am - The February 2023 update for the Office 365 for IT Pros (2023 edition) eBook is available for subscribers to download. This is the 92th monthly update for Office 365 for IT Pros, something that makes the book unique in terms of its ability to remain current in the changing world of Microsoft 365. In 2022, people in 82 different countries subscribed to Office 365 for IT Pros. That's a proud record which we hope to improve on in the coming years.
  36. Reporting Operating System Versions for Azure AD Registered Devices January 31, 2023 1:00 am - Azure AD registered devices store some information about the operating system and version used when registration occurs. Although this information changes over time and isn't updated by Azure AD, it might be of some interest and use to tenant administrators, so we show how to report it here. If you want accurate information, you'll need to use Intune.
  37. Fetching Group Membership Information for an Azure AD Account January 30, 2023 1:00 am - As developers update PowerShell scripts in preparation for the deprecation of the Azure AD and MSOL modules, they might need to insert new code to retrieve the membership of Azure AD groups for specific accounts. We cover that topic here, including the interesting case of the AdditionalProperties property returned by several Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK cmdlets and the valuable information found there.
  38. Azure AD Introduces IPv6 Support January 27, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft plans to support IPv6 connectivity for Azure AD starting on March 31, 2023. The change creates specific requirements for conditional access policies that use named locations to allow or block connections. Administrators will have to add new IPv6 address ranges to named locations to allow users to continue to connect. Apart from that, it's a matter of making sure that any reporting, analysis, or SIEM applications can deal with the new IPv6 data.
  39. Teams Reaches 280 Million Users as Microsoft Cloud Growth Slows January 26, 2023 1:00 am - Every thirteen weeks, Microsoft shares some numbers as part of its quarterly results. The FY23 Q2 data included a new Teams user number (280 million monthly active users) and some clues that Office 365 is approaching 400 million paid seats - or maybe active users. You can never quite tell from the data Microsoft releases. One thing's for sure. The cloud market is slowing in line with the general economy, which means that Microsoft needs to extract more money from each user to offset the slowdown in seat growth.
  40. Exchange Online Adds Support for License Stacking January 25, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft announced support for concurrent Exchange Online license assignments, aka license stacking. This means that the workload can sort out the capabilities made available to a user through multiple licenses and make the maximum functionality available to the user through whatever's deemed to be the "most superior" license. If that sounds like so much mumbo-jumbo, it might just be, unless you've been plagued by people losing access to their mailboxes because of shifting license assignments in the past. If you have, this change will make you very happy.
  41. How to Find Teams Channels With a Wiki Tab January 24, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft plans to replace the Teams wiki with OneNote and will release a migration app to move content from wiki to OneNote. That's great, but you need to know what channels include the wiki tab before you can decide what material should be migrated. This article explains how to use PowerShell to create a report of Teams channel tabs for wikis.
  42. Microsoft Adds Video Effect Filters to Teams Meetings January 23, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft has introduced a set of visual effects for Teams meetings. The Teams video effects are a set of styles and filters that apply to (augment) an existing video stream. It's a cute idea that will mean a lot more to some users than others. You can stop people using Teams video effects by blocking the Custom Filters app in the Teams admin center. But that might be a pity because everyone deserves a little levity in life.
  43. Bookable Time Coming to OWA January 20, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft has announced bookable time for OWA. It's really just another entry point for the Bookings with Me app in an attempt to get more people to use the app. Bookings for me is a useful facility for people that need to publish available meeting slots for others to request time with them. Whether it's something that the average Outlook users wants or needs is quite another matter.
  44. Upgrading the Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams Membership Report Script January 19, 2023 1:00 am - The Microsoft 365 Groups Report (membership of groups and teams) originally used the Azure AD and Exchange Online PowerShell modules. Now its code uses only cmdlets from the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK. It's an example of the kind of update that many organizations are going through due to the upcoming deprecation of the Azure AD and MSOL modules.
  45. Reporting Group Membership for Azure AD Guest Accounts with the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK January 18, 2023 1:00 am - Azure AD Guest Accounts have a habit of becoming stale or obsolete as time progresses. Guest accounts created to share documents or to be a member of a long-forgotten team or group remain in Azure AD until someone comes to clean them up. This article explains how we refreshed a popular script to use cmdlets from the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK to report guest accounts with different degrees of staleness.
  46. Planner Gets Its Grid View – Finally January 17, 2023 1:00 am - Planner grid view and recurring tasks are now available to Microsoft 365 tenants. Grid view is a much-requested feature while recurring tasks are also welcome, even if Microsoft forgot to tell people that the new capability was coming. Grid view is probably the biggest update Planner has received since 2020, but maybe an even bigger change is on the way with application permissions for the Planner Graph APIs. Time will tell.
  47. Microsoft Moves Four Standard Features to Teams Premium January 16, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft expects the Teams Premium license to be generally available in February 2023. In advance, Microsoft confirmed that they will move four features from the set covered by the Teams standard license to Teams Premium. In reality, this probably won't affect many users, but does Microsoft really have to do this and run the risk of offending some people by demanding extra for features they use today?
  48. No More Stream Classic as Microsoft Announces Retirement Date January 13, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft announced that they will retire Stream classic on February 15, 2024. It's time to move to Stream on SharePoint, which moved into generally available status in October 2022. Lots of new features have been built into Stream on SharePoint, but the most notable thing about Stream 2.0 is that it's more of a service for other Microsoft 365 workloads to consume than a video management and replay app.
  49. Teams External Federation and Presence Privacy January 12, 2023 1:00 am - Teams external federation allows users to chat with people in other Microsoft 365 tenants. External participants can see presence data unless you suppress it by running the Set-CsPrivacyConfiguration cmdlet to put the tenant into "privacy mode." The policy affects everyone in the tenant and there's no way to apply privacy mode to selected users.
  50. Teams Adds @Everyone Mention to Group and Meeting Chats January 11, 2023 1:00 am - Microsoft is adding the @Everyone mention to Teams group and meeting chats. Using @Everyone highlights a message to all chat participants by notifying them through their activity feed (dependent on user settings). It's a feature similar to the @Team and @Channel mentions available for channel conversations. Not a huge advance, but welcome none the less.
  51. Sending Auto-Replies from Shared Mailboxes January 10, 2023 1:00 am - Much to our distress, we discovered that the contact form for the Office 365 for IT Pros website was broken. We fixed everything up and use a shared mailbox to receive the contacts logged by people on the website. In fact, we use a distribution list as the first point of contact. Its membership includes the shared mailbox and other user mailboxes. Everything works very nicely now.
  52. Achieving Consistency in Country Settings Across Azure AD and Exchange Online January 9, 2023 1:00 am - Azure AD user accounts and Exchange Online mailboxes share many properties, including some for a user's address. When it comes to countries, Azure AD has the country property while Exchange uses the CountryOrRegion property. Sometimes the two don't match up. Why does this happen and does it matter in practical terms? What other country or regional settings exist that need to be managed? A simple question sets off a big discussion.
  53. Recovering Deleted Groups with the Graph PowerShell SDK January 6, 2023 11:49 am - This article describes how to restore deleted Azure AD groups with PowerShell using cmdlets from the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK. Although options exist in the Microsoft 365 admin center and Azure AD admin center to restore deleted groups, it's nice to have the option to do the same with PowerShell.
  54. How the Teams Report a Concern Feature Works January 5, 2023 1:00 am - The Report a concern option is available in Teams personal and group chats when enabled in a messaging policy and the organization uses communication compliance policies. Microsoft creates a communication compliance policy automatically to process messages reported by users. The investigation process follows the same flow as for other communication compliance policies, even if the messages might vary a tad in terms of their content because it's a very subjective decision by a user to report content. Overall, a nice feature to have.
  55. Adding QR Codes to Microsoft Authenticator for Azure AD Guest Accounts January 4, 2023 1:00 am - Getting a new device means that some work must be done to ensure that apps work. This article explains how to add QR codes to the Microsoft Authenticator app so that the app has the credentials to respond to MFA challenges. We cover how to get QR codes for Azure AD accounts and how to do the same for guest accounts in other Microsoft 365 tenants.
  56. How to Enable Exchange Online Mailbox Archives Based on Mailbox Size January 3, 2023 1:00 am - This article explains how to use PowerShell to enable Exchange Online archive mailboxes after primary mailboxes reach a certain size. Some simple PowerShell code checks the mailbox size and if it's too large, enables the archive and assigns a mailbox retention policy containing a default move to archive tag to move items from the primary to the archive mailbox. Some Azure Automation would make sure that the script runs periodically to keep mailboxes in good health.
  57. January 2023 Update Available for Office 365 for IT Pros January 2, 2023 1:00 am - The January 2023 update (#91) for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook is available for subscribers to download. EPUB/PDF subscribers can fetch the updates from their account while Amazon Kindle readers must contact Amazon support to arrange for the updates to be made available to them.
  58. Microsoft Pauses Daily Viva Briefing Messages December 23, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft announced that they will pause sending the daily Viva Briefing messages to make improvements to the personalized content in the messages. No detail has been revealed about the kind of changes Microsoft is contemplating, so all we can do is write some PowerShell to show which mailboxes are currently enabled to receive the daily briefing.
  59. Microsoft Adds Release Status to Message Center Notifications December 22, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft is adding a release status tag to its Microsoft 365 message center notifications to help administrators understand the roll-out progress of updates. Three status values are available: Launched, Rolling Out, and Scheduled. The acid test will be to see if Microsoft can accurately tag message center notifications with the correct value.
  60. How to Populate Teams Holiday Dates with PowerShell December 21, 2022 1:00 am - Teams holiday data define when users of the Teams phone system might not be at work and alternative calling arrangements exist. It's easy to update holiday data using the Teams admin center, but it's also easy to write a PowerShell script to update Teams about new holiday events on an ongoing basis. All explained here!
  61. Flaws in the Plan for Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK V2 December 20, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft has released the first public preview of the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK V2.0. Although the new version delivers some welcome functionality, it contains some contentious proposals such as dividing the SDK into V1.0 and beta modules and using different names for the beta cmdlets. It would be nice if Microsoft fixed some of the basic group and user cmdlets before they imposed more work on PowerShell developers.
  62. Exchange Online to Stop Support for Remote PowerShell Connections in June 2023 December 19, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft has announced that Exchange Online will block Remote PowerShell connections from July 1, 2023. Taken in isolation, this is excellent news and it will contribute to the move to use modern authentication for all client connections to Exchange Online. However, things aren't quite so good when you realize that the final deprecation of the Azure AD and MSOL PowerShell modules take place at the same time. Lots of work to do to upgrade scripts!
  63. Finding Microsoft 365 Answers with ChatGPT Isn’t Successful December 16, 2022 1:00 am - The ChatGPT project is an interesting and worthwhile examination of how artificial intelligence can generate answers to questions. However, the answers depend on the source material, and the signs are that ChatGPT isn't great at answering questions about Microsoft 365.
  64. Microsoft Makes 30-Day Test Licenses Available for Teams Premium December 15, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft is making 30-day trial licenses available to customers to test Teams Premium functionality with up to 25 users. Given the short test period that's available, we suggest that organizations put the idea to one side until after the holidays are over. You can come back in 2023 and do some in-depth testing to find out if Teams Premium is worth the $10/user/month price tag.
  65. Microsoft Clarifies How It Plans to Charge for APIs December 14, 2022 1:00 am - A December 2 post by the Microsoft Graph development team clarifies how it plans to charge for some Microsoft 365 APIs. The three-tier model Microsoft plans to use is logical and the default will remain free access to customer data. However, the way Microsoft has communicated the introduction of a charging model for some high-capacity APIs is a model of how not to manage change.
  66. How to Customize the Exchange Online Message Expiration Timeout Interval December 13, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft is deploying a change to the Exchange Online transport server to allow tenants to set the message expiration timeout interval to between 12 and 24 hours. The default for the service remains at 24 hours. Reducing the interval means that users will learn about message failures sooner. The hope is that they'll be able to respond to those failures and resend messages once they learn about problems.
  67. New Adobe Integration for PDF Processing in Microsoft Teams December 12, 2022 1:00 am - On December 5, Microsoft announced a new Adobe Integration with Teams for PDF files stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. The new integration uses an Azure AD enterprise app to link Teams to the Adobe Document Cloud. The new integration can't handle protected PDFs, but you can always use a browser to view those files.
  68. Add Participants to Teams Group Chats with @Mentions December 9, 2022 1:00 am - A new feature allows people to add participants to Teams group chats through @mentions in the compose box. It's a nice feature that should have been there a long time ago. Microsoft says that adding new group chat participants this way saves a whole two clicks over the old way. Will those two clicks make any difference to you?
  69. Checking the Release of Quarantined Messages December 8, 2022 1:00 am - On the surface, it seems easy to report when someone releases a quarantined message. As it turns out, things aren't quite as easy as it first seems. Audit events are available in the unified audit log, but they don't tell the full story. But by putting that data together with information about messages in quarantine, we can create a composite view that's closer to what's needed.
  70. Running Exchange Online Historical Message Traces for Sets of Mailboxes December 7, 2022 1:00 am - A question was asked about the best way to find out if shared mailboxes received email from certain domains over the past 60 days. Exchange Online historical message traces can extract trace data to allow us to check, but the process of running the message trace and then analyzing the data is just a little disconnected.
  71. Reporting Distribution List Membership with the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK December 6, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft will deprecate the Azure AD and MSOL PowerShell modules in June 2023. It's time to convert scripts that use cmdlets from these modules and the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK is probably the best answer. This article explains how to generate a report of Exchange Online distribution list memberships, a task often handled in the past with Azure AD cmdlets.
  72. Adding New Azure AD Users to Groups Automatically December 5, 2022 1:00 am - Several methods exist to add new user accounts to groups automatically. Dynamic group membership is an obvious option, but other choices exist, including org-wide teams (if your organization is under 10,000 accounts) and using PowerShell to manage the automatic addition of new members to a standard distribution list or Microsoft 365 group. This article examines the various methods. Once you understand what's possible, you can make the right choice.
  73. Teams Feedback Policy Controls the Suggest a Feature Option December 2, 2022 1:00 am - A new setting in the Teams feedback policy controls the display of the Suggest a Feature option in the Teams help menu. It's up to an organization to decide how they want users to communicate with Microsoft. The Teams feedback policy gives that control, if you want to use it.
  74. Office 365 for IT Pros Office 365 for IT Pros December 2022 Update Available December 1, 2022 1:11 am - The December 2022 update for the Office 365 for IT Pros (2023 edition) eBook is now available for subscribers to download. As always, monthly update #90 contains a mixture of additions, updates, and deletions of information about the Microsoft 365 Office workloads, Azure AD, and PowerShell. There's lots of good stuff for people to read -- all 1,320 pages.
  75. No Way Back to Exchange Server for Auto-Expanding Archives November 30, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft is introducing a block to stop customers attempting to move auto-expanding archives to Exchange Server. No very of the on-premises server has ever supported auto-expanding archives, so it's reasonable to have a block. It's still possible to move a primary mailbox back to Exchange Server, but its auto-expanding archive must stay in the cloud. It's a good factor to take into account if an organization plans to use auto-expanding archives in the future.
  76. The Fuss About the Azure AD Tenant Creation Setting November 29, 2022 1:00 am - A fuss erupted about the Azure AD admin center setting to control Azure AD tenant creation by users. Allowing people to have their own tenant can be a good thing, especially for developers who want to have a tenant as a sandbox to test code in. In this article, we discuss what the control is, what it does, and how to set it with PowerShell.
  77. Creating New Azure AD User Accounts and Updating Passwords with the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK November 28, 2022 1:00 am - The automation of Azure AD account creation and password updates are straightforward using the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK. A little preparation always helps, but once you have all the necessary information, it's easy to code up the necessary script to generate a new password and add the account - or set of accounts.
  78. Microsoft’s Cloud Email Signatures Solve a Problem for Outlook November 25, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft says that the roaming (or cloud) email signatures feature is now fully deployed. The new approach solves an Outlook problem, but it's not a universal panacea for the management of email signatures within large organizations where you want consistency in the signatures used by everyone. You'll need an ISV solution to get that kind of functionality.
  79. The Role of SharePoint Online in Microsoft 365 November 24, 2022 1:00 am - SharePoint Online is a critical piece of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Its document management service is consumed by many apps like Teams, Yammer, and Planner. OneDrive for Business, the personal side of SharePoint Online, also contributes to SharePoint's success with components like the synchronization client. Without SharePoint Online, Microsoft 365 would be a very different offering and a worse platform to work with.
  80. How to Limit Teams Desktop Clients from Signing into Specific Tenants November 23, 2022 1:00 am - A policy setting called RestrictTeamsSignInToAccountsFromTenantList is available to restrict the ability of Teams desktop clients to connect to Azure AD tenants. It's a fact that floated under our radar for a while, but now that we know about it, we're telling you too. Of course, you probably knew about this capability anyway, but someone probably didn't!
  81. How to Pause Membership Processing for Azure AD Dynamic Group Membership November 22, 2022 1:00 am - The Azure AD admin center now includes the option to pause processing for the membership query for an Azure AD dynamic group. This article reviews how the new feature works and what it might be used for, including a PowerShell script to report the membership processing status of all Azure AD dynamic groups.
  82. How to Use (and Disable) the Teams Games for Work App November 21, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft has released the Teams Games for Work app to enterprise and education tenants. The intention is to bring people together through game play. The technology in the game isn't very different to anything we've seen before and the games are OK, even if it's slightly weird to play them in a Teams meeting. The question is, is an app like Games for Work needed? If not, it's easy to block the app.
  83. Yammer Adds Stories to Storyline November 18, 2022 1:00 am - Yammer stories are an extension of the previously announced storyline feature. A story is a short photo or video snippet to update other people about an event, happening, or other news. You can create stories through the Yammer apps or Viva Engage in Teams. Creating stories is easy and the interaction is smooth. The question for an enterprise is how best to use this new capability,
  84. Microsoft 365 Change Notifications Get Relevance Indicator November 17, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft 365 message center notifications now boast a "relevance recommendation." This is a visual marker computed by Microsoft based on aspects of the change. It's intended as a way to highlight important changes so that administrators can dedicate more time to understanding the impact of these changes on their tenants. Sometimes the recommendation isn't perfect, but you can tell Microsoft what you think and go ahead with your own assessment of how important any individual change really is.
  85. Teams Allows Users to Delete Chats November 16, 2022 1:00 am - The Teams Delete chat option allows people to remove chats from their chat list. It's a nice way to restore some order to a list that can be very cluttered with long-dead chats. Some subtle differences exist between leaving a chat and deleting a chat that you might need to explain to users before deploying the feature, which is controlled by a setting in the Teams messaging policy.
  86. Analyzing the Use of Sensitivity Labels without the Activity Explorer November 15, 2022 1:00 am - The unified audit log contains records generated when users and applications apply sensitivity labels to emails and documents. This article explains how to use PowerShell to retrieve the data and create a report to help tenant administrators understand the usage of sensitivity labels.
  87. Outlook Groups Support for Folders and Rules November 14, 2022 1:00 am - Outlook Groups now boast support for folders and rules. In other words, group owners and members (if allowed) can create new folders and move and copy items from the inbox to those folders. They can also create rules to process inbound email arriving into the group inbox. It's all well and good, but there are a few points to understand about how things work.
  88. Using PowerShell to Manage Azure AD Custom Security Attributes November 11, 2022 1:00 am - Azure AD custom security attributes can mark user and service principal objects for special processing, which is how the app filter for conditional access policies works. It's nice to be able to interact with data through PowerShell and the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK cmdlets support setting, updating, and retrieval of Azure AD custom security attributes. Everything works, but it's a pity that it's a little clunky.
  89. Creating a Teams Directory with PowerShell November 10, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft Teams doesn't come with a Teams Directory, so it's hard to know if a suitable team already exists when people ask for a new team. This fact contributions to teams sprawl where multiple teams exist to serve the same purpose. Teams sprawl creates an obstacle to effective collaboration and runs the danger that some important information is tucked away inside teams that no one ever goes near. Creating a Teams Directory helps team owners and users know what teams already exist inside a tenant. It's an idea that just makes sense.
  90. Use the Audit Log to Monitor Membership Changes in Selected Microsoft 365 Groups November 9, 2022 1:00 am - A reader asks how to monitor membership changes for some specific high-profile groups. You can buy a commercial product to do the job or use PowerShell to exploit the information held in the Office 365 audit log. A combination of a custom attribute assigned to the sensitive groups and an audit log search does the job.
  91. Exchange Online Mail Flow Rules Move to New EAC November 8, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft is moving the creation and management of mail flow rules to the new EAC from November. The UX in the legacy EAC should disappear in December 2022. The new UX is prettier and works better (apart from the rule wizard), but it's a little disappointing that we have essentially the same way of managing mail flow rules in 2022 as we had in 2006. You can only hope that things might improve in the future.
  92. Microsoft Launching New Teams Webinars Experience November 7, 2022 1:00 am - Message center notification MC454809 announces that Microsoft will deploy a new Teams Webinars experience to tenants at the end of November with worldwide availability complete in early December. The new Teams Webinars experience is based on customer feedback and addresses issues like branding, registration control, and scalability. A new Teams events policy is available to control who can create webinars.
  93. Microsoft Dumps Bulk Distribution List Migration to Microsoft 365 Groups in Legacy EAC November 4, 2022 1:00 am - A November 3 announcement says that Microsoft will deprecate the bulk distribution list migration feature in the legacy EAC on February 1, 2023. Although no one will probably be surprised by the news, it's disappointing that all Microsoft can suggest is a manual conversion process for those who want to move (simple) distribution lists to Microsoft 365 groups. Is it too much to ask to have a PowerShell script to do the job?
  94. Upgrade of Teams Policy Cmdlets Enables Use in Azure Automation November 3, 2022 1:00 am - This article explains how to make Teams policy assignments using an Azure Automation runbook and some of the modernized cmdlets available in the Teams PowerShell module. Not everything worked as smoothly as we'd like, but like most PowerShell scenarios, there's usually a workaround available to get the job done. It just needs to be found.
  95. Running Exchange Online Historical Message Traces November 2, 2022 1:00 am - Exchange Online historical searches are the way to retrieve message trace information that's older than 10 days (but less than 90 days). You might not have to run historical searches very often, but when you need to, you'll be glad that the facility exists.
  96. Office 365 for IT Pros Office 365 for IT Pros November 2022 Update Available November 1, 2022 1:00 am - The 89th monthly update for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook has been released for subscribers to download. The November 2022 update contains the normal mixture of new features, updates to existing features, corrections and clarifications, and all the other stuff that happens to keep the world's best book covering Office 365 as up-to-date and technically accurate as we can make it.
  97. Azure AD Conditional Access Policies Get App Filter October 31, 2022 1:00 am - Azure AD conditional access policies can now use an app filter based on custom security attributes to restrict access to specific apps. It's a neat idea that should be popular in larger enterprises where the need exists to manage large numbers of apps. In other news, the Graph X-Ray tool is available in the Windows Store and a neat tool is available to provide shortcuts to Microsoft 365 sites.
  98. Microsoft Cloud Revenues Slow Slightly in FY23 Q1 Results October 28, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft Cloud revenues reached $25.7 billion in Microsoft's FY23 Q1 results. That sounds good, but it's a slowing over the rate seen in previous quarters. It might be the case that the size of the installed base is not growing as quickly as it once did, but Microsoft is making sure that it extracts as much revenue as it can from its cloud customers. That's a trend you can expect to continue
  99. Azure AD Conditional Access Policies Add Check for External User Types October 27, 2022 1:00 am - Azure AD conditional access policies can exert fine-grained control over the type of external users who can connect and what tenants they belong to. The new capability works especially well alongside Azure B2B Collaboration (guest users) and Azure B2B Direct Connect (used by Teams shared channels). It's yet another way to impose control over who you allow to connect to your tenant.
  100. Microsoft Hardens Authenticator App to Prevent MFA Fatigue October 26, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft has made number matching and additional context generally available for its Authenticator app. The new capabilities help users to avoid MFA fatigue. In other words, instead of being challenged with a simple request to approve a sign-in, users must respond by entering a number selected by Azure AD. At the same time, Authenticator can display additional information, such as where the sign-in originated from. It all helps to make Authenticator a more secure way of approving user sign-ins.

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