Using the Teams Meeting Add-in for Outlook

The Teams Meeting add-in for Outlook schedules online private Teams meetings. A recent update for Outlook for Windows allows meeting settings to be changed. It’s a logical and useful update to allow people who prefer to work in Outlook to maintain their meetings without needing to go to the Teams calendar app.

Half of Office 365 Active Users Now Use Teams

Microsoft’s FY21 Q3 results told us that Teams now has 115 million users, a 53% uptick since April. Office 365 keeps on growing in numbers, revenue, and profit. While growth might be slowing, there’s still a ton of accounts to be moved to the cloud, where they’ll probably end up as Teams users.

Teams Notifications Updated for Native OS Support and Better Privacy

Teams notifications can now be handled by Windows and macOS, and you can get better privacy by disabling message preview in the notifications, including on Teams mobile clients. The privacy updates are available now and support for the native OS notifications in both Windows and macOS should be available in mid-November.

How to Update Teams to Send Meeting Invitations to All Members

Teams depends on Microsoft 365 groups. You can add groups as meeting attendees and expect that members of those groups will receive meeting invitations. But they won’t unless you update group settings to force Office 365 to send invitations to all members. The job is easily done with PowerShell, and we show how in this post.

How to Store Teams Meeting Recordings in OneDrive for Business

Teams gives Office 365 tenants the option to store meeting recordings in Stream or OneDrive for Business (including SharePoint Online). Now configurable through Teams meeting policies, new meeting recordings are dealt with like any other file, meaning that you can share recordings, apply labels, update metadata, and so on.

Teams Now Has Basic Offline Capabilities

In an update posted to Teams User Voice, Microsoft said that they had enabled offline capabilities for messaging with access to recent chats and channel conversations. This is good, but the problem is that Teams is much more than chats and offline access remains problematic for many of the components people access through Teams. Until all apps support offline access, functionality will remain limited.

Native ARM64 Version of Teams Now Available

Users of ARM64 devices like the Surface Pro X can now download a native ARM64 Teams desktop client. According to users, the native client is faster and more stable than running the Teams 32-bit client under emulation. It’s good news for people who like the battery life and mobile connectivity of ARM devices while also giving developers who might have ignored ARM on Windows up to now something to think about.

New Location for Teams Compliance Records Breaks Scripts

Without saying anything, Microsoft changed where Microsoft 365 stores Teams compliance records in user and group mailboxes. The logic behind the change is impeccable even if it will cause PowerShell scripts to break. In addition, any ISV claiming to backup Teams by copying compliance records has some work to do.

Teams Calendar Peek Gives Quick View to Upcoming Events

The latest build of the Microsoft Teams desktop and browser clients include the ability for users to see the essential details of calendar events through a “peek.” Single clicking on an event exposes the most commonly used information and some command buttons. It’s a quick and easy way to find out what you need to know about an event. Also, Teams has finally shipped two features announced in June and July, examples of how things sometimes get delayed for different reasons.

Managing Third-Party App Permissions in the Teams Admin Center

The latest update for the Teams admin center includes the ability to manage the permissions used by third-party apps to access data via the Microsoft Graph. The updates also include the ability to manage resource specific consent (RSC) for Teams apps. While third-party apps ate the obvious target, LOB apps created by tenants are managed in the same way.

Teams Offline Status Allows Users to Appear Invisible

Teams is introducing a new Offline presence status this month to allow users to continue working while appearing unavailable and uncontactable to coworkers. The new status behaves differently to the Do Not Disturb presence, which gives coworkers some hope that you’ll soon be online and available.

How to Prevent Attendees Unmuting Themselves in Teams Meetings

Microsoft Teams allows meeting organizers to control if attendees can unmute themselves during meetings with a new control introduced in October 2020. The new control is likely to be more popular in education settings than in the corporate world, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to take control and stop someone speaking.

How to Create New Teams Using Customizable Templates

The ability to create new Teams using customizable templates is now rolling out to Office 365 tenants. Microsoft provides 13 out-of-the-box templates and tenants can add their own to meet their needs. Microsoft thinks that templates will help standardize the design of Teams and drive best practice. Time will tell.

Breakout Rooms in Teams Meetings Help People to Work Smarter

Microsoft announced that Teams meetings will support breakout rooms in Q4 2020 for commercial, education, and GCC Office 365 tenants. The new feature allows up to 50 sub-meetings (breakout rooms) to be created from a meeting. The meeting organizer can then assign people to rooms, which then host discussions. The rooms can be started and closed as needed, and participants in each room can share information with each other just like a regular Teams meeting.

Microsoft Launches V1.1.6 of PowerShell Module for Teams

Microsoft has launched version 1.1.6 of the PowerShell module for Teams (MicrosoftTeams). The new module makes the Skype for Business Online connector unnecessary because it contains the New-CsOnlineSession cmdlet needed to create a new session to use the cmdlets used to manage Teams policies.

Teams Badge Count Service Makes App Pill Counts More Reliable

We bet you never knew about the importance of app pill counts. Well, the badge counts shown by apps like Teams are guides for users to know when new information is available. It’s important enough for Teams to invest in a new Teams Badge Count service to improve the accuracy of the new item counts shown to users. Here’s what’s happening.

Monitoring Guest Accounts Added to Teams

You can easily add people from outside your Office 365 tenant to the membership of Teams, but some oversight of who those people are and what teams they join is probably needed. This PowerShell script shows how to find records in the Office 365 audit log and figure out if they relate to the creation of new guest accounts before sending email asking to justify the addition of the new account.

Preview of Teams Migration API Has Slack in Its Cross-Hairs

A preview of a new migration API for Teams is with ISVs. The API is to migrate data from other chat platforms (Slack is the obvious target) to Teams. There’s still no news about solid APIs for tenant to tenant migration or backup and restore for Teams. Microsoft is really interested in moving people off competitor platforms to Teams. It seems they are less interested in doing some of the heavy lifting involved in tenant management and restructuring.

Teams Rolls Out New Conversation Button

Adding a New conversation button to the Teams client user interface might seem like an insignificant UI tweak. However, keeping replies with their topics is important because it helps users find information and helps compliance searches assemble full conversations. Not many would think about how a UI change affects compliance and eDiscovery searches, but we do…

Creating Customized Badges for the Microsoft Teams Praise App

The Microsoft Teams Praise app is used to acknowledge the achievements of people. Different badges exist to highlight various ways people contribute to teams. Now you can create custom badges and publish them for use in the Praise app. All sorts of interesting ideas come to mind. How artistic can you be?

Teams Upgrades File Sharing to be Consistent with Office 365

Teams is adopting the common file sharing mechanism used by Office 365 applications. The change is now going on and should be deployed worldwide by the end of September. With Teams in the fold, we can say that sharing is done consistently across Office 365, which can’t be a bad thing.

Teams Gets New Meeting Pre-Join Experience

Microsoft has spruced up the Teams meeting pre-join screen to gather all the settings that participants can use to configure their audio and video for a meeting. The browser interface is slightly different because browsers don’t support background effects. The new screens are better than before and are a good example of how to apply rationalization and simplification to UX design.

When a Teams Retention Policy Goes Bad and Data Disappears

A change made to an Office 365 retention policy for Teams personal chats in the KPMG tenant removed data for 145,000 users. That’s unfortunate, and it underlines the need for admins to understand how retention policies work. Maybe the people involve did and it was a simple slip that could happen to anyone, but perhaps it will cause tenant admins to reflect on how they make changes to organization configurations.

Sorting Out Teams, Conversations, Topics, and Replies

Teams channel conversations are composed of threads formed by base topics and replies. Unfortunately, the Teams client UI makes it easy for users to add topics when they should post replies. The good news is that the Teams development VP at Microsoft has admitted that something needs to be done. That, and a positive response to a User Voice request, makes us think that something will happen soon.

Come in Internet Explorer – Your Time is Up

Office 365 Tenants need to stop people using Internet Explorer. On November 30, Teams stops support for IE11; nine months later, the rest of the Microsoft 365 apps cease support. According to Microsoft, the only browser in town is the new Edge (which has an IE mode), but most will keep on using Chrome, Firefox, Brave, or Safari as they do today.

Teams Improves its Fit and Finish

Some recent small changes in Teams will make users happy because the product’s fit and finish is improving. Speaker attribution for live captions makes conversations easier to follow and faster updates from Exchange mean that out of office notifications and change in presence states are picked up faster. These aren’t earthshattering changes, but they do make Teams more pleasant to use.

Teams Makes Background Effects Persistent Across Meetings

In a surprise update, Microsoft announced that Teams meetings now use persistent background effects. Once you choose an effect, Teams will use it in meetings when video is enabled. It’s a small but nice change that will help users. We need more of this kind of update across Office 365.

Teams Meeting Policy Restricts Automatic Meeting Joins to Organizers

Microsoft has updated the Teams meeting policy to restrict automatic meeting joining (aka lobby bypass) to organizers. This is likely to be most popular with schools, but enterprirse will see value in being able to force participants to pass through the meeting lobby before joining in some circumstances. And remember, a meeting organizer can always change the settings before the meeting begins.

Petri GET-IT for Teams Virtual Conference

Petri.com is running a free 1-day virtual conference on the topic of Microsoft Teams on August 12. All are welcome to attend. The jokes will be awful, the timing lousy, and the information insightful. That’s a pretty explosive mixture, delivered by experts (well, except me) packed full of knowledge. So much so that their heads swell on an ongoing basis…

Language-Aware Spellchecking in Teams

The Windows desktop client for Teams monitors text as users type chat and channel messages to detect if they switch language. And if they do, Teams can change language for spell checking. The code runs on the client and no data is transmitted back to base. It’s all very intelligent, but you should warn users that it might happen.

Bulk Policy Assignment for Teams Users

Teams supports the ability to assign policies to up to 5,000 users with background jobs. This makes it much easier to assign new policies to large groups of users. Unless you like writing your own PowerShell scripts to handle Teams policy assignment, this is definitely something that all Teams administrators need to know about.

Archiving Microsoft 365 Groups (and Teams) with PowerShell

Once Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams reach the end of their useful life, it’s good to archive them so that their data stays online and available for eDiscovery. A recent request looked for help to archive 600 Groups at the end of the academic year. The script described here might help solve the problem.

Microsoft Extends Increase for Attendees in Live Events to October 2020

Microsoft has extended the temporary increase in the limit for attendees at Live Events from 10,000 to 20,000 until October 1,2020. The extended limit reflects the popularity of online events during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s just a pity that they didn’t tell more people about the extension.

Improving Searches for Teams Channel Conversations and Chats

The standard Teams search function can unearth a lot of information in chats and channels. Using filters, precision searches, and contextual searches makes it easier to find what you need, even if you might have to learn some new tricks. But life is full of new experiences, and so is search.

Teams Channel Information Pane Displays System Messages

The new information pane available in Teams desktop and browser clients gives information about recent contributors and is the relocated home for system messages. You can certainly debate what makes someone a recent contributor as some of those listed don’t seem to be too active. Maybe it’s one of those AI algorithms that will be tweaked over time…