Office 365 Weekly Digest | December 2 – 8, 2018


Welcome to the December 2 - 8, 2018 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest.

Twenty features were added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week, with 15 of those related to the "@mention" capability for the various Office apps on Windows, Android and iOS. Also of note are the Exchange Hybrid Agent Preview, and live captions and subtitles in PowerPoint, both estimated to release in January 2019. And, there is another (and hopefully final) update to the PowerApps and Flow availability for GCC tenants which is now estimated to release in Q1 CY2019.

No new events since last week's post, but a friendly reminder that the Teams Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) is on Wednesday, December 12th at 9am Pacific. There are several other Teams-focused events this week, so work these in if at all possible as this may be the last string of events until after the holidays.

Highlights from last week's blogs include a look at what's new in November 2018, new design for Outlook mobile, and updates to Flow, PowerPoint and Whiteboard. In addition, there are important voice features and enhancements for Microsoft Teams.

Wrapping up the noteworthy items are a OneDrive guide for enterprises, an update on how Yammer handles redirect URLs, a couple of Microsoft IT Showcase videos focused on modern collaboration, and the first post in a series that provides details on the top 10 actions to take in order to make your environment more secure.

 

OFFICE 365 ROADMAP

 

Below are the items added to the Office 365 Roadmap last week…

Note: There is an update to the estimated release for PowerApps and Flow availability to GCC tenants. The new estimated release date is Q1 CY2019 as shown below.

 

Feature ID

App / Service

Title Description

Status

Added

Estimated Release

More Info
44321

Exchange

Exchange Hybrid Agent Preview The Exchange Hybrid Agent enables Exchange Online to access the free/busy of on-premises mailboxes and to move mailboxes from on-premises servers to Office 365 without requiring any inbound ports or rules to be opened at the on-premises firewall.

In development

12/04/2018

January CY2019

n /a
44327

SharePoint

SharePoint sites: view and apply site designs from within site We are providing a new site setting to view any applied site designs and apply additional ones - from within the sites themselves. The new site setting option is for site owners to display a new site design information panel. If any site designs have been published to the tenant, they will be displayed in the picker. Only site owners and site collection administrators have access to invoke this panel – and it respects any additional scopes on the published site designs, so only those available to the viewer will be displayed. If any sites designs have been applied to the site, they will also be displayed and can be selected to view what changes were applied.

Rolling out

12/04/2018

Q4 CY2018

Build your modern intranet with SharePoint in Office 365
43977

Access

Access: improve zoom dialog Use the zoom dialog to enter and edit text and expressions. You can resize it and the zoom dialog remembers the size and font each time you use it.

In development

12/06/2018

December CY2018

n /a
16802

Word

Android

@mention in Word for Android This capability makes it easier to work together on shared documents, presentations, and worksheets by giving you the ability to get someone's attention directly within the comments. If you're @mentioned in a document, you'll receive an email notification, so you know exactly where your input is needed.

In development

12/06/2018

Q3 CY2018

n /a
16804

Word

@mention in Word for Win32 This capability makes it easier to work together on shared documents, presentations, and worksheets by giving you the ability to get someone's attention directly within the comments. If you're @mentioned in a document, you'll receive an email notification, so you know exactly where your input is needed.

Rolling out

12/06/2018

Q3 CY2018

n /a
16807

Word

iOS

@mention in Word on iOS This capability makes it easier to work together on shared documents, presentations, and worksheets by giving you the ability to get someone's attention directly within the comments. If you're @mentioned in a document, you'll receive an email notification, so you know exactly where your input is needed.

In development

12/06/2018

Q3 CY2018

n /a
11363

PowerPoint

@mention in PowerPoint for Win32 This capability makes it easier to work together on shared documents, presentations, and worksheets by giving you the ability to get someone's attention directly within the comments. If you're @mentioned in a document, you'll receive an email notification, so you know exactly where your input is needed.

Rolling out

12/06/2018

Q3 CY2018

n /a
12205

PowerPoint

@mention in PowerPoint Online This capability makes it easier to work together on shared documents, presentations, and worksheets by giving you the ability to get someone's attention directly within the comments. If you're @mentioned in a document, you'll receive an email notification, so you know exactly where your input is needed.

Rolling out

12/06/2018

Q3 CY2018

n /a
31751

PowerPoint

Android

@mention in PowerPoint for Android This capability makes it easier to work together on shared documents, presentations, and worksheets by giving you the ability to get someone's attention directly within the comments. If you're @mentioned in a document, you'll receive an email notification, so you know exactly where your input is needed.

In development

12/06/2018

Q3 CY2018

n /a
31752

Excel

Android

@mention in Excel for Android This capability makes it easier to work together on shared documents, presentations, and worksheets by giving you the ability to get someone's attention directly within the comments. If you're @mentioned in a document, you'll receive an email notification, so you know exactly where your input is needed.

In development

12/06/2018

Q3 CY2018

n /a
31067

Excel

@mention in Excel Win32 This capability makes it easier to work together on shared documents, presentations, and worksheets by giving you the ability to get someone's attention directly within the comments. If you're @mentioned in a document, you'll receive an email notification, so you know exactly where your input is needed.

In development

12/06/2018

Q3 CY2018

n /a
31071

PowerPoint

iOS

@mention in PowerPoint for iOS This capability makes it easier to work together on shared documents, presentations, and worksheets by giving you the ability to get someone's attention directly within the comments. If you're @mentioned in a document, you'll receive an email notification, so you know exactly where your input is needed.

In development

12/06/2018

Q3 CY2018

n /a
31072

Excel

iOS

@mention in Excel for iOS This capability makes it easier to work together on shared documents, presentations, and worksheets by giving you the ability to get someone's attention directly within the comments. If you're @mentioned in a document, you'll receive an email notification, so you know exactly where your input is needed.

In development

12/06/2018

Q3 CY2018

n /a
27903

Word

Mac

Word: @mentions in Mac This capability makes it easier to work together on shared documents, presentations, and worksheets by giving you the ability to get someone's attention directly within the comments. If you're @mentioned in a document, you'll receive an email notification, so you know exactly where your input is needed.

Rolling out

12/06/2018

Q4 CY2018

n /a
12146

Excel

Mac

@mention in Excel for Mac This capability makes it easier to work together on shared documents, presentations, and worksheets by giving you the ability to get someone's attention directly within the comments. If you're @mentioned in a document, you'll receive an email notification, so you know exactly where your input is needed.

In development

12/06/2018

Q4 CY2018

n /a
12149

Excel

iOS

@mention in Excel on iOS This capability makes it easier to work together on shared documents, presentations, and worksheets by giving you the ability to get someone's attention directly within the comments. If you're @mentioned in a document, you'll receive an email notification, so you know exactly where your input is needed.

In development

12/06/2018

Q4 CY2018

n /a
12151

Excel

@mention in Excel online This capability makes it easier to work together on shared documents, presentations, and worksheets by giving you the ability to get someone's attention directly within the comments. If you're @mentioned in a document, you'll receive an email notification, so you know exactly where your input is needed.

Rolling out

12/06/2018

Q4 CY2018

n /a
25113

PowerPoint

Mac

@ Mentions in PowerPoint om Mac This capability makes it easier to work together on shared documents, presentations, and worksheets by giving you the ability to get someone's attention directly within the comments. If you're @mentioned in a document, you'll receive an email notification, so you know exactly where your input is needed.

Rolling out

12/06/2018

Q4 CY2018

n /a
34321

PowerPoint

Win32: Live Captions & Subtitles in PowerPoint Instantly receive subtitles, translations, and transcriptions of your live presentations in another language. This allows for automatic, real-time translation of spoken words during a presentation into subtitles on the screen. Currently this will allow for 10 input spoken languages and 60+ translated languages on the screen.

In development

12/06/2018

January CY2019

n /a
32991

Outlook

Web

The new Outlook on the web - Email LinkedIn contacts from Outlook When you connect your Microsoft 365 and LinkedIn accounts, you can email many of your LinkedIn 1st-degree connections directly from Outlook without needing their email address.

In development

12/08/2018

January CY2019

n /a
33770

Flow

PowerApps

PowerApps and Flow availability to GCC tenants PowerApps and Flow will be available to government tenants in the GCC environment.

In development

11/22/2018

Q1 CY2019

n / a

 

 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Teams Tuesdays

When: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 from 10am – 11am PT | Whether you're managing a new project or starting your own business, it helps to have a team behind you to brainstorm ideas, tackle the work together, and have some fun along the way. Now you can use Microsoft Teams to do just that. Join our team LIVE every Tuesday from 10-11am PDT to learn how you can get started with the free version of Teams. In this hour, we'll walk you through the product and key features, share best practices for getting started, and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to meeting you!

 

Getting Started with Microsoft Teams

When: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 10am PT | This 60-minute session introduces you to the key activities needed to get started with Microsoft Teams today. From setting your profile, to running a meeting, users will leave this session with the foundation needed to use Teams with confidence. Check here for sessions in different time zones and other dates.

 

Upgrade 101: Understanding your upgrade from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams

When: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 8am PT | Looking to better understand the upgrade journey from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams? Join us for this 60-minute session to get familiar with our upgrade paths (Upgrade Basic and Upgrade Pro), our resources, and a walkthrough of our upgrade success framework to help you navigate through your journey. Check here for sessions in different time zones and other dates.

 

Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA): Microsoft Teams

When: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 9am PT | We are very excited to announce a Microsoft Teams 'Ask Microsoft Anything' (AMA) for Microsoft Teams! An AMA is a live online event similar to a "YamJam" on Yammer or an "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit. The AMA will take place on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PT. This AMA gives you the opportunity to connect with members of the product engineering team who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback. Join in the Microsoft Teams AMA Group, or add it to your calendar. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

[Rescheduled] Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA): Windows 10, version 1809 for IT Pros

When: Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 9am PT | If you're in IT, make sure you join us Thursday, December 13th to get up to speed and get your questions answered about Windows 10, version 1809. An AMA is a live online event similar to a "YamJam" on Yammer or an "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit. We've assembled a group of engineers and product managers from the Windows, Window Defender ATP, System Center Configuration Manager, Microsoft Intune, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft 365 teams—and we'll be answering your questions live during what promises to be an exciting and informative "Ask Microsoft Anything" (AMA) event. Join in the Windows 10 AMA space, or add it to your calendar. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Make the switch from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams: End User Guidance

When: Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 10am PT | Designed specifically for Skype for Business end users, this course offers everything you need to help make the transition to Microsoft Teams. We'll focus on the core communication capabilities you use today, chat and meetings, as well as provide an orientation to additional collaboration functionality Teams has to offer. Check here for sessions in different time zones and other dates.

 

Modern Workplace Transformation Healthcare & Life Sciences Virtual Conference

When: Monday, January 7, 2019 – Friday, January 11, 2019 at 9am – 10:30am PT daily | Today's Healthcare & Life Science (HLS) organizations face a myriad of challenges from security threats, inefficiencies in communications/collaboration, and increased competition. Ultimately HLS orgs are seeking to leverage technology to improve diagnostics, patient outcomes, and more. Learn how to digitally transform your HLS organization by attending our Modern Workplace Transformation (MWT) Virtual Conference the week of January 7th, 2019. See how the Microsoft Modern Workplace platform securely enables employee engagement and collaboration across locations and devices. The Microsoft team welcomes you to an opportunity to explore beyond Envision and Ignite. We've lined up some top topics from these events, along with the speakers from Microsoft Corporate, to deliver a series of rich interactive session. This event will include Microsoft's latest innovations for Intelligent Communications, Security, and Modern Collaboration solutions. We have a separate session and focus each day starting at 12 noon eastern and lasting for 90 minutes. Please review the sessions and use the provided links to meeting invites to add to your calendar.

 

BLOG ROUNDUP

 

New to Microsoft 365 in November—tools to keep you in your workflow and fine-tune content

In November 2018, we released new features in Microsoft 365 that help users stay focused in their workflow while delivering richer, more engaging content. Features such as: (1) Keep track of to-dos and collaborate with others with new AI features in Word, (2) Perform more tasks on the go with new features for Microsoft Teams on iOS and Android, (3) Manage tasks w/o breaking your email flow in OL on the web, and (4) Improve your writing with Editor in PowerPoint. We also unveiled redesigned Office app icons and made the Office Customization Tool available.

 

Power and simplicity: new Outlook mobile design helps you get things done faster

We're rolling out exciting updates to Outlook for iOS with recognizable avatars and optimized swipe and scroll usability that reflects the continuation of our design-driven journey and helps you connect, organize, and get things done. We've been meticulously tailoring both Outlook for iOS and Android, making it faster than ever to achieve your goals and maximize your time while on the go. Design is becoming the heart and soul of Office, something reflected in the Office 365 user experience updates announced this summer and the new icons we revealed last week. Outlook mobile will be among the first app to adopt its new icon, and, much like the entire Office 365 suite, design thinking and craftsmanship have been driving Outlook mobile forward. It's a key reason why we've exceeded more than 100 million iOS and Android devices and our app store ratings are consistently above 4.5. Mobile productivity increasingly happens through a series of micro-tasks that take place in seconds, not minutes. This makes it vital to design experiences with less typing and taps, where your attention is brought to what matters most, and where key context is always available at a glance. By creating resonant experiences that cater to these micro-moments, Outlook mobile offers delightful, simple, and powerful experiences that ensure you get in and out of the app quickly, gracefully, and with ease.

 

Introducing the Flow Tab in Teams and new Teams' triggers

We're pleased to announce two new feature updates with the Flow integration in Microsoft Teams – a new tab in team channels and triggers for the Teams connector. Earlier this year, we released a "personal" Teams app that allowed you to create and manage flows and launch flows from the Flow Bot - all within Teams. We've now extended these capabilities to everyone in the team with a Flow Tab. In addition, in response to your feedback on the Flow Ideas forum, we've added two new triggers to the Teams connector - When a new channel message is added and When I am mentioned in a channel message.

 

Present more inclusively with live captions & subtitles in PowerPoint

Live presentations can be thought-provoking, inspirational, and powerful. A great presentation can inspire us to think about something in an entirely different way or bring a group together around a common idea or project. But not everyone experiences presentations in the same way. We may speak a different language from the presenter, or be a native speaker in another language, and some of us are deaf and hard of hearing. So, what if speakers could make their presentations better understood by everyone in the room? Now they can with live captions & subtitles in PowerPoint. In honor of the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we're announcing this new feature—powered by artificial intelligence (AI)—which provides captions and subtitles for presentations in real-time. Live captions & subtitles in PowerPoint supports the deaf and hard of hearing community by giving them the ability to read what is being spoken in real-time. In addition, captions and subtitles can be displayed in the same language or in a different one, allowing non-native speakers to get a translation of a presentation. At launch, live captions & subtitles will support 12 spoken languages and display on-screen captions or subtitles in one of 60+ languages.

 

Microsoft Whiteboard: now more colorful and customizable than ever

The Whiteboard team has been hard at work since our announcements at Ignite. A few weeks ago, we announced the preview of Microsoft Whiteboard for Education. And as we gather more and more feedback from our growing customer base, we've also been rolling out great new features, with more on the way soon. Responding to popular demand, we've added 10 new pen colors and three more pen thicknesses, allowing Whiteboard users to express themselves more colorfully and boldly than ever. Just like it's great to have options for pen color, customizing the look and feel of the board itself can help your ideas stand out – and can make your boards more usable and readable as well. Whiteboard now offers nine options for board color and eight types of gridlines that can be used together or separately to customize your boards' backgrounds. We know not every device takes pen inputs – and even if it does, not everyone has the neatest handwriting! And though sticky notes are great for typing comments, sometimes you just want something a little more direct. For those who would rather type straight on the board, we now have you covered. All of these features are now available in the Windows 10 and iOS apps, and we've got many more exciting updates in the pipeline.

 

Microsoft Teams: Additional Voice Features for the New Year

As we close out the calendar year, we have 4 important features and enhancements on our roadmap that we promised a year ago. Today we are announcing that Group Call Pickup, Call Park, and Shared Line Appearance will be available before the end of December 2018. Additionally, Location Based Routing moves into preview this December and based upon customer feedback, will be released for general availability next quarter. Let's review each feature and how they can enhance your calling experiences in Microsoft Teams.

Related:

 

NOTEWORTHY

 

OneDrive guide for enterprises

OneDrive for Business is a robust but simple-to-use cloud storage platform for small businesses, enterprises, and everything in between. Unlike other cloud storage providers, most of the advanced enterprise-focused features in OneDrive are available for every subscription type, enabling organizations to use OneDrive in whatever way benefits them the most. This guide focuses on the deployment, configuration, and management options that make the most sense for enterprises looking to use OneDrive. | Related: OneDrive guide for small businesses

 

Yammer will now restrict redirect URLs to the specific URL provided

During a recent security review, the Yammer team investigated making a change to the redirect URL that apps use to redirect users from Yammer's Allow/Deny screen back into their app. The redirect URL setting allows app developers to determine where the authorizing OAuth user's access token is sent and in certain configurations could be used to trick the user into revealing their credentials to a malicious party. To prevent this, Yammer has decided to change the redirect URL validation so that only one domain can be redirected to, rather than allowing the redirect URL to specify subdomains during the request.

 

Microsoft IT Showcase: Microsoft 365 - A foundation for modern collaboration

Format: Video (75 mins) | At Microsoft, employee collaboration with colleagues inside and outside of the company is the name of the game. Learn about our collaboration strategy and how experts at Microsoft Core Services Engineering and Operations (CSEO, formerly Microsoft IT) manage and support services such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and Yammer to provide people across our organization one place for conversations, meetings, files, and data. This empowers our people to meet business goals efficiently and effectively.

 

Microsoft IT Showcase: SharePoint and Office 365 - Securely sharing, managing, governing and protecting content at Microsoft

Format: Video (70 mins) | Finding a balance between readily sharing files and protecting corporate assets is crucial. At Microsoft, we get it. With over 400,000 SharePoint team sites, intranet portals, and OneDrive for Business sites, we have a lot to manage. Learn how we use custom solutions, organizational policy, Office 365, and Azure Active Directory to help manage, govern, and protect our data in a highly collaborative environment.

 

Introducing Microsoft 365 freelance toolkit—a solution to launch and scale your freelance workforce

With increasing participation in the gig economy—the contingent labor market made up of independent workers who contract for short-term engagements—enterprises are beginning to test and include freelance talent to support projects. According to the Future Workforce Report, 47 percent of hiring managers at enterprise organizations utilized freelancers (up from 44 percent the prior year), while roughly 9 in 10 hiring managers say they are open to engaging freelancers rather than temporary workers through a staffing firm. To help enterprises digitally transform or complement their conventional contingent staff solutions, we're launching Microsoft 365 freelance toolkit, a curated set of tools, templates, and best practices to help our customers launch, execute, and manage freelance programs at scale. The Microsoft 365 freelance toolkit offers solutions for the main friction points enterprises encounter when deploying a freelance program, including: internal communications and awareness, team-wide collaboration, data analytics, and workflow automation.

 

Top 10 actions to secure your environment: Step 1 - Identify Users

This series outlines the most fundamental steps you can take with your investment in Microsoft 365 security solutions. We'll provide advice on activities such as setting up identity management through active directory, malware protection, and more. In this post, we explain how to create a single common identity across on-premises and cloud with hybrid authentication. Establishing a single, common identity for each user is the foundations step to your cybersecurity strategy. If you currently have an on-premises footprint, this means connecting your Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) to your on-premises resources. There are various requirements and circumstances that will influence the hybrid identity and authentication method that you choose, but whether you choose federation or cloud authentication, there are important security implications for each that you should consider. This blog walks you through our recommended security best practices for each hybrid identity method.

 

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