Here at Navo, we try to summarize all the latest changes in Microsoft 365 each month. These are the most recent changes to Microsoft 365 for October 2020 and some more changes that are rolling out over the next few months.
All rollout dates mentioned are for general availability timelines; features will be rolled out earlier for Microsoft targeted release customers.
Microsoft Teams Announcements for October 2020
Teams templates let you create teams from a predefined structure with channels, tabs, and apps
Microsoft has introduced templates in Microsoft Teams.
13 pre-built, or “base” templates can be chosen based on different tasks like managing projects, running events, or coordinating an incident response. These have a predefined structure with a set of channels, tabs, and apps that can be duplicated but not edited.
Admins can also develop custom templates from scratch, from an existing template, or by duplicating an existing team.
Create virtual breakout rooms inside Microsoft Teams meetings
Microsoft Teams is releasing a breakout rooms feature by the end of November.
When this feature is released, we will only have the option to set up rooms after joining the meeting – either by bulk creating at the start, or manually adding and removing them.
Microsoft hopes to update this feature soon to allow rooms to be set up prior to meetings.
Transfer Microsoft Teams meetings between devices or join the same meeting from multiple devices
You can now transfer meetings between devices or add another device to a meeting. To do that, Open Teams on the second device, open the banner and select Join – then you can choose “Add this device” or “Transfer to this device”.
Save meeting recordings into OneDrive and SharePoint
As of October 2020, you can enable a policy to save meeting recordings into OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online (rather than Microsoft Stream).
This change unlocks new features like external and guest sharing and retention policy application.
Non-channel meetings will be stored in the OneDrive of the person who clicked the record button. After meetings, all meeting invitees except external users will automatically be given access to recordings.
Channel meetings will be stored in a “Recordings” folder in the Files for the Team. Permissions to the meeting recording will be inherited from the Owners and Members list.
By mid-November, all new Teams meeting recordings will be saved to OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online unless you modify your meeting policies to be set to Stream.
By Q1 2021, Microsoft will remove the option to save meeting recordings to Stream.
Suppress background noise in Microsoft Teams meetings
By mid-December, new noise suppression controls will be available in your Teams user settings under Devices.
Noise suppression settings changes will apply to the next meeting you join; if you change your noise suppression settings while you are in a meeting, they will not take effect unless you leave and re-join.
Once the noise suppression feature is turned on in Microsoft Teams, choose from auto, high, or low noise suppression.
With high noise suppression, all background sound that is not speech will be suppressed. However, this setting uses more computer resources. And to be frank, we all know Teams is already very resource-intensive.
Low noise suppression will suppress persistent noise like air conditioners, computer fans, and music.
Appear offline and set duration for Microsoft Teams presence status
The ability to appear offline is coming to Teams by mid-November.
Microsoft says this “helps users to set expectations that they are unlikely to respond right now”.
You will also soon be able to set the duration of your presence status in Microsoft. This setting will override other events like calendar meetings or calls.
Other Microsoft Teams announcements for October 2020
- Soon, meetings will support up to 20,000 attendees, team membership limit has increased to 25,000 members, and org-wide team membership limit increasing to 10,000 users.
- Floating call controls are coming to Teams meetings on all devices.
- Additional meeting UX improvements include the ability to see both the participant tray and shared content when presenting, a side by side view of shared content and a pinned/spotlighted participant, and a scrollable participant tray added to the Teams iOS app.
- By late November, a custom org logo image for meeting lobby and pre-join screens will be configurable by admins for all tenant meetings where the organizer has an Advanced Communication license.
- Microsoft Teams has replaced the “Join Microsoft Teams meeting” meeting join link text with “Click here to join the meeting”.
- Outgoing screen sharing support in Safari browser is available now.
- Banner alerts will appear 5 minutes before meetings end and remain for 10 seconds before disappearing without any user action. There is no option to disable these alerts. They are just for informational purposes, and will not automatically end the meeting.
- Teams meeting participant reports will include additional data points: meeting duration, email address, join time, and title.
- Organizers can now manage meeting options like who can bypass the lobby from inside meetings.
- By the end of November, meeting organizers will have the ability to choose if and when participants can chat in a meeting. Settings are “On”, “Off”, and “Only during the meeting”.
- Teams will have native notifications in Windows and MacOS by late November / early December. Right now, notifications don’t properly integrate with the respective operating systems.
- Admins can choose to hide notification previews on mobile devices joined to Intune. The default value is “Allow”.
- Users can turn off message previews for chat notifications in Teams. No more embarrassing notification popups while you’re in meetings!
- Like the Pin feature, but for everyone viewing a meeting, the new meeting participant spotlight option features a participant video.
- The new Power Automate app is available in Microsoft Teams.
SharePoint Online Announcements for October 2020
Content types get a modern makeover and easier access
The modern capability to add custom content types (predefined sets of columns/metadata) to lists and libraries that allow multiple content types will be rolled out by the end of January.
Note that you will have to enable content types first in the library or list for this feature to appear.
Modern calendar views added for lists in SharePoint and Microsoft Lists
Lists in SharePoint and Microsoft Lists are introducing a modern calendar view, and in our opinion, this is long overdue!
New Org Chart web part for SharePoint Online
A new org chart web part will soon be available in SharePoint Online. When you set up the web part, choose an individual to center the chart around. You can determine how many levels of hierarchy to display.
Other SharePoint Online announcements for October 2020
- “Quick edit” is now “Edit in grid view” in lists in SharePoint and Microsoft Lists.
- Person columns in lists in SharePoint and Microsoft Lists will appear using a modern “pill” design.
- Yes/No columns in lists in SharePoint and Microsoft Lists will appear with a check mark when the value is selected.
- Choice columns in lists in SharePoint and Microsoft Lists now support single, multi-choice, and manual fill as you add items. You can also update and remove choice fields and formatting selections while adding items.
- Comments are rolling out for list items in SharePoint and Microsoft Lists by early December (but will not yet be available in lists in Teams). An icon will indicate which list items have comments. Comments on lists can be disabled at the org level, but not at the site or list level yet. Search will not index list comments.
- A new Site Performance page, rolling out by the end of December, helps you improve page loading time and other technical details. Accessible from the home page of any modern communication site, team site, or hub site, through the Settings panel.
- Previously, pages could be published even if pages were missing required properties. By early December, pages with missing information in required columns will be unable to publish and will display a message with more information.
Other Microsoft 365 Announcements for October 2020
Project Moca productivity app now available in preview
Project Moca is a new way to visually organize emails, tasks, links, and files.
Enable the Project Moca preview via PowerShell; users will have access 24-48 hours later, and all data will be stored in their mailboxes.
New location for “Open in Desktop App”
“Open in Desktop App” is moving to the “Mode” menu (Editing, Reviewing, Viewing) in Office for the Web and will be mostly rolled out by end of December 2020.
Personal query history for SharePoint and Outlook comes to Microsoft Search
By late November, personal query history for SharePoint and Outlook on the web will appear in Microsoft Search.
More Microsoft 365 Announcements for October 2020
- OneDrive for Business has a new dropdown that lets you choose your search location. In addition to the current folder, search all of your files in OneDrive for Business; all files in OneDrive for Business; or the whole organization.
- OneDrive and SharePoint have updated comment notifications. Previously, you would only receive notifications when you were @-mentioned; now, you will receive notifications for all new comments in files you’ve created.
- Soon, Word on the web is getting a Designer feature that provides themes, detects formatting inconsistencies, and provides the option to apply formatting fixes.
- The Office mobile app brings together all of your Office apps in one place on your mobile phone, and Forms has now been added!
- There’s a new OneNote and Sticky Notes feed in Outlook on the web. View and edit OneNote notes and Sticky notes while you are viewing and composing emails. You can only create new sticky notes, not OneNote notes, from within this feature.
Join us for “What’s New in Microsoft 365” November 2020
If you’d like to join our monthly Teams meeting where we talk about these changes, go to http://meetup.com/VicO365 and join our Meetup group. Although based in Victoria, our meetings are now 100% remote and open to everyone! We will be taking a hiatus in December, so our November meetup will be the last meetup of 2020.