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Here we are, April is coming to an end, and oh boy was April another crazy month in M365! - Time flies, and in just a few days M365 conference will take off, and we’ll see even more crazy stuff coming up!
But before we get there, let’s take a look at what has happened in the past month!
Teams teams and more teams!
The new Teams
Right now it’s very much a “lightweight” client, missing certain features that would be nice to see, such as 3. Party apps, search, teams creation, and some other things, but Microsoft are working very hard to bring this new client back up to speed with the “old” client.
The main focus appears to have been performance, some of the stats I’ve seen online are twice as fast, 50% smaller install size, waaay less memory usage.
It’s really good to see Microsoft taking the approach of “let’s try this with a clean slate”, I’ve seen a lot of criticism online of the approach, but I think it’s important to realize that Microsoft is building a product, not running a project with an end goal, so this was probably the right thing to do!
Another feature that Microsoft implemented is Snapchat filters in Teams … I’m really not sure how to feel about this one, on the one hand I really like it, it’s great fun for informal internal meetings, but the very first time someone called me after I had played with it, I picked up pressing the camera icon in the notification, and now I’m sitting here in front of my client with a chicken on my head, not sure what to think, but it’s a thing, do with it what you want, or maybe turn it off.
Mesh avatars also went into public preview this month, avatars are a great way to handle camera burn-out, often times you might be eating, working from home, or something else where you don’t want to be on camera (or just not feeling it), now you have the option to create and use an avatar to represent you on screen instead, it’s actually a pretty genius way to relax a bit more, and definitely something I see myself using in the future for those meetings where you’re just not wanting to be on camera!
Spatial audio in Teams meetings
One last thing that I want to call out on the teams side of things, that really flew under the radar in my book is spatial audio it is a new feature that’ll allow you to hear people in more of a 3D spatial way, this means that if someone is on the left of your screen in that camera grid we all know and love, the’ll sound like they’re to the left of you!
Really looking forward to see this one come more to life later, hoping for things like together mode support, or maybe even meeting room support!
Better Page Authoring Experience
Microsoft is making some changes to the page authoring experience, such as being able to switch layout types outside the property pane on web parts, being able to customize text on images, and making the add section feature easier to find, these are all just small tweaks that add together to make the whole product more coherent, and intuitive for new users!
This one is more for the devs - SharePoint Framework version 1.17 released, the main thing for “clients” is that the “top actions” we saw in 1.16 now went GA, (also makes sense since we’re seeing it in MS web parts now)
Other then that we saw a ton of dev awesomeness, from ACEs getting Adaptive cards schema v1.5 to improvements to authentication.
Filters in Microsoft lists
Another change that’s coming is a smaller detail when using Microsoft/SharePoint lists, you’ll be able to see which filters you’ve got applied currently, this is an awesome idea, it’s something that can be seen in the URL already, but brining it front and center for the users is awesome!
This feature is set to release April 2023 on the roadmap, but I have yet to see it on any of my dev tenants.
Modern controls in canvas apps
Something that I’m more excited about then what I probably should be is that “modern controls” for Power apps went into public preview, this means that now you can take your awesome Power App, and make it look modern and nice without being a CSS magician!
Definitely looking forward to playing more with this one!
Power Platform 2023 release wave 1
I won’t cover this one too much (there’s a 190 page PDF explaining it if you’re curious) but the 2023 release wave 1 dropped for power platform.
One of the key things I really liked is the natural language generation of Power Automate flows, I had a ton of fun playing with it, and even got to demo it for a class of computer science students who’s minds where blown, but also some of the layout changes in CRM were pretty neat!
Microsoft announced a great partnership/integration with Glint, a market leader in employee feedback meets Microsofts AI, this looks really promising, having an option to in natural language ask about your employees well being, this is really an awesome addition to the Viva suite, which already has a ton of data on your employees work habbits, adding glint to that is something I’m really looking forward to see create a ton of value in loads of organizations!
Unified domain Cloud.Microsoft
Microsoft has decided to unify all of their many cloud solutions into a single domain, this is done to streamline the user experience, and hopefully help to improve security as Microsoft owns all rights to the .Microsoft top-level domain, meaning no one can make a “fake” page that has a URL like team5.cloud.microsoft, ideally no user action should be needed for this change, BUT you should really warn your users once this starts rolling out.
You’re on a constantly evolving platform, and teams has really been getting overhauled this month, not only with a new version, but also loads of new features!
In the coming month we’ll see the M365 conference in vegas which promises to bring what sounds like “the next SharePoint”, I don’t know about you, but I’m SUPER stoked!
- The new Microsoft Teams (Preview)
- Snapchat filters
- Avatars for Microsoft Teams in Public Preview
- Spatial audio
- SharePoint: Improving the Page Authoring Experience
- SPFx 1.17
- Applied filter
- Modern controls in canvas apps
- Microsoft Power Platform: 2023 release wave 1 plan
- Microsoft Viva and Glint
- Introducing cloud.microsoft: a unified domain for Microsoft 365 apps and services