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September in M365

·6 mins

Copilot release date! 🙌🙌🙌

So, I guess the biggest news this month is that Microsoft has finally announced a release date for Copilot!

November 1st - MARK YOUR CALENDARS 📅

Other then a release date, Microsoft also announced some different things to create some ‘hype’ including Bing Chat Enterprise getting image generation support, a rename of the announced “Business chat” to “Microsoft 365 chat”

Read waay more here

SharePoint news in Outlook

All the way back in early spring, at the M365 conference Microsoft announced on a feature that would allow us to send SharePoint news pages as emails, and now it’s finally here!

While a little less “complete” then I had personally hoped, I think Microsoft solved it perfectly “respectable” - instead of every single web part needing to be adapted to work in Outlook, they instead created a new page template that is optimized for Outlook.

The new email page templates

In this there are a few default templates (notice the letter icon) - what makes these templates special is that they have a quite limited set of web parts, but these web parts are optimized to also work in an email format.

The selection of web parts

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Changes to teams licenses in EU

So I guess it was a matter of time before the EU would take a look at, perhaps the most successful Microsoft product in the last decade, Teams.

The result ended up being rather annoying … from October 1st teams will no longer be included in your “normal” Microsoft 365 license, instead you will need to purchase a separate license for Teams in the EEA and Switzerland.

At the same time this will cause a price increase for all Microsoft 365 licenses in the EEA and Switzerland - or sort of, the price will be dropped by €2/month, but the additional Teams license will cost €5/month, so in the end it’s a €3/month increase for the same feature set.

Luckily, this will not affect existing customers, so if you’re already using Teams, and have an active subscription, you will not be affected by this change (yet).

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SPFx 1.18

The SharePoint Framework has been updated to version 1.18, while this one is more interesting for devs, I still want to mention it here as there are some interesting “behind the scenes updates”, a major one is the update to Node 18, a very welcome upgrade as node 16 went EOL just a few days ago.

Other then that we got some awesome updates to adaptive card extensions, that’ll allow us to create some really cool experiences in Viva Connections. - brining more value to the users, with fewer click.

The new adaptive cards

New Outlook client to be included with Windows 11

This one is near and dear to my heart!

For the past 7ish years since I got my first job as a first level IT supporter, I’ve hated Outlook with every fiber of my body, it’s slow, it’s clunky, it keeps crashing.

However, the web experience with Outlook online, has ALWAYS been awesome, it’s fast, it’s responsive, it’s easy to use.

Over the past year or so, Microsoft has brought this into an app, solving the biggest issue with the web experience, the lack of multi account support.

I’ve been using the preview for probably a year, and I absolutely love it!

Well it’s now officially releasing out of preview, starting september 21. it will start to roll out with Windows 11 updates, and be default pinned to the taskbar.

I don’t agree with the pinned to the taskbar part, but I’m still super excited for this! - from a personal perspective, that is.

I do feel sorry for the IT admins that will have to deal with the support calls from users that are used to the old Outlook client, and now have to learn a new one - just the nightmare when they moved the navigation to the side of the screen. 😔

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Planner component in Microsoft Loop

If you’re not already using Microsoft Loop, what are you doing? - it’s awesome!

Well it just became even more awesome, now there’s an option coming that’ll allow you to add a planner component to your loop page, allowing you to easily keep track of your tasks, and see the progress of your project in a more visual way then just a list of tasks.

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Viva Connections mobile updates

Microsoft is still going full steam ahead with Viva, and this month we got some updates to the mobile experience.

The main focus in on improving the experience on mobile, not only simplifying the UI, but also bringing the existing SharePoint Home site closer to the user, this is probably in recognition of the fact that many orgs have already made huge investments into their intranet, and Viva Connections isn’t quite there yet in terms of providing the same options.

Canvas built-in offline support

This one is SUPER interesting! - going into public preview right now is an feature to enable offline support for canvas apps.

This means that your device will locally sync data from dataverse while you’re connected to the internet, and allow you to make changes while offline, that’ll then sync back to dataverse once you’re back online.

The new offline support

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Seamless collaboration in Microsoft Teams for multi-tenant organizations

If you’re working in a multi-tenant environment, you’ve probably experienced the pains of multi geo teams!

With this update, if your admin configures the multi-tenant organization (MTO) setup, and the new Teams App.

You’ll now be able to chat cross tenant, and more importantly, have notifications sync across tenants, so you’ll no longer have to switch between tenants to see if you have any new messages

It also enables a richer meeting experience, allowing things like Whiteboard, together despite the meeting not being in their “home” tenant.

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Personal Planner plans

Another tiny feature that appeared on the roadmap this month that’s a game changer for me is the ability to create personal plans in planner.

Previously the only way to do this would be to create a private M365 group and add a planner to that, but now you’ll be able to create a plan that’s just for you, and not have to worry about the all the other sprawl that comes with a group.

Especially for people that are in a tenant where group creation is disabled this is awesome! - whether or not you’ll later be able to share this plan with others is still unknown, but I’m almost hoping Microsoft doesn’t add that feature, but rather a way to “migrate” a plan to a group, if you need to share it with others at a later time.

So that’s one more tool for personal task management, and while I as a geek appreciate this, I’m not sure if it’s the right move for Microsoft, we end up giving users decision paralysis, because there are soo many different options to do the same thing.

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  • Copilot release date: November 1st
  • SharePoint news in Outlook
  • Changes to teams licenses in EU

Other then that, Microsoft keeps going full steam ahead with Viva, and the rest of their product suite, and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon!