Office 365 Updates April 2020

Microsoft have been extremely busy in the last few weeks.

This week’s message centre update included a number of useful and important updates to existing and new features. Here are my highlights below. If you would like to know more about any of these, please email me at

All updated courtesy of Microsoft and can be located at the Office 365 Message Centre.

1. Microsoft Bookings to be added as an Office 365 app

Microsoft Bookings makes it easier for your users to manage appointments both inside and outside of your organization. With this update, Bookings will transition from an add-in to an integral part of Office 365.

Microsoft Bookings will be On by default, which gives all of your users the ability to create and manage a Microsoft Bookings mailbox and calendar.

    • Administrators can turn Microsoft Bookings Off for their organization.
    • In the near future, administrators will be able to limit Microsoft Bookings to specific users within the organisation.

Your end-users will access Bookings from the Office 365 App Launcher in the upper left corner of the browser in Office 365. As a web application, Bookings is only accessible online.

2. New Feature: SharePoint stock images

The stock images tab in the file picker will soon give users access to thousands of high-resolution stock images to use while authoring pages and news.

When will this happen?

    • Microsoft be rolling this out to Targeted Release customers from mid-April to the end of April
    • Microsoft will be rolling this out to Standard Release customers from the beginning of May to mid-May.

How does this affect you?

Users with permission to author pages will see a new option, Stock images when they are adding an image to a modern SharePoint page.

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3. New Feature: Changes to video layout in Teams meetings

Microsoft is increasing the number of participants shown on the stage to 9 and making it video optimized. For more than 9 participants, they will prioritize those with video on and show them on the stage. Participants with audio will be shown below the meeting stage. To provide a high audio and video quality experience, the layout logic will consider user bandwidth and alter the number of videos shown to provide the best meeting experience.

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4. Teams meeting and chat experience improvements

Easily access meeting options from within a Teams meeting in progress: Microsoft is making it easier for meeting organisers to quickly and easily change their presenter and lobby settings once a Teams meeting starts by providing an easy to access the link directly in the participant’s pane. This new functionality will be present for both scheduled and “Meet Now” meetings.

Download a participant report in a Teams meeting: Meeting organizers, especially teachers, often need to know who joined their Teams meetings. Soon you will be able to download a participant report, found in the roster view that includes joining and leave times for participants. Available in the roster view, meeting organizers can download the report that includes those users who joined while the organizer was present. This feature is only available with the meeting while the meeting is active. Available on desktop (Windows and Mac) and the web.

The default for the feature will be DISABLED. The Admin will need to go turn this on through a PowerShell cmdlet to be able to utilize this feature:

    • Set-CSTeamsMeetingPolicy – Identity Global – AllowEngagementReport “Enabled”

Audio playing on presenter device will be shared in the live event: Today, if you are screen sharing content with audio in a Live Event, attendees won’t be able to hear the audio of that content. With Share System Audio in Live Events, your live event attendees will now be able to hear the audio of the content that you are screen sharing. This feature works just like share system audio in Teams Meetings. Once enable, any audio that is playing on the user’s machine will be shared in the live event for participants to hear.

Note: This feature will only be available for Presenters/Producers in a Live Event joining from the Windows Desktop Teams Client with ScreenSharingMode set to “Single application” or “Entire screen”.

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Screen Share from Chat: The option to start a screen share from a 1:1 or group chat will now be governed by the ScreenSharingMode policy. Further, the ability to “add audio” to a screen share from chat session (if you want to talk to someone while screen sharing) will be governed by a user’s AllowPrivateCalling setting. This ensures that users who have AllowPrivateCalling disabled cannot start audio calls via screen share from chat.

Starting a screen share from chat:

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Setting the ScreenSharingMode policy in Teams Admin Center under Meeting Policies:

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5. Updated Feature: Yammer Conversations web part for SharePoint

Microsoft are updating the Yammer Conversations web part for SharePoint to contain the new Yammer experience. SharePoint pages that use the existing Yammer Conversations web part will begin to display the new experience.

When will this happen?

    • Targeted release: gradual rollout from early May to mid-May
    • Standard release: gradual rollout from mid-May to mid-June

How does this affect you?

Modern SharePoint sites and pages that use the Yammer Conversations web part will begin displaying the new Yammer Conversations web part experience.

    • Users will be able to create any type of Yammer post directly in SharePoint
    • Users will be able to upload images and files into Yammer conversations directly in SharePoint
    • Users will be able to start a conversation in any community

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6. New Feature: Yammer app for Microsoft Teams

The new Yammer App for Microsoft Teams brings a fully interactive Yammer experience into the hub for teamwork, helping your users stay connected to what’s happening across the organization.

After users install the app, it will appear in the navigation left rail in Microsoft Teams. They will be able to join community discussions, share announcements, attend live events, and connect with coworkers similar how they interact in the Yammer web or mobile apps. It’s Yammer, but inside Teams.

This differs from the current Yammer Tab experience in Teams, which ties Yammer to a specific channel using a tab.

Need to know more?

If you would like to know more about any of these, please email me at

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