Office 365 Weekly Digest | July 30 - August 5, 2017

Welcome to the July 30 - August 5, 2017 edition of the Office 365 Weekly Digest. Please see this page for details on a change regarding the inclusion of Message Center notification details in these weekly posts.

The Online Immersion events have returned with three options - productivity hacks (Office 365, Windows 10 and Dynamics 365), business analytics (Power BI), and teamwork (Office 365, Microsoft Teams and Windows 10). Seating in these sessions is limited, so be sure to reserve your seat as soon as possible.

A summary of new features and updates for July 2017 kicks off last week's blog posts, followed by a couple of announcements for Microsoft Teams including new admin controls for third-party apps, as well as an Outlook add-in for scheduling meetings in Microsoft Teams. Details on policy recommendations in Office 365 data loss prevention, access to Communication Sites in the SharePoint mobile apps, and improvements to SharePoint links and announcement lists are also provided.

The noteworthy items have a little of everything from Microsoft Planner enhancements and allow/block guest access based on domain in Office 365 Groups, to an update on the deprecation of SharePoint Online Site Mailboxes, and the announcement of new auto attendant and call queue features in Skype for Business. Also highlighted are pertinent posts from the Azure Active Directory Team regarding upcoming changes to the sign-in experience and conditional access for




Free Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Teacher Academy

When: August 8, 2017 through September 29, 2017 at various US locations | Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Trainers are leading fun, professional development sessions this summer and they’re coming to a city near you. Join us for these BYOD workshops showcasing Microsoft’s hottest tools and resources for K-12 teachers, built to empower students to achieve more. Attendees will get to explore tools such as Microsoft Teams, Office Online, OneNote Class Notebooks, Microsoft Forms and Sway, and learn how technology can provide their students with learning experiences beyond the four walls of their classroom, thanks to Skype in the Classroom and the Microsoft Educator Community. Register today and join us at an upcoming Teacher Academy near you!


Azure Active Directory Webinars for August

When: Multiple sessions currently scheduled from August 8 - August 17, 2017 | New for August - Azure AD Identity Protection and Privileged Access Management! Sessions include Azure AD Connect Health, Getting Ready for Azure AD, Securing Your Identities with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Accessing Your Organization’s Internal Applications via Azure AD App Proxy and more. Each 1-hour or 75-minute webinar is designed to support IT Pros in quickly rolling out Azure Active Directory features to their organization. All webinars are free of cost and will include an anonymous Q&A session with our Engineering Team. So, come with your questions!  Capacity is limited. Sign up for one or all of the sessions today!  Note: There are also some sessions available on-demand.


Productivity Hacks to Save Time & Simplify Workflows

When: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 and Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 1pm ET | This 90-minute hands-on experience will give you the opportunity to test drive Windows 10, Office 365 and Dynamics 365. A trained facilitator will guide you as you apply these tools to your own business scenarios and see how they work for you. During this interactive session, you will: (1) Discover how you can keep your information more secure without inhibiting your workflow, (2) Learn how to visualize and analyze complex data, quickly zeroing in on the insights you need, (3) See how multiple team members can access, edit and review documents simultaneously, and (4) Gain skills that will save you time and simplify your workflow immediately. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.


Visualizing, Analyzing & Sharing Your Data Without Having to be a BI Expert

When: Thursday, August 24, 2017 at 1pm ET | This 90-minute hands-on experience will give you the opportunity to test drive the latest business analytics tools. A trained facilitator will guide you as you apply these tools to your own business scenarios and see how they can work throughout your organization. During this interactive session, you will explore how to: (1) Locate and organize large amounts of data from multiple sources, (2) Visualize complex data and identify trends quickly without having to be a BI expert, (3) Find and collaborate with company experts on the fly, even if they work in another part of the country, and (4) Gather colleague’s opinions easily and eliminate communication and process bottlenecks. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.


Connecting, Organizing & Collaborating with Your Team

When: Wednesday, August 31, 2017 at 1pm ET | During this session, you will have the opportunity to experience Windows 10, Office 365 and Microsoft’s newest collaboration tool: Microsoft Teams. A trained facilitator will guide you as you apply these tools to your own business scenarios and see how they work for you. During this interactive session, you will explore how to use Microsoft Teams and Office 365 to: (1) Create a hub for team work that works together with your other Office 365 apps, (2) Build customized options for each team, (3) Keep everyone on your team engaged, (4) Coauthor and share content quickly, and (5) Gain skills that will save you time and simplify your workflow immediately. Each session is limited to 12 participants, reserve your seat now.




New to Office 365 in July—Microsoft 365, business apps and more

In July, we hosted more than 17,000 attendees at Microsoft Inspire, our annual conference for partners, where we announced Microsoft 365, which brings together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security to deliver a complete, intelligent and secure solution to empower employees. We also debuted three new business apps to help companies of all sizes empower their employees and unlock growth and innovation. This month's Office 365 updates to Office apps make it easier to create professional-looking presentations and to identify and correct errors while editing documents. There were also additional updates for Office 365 commercial customers, with updates to Outlook on the web and Windows desktop, the Outlook app for iOS and enhancements to Microsoft StaffHub. Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office on Windows desktop | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office on Android Phones and Tablets.


New admin controls for apps in Teams

Earlier this year, we introduced a rich platform for Microsoft Teams including bots, tabs, and connectors. We are now introducing a way for admins to control which third parties can integrate with Microsoft Teams. Third party services are building rich and super powerful experiences by extending Microsoft Teams in multiple ways. We're calling these experiences apps. For example, developers can implement an app with a bot and a tab, or an app with a tab and a connector, or an app with all three capabilities at once! And now as an IT admin you can have complete control over which apps are available to your end users. There will be three new controls that will allow you to manage in detail which third party apps can be used in Microsoft Teams. As an admin, you can: (1) Choose to allow or block all third-party apps, (2) Individually choose which apps to allow or block, or (3) Choose what happens as new apps get submitted into the Microsoft Teams app catalog.


Now available: Outlook add-in to schedule meetings in Microsoft Teams

We are pleased to announce that we’ve released an add-in for Outlook that allows you to schedule Microsoft Teams meetings from Outlook. In your calendar view in Outlook, you will now see a new button called “New Teams Meeting.” Clicking this button opens a new Outlook invite that includes the coordinates for your Microsoft Teams meeting, which you can customize with your meeting details. Once saved, this meeting will show up in both the meeting list within your Microsoft Teams client and in your Outlook calendar. Invited participants will also have this invite on their calendar and will be able to join the meeting from either Teams or the Outlook calendar invite – all they have to do is simply click the link from within the invite or switch to the Teams client and click on the meeting link there. The add-in will be automatically installed for users who have Microsoft Teams and either Office 2013 or Office 2016 installed on their Windows PC. If you do not want the add-in to appear, you can learn how to manage Outlook add-ins here. Note: The Teams Outlook Add-in requires users to sign-in to Teams using Modern Authentication. If a user does not use this method to sign-in, they’ll still be able to use the Teams client but will be unable to schedule Teams online meetings using the Outlook add-in.


New policy recommendations in Office 365 data loss prevention

We’re excited to announce the release of new DLP recommendations for unprotected sensitive information in Office 365. This insight-driven recommendation helps you keep your sensitive content secure when its stored and shared in Office 365 by informing you when there’s a possible gap in your DLP policy coverage – we even provide an “easy button” to turn on a customized DLP policy to keep that content protected. To see the recommendation, visit the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center homepage and look for the “Recommended for you” section on the right side. (If you don’t see it yet – click “+More”) If you have content that isn’t protected by one of our top 5 sensitive information types, you’ll see a breakdown of what kind of content was detected, and an option to “Get started” for more details.


Announcing Communication Sites on the SharePoint Mobile Apps

We are excited to announce support for your communication sites this week on the SharePoint mobile apps for iOS (version 3.0, released to the store) and Android (version 2.0, released to public beta, general availability in August)! The broad-reach communication sites that you can create in seconds on the Web, are mobile-friendly out of the box.  When you publish a site, page or news post, you can be confident that your content reaches your audience wherever they are, no matter what device they are on. Your communication site looks great on the web, on PC and Mac, on mobile browsers, and in your SharePoint mobile apps. Tap on links within your site to seamlessly enjoy native experiences, where available. The result is a vibrant, interactive, dynamic experience for your site visitors. We are eager for you to give it a try and do let us know how it works for you. Tell us how we can make this feature better and more useful moving forward. Note: Communication sites are rolling out gradually to all organizations. If you can’t create one yet, the update hasn't rolled out to your organization yet. As of August 2, 2017, the team was close to 50% rollout worldwide.


Improving SharePoint Links and Announcement Lists

As we continue to improve SharePoint, we're updating two more list types. Links and Announcement lists now have improved page performance, responsiveness and accessibility, just like your other lists. Last year, we introduced two new web parts -- Quick Links and News. These provide even more capabilities to share dynamic information about related sites and team updates on any page to any device on a SharePoint site. For most scenarios, we recommend the use of Quick Links and News. This announcement is not intended to replace Quick Links or News but rather to give users of those lists a more consistent experience with the rest of SharePoint. Links and Announcement lists are not supported by the Lists web part. If you need to add links or updates in a web part on a modern SharePoint page, we recommend the Quick Links and News web parts. Currently, these lists automatically fallback to classic mode.  This update will eliminate the need for auto-fallback. Administrators can choose the classic experience for Announcement and Links lists in advance of the rollout by implementing the steps in this support article, Switch the default experience for lists or document libraries from new or classic. We expect to start the rollout of this feature around August 8, 2017.




Microsoft Mechanics: Microsoft Planner Updates

Format: Video (10 minutes) | This episode of Microsoft Mechanics takes a look at the recent updates to Microsoft Planner, including the updated look and feel, as well as faster web interface, deeper integration with Office 365 app experiences such as Microsoft Teams, assigning multiple users to a task, new ways to access your plans on the go via mobile and how you can automate your plans with Microsoft Flow.


New Office 365 Groups Feature Announcement: PowerShell support of Allow/Block guest access based on Domain list

We are happy to announce the world-wide roll-out of Allow/Block list support for guest access in O365 Groups. With this feature, IT Admins can set-up a list of domains to (a) Allow guest users of specific domains to be invited to Groups, (b) Block guest users of specific domains to be invited to Groups. This policy currently can be set-up through PowerShell & coming soon through UI. We have provided a user-friendly script to set-up allow/block list for your tenant. This policy works for all workloads with Guest access through O365 Groups such as Outlook,  Teams & Planner in future. This work independently with SPO settings but we have provided support to: Migrate SPO allow/block list to O365 Groups. We will be supporting this functionality in OAC(Office Admin Portal) through user interface soon. Complete documentation, and the script referenced above, are available in the Allow/Block guest access to Office 365 groups article.


Deprecation of SharePoint Online Site Mailboxes

In March 2017, we took the first step towards deprecating site mailboxes by announcing that we will stop the creation of new ones. Today you can no longer create site mailboxes and over time we will stop support for the product completely. We understand that this decision will be disappointing for a few of you. But after a lot of internal deliberation, we have decided to deprecate site mailboxes and invest in Office 365 groups. In its short duration of existence, Office 365 Groups have already seen a much larger adoption than site mailboxes. This, coupled with the ability to associate a group with a SharePoint team site make Office 365 Groups the ideal replacement for site mailboxes. We understand that we have a lot of customers still actively using site mailboxes and that this deprecation will affect their day to day operations. We assure such customers that we are working on providing a solution for the transition process. By the end of 2017 we will have a process in place which will let you connect your classic experience SharePoint team site to an Office 365 group.


What's new for Auto Attendants and Call Queues in July 2017

We are always working to improve Auto Attendants and Call Queues in Skype for Business, and we are excited to tell you about the July 2017 features and updates, as summarized below:

  • Users can now receive Auto Attendants and Call Queues calls on Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android Skype for Business clients
  • Admins can now use O365 Groups (both public and private) to limit the scope of users reachable with Dial by Name feature in Auto Attendants
  • The maximum size of the name list supported for name recognition with Speech has been increased from 50,000 to 80,000 users in Auto Attendants
  • Improved accuracy of recognition for similar-sounding names for name recognition with Speech in Dial by Name feature of Auto Attendant
  • To protect user anonymity, admins can now use PowerShell to enable users to make outbound calls on behalf of an Auto Attendant or Call Queue using a policy called CallingLineIdentity
  • Auto Attendant has been updated with an enhanced English (US) Text to Speech voice


An update to Azure AD Conditional Access for

On August 24th, a change will roll out that requires users to satisfy any policies set on Exchange Online and SharePoint Online when accessing For example, if a policy requiring multi-factor authentication (MFA) or a compliant device has been applied to SharePoint or Exchange, this policy will also apply to users signing into The main impact will be to users who use but have not already satisfied SharePoint and Exchange policies. In these cases, they can take the steps to satisfy policy or, in cases in which this is not an option, where users are attempting to access to install Office applications, they can do so from


The new Azure AD Sign-in Experience is now in Public Preview

We’re continuing to make progress on converging the Azure AD and Microsoft account identity systems. One of the big steps on this journey is to redesign the sign-in UI so both systems look consistent. We're happy to announce that this updated design is in public preview! Azure AD & Microsoft account sign-in pages will both change to have a consistent look and feel, so you won’t experience anymore jarring transitions when you move between the two. The new design prompts you to enter your username on the first screen followed by a credential (typically a password) on a second screen. We’ve done a lot of testing of this design and our telemetry shows that people are able to sign in with a notably higher success rate using this approach. It also sets us up to be able to easily introduce new forms of authentication like phone sign-in and certificate-based authentication. As of August 2nd, you’ll see a banner on the Azure AD sign-in page giving users the option to opt-in to see the new experience. We know that this will be a disruptive change for some of you, but we believe that this sets us up for an exciting future of innovation in the sign-in space. To give you time to prepare for the change, we’ll leave the new experience as an opt-in public preview for the next few weeks. We plan to switch over to the new UI by default during the last week of September.