Microsoft Office 365 April Updates

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If you are in the Office 365 world, you know that it is continuesly bein updated.

In the past few weeks Microsoft has announced multiple updates to Office 365 (Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Online, Stream and Azure AD sign-in experience). Some of these updates will affect the end users.

In order to avoid some surprises to your users, you should plan to communicate these changes to your users.

Here is a list of some of these updates :

What’s new in Microsoft Teams – April update

  • Skype for Business contacts are coming to Teams – All your contacts and groups that you created in Skype for Business will show up in Teams under your contact list
  • Unified Presence between Teams and Skype for Business – Presence states for users (i.e. available, busy or in a call) will now be aggregated between Teams and Skype for Business
  • Out of office message – Your out of office status and message will now show up in Microsoft Teams when people hover over your people card.
  • Skype for Business Interop with Persistent Chat – added the ability for Teams users to communicate with other users who are using Skype for Business (both online or on-prem)
  • Improved notifications about calls – If you have a missed call or a new voicemail, you’ll start seeing a notification in your Activity feed
  • Support for new languages – now support Indonesian, Romanian, and Vietnamese
  • Collaborate securely with anyone in Microsoft Teams with guest access – rolled out the ability to add anyone as a guest in Microsoft Teams. Read the full announcement for all details.
  • More channels per team – now able to create up to 200 channels per team
  • New Microsoft Teams & Skype for Business Admin Center including Messaging Policies – The new admin center provides you with additional functionality including the ability to manage messaging policies on a user level. Read the full announcement for all details.
  • Retention policies – With retention policies for conversations, chats, and channel messages, you can decide proactively whether to retain content, delete content, or both, and then retain or delete the content based on a time duration. Read the full announcement for all details
  • Install Microsoft Teams using MSI – Admins can now use MSI files (32-bit and 64-bit) to remotely deploy Microsoft Teams so that users do not have to manually download the Teams app. Read the full announcement for all details.
  • New features available on Teams iOS & Android apps – The features Skype for Business Interop with persistent chat, unified presence between Teams and Skype for Business as well as contact groups have started to roll out on mobile clients as well.
  • Guest access on mobile – Guest access and account switching is now available on iOS and Android, and on unmanaged and managed devices

Upcoming improvements to the Azure AD sign-in experience

  • Updated layout and styling of UI elements
  • Moving all screens to the new sign-in experience
  • Updated ADFS web theme so you can update your ADFS servers to have a consistent look across federated sign-ins

In June 2018, we’re making changes to the native social capabilities in SharePoint Online

Beginning in June 2018, the company feed will be set to read-only for existing Tenants and the option to implement the Newsfeed capability will be removed for new Office Tenants. For customers using the company feed we recommend considering options such as Team News, Communication Sites, and/or Yammer.

New Stream Features – April 2018

  • Tier-C compliance – Stream is now certified to be a Tier-C compliant service in the Office 365 compliance framework. This includes certifications for compliance standards like SOC 1, SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA, and EU Model Clauses.
  • Spotlight videos on Home page – This enables admins to highlight (or spotlight) videos on Stream to raise visibility on those and bring them to employees. (Ability for group owners to spotlight videos to their group coming soon).
  • Cloud recording for meetings in Microsoft Teams (coming soon) – Stream enables recording of meetings in Teams and making those available for consumption after the meeting.
  • More seamless SSO with Teams – Stream now supports seamless SSO for Stream videos and channel embedded in Teams when using the Teams desktop client.
  • Edit transcripts and people timelines – Customer can edit automatically generated transcripts and curate face timelines. (E5 or Stream Plan 2 licenses only)
  • Splitting who can create channels and who can upload videos – Admins can now specify a different set of people who can upload videos to Stream from those that can create company wide channels.


Announced 3 additions to the PowerApps Office Template Series: Meeting Capture, QuickTask, and Company Pulse


Microsoft Group Forms

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Microsoft Forms is a great tool to create fast and re-usable forms or Quizzes.

Description from :

« With Microsoft Forms, you can create surveys, quizzes, and polls, and easily see results as they come in. When you create a quiz or form, you can invite others to respond to it using any web browser, even on mobile devices. As results are submitted, you can use built-in analytics to evaluate responses. Form data, such as quiz results, can be easily exported to Excel for additional analysis or grading. »

It is important to understand that when a user creates a new form by accessing the form service from or from the App Launcher, it will create a personnal form.

Important : All personal forms will be deleted when the user account is deleted.

New Group Forms

We can now create Team or Group Forms, that will be attached to the Group (not just the user)

Group Forms will not be deleted when the user account is deleted.

A Group form can be created from:

Microsoft Teams Client

  • Click on a Team
  • Click on a Channel
  • Click on Files
  • Click New
  • Click Excel
  • In Excel online click Forms
  • Click New From ( I know, it’s not very intuitive at the moment, but it’s in preview)

  • The Excel document will be stored in the groups SharePoint document library

Group forms can also be created from the SharePoint site that is tied to the group

  • Access the SharePoint site
  • Go to the document library
  • Click New
  • Click forms from Excel
  • The Excel document will be stored in the groups document library

Note: At the time of writing this article, forms for Excel are not available Communication sites. They are only available in Microsoft Teams, In SharePoint site tied to an Office 365 group or Team, or from OneDrive For Business (personal forms)

Where do I find my group forms

From the Forms service you can now see the personal forms (My forms) and the group forms (Recent group forms).

Note: Under Recent group forms, you will see only the group forms that you have edited or created.

Information on how to create a form:

Microsoft Forms is in public preview mode, this means that it can cane without notifications.

This article reflects the state of group forms as of March 28th 2018.

Happy Form!

Excel Co-authoring requirements

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Microsoft Excel (Desktop application) allows to have multiple users to work on the same document at the same time (co-authoring). This is a great feature, but it might not be available for you…

What you need to co-author?

  • You need an Office 365 subscription.
  • You need the latest version of Office installed. (Important)
  • You need to sign in to Office with your subscription account.
  • You need to use Excel Workbooks in .xlsx, .xlsm, or .xlsb files. If your file isn’t in this format, open the file and then click File > Save As > Browse > Save as type. Change the format to Excel Workbook (*.xlsx). Please note that co-authoring does not support the Strict Open XML Spreadsheet format.

Latest version of Office

Excel co-editing was introduced in July 2017. This explains why Excel co-authoring might not be available for you (if you don’t have the right version).

On top of the version number,
Co-authoring and autosave are not yet supported for customers who are on the FRDC or SA (semi-annual) release channel. These features are only available for customers on the current channel (CC).  (Even if your Office version is higher than 1707.8326.2058…)

To see the the type of update that your office subscription is on :

  • Open Excel
  • Goto Files
  • Click on Account
  • Look for Subcription product

If you are on Semi-annual Channel, Excel desktop application Co-authoring will not work.

You have to be on Current Channel

The update channels can be controlled by your Administrator, you might not have to option to change this.

More information on update channels

Version and build numbers of update channel releases

Hope this helps you understand.

New Yammer Group Categories

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Microsoft is planning to add categories to Yammer groups.

During the creation process of a Yammer group, you will eventually be able to add a category to your group. It’s not clear as to what categories are going to be available as there are two different articles from Microsoft showing two different types of categories. And it’s not clear yet as how you will be able to manage the categories.

Source :

Source :

The categories will make it easier to find the type of groups you are looking for.

The category will be shown in the left navigation bar and on the group header. (see image below)

For more information see these two articles :

Microsoft Ignite 2017 day 1 recap

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Day of 1 of Microsoft Ignite 2017 is done. It’s time to do a recap of the Office 365 and announcements of the day.

First there was the keynote with Satya Nadella CEO at Microsoft. 

There was a lot of talk about Digital Transformation and how Microsoft is going to help their customers to get there.


Teamwork will be used more often than Collaboration in Microsoft communication. 

Microsoft Mission

Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Not about technology, but what you can do with Technology! 

MR and AI

  • There was a lot of talk about Mixed Reality (MR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • It was announced that the New Windows Mixed Reality will be available october 17 2017

There was a demo with Ford showing someone that connected on an Hololens using multifactor autentication to be able to see the new designs. They displayed the Hololens view in a Microsoft Teams meeting. The meeting was recorded and stored in Microsoft team to allow the people that could not attend the meeting to watch the video later. 

Here is more announcements heard during the day: 

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 was announced before the ignite, but there was a lot of noise about it today at Ignite


Microsoft 365 Enterprise is a complete, intelligent solution, including Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, that empowers everyone to be creative and work together, securely.


More on Microsoft 365 : 

Microsoft Graph everywhere


Will bring the power of graph to your brower to find not only what is popular, but what you and your colleague are working with. Microsoft Graph will connect with Linkedin Graph to bring better results about people. Artificial Inteligence will make search work even better.


Bing for business

Accelerate productivity with search and discovery in SharePoint and Office 365

 Naomi Moneypenny and
Katherine Hammervold talked about a lot a new search features in Office 365 in the session :

  • What’s popular isn’t always the right answer
  • What works online does not always work in corp
  • Learning from you and your work
  • Evolving search to be more organized and relevant than ever
  • Matching popular results with people and behavior new home page using search to show

  • Recent documents
  • Recommanded documents
  • Content that is trending in your teams

Search meets you wherever you are.

Office 365 search will be available in :

  • Windows
  • SharePoint
  • Office apps
  • Bing 

Multi-geo search capability

  • Data is stored locally in the region
  • Search results span and unify indices based on your employee’s query and location
  • Support whether your data is stored in a couple or all date regions around the world

Enterprise search in Windows

  • Familiar, fast, rich experience users are accustomed to with search engines right from the Windows taskbar
  • Find documents locally and in Office 365, even query content inside the document
  • Intelligent discovery of people based on who you work with most, with contact options to connect instantly

Visual Content intelligence 

  • Search will have text extraction and can recognize objects to improve your search experience
  • In a demo Naomi found a scanned restaurant receipt that mentioned rib steak.

Search Roamap

From other sessions:   

Teams and Skype

  • Skype client will be eventually replaced by the Microsoft Teams Client.
  • Microsoft Teams client will get Skype features like: voice, video, chat, phone calls, contacts
  • Microsoft Teams is the hub for teamwork in Office 365
  • A release of a new version of Skype for business Server will come in year 2018.


Linked profiles integration in Oulook and search

  • We will eventually see linked profile integration in Oulook.
  • There will be an adminstrators option to not enable this.

Usage reports in Office 365

  • Reports Reader Role in Office 365
  • In early 2018 the Office 365 adoption PowerBI content pack will be renamed will to Usage Analytics
  • Reports will include information on how people work in teams
  • Two new usage reports for teams
    • Microsoft teams user activity
    • Microsoft Teams app usage


Source :

To hear more look for this session :

Office 365 groups

There were probably more announcements, but I could not be everywhere.


Chat with style with Microsoft Teams

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Microsoft teams is the new communication tool that Microsoft is adding to Office 365 subscriptions.

With the Microsoft teams coming out this week, here are some tricks to add style to your conversations.

The chat tool allow you to add text, attachments, emojis, sticker and video conversations.

Adding text

You can add style to your text conversation by clicking on , where you can set your text to bold, Italic and more.

You can also add style to the chat by using the Markdown syntax.

Here are some commands that you can use in your chat box.

*yourboldtext* will show the text in bold

_yourItalicText_ will show the text in Italic

[YourTextInSquareBracket](YourUrlInParenthesis) will put a hyperlink on your text.

Here is list of what you can do with Markdown in Microsoft Teams:




Bold text


bold text

Italic text


italic text



Numbered list

Start your conversation with 1. Item one

Then when you click enter the numbered list will continue


1. Item one
2. Item two

Unordered list (use * or -)


· Item one
· Item two

Hyperlink (Add your text between square brackets)


Here’s a link.

Multi-line code block


(not available)

Inline block of code


(not available)





Adding Emojis

Adding Stickers

Adding attachments

Adding attachment to your conversation is cool, but you have to make sure that you have a great naming convention to find your document. There is no search available (at the moment), you have to rely on the file name.

The attachment tool will show you your most recent documents, documents from your OneDrive for Business or the documents from your team.

For more information, see this link: Getting the best messaging experience


If you like keyboard shortcuts, here is a list of shortcuts that can be used with Microsoft Teams.

Have fun with team conversations.

Global availability of Microsoft Teams

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Microsoft is holding an online session on March 14th at 8:30 a.m. to launch the global availability of Microsoft Teams. Follow this link to signup

Microsoft Teams is a Chat based tool that has been available to Office 365 customer that have activated First Release. The new tool has received great reviews and will be globally available on March 14th.

If you want to learn more about teams have a look at this page, where you will find explanation and the following links.

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