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What’s New In Microsoft 365 | August 2021

With Microsoft Inspire and SPFest Chicago in our rearview mirrors, it is time to look forward to the latest features and enhancements being rolled out to Microsoft 365. Before doing that though, we suggest checking out the Inspire Book of News to see if there is anything you may be interested in taking advantage of in the future. FYI: We are very intrigued by the announcement of tighter integrations between Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams.

SharePoint Collapsible Sections

MC266077

If you are involved in Microsoft 365, you likely already know about the 365 Message Center Show. If you do not already, we highly recommend subscribing. That said, when we first saw this announcement, we had a feeling it would be discussed on that show, and we weren’t wrong. This has been a common request from folks who want to pack a lot of information on single SharePoint page for quite some time. While it is nice to see it coming out, we have some concerns about users not recognizing the expandable/collapsible sections, specifically when the section is collapsed by default. As noted in the message center post: “You might want to notify your users about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate.”.

Message Summary

This new feature will allow users to create rich, information-dense SharePoint pages. As part of this release, we will enable the page author to configure sections within the SharePoint page to be able to expand, collapse and set the default page-load state for the section.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 67147.

When this will happen

We will begin rolling out to Targeted release (select users and organization) in early July and expect to be complete for Standard release in late July.

How this will affect your organization

This feature will give authors new ways to build rich and interesting SharePoint pages.

You might want to notify your users about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate.

Help and support

Microsoft 365 profile update: Add topics to user profiles

MC267952 · Published Jul 8, 2021

We have long felt Delve is one of the more underutilized applications in the Microsoft 365 service. It seems like organizations are either “all in” or not at all when it comes to having users fill out their profile details in Delve, but hopefully this update will incentivize folks to update some details about themselves. Previously, surfacing that content in SharePoint or Teams required a developer and with these new feature’s users should be able to add them directly to the profile card, previously referred to as people card.   Unfortunately, it still looks like filling in the profile details falls to the individual users though, which makes a lot of sense given the information being input, but for many organizations that is likely still a roadblock. 

Message Summary

We’re adding new features to the profile card in Microsoft 365 and beginning in early August. Users in your organization will be able to add topics directly to their profile card in Microsoft 365 apps and services or through Office Delve.

  • Topics are terms that individuals can add to their profile through their profile card or Office Delve.
  • Users can add topics to their profile to make it easier for people to learn more about them.
  • Topics can be skills, projects, and even hobbies.
  • When others search for a term that matches a topic on their profile, their name and profile picture may show up in search results across Microsoft apps.

Key points

  • Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 82081
  • Timing: We will begin rolling this feature out in early August and expect to complete rollout in mid-October 2021.
  • Roll-out: tenant level
  • Control type: user control / admin control
  • Action: review and assess

How this will affect your organization

Users in your organization will be able to add topics to their profiles by either updating their information in the profile card in Microsoft 365 apps and services or Office Delve.

  • Topics added will be available to view for users under “Ask me about” in the Microsoft 365 profile card and under “Skills and expertise” in Office Delve.

Note: If you have a closed term set up for “Responsibilities”, please see below.

What you need to do to prepare

If you have a closed term set up for “Responsibilities”, also known as topics, please note that the setting of that term set does not apply to topics shown on profile cards in Microsoft 365 apps and services and is limited to Office Delve. Users will be able to add topics on their profile cards in Microsoft 365 apps and services without restriction even where you have a closed term set up for “Responsibilities”.

To disable topics on profile cards in Microsoft 365 apps and services where you have a closed term set up for “Responsibilities”, please contact Microsoft support at LPCTopicsOptOut@microsoft.com with your request and tenant Id. LPCTopicsOptOut

Help and support

New default settings when opening Office files

MC268957 · Published Jul 13, 2021

Message Summary

Do you hate having to click on an ellipses hover over Open and selecting Open in app every single time you open an Office document in Microsoft Teams? If so, this feature is for you😉. We are not shy about our disdain for Office Online when dealing with any complexity in Office files and have pushed syncing content via OneDrive for Business to get the “Open in App” functionality by default for quite a while. This is a great feature to enable users to continue to stay within the context of Microsoft Teams and cut a second or so of time when opening office files…does not seem like much but if you are opening hundreds of files a day it is a big deal!

This new feature allows users to set a default of browser, desktop or Teams when opening Office files (Word, Excel, and Power Point) that are shared in Teams.

  • The desktop setting can be selected if the user has Office version 16 or newer installed and activated.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 82662.

When this will happen

Targeted Release: We will begin rolling this out in end July and expect to complete by end of August

Standard: We will begin rolling this out in mid-August and expect to complete by late September

GCC: We will begin rolling this out in early September and expect to complete by early October

GCC High: We will begin rolling this out in early September and expect to complete by early October

DOD: We will begin rolling this out in early September and expect to complete by early October

How this will affect your organization

To change your default setting, go to your profile picture then select Settings > General >. Scroll to the bottom of the general section to Files. There’s a dropdown menu where you can choose between TeamsDesktop app, and Browser. The default location is the Teams app. The option to choose Desktop app is only available when using the Teams desktop app for Windows or macOS and only applies to that device. If you’re only using Teams on the web, you’ll be able to choose between Teams and Browser.

You can manually choose where a file is opened without changing your default setting by going to the file and selecting More options … > Open in.


Additionally, within the manual selection page, you have the option to change the default settings that will apply to the overall setting for opening the Office files.

What you need to do to prepare

You need to ensure that this information is communicated within your organization and ensure all users have Office version 16 or newer installed and activated.

Releasing Fluid live components in Teams chat

MC270177 · Published Jul 14, 2021

Before we dive into this feature, let us first take a moment to point out that we should all get used to hearing and seeing the word “Fluid” coming from Microsoft over the next year, potentially longer. If you are a developer that probably is not much of a surprise but to the rest of the Microsoft 365 community that might seem a bit odd. If you are unfamiliar with Fluid we highly suggest checking out the Fluid Framework open-source announcement blog post from last September.

The feature itself is straightforward, users will be able to co-author chats in MS Teams. We will wait to see the implementation to pass judgment on it from an IT Pro/Admin standpoint, but we can see some benefits to enabling this functionality. Every week we send our customers weekly status reports containing the work completed the previous period. That process is almost entirely automated and pulls the data directly from our time management system; however, not all the folks who receive the status reports are technical, so we modify some of our work descriptions each week to be more concise and less technical in nature. Those updates are posted in the various Teams and each team member validates the updates via Teams chats, which results in a lot of scrolling up and down when there are many tasks updated. Making that initial message author-able by the other team members will be hugely beneficial for us by condensing the chat threads considerably.

Message Summary

Co-authoring content in Teams just got easier. Now you can send a chat message containing a live component that can be edited inline—in real time—by everyone in the chat.

Key points

  • Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID: 82779
  • Timing:
    • Standard: we will begin rolling this out in mid-August and expect to complete rollout late August.
    • GCC: we will begin rolling this out in early September and expect to complete rollout late September.
  • Roll-out: tenant level
  • Control type: user control
  • Action: review and assess

How this will affect your organization

Fluid components in Teams chat allow end users to send a message with a table, action items, or a list that can be co-authored and edited by everyone in line and in the future will be shareable across Office applications like Outlook. Users will be able to quickly align across teams, and get work done efficiently by copy and pasting components across Teams chats.

With Fluid components users can ideate, create, and decide together, while holding fewer meetings and minimizing the need for long chat threads.

Steps on Desktop:

  1. Go to the box where you type a chat message and click on Insert live components right beneath the box.
  2. Select the type of component you want to insert into your message. (Make sure the box is empty—with no other text in it—when you do this.)
  3. Enter content into the component. Change permissions if needed.
  4. When ready, send your message.

Steps on Mobile:

  1. Tap Compose options in the + menu , then tap Components , and select the type of component you want.
  2. Enter content, and when ready, tap Send.

To co-edit a live component with other chat members:

  1. Simply click inside the component and start typing.
  2. See others editing with you in real time.

What you need to do to prepare

You might want to notify your users about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate.

SharePoint News Boost

MC271075 · Published Jul 17, 2021

Another callout to the 365 Message Center Show on this one. We believe that is the biggest win on this one is the ability to set the visibility prioritization time. We are still migrating customers to SharePoint Online from legacy editions of SharePoint On-Premises that are pushing back on moving from the classic announcements lists because they have expiration in place on them. Hopefully, this will eliminate having to do a cost benefit analysis on transitioning to the News experience moving forward!

Message Summary

This new feature will allow you to prioritize important news and announcements at the top of news feeds across Microsoft 365. Additionally, you can even prioritize visibility of a news article for a set time that you can control.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 70810.

When this will happen

We will begin rolling out in late July and expect to complete by mid-August.

How this will affect your organization:

You can now boost important news posts on organizational news sites, to all employees & ensure higher readership.

Boost news in Command bar

Boost configurations



Boost article example



What you need to do to prepare

You might want to notify all organization news site admins and authors about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate.

Help and support

Power Platform data loss prevention policies – New capabilities announced

MC271769 · Published Jul 20, 2021

Consider this a friendly reminder that the Power Platform supports DLP and has for a while. This is especially important for folks in large organizations or highly restricted industries to take note of as it was a major hurdle for full adoption of Power Apps and Power Automate. If the lack of these capabilities was stopping your organization from taking advantage of these services, it is time to reevaluate that stance and put together a strategy for the implementation. Your business user will thank you.  

Message Summary

Additional capabilities are being added to allow you greater control and customization of your Power Platform data loss prevention (DLP) policies:

The following DLP capabilities will be available by the end of July 2021:

In addition to these PowerShell capabilities, column filtering will be available on the Data Policies page within the Power Platform admin center. This will allow you to filter by the “Blockable” category to help identify connectors more-quickly and classify them into the appropriate buckets.

As always, there are a lot of things happening in Microsoft 365, so be sure to check out the Tech Community Blogs and the Microsoft 365 Roadmap for more of what’s new.  


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