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What’s New In Microsoft 365 (July 2020)

This month we will be pointing out a couple messages Microsoft really, really wants us to pay attention to as well as few great SharePoint Online features coming soon. You may notice a lack of Teams focused messages this month but don’t worry…there is still quite a bit of Teams goodness in the pipeline on the roadmap😉.  

Changes to the My Apps and My Account Interfaces

For those keeping score at home this is the 3rd or possibly 4th update on this feature change in the past few months. The number of updates on this make me think that Microsoft really, really wants us to be aware of this change😉.  

This major update will change how the Azure AD Apps and Profile pages look.  On July 20th, 2020 all users will be automatically updated to the new interface experience.  The My Apps and My Account pages will offer the same functionality as before, but with ‘an improved user interface on top of new capabilities to enable your users to be productive.’  Microsoft recommends that organizations choose to update to the new interface as soon as possible to give users more time to adjust before the update becomes mandatory on July 20th.

Schedule pages and news posts in SharePoint

Again, if your keeping score at home this is the 2nd or 3rd update to this message, it seems like Microsoft really wants us to know about this one as well😉. Microsoft is introducing the ability for SharePoint page authors to schedule pages and news posts for publication at a future date and time.  SharePoint site owners will have the option to enable scheduling on their sites; it is disabled by default.   When scheduling is enabled, page authors will be able to set a date and time for their pages and news posts to publish.  This update will be implemented for all users in late June and will be complete in early July 2020.  You may wish to notify site owners and developers that they can now schedule the publishing of pages and news posts.

The new scheduling interface will appear like this in SharePoint:

Update to the List Item Sharing

Another seemingly minimalistic update here that is probably going to be very well received by the SharePoint community.  Once this update is rolled out, we will no longer need to copy/paste a link to a list to share it with someone that already has access. Plus, we won’t have to go into the list/library settings to grant access (be careful breaking permissions inheritance folks).

Microsoft is updating the List and List Item sharing experience for SharePoint.  Site owners, members, and visitors will now see a Share command when they are viewing a list, even when they don’t have any list items selected. Site owners will be able to grant other users’ access to the list and can specify whether to give View-only, Edit, or Full Control permissions to the list.  Other users (e.g. site members and visitors) cannot directly grant other users access to the list, but they can use the dialog to send an approval request to site owners if the site is set up to allow access requests (enabled by default).   If the site does not allow access requests, then non-owners will get a message letting them know they do not have permissions to share.  This new way of sharing will be available on individual or multiple selected list items as well. 

Clicking the Share button on a list or list item will bring up a dialog box like this:

If a user with the correct credentials wishes to edit the Sharing settings of a list from the page, a dialog box like this one is now accessible: 

All the existing sharing policies you’ve defined will still apply, this update will only add additional ways to manage and share lists and list items.  The update will be complete and live in mid to late July 2020.  You may want to update your Microsoft 365 and SharePoint training materials and inform frequent SharePoint list users that there are new ways to share and manage the sharing of lists and list items.  For more information on sharing lists and list items in SharePoint, view the latest Microsoft documentation.

SharePoint Default Page Templates

This one kind of appeals to the “control freak” within all of us I would assume. Site owners will now be able to set a default template for all SharePoint editors who are creating pages and news on their site using the page template picker.  Now if we could only force them to use only our templates😉.

This update is expected to be fully implemented by mid-July 2020. You may want to notify SharePoint site owners and developers that this feature will be available soon.  Learn more about creating and using page templates in SharePoint.  

Audience Targeting in Site, Footer, and Hub Navigation

Are your site owners tired of rejecting access requests to their private team sites that are being displayed in a hub site’s navigation? If yes, this announcement is a welcome one.  SharePoint site owners will soon be able to filter navigational links to specific audiences by using audience targeting.  While editing the site, hub, or footer navigation, site owners will see the toggle setting for navigation audience targeting.

This feature will be available in SharePoint by the end of June 2020.  You may want to notify your site owners and developers that this feature is now available.  For more information on audience targeting, view the latest documentation pages here:

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