Upcoming Enhancements and Changes for Microsoft 365
This post summarizes enhancements and changes that Microsoft is making to Microsoft 365, mostly within the next 90 days, which will include changes to Outlook and Microsoft Teams.
Outlook for Windows: Signature cloud syncing, rollout will be complete by April
This enhancement changes where your email signature data is stored from per-device to per-account. This means the same set of email signatures will be available on any Windows (Microsoft 365) or web version of Outlook, and you will no longer need to reconfigure your signatures when getting a new device.
Outlook clients with this enhancement will migrate the local signatures to the cloud automatically, no manual steps are required.
Release date for support on Mac Outlook and Outlook mobile has not yet been announced.
Email Message Reactions
In Outlook, you can now react to an email message sent from someone in the same tenant without having to send a reply email. Show your appreciation and empathy with one click or tap. Note: This does not replace the need to reply to messages.
Users will see a reactions icon (a face) in a message for any messages sent from someone internally. They can hover over or tap it to see all the possible reaction options.
Reactions will also send a digest email to a user who received any reactions. You may opt out of this by following the instructions in the digest email.
The Outlook on Windows update for this functionality will roll out by the end of March 2023.
Comments on Whiteboards on the web and Windows roll out is expected to be complete by May 2023. This enhancement will provide the ability to add comments on a whiteboard to aid in discussion with board participants, including a comments pane to see all comments on a given whiteboard.
A release date for support on mobile has not yet been announced.
Whiteboard Sticky Notes Attribution Support
The Attribution functionality within Whiteboard allows you to view who was the first and latest to write on a Sticky Note. This feature has fully rolled out as of this post.
Visio Viewer on iOS Mobile Retirement
Microsoft Visio Viewer app on iOS will be retired and removed from the App Store on August 14, 2023, and will no longer work on iPhones and iPads. As a substitute, users can view their drawing in Visio for the web. Just save a file in OneDrive or SharePoint to open it within the web app.
Enhancements in Teams
Upcoming enhancements include:
"Raised Hand" Automatic Lowering After Speaking
Teams will soon have a feature that will alert attendees in meetings that have raised their hands and already had their questions addressed to automatically lower their hand. This will allow meeting organizers the opportunity to focus on unanswered questions.
Users who raise their hand in a Teams meeting and speak in the meeting will see a notification informing them that their hand will automatically be lowered soon. They will be able to choose to keep their hand raised. If the user doesn't act on the notification, their hand will automatically lower. This should ensure smoother meeting facilitation for organizers and presenters.
Feature will be rolled out by the end of March 2023.
Forms App Polling to be Replaced by Polls App
The Teams Meeting Forms app is being refocused to provide an improved survey experience, all polling and quiz features in Teams meeting and chat are being transitioned to the new Polls app.
No action is required to transfer any poll response data from the Forms app to the new Polls app, the transfer will occur automatically.
This removal of the polling features from the Forms app will be completed by September 2023, people can begin using the Polls app now.
Planner App Changes
Planner task notes field will soon have have rich text capability.
The Planner app on the web and in Teams will be gaining support for rich text (bold, italics, underline, etc.) in the Planner task notes field. Support for images is coming in a future update.
Compatibility between the rich text task notes field and plain text task notes field when using different Planner apps will be automatically maintained, however be aware of the following:
- If a person edits the plain text task notes field via a client which only supports the plain text field, the contents in the plain text task notes field is synced to the rich text task notes field without modification. Therefore, edits to the plain text task notes field will result in the removal of any pre-existing rich text, or text formatting in the rich text notes field.
This feature will be rolled out by mid-March for Planner on the Web and in Teams. Other Planner experiences in iOS, Android, SharePoint, and Power Automate will only support plain text task notes at this time, a future update is planned to allow these apps to support rich text in the notes field.
Yammer will be rebranded as Viva Engage over the next few months. This is a change in name only, current services, capabilities and features will remain unchanged.
In addition, there are Teams feature retirements to share:
- Teams Connectors Retiring: Microsoft will be retiring some Microsoft Teams connector apps (aka Microsoft 365 connectors) starting in March 2023. This does not apply to Power Automate connectors. If you are not using Connectors in Teams, you can safely ignore this message. The full list of connectors retiring and transitioning to new URLs is available.