Get Organized with Microsoft 365 Features Coming this Summer

Enhancements to Teams and Outlook will enable you to streamline your experience to work more efficiently. Enhancements include new controls for meeting organizers, new functionality for the presenter toolbar in Teams meetings, options for streamlining your Team and Channel listings and more. Read on for more details about upcoming enhancements. 

Microsoft Teams Updates

Retirement of Teams Channel Connectors 

 

Microsoft will be retiring the Microsoft Office 365 connectors feature in Microsoft Teams, also referred to as Teams Channel Connectors.  This functionality is being replaced by the new Workflows app in Teams

  1. You can check to see if you are using a connector
  2. Go to the team or channel you would like to check
  3. Open the More Options menu from the upper right corner of a channel
  4. Select Connectors from the menu
  5. Locate or search for the required connector. 

When a user with an active Office 365 connector posts a message in Teams, a warning message about the impending retirement of the connector is included at the bottom of the message.  More details are available on Microsoft's site under Retirement of Office 365 connectors within Microsoft Teams 

WHEN: 

  • Wave 1: Effective August 15th, 2024: All new Connector creation will be blocked within all clouds
  • Wave 2: Effective October 1st, 2024: All connectors will stop working 

New Control for Do Not Disturb while Screen Sharing 

Currently when a user is engaged in screen sharing, Microsoft Teams automatically switches their presence to “Do Not Disturb” (DND) during a call or meeting. While in DND mode, users do not receive notifications of calls, meetings, or chats, except from priority contacts. This automatic presence transition is aimed to help users concentrate on their tasks without interruptions. A new setting will be added to allow people to control the DND behavior while screen sharing. 

WHEN: Microsoft has begun rolling out this enhancement and will complete it by the end of July 2024. 

HOW: A new setting will be added to allow people to control the DND behavior while screen sharing. 

Draggable Presenter Toolbar while Screensharing in Teams Meetings

Microsoft is introducing a new draggable version of the Presenter Toolbar in Microsoft Teams that gives presenters more control over the shared screen space. Presenters can customize the location of the Presenter Toolbar based on the layout of the content being shared. The Presenter Toolbar will use minimum space by collapsing when not in use after a timeout of 4 seconds. When collapsed, a red badge showing the sharing status will still be visible to clearly indicate the ongoing sharing session. 

WHEN: Microsoft has begun rolling out this enhancement and will complete it by the end of June 2024. 

HOW: When sharing content during a meeting, presenters can reposition the Presenter Toolbar from its default location at the top of the screen to any other area of the shared screen by moving it to the preferred position. The Presenter Toolbar can be dragged from any non-interactive area as well as from a new drag handle.

New controls for Permissions When Admitting Participants from Lobby 

Currently, the capability to admit attendees from lobby and the capability to present are combined into one meeting role: Presenter. This often results in situations where meeting participants, not in charge of meeting management, can admit people from the lobby to enter the meeting, and the meeting organizer has no way to control it. This feature update will introduce a meeting option for meeting organizers to be in control of who can admit people from the lobby. 

WHEN: Microsoft has begun rolling out this enhancement and will complete it by the end of July 2024. 

HOW: This option can be controlled from the “Meeting options” screen. 

Screenshot of the Meeting Options menu in Microsoft Teams

Retiring Channels to Reduce Clutter and Improve Focus 

When active collaboration in a project ends but you need to keep the collaboration context for future reference, channel owners and administrators can archive a channel they own or manage. When archiving, you are turning off the option to have additional conversations and hiding from the channels list, for channels that are no longer used or relevant. Archiving a channel preserves channel content, including messages, files, and tabs, but removes it from the active list of channels in your or channel members’ view. Once a channel has been archived, actions such as messaging, reacting, commenting, are no longer available. In the event you need to revive an archived channel, you can restore the channel from the “Manage teams” menu. 

WHEN: Microsoft has begun rolling out this enhancement and will complete it by the end of June 2024. 

HOW: To archive or restore a channel, use the “Manage teams” menu, available by clicking on the ellipse after the team name (...). 

Hide the General Channel in a Team 

To allow for a more organized and personalized channel list, select to hide or show the general channel of a team, just like other channels. By hiding less relevant channels you can declutter your channel list. Coming later in the year, team owners will be able to rename the general channel to a name that better reflects the purpose of the channel for everyone in the team, helping you navigate your channel list with greater ease. 

WHEN: Available now. 

HOW: To hide a channel, click the ellipse after the channel name (...). 

Notification Suppression for Hidden Channels 

Microsoft Teams is launching a new feature that suppresses notifications for hidden channels, except for personal and tag mentions. This change aims to streamline user notifications. 

WHEN: Microsoft has begun rolling out this enhancement and will complete it by the end of July 2024. 

HOW: Users do not need to take any action. 

Contact Unification across Outlook and Teams  

Microsoft is making changes that will allow you to view contacts created in Teams to be visible in Outlook. Once this change is complete, users will be able to see created contacts across both Outlook and Teams and vice versa.  

WHEN: Microsoft originally planned this feature to be enabled by end of January 2024, but it was delayed by deployment issues. They have not yet set a definite deployment date. Once a deployment date is set we will announce. 

HOW: Users do not need to take any action. 

Microsoft Teams (work or school) application on Windows and macOS will be renamed to Microsoft Teams 

The New Teams on Windows and macOS applications will be changing its name from “Microsoft Teams (work or school)” to “Microsoft Teams.” The Microsoft Teams personal application on Windows 11 will also be renamed to “Microsoft Teams – personal” if it is installed on a personal device. 

WHEN: Microsoft has begun rolling out this enhancement and will complete it by the end of June 2024. 

HOW: Users do not need to take any action. 

 

General updates 

Retirement of Play My Emails and Voice search in Outlook Mobile 

Microsoft is retiring the Play My Emails (PME) and voice search features of Outlook mobile. The alternative recommendation is to use the screen reader feature available in iOS or Android. The screen reader feature does not offer the same functionality as PME, however, it's a helpful tool for those who require voice assistance to read their emails. 

WHEN: By the end of June 2024. 

HOW: Microsoft has posted instruction online for using the use the screen reader feature available in iOS or Android

Retirement of Delve 

The Delve application is retiring in December 2024. Most of the features and value offered by Delve today are already available and improved in other Microsoft 365 apps. The main one being Profile Cards, which are available in Outlook and Teams.  

WHEN: The Delve application is retiring on December 16, 2024. 

HOW TO: Here is a list of features offered in Delve and the experiences we recommend using instead: 

  • Delve Home: You can discover relevant documents recommended on Office.com, in Office apps and in Profile Cards. 
  • Delve Profile: You can view profile data in the Profile Cards cross M365, through people in search on Office.com and search in SharePoint. 
  • Edit profile: A new edit profile experience is tightly coupled with Profile Cards, which are now  being developed and will be released in second half of 2024. It is also possible for users to edit their profile data in the SharePoint profile edit experience (editprofile.aspx). 
  • Organizational View: This view exists in the Profile Card and as a dedicated experience in Org Explorer 
  • Favorites: Favorites on Office.com and OneDrive is not connected to Delve and is a good alternative for users with similar functionality and improved availability. 
  • Boards: will not be replaced.