888-682-5765 info@totalsol.com

Are you keeping up with Microsoft updates? The Microsoft Mondays: Microsoft Service Updates series from Total Solutions is here for your needs, and remember that Total Solutions also provides tailored, expert guidance during our consulting process. Microsoft are highlighting a few of the Microsoft announced upcoming updates from January:

Keep an eye out for Microsoft Mondays for your Microsoft updates or speak with our technical team for your Microsoft needs.

*Updates posted here originally posted by Microsoft in the Microsoft 365 Message Center


Microsoft Teams: Join Teams work meetings from Microsoft Teams (free) and vice versa

[MC704194 · Published Jan 5, 2024] This feature enables users with personal Microsoft accounts (MSA) using the free version of Microsoft Teams to join and participate in Teams for work (or school) meetings with their signed-in personal account when joining meetings from within the Teams app. This feature also lets these users stay connected with the other meeting participants (retain access to the meeting chat) after the meeting has ended. These users are no longer prompted to join only via a browser and later treated as meeting guests (anonymous). 

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 167326

When this will happen: 

Standard Release: Microsoft will begin rolling out early February 2024 and expect to complete by mid-March 2024.

How this will affect your organization: 

Currently Microsoft Teams (Free) users can join Teams for work (or school) meetings only as meeting guests. These users are prompted to use the browser to join the meetings which results in sub-optimal experience for them (participation as meeting guests, being removed from meeting chat after meeting has ended). 

Once this feature is made available, users of Microsoft Teams (Free) will be able to join Teams for work (or school) meetings in one click, they no longer will be redirected to browser, asked to fill in their name/surname and they will be able to continue collaboration with meeting organiser and other participants via meeting chat after the meeting. 

Similarly, this feature also enables the tenant users with Microsoft work credentials to be able to join a Microsoft Teams (Free) hosted meetings. Today, they can join such meetings only as guests in the web browser.  

Any users will still have an option to join as guests (unless it’s limited by tenant admins) if they want to, this process will not be changed. 

Organizations are always in control and can govern this collaboration capability using the existing setting that Microsoft has for chat federation with Microsoft Teams (Free) users (“People in my organization can communicate with Teams users whose accounts are not managed by an organization”). Going forward, this policy will be used to control both chats and meetings federation with Microsoft Teams (Free) users. 

There are 2 settings in admin center that can be used to control chat/meetings federation:

  1. People in my organization can communicate with Teams user whose accounts are not managed by organization.
  2. External users with Teams accounts not managed by an organization can contact users in my organization.  

Here are 2 examples of how they can be used:  

Example #1:  

You as tenant admin want to completely block communications with accounts that aren’t managed by your organization. In this case you have to disable setting #1. Setting #2 in this case will be automatically disabled as well. Please note – this action will NOT block anonymous (guest) join, there is a separate setting for that. 

Example #2:  

You as tenant admin want people from your tenant to be able to connect to external (Teams (Free) hosted) meetings, but don’t want Teams (Free) users to connect to the meetings organized by your tenant. In this case you have to disable Setting #2, Setting #1 will stay enabled. Note: turning this off will prevent Teams (Free) users from discovering people in your tenant and chatting with them.  

Note: Some meetings features may not be available for these users of free version of Teams during Teams for work (or school) meetings.  

  • Users of free version of Teams won’t be assigned to breakout rooms and won’t be able to view or share PPT Live content and participate in Whiteboarding.  
  • Recording: Users of free version of Teams won’t be able to start recording (no changes compared to the current behavior) in Teams for work (or school) hosted meetings. In case a user from Teams for work (or school) decides to start recording – user of free version of Teams will be notified accordingly. 
  • Presenter role: User of free version of Teams can be promoted to presenter role by Teams for work (or school) user, but only during the meeting. 

What you need to do to prepare: 

Review your settings to regulate the experience that is appropriate for your organization. If your organization has previously turned this setting off, that choice will be honored with the roll out of this new capability. You may consider updating your internal documentation to inform your users that this capability is now available in Microsoft Teams. 

Additional details: 

  • Users with MSA accounts will be able to automatically join Teams for work (or school) meetings with their profile information only if they are joining within the Teams app (e.g. from Teams Calendar or from the link from a Teams chat). In case the user is starting to join a meeting from outside the app (e.g. from 3rd party apps or Outlook calendar) the experience will remain the same as earlier – users can only join in the anonymous mode without access to meeting chat after the meeting. 

As a security control, users of Teams (free) app joining with their personal accounts will not be able to request another Teams for work (or school) user to join a work meeting while in meeting.


Microsoft Teams: Share contact information of people in Microsoft Teams chat

[MC704192 · Published Jan 5, 2024] Users can now share the contact information of someone who is not in a chat to make it easy for others to confidently get to know other collaborators.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 375627

When this will happen:

Targeted Release: Microsoft will begin rolling out mid-January 2024 and expect to complete by late January 2024.

Standard Release: Microsoft will begin rolling out early February 2024 and expect to complete by mid-February 2024.

How this will affect your organization: Users can now easily share contact information in group chats.

Share Someone's Contact on Teams
Figure 1 – Share Someone’s Contact on Teams
Select Contact
Figure 2 – Select Contact
Contact Selected
Figure 3 – Contact Selected
Share Contact via Microsoft Teams
Figure 4 – Share Contact

What you need to do to prepare: You may consider updating your internal documentation.


Announcing External Access Analytics for Microsoft Teams

[MC698123 · Published Dec 14, 2023]: Microsoft is excited to announce that they are rolling out a new report in the Teams Admin Center that will provide basic analytics for external access. This report will allow admins to view information about external access.

The external access analytics report will be available soon in the Teams Admin Center under Analytics & reports > Usage reports. Microsoft hopes that this report will provide admins with more visibility and control over external access in their tenant and enable them to make informed decisions about cross-tenant collaboration.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 370565

When this will happen:

Targeted Release: Microsoft will begin rolling out early January 2024 and expect to complete by mid-January 2024

Standard Release: Microsoft will begin rolling out late January 2024 and expect to complete by early February 2024.

How this will affect your organization:

You will be able to see the following in usage reports: 

  • The total number of internal and external users that leverage external access.
  • The breakdown of external access usage by capability (TFW-TFW, TFW-TFL, Skype)
  • The list of managed domains that have been communicated with using external access.
  • The aggregate number of internal and external users communicating with each domain.

The report will support the existing time ranges in the Teams Admin Center, such as last 7 days, last 28 days, and custom (up to 6 months). Admins will also be able to download the report for further analysis or reporting purposes.

External Access Analytics for Microsoft Teams
Figure 5 – External Access Analytics for Microsoft Teams

What you need to do to prepare: You may consider updating your training and documentation as appropriate.


Introducing Left Navigation Customization on Microsoft365.com (Updated)

[MC678068 · Published Sep 28, 2023 · Last updated Jan 5, 2024]  Updated January 5, 2024: Microsoft has updated the rollout timeline below. Thank you for your patience.

Microsoft are excited to announce a new feature that will allow individuals to customize the apps on the left navigation on microsoft365.com. This feature will give individuals more control and flexibility over the apps they use and access frequently.

When this will happen:

Microsoft will begin rolling this feature out in early October 2023 and will complete by late January 2024 (previously mid-December).

How this will affect your organization:

As part of this feature, the current set of default apps on the app bar will be removed and users will be presented with an experience allowing them to pin the specific apps they want. Users will be able to add and remove apps to the left navigation from the Apps page at Microsoft365.com/apps. Admins will not be able to manage or override the user’s app choices.

Pinning on Microsoft365.com
Figure 6 – Pinning on Microsoft365.com

What you need to do to prepare: No required preparation for this change. Training and documentation may need to be updated as appropriate.


Microsoft 365 Backup (Updated)

[MC694388 · Published Nov 30, 2023 · Last updated Jan 2, 2024] Updated January 2, 2024: Microsoft has updated the rollout timeline below. Thank you for your patience.

Microsoft 365 Backup Service is a product offering spanning across the OneDrive, SharePoint, and Exchange Online services. This service provides customers with a consistent, cross-product solution, to recover their M365 data from cataclysmic events such as: at-scale ransomware attacks, or malicious/accidental data deletion/corruption by end users. Microsoft 365 Backup Service is available on a pay-as-you-go basis and can be enabled through the Microsoft 365 admin center.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 188799

When this will happen:

Preview: Microsoft will begin rolling out early January 2024 (previously early December) and expects to complete by mid-February 2024 (previously mid-January).

How this will affect your organization:

Global admins can backup and restore content across the defined services (SPO/ODB/EXO). To protect content for any defined service, they need to create a backup policy for that service and add the relevant sites/accounts/mailboxes that they want to protect to that policy.

SPO Admins can backup and restore content for both SPO and ODB but not EXO. Similarly, EXO admins can backup and restore content only for EXO but not SPO and ODB.

What you need to do to prepare:

If you wish to use Backup, you can start by identifying the sites/accounts/mailboxes in your tenant, that you want to protect. Once you enable M365 backup, it will be available under M365 Admin Center > Settings section.

Learn more about enabling and using M365 Backup.

Help and support


Check out previous Microsoft Updates that Total Solutions has posted here -> Microsoft Updates Archives – Total Solutions Inc.