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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 is highlighting a few of the Microsoft announced upcoming updates from March:

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 Copilot for Microsoft 365: Announcing Restricted SharePoint Search

[MC726119 · Published Mar 6, 2024]

Summary

Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 is introducing Restricted SharePoint Search, allowing organizations to disable organization-wide search and restrict both Enterprise Search and Copilot experiences to a curated set of SharePoint sites. This feature will be rolled out from early April 2024 to late June 2024. Restricted SharePoint Search is off by default, and admins will need Global/Tenant and SharePoint admin roles to enable it. No action is needed to prepare for this rollout. Users will still be able to interact with their own and previously accessed files and content in Copilot for Microsoft 365.

In April, Microsoft will begin the rollout of Restricted SharePoint Search for Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365. This feature allows you to disable organization-wide search, and to restrict both Enterprise Search and Copilot experiences to a curated set of SharePoint sites of your choice. Additionally, whether you have Enterprise Search or Restricted SharePoint Search enabled, users in your organization will still be able to interact with their own and previously accessed files and content in Copilot for Microsoft 365.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 385352.

When this will happen:

General Availability (Worldwide): Microsoft will begin rolling out early April 2024 and expect to complete by late June 2024.

How this will affect your organization:

Restricted SharePoint Search is off by default. To turn it on, you will need Global/Tenant and SharePoint admin roles. If you decide to enable it Copilot and non-Copilot users in your organization will be able to find and use content from:

  • An allowed list of curated SharePoint sites set up by admins (with up to 100 SharePoint sites), honoring sites’ existing permissions.
  • Content from their frequently visited SharePoint sites.
  • Users’ OneDrive files, chats, emails, calendars they have access to.
  • Files that were shared directly with the users.
  • Files that the users viewed, edited, or created.

Additionally, Copilot users in your organization will see this message in their Copilot experiences: “Your organization’s admin has restricted Copilot from accessing certain SharePoint sites. This limits the content Copilot can search and reference when responding to your prompts. Learn more.”

What you need to do to prepare:

No action is needed from you to prepare for this rollout. You may want to notify your users about this change and update any relevant documentation as appropriate.

Learn more:

Blog: Introducing Restricted SharePoint Search to help you get started with Copilot for Microsoft 365 – Microsoft Community Hub


Voicemail: Automatic activation of out-of-office (OOF) greetings based on OOF Calendar events to be retired

[MC727450 · Published Mar 7, 2024]

Summary

The voicemail feature that automatically activates an out-of-office greeting based on an out-of-office event in Outlook calendar will be retired in early June 2024 to reduce costs and strengthen customer data protection. Going forward, end users can manage their OOF greetings with two available options in the Teams client. It is recommended to notify all users of this change.

Today, end users have three options for voicemail OOF greetings activation:

  • All the time
  • When I have an Outlook auto reply
  • When I have an Out of Office calendar event (to be retired)

The voicemail feature that automatically activates an out-of-office greeting based on an out-of-office event in Outlook calendar will be retired.

This decision is driven by Microsoft commitment to strengthen customer data protection. In addition, retiring this feature will help reduce costs, as it has a significant environmental footprint and relatively low usage.

When will this happen:

Microsoft will be rolling out this change beginning in early June 2024 and expect to complete by early August 2024.

How this will affect your organization:

Going forward, end users can continue to manage their OOF greetings with two available options by navigating to Settings -> Calls -> Configure Voicemail in the Teams client:

  • All the time
  • When I have an Outlook auto reply

What you need to do to prepare:

Although only a small number of users have set custom out-of-office greetings in Voicemail, Microsoft recommends notifying all users that the automatic activation of OOF greetings based on Outlook calendar events will be retired.


“User consent to apps” setting in the Microsoft 365 portal to be retired

[MC727449 · Published Mar 7, 2024]

Summary

The “User consent to Apps” setting in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center will be retired in early April 2024, and users are recommended to use the user consent settings in the Entra portal instead. No changes will be made to existing settings, but admins will no longer be able to edit the policy using the Microsoft 365 admin center. Users can set their tenant-wide user consent policy through the Entra portal. No preparation is needed, but users needing to view or edit their tenant-wide consent settings should use the experience in the Entra portal.

Microsoft will be retiring the “User consent to Apps” toggle in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. Instead, Microsoft recommends the utilization of the user consent settings in the Entra portal, which is where Microsoft will continue to invest our development resources.

When this will happen:

Microsoft will be rolling out this change in early April 2024 and expect to complete by early May 2024.

How this will affect your organization:

To control what permissions users can consent to, you can set your tenant-wide user consent policy through the Entra portal. No changes will be done to your settings as a part of this retirement, but admins will no longer be able to edit the policy using the Microsoft 365 admin center.

What you need to do to prepare:

No preparation is needed, but if you are needing to view or edit your tenant-wide consent settings, please use the experience in the Entra portal.

Please review Configure how users consent to applications to learn more.


Microsoft SharePoint eSignature: Creators and recipients can view, track, and sign requests in Approvals app in Teams

[MC729720 · Published Mar 9, 2024]

Note: This feature is visible to all customers but only usable by those in the US at this time.

This rollout will allow users who have set up SharePoint eSignature in their tenant to track eSignature requests in the Approvals app in Microsoft Teams. Users will be notified about new requests, will be updated about ongoing requests, and will be able to initiate signing the document all within their flow of work in Microsoft Teams.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 385012.

When this will happen:

General Availability (Worldwide): Microsoft will begin rolling out mid-May 2024 and expect to complete by mid-June 2024.

How this will affect your organization:

Teams Approval appusers will now see SharePoint eSignature as an eSignature provider in the Teams Approvals app. SharePoint eSignature is currently available only in the United States, so only United States customers will be able to use it in Teams Approvals.

What you need to do to prepare: To use this feature, admins need to enable SharePoint eSignature in the Microsoft admin center. To learn more: Set up SharePoint eSignature – Microsoft Syntex | Microsoft Learn


Microsoft OneDrive for the web: Create with templates

[MC729718 · Published Mar 9, 2024] 

Microsoft is refreshing the file creation experience in OneDrive for the web. Soon, when you select the Add new button, you will have the option to create a new blank file or to choose from high-quality, beautifully designed templates in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint to jumpstart your work. You’ll also be able to create new files using your company templates. This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 363474.

OneDrive Web Templates
Figure 1 – OneDrive Web Templates

When this will happen:

Note: Some users may see these features before other users within the same organization.

Targeted Release: Microsoft will begin rolling out in early March and expect to complete by late March 2024.

General Availability (Worldwide): Microsoft will begin rolling out in late March and expect to complete by mid-April 2024.

How this will affect your organization:

When this change rolls out, you’ll see a refreshed experience when you select Add New in OneDrive for the web. You’ll continue to be able to upload files and folders and create new files and folders, just as before. Now you’ll also be able to create new files from templates and easily choose where your new files will be stored.

Create with templates

Microsoft has designed and curated a vast selection of templates to help you and your users get a jump start on work. You can browse templates by category (for example, Presentations) or search for a specific template. You can preview each template and create a new file from it in one click or navigate to the template details page for more information.

If your tenant has templates stored in an organizational asset library, these templates also will be available. You’ll see a separate category for your tenant’s templates listed after the Recommended category.

Select a Location

You can choose where your new file is created with a simple dropdown. The default location will continue to be My files, but you can select a new location if you want to create in a specific folder or in a Document library in Quick access. If you’ve selected Add New from inside a folder, the new file will be created in that folder.

File location in OneDrive
Figure 2 – File location in OneDrive

What you need to do to prepare:

No action is needed from admins to prepare for this rollout. You may want to notify your users about this change and update any relevant documentation as appropriate.

Learn more: Create an organization assets library – SharePoint in Microsoft 365 | Microsoft Learn


Microsoft SharePoint Online: New section backgrounds in Pages and News

[MC724124 · Published Mar 5, 2024]

Summary

Microsoft SharePoint Online is introducing new features that allow authors to add curated image or gradient color backgrounds to page sections. The update includes improved focal points, fill mode, overlay, and opacity settings to ensure accessibility. The rollout will begin in mid-March 2024 for Targeted Release and early April 2024 for Worldwide, GCC, GCC High, and DoD. No action is required to prepare for this rollout. SharePoint Page and News authors can access the new features when editing a page or news section. Note that unsupported section backgrounds will be replaced with SharePoint theme colors in email.

Microsoft is rolling out new features for Microsoft SharePoint Online that allow SharePoint Page and News authors to add a curated image background or a gradient color background to page sections. (In a future MC post, Microsoft will roll out the ability to use your own images as backgrounds.) Microsoft has improved the focal point and added more settings like fill mode, overlay, and opacity to help authors follow accessibility best practices and ensure that your customized background is easy to read as well as beautiful.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 378647 and Roadmap ID 378648.

When this will happen:

For gradient color and curated image background options:

  • Targeted Release: Microsoft will start rolling out mid-March 2024 and expect to complete by late March.
  • Worldwide, GCC, GCC High and DoD: Microsoft will start rolling out early April 2024 and expect to complete by mid-April.

For customized image and image settings, including focal point:

  • Targeted Release: Microsoft will start rolling out late April 2024 and expect to complete by mid-May.
  • Worldwide, GCC, GCC High and DoD: Microsoft will start rolling out late May 2024 and expect to complete by mid-June.

How this will affect your organization:

SharePoint Page and News authors: You can access the new features when you edit a Page or News section: in Edit mode, in the Section panel, select Edit section. Choose an image or gradient color from Background options.

When you set a background, a see-through overlay will be added automatically to make the text easier to read. Note: When you send a News post as an email, SharePoint theme colors will be used in place of section backgrounds that aren’t supported in email.

New section backgrounds in Pages and News in SharePoint Online
Figure 3 – New section backgrounds in Pages and News in SharePoint Online

What you need to do to prepare:

No action is needed from you to prepare for this rollout. You may want to notify your users about this change and update any relevant documentation as appropriate.


Microsoft 365 Health Dashboard now on Microsoft 365 admin center home page

[MC724119 · Mar 5, 2024]

Summary

Microsoft 365 Health Dashboard will soon be available as a view on the Microsoft 365 admin center home page. The change will take place between mid-March and mid-April 2024 and will not affect the Health page. No action is needed to prepare for this rollout. To access the new view, select Health from the View drop-down menu. The Dashboard link on the left navigation will be removed to simplify the interface.

The Dashboard page in the Health section of the Microsoft 365 admin center will soon become available as a view on the Microsoft 365 admin center home page. 

When this will happen:

Worldwide: Microsoft will begin rolling out mid-March 2024 and expect to complete by mid-April 2024.

How this will affect your organization:

There is no change or impact to the Health page. To access the new view, select Health from the View drop down menu:

M365 Admin Center Health Dashboard
Figure 4 – M365 Admin Center Health Dashboard

Microsoft will remove the Dashboard link on the left navigation to simplify the interface and reduce clutter. 

Removing 'Dashboard' Left Navigation
Figure 5 – Removing ‘Dashboard’ Left Navigation

What you need to do to prepare:

No action is needed from you to prepare for this rollout. You may want to notify your admins about this change and update any relevant documentation as appropriate.

To learn more about the Health Dashboard, review Microsoft 365 Health Dashboard – Microsoft 365 admin | Microsoft Learn


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