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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. We are highlighting a few of the Microsoft announced upcoming updates from May:

[use the jump links to go to each update directly]

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


Updates to natural language-based search in Microsoft 365

[MC793654 · Published May 16, 2024]

Summary

Microsoft 365 is reducing support for Natural Language-Based Search in favor of keyword-based searches, starting early July 2024. Affected products include Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft Search on Bing and office.com. Users can use search filters to aid the transition.

Microsoft 365 is upgrading its search functionality by phasing out certain aspects of Natural Language (NL)-Based Search support. However, the standard keyword-based search functionality will remain unchanged and will continue to be the primary method for accessing information within Microsoft 365 products.

When this will happen:

We will begin rolling this out in early July 2024 and expect to complete by late July 2024.

How this affects your organization:

How will these changes impact the way I search in Microsoft 365?

Moving forward, you will need to use specific keywords to search for information. For instance, NL queries like “emails from John about planning” will no longer work as expected. Instead, this type of query will retrieve any email containing the words ‘John’ and ‘planning’.

Keyword searches, search filters, and selected natural language queries for emails, files, calendar items, and acronyms will continue to be supported.

Which Microsoft 365 products are affected by these changes?

The affected products include Outlook Desktop (OD), Outlook Mobile (OM), Outlook Web Access (OWA), Teams Desktop (TD), Teams Mobile (TM), SharePoint (SPO), OneDrive for Business (ODB), Microsoft Search on Bing (MSB), and Microsoft Search on office.com (MSO). 

What you can do to prepare:

Are there any tools available to help me transition from NL-based to keyword-based searches?

Yes, you can utilize search filters provided within each Microsoft 365 product to refine search results. For example, within Outlook applications, using the ‘From’ filter will automatically populate the search bar with the phrase “from:” followed by a person’s name (which can also be manually entered). This action, such as entering “from:John Carter,” will refine the search to display only emails received from that specific person (e.g., “John Carter”).

For further details, please refer to the Updates to natural language-based search in Microsoft 365 documentation.


Updates to the Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 user interface (Update)

[MC756008 · Published Mar 26, 2024 Updated: May 17, 2024]

Summary

Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 UI will be updated to create better visual alignment with Microsoft Copilot (formerly Bing Chat Enterprise). The updates include adding a green shield icon, a persistent legal and data protection disclaimer, a new AI accuracy disclaimer, and removing company branding/logo from the UI. The updates will roll out in mid-April and be completed by late May 2024. These are UI updates only and do not impact Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 terms, privacy, or data protections. It is recommended to prepare users by informing them of the UI updates.

Updated May 17, 2024: We have updated the rollout timeline below. Thank you for your patience.

Beginning in mid-April, the Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 user interface (UI) will be updated to create better visual alignment between it and Microsoft Copilot (formerly Bing Chat Enterprise). These UI updates are expected to be completed by early May.

Microsoft Copilot for M365 UI updates coming in Mid-April
Figure 1 – Microsoft Copilot for M365 UI updates coming in Mid-April

Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 UI updates include:

  • Adding a green shield icon to the UI header (located next to the user profile image): When a user hovers over the shield (or presses on the icon from within a supported mobile application), they will see a flyout description with a link to more information: “Microsoft’s enterprise compliance standards apply to this chat. Use discretion when sharing personal and organizational data.”
  • Adding a persistent legal and data protection disclaimer, along with links for Terms, Privacy, and FAQs, underneath the chat prompt box (bottom of the UI): “Microsoft’s enterprise compliance standards apply to this chat. Terms | Privacy | FAQs”.
    • To simplify the UI, the following duplicative instances of these disclaimers or links will be removed:
      • The blue lock icon with light-grey disclaimer within the flow of Copilot chat (“Work content and chats cannot be seen outside your organization.”).
      • The legal disclaimer and links for Terms, Privacy, and FAQs underneath the Copilot for Microsoft 365 branding.
  • Adding a new AI accuracy disclaimer to the bottom of each chat: A shield with a lock icon and disclaimer will be added at the bottom of each chat: “AI-generated content may be incorrect.”
  • Removing company branding/logo from the UI: Users will no longer see their company’s branding or logo as part of the Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 UI.

These updates will roll out to the following Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 entry points:

  • Copilot.microsoft.com
  • Copilot in Bing (bing.com/chat)
  • Copilot in Edge (sidebar)
  • Copilot in Windows
  • Mobile applications:

The UI for Copilot for Microsoft 365-specific entry points (such as those within the Microsoft 365 apps) will not update.

The Microsoft Copilot (formerly Bing Chat Enterprise) UI is also updating with similar changes to create better visual alignment between it and Copilot for Microsoft 365. Please refer to MC756004 for details on those UI updates.

When this will happen:

General Availability (include all environments here on same schedule): We will begin rolling out mid-April 2024 (previously late March) and expect to complete by late May 2024 (previously early May).

How this will affect your organization:

These are UI updates only–they do not impact Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 terms, privacy, or data protections.

What you need to do to prepare:

We recommend that you prepare your users by informing them of the UI updates.

Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 adoption materials are available here: Microsoft Adoption: Copilot for Microsoft 365. 

Additional information


Microsoft Copilot: Enhanced notifications for Copilot use without transcription  

[MC793653 · Published May 16, 2024]

Summary

Microsoft is updating Copilot notifications to clarify its use without transcription, ensuring data is not saved post-meeting. A customizable Privacy Policy link will be added, directing to an internal or default Microsoft Privacy Policy. Rollout begins late May 2024, completion by early June 2024. Organizations can prepare by setting a custom Privacy Policy URL.

We are updating the notification copy for Copilot in non-transcription mode to explain more clearly that Copilot is being used without transcription, and that data is not saved after a meeting ends. Additionally, we are incorporating a customizable Privacy Policy link. This link can direct to an internal URL specific to your tenant or default to the Microsoft Privacy Policy when an internal one is unavailable. The same link is utilized for the Recording and Transcription Privacy Policy.

When this will happen:

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

How this will affect your organization:

Users will be able to click on Privacy Policy to open up an internal URL, if it is linked. This URL will be the same Privacy Policy URL that is used for Recording and Transcription Privacy Policies.

What you need to do to prepare:

If desired, you can customize the Privacy Policy link included in the pop-up notification for users. You have the option to specify a custom privacy policy URL for both internal and external users, which will be displayed in the notification that appears when Copilot is activated in a meeting without transcription or recording.

This capability is currently available and applies to the pop-up notification that users see in meetings when recording or transcription is initiated. We plan to extend support so that the custom link will also appear in the pop-up notification when Copilot is activated in meetings, as described above.

If you do not enter a custom URL in the Teams meeting settings within the Teams Admin Center or via PowerShell, your organization’s Microsoft Entra ID privacy policy will be displayed. If there is no Microsoft Entra ID, the Microsoft Privacy Policy will be shown instead.

For additional information on how to configure this setting please refer to this link: Teams meeting recording – Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Learn


Microsoft Teams: Ask to join a shared channel with a channel link

[MC792603 · Published May 13, 2024]

Summary

Microsoft Teams will soon allow in-tenant users to request to join a shared channel using a channel link. Channel owners can approve or deny these requests. The feature will be available for Teams for Desktop and Mac, with rollouts in mid-June 2024 for Targeted Release, late June 2024 for General Availability, and mid-July 2024 for GCC High and DoD. No admin action is required for the rollout.

Coming soon to Microsoft Teams: In-tenant users who attempt to access a shared channel with a link will be able to request to join the channel. Channel owners will receive the join request and can decide to approve or deny request. This rollout applies to Teams for Desktop and Mac.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 325330.

When this will happen:

Targeted Release: We will begin rolling out mid-June 2024 and expect to complete by mid-June 2024.

General Availability (Worldwide, GCC): We will begin rolling out late June 2024 and expect to complete by late June 2024.

General Availability (GCC High, DoD): We will begin rolling out mid-July 2024 and expect to complete by mid-July 2024.

How this will affect your organization:

Before the rollout, a user who selects a channel with a link receives a You don’t have access message.

After the rollout, a user who selects a channel with a link receives will be able to ask to join a channel:

Microsoft Teams Join a shared channel with a channel link
Figure 2 – Microsoft Teams Join a Shared Channel with a Channel Link

After the rollout, out-of-tenant users who click on a shared channel link from another tenant will continue to see the You don’t have access message.

Admins cannot turn off this feature.

What you need to do to prepare:

This rollout will happen automatically by the specified dates with no admin action required before the rollout. You may want to notify your users about this change and update any relevant documentation as appropriate. Before rollout, we will update this post with revised documentation.


Decoupling Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Process form Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Windows Devices

[MC793918 · Published May 17, 2024] 

Summary

Starting June 2024, Microsoft Purview DLP will be separated from Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on Windows devices. This backend change will not affect the deployment process. Customers will see two distinct processes for DLP and Defender instead of one, improving stability and performance. No action is required for most customers.

Starting June 2024, we will be decoupling the Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention (DLP) process from the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (MDE) process on Windows devices. It is important to note that this is purely a backend process decoupling effort and there will be NO changes to the current deployment process for Microsoft Purview DLP.

Currently, Microsoft Purview DLP capabilities for Windows endpoint devices are shipped as a part of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint updates so that customers do not have to install any additional agents to use the latest DLP features for Windows endpoints. To onboard your Windows machine see Get started with Endpoint data loss prevention | Microsoft Learn. Once a Windows machine is onboarded to Microsoft Purview DLP, customers can see an active process “MsMpEng.exe” running in the Task Manager. This process provides access to both Defender for Endpoint and DLP capabilities.

Going forward, as part of decoupling the processes, customers will see two distinct processes — “MpDlpService.exe” for Microsoft Purview DLP and “MsMpEng.exe” exclusively for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint — instead of a single process on their Windows device. This decoupling of the two processes is intended to improve the stability and performance of Microsoft Purview DLP on Windows 10 and 11, and our ability to more precisely troubleshoot and debug performance issues.

 When this will happen:

We will roll begin rolling out Microsoft Defender version 4.18.24060 in end-May 2024 and expect to complete by early-July 2024.

How this will affect your organization:

There are NO changes in how Microsoft DLP for endpoint updates is delivered to supported Windows 10 and 11 devices. Even after this change DLP updates for Windows endpoint devices will continue to be shipped as a part of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint updates. There is no impact on how Microsoft Purview DLP capabilities protect sensitive content on your endpoint devices.

Currently, you only see one process, “MsMpEng.exe” covering Microsoft Defender for Endpoint as well as Microsoft Purview DLP capabilities as shown below.

Decoupling Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Process before installing
Figure 3 – Decoupling Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Process before installing

After installing the 4.18.2406 build, you will see a new process called “MpDlpService.exe” in addition to the existing process “MsMpEng.exe.”

Decoupling Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Process after installing
Figure 4 – Decoupling Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Process after installing

 What you need to do to prepare:

In most cases, no action is required from customers. However, if you use a Firewall (Windows or 3rd party), non-Microsoft anti-malware, or application control solution and had to add the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint process to an allowlist to run, then an additional process (“MpDlpService.exe”) will need to be added to your allowlist. This will allow the Microsoft Purview DLP to run in the customer’s environment without issue.


Retirement of Office 365 connectors from SharePoint Online Webparts

[MC793656 · Published May 16, 2024]

Summary

Office 365 connectors will be retired from SharePoint Online Webparts due to limited use. New connections cannot be created after June 15, 2024, and existing connections cannot be updated or managed after August 1, 2024. Organizations should update training and documentation accordingly.

Due to limited usage, Office 365 connectors will be retired from SharePoint online webparts.

When this will happen:

June 15, 2024: unable to create new connections.

August 1, 2024: unable to update or manage existing connections.

How this will affect your organization:

Users will not be able to create new connections in a SharePoint online site starting June 15, 2024. We will be retiring the feature completely August 1, 2024, and users will not be able to update or manage existing configurations as well. No new notifications will be received in existing configurations as well. 

What you need to do to prepare:

You may consider updating your training and documentation as appropriate.

For supporting information, review: Use the Connector web part


Microsoft 365 Apps admin center: Cloud Update will soon be generally available (Updated)

[MC785028 · Published Apr 24, 2024 Updated: May 17, 2024]

Summary

After further evaluation we will not be proceeding with the rollout at this time. We will communicate via Message center when we are ready to proceed. Thank you for your patience.

Updated May 17, 2024: After further evaluation we will not be proceeding with the rollout at this time. We will communicate via Message center when we are ready to proceed. Thank you for your patience.

Coming soon: Cloud Update will be in general availability in the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center. Cloud Update is an all-inclusive capability to help admins quickly get their organization Copilot ready while meeting all of their Microsoft 365 App update management needs.

When this will happen:

We will communicate via Message center when we are ready to proceed.

How this will affect your organization:

There is no impact of this change on organizations. If you are already using Cloud Update, you will no longer see Preview tags on the Cloud Update features.

FAQs

  • When should I enable Cloud Update?

To get Copilot ready, Microsoft recommends you move all devices to the Monthly Enterprise Channel and/or Current Channels and manage the devices with Cloud Update. Also, to track update progress across Monthly Enterprise Channel and Current Channel devices of your environment in one aggregated view and benefit from upcoming new features, select Enable Cloud (or Finish Enabling Cloud for existing Monthly Enterprise Channel Profile users).

Learn more: Overview of cloud update in the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center – Deploy Office | Microsoft Learn

To enable cloud update today, go to the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center at https://config.office.com

  • Will enabling Cloud Update impact any of my other settings and controls?

If you are enabling Cloud Update for the first time, all devices in your Monthly Enterprise Channels and Current Channels will be onboarded to and managed by Cloud update. If you want to separately manage a subset of devices, first enable Cloud Update, and then use Exclude devices to remove them from Cloud Update.

  • If I want to go back to managing updates with another tool, can I deactivate Cloud Update?

Yes, if you decide that Cloud Update does not suit your organization’s requirements, the Deactivation feature in the channel profile settings allows admins to deactivate management of devices for either or both of Monthly Enterprise Channels and Current Channels in three simple steps. Learn more: The Deactivation section in Overview of cloud update in the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center – Deploy Office | Microsoft Learn

We highly recommend that admins enable Cloud Update with confidence and move all devices to Monthly Enterprise Channels and/or Current Channels for accessing Microsoft 365 Copilot, to more quickly receive the latest collaboration experiences and productivity enhancing features and fixes, and to significantly reduce admin burden and management costs. Please share your feedback on the changes with the Give Feedback button in the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center (office.com).


Endpoint Data Loss Prevention – Enhanced privacy control: Limiting PII data access in Activity Explorer (Updated)

[MC759457 · Published Mar 27, 2024 Updated: May 17, 2024]

Summary

The update enhances privacy control in Endpoint DLP by limiting access to PII in Activity Explorer to admins with the ‘Data Classification Content Viewer’ role. It will roll out from mid-May to late June 2024. Admins without this role will lose certain access rights. Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 383745.

Updated May 17, 2024: We have updated the rollout timeline below. Thank you for your feedback.

We are releasing an update to restrict access to the following information only to admins having the ‘Data Classification Content Viewer’ role –

  1. View source information in Activity Explorer and
  2. View surrounding context for associated SIT types in Activity Explorer

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 383745

When this will happen:

Public Preview: We will begin rolling out mid-May 2024 (previously mid-April) and expect to complete by late May 2024 (previously late April).

General Availability: We will begin rolling out early June 2024 (previously mid-May) and expect to complete by late June 2024 (previously late May).

How this will affect your organization:

Existing admins who do not have the ‘Data Classification Content Viewer’ role assigned to any of their existing Role Groups will no longer have access to view source and SIT surrounding context.

What you need to do to prepare:

Ensure any admins that need to have access to ‘View Source’ and ‘SIT surrounding context’ have the ‘Data Classification Content Viewer’ role assigned to them.


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