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Mark’s Microsoft monthly: What did we learn in June?

By 26th June 2019 No Comments

We don’t talk the talk, we walk the walk…

This month, we introduce our resident Microsoft expert, Mark Thompson, who rounds up the news from June…

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, inspired us this month by reminding us to keep learning:

“Be passionate and bold. Always keep learning. You stop doing useful things if you don’t learn. So the last part to me is the key, especially if you have had some initial success. It becomes even more critical that you have the learning ‘bit’ always switched on”.

This frame of mind is especially important when trying to keep up with the pace of change in Office 365. So, what new things did Microsoft announce this month?

Teams continues to march forward with plenty for us to think about:

You can now, if you want to, increase communication transparency with Teams by using Read Receipts in private chats. Do you wonder if your teammates saw your message? Read receipts in private chats allow senders to know when a message was read by the recipients. While we’re talking chats, ‘group chats’ can now accommodate up to 100 users. 

Over in channel conversations, do you have an announcement that needs to stand out from all other posts in a channel?  Now live, the new “Announcement” post type allows you to add a headline with a background to your message. You can choose from available backgrounds or upload your own custom image…effective and fun!

Do you like ‘liking’ messages in Teams? Now you can ‘heart’, ‘laugh’, ‘surprised’, ‘sad’ and ‘angry’ them with reactions. To get to the full menu of reactions, hover over a message and select the one you want. 

On a more serious note, do the Microsoft Teams apps used in your organisation meet your security requirements? Don’t know? Let us introduce you to the Microsoft Teams Apps Certification Program. The aim of the program is to provide the information you need to expedite and inform decisions about Teams apps.

Are your non-discoverable private Microsoft teams too private? And your discoverable public teams too public? You’ve soon have the option of discoverable private teams people can search for and request to join. 

The other Office 365 Apps have had some love too, starting with Planner:

Want to export a plan to Excel? This long-awaited feature has just arrived! Click on the ellipses next to Schedule and select Export Plan to Excel. Sticking with Planner; some users say that Planner tasks are a bit ‘out of sight, out of mind’. This should help them – Microsoft Teams users will receive a notification in their Teams Activity Feed when a Planner task is assigned to them. This feature is rolling out now. 

You can reduce eye fatigue with Dark Mode in OneNote for Windows 10 with Dark Mode, giving you a darker canvas and adjusted colour scheme to reduce eye fatigue. 

Last month we told you about Microsoft Edge ‘going Chromium’. Now Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 Chromium-based Edge browsers are in testing. Hang on, Windows 7? If you’re still on 7 you ought to read this!

Are you a Mac user, and missing out on To-Do? Not anymore; Microsoft To-Do is now available on Macs too! 

If you are going to give a presentation using PowerPoint, give an amazing presentation! Say hello to Presenter Coach, PowerPoint’s new AI-powered tool which will help you nail your next presentation.

Over in gaming, Microsoft is teasing the next Xbox; codename “Project Scarlett”. 8K capability, frame rates up to 120fps and SSD storage means “This generation is going to be a bigger leap than any generation before”. With game streaming beginning to mature (check out xCloud vs Stadia), this could be the last of the high-powered consoles as we know them. Due Christmas 2020  

Want to keep learning about Microsoft Office 365? Sadly Jim Naroski is missing, but watch what’s new every month in the YouTube Microsoft update. And, if you want to watch highlights of what’s happening in Teams, watch this Microsoft Ignite video.

That’s a wrap for June. Let us know how you get on with the new features!