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Updates to Microsoft Teams meetings, Search, and more—here’s what’s new to Microsoft 365

We believe the future of work is hybrid and that the leaders of tomorrow will be the ones that empower their people to collaborate and be productive from anywhere, at any time. Earlier this month, we shared several new innovations to Microsoft Teams Rooms, Fluid, and Microsoft Viva designed to help people connect, engage, and stay in the flow of work as we all navigate the new hybrid work world.

Let’s take a look at what else is new in Microsoft 365 this month.

Create tasks from messages and more in Microsoft Teams

This month, we’re releasing the ability to create a task from Teams, spotlight multiple users, and new ways to manage your attendees’ cameras.

Create tasks right from a Teams message: Messaging conversations often result in follow-up actions, but creating a task in a separate app can be disruptive to your workflow. To help, we’ve added the ability to quickly create tasks right from any Microsoft Teams chat or channel conversation without having to switch apps or windows. To create a task, click the ellipses () in the pop-out menu, then select More actions and choose Create task. You’ll now be able to track it in the Tasks app in Teams. Tasks created from Teams messages, which is available on Teams desktop and web, will appear in the Tasks app for Teams.

Spotlight multiple users during a meeting: Organizers and presenters can now spotlight up to seven participants simultaneously during meetings. For meetings that have more than one speaker or presenter, multiple spotlights are a great way to focus all attendees’ views on those specific video feeds. Once a single participant has been spotlighted, simply click on the context menu of your additional participant(s) and select Add Spotlight.

Manage your attendees’ camera settings: We’ve added the ability to manage attendee audio and video permissions in Teams meetings to help prevent disruptions and create a safer meeting environment. Now, you can configure the permissions to have all attendees’ camera-enabled or disabled before the meeting. You can also enable or disable the ability for individual attendees to use their cameras.

Find people and information more easily

This month, we’re announcing Organization Exploration in Outlook, new Microsoft Graph connectors to make it easier to find information and enrich profile cards, and new capabilities for Microsoft Bookings.

Make connections within your organization: The new Organization Explorer in Outlook allows you to find, discover, and explore people and relationships through a new organizational browser experience. Find colleagues, discover team relationships, explore their skills, see their current availability, and more right within Outlook. Organization Explorer is now in preview and available for Office 365 Insiders. 

Search for information and content in more locations with Microsoft Graph connectors: With so many sources of information at our fingertips, it can be time-consuming to find exactly what you need if you don’t know where to look. New Microsoft Graph connectors for Microsoft Search enable your organization to bring in information from systems like ServiceNow, so you can find what you need wherever you’re working, whether in one of your favorite productivity apps or one of the many Microsoft 365 services such as SharePoint or Office.com. Connectors are now generally available and can be installed in just a few clicks in the Search and intelligence admin center.

Make it easier to find information about people with enriched profile cards: Profile cards in Microsoft 365 make it easy to find information about people in your organization. Powered by the Microsoft Graph, which aggregates and organizes billions of signals across your organization as people work in Microsoft 365 all day, profile cards extend beyond a simple directory to provide contextual information about a person. Coming soon, new Microsoft Graph connectors will help enrich profile cards with information from human resource management (HRM) systems like Workday, SAP SuccessFactors, and more. With these capabilities, you can now find more information you need about a person right in a person’s contact, in less time, and in fewer places.

Customize your Microsoft Bookings experience: Earlier this month, we announced several new features for Microsoft Bookings. There are now stricter administrative controls and two new roles to help ensure each user within Bookings has the appropriate level of access and control. We’ve also added customization and branding options for company logos, colored themes, and a rich text editor to customize confirmations, cancellations, and reminders. Finally, we’ve also improved appointment scheduling to provide a simpler experience with easier calendar switching, more filtering options, and more. To try out the new experience, toggle on the Try the new Bookings switch on the top right corner of the Bookings web app.

Minimize busywork and maximize impact

This month we announce Cortana in Outlook mobile, Scheduler service, Conversation Insights in Yammer, and more.

Get things done with less effort in Outlook mobile with Cortana: Mobile devices and apps have made it easier to respond from anywhere, but small screens and keyboards bring their own challenges. Cortana is now available in Outlook mobile, enabling you to get work done, save time, and find what you need using your voice. Ask Cortana when your next meeting is, to send an email to a colleague, or to set up a meeting with your manager using natural conversation language—no need to memorize commands or use specific sentence structure. Cortana in Outlook mobile for iOS will be available this month with Android coming soon.

Automate meeting scheduling: The average time it takes to schedule meetings is 6 to 29 minutes. This month, we released Scheduler, a new Microsoft 365 service that works with Cortana to automate meeting scheduling. Just add Cortana to your email and ask something as simple as “Cortana, please find a time to meet next week.” Cortana will then work with the Scheduler service to find times that work best for everyone and send out invites. To get started, add the service to your subscription and enable it in the admin center.

Measure the reach and impact of Yammer discussions: This month, we announced the general availability of Conversation Insights, empowering you to measure the reach and impact of Yammer discussions and give you analytics for every Yammer conversation and announcement. See impressions and engagement, recognize trends, discover how people react, and get a breakdown of reaction types for your discussions. Community members can view insights for conversations they create, and community admins can view insights for all conversations created in the communities they manage. To see your insights, click the on the top right of a Yammer conversation.

Reduce repetitive tasks in Excel for the web with Office Scripts: Office Scripts are a popular way for users to automate their actions in Excel regardless of their programming experience. Last month, we announced that Office Scripts is now generally available for all eligible users in Excel for the web. To get started, use the Action Recorder to record the actions you take in Excel. These actions are then translated into a script that you can run at any time. You can also use the Code Editor to customize the scripts you create using the Office Scripts API. Happy scripting!

Try the new Visio on the web landing page for an enhanced start experience: The new start page provides Visio for the web users with a familiar start experience similar to other Office 365 apps, thus enabling easier file discovery, file creation, and collaboration on recommended Visio files. Other improvements include better categorization of templates and samples, a new search experience, and overall performance improvements. To experience the new landing page, go to Office.com and click on the All apps icon in the left navigation bar. Then, click on the Visio app tile under the Office 365 tab.  

Also new this month to Microsoft 365

  • Install the Outlook extension in Microsoft Edge to quickly read, send, and receive emails, manage your calendar, tasks, and more in any browser tab, no need to go back to Outlook.

From Teams Rooms that put every participant on equal footing to Graph-powered experiences that make it easier to find colleagues and information, these updates are designed to help empower people in this new hybrid world of work. And there’s much more on the way. Be sure to check back next month as we share news from Microsoft Inspire, our annual partner event.

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