On the Practical 365 podcast this week, Rich Dean and I chat about TEC Europe 2024 and cover some of the most important topics in the world of Microsoft 365, including Entra ID Conditional Access changes to be aware of, Copilot for Security reaching GA, plus lots more.

Microsoft Copilot for Security Reaches General Availability

Microsoft has announced the general availability of Copilot for Security, a product that helps cyber security professionals with natural language guidance and insights from various security products. Copilot for Security aims to streamline workflows and improve efficiency and accuracy for security tasks, such as incident response, malware analysis, and threat hunting.

According to a study, security analysts using Copilot were 22% faster and 7% more accurate in their tasks. The product also offers features like custom promptbooks, knowledge base integrations, usage reporting, and external attack surface information. Copilot for Security will be available for purchase on April 1, 2024, as a consumption offering through Azure. The launch is supported by a growing library of plugins and partnerships within the security ecosystem.

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Microsoft Needs You to Act Now: Microsoft Managed Conditional Access Policies

Microsoft has launched a new initiative to help organizations secure their resources with minimal effort and reduce the risk of compromise. The initiative, called Secure Future, introduces Microsoft-managed Conditional Access policies that automatically apply best practices for security, such as enabling multifactor authentication (MFA).

Administrators can review the impact of these policies, customize them, or create their own versions. The initiative also provides guidance and documentation for securing various scenarios and resources. Microsoft urges administrators to act now and turn on or adjust the Microsoft-managed Conditional Access policies to enhance their security posture.

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Microsoft & NVIDIA Expand Their Partnership

Microsoft and NVIDIA have announced a significant expansion of their collaboration, integrating NVIDIA’s advanced generative AI and Omniverse technologies into Microsoft’s Azure, Azure AI services, Microsoft Fabric, and Microsoft 365.

This partnership aims to enhance AI capabilities across various sectors, with a focus on healthcare and life sciences through cloud, AI, and supercomputing technologies. Key developments include the adoption of NVIDIA’s Grace Blackwell Superchip in Azure, the general availability of Azure NC H100 v5 VMs based on NVIDIA’s H100 NVL platform, and the introduction of NVIDIA Omniverse Cloud APIs on Azure.

Additionally, Microsoft Copilot will be powered by NVIDIA’s AI and computing platforms, and new NVIDIA generative AI microservices will be available on Azure AI, aiming to accelerate AI deployments and innovation.

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You Can Try the New Preview AI-powered Planner App in Teams

The new Microsoft Planner app in Teams, announced at Microsoft Ignite, is now available in Public Preview. It integrates AI to offer a simple, collaborative work management solution within Microsoft 365. The update includes a streamlined experience with ‘My Day,’ ‘My Tasks,’ and ‘My Plans’ sections, consolidating tasks from various sources. Users can pin their favorite plans, access premium features like sprint planning, and utilize Copilot in Planner for task management.

The preview is accessible for organizations with ‘Targeted release’ enabled in the M365 admin portal. Microsoft seeks feedback through the Planner app and the Feedback Portal, with more features and fixes to be introduced soon.

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Of Note in the Microsoft 365 Roadmap

  • Classic Outlook finally gets key Copilot feature: Draft by Copilot (in addition to summarize) is rolling out now. This feature allows users to create draft emails based on a few keywords or sentences, using natural language generation and Copilot’s understanding of the context and tone. Users can also ask Copilot to summarize long emails or documents into concise bullet points. This feature is expected to be available for all Classic Outlook users by March 2024.
  • Teams Voice Isolation rolling out, allowing noise cancellation of both background noise and other people’s voices. Announced last year, this feature uses your voice profile in Teams (PC only) to filter out any unwanted sounds from your microphone, such as keyboard typing, traffic noise, or other conversations. This can improve the audio quality and clarity of your voice during Teams meetings or calls. The feature is currently rolling out to select users and should be available for all Teams users on PC by March 2024.
  • Copilot Chat arrives on Teams Mobile. Copilot chat now shows within the Teams app on mobile devices, and is not to be confused with the Copilot icon in the Microsoft 365 app. This feature provides similar functionality to Copilot chat in Teams and the M365 portal, such as answering questions, providing suggestions, creating tasks, or scheduling meetings. Users can access Copilot chat by tapping on the Copilot icon on the bottom right of the Teams mobile app. The feature is also rolling out to select users and should be available for all Teams mobile users by March 2024.
  • Microsoft Teams – Meeting details will be displayed on pre-join screen on PC & Mac, including scheduled start, end time, current participants, etc. This feature will help users get a quick overview of the meeting they are about to join, such as who is already in the meeting, how long the meeting is expected to last, and what the meeting topic is. Users can also use this screen to adjust their audio and video settings before joining the meeting. This feature is coming in April 2024 for all Teams users on PC and Mac.
  • Viva to get new Copilots: Copilot in Viva Learning, Glint & Goals. Viva, Microsoft’s new employee experience platform, will also integrate Copilot’s capabilities in some of its modules. Copilot in Viva Learning will help users discover, access, and complete relevant learning content, such as courses, videos, podcasts, or articles. Copilot in Glint will help users get feedback, insights, and coaching on their performance, engagement, and well-being. Copilot in Goals will help users set, track, and achieve their personal and professional goals. These features are expected to launch in September 2024 for Viva Learning and November 2024 for Glint and Goals.
  • Copilot in Excel: It’s in preview now, but will be released as GA. Copilot in Excel is a feature that allows users to ask natural language questions about their data and get answers, charts, or formulas from Copilot. Users can also use Copilot to create pivot tables, perform calculations, or apply formatting to their data. This feature is currently in preview for select users and will be generally available for all Excel users by June 2024.
  • Intelligent Recap in Teams (Available in Teams Premium and Copilot for M365 licenses) will support transcript-only meetings for providing AI notes and tasks, similar to Copilot in Teams Meetings. Intelligent Recap is a feature that automatically generates a summary of the key points, action items, and decisions from a Teams meeting, using AI and Copilot’s understanding of the meeting content. Previously, this feature required a video or audio recording of the meeting to work, but now it will also work with transcript-only meetings, where only the chat messages are captured. This feature will be available for Teams Premium and Copilot for M365 users by June 2024.
  • Participants in Teams Meetings will be allowed to change their display name, regardless of their tenant-set display name. No mention of any potential admin controls to prevent/allow this. This feature will give users more flexibility and control over how they appear in Teams meetings, especially when they join meetings with external guests or partners. Users will be able to change their display name before or during a meeting, and the change will only apply to that specific meeting. This feature will be available for all Teams users by May 2024.

Join me and Paul Robichaux in two weeks time for the next episode and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes and Spotify.

TEC Talk: Understanding Risk and How You Can Use It to Deliver Better Business Outcomes

TEC Talk: Understanding Risk and How You Can Use It to Deliver Better Business Outcomes

Join Cameron Dench, Greg Biegen, and Matt Deres’s Free Webinar on April 11th @ 11 AM EST.

About the Author

Steve Goodman

Technology Writer and Chief Editor for AV Content at Practical 365, focused on Microsoft 365. A 12-time Microsoft MVP, author of several technology books and regular Microsoft conference speaker. Steve works at Advania in the UK as Field Chief Technology Officer, advising business and IT on the best way to get the most from Microsoft Cloud technology.

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