On the show this week, Paul and I discuss the latest in the world of Microsoft 365 – starting with Microsoft’s planned price increases, Exchange vulnerabilities in the wild that mean you must patch your servers today, and we discuss Microsoft Teams features in the roadmap and message center that are rolling out now to your tenant.

But first – Microsoft Ignite is back for a second time this year

Whilst some local conferences are now making a return to in-person, Microsoft have decided to keep Ignite as a virtual conference for the moment. Naturally, with travel to the United States from countries like the United Kingdom restricted right now this makes a lot of sense, as Ignite is always a global conference and the speaker line-up is often people from all corners of the planet. However it will be a disappointment to many as it’s fair to say that what Microsoft call a “digital experience” is somewhat different from an in-person conference, and with many sessions being produced in a controlled studio setting – it can lack a little of the spontaneity, but Microsoft have used the opportunity to make sessions and keynotes a little more dynamic.

Unlike an in-person Ignite conference tickets and hotels aren’t going to sell out, but you can make sure you have it in your calendar for November 2-4th. There’s no more information as yet on the Ignite website, apart from a link to an iCal entry.

Microsoft Ignite 2021 – Save the date – November 2-4th

Microsoft to increase prices for Office 365 and Microsoft 365 in March 2022

In what might seem an unpopular move, Microsoft have announced that they will be increasing pricing for many, but not all, Microsoft 365 and Office 365 plans. Tony Redmond shared his view on this last week and we discuss it from a different lens in the show. Paul points out that the cost of employing someone is so high that the licence cost alone is negligible when compared to aspects like salary costs or provision of office space. And I point out that for smaller businesses, regular rises in costs such as cell phone subscriptions are common and expected anyway, so a small rise on balance is fine – this is common with almost all products and Microsoft have been an outlier in keeping prices the same for a decade.

Goodbye IE11, we (won’t) miss you

Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported with Microsoft 365. But, surely you aren’t using it to access Microsoft 365 services any more, right? As of August 17th support officially ended, and “users may have a degraded experience”. Microsoft don’t clarify that the degraded experience is just because it’s IE11… which is true… but this does mean that any changes to Microsoft 365 services going forward can and most likely will break things for people using Internet Explorer.

Read more in the original announcement earlier in the year: Microsoft 365 apps say farewell to Internet Explorer 11 and Windows 10 sunsets Microsoft Edge Legacy – Microsoft Tech Community

Make sure your Exchange Servers are patched.

As Tony Redmond pointed out last week, many Exchange Servers are still unpatched from the last round of security updates and exploits are now out in the wild. In my chat with Microsoft MVP, Michael Van Horenbeeck, we discuss why it is absolutely essential to patch – and take other actions to make sure you are protecting yourself against future attacks too.

Read my detailed post on the topic below, and listen to Michael Van Horenbeeck in this week’s podcast or watch our live stream.

Exchange Vulnerabilities Still Being Exploited and Blackhat USA 2021 highlights what’s still to come. What should you do? (practical365.com)

And finally, some new Microsoft Teams features coming your way

We finish off the show today with some quick-fire news from the Microsoft 365 Roadmap and Message Center in what’s been a fairly quiet few weeks (compared to usual)

Large Gallery view in Microsoft Teams will get paging support, this September. It remains to be seen if this means you’ll get enough pages to view up to 1000 meeting attendees – but we hope so.

Breakout Rooms get support for management by presenters, rather than just organizers, and the ability to pre-create the breakout rooms and assign participants before the meeting. This is rolling out mid September and completing at the end of the month with more information available in the message center in your tenant.

And keep a close eye on the message center if you are still waiting for your Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams transition. We’ve noticed on several tenants that the dates you would have been assigned move to a date further out in the future, and in one customer I worked with, although a planned date of August 11th was communicated, the change actually took place several days early – so it was lucky issues had been resolved first and an extension wasn’t needed at the last minute. If you are still on Skype for Business Online then that means your data is approaching, so don’t forget to read Stale’s article on the topic:

Skype for Business Online is retiring – What does it mean? (practical365.com)

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.


  1. sTim

    I appreciated your discussion in this episode, but especially your sticking up for the majority of us SysAdmins who out here who have to wear many, many other hats beyond just being the Exchange admin. There were a number of things that your guest said things like “at mimimum they should be doing X” and I had to think “Do I know how to do X, or would I spent half my day figuring that out, and unable to work on the 7 other fires that are burning at any given time.

    I’d LOVE to see you do a post laying out the details of the things your guest said were “must do” kind of tasks. Those are the kinds of posts that drew me to this site back in the exchangeserverpro days, and I’d love to see more of them again to help those of us out who have to manage Exchange as just one sliver of our jobs, and aren’t necessarily able to become experts on it who can just read Microsoft’s latest white paper or press release and immediately know how to do everything referenced in it.

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