In this week’s Practical 365 podcast it’s a bumper show – covering everything post-Microsoft Ignite including what’s arrived in Microsoft 365 for you to use right now – plus we firm up some of the dates for new features and changes coming to the suite.


Loop Components in Teams

What was called Live Components now appears to be referred to as Microsoft Loop Components and you’ll find these in Microsoft Teams in your standard Teams client, not just in preview.

You use loop components in Teams chat and channel messages to create formatted text that can be collaborated on live as you chat – so perfect for building a table together in a meeting or working on an agenda.

Loop components – .fluid files – are saved into SharePoint – either in OneDrive if it’s a chat, or into the Team site’s document library. You can edit and work on these in Office Web Apps directly, outside of Teams as they are simply binary files that contain the underlying data – and when Microsoft Loop is launched, one would imagine you’ll be able to drop in your Loop component you’ve been working on in Teams easily.

Exchange Critical Updates

There’s a new post-authentication vulnerability in the wild, so get patching Exchange Server 2013 and above. Patches are available for the following versions:

  • Exchange Server 2013 CU23.
  • Exchange Server 2016 CU21 and CU22.
  • Exchange Server 2019 CU10 and CU11.

Tony Redmond wrote about this last week where you can find out full details.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 1 Now Generally Available

Defender for Endpoint Plan 1 is GA, which is Microsoft’s lower-end equivalent to standard EPP (i.e. anti-virus) rather than the more extensive “Plan 2” EDR – Endpoint Detection and Response software. Right now this is a standalone SKY, but in the new year (2022) it will be included in Microsoft 365 E3.

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AI-driven adaptive protection in Microsoft Defender for Endpoint

To provide better, contextual real-time protection based on what’s happening on a device, AI-based adaptive protection is launching in Defender for Endpoint, which will predict if a device is at risk and then ramp-up the blocking decisions if something that would generally be low-risk looks like an attempt to evade detection.

This won’t require intervention to enable, but should improve the range of situations where Defender for Endpoint can detect and block malware before it escalates, especially when it’s not an automated attack.

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AI-based video and screen sharing quality optimization in Microsoft Teams meetings

Teams get more AI features now – and this is technically quite complex but not AI in a strange “reconstruct your face” way. Instead this is how the client will make decisions about when to send additional data to help better reconstruct the real meeting video and screen sharing content when there are bandwidth or packet loss issues.

Based on conditions and data loss, the AI will introduce packet redundancy to make it easier to reconstruct the data, sending better reference frames for video or screen sharing so that video is lost in fewer circumstances and retransmit data (especially useful in a screen sharing scenario) – but as this is often when there are issues with bandwidth, it will consider the impact of doing these things and adjust accordingly.

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Microsoft Viva Learning is launched with SharePoint Integration

On the “free” included version of Viva Learning, you can now bring in your own content via a SharePoint document library. This is based on a Microsoft List with references to Document Libraries that are permissioned based on what people should be able to see, and curated by the organization. I’ll be writing more about how to do this – and what pitfalls to avoid – in the coming days.

Microsoft Authenticator app gets easier to set up and gets new

One of the biggest adoption issues for Authenticator is the QR-code style setup experience. This is being complemented by enterprise-sign in from the app to onboard, so you can get users to download, sign-in and setup MFA from a single app rather than at first sign-in to the web or a desktop app.

Account management such as password changes are coming too, providing additional value and reasons for using Authenticator.

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UserVoice is dead – But being replaced by “Feedback for Microsoft 365”

Good news for UserVoice fans, and for those that wondered why it was on the way out, the new platform might make it obvious as to why. Feedback for Microsoft 365 is built on Dynamics 365 Customer Service, and provides the platform for users and IT pros to provide their commentary, feedback and to discuss features they’d like – and like UserVoice, vote on features.

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End of support for Microsoft 2013 products (18-month reminder)

On April 11, 2023, some important Microsoft products will reach their end of support, which includes:

  • Office 2013
  • Exchange Server 2013
  • Lync Server 2013
  • SharePoint Server 2013

After this date, these products will no longer receive security updates, non-security updates, bug fixes, technical support, or online technical content updates.

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Roadmap and Message Center

Finally this week, the most important Roadmap and Message Center news you need to know about

  • Microsoft Teams
    • Isolated audio feed capabilities for NDI and Hardware-Out – November
    • Detect music automatically and prompt before using noise cancellation – Jan 2022
    • A switch for mirroring your video in your view (so you don’t see a reversed view) – November
    • Teams Panels get check-in and room release – December
    • Q&A in Teams Meetings is now in Public Preview
  • Intune
    • Import GPOs into the Setting Catalog – March 2022
    • Linux Desktop Compliance for enrolling Ubuntu desktops – March 2022
    • Import DMG images for package deployment for Macs – Feb 2022
  • OneDrive
    • ARM CPU device support on Windows – Preview Dec, GA Jan 2022
    • Limit OneDrive access and sharing for specific users – November
    • Organize and move your “Add to OneDrive” shortcuts – December
  • SharePoint Online
    • Connected Templates – the Teams Template experience is being combined with the SharePoint template experience for Team or SharePoint site creation – Jan 2022
  • Exchange Online
    • Mail flow settings in the classic Exchange Admin Center will be retired, and only available in the new Exchange Admin Center portal

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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