This week’s topics:

Predictions for 2021

Paul predicts: 

  • A great deal more attention will be paid to end-to-end security – MS provides security of their services but endpoints are our responsibility. 
  • Momentum to make Teams better – Salesforce is going to force Microsoft to do more due to the Slack competition. 
  • Microsoft spotlighting Dynamics in the portfolio – they need it to compete against Salesforce and Microsoft needs to make the argument as well. 
  • Microsoft will launch a version of Windows 10 that runs natively on Apple M1.  

Steve predicts: 

  • Microsoft Teams Rooms become fundamental to return-to-work strategies, as organizations look to manage hybrid workforces and provide a good experience to both. 
  • Cybersecurity becomes a focus for more organizations after they realize rapid deployments of cloud-solutions might leave them exposed to risk – or as cyber-attacks increase they need to leverage cloud tools.

See this article from Microsoft highlighting typical risks 

  • Microsoft will announce something they’ll classify as game-changing, perhaps another new device form factor we’ve not seen yet, such as a Chromebook style device that runs just Teams? 
  • End-to-end experience monitoring will become mainstream. 

What is Solarigate and how does it affect Microsoft customers? 

The scope of the attack is breathtaking – every aspect of how it was engineered is world-class. People believe it might have been mounted by the Russian Government, so you would expect it to be world-class from a nation state. 

Paul explains on the show the complex chain of events that led to the attack succeeding and we talk about the relevance to Microsoft 365, and why it’s so critical to ensure an on-premises security compromise doesn’t result in your tenant being compromised too. 

Find the Microsoft Resource Center for Solarigate here 

Tony Redmond reminds people Exchange Online will disable old version of TLS 

Tony reminds readers of an upcoming change from Microsoft that’s been widely publicized and is a result of Microsoft formally retiring support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in July 2020, and now beginning the gradual removal of these capabilities from Exchange Online this month. If this is news to you then you should act now – if it isn’t then it’s time to make final checks to ensure you aren’t impacted. 

Read more 

New features arriving in Microsoft Teams you should know about 

On the podcast this week we cover some of the biggest items on the list, but collated from the Roadmap, Message Center and Microsoft Teams blog you’ll find a fuller list below: 

  • As we mentioned on the last podcast, Virtual Breakout rooms arrived in Teams in late December. You can use these to split large meetings into smaller groups to work in groups, then bring them back to the main meeting. 
  • End of meeting notifications rolled out – you will now see a five-minute warning when meetings are nearing the end. But do they help? 
  • When calling a contact from a chat, you’ll see multiple numbers if they have them defined, making it easier to call a contact you are chatting with on their mobile phone, for example. 
  • Live captions can be enabled for 1-1 calls as well as meetings. 
  • When you schedule large meetings, Outlook or Teams will automatically prompt you to set meeting options – such as roles in meetings as far as who will bypass the lobby, who will be able to present, or they can choose ‘not now’ and inherit the defaults. 
  • Shared Calendars arrive in Teams Channels – add the calendar to a channel in mid-January. It uses the same Calendar UI and presents a filtered view of the Microsoft 365 Group calendar from Exchange, filtered to Channel Meetings. 
  • Live Event temporary increases continue. In 2020 limits for Live Events were expanded from 10,000 to 20,000 on a temporary basis with a duration extended from 4 hours to a maximum of 16. These limits will stay until June 30, 2021, after which the Advanced Communications license will be required. 
  • Outlook desktop will support the same feature available in Outlook on the web, mobile, and Mac to force meetings to be scheduled as Teams meetings by default. This requires a per-client setting in Outlook options under Calendar>Calendar options named Add online meeting to all meetings, rather than inherit the same setting in Outlook on the Web. This arrives mid-January. 
  • Microsoft Teams rooms gets several new features, including a preview for the Cortana-voice activation support, meeting spotlight controls, and the ability to share HDMI audio as well as the screen when hooking in an in-room laptop or device to the meeting. 
  • After bringing Yammer Communities notifications into Teams, Microsoft has released the next phase of this, allowing you to search Teams and see Yammer conversations alongside Teams messages in search results. This doesn’t appear to leverage Microsoft Search. 
  • SharePoint Migration Manager now allows you to target Teams channels as a destination (and OneDrive). This will map to the reflective channel folder structure in SharePoint like the similar capabilities in the SharePoint Migration Tool. 
  • A new lobby option will arrive in Teams. In addition to only allowing the organizer or people from the org to bypass the lobby, a new option “Only people I invite” will allow you to automatically admit invitees but no-one else, streamlining the meeting join process but maintaining basic security. 
  • Customer Key hits Public Preview for Microsoft Teams. This will complement Exchange and SharePoint functionality that encrypts the data-at-rest with an organization’s key. 

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. EmmaVB

    I had to hunt for these show notes after listening to the podcast – psst, this post is missing the “podcast” tag 🙂

    Thank you for always providing such detailed notes – while it would be even better if they displayed directly in the podcast app, I do appreciate the effort you put into them, and I find the summary and relevant links really helpful 🙂

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