Office 365 for IT Pros, 3rd Edition is continually updated with new information, changes and corrections. Customers who bought the book from this website can download the updated files from their purchase history. Updates applied to the Amazon Kindle version are available through your Kindle library after they are approved by Amazon.

February is the shortest month of the year, and yet Microsoft has packed another big set of changes into Office 365. First out of the gate for February was the new Service Health Dashboard, providing some nice visual improvements as well as the opportunity to give feedback on the timeliness and accuracy of service alerts. More improvements are planned, including an Office 365 road map item to add email and text notifications to the Service Health Dashboard. Hopefully this will be available to all customers, unlike the Message Center email alerts which we recently learned are limited to tenants of +50 users, at least for now.

Speaking of the Office 365 Roadmap, it’s now been updated to a new design that presents information about feature development and deploying in a way that is easier to read and follow.

Outlook mobile turned 2 years old, and celebrated by releasing new add-ins for Evernote, Trello, and more. The add-ins provide useful functionality such as clipping emails into Evernote notebooks, or associating emails with Trello boards. The integration of third party apps with Office 365 is very often a security and governance concern for customers, so Microsoft also added policies to Intune to allow the add-ins to be controlled if necessary.

On the security front, Microsoft also made Office 365 Secure Score generally available, providing customers with a score-based analysis of the available security features in Office 365 that have been configured for a tenant. I’ve written about Secure Score here before, and also recently answered a reader question on whether Secure Score alerts you to intrusions or breaches. They’ve also released two new Preview programs, both due for general availability this quarter. Office 365 Threat Intelligence aims to help customers stay aware of cyber threats by using data collected from Microsoft’s datacenters and online services. Office 365 Advanced Data Governance is all about reducing risks by identifying sensitive data in your tenant that needs preserving or protecting, while also identifying redundant data that should be removed.

Microsoft Teams is about to move out of Preview and into general availability. Microsoft has issued another notification in the Message Center that Teams will be turned on by default for all tenants, which is their normal approach for new feature deployments. The capability to manage Teams on a per-user basis has been available for some time now, so if you don’t plan to use Teams and want to keep it turned off for now you’ll need to configure your users’ licenses to disable it. Which is a perfect opportunity to check out the new Azure AD group-based license management features that have also been released in Preview.

The world of SharePoint got a little more exciting… with the general availability of the SharePoint Framework announced. For the non-developers (like me) and non-SharePoint folks (also me), the SharePoint Framework is… “a Page and Part model that enables fully supported client-side development, easy integration with the Microsoft Graph and support for open source tooling.” I’m sure that a SharePoint expert will correct me here if I’m wrong, but the world of web development today focuses heavily on Javascript and client-side code, whereas SharePoint development has previously been a server-side endeavor using .NET languages. The new SharePoint Framework brings development and customization for SharePoint into the modern era. For IT pros this might mean an uptick in cooperation with SharePoint developers in the near future.

Office 365 Groups have had an adjustment to their behavior for emails sent to groups by members who are also subscribers for the group. The sender will no longer receive a copy of their own message, which came as a surprise to some users, but is a change designed to please the majority of customers.

Finally, from the More Ways to Create Office 365 Groups department, the roll out of Office 365 connected Yammer groups has begun. This applies to customers who have enforced Office 365 identity for their Yammer users, and who have only one Yammer network associated with their tenant. With this change, when a new Yammer group is created, an Office 365 Group is also created, including resources such as a SharePoint doc library, OneNote notebook, and Planner plan.

Stay up to date with Office 365 for IT Pros.

About the Author

Paul Cunningham

Paul is a former Microsoft MVP for Office Apps and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul no longer writes for


  1. Ami Kate

    Thanks Paul for the informative post of new Office 365 new features.

  2. Matt Seeds

    Thats awesome – thanks for collating the info.

  3. vinod

    Very Neat.
    Thanks for putting this together Paul.

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