Blog posts

Retirement of Teams Live Events

In September 2024 Microsoft will turn off Live Events in Microsoft Teams. This will affect any users who have had access to Public facing Live Events.

What Now?

A new feature, called Microsoft Town Halls is being rolled out with greater capabilities than Live Events.

Town Halls feature a “green room” for pre-event preparation and bringing speakers together.

Town Halls also offer the ability to bring multiple speakers into view along with content such as presentations of screen shares or for panel style sessions with multiple speakers (up to 7 in view at any one time) – something that was difficult with Live Events.

Town Halls also offer the ability to send integrated emails for attendees – so no copying and pasting the attendee link into a separate calendar invitation in the future. Emails may also be customised further when the organiser has a Teams Premium license.

Live Events switch-off

Live Events capability will be switched off on the 31 July 2024. Staff who have Public Facing Live Event capabilities will be contacted in the coming weeks to discuss current and anticipated requirements going forwards.

New Town Hall users

ICT will shortly publish a new request form for Town Hall capabilities. Staff who wish to use Town Hall features will need to apply for this capability at least one month in advance of their planned event to ensure time for the College events team to review the request and for capabilities to be enabled, rehearsals held, etc.

Find Out More

You can find out more about Town Halls and the feature set at the following Microsoft pages – Introducing Town Halls in Microsoft Teams and Retiring Microsoft Teams Live Events – Microsoft Community Hub

Updating to the New Teams Application

What’s Happening?

In summer 2023, Microsoft made the new Teams application available for Windows and then Mac OS X systems in preview. As a result of the extensive use and testing and in order to move forwards with new features, Microsoft will be ending the Classic Teams application on Windows and Mac OS from 31 March 2024.

In advance of this enforced change, ICT will be updating the policy for all College users to use the New Teams application.

This change is planned for 27 February 2024 and will install the new Teams application at the next initiation of the application if you haven’t already switched over manually by 27 Feb.

Why the New Teams Application?

The classic Teams application has been in use for almost 6 years and can hog memory and processor resources making it unreliable on lower specification devices. Since the first iteration many new features have been added creating divisions in the application and it’s effectiveness.

The new version consolidates the changes into an improved application which uses much less computer resources, resulting in greater availability for other applications. Improvements in the underlying code also mean that the New Teams app is faster and more responsive.

What About Known Issues?

Microsoft maintain a list of known features for the New Teams application at

The main one that may affect a small number of users is the ability to produce Live Events in the New Teams application. An update is being released to allow this and will be available at the point when we change, or shortly after. For anyone who needs to produce a live event you will be able to switch back tot he old version of Teams to produce your event. Note that presenters will be able to use the New Teams application in a Live Event.

Microsoft 365 Feature Updates

The following are updates of particular interest or use for staff and students within College. Many have been demonstrated or discussed at the regular Microsoft 365 Ask Me Anything sessions (find out more at Ask Me Anything Sessions for the 2023 / 24 Academic Year – Office 365 News and Updates (

Microsoft Teams Updates

Private Channels – Tags and Channel Links

Private channels will support the use of tags that are generally available in MS Teams. You can use Tags for grouping people with similar responsibilities, grouping students into learning sets or dividing a large team into smaller sub teams for notifications, etc.

By the end of March 2024 you will also be able to create a link to the private channel(s) in your team. You can then use the link to direct people to the correct channel – as long as they are a member or owner in the private channel concerned.

Archiving of Team Channels

From end of February, Channel owners and teams admins will be able to archive a channel in a Team, making it read only for all. This will help people with using only the active channels while leaving information in the archived channels for cross-reference purposes.

Website tab in Teams

From April 2024, the website tab will cease to function. This change is being deployed by Microsoft to ensure security and privacy while improving the reliability of access to websites.

You will only be able to choose to open the website from the tab once the change has been applied.

Unification of Emojis, GIFs and Stickers in one picker

From the end of March 2024 you’ll find a single “picker” to choose emojis, GIFs and stickers. This simplifies the experience for all users and should be easier to use going forwards.

New Gallery view in Meetings

From March 2024 you will find a new Gallery experience and will be able to choose from 4, 9, 16 or 49 attendees per page.

At the same time both video and audio only meeting attendees will appear in a single sized window for easier identification of who is speaking and for spotlighting, etc.

Hide General Channel in Teams

From late March 2024 users will be able to hide the General channel in teams.

The General channel is always created when a new team is provisioned and by default is always visible for users added to the team.

Now users will be able to turn off / hide the General channel to allow focus on specific channels in the Team.

Team owners (admins) can always set the General channel to only allow owners to post in the General channel thus giving a clear admin announcements channel that doesn’t get cluttered with messages and chats that should be in appropriate channels.

Recap Tab

The Recording and Transcription tab for meetings will be replaced with a tab titled Recap.

The recap tab will contain the meeting recording with “in live viewing possible” along with a copy of the transcript.

Users with Teams Premium licenses will also find the AI generated meeting notes and actions in the Recap tab.

FindTime is Dead. Long Live Scheduling Poll


Microsoft are ending FindTime, the add-in for Outlook that allowed you to offer options for a meeting and have attendees vote for their preferred meeting option(s).


With effect from 11 December 2023 you will no longer be able to create meeting polls using FindTime.

What do I do now?

Instead of FindTime you should use Scheduling Poll which is the new option for meeting polls.

Scheduling Poll is built into Outlook for the Web and Outlook for Mac. It is also available for Outlook for Windows, but may not immediately appear depending on the update channel to which you are subscribed. Monthly update channels will see Scheduling Poll with immediate effect. Semi-Annual Enterprise Update channel users may not see Scheduling Poll until after January 2024.

If you need to use Scheduling Poll but don’t see it in your Outlook for Windows then head to your Outlook on the web and create your scheduling poll there.

Note: The create of polls is deprecated in FindTime but the visibility of polls remains available at

Additional Support

For more information and support articles on the change from FindTime to Scheduling Polls please visit Microsoft’s support pages at Scheduling Poll articles – Microsoft Support

Microsoft Copilot with Commercial Data Protection (formerly Bing Chat Enterprise)

What is Microsoft Copilot with Commercial Data Protection (formerly Bing Chat Enterprise) ?

Microsoft Copilot with Commercial Data Protection (MS Copilot)  uses the Chat GPT 4 AI model to interrogate and deliver search results based on access to the data that you have.  Your data is protected and the chat results are NOT saved or made available for Microsoft, so the data does not pass outside of the organisation.


MS Copilot is grounded in data from the public web and provides complete, verifiable answers with citations, along with visual answers that include graphs and charts.


MS Copilot is designed by Microsoft in line with Microsoft’s AI Principles.


MS Copilot has no access to organizational data in the Microsoft 365 Graph.


How do I use MS Copilot?

Head to and sign in with your College ID (  NOTE Only Staff with an A3 or A5 license for Microsoft 365 services can access Bing Chat Enterprise at the present time.


Once signed in you will see a “Protected” flag beside your name indicating that you are using the secure version of Microsoft Copilot with Commercial Data Protection.


The font page will appear with options to select a particular style of conversation (Creative, Balanced or Precise).  

Image of Bing Chat Enterprise home page
Bing Chat Enterprise homepage

You can provide simple questions or more complicated multiple point paragraphs.  MS Copilot will then interpret your request and deliver results which you can then refine as needed.


MS Copilot also incorporates DALL-E for image creation – this can take a little while to respond depending on how complicated your request is.  You should also be careful to ensure that any image that you create correctly attributes any copyright for partial use from other published images.  Failure to do so may result in image copyright infringement and subsequent demands for payments or charges being levied through legal action.  If in doubt then adopt the premise of “don’t publish”!


Five Things to Try to Get Started

  1. Summarise a long document or article.
    Navigate to a long article or document (PDF) on the internet, then use the Chat sidebar in Microsoft Edge to ask MS Copilot to summarise the document in 5 bullet points.

  2. Draft emails and content that’s ready to send.
    Navigate to your Outlook on the web ( then use the Copilot icon in Microsoft Edge to ask MS Copilot to draft an email, e.g. “Draft an email alumni students asking them to consider leaving Imperial a gift in their will”.

  3. Create an image.
    In MS Copilot ask “Create an illustration of a shark jumping out of a coffee mug”.
    Try changing the shark to a dolphin.

  4. Learn new and useful information easily.
    In MS Copilot ask “Explain how large language models work  in simple terms”.

  5. Get answers to complex and specific questions.
    Try “Give me a table that compares Imperial’s undergraduate Medicine course to that of UCL”  


More information

You can find out more about MS Copilot and how it works with your data and information by watching the Microsoft Mechanics video (


There is also a recording of the Imperial Ask Me Anything session where we looked at BCE (now MS Copilot).  This is available from our AMA Video library (The Microsoft 365 Ask Me Anything Pages – Home (  This information is only available to Internal users in Imperial College London.


This page was updated on 1 February 2024 to reflect naming changes in the Microsoft estate.


Outlook for iOS (iPhone and iPad devices)

Apple will shortly release iOS 17. This is expected to happen by the end of September 2023.

At this point Microsoft will cease issuing updates for Outlook running on iOS 15 systems.  Outlook will continue to run on iOS 15 devices but will not receive any feature or security updates.

In order to remain secure and compliant, ICT recommends that you update your device to the newest available iOS release for your system.

If you continue to run iOS 15 on your device after the release of iOS 17, but then update your system to iOS 16 or 17, your version of Outlook will be updated to the latest release to include any new security or feature updates.  Once using iOS 16 or 17 your Outlook for iOS will continue to receive new feature and security updates.

Microsoft supports Outlook for iOS for the current and one previous major version of the operating system. In order to maintain security and feature availability in Outlook and other Microsoft apps for iOS you should keep your device up to date with iOS updates.

Ask Me Anything Sessions for the 2023 / 24 Academic Year

After the finish of the 2022 / 23 Ask Me Anything sessions, we wanted to let you know that we will be back for the 2023 / 24 Academic Year.

Following on from the polls run during July 2023, we are continuing to run these, on the second Tuesday at 10.00 and the fourth Tuesday at 09:00, each month.

How do I join the sessions?

We’re making it simpler to get signed up for these sessions / add them to your calendar this year.


  1. Head over to The Microsoft 365 Ask Me Anything Pages at

  2. On the home page, scroll down until you see the “Ask Me Anything Sessions – 2023 / 24” section.

  3. The section will display a message about the group being deleted – it hasn’t (it’s a SharePoint quirk!).  Click on the link “The Microsoft Ask Me Anything Pages” to join the membership group …

    Screenshot showing the message about the group being deleted.
    Initial “deleted group” message

    You will be automatically added to the group and see a page as follows …

    Screenshot showing successful joining of the group
    Successful joining of the group

  4. Now close the tab with the “You’ve joined this group” message and refresh the SharePoint page.  You will then see the next 6 upcoming sessions.

  5. Click on the title for a session and then in the window click on “Add event to your calendar” and choose whether you want to add the single occurrence or the series.

    Screenshot showing how to add the event to your calendar
    How to add the occurrence or series to your calendar

  6. If you add the series then you need to just go to one entry for each series (2nd Tuesday vs 4th Tuesday) and add that series.

  7. You will get an ICS file downloaded which will either be for the single date or the session depending on your choice in step 3.

  8. Open the ICS file that has downloaded and accept the invitation to add the event or series into your calendar. Repeat for the second series or for as many sessions as you wish to join individually!


Once you’ve done that check your calendar for the entries to the meeting including the join link for Teams.


We look forward to welcoming you in September 2023 and, in the meantime, you can check out recordings from some of the sessions run during 2022 / 23 on the same pages.  See Recordings by Subject Area ( for a listing of recordings by subject area covered.

Microsoft Teams Preview

Microsoft Teams Preview is being rolled out for Education tenants.

You can now opt in to get Teams previews by completing the registration form at

This will add you to the group which has the preview policy applied. Once available on our tenant you will be able to switch to Preview mode using the toggle switch on the main title bar in the Teams client for Windows.

Please note that this applies to both Windows and Mac OS clients (as of 01/09/2023).

You can find out more about the Teams Preview by visiting the Microsoft Adoption Pages at this link … New Microsoft Teams (Preview) – Microsoft Adoption

Present Local PowerPoint files as PowerPoint Live in Teams

The “Present in Teams” button in the PowerPoint app is being extended to PowerPoint files that are not stored in Microsoft 365 Clouds.

You will be able to use the “Present in Teams” button in the PowerPoint for Window app to present via PowerPoint Live in your Teams meetings, even if your file is not stored in Microsoft 365 Clouds. This is a new PowerPoint Live entry point for those files, in addition to the “Browse my computer” button in Teams Share tray. Clicking the “Present in Teams” button first leads you to the Save As dialog to store the file to the Microsoft 365 Cloud. Once the file is saved, we’ll automatically trigger PowerPoint Live to present your file in your current Teams meeting.


Image of the "Present in Teams" button in PowerPoint
Image of the “Present in Teams” button in PowerPoint


Screenshot showing the save to cloud function invoked when using Present to Teams on a local file.
Image showing the save to cloud function

For whom?

This update is only available currently to the PowerPoint app for Windows and is not available in the Mac app yet.


Release is planned for the end of July 2023.

ICT Service Desk Changes – 26 June 2023

Changes to how you contact the ICT Service Desk

ICT are introducing changes to ASK (ServiceNow) to improve how our staff, students, and external customers interact with the ICT Service Desk.

From Monday 26 June, the following changes will be implemented:

  1. Emailing service.desk(at) will no longer automatically create new tickets in ASK.
  2. Improvements to ASK, our online service portal including a new general ICT enquiries form used to access general IT support.
  3. New service status on ASK, displaying ICT services that are unavailable.
  4. New customer facing ASK portal for prospective students and suppliers to submit IT enquires.


Why are ICT making these changes?

This work will reduce the reliance on email, providing an efficient, more seamless user experience, with tickets going directly to the right team. It also sets the foundations towards ICT’s vision of a simple, user-friendly portal where staff and students can benefit from knowledge articles, live service status updates and quicker resolution time using automated forms.

ICT’s vision is to continue to improve ASK so that it is a useful resource for all staff and students to find solutions and seek ICT support. You can follow our progress by reading our Cross Functional Product release notes.

Visit ICT’s changes to how you contact ICT Service Desk web page for the latest information including how this change impacts you, the benefits, how you can help and an FAQ section which will be updated in line with feedback from our user testing group.