Tag: Microsoft Teams

Outlook and Teams – New Meeting Response

Do you get invited to meetings which you can’t attend due to meeting clashes or a leave of absence, but where you want to know what happens and the decisions taken?


What is being introduced and When?

From late May 2024, Microsoft is introducing a new “Follow” response for meeting invitations.

Screenshot showing the "Follow" button as a valid response
Screenshot of the “Follow” button in a meeting invitation.

What happens?

Using the “Follow” button will let the meeting organiser know that you cannot attend the meeting but that you are interested in the details.

Screenshot showing Follow response in Organisers mailbox
Follow response returned to the meeting organiser

The organiser will be prompted about recording or transcribing the meeting. 

If this is done and the organiser has the Teams Premium license (Microsoft Teams Premium licenses – Office 365 News and Updates (imperial.ac.uk)) then a set of AI meeting notes will be delivered in the recap tab of the meeting making it easy for those who are following to catch up after the meeting happens.

M365 Updates for April and May 2024

A number of updates and changes have been published by Microsoft over the recent weeks. This blog post provides brief details about the ones that are most impactful for members of Imperial’s community.


Calendar Notifications in Teams Activity Feed

You can now get the Calendar Notifications in Teams from the Activity Feed. 

You will get calendar notifications in the Activity Feed for the following scenarios:

Meeting invite (including channel meetings you are explicitly invited to)
Meeting updates
Meeting cancellations
Meeting forwards (as an organizer)

When you get a calendar notification, you will see an unread notification in the Activity Feed pane or at the bell icon.

When you click on a notification, you will see the details of the meeting / event in the right pane.

Tags in Teams Private Channels

If you use tags within a team to associate groups of users, you can now use these tags for @ mentions inside Private channels.


Changes to the Website Tab in Teams

Microsoft Teams will be retiring the ability to load websites inside the new Teams client when using the Website tab. These website links will open in a new browser tab instead. This is to better align with emerging best practices in web security and privacy while also improving the reliability of websites opened through this feature.

Education tenants will be subject to this change but not before July 2024.

At the current time you are urged to plan for this forthcoming change which may not take effect until after summer 2024.


More videos visible in Teams meetings in Chrome and Edge

Microsoft Teams Meetings currently supports a maximum of 4 videos (2×2) on the screen by default (i.e., Gallery view) on web browsers.

With this update, users will be able to automatically see up to 9 videos (3×3) on Chrome and Edge on their screen by default without any additional explicit action.


Emojis, Gifs and Stickers in one unified “picker”

Users can soon find all of their emojis, GIFs, and stickers in a combined picker in Microsoft Teams.  This simplifies the experience and will be available by early May 2024 at the latest.


Hide the “general” channel in Teams

Similar to other channels in a team, now you will be able to hide general channels as well!  As a team member, when you become a part of a team, you see general channel always shown in your teams and channels list.  From April 2024 you will have the option to hide this channel from the list of channels that you see in your default Teams view.


Intelligent recap on iOS and Android

For users with a Teams Premium License (https://blogs.imperial.ac.uk/office365/2024/04/29/microsoft-teams-premium-licenses/) Intelligent recap is now available in iOS and Android versions of Teams.  Meetings recorded or transcribed and where the organiser has a Teams Premium license will now be delivered with the AI generated meeting notes and actions in the same way as when recorded from a desktop device.


Planner App in Teams

The new Planner App is now available for use in Microsoft Teams.  Previously known as “Tasks by To-Do and Planner”, the new Planner App builds on the new releases of functionality in Planner and the new Planner Premium features.

Microsoft assure us that Planner Premium licenses will be available for Education tenants such as ours to purchase in due course.  If you wish to use Planner Premium features immediately then you should contact the Service Desk to purchase a Microsoft Project Plan 3 (Project Pro) license as this enables Planner Premium features today.

The new Planner was made generally available in mid April 2024 and more information about the released features and forthcoming features can be found at Microsoft’s announcement (The new Microsoft Planner begins roll out to General Availability – Page 2 – Microsoft Community Hub).  The new Planner is available within Imperial’s Microsoft 365 tenant.

Recordings and where they save on OneDrive

Teams meeting recordings will be saved into the Organiser’s OneDrive for Business instead of the person who initiated the recording. Microsoft is making this change for governance and compliance purposes and to ensure a simple and understandable policy for where the recording is stored.

The change will be made by the end of May 2024.  After that time all Teams meeting recordings will be stored in the OneDrive for Business of the account that organises the meeting.

Shorter Teams Meeting URLs

Microsoft are changing the format of the URLs for Teams meetings, removing some information and thus reducing the length of the URL.  This will make it easier to copy and paste meeting URLs into meetings or chats for quick access.

The change will be rolled out between mid May and late June 2024.

Teams for Web – Safari and Firefox

Up until April 2024 New Teams has only worked in the Chrome and Edge web browsers on Windows, macOS and Linux.  

With immediate effect, New Teams for Web on Firefox is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux. New Teams for Web on Safari is now available now on macOS


Media node in OneDrive for Business

Microsoft will be adding a Media node to the left navigation bar of Microsoft OneDrive for web that will allow customers to easily find all the photo and video content stored in their OneDrive in a single view.

When an end user navigates to the Media node, they will see a view of all the photo and video content stored within their OneDrive. 

This content will be sorted by the date the content was created.  The files shown in this view are the same files stored in the user’s OneDrive and the Media node does not create separate copies of the content.

End users will be able to perform actions on the media content in this view such as Share, Download, or Delete. These actions will behave the same way in the Media node as they do in the My Files node.

Screenshot showing the new media node in OneDrive
Media node in OneDrive

This feature should be visible by mid May 2024.


Loop components in OneNote

You can create or insert Loop components into your Microsoft OneNote notebook.

Screenshot showing a Loop component within OneNote for the Web
Loop component in OneNote for Web

With Loop components in OneNote, users can:

  • Enhance Collaboration
  • Bringing unstructured, collaborative content from Loop components in Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Outlook into OneNote notebooks, fostering real-time collaboration and sharing.
  • Improve Productivity: Quickly augment and recall collaborative notes within the familiar workflow of OneNote, enabling tasks to be completed more efficiently.
Screenshot showing how to insert loop components into OneNote for Web
How to Insert Loop components into OneNote for Web

Additional information:

You can find out more about Loop at Microsoft’s Loop introduction pages (Get started with Microsoft Loop – Microsoft Support)


Whiteboard – using @mentions in comments

When using Microsoft Whiteboard, users will be able to @mention other users within their tenant inside of a comment.

The flow will look and feel similar to other Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

The user will type an @ symbol followed by the name of the user they would like to @mention in the text of a comment.

If the @mentioned user is not actively using Whiteboard then they will be sent a notification via email and via the Microsoft Outlook notification bell.  Inside of Whiteboard, the @mentioned user will see a blue @mention badge on the comment in which they are mentioned.

Additional things to note:

Users will be shown a teaching callout within Whiteboard to inform them of the new @mention feature.
Similar to the blue @mention badge, users will see a new red badge on comments that will display the number of replies in that comment thread that they have yet to read.

This feature is planned to be available by late May 2024.

Microsoft Teams Premium licenses

The availability of third-party tools for Meeting AI capabilities, such as Meeting Notes, Actions, etc., has been rapidly rising.

Unfortunately, these AI systems are beyond Imperial’s reach or trust at the present time – see Imperial’s AI and Education Guidance Hub pages (https://www.imperial.ac.uk/about/education/resources/ai-education-hub/).  Additionally, licensing such capabilities is expensive and may expose college data to use in the training of future AI models such as ChatGPT, etc.

Staff who wish to use meeting AI can now request a Teams Premium license through ICT.

The Teams Premium license costs £20 + VAT per user per year (or part thereof).

What’s in the Teams Premium license?

Teams Premium licenses deliver intelligent meeting recaps, live translations, and advanced event capabilities.

Meeting AI—If you record or transcribe a meeting, the AI will generate a meeting summary and a list of actions recorded during the meeting.

Live Caption translation—A Teams Premium license allows meeting attendees to choose the language into which the captions they view are translated. There is a list of 40 current languages, with more being added constantly.

Advanced Event experiences—If you are a webinar or Town Hall user, the Teams Premium license will add additional functionality to these event offerings.

You can find out more about these features at Microsoft’s Learn site for Teams Premium (https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/office/intelligent-productivity-with-microsoft-teams-premium-d5b02821-b9b1-4687-8c77-2f903ea68ad2)

How do I request a Teams Premium License?

You can order Teams Premium licenses by completing the request form at https://servicemgt.service-now.com/ask?id=sc_cat_item&table=sc_cat_item&sys_id=62ad78231b060a14557837b5464bcb97.

Once checked, the cost will be charged to your nominated cost code, and the license will be provisioned against your account.

N.B. Teams Premium can only be provided for users with an A3 or A5 license – please validate your license eligibility by going to the photo profile or initials in your Office 365 pages (https://office.imperial.ac.uk), then clicking on view account and choosing the subscriptions element. When viewing your subscriptions, you must check that you have either “Microsoft 365 A5 for faculty” or “Microsoft 365 A3 for faculty” applied to your account.

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 https://learn.microsoft.com/en-gb/microsoftteams/new-teams-known-issues.

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 (imperial.ac.uk)).

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.

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 https://forms.office.com/e/yFmnU9fuMA

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.

Effective Hybrid Meetings on Teams

While reviewing a Yammer (soon to be Viva Engage) community that I am involved in, I came across the following actions that you can take when hosting or participating in meetings to make them effective Hybrid meetings that work like “charms” …


CHARMS for Remote and Hybrid Meetings
The six CHARMS to making Teams meetings effective


When you join a Teams meeting whether you are joining in person or remotely, use a personal device to join the meeting (ensuring that you are muted if in a meeting room).  This will allow you to then …


  1. Join in small talk

    You can use the chat function on your personal device (laptop, tablet or phone) to directly engage with others in the meeting using the chat function.

  2. Participate via chat or by using the hand raise feature

    Ask questions or post suitable information using the chat, or “raise your hand” and when called upon, provide a verbal update.

  3. Pin a participant

    Not so that you can throw darts at them!  Rather to keep the participant in focus – especially useful in a large meeting.

  4. Recognize who is talking

    Transcription will detect who is speaking – so if you use your device it will correctly attribute your comments in the transcription and live captions to you.

  5. Turn on Live captions

    Live captions provide a brilliant way to keep up with who is saying what in a meeting, and for those with accessibility issues they provide a vital additional means of knowing what is going on.

  6. React using emojis

    Emojis add fun and also provide a great way to show recognition, appreciation and engagement.

Pronouns in Microsoft 365

The new Pronouns feature has arrived for Teams and will be rolling out across contact cards in Microsoft 365 more widely in the coming months.

Using the Pronouns option allows you to easily add your preferred set of Pronouns, either from the suggested set, or by creating your own.

Adding Pronouns is easy to achieve by following these few steps …

1. Click on your profile picture / initials in MS Teams

2. Click on your name to go into the profile “card” where more information about you is available.

3. Underneath your display name there is a “+Pronouns” button (or your chosen pronouns if you have already done this at least once.


Screenshot showing how to get to the pronouns feature on your M365 digital contact card
Where to find the pronouns feature

4. Click on the Pronouns button and choose the prnouns that you wish to add.


Screenshot showing how to set the pronouns of your choosing
Pronoun setting page

5. Click Save to complete the update of your Pronouns.