Tag: New Features

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.

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 https://imperiallondon.sharepoint.com/sites/M365AMAPages

  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 (sharepoint.com) for a listing of recordings by subject area covered.

New Features and Updates in Microsoft 365 – December 2022 and January 2023

A number of new features and updates have been announced affecting several Microsoft 365 apps and services.


Viva Insights

Viva Insights brings you a daily email briefing before you start your day, helping to ensure that you have the right information in advance of your meetings and reminders which are pertinent to you.  The Viva Insight briefing email is personal to you and cannot be seen by anyone else.


In January 2023, Microsoft will be pausing the briefing emails while they implement improvements and additional personalisation.  The current update states that briefings should return at the end of February following the “make over”.

During the period when there are no emails, you can still view your personal insights by using the Outlook add-in or adding the Viva Insights app to Microsoft Teams.


Microsoft Teams Updates

Everyone Mention

Commencing in late January 2023, a new feature will roll out allowing Teams users to mention everyone in a group chat or meeting chat in one simple way.  Currently you can @ mention each person individually, which is fine in a small group chat or meeting chat, but if you have a large meeting chat or group chat running and want to alert everyone there is currently no simple way to do this.


Once the new feature is live you will be able to type @everyone and then everyone in the chat will receive a notification just like they do when they are individually @ mentioned at the moment.


Breakout Rooms

From late December ’22 or early January ’23 depending on roll out, Teams Breakout Rooms will support co-organiser management.  So if you create a meeting and set a “co organiser” on the meeting then the co-organiser will have full management rights over Breakout Rooms.


More Reactions in Teams

A greatly expanded set of reactions are currently rolling out in Teams for use in Chat and Team conversations.  The reactions for meetings remain limited for simplicity, but for chat and threaded conversations there are now over 800 “emojis” to choose from.  These are available from December 2022.


Multi Factor Authentication Improvements

Commencing at the end of February 2023, Microsoft will begin roll out of enhanced Multi Factor Authentication replacing the push notifications with number matching.  Many organisations are seeing an increase in attacks due to MFA fatigue due to users just hitting approve without thinking about what they are approving.

Number matching requires the up to date Microsoft Authenticator app to be installed from either the iOS App store or Google Play store fro Android devices.  If you have been approving MFA requests via an Apple watch then you should uninstall the apple watch app and approve all authentication requests via the phone – the watch app does NOT support number matching.

Number matching works by displaying a number following successful username and password verification.  The authenticator app will then provide information on what app is being accessed and the location of the access request (including a map display) and require the user to enter the number as displayed on the login screen of the app.

Screenshot of number matching at login

Number matching display during login


Screenshot of Authenticator app during number matching

Number matching on Authenticator App

Office 365 Ask Me Anything (Well Almost) – 2022 / 23


We’re pleased to announce our new season of Office 365 Ask Me Anything sessions for the Academic Year 2022 / 23.


These will start on Tuesday 13 September 2022 at 10am and then be held on 2nd Tuesday of the month at 10am and on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 9am.

We’re varying the times a little as we know it’s not always convenient to make a 9am or a 10am slot.

We also know there are some clashes so we’ll try to move things for obvious clashes of date.


Online using Microsoft Teams


These sessions are open to all staff to join, listen, watch and ask questions about components of Office 365.

More Info

Whether you want to know about Teams Meetings or Webinars, new functionality being introduced or how to do something clever in Power Automate come along and find out more.

Some sessions will have a particular focus while others will be completely open.


Sign up by completing the online form.  We’ll then add you to the sessions.


Group your Microsoft Forms

Lots of Microsoft Forms?  Struggling to find the right one(s)?


You can now group your forms into Collections to make it easy to find forms or keep similar forms together.


How do I do that?

  1. Go to forms in Office 365 (https://forms.microsoft.com).
  2. Scroll down and click on the All forms link to the bottom right of the screen …
  3. In the top right click on the “New Collection” link …Screenshot showing the "new collection" link in Forms.
  4. Name your collection
  5. To assign a form to a collection click on the three dots on the form and choose “move to collection” and then the collection that you wish to usescreenshot showing move to collection in Microsoft Forms
  6. Once you have added forms to a collection you will see your collection in the forms pages and can drill into a collection to use the forms like normal.  You can also create new forms in a collection directly.Screenshot of a forms collection


Teams Meeting Updates rolling out January – March 2022

A number of updates are being rolled out by Microsoft to enhance and improve functionality across Microsoft 365 and Teams.

In this post we’ll look at the following:

  • Including Content from Camera
  • Moderated Q&A
  • Polls
  • Raise Hands – numbering.


Microsoft Teams – Include Content from Camera

You will soon be able to deliver content from a second camera attached to the device that is joined to a meeting – so if, for example, you want to share a diagram or view of a specimen while giving a lecture or seminar, it will be possible to share content from a camera.  To do this go to the share option in the Teams meeting and choose “Content from Camera”.

Screenshot shoing the Share menu and highlighting the content from caemra option


Moderated Q and A in Teams meetings

You can now add a Q and A app to your meeting to provide a moderated Q and A experience, like that provided in Live Events.  By using this Q and A app you can control and moderate or vet questions before making them publicly visible to the whole audience.  All those with the presenter role in the meeting have the ability to moderate questions.  This feature only works in direct invite meetings at the present time and not in channel meetings.


To add the Q and A app to your meeting, go to the calendar in Teams and fin the meeting entry before it starts.  Click on the +

Screenshot shoing how to add an app to a teams meeting


Then enter q in the search box or find the Q&A app in the list of apps …


Screenshot showing how to find hte Q&A app


Select the Q&A app and choose Add …


Screenshot showing how to add the Q&A app


Select the option for moderated questions (NOTE that you cannot turn this off later – once it is on it stays on for the meeting) then click save …


Screenshot shoing how to moderate the Q&A function


The app then adds an additional “tab” to your meeting from where you can see the questions including htose which have been published and dismissed.  You can also change some settings to stop further questions – this may be useful after your meeting finishes.


Screenshot showing the Q&A app within the team meeting


Adding Polls to Team Meetings

You can now use Forms to add Polling options to Teams meetings.  For channel based meetings this only delivers basic multiple choice polls, but for direct invite teams meetings you can deliver multiple choice polls, quizes and word cloud polls.

  • A Poll is just a question and a series of answers (where there may be a single choice or multiple answer option).
  • Quizzes – like a poll but you can set an option as the correct answer – great for offering self marking polls to assess progress in a lecture or course.
  • Word Cloud polls – us a text entry answer and then deliver the words as a word cloud with the most popular answers creating larger words in the resulting cloud.

To add a poll do the following:

Click the + sign in your teams meeting entry (just like above).  Then search for and choose Forms (may also appear as Polls soon!)

Screenshot showing how to add polls to a teams meeting


Then click on Save to add the forms app to the meeting.


Screenshot showing how to save polls as an app into Teams meetings


Once added you can choose to create a new poll …


Screenshot showing how to create new poll


Then choose your poll type …


Screenshot showing choice of poll type


Create your poll and add additional options as needed.  Remember to set the anonymity options and results options as you need.


Screenshot showing how to create a poll question with multiple answers


Once saved as a draft, you can choose to Launch the poll into your meeting, edit it further or delete it.


Screenshot shoing how to launch, edit or delete a poll


Once you have launched a poll you will be able to close it so no more responses are collected, see the results or delete it.


Raise Hands – what order did they go up?


In large meetings with lots of hand raising it can be difficult to work out who is next to speak or have input to the meeting.  Now when your meeting colleagues use the “Raise your hand” feature Teams will provide a visual indication of the order in which the attendees raised their hands, allowing you to ensure that you don’t miss people out when it is their turn!


Raise hands - numbered view

Teams Meetings – Presentation Modes

Two new modes for presenting content and video into a Microsoft Teams meeting will be introduced during late August and early September.

What is available?

  1. Side by side mode – allows the video of the presenter alongside the content being delivered – similar to the effect that has been available in a live event.
  2. Reporter mode – superimposes the content over the shoulder of the presenter’s video in a similar fashion to that of a newsreader in a broadcast.

Meeting presenters:

  • Can customize the background image before starting the presentation
  • Can easily enable or disable the video feed during the presentation from the sharing bar



These new presentation features are rolling out now and will be available to users by mid September ’21 at the latest.

Welcome to the Microsoft 365 Blog

Welcome to the new Microsoft 365 blog for Imperial College London staff and students.

On this blog we will aim to keep you abreast of new and updated features, changes and improvements in functionality and other useful information.

We’ll link to this blog from the Office 365 Tips and Tricks Yammer Community and other relevant sites.

Please do leave your feedback on the posts – only by gathering feedback can we aim to improve the content and usefulness of the posts here.

If you are interested in providing a “guest post” sharing something that you have been doing with Microsoft 365 or a feature you are using and how it might help others, then please do get in touch with Adrian Mannall (a.mannall@imperial.ac.uk) and we can facilitate a post for you.