While time may appear to be moving slowly during this time, we’re already nearing the end of April, and Microsoft has gone ahead and published its monthly roundup of new features and changes to Microsoft 365 during the past month. While it’s not a new feature, it’s worth remembering that Microsoft 365 is also now available for consumers, as a rebranding of Office 365.
In terms of what’s new this month, a lot of it has been heard of through the past few weeks. There’s a Yammer Communities app available for Microsoft Teams, and it does exactly what you’d expect – bring Yammer into the Teams interface. Yammer also has a redesigned mobile app with a new experience for live events, improved comments, and faster uploads.
In Excel, natural language queries are now generally available in the Ideas pane. Announced back at Ignite, this feature lets users search for data in a spreadsheet using natural language, which Excel will recognize and find in the document. Outlook has a new feature that lets users end meetings a few minutes early to avoid pushing the user’s schedule too much, and it will be available soon in the calendar settings.
Visio on the web is also getting a few improvements, such as the ability to replace a specific shape in a diagram with a different one, while retaining the connectors, formatting, and everything else the original shape had. It also has a new pinch-to-zoom gesture to make it easier to focus on a specific part of a diagram, and it’s now possible to add images of diagrams to other documents to make them easier to share.
Moving on to Microsoft Edge, a lot was announced this month as part of the announcement of Microsoft 365 for consumers. The browser will soon be getting features like smart copy, which lets users select content such as tables, and copy it, retaining all of the formatting, to paste in a document or e-mail. Microsoft also announced vertical tabs for Edge, which aims to make it easier to manage and organize all of your open tabs, especially when you have a lot of them open at the same time. Both of these features are coming soon to Insider builds of Edge.
Also coming soon is Password Monitor, a feature that lets users know when their passwords have been compromised in known data breaches and provides a way to change them. Microsoft also recently introduced InPrivate Search integration with InPrivate browsing in Edge, so your searches with Bing are not recorded when you’re browsing in an InPrivate window. This feature is generally available now. With the release of Edge 81, the Collections feature is now generally available too, and it lets users save multiple webpages, images, and text into a collection that can be accessed later, which can be useful for research projects.
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced Give with Bing, which lets users donate to the CDC by using Microsoft Rewards points that are earned by searching the web with Bing.
Finally, as businesses are increasingly moving to remote work, Microsoft has new tools to help them keep working from home. Microsoft 365 Business Premium now includes a full Azure AD Premium P1 License, with features such as Cloud App Discovery, application proxy, and more, enabling employees to access work apps securely from home. New customers should see this right away, and existing customers will have it added automatically over the next few months.
Microsoft is also making it easier to understand how your organization is handling remote work with new insights into employee activity. Calendar activity can be measured more easily in the e-mail report, there’s a new report for Microsoft 365 app usage, and more. There’s also a new card in the usage report homepage that specifically looks at how remote work tools are being used during this time, such as whether e-mail or Teams usage has increased or decreased, and so on.