For January 2020, Microsoft has decided to focus on new tools available for managers and first-line workers, new experiences for users across the Office applications in Microsoft 365, and so much more.
The new Microsoft Edge is now generally available to users and includes a few features that could largely benefit 365 users. The focus was on optimising the browser for performance, increased security, simplified management tools, and new web productivity tools. For end-users and organisations, Microsoft included an Enterprise new tab page. The new tab page allows for full customisation and it allows users to connect it to their Office 365 account. This allows you to view shared files, pinned websites, and even frequent sites visited by people in your organisation.
Another feature added to the new Microsoft Edge is the Microsoft Search in Bing. With Microsoft Search, you can search the Internet by using the Bing search engine. This creates a contained experience alongside the web results.
The feature will provide you with relevant results no matter which app you’re working in, whether it’s Word or Sharepoint, etc. You’ll instantly see information from people and applications relevant to your search.
Privacy was one of the main focus points when Microsoft was creating the new Microsoft Edge browser. One of the new features for the browser includes Tracking Prevention. The feature can be accessed via the lock icon in the address bar and managed in three ways – Strict, Balanced, and Basic. Tracking Prevention prevents the user from having trackers from websites they haven’t visited from following them around as they browse the Internet.
Installing Microsoft Edge
When IT admins are ready to deploy the Microsoft Edge browser, they can download its offline installers on microsoft.com/edge/business which will include policy files as well. Once the files have been installed, the organisation can test it and configure it to suit their environment, and eventually deploy it at scale.
Data Residency in Switzerland
Office 365 customers in Switzerland can now locally store their data in their new data centre. Now Swiss customers have access to trusted cloud services to ensure they meet local policy and compliance requirements.
Microsoft Online Services Terms
Earlier in January, Microsoft published their updated Microsoft Online Services Terms, which provides more transparency on data processing in the cloud for their commercial cloud customers. It also increases Microsoft’s data protection responsibility.
All the updated terms are now generally available for Microsoft’s global commercial customers.
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Walkie Talkie in Microsoft Teams
The Walkie Talkie feature in Microsoft Teams is specifically made for customers who work in retail and make use of Teams for collaboration. The feature includes a press-to-talk feature which lets its users deliver clear and secure voice exchanges over the cloud, allowing a user’s smartphone or tablet to be turned into a walkie-talkie.
The Walkie Talkie feature will be available in private preview in the first half of 2020.
Microsoft Graph Connectors
A feature specifically created for enterprises, the Microsoft Graph Connectors allows organisations to index third-party data to appear in the Microsoft Search results. The connectors help expand the type of content sources that search the 365 applications and the broader Microsoft ecosystem.
Other features coming soon to Microsoft 365 users are:
SMS Codes in Teams
First-line workers in Teams will be able to use one-time SMS codes to allow teams to sign into all their Microsoft 365 applications while on the go.
Shared Device Sign-out
The shared device sign-out allows team members to sign out of of their apps on shared devices with just one click.
Delegated User Management
The Delegated User Management feature in Microsoft Teams allows first-line managers to approve passwords resets and also allows their employees to use their smartphones for SMS sign-in through a single portal.
Off-Shift Access Controls
This feature allow IT admins to limit an employee’s access to the Microsoft Teams app outside their working hours.
Soon users will be able to turn on live captions in over 60 languages during presentations with PowerPoint for the web.