Apr 19
Office – Outlook (Click to Run) has a new option to show reminder on top of all other windows

A new option is being deployed for Office Click to Run installation for Outlook.

This option is going to set the Reminder pop up on top of all other windows.

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To get it,you need to use Office Click to Run and have the version/build 1805 / 9307.2004 (or later).

And in case you are not aware, you may have to restart Windows (not only Outlook) 3 times before the updated build kicks in.

Apr 13
Windows – Windows Admin Center is now available in GA

Windows Admin Center (formerly known as Project Honolulu) is now available.

You can get it from http://aka.ms/WACDownload

Windows Admin Center (WAC) is a new web-based administration interface, centralizing all (or most of) administration consoles (MMC) you are using as a Windows servers administrator.

WAC can be used to manage Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2016 – will also support the coming Windows Server 2019, as well as Windows 10.

You can install it either on Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016.

You may have to deploy some prerequisites on your servers:

  • Windows Server 2012/2012 R2: Windows Management Framework 5.1 (available here https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54616)
  • Hyper V 2016: you need to have Hyper-V module for PowerShell and the Remote management role installed on Hyper-V; then enable the remote management using the Server Config (sconfig) (option 4, then 1)
  • Hyper V 2012/2012 R2: same prerequisites as for Hyper V 2016, plus the prerequisites for Windows Server 2012/2012 R2
Apr 10
Teams – Retention Policies is now available for Teams

Microsoft is rolling out an update to make retention policies available for Microsoft Teams.

Completion is scheduled for mid-April.

Please note there is no default retention policy applied to Teams.

To create (and apply) a retention policy for Teams, go to the Security and Compliance center (https://protection.office.com) and reach the Data governance\Retention blade

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Then create a new retention policy

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Follow the wizard to name your policy and set the retention period and actions as usual

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Then, you can choose to retain your Teams channels message and/or your Teams Chats

image 

Apr 10
Exchange Online – Meeting with more than 500 attendees can now be updated/cancelled

As you should be aware, Exchange Online has a 500 recipients limit per message (see https://technet.microsoft.com/en-au/library/exchange-online-limits.aspx#Receiving%20and%20sending%20limits).

When sending request meeting to a distribution list, the DL count as 1 recipient but may contains more than 500 members. If each member respond to this request meeting, they are added automatically as 1 attendee, which ultimately may reach the 500 recipients limit. This then blocks the organizer to edit/cancel the meeting because of this limit being reached.

An update is being deployed to allow meeting request to be edited or cancelled even if the 500 recipients limit is reached.

This update is going to be rolled out in 2 stages:

  • first stage: once 400 responses are received, no more responses will be recorded
  • second stage: all responses will be recorded. This second stage is not yet scheduled

The rollout of the first stage is planned to be completed by early May.

You need to communicate to your end-users about the new ‘temporary’ 400 recorded responses for meeting request.

Apr 09
SharePoint Online – The Newsfeed is going away

​As you know, SharePoint Online came with an initial enterprise social feature called Newsfeed.

This is (used to be) the default social feature on SharePoint Online but you were able to switch to Yammer.

In June 2018, the Newsfeed will be set to read only for existing tenant and will be removed for new tenant.

This will ultimately leads to a removal of the feature for existing tenant.

You should consider moving to either Yammer or Teams/Communication sites.

Apr 04
Office 365 – New (and better way?) to manage Office 365 services IP addresses updates

Microsoft has just released a preview of a web service to help (and improve?) customer experiences with managing Office 365 Services IP address upgrades.

You already well know the recommendations/requirements/best practices in term of accessing Office 365 Services as well as the public website listing (and providing RSS feed and XML/PAC files) here http://aka.ms/o365ip.

Now, you should start using this web service (as it will eventually replace the website mentioned above).

You can access all the available documentation from here https://support.office.com/en-us/article/managing-office-365-endpoints-99cab9d4-ef59-4207-9f2b-3728eb46bf9a#ID0EADAAA=4._Web_service&ID0EACAAA=4._Web_service

In addition, the endpoints publication comes with an additional information to identify action to be taken

  • Optimize for a small number of endpoints that require low latency unimpeded connectivity which should bypass proxy servers, network SSL break and inspect devices, and network hairpins
  • Allow for a larger number of endpoints that benefit from low latency unimpeded connectivity. Although not expected to cause failures, we also recommend bypassing proxy servers, network SSL break and inspect devices, and network hairpins. Good connectivity to these endpoints is required for Office 365 to operate normally
  • Default for other Office 365 endpoints which can be directed to the default internet egress location for the company WAN

Benefits for administrators from using this web service and the new categories include:

  • Automation of Office 365 endpoint data and changes publishing
  • System readable data for direct network device integration that is also script friendly
  • Data available in JSON for scripts or CSV format for Excel
  • Includes the first release of new Optimize, Allow, Default categorization of Office 365 endpoints
  • Includes ExpressRoute routable flag for each endpoint
  • Version change notification published alongside the data
  • All provided attributes are supported by owning development teams

As final reminder, please also review the Office 365 network principles to ensure you are always up to date https://support.office.com/en-us/article/office-365-network-connectivity-principles-76e7f232-917a-4b13-8fe2-4f8dbccfe041

Apr 03
Teams – MSI packages are now available to deploy Teams

Since Microsoft has released Microsoft Teams, there has been a need for MSI package to deploy it in enterprise environment using software deployment solution (such as SCCM).

Until then, there has been lot of workarounds available on the internet to manage such corporate deployment needs.

Now, Microsoft has released MSI packages (both 32 and 64 bits).

However, there few tricks to keep in mind, like you can not use this package to update Teams; leave Teams update itself.

NOTE you may got notification from the SmartScreen feature if you use Internet Explorer/Edge to download them. Hopefully updated packages will come soon to solve this incorrect warning

image

 

Create the SCCM application package

For this package I’m going to include both MSI and use requirements to detect which one to use but you can create 2 distinct packages and then use device collection to target them.

  • Using SCCM console create a new application and select one of the MSI package

imageimage

NOTE you may got a notification saying SCCM is not able to verify the package; just choose to continue. Hopefully updated packages will come soon to solve this

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  • Change the install behavior to install for system

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  • Edit the deployment type to define the requirements for this package
    • For the x32 bits package you must select the Operating System as condition and one of any of the 32 bits supported version of Windows (aka Windows 7 (32 bits), Windows 8 (32 bits), Windows 8.1 (32 bits) and Windows 10 (32 bits)). Off course you are not obliged to select all the supported version, you can select only the ones you have currently deployed
    • For the x64 bits package you must select the Operating System as condition and one of any of the 64 bits supported version of Windows (aka Windows 7 (64 bits), Windows 8 (64 bits), Windows 8.1 (64 bits) and Windows 10 (64 bits)). Off course you are not obliged to select all the supported version, you can select only the ones you have currently deployed

imageimageimage

  • Then edit the Programs tab to use the clean up script (available here https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/MicrosoftTeams/scripts/powershell-script-teams-deployment-clean-up) when uninstalling Teams. This is required because uninstalling Teams does not clean up user data and this will block new installation. The Uninstall program field value must be replaced with powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -File .\uninstall_teams.ps1 to run the clean up script (off course the script must have been saved in the same location than the MSI package you have imported to get it packaged and deployed)

You will need to update a little bit the clean up script to also run the uninstall command for the MSI package and clean all user profiles. The updated code will be like this

$TeamsPath = [System.IO.Path]::Combine($env:LOCALAPPDATA, 'Microsoft', 'Teams')
$TeamsUpdateExePath = [System.IO.Path]::Combine($env:LOCALAPPDATA, 'Microsoft', 'Teams', 'Update.exe')
$OSArchitecture = (Get-WmiObject Win32_OperatingSystem).OSArchitecture
$localprofiles = Get-ChildItem -Path "C:\Users"
Try
{
    If ([System.IO.File]::Exists($TeamsUpdateExePath)) {
        Write-Host "Uninstalling Teams process"

        # Uninstall app
        $proc = Start-Process $TeamsUpdateExePath "-uninstall -s" -PassThru
        $proc.WaitForExit()
    }
    Write-Host "Deleting Teams directory for all user profiles"
    Get-ChildItem 'HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList' | ForEach-Object {$profilePath = $_.GetValue('ProfileImagePath')
    Remove-Item –path "$profilePath\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Teams" -recurse}
   
    If ($OSArchitecture -eq "64-bit")
    {
        msiexec /passive /x Teams_windows_x64_1.1.00.5966.msi
     }
    Else
    {
        msiexec /passive /x Teams_windows_x86_1.1.00.5966.msi
    }
}
Catch
{
    Write-Output "Uninstall failed with exception $_.exception.message"
    exit /b 1
}

image

  • Add the other MSI package to the SCCM application package, edit the deployment to define the requirements and the uninstall program as previously
  • Then you can deploy the SCCM package to your SCCM collection(s)

 

Client Side

  • Once deployed and available, the Teams package is now available for install in the SCCM Software Center

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  • This will install Teams installer in the Program Files (x86)\Teams Installer for the 64 bits version and Program Files\Teams Installer for the 32 bits version

image

  • When a user log on after the installation, the installer will launched and Teams will be installed for the user thanks to the registry key TeamsMachineInstaller located in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run for the 32 bits version and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run for the 64 bits version

imageimageimage 

NOTE If Teams is already installed using another method, it will not be detected as already installed. You can install it again using the Software Center if you want.

image 

Mar 28
Office – An alert is displayed when BCC recipients reply to all

The Outlook version coming with the Office Click To Run is now showing a notification when a blind carbon copy (Bcc) recipient is reply to all.

The notification alerts the user he receive the mail he is replying to as a blind copy and so if he replies to all, all other recipients will know he received the original email.

image 

Mar 28
Office 365 – Planner now supports guest access

After updating Office 365 Groups and Teams to support guest access, Microsoft is now deploying an update to deliver guest access to Planner.

With this update, guest users will also be able to access Planner plans for any groups and teams they've been added to.

Enjoy

Mar 28
SCCM – Updated client customization interface

With the latest update for SCCM Current Branch, the customization of the Software Center has been updated to provide a better administrator customization experience.

With this update, when you customize your Software Center you have an immediate preview of the change – you are not obliged anymore to deploy the customization to test it

You can also showing/hiding unapproved application and/or installed applications in the Software Center.

By default, installed application are now hidden in the Software Center. Which means with this default settings, you can only view installed application from the Installation Status tab (if not hidden by the customization).

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 About

Benoit is specialized on Microsoft infrastructure (Active Directory, Azure, ForeFront products, Hyper-V, Identity Management, System Center, Windows) and collaboration (BPOS, Exchange, Office 365, SharePoint, Lync/Skype for Business) technologies.

He has been awarded as Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 2002 - on Windows, then SharePoint and finally Office 365. He has been recoginzed as Microsoft Community Contributor for his work on the Office 365 community in 2013 and 2014.

He has been involved in early stage of testing phase for many Microsoft products - from Windows to Office 365, including Exchange, SharePoint or Office client and WindowsUpdate.

He has participated as speaker or Ask The Expert (ATE) at many Microsoft or Quest events. He also participed in writing several books on SharePoint (2003 to 2010).

With more than 15 years of professional experience, he has a deep knowledge of the Microsoft market and his competitors.

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