Microsoft Office 365 News 02-04-2021: Simplified Mobile App Sign-In Process Offered as Public Preview

microsoft office 365 logo.In Microsoft Office 365 news this week, the supplier announced the public preview of a simplified mobile app sign-in process that utilizes QR codes. Keep reading to learn about other new features and updates for Excel, Microsoft Defender, Teams and more.

New Features

    • Excel for the web ink and highlighter
      • What’s happening: End users will soon gain the ability to annotate with ink and highlighter features in Excel for the web.
    • Microsoft Defender override alerts
      • What’s happening: For clients with Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Plan 1 and Plan 2, security admins will soon receive alerts if an email with a malware or high confidence phish classification is delivered to an end user’s inbox anyway as a result of certain overrides, such as an IP allow policy or the disablement of the junk mail folder or ZAP.
    • Teams Together Mode and large gallery view for Edge and Chrome browser meetings
      • What’s happening: Teams is introducing large galley view and Together Mode for meetings held via Chrome or Edge browsers.
    • Simplified mobile app sign-in (public preview)
      • What’s happening: Microsoft is introducing a streamlined sign-in process for mobile apps. End users will soon be able to log in using a QR code. This feature will first become available as a public preview in Outlook on the web.

Updated Features

    • Office 365 malicious email remediation
      • What’s happening: Microsoft has announced plans to update the ability to remediate malicious emails in Microsoft Defender for Office 365. This update will improve efficiency as well as enhance the customer experience.
    • Updated Microsoft Secure Score recommendations
      • What’s happening: Microsoft Secure Score recommendations delivered via API are undergoing an update to have the same look and weight as the recommendations currently viewable in the Microsoft 365 security center.
    • SharePoint Online private content delivery networks (CDNs)
      • What’s happening: SharePoint Online has two primary CDNs available for static files. While the public CDN (which manages JavaScript, font files and stylesheets) isn’t changing, Microsoft is moving the current private CDN (which manages images) from Akamai hosting to Microsoft Azure.
      • Rollout start: March 2021
      • Rollout finish: June 2021
    • Ink Toolbox updates
      • What’s happening: Microsoft is making changes to the ink toolbox in iOS Excel, PowerPoint and Word clients.
    • Update to M365 Compliance Center Information Governance solution
      • What’s happening: Microsoft is updating this solution to streamline end user access to label and retention policies.
    • Current Channel: Updates issued for Microsoft 365 Apps
      • What’s happening: Updates to Microsoft 365 Apps are now available for the Current Channel.
    • Enhanced SharePoint web part toolbox
      • What’s happening: Microsoft is improving the SharePoint web part toolbox by adding categories, web part descriptions in list view, a toggle for transitioning between list and grid views, and a most frequently used web parts section. These updates will improve page authors’ experience utilizing web parts.
    • SharePoint Online Search max supported value for StartRow
      • What’s happening: To improve the SharePoint Online Search function, Microsoft is setting the maximum supported value for StartRow to 50,000.


    • Sent and received email report retirement
      • What’s happening: Microsoft plans to soon retire the Sent and received email report. The supplier recommends using the Mailflow status summary report instead.
    • Active Directory Rights Management Service (AD RMS) support retirement
      • What’s happening: Microsoft will retire support for AD RMS effective Feb. 28, 2021. The supplier recommends leveraging Azure Rights Management Service (Azure RMS) instead.
    • Now available: Power Platform and Dynamics 365 2021 release wave 1 plans
      • What’s happening: Microsoft has published the 2021 release wave 1 plans for Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365. The plans include a compilation of new capabilities that Microsoft will issue between April 2021 and September 2021.
    • End of support for Internet Explorer 11
      • What’s happening: Effective March 31, 2021, you will no longer be able to administer any Microsoft Services built on Azure utilizing Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft recommends switching to Microsoft Edge or another supported browser.
    • Upcoming maintenance for Power Platform admin center
      • What’s happening: Microsoft has planned maintenance for the Microsoft Power Platform admin center Help + Support experience. The supplier will make infrastructure changes from 1:00 AM UTC to 6:00 AM UTC on Jan. 31, 2021.
    • Updated rollout timeline for team membership increase to 25,000
      • What’s happening: Microsoft previously announced plans to increase the number of members who can be added to a team from 10,00 to 25,000. To ensure the best possible user experience, the supplier has adjusted the implementation timeline.
      • Rollout start: Early December 2020
      • Rollout finish: Late February 2021 (previously late January 2021)

For more information about Microsoft Office 365, please take a look at our blog series detailing the business value of the suite. Our expert techs also have extensive experience working with Office 365, as well as other types of IT solutions. To learn more, give us a call at 877-599-3999 or email

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