Category: Teams

Virtual attendance to Microsoft Build 2019

New features and cool stuff – Microsoft 365, Office 365, Azure, Edge, Windows 10, and everything else Microsoft

There are so many cool things you can do with new types of disruptive technology that was not even imaginable a decade ago. Impressive progress has been made across several disciplines within IT, and it doesn’t look like it will slow down at all. Automation, augmented reality and analytics, AI-driven development, and digital twins just to mention a few areas that come to my mind as examples of groundbreaking new tech-trends – thanks to Gartner’s report Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019. All of these new technology trends are possible thanks to extremely talented researchers, mathematicians, and developers to name a few. A lot of this new tech is built on or with technology from Microsoft – that’s why Microsoft Build is such an interesting conference.

Even though my daily work is around project management, end user computing and the operations side of digital infrastructure, I’m always curious on what’s to come and try to find the next big thing or cool features that can improve the EUC-experience for all of our current and future customers.

One impressive technology, albeit rather old, is virtual presence and live online streaming. That’s something I’m very thankful for a day like this. Last evening and night, was the first day of Microsofts annual developer conference Build in Seattle, WA, and I was able to watch a few hours of presentations from my couch instead of having to go to the US. Even though attending in person would have been a bit more exciting and fun, my couch is much better than nothing at all. 😃

Being able to listen to Microsoft vision and plan for the future, and also learn about the latest new features from the couch might not sound reasonable for everyone, but a completely logical move to me.

After a good night’s sleep I have been trying to come up with a list of the most interesting parts from the presentation I saw last night, from a EUC standpoint. Obviously, there will be lots and lots of more neat new features and updates to products presented during the conference but that might be for another blog post.

Microsoft Edge Chromium

Three major updates were announced for Microsoft edge last night. Thanks to Microsoft’s decision to move to a fork of the open source browser Chromium my bet is that we will see a lot of more news around the browser in the months to come.

If you would like to try the new public version of the Edge Chromium browser you can do so here!

  1. IE Mode

This is a big one for EUC enthusiasts like myself. There has always been a push-pull struggle to decide on which browser to use for end users in an enterprise environment and that usually, not always, has to do with compatibility to do.

Microsoft’s announcement last night hopefully means that we won’t have to trade off new features in modern browsers and being able to work effectively in old and legacy LOB applications. I think we all can agree on the fact that most bigger enterprises have a handful of “extremely important” old web apps that won’t disappear in the forseeable future.

What Microsoft announced is the possibility for Edge Chromium to load an old web app straight into the new browser but with the old Internet Explorer rendering engine. Previously Edge started a separate IE-process and users had to switch between the two browsers, this news means that you can have IE-tabs and Edge Chromium-tabs within the same browser, really neat.

IE Enterprise Mode works well, but I think this will be much much better. We’ll see!

  1. Collections

Another cool feature presented during the keynote was Collections. In summary, I’d say that is the next generation of the old favorites feature. You will be able to create collections of links, pictures, text, and other information within the browser.

If you want to it’s then possible to export/share that collection with your co-workers via Excel or Word. The Edge Chromium browser generates good looking files with headers, aligned pictures, and URLs/sources.

  1. Privacy

You will be able to select from one of three predefined privacy configurations. Unrestricted, balanced or strict. The strict mode blocks most trackers and trackers but sites might break. The unrestricted is the complete opposite, and the balanced mode is what we swedes say is lagom – not too much, not too little tracking.

The World’s Computer (Azure)

It’s no surprise to see that there’s a lot of focus on Microsoft Azure during the conference. Some interesting news that might be of extra interest for the EUC community I’d say are these:

Of course, there are loads of other new features but i found these to stand out.

To see all Microsoft Azure announcements, check out this link.

Windows Terminal

WOW! Finally, the old terminal will be replaced with something new! The new terminal will support shells like Command Prompt, PowerShell, and WSL.

To get a glimpse of the amazing future of Windows Terminal, check this out.

The new console is open source and you can build, run, test, for the app right now. Their repo can be found here.

Key features according to Microsoft is:

  • Multiple tabs
  • Beautiful text (GPU accelerated DirectWrite/DirectX-based rendering, emojis, powerline, icons, etc.)
  • Lots and lots of configuration possibilities (profiles, tabs, blur/transparency/fonts… you name it)

So, get a new graphics card and get started working in the new terminal 😃

Office 365 Fluid Framework

A new framework called the Fluid Framework was announced. The new framework will make it seem like users are working together in real time, charts and presentations will be updated in an instant, and translations into loads of languages will be live.

During the keynote, the presenter wrote in a document at the same time as others did, and it really looked like there was no latency. The live translation part was really cool and I recommend you to watch it in action to get why this is something that might be of real interest for your business.

Watch it in action here.

Windows Hello, FIDO2 certification

Windows Hello is now FIDO2 certified. What does that mean?

Without digging into the details the new certification hopefully means that more websites and online services will be able to allow other forms of authentication than just username/password. Passwordless authentication is proven secure and with Microsoft adhering to the new specification it will be easier to allow user-friendly authentication methods like fingerprint and face recognition.

FIDO2 is the overarching term for FIDO Alliance’s newest set of specifications. FIDO2 enables users to leverage common devices to easily authenticate to online services in both mobile and desktop environments. The FIDO2 specifications are the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Authentication (WebAuthn) specification and FIDO Alliance’s corresponding Client-to-Authenticator Protocol (CTAP).

Windows Subsystem on Linux 2 (WSL2)

The new version of WSL will be running from a completely open source Linux Kernel that Microsoft will build themselves. There are probably 100s of reasons why Microsoft do this but one of them is performance. The kernel version will be 4.19 which is the same version that is used by Azure.

The new WSL-version will make it possible to run containers natively which means that locally hosted Virtual Machines won’t be necessary anymore.

Like before there won’t be any userspace binaries within WSL which means that we will still be able to select which flavor we want to run.

The first public versions of WSL2 will be available sometime this summer.

Honorable mentions or too cool not to mention

  • Mixed reality services within Teams and Hololens, for example, the live Spatial meetings using AR
  • Hololens 2 and the Mittel presentation
  • Cortana updates where the AI Bot is integrated and helps even further with scheduling and assisting you during your workday
  • All news regarding containers, Docker, and Kubernetes/AKS
  • Microsofts new Fluent Design System
  • Xbox Live for new devices (Android and iPhone) and new collaborations with game studios
  • Some kind of Minecraft AR game for mobile phones being released on May 17

Psst. Did you know that you can watch loads of presentations and also the keynote here?

What do you think? Have I missed anything obvious?



Microsoft Teams devices

So maybe you’ve read my article on Microsoft Teams Rooms? These solutions are just a part of Teams devices which offer smarter ways to connect and work together in the ever-changing workplace.

First of all, the Teams devices are certified to work with Teams and Skype for Business for that matter. Then they offer the best-in-class performance and crisp sound and picture that the certification requires.

Room Systems – check this article out.

Room phones – These are for smaller rooms which don’t need a complete Room System. These devices actually run Android and have the Teams client installed so essentially, the device and room is actually logged into a room. This way you can quickly book a room and join the meeting from the room phone. You don’t have to login with your personal credentials but it can also be a shared room which is always logged on. Here’s a sneak peek how it looks:

Personal devices – these devices are your personal ones. For example the Jabra 710 which has a Teams button/LED which will flash if you have a missed call and when you press it, it will get you to the missed calls list in the Teams client.

Desk phones are still used by many. For example the left one below is Plantronics Elara 60 which is a mobile dock. Just put your mobile phone in the dock for wireless charging and it will pair itself with the dock. You will get hard puttons for calling and also a Teams button which will flash if you have missed calls in Teams and will bring you to the missed calls list on your mobile phone and remind you when you have meetings.

The right is a Yealink phone which has a large touchscreen which is running Android and the Teams app. This means you can easily perform and receive Teams calls directly on the phone. You can have it as a companion to your computer where you have your daily meeting schedule open on the device at all times. For the IT-pro, this also means you will be able to manage these phones from the Teams admin center since the device itself is actually enrolled into Azure AD as Azure AD registered.

And of course, the headsets which comes in various models and sizes. At Xenit, we use Jabra which have a large portfolio of different models.

But seriously, what’s wrong with any-high-quality Bluetooth headset out there, won’t it work? Well, to be honest – it might. My personal experience is that you can definitely pair your headset to your phone and Windows 10 client. You might miss out on some special functionality like busy-light on, call control functionality but you might not get the crisp sound quality you otherwise get because to be honest, the built-in Bluetooth in some laptop devices are simply not manufactured with sound quality in mind. But when I tried to use a high-quality Jabra Bluetooth headset with the built-in Bluetooth in my laptop did not work well. It worked 9 out of 10 times but I experience some unplanned disconnections during some meetings which I didn’t with the Jabra dongle.. that’s sad since the USB dongle really annoys me.

So before you go shopping, make sure you check out the list of certified devices at http://office.com/teamsdevices.



Microsoft Teams Rooms for modern meetings

How easy is it at your company to start a Teams or Skype meeting online in your conference room without technical difficulties? Maybe you have a very large (and expensive) video conference system in your board room but you wish you also could equip the smaller huddle rooms with such systems? Then you should look into Microsoft Teams Rooms which is the new name for Skype Room Systems.

You cant  argue the trend of moving to a more modern and mobile workplace. In a few years, more and more employees will probably not be stationed at a certain office or desk. This requires better tools and services and a big part of this is the digital meetings. We have during the last 3 years seen a massive growth, installing more video conference rooms than the last 30 years and we have seen a switch moving from proprietary (and expensive) solutions to standardized and more affordable systems so even the smallest huddle room can get one…

In it’s simplest form, you book the room in Outlook as you have done for years and you choose if it should be a Teams or a Skype meeting:

When you enter the conference room, the control unit on the table lights up and show you the upcoming meetings:

All you have to do is to click Join on your meeting and within a few seconds the meetings is started, all participants are joined, no matter if it’s via the Teams/Skype client, the web client, app on their phone or have dialed in to the number in the invitation. You see the participants on the control unit and on the bigscreen in front of the room and of course their video if they share it. From the control unit you can mute/unmute and and instantly add participants to the meeting from the directory or call them.

Want to share your screen? Simple, just plug in the HDMI cable to your laptop and it will output to the bigscreen but also share it in the meeting with remote participants. Of course, remote participants can also share their screen in the meeting.

It’s the simplicity – one-click-join and the meeting is started. You no longer need to be a technician to get a meeting started, choosing the correct input on the bigscreen, choose the right speaker and mic.

Microsoft Team Rooms comes from different partners (Logitech, HP, Lenovo, Creston, Polycom, Yealink) which have certified systems in different sizes – from the smallest 4-people huddle room to the largest boardroom. A few examples:

Xenit has used Skype Room Systems for a long time and are extremely happy how it works.

So what about the tech and for IT?

Compared to other proprietary systems, Microsoft Teams Rooms run on Windows 10 with an Windows app. This means you can use your current tools for deploying and managing it as you would do for any other Windows client except that you need to make sure not all policies apply to the system. On-premise AD join, Azure AD join and Workgroup are all supported. The app itself, which only installs on certified devices so you can’t do this DIY, is automatically updated through the Windows Store. So for us at Xenit, it has been almost no support for this system since it was first setup – except for some occasional hardware issues where someone was “smart” to disconnect the HDMI cabling to connect it directly to their laptop.

Of course, Microsoft has done some work to cloud enable these devices if you want.

For example you can use Azure OMS (Operations Management Suite) to monitor these devices since they log a lot of information to the event log. For example you can get information regarding:

  • Active / Inactive Devices
  • Devices which experienced hardware / applications issues (disconnected cables anyone?)
  • Application versions installed
  • Devices where the application had to be restarted

All this can be alerted upon so you hopefully can solve problems before someone calls it in as a problem.

In a few months, the Microsoft Teams Rooms will light up in the Teams Admin Center for additional functionality. For example, if you enroll many of these devices, the admin center will enable you to more quickly enroll them with a profile with settings you want. It will also make it easier for inventory management, updates, monitoring and reporting.

Here’s a short demo:

Let us know if you want to discuss or even get a personal demo at our office.



Teams keeps crashing in Citrix

A while ago I installed Teams in a client Citrix environment, I solved the large profile issue (Microsoft recommends 3 GB of free data for each user) with FSLogix, you can read more about that in my earlier blog-post here!

While testing Teams in the client test-environment it all worked flawlessly, I then proceeded to implement it in the production environment, it all worked great, Teams installed and worked as expected. Or so I thought…

The Problem

Next day I received multiple complaints about Teams hanging and restarting only to resume in a hanging state. In summary, it DID NOT WORK. Puzzled on why, since it still worked as expected in the test-environment I started to investigate. I started to check the Event viewer for any clues, there was none. I then proceeded to check the Teams install log (you can find it here: “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\SquirrelTemp\SquirrelSetup.log“, nothing to find here. I scavenged the internet for answers but always got the same solution: delete Teams and reinstall it. That did not work in my scenario. We also have 2 customers running this exact setup but without any issues. What I then started to suspect was the platform Citrix was running on, specifically virtual vs physical servers. All the installations on a virtual server worked, but on our physical server it did not.

Eventually I did a deep-dive to see what actually happens when it crashes and I discovered the following:

  1. When checking the Details tab in Task Manger I discovered that when Teams begins to be unresponsive a Werfault.exe (Windows Error Reporting) process starts and takes a lot o CPU resources but never quite finish.
  2. After investigating the Procmon I found something suspicious:
CtxGraphicHelper.dll

This is a Citrix Hook, used by Citrix to make program do stuff it was not programmed to do. Basically it’s used to make application work in a Citrix environment. If you want to know more on the subject please read this article explaining how it works!

3. After recovering this information I found a discussion on Reddit explaining my exact scenario, and a workaround for this specific issue. See below on how to apply the workaround.

Workaround

To get Teams to work on your Citrix environment if you experience this specific issue you need to exclude all Citrix Hooks from Teams.exe, you perform this by editing/adding the following registry value:

32-bit version:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\citrix\CtxHook\
String Value: ExcludedImageNames
Value: Teams.exe

64-bit version:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\citrix\CtxHook\
String Value: ExcludedImageNames
Value: Teams.exe

Note: The server need to restart for the changes to take affect!

Summary

This workaround is far from ideal, disabling the Citrix hooks is not recommended and can result in other issues with Teams. Please test it properly before making any organization-wide changes. And be aware that Teams has not yet been implemented in the HDX Optimazation pack, meaning it will not offload sound and video to your client. I’m sure Citrix is working hard to implement this as soon as possible.

I have not found the exact reason to why this is an issue and why it only seams to affect physical servers and not virtual. I suspect it’s the CtxGraphicHelper hook I discovered in the Procmon that might be the source to the problem. But it seams this workaround will get Teams to work just fine in your Citrix environment.

Please let me know if you have any questions or have anything to add!



Why does Teams not install for my users?

Microsoft released in October last year a MSI-installation package of Teams, making it easy to deploy Teams to computers in your organization. As you know Teams (for some unknown reason) installs directly into your profile. I suspect they have designed it this way to make sure everyone can install the application, even if you’re not an local administrator on your computer, you do have sufficient rights to your profile to perform a installation of Microsoft Teams.

Since I work primarily with Citrix, and could see the that Microsoft Teams is growing in popularity, I started to investigate if I could make it to work in a Citrix environment. But that is another story, you can read my blog post on how I installed Teams in our Citrix environment here!

Teams is supposed to install when a user logs on to the server, it will automatically install the latest Teams available to your profile and then start it. But in some cases I have seen an issue after installing the Teams wide Installer, the users simply does not get anything installed. A function this installer has is that it checks your profile for traces of Teams, if it detects part of Teams it will not try to install it again (if it’s not an update that is), and if the user uninstalled Teams it will still detect some left-overs and will therefore not install Teams again. With that said, you need to make sure your profile is clean from Teams. Unfortunately this was not the case here. It simply did not install!

To understand why this might happened you need to know how some multi-user environments are designed, from a security perspective!

If you are like us, security oriented, you might have disabled Run and Run Once witch is used by some applications to auto-start, or to continue a installation after a restart, and is unfortunately very popular place to auto-start viruses and other malware. It is then common to disable this.

This is exactly the place Microsoft Teams specify the value that starts the Teams installation for a user, if its disabled, nothing will ever happened!

There is however a really easy way around this:

You probably already thought about this by now but there is a tiny detail that will make it work exactly as it was supposed to:

  1. Create a Shortcut – Name it Install Teams (or something else if you like)
  2. Target the Teams.exe file with this specific argument: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Teams Installer\Teams.exe” –checkInstall –source=default
  3. Save it, and place it in the Startup folder in the Start Menu.

The last argument in the Target path (–CheckInstall –source=default) is the reason Teams knows if you have it installed and keeps it updated.

I hope this easy little trick has been helpful, please make a comment if you feel like it or have some questions!



Teams is replacing Skype for Business – how does it (really) work for the user?

Most of us know Teams is replacing Skype for Business in Office 365. There is no official end date but we see indications. Microsoft is no longer adding Skype for Business for new tenants with less than 500 users and they say Teams is now complete. Yesterday we also saw the first indication that Microsoft is starting to switch active tenants to Teams – so you better be ready!

Looking at the official Microsoft documentation, all is green and good. Just switch and you will experience all the goodness of Teams. But how does it really work and look for the end user? I assume you already know how Teams works and looks and the way to migrate – this blog post is just how it works for the end-user when it comes to interoperability with Skype for Business.

NOTE: Might change on short notice. Here is the Microsoft official documentation on interoperability.

Assume you’re in a SfB-only environment and consider using Teams. If you are in Coexistance mode: Islands, it means users can use both Skype for Business and Teams simultaneously:

You decide to switch one of your users (let’s call him Ben) to TeamsOnly mode and the rest of the users are still in SfB. Remember, there is nothing stopping all the other users to start using Teams, they just have to go to https://teams.microsoft.com and they can use SfB and Teams simultaneously.

Internal communication within tenant

If the user you switched to TeamsOnly, Ben, tries to start the SfB client, he will get:

But we shouldn’t uninstall the SfB client – keep on reading…

  • If both users are in Teams (in case some other users have found out they can use Teams) you will get the full experience so I will not go into details there.
  • Ben will be able to receive and reply to messages received from Sfb users within the Teams client.
  • Screen sharing is not supported between Teams and Skype for Business – you need to create a meeting for that – see below.

There is one caveat here, if the other user has ever started Teams weeks/months ago, they are considered to be “activated in Teams” which means Ben no longer can initiate a new SfB conversation with that user. Ben can only initiate a new conversation with the other user in Teams and if that user is no longer using Teams (for example if they decided they didn’t like it), they will not receive it. However, if the other users initiates chat from SfB to Ben, Ben will be able to reply to SfB.

The absolutely best feature is that you have persistent chat experience over all devices so you can initiate a chat session in a web browser on your laptop, continue in the fat client on your desktop and keep the whole thread in your mobile device.

So in short, we recommend to keep interoperability period as short as possible because some of the confusion it creates…

External communication

So imagine all your users are in Teams. But you will see that many other organizations are still using SfB in Office 365 or on-premises – how do you communicate with them?

  • Again, if both users are in Teams you will get the full experience so I will not go into details there.
  • Ben will be able to both initiate, receive and reply to SfB chat sessions but only plain text – no rich format like bold, italic, inline pictures, emoticons.
  • Ben can still join SfB meetings, that’s what the SfB client is used for and needs to be running in the background. So we don’t see that going away very soon. Or, of course, he could use the SfB Web App if the SfB application is not installed but I suggest having the SfB client running in the background all the time.
  • Ben can’t initiate screen sharing to SfB users – a Teams meeting is required for that.
  • The SfB user can’t initiate a screen sharing to Ben. And this experience is far from perfect and this is how it looks at the external user end. First they see in the chat Windows that Ben is using Teams:
  • Ben will also see in his Teams client that the external user is running SfB here:
  • If the SfB user clicks the Screen Sharing button, they will get a popup saying they need to start a meeting for that:
  • Once they click that it will actually silently start a SfB meeting in a new conversation window:
  • Ben will receive a message in the Teams saying a Sfb meeting has been started:
  • Once you click this link it will get you to a normal join meetin webpage and hopefully Ben already have the SfB client running so it quickly will join the meeting:
  • Once you joined, you both are in the same meeting:
  • Now, the SfB user can share their screen in the meeting as they normally do in a meeting:
  • One thing we have noticed, which is probably a bug, is that if an SfB users just opens a new chat to a Teams user it does not say the other user is a Teams user:

    And the SfB user could try to start screen sharing (but this will fail just saying Connecting… until it times out. It’s not until you send or recieve the first message the status shows the following and you no longer can start screen sharing without starting a meeting:
  • Ben will also realize that the New Skype Meeting choice will be removed in Office 365 ProPlus and New Teams Meeting will be the only choice. Same goes with the Outlook Mobile client on iOS/Android which depends on your tenant settings.

This is just one part of the story, the big difference is the way that Teams can be more than what SfB was when it comes to collaboration. You need to develop a plan for how to communicate this to your users… You might also have other dependencies with SfB like conference room equipment like Skype Room Systems and integration with PBX.

Interoperability between SfB and Teams might not be the best in the world, but we also see Microsoft is pushing Teams and from Ignite sessions, we see that the user experience during interoperability will not change much – what we see is what we get and we better adapt and inform our users so this is clear.



Teams in your Multi-user environment done right!

Microsoft Teams is on the rise, more and more businesses is seeing the potential of Teams and want a piece of the action.

Unfortunately Microsoft Teams is not ideally designed to work on a Multi-user environment like Citrix Xenapp or Microsoft Remote Desktop services. It is entirely installed in the users profile, and its quite big. A clean installation of teams is roughly 600 MB and will quickly grow, and you know what that means… You guessed it: Super long logon time, since logging on to the Multi-user environment often means the profile would be downloaded to Session Host before you are properly logged on, the users will not be happy! And on top of that, the latest recommendation in size per Teams installation is 3 GB…

There is however some rumors indicating there will be releasing a business version soon addressing this very issue! But if you are anything like me, and cant simply wait, there is a solution if you are willing to pay a small price, and you will at the same time have access to tons of other great stuff.

FSLogix Profile Container

FSLogix Profile Container is a great product that basically removes the profile size entirely, is an little agent you install on your Session Hosts and configure with an ADMX, you also need a file share with enough space for some big profiles. FSLogix is in the business of so called filter-drivers, what it does is simply put, lying to Windows. For example, when you install a 32-bit application to your 64-bit Windows System, Windows will use its own filter-driver to get it to work, its the same technology, its efficient and simple. In FSLogix case it is lying to the windows about the profiles, Windows thinks its a local profile, it does not know that in fact, the entire profile is contained in a vhd-file, mounted to the server. Because its a virtual disk that attaches to the server, there is only one SMB handle. It will therefor not be a huge load on the network, which you often sees when you for example roam your profiles.

Install Teams

When you have FSLogix Profile Container in place you can now install teams on your environment.  In early October Microsoft released a new version of Teams with some new features when deploying Teams to all the users in an organization, we are going to use parts of that to install Teams on to our environment!

 

  1. Download the latest version of Teams MSI-file (x64) file here!
  2. If you like to disable Auto-start of Teams use the following install string (otherwise just install without the option):

    This will put an Install file under “C:\Program Files”, and when a user logon it will automatically install Teams to this user.
  3. You do not need to update the MSI to the latest version, Teams will automatically download and install pending updates on the next logon of the user.

There you go, now your users can benefit from the full experience of Teams in your Multi-user environment, with one exception: if you are using Citrix, you have “Skype for Business Optimization Pack” to utilize local client resources for best quality of Skype meetings and calls. There is no support for Teams as of for now. It will soon be available though. With that said, I wouldn’t uninstall Skype for business just yet.

Other Great stuff

As mentioned above, there is a lot of benefits using FSLogix Profile Container. For a great period of time, Citrix User Profile Manager has been the best way to reduce the size of the profiles while still have the most important settings saved in your profile. But this is still just a trade-off, you trade off your caches and settings that impact your profile logon, but at the same time still trying to get the best experience for the user, this will sometimes collide and you have to choose between longer logon time or full functionality of a certain application.

With FSLogix Profile Container you no longer need to worry about large profiles, you don´t need to trade off! There are a lot of applications that saves a ton of settings and files in your profile that you now can install without impacting the user experience, this opens up a great deal of opportunities. You can for example install OneNote with it´s (potentially)  gigantic cache, CAD applications with thousands of files in the user profile and so much more.

 

If you find this interesting and would like a trial of FSLogix Profile Container to see if this fits your organizations needs, please contact us. It is easily installed and does not require additional servers or infrastructure!

 



Guest access in Microsoft Teams

Yesterday Microsoft made one of the most request feature for Microsoft Teams general available, Guest Access for external users.

Guest access allows you to add people from outside your company and organisation to a team, so they can participate in chats, join meetings, collaborate on documents and more.

At the moment, anyone with an Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) or Office 365 work or school account can be added as guest in Teams. Microsoft will later on add the ability to add anyone with a Microsoft Account (MSA), like Outlook.com or Live.com.

Image: blogs.office.com

Enable Guest Access

To enable Guest Access in Microsoft Teams, an Office 365 Administrator will have to logon to Office 365 Admin Center and go to Microsoft Teams under Services & add-ins and change Settings by user/license type to Guest and turn the feature On.

 

Inviting a guest

To invite a guest user to a team, just add the user as you normal do by entering the email address:



Skype for Business will be upgraded to Microsoft Teams

Last night, a couple of Office 365 users received the following popup in the portal that Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams and they should start using Teams:

In the Office 365 Admin Portal, MC118018 was published by Microsoft and later removed, stating that they are starting to upgrading Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams.

The notice stated that for now, this is an opt-in experience, so it’ls not an immediately change by Microsoft, but as an action is required by 2018-09-07 it sure looks like you will be forced to upgrade.

There have not been an official announcement from Microsoft, yet but as Microsoft Ignite is less than a month a way we might see a few new announcements there and one of them might be that Skype for Business will be upgraded to Microsoft Teams.

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