12 features I would like to see land in Microsoft Teams in 2022

I was writing up an answer in the Microsoft Tech Community today when it struck me that Teams is nearly 5 years old. That's right - 5 years! Nearly as old as my son. Yet apart from feeling like time has gone by inexplicably fast - as you so often do as a parent, I also felt two things really brought home the fact that I am still incredibly invested in it. One - I still feel the best is yet to come: that even after five years of maturation we all know it can still be so much more than it is. And two, the longer I work with Teams the less I find myself concerned with the flash and more about the fundamentals; those little vital things which make it better to use on a day to day basis

Microsoft Ignite 2021: My Schedule, 10 for Teams and Everything Else I’d Recommend

Like Inspire earlier this year; this Ignite will be my 4th. Having just got back from surviving Covid I don't mind admitting to you that I'm completely unprepared this time around. I wish I could tell you differently. Yet if I had said something different a.) I'd be lying and b.) that's really the reality when you are out of the loop for a month working in cloud. Saying that; I am actually looking forward to this Ignite probably more than any other since it's been held virtually. Why? We are going to hear a lot about Teams, about Collaborative Apps and Fluid. We are going to hear more on Windows 11 and Windows 365. We are going to hear more on Viva and probably the recent acquisition of Ally.io. We'll hear about the new Stream and how it continues to evolve, more about new devices and form factors, and a slew of new features for the Power Platform which will continue to fuel its prodigious growth. We'll see how Yammer is changing and how SharePoint is being fused increasingly with teams, yet at the same time broken apart and siloed into apps as it's services are pulled through. But you know, we are going to hear the word Hybrid most of all. It's going to be used in this event like never before. And it'll be used alongside resilience, and agility, and analytics, and zero trust. We may even hear more about that new kid on the block digital optimism. So why am I so interested in all this? Rather than just about the tech? As an event organiser myself I am always interested in fleshing out the narrative: the overall story of the conference which binds all these subjects and sessions together. Well, if you've been around and followed what Microsoft's been up to during the course of the pandemic then that narrative hasn't really changed all that much. It been coming to fruition, playing out, following the script to use idioms. Cast yourself back to Judson Althoff's session at Inspire 2020. At the beginning of the pandemic it was about being first responders; it was all about survival. As we meandered through the pandemic and the lockdowns it was about supporting recovery. Now its time for the the third act. As vaccine development has helped us begin to manage Covid and countries and economies start opening up it's now about the reimagining and the rebuilding. And what that constitutes is what Microsoft is doubling down on. Hybrid. Hybrid which posits that a.) we are going to go through something like this or something similar again and b.) Something that is almost inevitable given our experiences during the past 2 years. But you know, it's not a particularly earth shattering or revolutionary insight. Most of us know or have personally experienced that some people want to work alongside others in person or have to because of their roles. We also know that some people want to work from home as it benefits their personal life or their views on - for example - sustainability. Again, we also know others want a mix of both. So in fairness many of us didn't need Covid or the experience of it for what we already knew. Yet, the why as in why Microsoft is going all in on Hybrid? Its because for them it represents the greatest opportunity. Hybrid is the greatest opportunity for mitigating what we've all just been through. It's the greatest opportunity for creating a permanent change to the way that we work, and for real meaningful social change. But let's not forget too: hybrid represents the greatest return on their investment for what they have been investing in for many years. And don't forget - it what's going to keep us all in the job as technicians; it's where Microsoft is focusing their innovations

My Experience of Covid-19

I've been away from the community for what feels like a long time. Of course, I say a long time but in reality its only really been a month. On Monday 23rd August I woke up as I usually do around 7am feeling completely out of sorts; and two days later having taking two lateral flow tests and spending most of the previous 48 hours in bed both of them confirmed what I was anticipating. I had contracted Covid-19. Since returning to work last week a few people have asked what my experience was like. By experience they mean what was it like to get a severe case of Covid-19 and be hospitalized by the disease? How bad was it? Because after all its been well documented that you can have Covid-19 and not experience any symptoms at all. On the other hand I am sure most of us are aware of the huge number of global deaths resulting from this disease since the pandemic began. John Hopkins shows it being well on it's way to about 5 million people

Microsoft Inspire 2021: My Schedule, 10 for Teams and Everything Else I’d Recommend

y organisations have already signaled that they have learnt absolutely nothing from their experience of the pandemic. They have survived. And as soon as these organisations can they will try to have all their staff back in the office, and many will operate as if the pandemic had never really happened at all. Now, Microsoft has been really serious this past year about change. About concepts such as building resilience, working towards net sustainability and digital optimism and if you follow along with Envision, or look at Microsoft's Work Trend Index then you will see that these are the subjects which will underpin what this Inspire will be ultimately about. This is about moving away from a response period into one of recovery setting the stage for being able to reimagine an alternative future: one that many of us have actually been living for a while but without many of the restrictions currently in place. From Microsoft's perspective an optimal recovery is one that embraces hybrid working, asynchronous working and digital optimism which drives digital intensity and speeds up digital transformation. We'll see a lot on Teams. We'll see a lot on Security, on Azure and Azure Virtual Desktop. We'll see a lot about Endpoints. But the most important takeaway of all will be Microsoft's ask of it partners: are you with us in this new world? Can you be that advocate of change? Will you be responsible for helping to ensure that a recovery constitutes learning from what has occurred the past 18 months and when, not if, this happens again we'll be in a stronger position, a more resilient position to deal with it. This is not just an opportunity to transform digitally, but culturally too - reframing the very way that we work. We have the technology for that. We have that technology now

Microsoft Build 2021: My Sessions, Teams and Everything Else I’d Recommend

This has to be a quick one. In just a few hours time - straight after Satya Nadella's keynote I am on and in a Table Talk concerning Dataverse for Microsoft Teams, and having just returned from annual leave yesterday and teaching Microsoft Teams Fundamentals all day long, it's been an absolutely crazy last 48 hours. So Build. I love Build. As an IT Pro people have often asked me as to why I like Build considering I am not a developer. And the reason is not because it's online and free. Nor is it because I am a huge advocate of Microsoft. Build is Microsoft's principle event of the year aimed at developers - and whilst I am not a developer and will probably never think of myself as even a citizen developer even though I work quite a bit now with the Power Platform, for me the real value is twofold. First Build is in the broadest sense of someone involved in technology an event all about passion for innovation, for technology which can help others and make our lives easier. People come together, young and old, from every background, for the general good, to solve problems, to take things to the next level and redefine the art of the possible. In that sense, Build is the most positive and aspirational of all the Microsoft events. To me, it says I can make a difference. I can create something which matters to people. Secondly, Build is often a bellwether for what is going to happen over the course of the next year. Build sits pretty much at the end of Microsoft's financial year, and what we see in Build is Microsoft is really starting to think about what it wants from the next fiscal which starts in July, where it want's developers to focus and where it's own developers are focusing. There is many insights we can glean before we get to Inspire and before he head onto Ignite. I tend to think of it now as the beginning of Microsoft's event year.