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Microsoft Ignite: Security and Office 365 Products and Services Hitting 'General Availability'

Microsoft kicked off this year's Ignite event with a bevy of  announced products hitting the "general availability" (GA) commercial-release stage.

The announcements were all over the map, without real standouts. The following compendium of Microsoft 365 and security products at the GA stage was extracted from Microsoft's "Book of News" (BoN) publication. The products mostly are available now, or are scheduled for release this month.

Microsoft Defender for Cloud Benchmark
A benchmark capability was added to Microsoft Defender for Cloud service that "maps best practices across clouds and industry frameworks." This security compliance tool is available "as part of the free Cloud Security Posture Management experience." Microsoft Defender for Cloud is Microsoft's "Cloud Security Posture Management and workload protection solution." It's a rename of two products, namely Azure Security Center and Azure Defender. (BoN 8.1.1.)

Microsoft Sentinel Logging Options
Microsoft Sentinel, which is Microsoft's security information and event management (SIEM) solution, now has three logging options. Basic Logs is used to "ingest high-volume data from sources to correlate and investigate an incident." Archived Logs is a low-cost and long-term storage option, with data searchable for "up to seven years." A Log Restore option lets organizations restore logs for "interactive investigation queries as needed." (BoN 8.1.12.)

Microsoft Edge Security Features
The Microsoft Edge browser now has a Web site "address typo protection" capability that steers users away from going to fraudulent sites that leverage misspellings to confuse them. There's also an optional "enhanced security mode" for the browser that will switch to "more conservative" security settings when users visit "unfamiliar websites." The Edge browser also got accessibility features such as "live captions," "instant answers" and an "enhanced Narrator." (BoN 4.1.2.)

Teams Viewing Perks
Microsoft released Cameo for Teams, which lets presenters include a "Teams camera feed into a PowerPoint Live presentation." A "Together Mode" option in Teams permits meeting organizers to set up presentations where all participants can be viewed. (BoN 6.1.3.)

Teams Chat Features
Teams users can create short videos for chats with a "Video Clips" feature. They can postpone the delivery of chat messages with a "Scheduled Send" feature. They will have access to machine-learning-generated replies that can be used during chats, which will be at the GA stage this month as a "Suggested Replies" feature. (BoN 6.1.5.)

Dynamics 365 and Embedded Teams Chats
Teams chats can be linked to Dynamics 365 records. The embedding of Teams with Dynamics 365 is expected to reach the GA stage in "October 2022." (BoN 3.1.4.)

Dynamics 365 Customer Service Summaries
Teams conversations associated with the Dynamics 365 Customers Service activities can be automatically summarized. This artificial intelligence-generated summary capability is expected to reach the GA stage in "October 2022." (BoN 3.1.3.)

Teams Phone Mobile
The new Teams Phone Mobile service, offered in partnership with mobile telephony service providers, permits business calling features to work on mobile phones. Mobile phone calls also can be converted to "internet-based video calls in Teams" with this service. Teams Phone Mobile (formerly known as "Operator Connect Mobile") is currently available from Rogers in Canada. Other service providers with launch plans include "Telia in Sweden. Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, BT and Swisscom." (BoN 6.1.4.)

Viva Insights Updates
Viva Insights, used to gauge employee time spent on activities, now has meeting effectiveness surveys, which appear at the end of Teams meetings. There's also a scheduled send suggestions feature that schedules chats based on the recipient's working hours. A Focus mode feature suggests break periods, and gives the option to use Headspace mindfulness exercises. There's also a Quiet Time feature, which will "silence mobile notifications from Outlook and Teams outside of working hours." (BoN 6.2.1.)

Viva Engage Storyline Feature
Viva Engage, Microsoft's social networking-like app for work environments, has a Storyline feature that lets users compose "rich posts that include links, files, photos and videos." These Storyline posts can be seen across "Viva Engage, Outlook and the Viva Connections feed in Microsoft Teams." (BoN 6.2.3.)

Audit Search in Microsoft 365
The Audit Search tool has been updated for Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 customers. It lets them run "10 concurrent audit search jobs." The search data can be filtered and exported. Histories of audit searches get "stored for 30 days." (BoN 8.1.6.)

Microsoft 365 Stream Perks
Microsoft Stream, Microsoft's video sharing service, now has new features for making recordings, such as "background blur, inking, text and effects." Microsoft also indicated that "recordings for Teams meetings are now available in the Stream mobile app." (BoN 6.3.4.)

Managed Environments for Power Platform
IT pros can govern Power Platform low-code solutions at scale via a "Managed Environments" feature. Managed Environments show a weekly digest of the most used and least used apps. IT pros can view Data Loss Prevention policies and can limit app sharing. (BoN 7.1.4.)

Power Pages GA
Power Pages, which enable the creation of "business-centric websites," is now available, and it has a few updates. It has a Design Studio, a Templates Hub and a Learn Hub. It's possible to use it with Visual Studio Code Web as well. Microsoft also touted the integration of Power Pages with other services, such as Azure Web Application Firewall, Azure Front Door and Microsoft Dataverse. (BoN 7.1.5.)

Power Automate Kits
Power Automate, Microsoft's service for automating tasks, now has an "automation Center of Excellences starter kit" for robotic process automation deployments, as well as a new "business approvals kit." (BoN 7.1.2.)

Intelligent Document Processing
Microsoft described "Intelligent Document Processing" capabilities based on the use of "AI Builder and Power Automate." There's a new "Unstructured Doc" document type that can be used with AI Builder for data extraction. A text detection feature now supports nine different languages. Text from tables can extracted from structured and unstructured documents if the tables are tagged by a user. (BoN 7.1.3.)

Universal Print Diagnostic Info
Microsoft added the ability to get more information when diagnosing print problems for IT pros overseeing Universal Print, Microsoft's scheme for dispensing with managing print servers. The information will have links to help pages. This feature is expected to reach the GA stage "by the end of October." (BoN 9.1.5.)

Microsoft Purview and Azure SQL
Microsoft Purview Data Governance now has improved root-cause analysis capabilities when using the Azure SQL "Dynamic Lineage" capability on Power BI datasets. Microsoft had described Dynamic Lineage back in March as "metadata such as run status, impacted number of rows, the client from which the stored procedure is run, user info, and other operational details from actual runs of SQL stored procedures in Azure SQL Databases." (BoN 2.1.10.)

Microsoft Purview Retention Labels in Teams
Microsoft Purview users can now apply data retention and deletion policies using a "Retention Labels" feature. The labels can be applied using the "files tab within Microsoft Teams." (BoN 8.1.8.)

Microsoft Purview Sensitive Info Types
Microsoft added "more than 40" different "credential-sensitive information types" to Microsoft Purview Information Protection. They are used for "auto-classification of sensitive credentials." (BoN 8.1.11.)

Other Purview Perks
It's now possible for multiple authors to work on encrypted documents with a coauthoring feature. Users can now manually use and edit sensitivity labels in Adobe Acrobat files. Labels applied in Office documents (Excel, PowerPoint and Word) used on Windows PCs will remain after converting those files to PDF files. (BoN 8.1.11.)

Visual Studio Images for Dev Box
The Azure Marketplace now offers Visual Studio images for Microsoft Dev Box. However, Dev Box itself is still at the preview stage, as announced back in August. Microsoft Dev Box provides a Windows-based development environment that's hosted and accessed remotely by developers. It's based on Microsoft's Windows 365 desktop-as-a-service offering. (BoN 2.5.6.)

Windows 365 Government
Microsoft is offering its Windows 365 desktop-as-a-service offering to U.S. government agencies and contractors, which promises to "securely stream their Windows apps, data, content and settings from the Microsoft Cloud to any device, at any time." Windows 365 Government is available for "Government Community Cloud and Government Community Cloud High organizations." (BoN 9.1.1.)

Partner Ecosystem for Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform
A "Partner Ecosystem" showcasing solutions built by Microsoft's partners in support of the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform has been established. The Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform is based on products like SQL Server, Azure SQL, Power BI, Azure AI and Microsoft Purview to support operational databases, analytics and data governance. The concept behind the platform is illustrated at Microsoft's product landing page. The platform was declared as being at the GA stage back in May during the Microsoft Build event, but the Partner Ecosystem is new. (BoN 2.1.1.)

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