On November 17th, Microsoft announced a new feature for Microsoft Teams – sign language view. This accessibility update improves the Teams meeting experience for signers by allowing users to keep selected users in centre stage, ensuring interpreters remain in a consistent location throughout every meeting.

Sign Language view makes several changes to improve accessibility for the Deaf and/or hard of hearing, including:

  • Keeping interpreters and other signers ‘video feeds in a consistent location
  • Ensuring that video feeds are an appropriate shape and size for sign language to be visible
  • Allowing participants to have up to two other signers in view throughout each meeting
  • Reducing repetitive meeting setup tasks like pinning interpreters and turning on captions at the start of each meeting.

With sign language view enabled, video streams are automatically prioritised at the highest available image quality and the correct aspect ratio. Like pinning and captioning, the sign language view does not affect other members in the meeting and can adapt to your needs.

The sign language view allows video feeds of the individuals you have assigned to stay visible on centre stage if their video is turned on. Other meeting members can also be pinned or spotlighted without blocking the view of the sign language interpreter.

Teams Sign Language Interpreter

Microsoft Teams: Sign Language View

When a member of a meeting shares content such as a presentation, the prioritised sign language interpreter’s video changes position, however, it remains more prominent than other video feeds and remains at high quality.

Microsoft Teams Sign Language View Presentation

Microsoft Teams, Sign Language View prioritised even when presenting

Microsoft has also allowed users to:

  • Set sign language view as a default across all their meetings
  • Pre-identify preferred signers that work within an organisation
  • Toggle captions on and off across all their meetings.

Users can find these options in the new Accessibility panel in the setting menu.

Accessibility Settings in Microsoft Teams

Accessibility Settings in Microsoft Teams

To find out more, read the article from the team at Microsoft, and learn more about Microsoft team accessibility features and how to use the sign language view feature.

The sign language view accessibility feature was initially released in Public Preview and is currently being rolled out for the Teams desktop application and web clients for commercial and GCC customers. You can enable public preview on a per-user basis. To find out how to enable the feature check out Microsoft Teams Public Preview in Microsoft Learn.

For advice on making Microsoft Teams work for your organisation, contact GCIT today

iCloud in the Microsoft Photos

iCloud is now available natively within the Photos App for Windows 11 Users, Source: Microsoft, 2022

The Windows team announced earlier this month that the latest update to the Photos App would support iCloud Photos. This update started rolling out on the 9th of November and should be available to all Windows 11 users by the end of the month.

The updated Photos app available in Windows 11 already supports OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage solution. Photo and video collections from iCloud devices can be viewed directly on a PC. This integration will improve the ease of use for many iPhone users allowing photos to sync to the Photos app automatically.

To use this feature, ensure the Photos app is updated to the latest version and install the iCloud for Windows app from the Microsoft Store. Sign into your Apple account in the iCloud for Windows app and choose to sync your photos. Your iCloud Photos and Video content will now automatically appear in your Windows Photo app.

To find out about the latest Windows updates, follow the Window Blog, or see what’s new in the latest Windows 11 2022 Update.

Microsoft 365 website - GCITS Gold Coast

Microsoft has recently announced that it will be changing the Microsoft Office software package and giving it a new name: Microsoft 365. According to the FAQs on the Official Microsoft website, several changes will be happening over the next few months. Office.com, the Office mobile app, and the Office app for Windows will be rebranded to Microsoft 365, with a new icon look and features to come.

These changes will begin rolling out for Office.com in November 2022 (next month), and the changes to the Office app on Windows and mobile with an update in January 2023. There will be no impact on any existing account, profile, subscriptions, or files you currently have with Microsoft Office. The apps will automatically update with the new icon and name from November.

As a part of Microsoft 365, customers will be able to continue to get access to apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Microsoft is also continuing to offer one-time purchases of those apps to consumers and businesses via Office 2021 and Office LTSC plans. There will also be no changes to Office 365 subscription plans.

This change has been a slow progression that started in 2020, with Microsoft rebranding some of its Office 365 plans to Microsoft 365. The new branding originally started as a subscription package for businesses with an enterprise Windows 10 and Office 365 bundle. Microsoft has since gradually moved all their office applications under the Microsoft 365 branding.

This rebranding is another example of Microsoft branching out and offering more services and applications that don’t fit strictly into the ‘Office’ branding, including providing cloud services, apps such as Clipchamp, and Microsoft Family Safety, with new changes to be expected in the future. Find out more about this change by visiting the new microsoft365.com website.

Improvements to Azure AD Identity Protection have launched, making it easier to identify and manage identity risks in your organization.

What is Azure Active Directory Identity Protection?

Azure AD Identity Protection uses machine learning to identify signs of suspicious activity or issues that might cause you to have a compromised identity in your organization. We can use Azure Identity Protection to configure policies that impose conditions on sign-ins or users that are deemed risky by Microsoft 365. We can also use it to manage, investigate and remediate risk alerts when a suspicious sign-in or user is detected.

Azure Identity Protection can generate alerts based on the following risk events:

  • Atypical travel
  • Anonymous IP
  • Unfamiliar sign in properties
  • Malware linked IP addresses
  • Leaked credentials
  • Azure AD Threat intelligence (activities that match known attack patterns)

The leaked credential alert is especially useful because it will let you know whether some of your users have credentials that are exposed on the dark web or in another breach. We use this in conjunction with the Have I Been Pwned API to alert our customers to compromised credentials.

Where can I find Azure Active Directory Identity Protection?

  1. Sign in to portal.azure.com
  2. Open Azure Active DirectoryAzure Identity Protection In Azure Portal
  3. Scroll down to Security on the left rail
  4. Open Identity Protection.Open Azure Identity Protection

What’s new in Azure Active Directory Identity Protection?

Azure Identity Protection has been updated with new controls for managing, investigating and remediate issues with our identities.Azure Identity Protection Improved Controls

We can use these improved controls to manage risk events in bulk, easily confirming a compromised user or dismissing alerts. These new controls are handy for larger organisations who generate many alerts each day. Azure Identity Protection Managing User Risk Events In Bulk

For each alert, we can drill down and see more information on the user’s recent activities. We can see other user sign-ins and risk detections, as well as reset passwords, confirm compromise, block access and investigate further in Azure ATP. Choosing to investigate further opens up Cloud App Security, providing more insight into the user’s recent activities that contributed to the alert.Azure Identity Protection User Risk Event Details

What license do I need for Azure Identity Protection?

Azure Identity Protection is included in Azure AD Premium P2 license. Azure AD Premium P2 is available under the following licenses:

  • Azure Active Directory Premium P2  standalone SKU
  • Microsoft 365 E5
  • Office 365 E5
  • Enterprise Mobility Suite E5

You get some limited reporting on risky users, risky sign-ins and risk detections in Azure AD Premium P1, which is included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

Since Microsoft licensing can change, see here for up to date licensing requirements.