Author: Adam Fowler

Microsoft TechCommunity Top Posts February 2022, Week 2

Here’s my weekly review of the best of TechCommunity:

You can do more with OneNote for the web and in Teams

OneNote was somewhat abandoned for a while, but Microsoft are now working to make it better. Nice to see that particularly the web based version of OneNote is getting some new features, so you don’t need to install the app. Looking forward to a lot more movement in the OneNote space.

Microsoft Teams performance improvements reduce power consumption in meetings by up to 50%

Back in 2020, Teams CPU and RAM usage was high by the app. So much so, that for me, the standard laptop build went from 8GB of RAM to 16GB. Staff would complain of their device running slow when in a meeting. Improvements had to happen – which they have, and it’s nice to see the transparency now from Microsoft on how they’ve come along this journey. Teams 2.0 came out with Windows 11 with the promise of being rewritten from the ground up and better in many ways, but it’s not a direct replacement for Teams (at least yet).

New Microsoft Viva Adoption Resources are here!

Microsoft have released the Viva Adoption Page where you can get guidance on how to start, or continue, your company’s journey in rolling out Viva. Resources like this are very useful, even if it’s a sanity check to know you haven’t missed something. Keep in mind, Viva has 4 main aspects – Viva Learning, Viva Connections, Viva Topics, and Viva Insights. Check out the pricing page to see what Viva bits you get with existing licenses, and what needs an extra license.

All Microsoft Defender for Identity features now available in the Microsoft 365 Defender portal

I’m still liking these self descriptive titles. This is the continuation of the plan to combine portals, particularly in the Defender space, with the goal of having everything in once place (*cough* That portal is of course and great to see more and more of these things go together in one pane of glass.

Introducing the new Overview page for Test Base for Microsoft 365

Microsoft seems pretty serious about Microsoft 365, although I think they should have called it ‘Microsoft Cloud 365’ for a bit less confusion around names, but for any admin wanting to get going with Microsoft 365, the Test Base page is somewhere you can start to work out how Microsoft 365 might work for you with documenation, guides, package testing, and metrics – as well as showing failures.

What’s New: Consolidating Apache Log4j-related insights across Multiple Tenants and Workspaces

That nasty Log4j vulnerability is going to be around for a long time – and just because you did a spot check of your environment when the sirens went off, doesn’t mean someone won’t deploy an old version of it in the future (have you ever seen a vendor give you a package that includes the absolute latest release of all other open source software?). If you’re a SOC or looking after multiple customers/tenants, then you’re going to want to check this out.

Make Sustainability Part of Everybody’s Job

Something a bit less technical, but also something we probably all have some power over improving where we work. General wastage has both an environmental and business impact, and could be as simple as changing printer defaults to double sided printing rather than single sided, or choosing environmentally friendly powered options for your datacentres on the next refresh (maybe under the sea?). At least make yourself aware of some of the possibilities, and invite an open conversation with others on what could be done to improve sustainability.

That’s it for this week, as always you can see the entire feed of TechCommunity posts at and you can see my previous TechCommunnity picks here

Microsoft TechCommunity Top Posts February 2022, Week 1

Time to go through the week’s TechCommunity posts and check out my favorites:

Microsoft Forms as a Tab in Teams using graph API in Power Automate

I like content like this where it’s stepping through exactly what to do, to make three different parts of M365 talk together. Great if you’re learning about Power Automate.

Don’t pay more for SharePoint Storage than you have to :-)

SharePoint Online isn’t an infinite bucket of storage, and this post covers how (he thinks) it works, and some considerations on how to control and clean it up. There’s also a script to run that will show how much storage can be saved per site collection – useful!

Attack Simulation Training: User tags based targeting in simulations – now live!

Tags are apparently the new groups and I’m not actually sure what advantage Tags have over managing Groups for this sort of thing, but it’s there and live. The Attack Simulation Training in Office 365 Security is actually quite good, and I like how it shows an example email and points out the areas to look at. Worth checking out.

Turn off Mirror my video in Microsoft Teams meetings to match your video to your audience’s view

These titles are getting longer. Microsoft Teams is rolling out the ‘Mirror my video’ option so you can see how others see you, now how you’d see yourself in a mirror which is the default (and can take a minute to process the difference). A good explanation and screenshots in this one, in case you’d like to inform your user base.

ProvisionGenie 🧞 – a community driven initiative

If you’re brave enough to let end users create their own groups, this seems like a more structured way of allowing it and having more of it build the way they want. Looks like a really cool community driven piece of work!

Demystifying Microsoft Teams Rooms (Windows) application releases

If you have Microsoft Teams Rooms (MTR) devices running on Windows, then you should be across how updates are applied and in what frequency, just like Windows 10/11 and Office 365. There’s also the Microsoft 365 Public roadmap to get an idea what’s coming for MTR devices.

The Power BI Roadmap – Released!

No beating around the bush on this one and I’ll save you a click, the Power BI roadmap has been updated.

What’s new in Microsoft Endpoint Manager – 2201 (January) edition

Although my brain can’t handle the yymm format of MEM releases, this shows the product is still alive and being well developed. The three items highlighted are – Microsoft Tunnel client functionality on Microsoft Defender for Endpoint iOS, Filters in Microsoft Endpoint Manager, and enabling .DMG app installs on macOS. Filters also has it’s own dedicated post here, and it’s also worth mentioning the ‘Visualize your content package distribution in Configuration Manager TP 2201‘ post which does what it says, nice little addition there.

What’s New in Microsoft Teams | January 2022

If you want a popular post, this is one of them at 30k + views already. There’s so many new features listed that I started writing them down and changed my mind – go check out all the new stuff.

Try Microsoft Lists with your Microsoft account (Preview)

Microsoft takes another step into the consumer world with releasing Microsoft Lists for Microsoft accounts. It’s limited to the first 200,000 people who sign up for it – I’m a huge fan of Lists and I’m sure people using spreadsheets for this sort of thing for personal reasons would get some benefits of using Lists instead.

Troubleshooting RBAC configuration issues in Exchange Online

If you’d like to see what someone has to go through when troubleshooting why someone can’t run a certain command, and why people end up using Domain Admin/Tenant Admin, here’s a good example :) Permissions are tricky, and here’s some common scenarios and how to work your way through them.

Speed up data entry and validation with AutoComplete for dropdown lists in Excel for Windows

I’m trying not to make jokes here, but this is now trying to make Excel more like Microsoft Lists, and probably does it better than Microsoft Lists’ dropdown options. Only in the beta channel for Excel at this point in time.

Tips for task management across Microsoft

Confusing about when to use Microsoft To DoMicrosoft ProjectMicrosoft OutlookMicrosoft OfficeMicrosoft Teams, and Microsoft Loop for task management? So is everyone else, and this is a great rundown of what to use and when.

PowerBI: Screen scrape to Gorgeous Visual in 5 Easy Steps

Daniel Kim asks “Have you ever wanted to scrape data from a website and create a dashboard with the data?” and I hadn’t, but this still sounds pretty cool and I had no idea Power BI could do it.

How you can learn Python with this 11 part series

I’m not going to learn Python, but this is free learning content for anyone who does. Free!

Microsoft Sentinel – continuous threat monitoring for GitHub

Sentinel is kicking goals as a very good SIEM solution. Now it can monitor GitHub for suspicious activities. If you’ve got Sentinel and GitHub, connect these two up!

Introducing MTA-STS for Exchange Online

This is something for Exchange Online admins to look into – a new security standard which is already on, and is designed to avoid man-in-the-middle attacks. Read up on this one.

That’s it for this week, as always you can see the entire feed of TechCommunity posts at and you can see my previous TechCommunnity picks here

Microsoft TechCommunity Top Posts January 2022, Week 4

Here’s my selection of TechCommunity posts for this week. My plan was to pick 5ish, but there’s a heck of a lot of content to go through, read, then decide if it’s worthy:

Mainframe Data Modernization to Azure

If you like visuals, you’ll like this post. The exponentially increased amount of data we have to work with becomes more difficult to manage on-premises, and this article covers some of the considerations around this and methods to move your data to the cloud. Nice for some future planning considerations.

Windows Server End of Support: Key Dates

Don’t forget those end of support dates! Windows Server 2022 is out, 2008 + R2 is on extended security updates, and 2012 + R2 has a bit under 2 years left before standard support ends (unless of course it gets extended). If you have 2008 or 2012 servers in your environment, just remember how old those are already. Upgrade sooner rather than later, instead of getting caught out by a project where something needs your domain forest level at 2019, and all your DC’s aren’t even on that version of Windows Server…

Users get intermittent credential prompt on client browser when using IIS Windows Authentication

January 2022 wasn’t a good month for Microsoft patches, one of many problems was this “After installing this update on domain controllers (DCs), affected versions of Windows Servers might restart unexpectedly.” Nice. Spend some time understanding the state of patches right now and make sure you’re not experiencing any of the several issues we’ve seen, including this.

Achieve better patch compliance with Update Connectivity data

A nice report in Intune shows the ‘Update connectivity’ stats of devices – the idea behind this is to see if devices aren’t online long enough to get updates. This data doesn’t really give you solutions to the problem, but does give you an idea on the risk in your environment if devices aren’t getting patched regularly, and how many devices have this as an issue. Everyone loves a donut graph, especially Microsoft.

Microsoft Teams users can now chat with any Teams user outside their organization

Pretty big news for work based Teams talking to external people via their Microsoft personal (consumer) account, or phone number. Note that this doesn’t create a SMS conversation, it requires a Microsoft account and will invite someone to sign up if they don’t already have one. This can be a good way for staff to talk to external people live, but still in a regulated/logged way, and the same way they’d talk to internal staff. External people also don’t need to install software (back in the day everyone wanted Skype installed to talk to that 1 external person) which is another plus. Lots of details on this post showing how it works and how to make sure it’s enabled in your tenant.

Sending From Email Aliases – Public Preview

I like this one. You can turn on the setting ‘SendFromAliasEnabled‘ in your tenant which lets users pick from a list aliases to send from – across Outlook for the Web and Outlook for iOS and Android. There are known issues so be very careful about enabling this in your tenant, but for people who need to send from different aliases for different reasons, this looks like a very useful new feature in Exchange Online.

Announcing general availability of vulnerability management support for Android and iOS

That other device that every employee has is often deemed as too hard to do much about, so it’s good to see something actually happening in the iOS and Android space for Defender – although there’s not too much it can do yet (especially for iOS). Still, this is worth looking into and is probably one of those things that if something bad did happen, you’d be happy you proactively rolled it out.

Onboarding Devices in the Microsoft 365 Apps Admin Center

Lots of content in this one. I don’t see too much content around the Microsoft 365 Apps Admin Center (and maybe that’s because when I see the name, my brain drops out the word ‘Apps’ and I’m thinking of the wrong portal). It’s and the feature list here is continually growing. Looking through the reports will give you a better insight into what’s happening in your environment, and probably raise some questions :)

That’s it for this week, as always you can see the entire feed of TechCommunity posts at and you can see my previous TechCommunnity picks here

Microsoft TechCommunity Top Posts January 2022, Week 3

Another week, a bunch more TechCommuntiy posts. Here’s my picks of interesting ones:

Task management tips for Planner beginners

Getting started blog posts are always valuable. I particularly like the first image, showing an overall diagram of what makes up the Planner view. To me it’s (almost) all fundamental stuff I worked out, but it’d be quicker to read this then start using it than fumble my way through :) One thing I hadn’t done before was creating a Task from a Teams message which is a nice workflow option.

Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Ninja Training: January 2022 Update

There is so much good content in the Defender Ninja Training (Office 365, Sentinel etc, all of the different parts!) and once you’re caught up, you can keep up to date monthly with these posts that show what’s changed or new. Now all we need is more time to watch all the content!

Why you shouldn’t set these 25 Windows policies

There’s still someone that cares about Windows Updates, and even WSUS aligning with Group Policy settings in Microsoft, and it’s Aria Carley. Clean up some unused settings if you’re on Windows 10/11, and understand the real world impact of other settings acting maybe not the way you’d expect, with recommendations and links to official doco. I also don’t know what GP and CSP recommendations are as per the comments (GP = Group Policy officially, CSP = Customer Services Provider team inside Microsoft? I always get these wrong), but I’m sure that’ll be explained soon.

“Architecting Adelaide” 🎙 – The Intrazone podcast

The guys didn’t tell me about this one! My old user group in Adelaide that I had to hand over in 2021 is now being run by these awesome guys:

and they were on the Intrazone podcast talking about their IT Pro experiences. Well done you three :)

Getting started with Azure Bicep

As someone who doesn’t deep dive into Azure, I was wondering what Azure Bicep even is. Sonia Cuff explains this and demonstrates how it’s a simpler language evolved from JSON, and that the language can be translated back and forth betwen the two – but the result is templates that are easier to write, especially for those who aren’t developers.

Windows 10 or Windows 11 GPO ADMX – Which One To Use For Your Central Store?

If you’re starting with Windows 11 and have Group Policy still running, you need to read this. It’s not a great state to be while transitioning with all the catches and gotchas. Why they didn’t just have a separate set of policies for Windows 11 and have on the comments on each GPO what versions of Windows it applies to is unclear. There’s a few angry comments already on this. My personal take is that there’s no real benefit of jumping to Windows 11 yet for the enterprise (home it’s fine), so sit tight and wait for some of these things to settle, or at least be clearer as others work them out.

Security baseline for Microsoft Edge v97

There’s 1 new recommendation and 15 new settings (for computers and users) in the latest version of Microsoft Edge. These come out with each version of Edge, so you need to keep up to date and review any recommendations each time. Weirdly, the setting they recommend to turn off “Enhance images enabled” isn’t visible on Edge v97 installed on my home PC or work PC logged in with different profiles, but it should still be disabled in Group Policy so you’re not uploading internal company images to Microsoft to ‘enhance’ them. I question that if the recommendation for Enterprise is to turn it off, why is it safe enough for consumers to use, who I’m sure would have photos at times opened in their browser they don’t want invisbily uploaded? Maybe there’s something else to the recommendation I’m missing, like keeping your data in the country you want where the service could put it anywhere…

Securing Critical Infrastructure with Microsoft Sentinel & Microsoft Defender for IoT

The real answer to this is ‘IoT shouldn’t be on the same network as anything you care about, especially in Enterprise – or just don’t use IoT in Enterprise at all’ is a pipe dream, at least you can monitor what your IoT devices are doing in Sentinel. Looks pretty easy to connect up, but of course just having Sentinel ingest logs isn’t really a 24/7 SOC solution, you need people on top of this.

That’s it for this week, as always you can see the entire feed of TechCommunity posts at and you can see my previous TechCommunnity picks here

Microsoft Teams PowerShell Phone Number Assigning Cmdlet Change

Microsoft has sent out an announcement on PowerShell changes for setting and removing phone numbers in Microsoft Teams:

Changes coming to phone number assignment using Teams PowerShell Module cmdlets
MC316139 · Published 19 Jan 2022

In summary, these commands are being deprecated “The retirement is planned to begin in early April and be complete by mid-April.” :


and Set-CSUser can’t be used to allocate phone numbers either. I’d been allocating numbers with the Set-CsOnlineVoiceUser command. The replacement for this is:

Set-CsPhoneNumberAssignment and Remove-CsPhoneNumberAssignment

They run under the MicrosoftTeams module for PowerShell, but you also need to make sure you have the latest version. If you don’t have a version that supports this new command, you’ll get the error:

Set-CsPhoneNumberAssignment : The term 'Set-CsPhoneNumberAssignment' is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet,
function, script file, or operable program. Check the spelling of the name, or if a path was included, verify that the
path is correct and try again.
At line:1 char:1

To update, run the command:

Update-module MicrosoftTeams 

Then try the above cmdlet again. If you’re feeling really brave, you can update all your modules with:

Update-module *

Disconnect or restart PowerShell or you’ll get problems running the new cmdlet if you had it connected while updating.

The new cmdlet Set-CsPhoneNumberAssignment doesn’t work exactly the same way as the old cmdlets. Read the documentation for more details

Set-CsPhoneNumberAssignment -Identity [email protected] -PhoneNumber +61987654321 -PhoneNumberType CallingPlan

The options for -PhoneNumberType (required) are DirectRouting, CallingPlan and OperatorConnect.

I’d suggest testing and migrating soon, before you miss the April deadline of the command being dropped.