Enabling the booking of Teams meetings in Outlook on Mac

This issue had me scratching my head for a while: With the latest version of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Teams installed on my Mac running Catalina, I couldn’t enable the booking of Teams meetings from Outlook.

The solution turned out to be to remove the regular Office programs and replace them with Office 365. The official instructions for how to do that said to log on to https://www.office.com or to https://aka.ms/office-install. Well, tough luck: There was no way to find a download link there.

Instead the correct way seems to be to download Microsoft 365 from the App Store. There was no obvious way to connect the Office suite to my work account, so I started Outlook and tried adding an account. This triggered a dialog about the possibility to activate a trial or connect to an existing subscription, with the perhaps ill-chosen options Activate and Cancel. Turns out if you press Activate you get to choose whether you actually want to activate the trial or activate Microsoft 365 with an existing account.

While the gods of good UX and the Law of Least Astonishment cry alone in a cave, I now do have a button to schedule a Teams meeting in Outlook. If I only could get the Calendar and Datadog apps installed in Teams, my life would be complete…

Oh, and speaking of great user experience: Incoming calls in Teams on the Mac do not quite steal focus – thanks for that, at least – but they hog cmd+shift+D so that attempting to send a mail from Mail.app will decline the incoming call. That’s not a great design choice, Microsoft. Now why would anybody want to use Mail.app instead of Outlook? Simple: Snappiness and good search. I can accept jumping through some hoops for things I rarely do, if my day-to-day tasks aren’t nerfed by software that feels slow and bloated.

Trusting Palo Alto GlobalProtect to use a macOS machine certificate

On a managed Mac with a machine certificate, when the certificate is renewed, Palo Alto GlobalProtect will prompt for administrative credentials before connecting. This is because the executable isn’t allowed to directly read from the System keychain.

There’s a nice explanation and fix described on Palo Alto’s site, but in case that one goes missing, here’s the workaround:

Open the Keychain Access application and locate the Machine Certificate issued to Mac OS X Client in the System keychain.
Right-click on the private key associated with Certificate and click Get Info, then go to the Access Control tab
Click ‘+’ to select an Application to allow
Press key combination + + G to open Go to Folder
Enter ‘/Applications/GlobalProtect.app/Contents/Resources’ and click Go
Find PanGPS and click it, and then press Add
Save Changes to private key