Microsoft will remove the Search-Mailbox cmdlet from Exchange Online on July 1, but that doesn't mean you can't purge bad messages from user mailboxes. Office 365 content searches and content search actions can hard- or soft-delete messages. Some limitations exist, but not enough to be worried. And we include a PowerShell script to show how to get the job done.
The revelations that Exchange Server has had a vulnerability in the Exchange Control Panel since Exchange 2010 shocked some. Microsoft has patched CVE-2020-0688, but the problem gives on-premises administrators something to think about as they look to the long-term future of their email service. Staying on-premises is an option, but going to the cloud might be more secure.
A Microsoft employee commented that Exchange 2019 is the last on-premises version, something that would bring the era of Exchange to a close after 25 or so years. Perhaps that's the case, and certainly there's been a huge transition of email workload to Exchange Online. But is an opinion expressed by a single Microsoft employee enough to tell us what will happen over the next few years?
A Forrester Research study sponsored by Microsoft concludes that the deployment of Outlook Mobile brings big benefits for organizations. Given the funding source, the outcome is hardly surprising. But like with all similar reports, the important thing is to view the findings through the lens of your organization to understand the good points and discard the marketing messages. In a nutshell, all your need to understand is that Outlook mobile is the best mobile email client for Exchange Online.
The news that Microsoft is working on cloud signatures for Outlook for Windows is welcome. The venerable Outlook client has long stored its signature information in the system registry, which makes it hard to move signatures from PC to PC. On the other hand, OWA stores its signatures in mailboxes, so the same signature is used no matter where you log in. Of course, OWA is a simpler client (no profiles, for instance), but it should be eminently possible to store everything Outlook needs in the cloud. At least for Outlook clients connected to Exchange Online...
Microsoft fixed the copy-on-write bug in Outlook for Windows in Exchange Online. The fix stops users removing attachments from sent or received messages. A strong case can be made that the fix should have been present from the start to stop any possibility that clients could comprise Exchange Native Data Protection. Microsoft doesn't think many people were affected and they could be right, but that doesn't make the problem any easier to swallow.
A bug in Outlook desktop's implementation of the MAPI over HTTP protocol allows users whose mailboxes are on hold to remove attachments from messages. The removal is not captured by the copy-on-write feature of Exchange Online Native Data Protection, which potentially compromises the ability of Data Governance managers or eDiscovery investigators to recover information needed for compliance purposes. All in all, it's a mess that Microsoft needs to clean up quickly.
A recent change made to the way that Exchange Online processes notifications for calendar meetings has upset some Office 365 users because they don't see the email. Instead of leaving the notification email in the Inbox, Exchange processes the update in the calendar and moves the notification to the Deleted Items folder, meaning that it might be missed. Which makes some people mad.
Microsoft is doing its level best to remove SMTP basic authentication from Exchange Online as quickly as possible. Basic auth for SMTP connections will disappear gradually as time goes by. Tenants can make accounts more secure by removing SMTP authentication from accounts, something that Microsoft will do in the future when these connections are not used. An exception exists (for now) for SMTP client submissions, but these might also be affected in the future.
The new Exchange Online Management PowerShell module has cmdlets that are faster than their older Remote PowerShell equivalents. Converting scripts to make the new cmdlets work takes some effort because the REST-based cmdlets have their own little quirks that need to be understood and mastered before scripts work properly. This example explains some of the issues met when converting code to report the Inbox sizes and items for Office 365 groups.
The Brave Browser offers the prospect of speed and security. But how well does it work with the Office 365 browser apps? As it happens, pretty well, with some exceptions. Here's what I discovered when I test-drove Brave with OWA, Teams, SharePoint Online, Yammer, Planner, and Stream.
Microsoft is notoriously careful at giving out usage numbers for different Office 365 workloads.We know what the overall count is and now we have numbers for SharePoint Online and Teams. Some glances into a handy crystal ball and some inspired guesswork allows us to calculate likely numbers for Exchange Online, Yammer, and Planner and paint a more comprehensive picture of what's happening inside Office 365.
The Office 365 Substrate is a poorly understood part of Microsoft's Cloud Office system. The substrate is a critical part of enabling services that run across different applications like Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Teams, and so on. Functionality like search, information protection, data governance, and eDiscovery is a lot harder when you have multiple moving parts. The substrate gives cohesion and coherence to what could otherwise be a tangled mess.
Cloudy attachments are an excellent way of sharing documents through email without attaching files. Behind the scenes, an anonymous link to the document is sent to recipients, who can then use the link to open, edit, or download the document (depending on the assigned permission). Office 365 tenant administrators don't have great visibility into what kind of anonymous sharing happens, but they can with a little bit of PowerShell and the contents of the Office 365 audit log.
Outlook users are more than aware of the problems involved in message recall, a feature that's only available in Outlook desktop and has a nasty habit of not working. The reasons why the feature fails are well known, but soon might be addressed by a new Exchange Online implementation that promises to work for all clients and across Office 365. Time will tell if careers and love can be rescued by the new message recall.