Many Office 365 tenants use Planner for group-based task management. Generally, the application is OK and has been getting better. Now it can connect to Outlook to synchronize tasks into a user calendar, which then allows users to see tasks alongside their other commitments and print details off if needed. It’s an imperfect but acceptable solution to the lack of print capabilities within Planner.
Microsoft is switching the default access type for Office 365 Groups to be private. It’s a change that you can easily reverse, if you want it groups to be public. The change will be effective for Outlook endpoints first, meaning OWA, Outlook desktops, and the Outlook mobile apps. Later, the other Office 365 apps that create Office 365 Groups might fall into line. Or not, as the case might be.
Teams now hides the Office 365 Groups that it creates from Exchange clients (Outlook, OWA, and the mobile apps). That’s as it should be for groups created for new teams. If you want to hide groups created for older teams, you can run the Set-UnifiedGroup cmdlet, but that soon becomes boring when you might have hundreds of groups to process. PowerShell to the rescue once again.
Companies that move to Office 365 have to decide what mobile email client to use. A native client that uses Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) or Outlook? In the past, the best choice was probably something like the iOS mail app. Now, Outlook is the focus of Microsoft’s mobile efforts and it’s where all the new functionality appears. EAS is still valuable, just less so than it was before.
Office 365 now includes out-of-the-box email encryption, which might just mean that the era of using S/MIME and PGP might be coming to a close, at least inside Office 365. The new functionality scores highly on ease of use and integration, but the lack of support in the current Outlook desktop clients means that adoption will be slow.
Microsoft might be working on a free version of Teams to take on Slack. As it turns out, not many technical changes are needed to transform the full enterprise version of Teams as available inside Office 365 into a limited version that Microsoft can make available for free, leveraging its existing consumer office services like Outlook and OneDrive.
A recent vacation meant that I didn’t spend as much time as usual monitoring changes inside Office 365. As it happened, lots of change occurred. The large stuff (major updates for Teams and Planner) has already been covered in detail, but many other small but important changes are now active inside Office 365. And, as always, it’s the small stuff that can trip you up. Here’s what I learned after a weekend of catching up…
MyAnalytics is one of the AI components inside Office 365. Part of the E5 plan or available as an add-on, MyAnalytics is usually seen as a dashboard of weekly activity. Its Outlook add-on can highlight commitments you made in email and remind you about other ways you can work smarter. The only problem is that MyAnalytics is handicapped by a lack of signals…
Many differences exist between the on-premises and cloud worlds. The Files folder is one of Office 365’s unique features. The folder exists in user mailboxes to hold information about “file-oriented experiences.” As it turns out, apps like Delve, SharePoint, and Office 365 Groups like to display file information to users, but they need a fast and efficient way to get to that data. Files is the answer!
Microsoft Teams is the hot property in Office 365 right now, but sometimes its user interface shows signs of immaturity. For example, when you got back to work after the holidays, you might have seen a ton of new activity to deal with. Email clients have rules, views, and automated assistants to help with the load, but with Teams you have to sort it all out yourself.
Some observers say that Teams will replace email. Well, Teams won’t because email still has so many advantages over what Teams offers. But Teams has its own capabilities that will lead it to take some of the traffic currently carried by email. Because of its internal focus, the traffic that moves to Teams is in-house chats, and Teams is a good place for those conversations to be.
A year ago, Microsoft said RPC over HTTP was dead from Oct 31, 2017 and that Outlook clients must use MAPI over HTTP to connect to Exchange Online. The protocol is still dead, but it will persist in a zombie-like unsupported mode. The question is for how long?
Office 365 has given its rights management capabilities a complete refresh. Clients deal with protected email better and it’s easy to send protected email to people inside and outside your organization, including coverage of consumer email systems like Gmail and Outlook.com. And protected email works on mobile devices too.