Outlook

Connecting LinkedIn and Office 365

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You can connect LinkedIn to Office 365 so that Office 365 users are able to look up LinkedIn contacts from applications like OWA and SharePoint Online. Some privacy concerns have been expressed about the connection, but there’s really nothing to worry about because users are in control of what they see and what they share with others.

Planner Office 365

How Planner Synchronizes its Tasks to Outlook’s Calendar

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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 Switches Office 365 Groups to Private by Default

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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.

Excel with List of Office 365 Groups

Hiding Office 365 Groups Created by Teams from Exchange Clients

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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.

Choosing the Best Mobile Office 365 Email Client

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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 Makes Message Encryption Even Easier

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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.

Teams Splash

How a Free Version of Teams Might Work

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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.

Office 365 with Teams

Keeping an Eye on Small but Important Changes in Office 365

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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…

Office 365 with Teams

The Mysterious Files Folder and its Importance to Office 365 Apps

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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!

Teams Splash

Why Teams Needs Better Views

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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.

Teams Won’t Replace Email but It Can Reduce Email Traffic

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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.