Outlook.com (premium) now boasts two new protected email features taken directly from Exchange Online. It’s an example of how the shared Office 365 infrastructure enables Microsoft to make functionality available to users of its consumer and enterprise platforms as they want. OneDrive Restore is another example. In both cases, the features aren’t available to free seats.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Microsoft says they will communicate large changes in Office 365 better, but what about all the small changes that show up without warning? Teams is a serial offender, perhaps because it’s the new kid on the block and is rushing to replace Skype for Business Online. In any case, it would be nice if we heard about small changes before we found them.
OWA now boasts a useful mailbox option, which is helpful if you feel that you need to remove some old and lingering email. The funny thing is that Microsoft doesn’t seem to have told anyone about the feature – or my search-karma is failing me in finding any information about it.
Surprisingly, Microsoft has never included a central method to manage user autosignatures within the cloud or on-premises versions of Exchange. Which means that you must let users manage their signatures, build your own tools, or deploy a commercial solution.
The IT world often focuses on big changes and announcements instead of looking at how small changes can really make a difference. One example is how Microsoft has changed what happens when users recover deleted items to allow items go back to where they came. It’s a great change, even if it is seven years overdue.
Microsoft is very keen that Office 365 tenants should move away from email distribution groups to embrace the world of Office 365 Groups. There is lots to like about Groups, but I have some doubts about the way Microsoft is cajoling people to move.
Microsoft is obviously putting a lot of effort into improving the functionality available in the OWA and Outlook clients, but only for Office 365 users. It’s now got to the point where on-premises customers must be wondering where their next update will arrive. The answer may be “Never”.