Outlook Mobile by Insiders
Microsoft is running a series of five seminars delivered by the Outlook Mobile team starting March 14. The aim of the seminars is to increase customer knowledge about how to exploit the functionality of Outlook Mobile and all manner of interesting tips and tricks are promised.
As always, those running seminars like this have their own purpose. Microsoft wants Exchange customers, especially those with Exchange Online mailboxes in Office 365, to use Outlook Mobile instead of the free email apps from companies like Apple and Samsung. These clients use ActiveSync to connect to Exchange.
Reasons to Use Outlook Mobile
I don’t disagree with this aim. If you use Office 365, you should use Outlook Mobile. The reasons are:
- Outlook Mobile uses a more modern connectivity architecture than ActiveSync-based clients do.
- ActiveSync is not under active development. Microsoft will deliver new functionality for mobile clients, including the much-anticipated access to shared mailboxes, in Outlook Mobile rather than in ActiveSync.
- Office 365 Groups are integrated into Outlook Mobile
- Even if Microsoft upgrades ActiveSync, there’s no guarantee that vendors like Apple will update their mail clients to take advantage of new features enabled in the ActiveSync protocol.
- When dealing with encrypted email, Outlook mobile is a more secure client than ActiveSync clients are because it is “enlightened.” This means that Outlook Mobile can process and display email protected by rights management inline (for example, email protected by the Encrypt-Only default template available in all Office 365 E3 and E5 tenants). ActiveSync clients are “unenlightened,” so the server must decrypt protected messages before the clients can read them. Downloading decrypted messages to a device removes much of the benefit of encryption.
- It’s easier to manage Outlook Mobile clients with Intune than non-Microsoft email clients. As Outlook Mobile and Intune progress, the gap is likely to grow.
Now I’ve made the case for Outlook Mobile, you might decide that no further discussion is necessary. But perhaps a better idea is to attend one or more of Microsoft’s seminars to gather extra information before making your mind up. Added knowledge is never bad.
For more information about mobile clients for Exchange Online, read Chapters 10 and 18 of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. InTune is also covered in Chapter 18.