Just Like the Other Outlook Clients
In mid-2020, Microsoft introduced new configuration settings to make online meetings the default when scheduled by OWA, Outlook for Mac, and Outlook mobile clients. Office 365 notification MC230567 (updated January 20) brings the news that Outlook for Windows gains a similar feature. According to Microsoft roadmap item 66021, the feature will be available in January 2021. It depends on updates to the Teams meeting add-in for Outlook and Outlook click-to-run (current channel). As I write, I see the change in Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise build 13530.20218.
Updating the Organization Configuration
OWA and Outlook mobile use an Exchange Online organizational setting (which can be overridden for individual mailboxes) to know if they should schedule online meetings. If the organizational setting is configured, Outlook for Windows will respect that setting and make meetings online by default. To configure the organizational setting, run the Set-OrganizationConfig cmdlet from the Exchange Online management module as follows:
Set-OrganizationConfig -OnlineMeetingsByDefaultEnabled $True
All Outlook clients now use the same organization setting to control when they create Teams online meetings. The default for a tenant is $False, meaning that the decision is then up to the user.
Even if OnlineMeetingsByDefaultEnabled is updated to $True, Outlook users can remove the online components from individual meetings by selecting the Don’t Host Online option from meeting settings (Figure 1).
Outlook for Windows also includes a setting in the Calendar section of its options to control if the client should create Teams meetings as the default (Figure 2). This option is effective only if OnlineMeetingsByDefaultEnabled is set to $False.
Users who choose not to enable online meetings by default can still schedule online events by selecting the Teams meeting add-in when creating a new meeting.
Teams Online Meetings
When Outlook creates a Teams meeting, it sets up a Teams online space for the event and adds the necessary properties to the meeting (Figure 3).
A welcome change in the Teams meeting add-on is that Outlook for Windows no longer calls a web page when a meeting organizer wants to set or change the options for a Teams online meeting (Figure 4).
No Support for Third-Party Online Meetings
Unlike Outlook mobile, you can’t configure third-party add-ins for online meetings to have Outlook for Windows use services like WebEx, Zoom, or BlueJeans instead of Teams. To setup new Outlook events for meetings hosted on these platforms, you need to paste the meeting details into the Outlook meeting before sending the event notification to participants.
This is a great example of a change that warranted a four-word update in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. It’s not that the topic isn’t interesting; it’s just that we have so much more to talk about when it comes to running an Office 365 tenant.