Microsoft Makes it Easier for Tenants to Enable the Loop App

One Click to Make the Loop App Available to All Users

In an unannounced August 7 change (no blog post, no message center notification), Microsoft pushed an update to the Microsoft 365 admin center to introduce a one-click control in the Microsoft 365 admin center to enable Loop for a tenant. The new setting is located in the Services section of Org settings (Figure 1).

Option to enable Loop in the Org Settings section of the Microsoft 365 admin center
Figure 1: Option to enable Loop in the Org Settings section of the Microsoft 365 admin center

Selecting the option displays the screen shown in Figure 2. Click the option Microsoft Loop workspaces are available to all users in my organization and the job is done. There’s no need to configure SharePoint Online with PowerShell or deploy a cloud policy to enable users.

Option to enable Loop for everyone
Figure 2: Option to enable the Loop app for everyone in a tenant

As explained in the Microsoft documentation, organizations now have two options to deploy Loop.

  1. Use the one-click approach to make Loop available to everyone.
  2. Use a cloud policy to restrict access to the set of user accounts specified in a group.

I’m all for making things easier, so view the new setting as a good change. It’s also indicative of the kind of change that happens as an app makes its way through preview toward general availability. When Loop reaches general availability, the app is likely to be available to all users by default. This is the normal approach taken by Microsoft and there’s no reason to believe that they’ll do something different for Loop.

One thing that might change with general availability is how to exert granular control over Loop so that some users can use the app and others cannot. Today, control is via a cloud policy. In the future, it might be via a service plan that’s part of the license assigned to user accounts.

What Happens Behind the Scenes

If you opt to enable Loop for everyone, the code behind the Microsoft 365 admin center option enables all the prerequisites for Loop and sets a tenant setting to allow Loop for all. It then checks if a cloud policy already exists. If a policy is in place, Microsoft updates its settings to allow the tenant setting to take precedence (Figure 3).

Once the tenant setting is enabled, the cloud policy to control Loop is disabled
Figure 3: Once the tenant setting is enabled, the cloud policy to control the Loop app is disabled

Loop PWA in Microsoft Store

Speaking of Loop, another recent change is the appearance of a Loop app in the Microsoft Store (Figure 4). This is a PWA wrapper around the Loop web app that allows Loop to install as a desktop app.

The Loop PWA in the Microsoft Store
Figure 4: The Loop PWA in the Microsoft Store

The good news is that the Loop PWA works well. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks and haven’t run into any issues. It’s not a desktop app in the traditional sense, but it’s more than a good enough alternative.

Loop Everywhere

Apart from the Loop app, Loop components are available in Teams chat (but still not channel conversations), Teams meetings (agenda, notes, and to-do lists), OWA, Outlook desktop, and Outlook Monarch. The ecosystem is building out and appears to be on the way to replacing OneNote eventually. I’d like to make more use of Loop in my day-to-day work, but as most of my projects involve external people who don’t have user accounts in my tenant, the inability of Loop to accommodate collaboration with anyone except internal users is a block. Hopefully, Microsoft will lift that restriction soon.

So much change, all the time. It’s a challenge to stay abreast of all the updates Microsoft makes across Office 365. Subscribe to the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook to receive monthly insights into what happens, why it happens, and what new features and capabilities mean for your tenant.

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