A reader request asked how to force users to send read receipts. This is a client-side feature so the settings involved differ from client to client. We explore how to control them in OWA and Outlook for Windows. A mixture of PowerShell and system registry settings help create a solution. We’re leaving figuring out how to manage other clients to our readers.
A recent update to OWA adds the option to allow users to choose which proxy addresses assigned to a mailbox they would like to send messages from. It’s a small change which completes the client support for the earlier server-side update to allow users to send using mailbox proxies, and it makes using proxy addresses more approachable and useful. OWA also includes a drop-down list in the compose message screen to allow users to select an address to send from, and makes sure that message headers are updated correctly so that messages go back to the right address.
A new Microsoft Editor feature aims to make OWA messages more polite through “tone detection.” Currently only available for U.S. English, Editor scans for impolite text and comes up with suggested replacement text. The results vary from very good to not so good, but this might be because it takes time for a learning model to accumulate enough information about a user’s writing style to be able to detect impolite text accurately. We’ll know over time.
Outlook and OWA users will soon see a banner notification to recommend the installation of an Edge extension. The extension logs into the user account to peek into the mailbox, calendar, tasks, and contacts. Tenant administrators have until July 30 to decide if they will block the display of the banners. This can be done using the Office Cloud Policy Service or a Group Policy Object.
Microsoft is rolling out a new calendar board view for OWA. The new board looks very similar to a Project Moca board, which isn’t surprising because it’s a customized Moca board tailored to focus on the calendar. There’s no news yet when Project Moca might exit its current preview status, but maybe the new view will help by convincing people about the worth of configurable boards.
Exchange Online supports the ability to send email using any SMTP proxy address assigned to a mailbox. Following the announcement of the feature, users had many questions including what clients can be used. Here are some common questions and answers about the feature, including some PowerShell to report the set of proxy addresses assigned to user mailboxes.
Microsoft’s One Outlook program aims to rationalize the current client set. The Edge WebView2 component allows Outlook desktop to reuse OWA features, which is why Microsoft now distributes WebView2 with the Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise (desktop apps). We’re now seeing signs of reuse with an obvious example being the appearance of OWA’s room finder in Outlook for Windows.
Microsoft has refreshed the Send to Teams option in Outlook for Windows, OWA, and Outlook for Mac. You might not notice the change, but it’s a little faster and works better. Software engineering changes like this happen all the time in the cloud to speed up performance and improve reliability. We keep an eye on stuff like this to make sure that we understand what’s happening across Microsoft 365. It’s just what we do…
Microsoft will include the Edge WebView2 runtime with Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise version 2101 or later. This doesn’t mean they install Edge; it’s simply a software component to make it possible for Outlook desktop to run features developed for OWA. You can block the deployment if you like, but there’s really no good reason to do so.
If you encounter an error when sharing a SharePoint file, you might see an error code like OSE204. What do these mainframe-like codes mean and why does SharePoint show them? Or more importantly, how did the sharing capability of a site change through administrator incompetence? And why is Microsoft removing the option to send a sharing link via Outlook (OWA)?
Office 365 Message Encryption (OME) allows OWA users to revoke some messages after they are delivered to recipients. But if the message goes to Office 365 or Outlook.com, you can’t revoke it. And there’s the slight matter of needing an Office 365 E5 license too. Even so, it’s still nice to be able to revoke messages if they go to the wrong place.
Outlook for Windows has supported Microsoft 365 Groups since 2015. The developers chose a seen/unseen model for Groups, but now Outlook has switched to a read/unread model, meaning that the unread counts for Groups can suddenly seem much higher than before. It’s a one-time change that aligns Outlook desktop with OWA and Outlook Mobile and there’s an easy way to set all unread items to be read. But you might want to tell people that this change is coming!
Changes coming in May and June will allow organizations to make online meetings the norm when created by OWA or Outlook mobile clients. You can control the feature at the organization level and allow individual mailboxes to override the organization setting.
In a moment of levity to lift the current situation, we discuss the wide range of themes offered by Office 365 to users. People can choose from 49 different themes to customize the online apps. You can go crazy with something like Super Sparkle Happy, display your love of cats, or choose a simple color. Once chosen, you should see the same theme across all the Office online apps. Except Teams, which does its own thing.
You can now add your personal Outlook.com or Gmail calendars to your work OWA calendar. The integration allows for only one personal calendar, and OWA synchronizes events from the personal calendar to make sure that people don’t schedule work events when you have personal commitments. TeamSnap calendars are also supported (real-only), but this feature is likely to not be used outside the U.S.
If you receive a notification about Yammer conversations in OWA, you might notice that you can now do all sorts of new things to interact with Yammer while remaining in OWA. It’s part of Microsoft’s effort to make Yammer more relevant and accessible to people who prefer to communicate through email. And the nice thing is that the approach works well.
The Microsoft Immersive Reader exists to make messages more readable for those who need a little help. It’s built into Office apps like Teams and OWA. Most people don’t know this or don’t need to use the reader, but those who do need support to access and understand text will find the Immersive Reader very helpful.
OWA now supports the automatic labeling of outbound messages with Office 365 Sensitivity Labels. The new feature uses Office 365 sensitive data types to detect content in messages that should be protected, and once detected, the message is stamped with a label before it passes through the Exchange Online transport service.
OWA now supports Office 365 Sensitivity Labels, which means that users can apply labels to mark and/or protect messages with encryption just like they can with Outlook. The update adds to the ways that sensitivity labels can be applied to Office 365 content, with the next step being to achieve the same support for the other online Office apps.
Outlook people favorites give Exchange Online users fast access to their most important email correspondents. OWA has the best implementation but the feature is also available in Outlook mobile. As usual, Outlook desktop lags. It’s a small feature that could turn out to be very important to some users. Office 365 is full of such examples.
Microsoft has announced that the switchover to the new OWA interface will start on July 22 when Office 365 tenants in targeted release will lose the chance to toggle back and forth between the two interfaces. By the end of September, everyone will use the new OWA. Let’s hope that Microsoft has fixed all the functionality gaps by then.
The new version of OWA boasts new abilities for owners to manage Office 365 Groups. The new UI is pretty slick and a welcome upgrade to the previous capabilities. You’ll still need to revert to PowerShell to manage some aspects of Office 365 Groups, but not as many times as you used to.
The ThirdPartyFileProvidersEnabled setting in OWA mailbox policies controls if Exchange Online mailboxes can access services like Drop and Dropbox for attachments. Office 365 tenants need to decide if they want to allow this kind of access. There’s both good and bad in the feature, but it’s easily turned off if you feel the need.
MailTips are a pretty useful way of drawing the attention of users to potential issues with email. Exchange Online supports several MailTips, but Outlook clients insist on supporting MailTips in different ways. It’s a small but irritating part of Exchange Online that could be done better.
The new version of OWA (sometimes called Outlook on the Web, or Outlook Web Access) is now generally available to all Office 365 tenants. Although the new OWA has some nice features, you might want to turn off the user choice (toggle) to move the new UI until you’ve had time to prepare the help desk, documentation, and that sort of thing.
The new version of OWA is maturing and new features are turning up on a weekly basis. You can now schedule a Teams meeting from OWA and the prospect of joyful animations hang in the air. But only for Office 365 users as there’s no sign that the new OWA will come to Exchange on-premises servers.
Including a company’s logo when listing or displaying email is another way to give users confidence that the email is in fact from that company. Business Indicators for Message Identification is a draft standard that might become generally used by all email clients. But for now. Microsoft has their own business profile “brand card” program, and that’s where OWA gets its logos.
Microsoft has a new OWA user interface in targeted release. So far it all looks good even if some features are still missing, Expect to see the new UI generally available in late 2018 or early 2019.
You can now connect Office 365 accounts to LinkedIn accounts (or block the connection at a tenant level). It’s a nice way to keep tabs on your LinkedIn contacts and find out what they’re doing with a simple click in an Office 365 people card.
Microsoft has released a new setting in the tenant Information Rights Management (IRM) configuration to control if attachments of messages encrypted with the Encrypt Only feature (in OWA and Outlook) are decrypted when downloaded. In fact, two settings are available. One for people with Azure AD accounts, and one for those without.