Microsoft has announced the retirement of the unified labeling client on April 11, 2024. The client, also known as the AIP add-on for Office, went into maintenance mode on January 1, 2022, so it’s unsurprising that this development should happen. Users get better functionality by using the built-in information protection features in the subscription versions of Office, so there’s no real need to keep the unified labeling client around – apart from migrating users, that is.
In a surprising December 21 announcement, Microsoft put its Information Protection labeling client into maintenance mode effective January 1, 2022. Making an announcement as the IT industry was closing down for the holiday period is no good way to make certain customers learn about a development, and it’s curious that Microsoft left it until nine days before the client entered maintenance mode to let people know.
Microsoft released an update for the unified labeling version of the Azure Information Protection client needed for Office 365 sensitivity labels, which now boast auto-label support. Solid progress is being made to move sensitivity labels to the point where they are considered to be generally available, probably later this year. In the meantime, pay attention to the premium features like auto-label which require more expensive licenses.