#1 Welcome! And Welcome to a New Email Interface

By Neil Hobson on

Welcome to Neil’s Nuggets! This is a new column written by me – Neil Hobson – a Microsoft 365 consultant here at Silversands. The aim is to focus on providing regular news, views, snippets and other updates on all things Microsoft 365. Short but informative posts is the intention, of course. Apart from this first post, which will be a little longer since I’m writing this introduction.

‘Why?’ I hear you ask. Good question! Staying on top of everything happening in the Microsoft 365 space can be a challenging task in the fast-paced cloud world we live in; new and changed features come thick and fast. Even if you have seen an update, it’s easy to forget about it. Add into the mix general tips, tricks and news and it gets increasingly challenging to keep up and find relevant content. Plus I find it helpful to get the views and opinions of others, too.

I won’t be able to cover everything going on in the Microsoft 365 world, you understand. I have a day job to attend to and customers to delight. Not to mention my family that would like to see me occasionally! However, my aim is to update this column twice a week. At least, that’s what I told various people here at Silversands – shhh!

I’ve just mentioned the challenge of staying on top of everything in the Microsoft 365 world. For this first post, let’s commence with the theme of staying on top of Office 365 updates that impact your tenancy. As you most likely know, this can be achieved by accessing the Message Center found in the Office 365 Admin Center. In 2018, Microsoft released the Message Center reader administrative role to give those users assigned this role the ability to view Message Center posts. This meant that those users within an organisation responsible for keeping up to date with Office 365 changes could be assigned this role rather than a more powerful administrative role.

Some messages in the Message Center are considered a major update and hence likely to have the most impact to the organisation running Office 365. An example from 3 weeks ago is post MC184484 that informs the new Outlook on the web interface will become the default experience. An extract of this Message Center post is shown below.

Image: Interface update roll out

For some time, users set for Targeted Release have had the ability to try the new Outlook web interface via the ‘Try the new Outlook‘ button, assuming that the organisation’s administrators had not disabled the button via PowerShell.

Image: Interface update notification

As the Message Center post shows, starting on July 22nd 2019, Microsoft will make this new web interface the default experience for users, commencing with Target Release customers first of course. Wait a minute…July 22nd was Monday this week. Yikes!

Also of note is the message from Microsoft in the Message Center post that ‘users will not be able to move back or see the classic experience‘. This is a great example of how, once an organisation has moved to cloud services such as Exchange Online, it has given up control of some changes and has to be aware of those changes that will directly impact end users. Consideration will likely also need to be given in other areas such as helpdesk awareness and any required updates to training materials.

If you’ve not looked at this new interface yet, head on over to this Outlook blog for details of some of the main features.

Or if you can’t wait for next week’s nuggets, contact me using the form below, join one of our regular workshops and webinars or checkout one of our other blogs.

See you soon for some more nuggets!

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