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Office 365 – Four New Outlook Features On The Office 365 Roadmap

Office 365 Roadmap is a bit like Christmas twice a month or so; you never know what might pop up as an “In Development” feature.
The March additions included four new Outlook features that should prove to be interesting the in weeks / months to come.
Below are the latest additions to prepare for as they make their way through the development cycle and onto your desktop.

All of the features below are in a status of “In Development” at the time of this post.

#1 – One-Click Archive

I fear that this one will be a little confusing for users, especially in organizations with Retention Policies or Archive Mailboxes in use. Basically the user is presented with a button called “Archive” that does nothing more than allows the user to move a message to a folder they designate. The action has no bearing on the actual retention of that item, it’s just a shortcut for dragging the item into a folder. In Outlook for Windows and Mac, you’ll see a similar button added for this action on the Delete pane.

#2 – Focused Inbox for Outlook for Windows, Mac and Web

As long as this feature is an opt-in and not enabled by default (like “Conversation View” is), I’m indifferent on this one. I don’t find “Focused View” very helpful in the iOS application and have it disabled.
Everyone uses their mailbox differently so it’s fine to add this feature to the desktop client as it seems to be popular but lets hope it’s disabled by default. Given that “Clutter” is enabled by default and then we have “Junk E-Mail”, I think we may be giving users a few too many options on where we send their mail.

#3 – Outlook 2016 for Mac Two Step Authentication

If you’re running an “Office Insider” build of Office for Mac, you likely saw this already.
The Outlook client is being converted over to support “Modern Authentication” which provides for more of a single sign-on experience and allows for true Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We have more and more clients asking about MFA so this will be a welcome addition. This feature will be dependent upon the service being enabled for Modern Authentication. For more details, check out “Office 365 – Getting Closer To “True” Single Sign-On For Outlook“.

#4 – Upload Local Outlook Attachment to OneDrive & OneDrive for Business

This will be great for organizations using OneDrive for Business and allow external sharing. Basically the same “Cloud Attachments” feature that exists in OWA today is being added to Outlook. Perhaps soon we’ll stop the sending of 30+ MB files around via email.

How To Keep Track Of These Changes

The Office 365 Roadmap is the authoritative source for all these updates but if you want more detail on the changes or would like to be notified when the roadmap is updated, check out the RSS feed I created over at Office 365 Roadmap Watch. You can subscribe to the RSS feed via Outlook or IFTT and get notified when changes occur.

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Joe Palarchio

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