Microsoft has set a kill-by using date for a cellular electronic mail app that firms have long relied on, telling customers they ought to switch to any other agency app in months.
The Outlook internet App (OWA) for iOS and Android will forestall working may additionally 15, Microsoft announced last week. “On can also 15, 2018, the OWA cellular apps will forestall operating,” Eugenie Burrage, of the firm’s product advertising group, wrote in a March 6 publish to a organisation blog. “office 365 users who try to open them could be greeted with a message directing them to down load Outlook for iOS or Android.”
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In a couple of earlier steps, Microsoft subsequent month will strike OWA from the Apple App shop and the Google Play marketplace, then begin warning users of the approaching prevent date.
OWA on iOS harked to mid-2013, when Microsoft issued the app that reprised the in-browser OWA company workers had lengthy used on gadgets – first cell phones, then smartphones, then capsules – that couldn’t run the whole-fledged home windows x86-based totally Outlook e mail purchaser.
Microsoft observed that with OWA on Android nearly a 12 months later.
The iOS and Android OWA apps provided the same functionality as OWA in a browser, letting customers get admission to electronic mail, calendars and contacts housed on Microsoft-hosted alternate server. The OWA apps have been to be had handiest to users blanketed by using an company’s workplace 365 subscription.
however ever considering that Microsoft unveiled Outlook-branded apps for iOS, then Android, in January 2015, it turned into sure the organization might in the end put the forestall-gap solution of OWA to relaxation.
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“the brand new Outlook app replaces OWA for iPhone/iPad/Android,” Microsoft positioned it it seems that on the time. “we’re leaving the OWA for iPhone/iPad/Android apps in market in the intervening time because there are some superior office 365 and trade Server features that are not yet to be had in Outlook. customers who require those advanced functions (e.g. viewing records Rights management protected mails, help for Apps for Outlook) can hold to use OWA for iPhone/iPad/Android until those capabilities are to be had in Outlook.”
That “time being” has reputedly come to a near.
Microsoft’s selection to kill OWA in only two months did not take a seat properly with some business enterprise clients, who answered to the declaration with remarks appended to the Redmond, Wash. company’s blog.
“this is such an useless one-sided motion with the aid of Microsoft,” said Tony Mels. “i use OWA … due to the fact I do not want any email notifications or Unread Message icons.”
“[I use OWA] as it’s no longer viable to add shared mailboxes within the native Outlook app [so] we advocate users to apply this OWA app,” delivered Jarno Korterink. “Please first upload support for shared mailboxes inside the native Outlook app before retiring this OWA app.”
Sven Mihaly-Bison expanded on Korterink’s dilemma. “Will Outlook be enabled to get admission to on-premises shared mailboxes? The OWA app is the simplest tool with the capacity to do this. It´s now not possible to get entry to trade 2016 Shared Mailboxes with Outlook as trade 2016 works simplest with WAP 2016 and WAP 2016 does now not support IMAP.”
“What approximately the authorities tenants? Will the local Outlook app subsequently be comfy enough, so we will use it?” asked Kent Kroft.
“I want to know how my admins should approve emails on mobile gadgets,” said Robert Woods. “I additionally want to know how my users whom aren’t enrolled in Intune ought to get entry to their mailbox now? This become our handiest opportunity to driving BYOD devices into MDM enrollment, and you take that characteristic away with out supplying a substitute it seems. Please stop deprecating functionality with out imparting an alternative! We pay for those functions.”
“this is a very abrupt trade with little or no time to extensively notify the client base,” argued risk Webster. “backside line, deprecating the OWA app this quickly is a horrible idea and i will hardly ever anticipate the flood of phone calls from irritated customers that i am sure to get from this sudden removal of an app that has helped them advantage a substantial enhance to their each day productivity and flexibility.”
To Microsoft’s credit, it replied to most of the complaining commenters. To Kroft, as an instance, who had requested approximately Outlook app protection in a central authority surroundings, Microsoft’s Burrage stated that the company deliberate to finish FedRAMP certification and acclaim for Outlook “within the very near term” and urged Kroft to hold a watch at the office 365 Message middle in the course of the following 30-60 days for an statement.
Others, but, were truly told that their users could retain to access OWA thru the cellular device’s browser. Such get admission to will stay to be had after the OWA apps prevent operating.
“even as we’re operating to deliver the skills you’re inquiring for to Outlook for iOS and Android, you can preserve to use OWA through the browser for your cellular device,” Burrage said in a very last comment.
not especially, some balked at that recommendation. “It appears…you’re telling me they [users] will want to use a combination of Outlook at the iPhone and OWA at the web to get the equal capabilities they already have, that once more, we pay for,” countered Woods. “Such horrible patron enjoy.”