The goal of this post is to compile all publicly announced Office 365 service changes for 2018, especially those that may require admin action, into a single reference. These changes are listed below in chronological order, based on the "Action Required" date. Additional information and resources related to these changes are provided where applicable. Updates will be made to this post as new service changes are announced, or updates to announced changes are provided.
Note: All changes may not have been communicated to your tenant / environment.
- Moved Retirement of Access Services in SharePoint Online to Archive
- Moved Retirement of Office Mix Preview service to Archive
- Moved Retirement of Outlook Groups app to Archive
- Moved Retirement of OWA mobile apps to Archive
- Added Retirement of Windows Phone apps for Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams and Yammer - effective May 20, 2018
- Added Changes to the SMTP Authenticated Submission client protocol - action required by June 1, 2018
- Moved Discontinuation of support for Session Border Controllers in Exchange Online Unified Messaging to Office 365 Planned Service Changes for 2019
- Moved New ways to govern access of external users to Archive
- Moved Private teams will be searchable in Microsoft Teams to Archive
- Moved Retirement of iOS Researcher App to Archive
- Moved Postponed SharePoint Online Public Website Deletion to Archive
- Added Changes to native social features in SharePoint Online - action required by June 1, 2018
- Added Yammer Network Consolidation - action required by September 25, 2018
- Added Changes to Office 365 IP address range and URL publication - action required by October 2, 2018
- Moved Changes to SharePoint Online pages running the classic user experience to Archive
- Moved New process for updating Yammer profiles to Archive
- Added New ways to govern access of external users - action required by March 23, 2018
- Added Private teams will be searchable in Microsoft Teams - action required by March 23, 2018
- Added Retirement of Access Services in SharePoint Online - action required by April 2018
- Added Retirement of OWA mobile apps - action required by May 15, 2018
- Moved Yammer notes to Word Online conversion to Archive
- Moved Removal of some existing APIs and cmdlets in Office 365 Reporting Service to Archive
- Added Changes to SharePoint Online pages running the classic user experience - action required by February 14, 2018
- Added Retirement of iOS Researcher app - action required by March 30, 2018
- Added Retirement of Outlook Groups app - action required by May 1, 2018
- Updated Mandatory use of TLS 1.2 in Office 365 - action now required by October 31, 2018
- Added Yammer notes to Word Online conversion - action required by January 26, 2018
- Added Removal of some existing APIs and cmdlets in Office 365 Reporting Service - January 29, 2018
- Added New process for updating Yammer profiles - action required by February 15, 2018
- Added Postponed SharePoint Online Public Website Deletion - March 31, 2018
- Added Mandatory use of TLS 1.2 in Office 365 - action required by March 1, 2018
- Added Retirement of Office Mix Preview service - action required by May 1, 2018
- Added We're removing Visio Web Access from SharePoint Online - action required by September 30, 2018
- Added Discontinuation of support for Session Border Controllers in Exchange Online Unified Messaging
Retirement of Windows Phone apps for Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams and Yammer
Effective: May 20, 2018
Details: Effective May 20, 2018, the Windows Phone apps for Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Yammer will be retired. Starting on that date, these apps will no longer be available for download from Microsoft Store, and Microsoft will no longer support them. While Microsoft continues to support Windows 10 Mobile, we are not focused on building new features for the system. We will continue to invest in the Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Yammer mobile apps for iOS and Android, and also in desktop apps for Windows and Mac. Moving forward, Windows Phone users will have the best experience by using Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Yammer in the mobile web browser.
Skype for Business and Yammer apps may continue to work, but we can’t provide any guarantees. These apps will no longer receive updates or support. The Microsoft Teams app will no longer work, and users will receive an error message when they try to connect.
Additional Information: Windows Phone Apps for Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams and Yammer are being retired
Changes to the SMTP Authenticated Submission client protocol
Action Required by: June 1, 2018
Details: There are a number of client protocols offered by Exchange Online to allow email clients to send email from their mailboxes. One of the most widespread protocols is SMTP Authenticated Submission (also known as SMTP Client Submission) which is supported by most email service providers. This non-proprietary protocol is used to send email by legacy email clients, third-party software and services, and devices such as multi-function printers. Changes that we’re making to how this protocol works in Exchange Online may adversely affect the rate at which these clients or devices can send email.
Starting June 1, the following changes will begin rolling out for SMTP Authenticated Submission protocol:
- Sent email will now be stored in the Sent Items folder of the mailbox.
- Only three concurrent connections to our service per mailbox will be allowed. Additional connections will be rejected with the error: 4.3.2 STOREDRV.ClientSubmit; sender thread limit exceeded.
Exchange Online uses a number of mechanisms to protect the service from abuse and ensure fair usage by users. One such protection is the Recipient Rate Limit (RRL) which limits the number of recipients per day to 10,000. The aim is to deter the sending of bulk email (and as mentioned on the service limits page, you should send bulk email using a specialized third-party provider). This change to the SMTP Authenticated Submission protocol will further protect the service from large bursts of emails in a short amount of time from automated systems. This will not affect the majority of SMTP Authentication Submission users who only send from one email client or multi-function device for a given mailbox.
For customers who have numerous devices sending emails using the same mailbox (for example, email@example.com), there’s a small chance that multiple devices will try to send email at the same time. Any devices that are rejected would just need to retry. The same is true if an application that uses a cloud mailbox to send email tries to send multiple messages at the same time (and that behavior depends on how the application was designed). Most applications and devices that send email should be able to handle errors and retry sending email. However, retrying will reduce the overall rate at which email can be sent.
If this change adversely affects you, you have a few options:
- Use a different mailbox for each application or device
- If you’re trying to send thousands of copies of the same message (for example, a newsletter) in parallel using a third-party application, you may need to send it out in batches or use distribution groups
- If time is important (for example, an alert system that generates multiple alerts at the same time), you’ll need to use a third-party delivery service that’s designed to send large amounts of email
Additional Information: Changes coming to the SMTP Authenticated Submission client protocol
Changes to native social features in SharePoint Online
Action Required by: June 1, 2018
Details: In June 2018, we will be making the following changes to the native social features in SharePoint Online.
- The public newsfeed will be set to read-only for existing organizations
- The option to implement the Newsfeed feature in navigation and through tenant administration will be removed
Instead of using these features, we recommend using Team News, Communication Sites, and/or Yammer.
Additional Information: In June 2018, we're making changes to the native social capabilities in SharePoint Online
Yammer Network Consolidation
Action Required by: September 25, 2018
Details: Starting September 26, 2018, Yammer will no longer support multiple Yammer networks associated with one Office 365 tenant. We will be consolidating your Yammer networks into a parent Yammer network. During this process, content will no longer be available from the subsidiary networks. Please ensure that you have saved and exported all your files and documents prior to the migration. We recommend you migrate your own networks prior to September 26, 2018.
As Yammer becomes an integral part of Office 365, Yammer uses the associated Office 365 tenant as the organizational boundary and for managing key functions. Once the migrations are completed, all Office 365 groups and tools will be connected. Users will be able to easily access their SharePoint Online, OneNote and Planner tools within each of their corresponding Yammer groups.
- About Yammer networks and Office 365 tenants
- Your Office 365 tenant is associated with two or more canonical (home) Yammer networks
- Network migration: Consolidate multiple Yammer networks
We're removing Visio Web Access from SharePoint Online
Action Required by: September 30, 2018
Beginning September 30, 2018, users in your organization will only be able to view Visio diagrams in their browser, but not create or edit. Visio Online viewing is available to most Office 365 subscriptions.
Instead of using Visio Web Access (Visio Service) and its Web Part for SharePoint Online, we recommend using either:
- Visio Online and the Document Web Part [Document Web part instead of Visio Web part]
- iFrame in SharePoint Online for Visio Web Part [iFrame with Visio Online APIs instead of Visio Web Part with Visio Services JS APIs]
Additional Information: Migrate from Visio Web Access to Visio Online
Changes to Office 365 IP address range and URL publication
Action Required by: October 2, 2018
Details: We are making some changes to how Office 365 IP addresses and URLs are published. A new REST based Web Service is now available and on October 2, 2018 we will stop publishing the previous HTML, XML, and RSS format of this data. This data is commonly used by customers for configuring firewalls, proxy servers, and related networking equipment for optimal connectivity to Office 365. If you are using this data today for device configuration and you do not move to the new IP/URL web services, then new servers added for Office 365 may not be accessible to your users. These updates typically occur once a month.
If you are not configuring firewalls, proxy servers or related networking equipment, in this way, there is no action required. However, if you are using the Office 365 IP addresses and URLs to make monthly updates to your firewalls, proxy servers, or other networking devices, then we encourage you to review the new IP/URL Web Services so that you can migrate any process you have related to this data. More details on the new web service are available at the link included in "Additional Information" below.
Additional Information: Announcing: Office 365 endpoint categories and Office 365 IP Address and URL web service
Mandatory use of TLS 1.2 in Office 365
Action Required by: October 31, 2018
Details: As previously communicated in December 2017, to provide best-in-class encryption, and to ensure our service is more secure by default, we are moving all of our online services to Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.2+. In the previous communications, we had indicated that we would be removing support for TLS versions less than 1.2 from our online services, beginning March 1, 2018. After receiving valuable feedback from administrators, we have decided to extend the deadline for upgrading to TLS 1.2 or later to October 31, 2018.
As of October 31, 2018, Microsoft Office 365 will no longer support TLS 1.0 and 1.1. By October 31, 2018, all client-server and browser-server combinations should use TLS version 1.2 (or a later version) to ensure connection without issues to Office 365 services. This may require updates to certain client-server and browser-server combinations.
If you do not update to TLS version 1.2 (or later) by October 31, 2018, you may experience issues when connecting to Office 365. If you experience an issue related to the use of an old TLS version after October 31, 2018, you will be required to update to TLS 1.2 as part of the resolution.
Although current analysis of connections to Microsoft Online services shows that very few customers still use TLS 1.0 and 1.1, we are providing notice of this change so that you can update any affected clients or servers as necessary before support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 is disabled. If you are using any on-premises infrastructure for hybrid scenarios or Active Directory Federation Services, make sure that these infrastructures can support both inbound and outbound connections that use TLS 1.2.
Note: Using TLS 1.2 with Office 365 does not mean you must have TLS 1.0/1.1 disabled in your environments by October 31, 2018. If parts of your environment require the use of TLS 1.0 and 1.1 on or after October 31, 2018, you can leave the older protocol versions enabled. However, TLS 1.2 will have to be enabled and used for communication with Office 365 to avoid any interruption in service.
Additional Information: Preparing for the mandatory use of TLS 1.2 in Office 365
Yammer notes to Word Online conversion
Action Required by: January 26, 2018
Details: ***To give you and your users more time to save and store your existing Yammer notes, and to prepare for the pending migration, we have delayed the migration start date for conversion of Yammer notes to Word Online documents from December 8th, 2017 to January 26, 2018.***
Starting January 26, 2018, we will convert Yammer notes into Word Online documents. This function is currently on the top navigation bar in groups and allows users to create notes in Yammer. This will also allow us to provide a better service as we focus more on integrating with the Office 365 suite. Existing notes will be converted into files for now, as we plan to have more integration with SharePoint Online in the future. Only the last published version will be kept; all previous versions will be lost.
The migration will occur between January 27th - 29th. During this time users will have read-only access to their notes. After January 30th, Yammer notes will no longer be available and all your notes will be accessible as Word Online documents in your Yammer files. Please save any unpublished drafts and make sure to save any previous versions you wish to keep as we will only migrate the last published version. We strongly suggest communicating to your users about the conversion and to save any unpublished drafts. If your networks have files disabled please make sure to save a copy on your computer.
Additional Information: Converting Yammer notes into Word Online documents
Removal of some existing APIs and cmdlets in Office 365 Reporting Service
Action Required by: January 29, 2018
Details: With this announcement, we are announcing the deprecation of the following APIs within the Office 365 Reporting Web Service: ConnectionbyClientType, ConnectionbyClientTypeDetail, CsActiveUser, CsAVConferenceTime, CsP2PAVTime, CsConference, CsP2PSession, GroupActivity, MailboxActivity, GroupActivity, MailboxUsage, MailboxUsageDetail, StaleMailbox and StaleMailboxDetail.
Note: The post linked below in "Additional Information" includes a full list of the APIs and cmdlets that are being deprecated.
We will remove these APIs, as well as any related PowerShell cmdlets, on January 29, 2018. If you are currently using APIs or any of the related PowerShell cmdlets from the Office 365 Reporting Web Service, please start planning the migration of any subsystems within your organization.
Additional Information: Announcing the General Availability of Microsoft Graph reporting APIs
Changes to SharePoint Online pages running the classic user experience
Action Required by: February 14, 2018
Details: We're making some changes to SharePoint Online pages running the classic user experience. We're changing the default document mode of all classic pages to be Edge mode, instead of Internet Explorer (IE) 10 mode. This change does not apply to sites that are using custom theming, or sites that have the modern list experience disabled at the site or tenant level. This change will begin rolling out February 14th, and will complete by the end of February. For most users, this change will just increase performance and reliability of pages. However, some custom master pages or custom web parts may contain custom code that takes a dependency on the older IE10 document mode.
Additional Information: Display a classic SharePoint Online site in Internet Explorer 10 document mode
New process for updating Yammer profiles
Action Required by: February 15, 2018
Details: Beginning February 15, 2018, users will only be able to update Yammer user profiles using the 'Display Name' attribute of a user from Azure Active Directory, instead of the 'First Name' and 'Last Name' attributes. We are making this change to be consistent with the rest of Office 365.
Additional Information: Manage Yammer users across their life cycle from Office 365
New ways to govern access of external users
Action Required by: March 23, 2018
Details: Starting March 23, 2018, we're giving you new ways to govern access of external users. As part of this update, external users will no longer be able to see content that has been Shared with Everyone, All Authenticated Users, or All Forms Users, even if they have been invited or added to authorized groups.
In SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, sharing resources (files, folders, sites, etc.) with external users is accomplished by sending an invitation to the users directly, or adding them to groups and granting appropriate access levels. As a result, an external user would only see the content that has been shared with the user or with groups to which the user belongs. After March 23, 2018, external users will no longer see content that has been shared with Everyone, All Authenticated Users, or All Forms Users. Content that has been permissioned to these groups will, by default, be visible only to your users within your organization’s tenancy.
If you would like to allow external users the ability to see content that has been shared with Everyone, All Authenticated Users, or All Forms Users within your organization’s tenancy, as administrator, you still have the ability to do so. Please see the "How to govern access of external users" article linked in "Additional Information" for details.
Additional Information: How to govern access of external users in Office 365
Private teams will be searchable in Microsoft Teams
Action Required by: March 23, 2018
Details: Starting March 23, 2018, private teams will be searchable in Microsoft Teams. This feature update will make it easier for people to share and join Teams.
Until now, it was not possible for users to find and request access to a private team in the Teams app. Users had to either be invited to a team or search for the underlying group in Outlook in the Outlook app. Now, private teams will be discoverable via search and the Suggested teams gallery, making it easier to share and discover private teams across an organization. If a user requests to join a private team, the team owner will receive a notification and can approve or deny the request directly in Teams.
We recommend that you inform team owners about this change. If team names or descriptions include sensitive information, team owners may want to update them before this change occurs on March 23, 2018. If you wish to hide a private team or group, Office 365 admins can use the Set-UnifiedGroup PowerShell cmdlet to hide specific groups or teams (in Outlook, Outlook Web App, and Microsoft Teams). Specifically, use the HiddenFromAddressListsEnabled parameter, which you can apply to individual groups.
Additional Information: Set-UnifiedGroup cmdlet
Retirement of iOS Researcher App
Action Required by: March 30, 2018
Details: The iOS Research App is being retired. We will be removing the iOS Researcher App from the Apple Store on February 28, and users will no longer be able to use the app beginning March 30, 2018. Currently, you can access Researcher functionality in both Word and OneNote desktop applications. We recommend using the Word or OneNote desktop apps to access Researcher app functionality. Please update any internal documentation you may have, and direct users to use this functionality inside the Word and OneNote desktop apps.
Additional Information: Research your paper easily within Word
Postponed SharePoint Online Public Website Deletion
Action Required by: March 31, 2018
Details: If you postponed the deletion of your SharePoint Online Public Website, it will be deleted on March 31, 2018. Customers will see a banner at the top of their sites that states the following:
"Reminder: this site will soon be unavailable. Click Here to learn more."
The link in the banner points to the Knowledge Base article, included below in "Additional Information". The banner cannot be removed.
Additional Information: SharePoint Online Public Websites to be discontinued
Retirement of Access Services in SharePoint Online
Action Required by: April 2018
Details: We no longer recommend Access Services for new web apps and web databases. This feature will be retired from Office 365 and SharePoint Online. We will stop creation of new Access-based web apps and Access web databases in Office 365 and SharePoint Online starting in June, 2017 and shut down any remaining web apps and web databases by April, 2018.
As an alternative to Access web apps and web databases, we recommend that you consider Microsoft PowerApps to build no-code business solutions for the web and mobile devices. Although PowerApps is a relatively new product, Microsoft is making a significant investment in PowerApps to make it a premiere tool for business solutions, and is adding new features on a regular basis.
Additional Information: Access Services in SharePoint Roadmap
Retirement of Office Mix Preview service
Action Required by: May 1, 2018
Details: We would like to let you know that we are retiring the Office Mix Preview service on May 1, 2018 and need you to take action to save your files. Please make sure to migrate all of your content to a storage location of your choice before the retirement date to avoid losing any of your data. Over time, we will be adding the best experiences of Office Mix across PowerPoint, Stream, and Forms to make it even easier for you to create and share interactive online videos.
If you have a qualifying account and would like us to migrate your existing mixes to Microsoft Stream, please visit the Office Mix migration page, sign in, and follow the prompts to automatically migrate your data. When the process completes, your mixes will be stored on Microsoft Stream as videos. You can continue to access Office Mix until May 1, 2018.
Mixes migrated to Stream will not include analytics data, quizzes or apps. However, over time these mixes will become interactive again. If you would like to save this content, you can download your mixes as PowerPoint files (.pptx), and your analytics data as Excel files (.xlsx) to save to your storage location of choice at any time before May 1, 2018.
We are bringing the best of the Office Mix add in directly into PowerPoint for Office 365 subscribers on Windows PC. Going forward, the new recording tab in PowerPoint will allow you to create a presentation that includes recorded slides, screen recordings, narrations, audio, ink, and videos. In the coming months, we’ll be connecting Forms for interactive quizzes and Stream to the recording tab to become the new publishing experience. In the meantime, you can manually export and upload these videos to Stream or another hosting site of your choice.
Additional Information: Migrate your content from Office Mix
Retirement of Outlook Groups app
Action Required by: May 1, 2018
Details: We’re pleased to announce that we’re focusing our efforts on expanding Groups functionality in the Outlook mobile app. Because of this new focus, we’ve decided to retire the standalone Outlook Groups app later this year. You can keep using it until May 1, 2018, but you can already find and collaborate with all your groups inside the Outlook mobile app. See Use groups in the Outlook mobile app to get started.
All of your existing group memberships and functionality will continue to work in Outlook on the web, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2016 for Mac, and any other Office application. Groups is an important part of making teamwork effortless inside Outlook and Office. These changes are part of both our continued efforts to refine Microsoft 365 as the universal toolkit for teamwork and the investments we’re making in Microsoft Teams and Yammer.
Additional Information: Outlook Groups app is retiring
Retirement of OWA mobile apps
Action Required by: May 15, 2018
Details: The Microsoft OWA mobile apps, OWA for iPhone, OWA for iPad, and OWA for Android, will be retired as of May 15, 2018.
In April 2018, OWA for iPhone, OWA for iPad, and OWA for Android will be removed from the Apple’s iTunes app store and the Google Play Store.
If you're using the OWA mobile apps and Office 365, you'll see a recurring in-app message notifying you when the app will be retired. You'll be offered a link to download Outlook for iOS or Outlook for Android from the app stores.
On May 15, 2018, the OWA mobile apps will stop working. People using Office 365 who try to open the OWA mobile apps will be greeted with a message and a link to download Outlook for iOS or Outlook for Android.
Organizations using Office 365 whose users still use the OWA mobile apps have been notified via the Office 365 Message Center. Admins who received the Message Center notification should encourage users to switch to Outlook for iOS or Outlook for Android.
Additional Information: Microsoft OWA mobile apps are being retired