The goal of this post is to compile all publicly announced Office 365 service changes for 2019, especially those that may require admin action, into a single reference. These changes are listed below in chronological order, based on the "Action Required" or "Effective" 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.
- Added We're removing Visio web access from SharePoint Online - action required by September 29, 2019
- Added Blocking Flash, Shockwave and Silverlight controls in Office 365 Semi-Annual Channel - effective January 2019
- Added Retirement of Skype for Business app on Windows 10 Mobile - effective December 2019
- Added Discontinuation of support for Session Border Controllers in Exchange Online Unified Messaging - action required by April 30, 2019
- Added Retirement of support for Third-Party Audio Conferencing Providers in Skype for Business Online - action required by April 1, 2019
Blocking Flash, Shockwave and Silverlight controls in Office 365 Semi-Annual Channel
Effective: January 2019
Details: We are announcing an upcoming change to Office that blocks activation of Flash, Shockwave and Silverlight controls within Office. We are taking this step based on the following factors:
- Use of some of these controls in exploit campaigns to target end users of Office
- Low observed use of these controls within Office
- Upcoming end of support for some of these components (Flash / Silverlight)
Note: This change will not apply to Office 2016, Office 2013 or Office 2010. This change only applies to Office 365 subscription clients in the Semi-Annual Channel and is targeted to take effect in January 2019.
Retirement of support for Third-Party Audio Conferencing Providers in Skype for Business Online
Action Required by: April 1, 2019
Details: Beginning April 1, 2019, we are retiring support of our integration of third-party audio conferencing providers (ACP) in Skype for Business Online Meetings. On April 1, 2019, the following changes will be observed:
- Participants who attempt to join any Skype for Business meeting via dial-in numbers provided by a third-party ACP service will no longer be connected to the Skype for Business meeting
- Users enabled for a third-party ACP service will no longer have their dial-in information automatically included in any new Skype for Business meeting invites
To prepare for this change, we encourage affected organizations to notify their enabled users of this planned update prior to April 1, 2019. After this date, users can continue to use Skype for Business with no interruption to their online meetings; however, organizations will need to enable their users for Audio Conferencing if they require dial-in audio conferencing with Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams.
Depending on the desired end state of the organization, there are three paths that can be followed:
- Migrate to Microsoft Audio Conferencing
- Continue to separately use a third-party audio conferencing provider
- Stop using dial-in conferencing altogether
For more information, please review the details provided at the link below in "Additional Information".
Discontinuation of support for Session Border Controllers in Exchange Online Unified Messaging
Action Required by: April 30, 2019
Details: In July 2017, we announced that support for Session Border Controllers (SBC) that connect third party PBX systems to Exchange Online Unified Messaging (UM) would be discontinued as of July 2018. After feedback from customers and partners concerned about this change, we are announcing additional time for customers to prepare. The new date for discontinuation will be April 30, 2019. Customers with existing deployments remain fully supported until this date. However, Microsoft strongly advises all customers to begin their voicemail transition now.
The following configurations are not affected by this change:
- Skype for Business Server (on-premises) connected to Exchange Online UM
- 3rd party voicemail solutions that deposit voicemail messages into Exchange Online mailboxes through APIs, rather than an SBC connection
- All forms of Exchange Server UM (on-premises)
There are several alternative solutions for impacted customers, all listed in the Exchange Team blog post announcing this change.
- Microsoft Tech Community Discussion
- New date for discontinuation of support for Session Border Controllers in Exchange Online Unified Messaging
We're removing Visio Web Access from SharePoint Online
Action Required by: September 29, 2019
Details: Last September, we announced that we would be removing Visio Web access from SharePoint Online. Since then we have listened to your feedback and are extending the timeline to September 2019 to allow more time for the migration of your existing Visio content to the newer platforms.
Beginning September 30, 2019, 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.
Additional Information: Migrate from Visio Web Access to Visio Online
Retirement of Skype for Business app on Windows 10 Mobile
Effective: December 2019
Details: The Windows Phone app for Skype for Business is being retired. After this change takes effect, new users will no longer be able to download the app from the Microsoft Store, and the app will no longer be supported. Although Microsoft continues to support Windows 10 Mobile, we are not focused on building new features for the system. We will continue to invest in Skype for Business mobile apps for iOS and Android and also in desktop apps for Windows and Mac.
Existing users of the Windows Phone app for Skype for Business will continue to be able to use the app. Moreover, they will continue to be able to re-download the app from the Windows Store.
Beginning in December 2019, Skype for Business on Windows 10 Mobile, will no longer be available for download.
The Skype for Business app may continue to work after this date, but this is not guaranteed. This app will no longer receive updates or support. If you need to continue using Skype for Business on Windows Phone, we recommend that you install the app before the date cited above.
Additional Information: Windows Phone app for Skype for Business is being retired