Outlook Connectivity changes per Nov2021

In the past, using outdated clients with Microsoft 365 services was a matter of being in an unsupported state with all the risks that go with it. This meant, that things might not work or you could experience reduced functionality. Overall, things usually kept working with a few consequences or glitches here and there.

A change in this stance was announced today per Message Center bulletin MC229143:

To ensure that we meet performance expectations, we are updating the supported versions of Outlook for Windows that can connect to Microsoft 365 services. Effective November 1, 2021, the following versions of Outlook for Windows, as part of Office and Microsoft 365 Apps, will not be able to connect with Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services.

This means, running old unsupported Outlook versions will go from “possible performance and reliability issues” to becoming actively blocked. This block will apply to these versions in the table below; as indicated, these builds were surpassed somewhere in 2017:

ApplicationAffected BuildsBuild Superseded
Office 201315.0.4970.9999
and older
October 2017
Office 201616.0.4599.9999
and older
October 2015
Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise
(formerly Office 365 ProPlus)

Microsoft 365 Apps for Business
(formerly Office 365 Business

1705 and olderJune 2017

While it is true that many customers are stretching the lifetime of their on-premises products beyond their support dates, I’m sure – apart from functionality and management options – performance and reliability is becoming more and more of an issue.

Finally, when this notice concerns you, it means you have not been updating your clients for at least 3 years. So, get planning, as you have around 11 months to update your clients. It also may affect any existing plans of moving to Exchange Online in the future, as getting your client-base in a supported state will become a requirement, and will no longer be a serious recommendation.

Outlook versions supporting Personal Archives and Retention Policies

Outlook 2013 IconIn an earlier article here, I mentioned which Outlook 2010 versions were eligible for Personal Archives.

Now, with the release of Office 2013, and Outlook 2013 in particular, it’s good to get an update on the Outlook versions and their support of Personal Archives and Retention Policies in Exchange Server 2010 or Exchange Server 2013.

The following Outlook versions support Personal Archives and Retention Policies:

Retail Licenses Volume Licenses
  • Outlook 2013 stand-alone
  • Outlook 2010 stand-alone
  • Outlook 2007 stand-alone
  • Outlook 2007 included with Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007
  • Outlook 2013 stand-alone
  • Outlook 2013 included with Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013
  • Outlook 2010 stand-alone
  • Outlook 2010 included with Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010
  • Outlook 2007 stand-alone
  • Outlook 2007 included with Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007
  • Outlook 2007 included with Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007

Few notes:

  • As mentioned here, Outlook 2007 doesn’t support adjusting retention policies;
  • Personal Archives and Retention Policies require an Microsoft Exchange Server Enterprise Client Access License.

Exchange/Lync/Office/Sharepoint 2013 Visio Stencil Available

Microsoft published the integral Visio stencil for Exchange 2013 and Lync 2013. The stencil contains a whopping 317 icons to aid you in developing visual communications on design or architecture with regards to Exchange, Lync, Sharepoint or Office 2013.

image

To use the stencil, drop a copy in the “My Shapes” folder located in your “My Documents” folder and activate it using the Shapes window selecting More Shapes >My Shapes > FLEX_Stencil_112012 .

Stencils get updated frequently, for the latest versions with link, consult the toolkit page here.

Important Hotfix for Outlook 2013 Preview

Microsoft released a quick fix for a nasty bug in Outlook 2013 Preview, part of the Office Professional Plus 2013 Preview. The related knowledgebase article is kb2737132.

Note: Despite the warning that goes with pre-release software about not using it in production environments, I assume Microsoft knows people will and decided to produce a hotfix so quickly, which is quite unusual for preview software, also looking at the potential consequences.

The bug causes everything, i.e. e-mail, contacts, appointments and tasks, to be deleted permanently from an Exchange server when using the Cleanup Tools from Outlook. Nothing is recoverable through the Recover Deleted Items option.

To install the hotfix, follow one of the links below, depending on your architecture: