[UPDATE] Microsoft changing how Outlook connects to Office 365

UPDATE POSTED 10/10/2017 based on new Microsoft information. Changes to the original SkyKick blog, posted on 21 August, are noted below in ITALICS.

Microsoft has updated their recent announcement about the protocol previously used by Outlook 2007, 2010, and 2013 to connect with Office 365 (RPC over HTTP aka Outlook Anywhere). The updated announcement indicates that the protocol will NOT be removed on October 31, but confirms that RPC over HTTP will reach end of support in Office 365 at that time, and that MAPI-over-HTTP will be the only supported protocol. The update also emphasizes that with RPC-over-HTTP the quality of the mail experience will decrease over time. 

Microsoft updated announcement – RPC over HTTP reaches end of support in Office 365 on October 31, 2017

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The original announcement indicated that once the changes rolled out to Office 365 servers, Outlook would not be able to connect to Office 365 unless it had the required updates to support MAPI-over-HTTP. 

**Be proactive! This is a great reason for your Sales Team to schedule a meeting with any customers that could be affected. Use this time to be sure their Outlook is will connect to Office 365 after this change – and talk about SkyKick Cloud Backup to protect their Exchange Online data. See below in the blog for more details.**

What SkyKick is doing to help partners address this change

SkyKick is working with Microsoft to help partners with this transition. One function that the SkyKick Outlook Assistant already performs is readiness checks to ensure that the version of Outlook on each device can connect to Office 365. Starting in mid-October, the Outlook Assistant will additionally alert partners to update any Outlook devices that do not meet the minimum version requirement for supported connectivity to Office 365 before proceeding to profile creation in Office 365. The alert will provide partners with the specific update information they need to help their customers avoid unsupported connectivity issues or degraded email performance when support for RPC-over-HTTP ends on October 31.

For information on updating Outlook, see How to install the latest applicable updates for Microsoft Outlook.

SkyKick will continue to monitor these changes and how they will impact our partners.

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What this change means for customers currently in Office 365… 

Outlook 2007 users

MAPI-over-HTTP was not backported to Outlook 2007 or earlier versions. Outlook 2007 will be in an unsupported state on October 31, 2017. That means Outlook 2007 must be upgraded to a later version of Outlook that uses MAPI-over-HTTP to connect to Office 365 (see versions for Outlook 2010-2016 below).

Outlook 2010 users

Outlook 2010 can be upgraded to use the supported MAPI-over-HTTP protocol to connect to Office 365. It is therefore recommended that all Outlook 2010 users be upgraded to meet or exceed build number 14.0.7164.5002 in order to avoid any unsupported connectivity issues or degraded email experience.  

Outlook 2013  users

Outlook 2013 can be upgraded to use the supported MAPI-over-HTTP protocol to connect to Office 365. It is therefore recommended that all Outlook 2013 users be upgraded to meet or exceed build number 15.0.4779.1002 in order to avoid any unsupported connectivity issues or degraded email experience. 

Outlook 2016 users

Microsoft recommends the following Office updates for Outlook 2016 users to connect to Exchange Online using MAPI-over-HTTP:

  • Subscription: 16.0.6568.20xx
  • MSI: 16.0.4312.1001

Here’s what to do for current Office 365 customers

  • Verify Outlook versions and build numbers
  • Notify your customer of any recommended upgrades

***This conversation is a great opportunity for your sales team to explore new features and services with your customer. Consider discussing: 

  • Enhanced Office 365 licensing options that will address these changes and improve their productivity (e.g. Office 365 ProPlus, Business Premium, E3, etc.)
  • Office 365 data backup strategy – and if their current strategy is doing enough to protect their Exchange, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business data from accidental or malicious deletion. If not, consider SkyKick Cloud Backup to:
    • Automatically protect Office 365 data up to 6x per day
    • Add recurring revenue & Azure consumption to your business
    • Reduce support costs with easy setup and one-click restore
    • Check out the Sales Resources for Partners to use in our Help Center

Stay Tuned

SkyKick will continue to update this blog with new information as well as recommendations to help you address these changes for your customers who are currently using Office 365 and who will migrate to Office 365 in the months ahead.