Outlook add-ins and optional connected experiences

From Microsoft Corporation

MC224417, Stay Informed, Published date: Oct 16, 2020
Admin impact, Feature update, User impact

For Microsoft 365 Monthly Enterprise Channel and Semi-Annual Channel customers, we are changing how Outlook add-ins behave when the optional connected experiences privacy setting has been disabled in your tenant. This feature has already rolled out to the Microsoft 365 Monthly Channel (version 2008, build 13127.20296).

Key points

  • Timing:
    • Monthly Channel: mid-September 2020
    • Monthly Enterprise Channel: mid-October 2020
    • Semi-Annual Channel: early January 2021
  • Rollout: tenant level
  • Action: review and assess 

How this will affect your organization

For Outlook add-ins, the impact of disabling the Optional connected experiences setting usually means that user-installed add-ins and access to the Office Store are not allowed. However, this setting also prevents IT from using Centralized Deployment to deploy approved add-ins.

As a result of feedback indicating that many internally-deployed Outlook add-ins are considered essential or business-critical, this update will allow IT to deploy Outlook add-ins via Centralized Deployment even when optional connected experiences have been disabled. Note that add-ins and the Office Store remain available in Outlook on the web, regardless of the status of this setting.What you need to do to prepare

Review this change to determine its impact on your organization.

  • If you do not deploy Outlook add-ins via Centralized Deployment, this update will not affect your tenant.
  • If you do deploy Outlook add-ins via Centralized Deployment, you should examine your add-ins and policies. 

The feature has begun rolling out to the Monthly Enterprise Channel (version 2008, build 16.0.13127.20638).

Semi-Annual Channel customers can try the feature today in the latest Semi Annual Channel preview (version 2008, build 16.0.13127.20638).