It seems as though some big changes are coming to Office 365 and Outlook. Microsoft is a company known for innovating and upgrading their properties on a regular basis in order to improve them. The biggest move is combining Office 365 and Outlook and they will start to move users to the combined platform, which helps the company get all of their “ducks in a row” so to speak, along with Exchange. In May of 2015, they removed the integration of Google and Facebook with Outlook. Office 365 has quite a bit of potential, but it’s likely that some people are not yet sold on the idea.

Recent Office 365 Changes and Best Practices

Does all of this sound confusing? Whenever a company decides to make any large changes to their platforms, it’s enough to cause panic in some people. Even small changes can induce a certain amount of unease. After all, people come to learn how a program and system works, and they like not having to think about what they are doing. Changes will mean that users generally have to relearn how to do certain things. Fortunately, Outlook on Office 365 makes perfect sense, as the two are essentially related.

One of the important things to note is that even though Office 365 and Outlook will merge, Microsoft says that will still be available for consumers as a free email service. They simply do not get the benefits of Office 365. Of course, they can always decide to become a part of Office 365 with Outlook later if they choose.

Why are They Making the Office 365 Changes?

Microsoft claims they needed the migration as a way to make sure that all of the elements of their platform – Office 365, Outlook, and Exchange are consistent with one another. It also means that they will be able to roll out features for Outlook on Office 365 that will work well on all platforms – desktop, mobile, and web – since they are using the same code.

Naturally, this means that there will likely be some changes coming to the user interface. They have not made any changes to the UI as of yet, but they are likely coming sometime over the course of this year. In fact, they may go through several different iterations before settling on a UI that works best for the consumers. For the most part, people expect the changes to be relatively minor and easy enough to understand. Still, it is a good idea to pay attention to all of the changes as they come along.

What Does This Mean for You and Your Business?

Some worry that the changes could be problematic, but it’s not likely that it will negatively affect many users. Whether you are a personal user of Office 365 and Outlook, or you are part of a larger business, the changes should not be overly intrusive. It’s true that they got rid of the Google and Facebook chat option, and that may be a problem for some users who used the feature. However, most will still find all of the features they want and need with Office 365 and Outlook. They have other options for Google Chat and Facebook Chat.

What should you do going forward? As always, the best practice is to take a measured approach and watch what happens before reacting and hating or loving the change. Wait to see what MS offers and how they may be able to improve the overall experience. If there are issues, provide them with feedback and even consider looking for different options. However, most people will find that the integration between these applications is a positive.

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