Microsoft Office 365 to Add Message Recall in Exchange Online

By December 16, 2019 blog No Comments

Microsoft is planning to add the highly popular Message Recall feature among Outlook for Windows users to the Exchange Online hosted cloud email service for businesses.

After its rollout to all Office 265 environments during Q4 2020, the Exchange Online Message Recall feature will allow users of Microsoft’s cloud email to retrieve messages their recipients haven’t yet opened regardless of the email client they use.

“The Outlook for Windows Message Recall feature is extremely popular with users, yet it doesn’t always work so well. Part of the problem is that the recall is client-based, and the recall can only happen if the recipient also uses Outlook,” says the planned feature’s Microsoft 365 roadmap entry.

“With millions of users with mailboxes in Office 365, we’re now able to improve upon that feature by performing the recall directly in the cloud in Office 365 mailboxes, so it doesn’t matter which email client the recipient uses, the recall takes place in their Office 365 mailbox, and when their client syncs their mail, the message is gone.”

Microsoft also intends to provide Office 365 customers who will use Message Recall with an aggregate message recall status report that will make it a lot easier to know exactly what emails were successfully retrieved and which weren’t.

Recall Message in Outlook for Windows (Microsoft)

Recall Message in Outlook for Windows (Microsoft)

Recalling email messages is already available for users of Microsoft’s Exchange Server messaging platform through the Outlook for Windows email client.

When they click the “Recall This Message” entry from an email’s menu, they can retrieve any mails sent to recipients who haven’t yet opened them.

The feature is also designed to allow them to replace previously sent emails if they ever need any corrections or adding a forgotten attachment.

The drawback for Outlook Windows users is that recalling messages is only available if both sender and recipient have an Office 365 or Microsoft Exchange email account within the same organization.

Once the “Recall This Message” command has been sent to the server, the users see the dialog below which asks them to choose between only deleting the unread messages or also replacing them with a new message.

Recall This Message dialog (Microsoft)

Recall This Message dialog (Microsoft)

In related news, Redmond is planning to add protection against Reply-All email storms in Exchange Online during Q3 2020, which is an issue impacting Office 365 customers that are members of improperly locked down mail distribution lists.

Reply-All storms (aka reply-allpocalypses) are huge chain reaction sequences of emails started by one of the members of a large email distribution list who replies to the entire list using the “Reply All” feature. This could lead to an accidental Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) taking down some of the email servers delivering the exchanged replies.

Microsoft also works on developing a feature dubbed ‘Unverified Sender’ that would help users identify potential spam or phishing emails that reach their Outlook client’s inbox a lot easier.

The Office 365 dev team also wants to enhance the way emails secured using the Office 365 Message Encryption (OME) service are seen by mail servers so that they’re less likely to be marked as spam and sent straight to the Trash folder.


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