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Another couple of points for organizations to consider when they consider migrating to SharePoint Online, Office 365

As Vlad Catrinescu, a Microsoft MVP and widely acknowledged SharePoint subject matter expert recently pointed out in a post to his Absolute SharePoint blog, Microsoft will soon remove two features from SharePoint Online, Office 365. Organizations contemplating an implementation of this cloud SaaS should familiarize themselves with the features before reaching a conclusion on this question.

The title of Catrinescu’s post is Microsoft killing some features in Office 365 SharePoint Online. The features Catrinescu identifies are (and the following is a direct quote from Catrinescu’s blog post)

  • The “Tasks” link in your MySite
  • The “Sync to Outlook” Button
  • SharePoint Tags
  • SharePoint Notes

Catrinescu provides some workaround tips as well as links to posts on Microsoft’s support site, so readers with time are encouraged to read his post.

We share his interest in trying to find out why Microsoft decided to remove the features and will surely share any verified information we come up with on the topic. Catrinescu thinks a number of these changes stem from Microsoft’s effort to offload collaboration features from SharePoint over to Yammer. We agree with this assessment, though, once again, we reiterate we have no definitive information directly from Microsoft on the topic.

Eliminating the “Sync to Outlook” feature makes sense when one considers recent announcements about Outlook Web Access (OWA). Microsoft is in the process of adding features to OWA, so removing hooks between SharePoint Online, Office 365 and Outlook on the desktop makes sense.

But the question of whether or not these changes make sense, or not, is likely not to be of significance to organizations already using SharePoint on premises, who are considering implementing SharePoint Online, Office 365, either in a hybrid computing architecture, or via a migration. If your organization is already using the Sync to Outlook feature, or if you need hooks to tasks from MySites, you will likely want to closely consider what you are planning to do and leave open an opportunity to change plans

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