Microsoft killing some features in Office 365 SharePoint Online
In the past few weeks, Microsoft has slowly started to kill some features from SharePoint Online. Before we go on, here are some of the features that you will slowly see disappear from your SharePoint Online tenant:
- The “Tasks” link in your MySite
- The “Sync to Outlook Button”
- SharePoint Tags
- SharePoint Notes
Here are the two announcements taken from the Microsoft Website.
The Tasks menu option will be removed from SharePoint Online during the next few weeks. Additionally, the Sync to Outlook button will be removed at a later date.
If you’re currently syncing a SharePoint tasks list to Microsoft Outlook, tasks will continue to sync for approximately one year following this announcement. The personal Tasks page will also continue to be available for one year. After that time, this functionality will be removed and will no longer be available or supported.
The Tags & Notes feature of SharePoint Online has been retired. Users can no longer create new tags and notes or access existing ones. For a limited time, all existing tags and notes will be archived into .csv files, which can be exported from the SharePoint admin center. Only SharePoint Online admins can export these files.
This change will affect users in the following ways:
DESCRIPTION OF CHANGE
Tags & Notes button on ribbon
Still visible but disabled.
Note Board and Tag Cloud web parts in the web part gallery
Still visible and enabled. The web parts will show up as blank when added to a page.
Note Board and Tag Cloud web parts embedded in a page
Page will display a blank space in the area previously occupied by the web parts. Edit the page to remove the web parts.
Social tags will no longer appear in the tags refiner. The refiner will still display hashtags.
Tags and notes listed on personal sites
The area that previously listed tags and notes will be blank.
Microsoft didn’t specify why they are killing those features, however not all companies were ready for the change. For example a user on SharePoint Community started a discussion asking members for help following the discontinuing of the SharePoint Noteboard. Since his company was using the Webpart in certain page layouts, he now wonders if he should start using Yammer, as Microsoft recommends in the discontinuation note or put newsfeeds in place. However the problem is that, we all know, Newsfeed would be a temporary solution since Microsoft is heading towards Yammer all the way. However, diving into Yammer right away would take a while for user adoption and might cost more expensive for the business (depending on the O365 plan already in place).
Also, I personally don’t understand why Microsoft is killing the “Tasks” in the MySites. I showed off the new Task Aggregation in MySites at a few SharePoint Saturdays, and everybody loved it! We finally had the ability to see all our tasks from Exchange, SharePoint & Project Server in one place!
You can read the discontinuation notices yourself over here:
- The “Tasks” link and “Sync to Outlook” button are missing from a personal site in SharePoint Online
- SharePoint Online Tags & Notes feature retired
I was wondering what do you think of this move by Microsoft. Do you think that disabling features with a short notice is ok? I do understand that this is how the cloud works, and companies that sign up for it already knew that features will be added and retired every day. But what happens when a feature you loved in the cloud goes away. Or you create custom development based on existing webparts which now disappear and you have to rethink it all over.
Do you think moves like this will make companies delay their move to the cloud? Let me know in the comments!
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