Microsoft Ignite 2019 – Exchange Online Announcements

I had the opportunity to attend the Microsoft Ignite conference In Orlando Florida last week. I had an amazing time connecting with old friends and making new ones too. I enjoyed talking with other attendees, Microsoft staff and MVPs, and vendors about the value and impact of Microsoft365, Azure and other Microsoft’s services in our daily life.

Coming from an Exchange/Messaging background, it was a little difficult to realize that the Microsoft Exchange product has reached its maturity level and the focus has been diverted into other directions, especially Azure and Security. However, the Microsoft Exchange Team managed to put several amazing breakout sessions with very important announcement that will bring benefits to the end-users and administrators.

Exchange Online Email Enhancements for End Users

  • Support for Plus Addressing

Now you can have addresses such as

  • Send from proxy address (alias)

The ability to send from an SMTP proxy address (alias) and having the that address be preserved in the recipient’s FROM and REPLY TO is one of those enhancements. (Pretty cool feature)

  • Message Recall in Exchange Online

This one is the best feature released. The current Message Recall feature is client-based, and only Outlook for Windows supports it today. The sender needs to use Outlook to recall a message, and the recipient needs to use Outlook for the recall to work. But thanks to M365 that host millions of Mailboxes, Microsoft is now able to implement a cloud-based message recall in the Office 365 datacenters that will recall the message directly from Office 365 mailboxes. It won’t matter which email client the recipient uses to sync with their Office 365 mailbox.

  • Reply-All Storm Protection

For an organization in Office 365, Microsoft will identify what looks like might be a Reply-All storm conversation. Then a temporarily block will be enabled on anyone from replying to all members of the conversation, sending a bounce message (NDR) back to anyone who tries. So, when Exchange Online detects what looks like it might be a Reply-All storm, anyone who subsequently attempts to reply to everyone will get an NDR back instead.


Some of the announcement about email enhancements for Admins

  • Modern Exchange Admin Center (EAC) Portal

Updated to look like all other Office365 admin portals

  • Customizable Recipient Limits

The setting can be found in EAC > Recipients > Mailboxes > Mailbox Features > Mail Flow, and once made available in the first part of 2020, admins will be able to customize the Recipient Limit from 1 to 1000 for individual mailboxes.

Example: Set-Mailbox -RecipientLimits 20
  • Securing SMTP Auth Submissions

Organizations required to use MFA, Conditional Access, Sign-in risk policies, and modern authentication have challenges with compliance especially with printers, scanners, or SMTP relays that does not support modern authentication. To help reduce the potential for exploiting the less secure SMTP authenticated submission protocol, last year the Exchange Team introduced the ability to disable SMTP authenticated submission for both your organization and for individual mailboxes via Remote PowerShell cmdlets.

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