Microsoft makes more tweaks to its M365 services in light of increased remote-work demands

Microsoft is continuing to make adjustments to various Microsoft 365/Office 365 services with the aim of providing continuity during the coronavirus pandemic.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Last month, Microsoft announced it was throttling some of its less-essential Microsoft 365/Office 365 services in an attempt to continue to meet high usage demands. This week, the company is making further adjustments to its cloud services as more users continue to work remotely as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Microsoft is notifying M365/O365 users via their admin portals that they are changing how some users will see thumbnail images when using OneDrive Files on Demand. Those who opt for "display items by using large thumbnails" in Windows Explorer or Mac Finder will see generic icons instead of thumbnails for a subset of file types, such as PDF and video files, officials said. Photo file thumbnails (like JPEG, JPG, PNG, etc.) are not affected by this change, officials said.

Microsoft also provided "additional clarity" around its plans to reschedule specific backend SharePoint-related operations to regional evening and weekend business hours. Officials said impacted capabilities will include migration, data loss prevention (DLP), apps that scan the service. There will be delays in file management after uploading a new file, video or image as a result, as well. The new piece, as of this week, is "apps that scan the service."

The week of March 24, Microsoft began cautioning M365/O365 commercial users of temporary changes they should expect to see around OneNote, SharePoint and Stream.

Microsoft recently noted the number of daily active users of Teams, its group collaboration service, was up significantly, hitting 44 million. Associated services, including SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, OneNote and Stream are all likely to be experiencing increased demand, as well.

In other coronavirus-related changes, Microsoft recently announced that it is postponing the retirement of Basic Authentication in Exchange Online for those still actively using it until the second half of 2021. The original retirement date was October 13, 2020.

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