Microsoft pushes Yammer as it cuts some SharePoint online features

Microsoft pushes Yammer as it trims SharePoint features

Microsoft quietly retired some features from SharePoint Online while it enhanced mobile apps, email integration and collaboration tools of Yammer, the company’s cloud-based enterprise social networking platform.

Microsoft MVP and SharePoint expert Vlad Catrinescu posted that the company was removing the Tasks menu option,  and the Sync to Outlook button will also be removed. Additionally, SharePoint Online Notes and Tags were deprecated last month.

Catrinescu pointed out that not all companies using SharePoint Online may have been quite ready for the changes and that Microsoft's recommendation is for organizations to use the Yammer enterprise social networking solution instead.

While organizations can still use SharePoint Online's Newsfeed solution to collaborate, that's also likely to be "a temporary solution since Microsoft is heading towards Yammer all the way," Catrinescu added.

The Notes feature was used as a way to send informal messages to coworkers or to publicly share comments about an article or web page. Tags was a way for users to more easily surface and track content resources by marking a document or a web page with a tag phrase. Tasks was a quick way to build collaborative projects by assigning team members to different project phases, pushing action items into users' calendars.

Microsoft has flat out stated that it will lean more toward Yammer for collaboration solutions in SharePoint Online going forward. According to the company, Yammer and Office 365 form the core of Microsoft’s vision for enterprise social. Yammer is a pure cloud-based solution, though, so organizations cautious about tapping the cloud for their communications might be reluctant to make the move.

Mobile improvements for Yammer include a revamped iPad application and tweaks to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 applications, according to PC World. The overhaul of the iPad app was designed to simplify the user experience, while the Windows apps got improvements to live tiles and a better inbox.

Microsoft also tightened the connections between Yammer and email systems, making it possible for people without Yammer accounts to participate in Yammer group discussions through email, PC World reported.

The new Share button allows users to easily share online content to groups and coworkers on Yammer, using a browser pop up. The code is available on the Yammer Developer Center, and requires no developer application registration so users can share quickly and easily, Yammer said.

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Reader Comments

Thu, Oct 30, 2014 Eric R Henderson, NV

Darrell, I couldn't agree with you more. I train and build my entire business on 0365 use Sync to Outlook extensively throughout the organization and then without true notice this feature will simply disappear. Retention rates will forever be low even though sales are strong of 0365 if MS keeps doing shit like this.

Thu, Oct 23, 2014 Darrell Trimble San Francisco, CA

Deprecating tasks, or other sync type functions to Outlook has nothing to do with Yammer. Yammer is for collaboration, tasks is related business processes. What Microsoft does not understand is that businesses build solutions based on their platforms, counting on those features to be there for the future. Microsoft is not being smart in this perspective. Businesses will start to lose trust in their platform in that we cannot build on it and have the investment last years. See some solutions built on SharePoint at

Thu, Oct 23, 2014 Owen Ambur Hilton Head Island

Collaboration should be based upon common objectives clearly stated, in an open, standard, machine-readable format readily shareable across applications and services. Toward that end, it would be good for Microsoft to build support for the StratML standard into both Yammer and SharePoint.

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