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Outlook for Mac – Planned update for injection-based plugins

Updated on Jan 11th 2021: In the May 2021 release of Outlook for Mac, only the add-ins from the Microsoft AppSource store will continue to work. Injection-based native plugins such as Webex, Zoom and Vera will be disabled. If you are an IT administrator, please move your organization to the add-in version of the plugins.

We are reaching out to customers who use the injection-based native plugin so that they are informed and can work on a plan to migrate to the Microsoft 365 add-ins.

Why is this happening?

With the release of MacOS Mojave and Catalina, Apple blocked most injection-based plugins from running due to security & stability concerns. With this change, Microsoft will also block all injection-based plugins in Outlook for Mac for both Microsoft 365 and Outlook 2019. To continue using services like Zoom and Webex, you'll need to migrate your users to the supported add-ins from the Microsoft Store.

How does this affect me?

In the past, you could download injection based native plugins in Outlook for Mac. Once this block is in place, you'll no longer be able to use these. For example, if you use Webex to create online meetings in Outlook for Mac, you'll no longer be able to do so with the injection-based native plugin.

 As an IT administrator, what do I need to do to prepare for this change?

  • Determine if you have these plugins deployed in your tenant

  • Work with your tenant administrators to help download & deploy the add-in replacements from the Microsoft AppSource. These add-ins are already supported today in Outlook for Mac.

  • You must also uninstall the injection based native plugins to ensure that they do not try to interact with Outlook for Mac.

  • A table of the most used plugins are listed below -

Add-in

Native Plugin

Microsoft 365 add-in replacement

Cisco Webex

Webex Productivity Tools

Cisco Webex Scheduler

Zoom Meetings

Zoom Plugin for Microsoft Outlook

Zoom add-in for Outlook

Symantec DLP

Symantec DLP

 In development

Vera Security

Vera for Microsoft

 In development

What are the benefits of the Microsoft 365 add-ins?

Microsoft 365 add-ins are designed to be written once and work for all Outlook versions. The Microsoft 365 add-ins are web-based and don't have any code physically installed on the user's device or Outlook app. This brings in some significant advantages for administrators, users, and developers:

  • Reduced possibility of Outlook crashes – Unlike injection-based plugins, web add-ins don’t add any code to the Outlook client, significantly reducing the possibility of causing Outlook crashes.

  • Enhanced security – Web add-ins are cloud-based and conform to strict web security and privacy mandates. In comparison, injection-based plugins are not as secure, since they make changes directly to the user registry.

  • Cross-platform support – The same Outlook web add-in and business logic will work across desktop apps (Mac and Windows), the web (includes Outlook.com), and mobile (iOS and Android).

  • Centralized deployment – IT Administrators can deploy web add-ins centrally across the organization.

  • Seamless mobile integration for online meetings – A key distinguishing feature of online meeting add-ins is the seamless meeting creation and joining experience on mobile.

  • Continued investment – While we are ending the support for injection-based plugins, Microsoft will continue to invest in web based add-ins.  Please continue to visit the Microsoft AppSource as new business apps become available.
     

When is this happening?

We will deploy this change in May 2021 release of Outlook for Mac. . Once the block is in place, you'll no longer be able to use injection-based plugins in production versions of Outlook for Mac as well as Insider Fast & Slow releases.


Will these Microsoft 365 add-ins work if I access my mailbox from Exchange Server on premises?
 

Yes! Currently, the Zoom add-in does support On-premise users, and Cisco is adding support to the Webex add-in in February 2021. We will ensure that both Microsoft 365 or Exchange and On-premise accounts will be supported by the new add-ins before blocking the injection-based plugin.

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