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Microsoft backs off plans to email “tips” to Office 365 business users after complaints

After announcing its plans to send Office 365 users emails with product training and tips on how to use the service, Microsoft has been forced to change its mind following user backlash (via ZDNet). As it turns out, enabling this feature for all Office 365 commercial users probably wasn’t such a good idea, even though Office 365 admins could still disable this service in the Microsoft 365 Admin center.

“Based on your feedback, we’re making some updates to the plan for users to receive helpful product training and tips via email,” Microsoft said in a message to Office 365 admins. “We want to take time to review your suggestions, so we are pausing the release of this feature.”

On Reddit, many Office 365 were worried that these “tips” could appear as phishing attempts by uneducated users. “You know every time one of those emails go out you’re going to get 25 emails about it that are asking if it’s a phishing attempt or spam though,” wrote one user. Others in the same thread complained about not having any control over the kind of product training that these emails would include. “I dont want my users reading tips and suddenly feeling empowered to use the system in ways we havent instructed them to,” wrote another Reddit user.

Microsoft’s note to admins suggests that the company hasn’t entirely given up on the idea of sending tips to Office 365 users. It would certainly be a good thing to make this feature entirely opt-in, while also giving Office 365 admins some control over the content that gets pushed to end users. Microsoft says that it’s currently reviewing suggestions and will share details about its updated plans in a future post for Office 365 admins.

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Do you think Microsoft can find a better way to offer free tips to Office 365 users?