Office 365’s new feature ensures uninterrupted user access, even without internet?

A new feature has been added to office 365 apps by Microsoft, which is set to ensure seamless user activities even if there is no connectivity, i.e. Internet connectivity, plus another option for shared devices.

To sign and stay up to date, it generally requires for Microsoft apps in customers’ devices to have connectivity once in a month. Apps normally go to ‘reduced functionality mode’ if the device is not connected to internet and licensing token is not renewed in that time.

In today’s age of limitless internet connectivity that is not a problem for organizations at all. However, industries of some nature require having devices at remote places that do not offer seamless connectivity.

It is though easy to imagine, but not feasible for the engineers, technicians, scientists and other workers to spend months in a location where there is no or poor internet connectivity. “Extended offline access” feature from Microsoft is the answer to support these workers.

“We’re aware that in industries, including government, oil and gas, manufacturing, agriculture, and scientific research, some people work in secure or remote environments where they have limited or no internet connectivity for longer periods of time,” Microsoft notes in a blog post.

The 30 days login rule is not going anywhere soon. However the new feature sure will be remedying the situation for those specific organizations with its new rule that allows Microsoft 365 Apps to stay activated without the internet connectivity to the devices for up to 180 days. Cool! Isn’t it?

Workers in connectivity problematic areas or remote environments, where their devices stay cut off from the internet, can continue to use the Microsoft 365 Apps to stay productive on-the-job without being worried about the 30 days login rule. Said Microsoft!

Microsoft, though specifically mentioned that the 180 days extended timeframe is not available for organizations of all sorts. A footnote from the company said the “to find if they are eligible for the offline access for Microsoft 365 or not, companies should contact Microsoft account representative”

IT admins can enable 180 days no login feature via group policy, when any user installs Microsoft 365 Apps on a device.

For industries such as hospitality, retail and healthcare etc. where shared devices are more common, Microsoft is enabling device-based subscriptions for shared devices.

As each device has its own license, users will not require having their own Azure Active Directory identity. They can sign up as many times as needed and access all Microsoft 365 Apps, including Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Word,” Microsoft explains.

However, customers have to get “the required number of Microsoft 365 licenses and assign a license to a device group in the Microsoft 365 admin center.”


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