[Update]: This blog post was updated on October 29, 2020.
Microsoft is going to introduce roaming signatures, a new feature for Outlook for Windows. The new feature changes the way Outlook email signatures are stored. The signatures will no longer be stored on a local drive – they will now be stored in the user mailbox, which will make them available on all devices running Outlook for Windows that have been configured with this user’s email account. When this feature is rolled out (initially scheduled for Q4 of 2020), it will be automatically enabled for all Microsoft 365 users. According to Microsoft 365 roadmap item 60371, users who use Microsoft 365 Monthly Channel (early adopters) might get this feature as early as November 2020. As there is a lot of inaccurate information regarding the feature, let’s explain what this feature really is and whether it affects CodeTwo solutions at all.
Impact of Outlook roaming signatures on CodeTwo software
Microsoft mentioned in an email sent to Microsoft 365 clients that third-party add-ins which provide the email signature functionality will no longer work when this feature is released unless admins modify the registry for users in their organization as per this article. A similar information is spread throughout many different sources and articles as well. Because of that, we would like to clarify that the new feature from Microsoft:
- will not “break” CodeTwo tools or substitute them in any way – it just saves Outlook signatures in the cloud, like Outlook on the web (OWA) did for years. That way, these signatures are automatically accessible on other Windows-based PCs for a given user once they use Outlook hooked up to the same Microsoft account;
- does not introduce central management of signatures, AD integration, dynamic signatures, signature campaigns and other features you already get from CodeTwo;
- does not work with mobile devices and other email clients – it’s limited to Outlook for Windows only;
- does not require you to take any action* for your organization no matter what signature mode you use with CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365:
- if you use server-side mode to centrally add signatures, this change does not affect your organization;
- if you use client-side or combo mode (which require you to install CodeTwo Signatures Add-in for Outlook), the latest version of the CodeTwo Outlook add-in (UPDATE: released on June 17, 2020) automatically changes the registry for all users who use this add-in so that CodeTwo signatures will continue to work when roaming signatures are released by Microsoft. The add-in is updated automatically for these users (they might be prompted to restart Outlook after the update).
* Only the admins who deployed the add-in globally via GPO will need to redeploy it to make sure all users get the latest version (instructions on how to do this can be found in the user’s manual).
Comparison of Outlook roaming signatures and CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365
As mentioned above, the new feature for Outlook changes nothing for companies that use third-party email signature tools such as CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365, because these tools address completely different problems. Take a look at the table below to compare native signature cloud settings in Outlook with CodeTwo’s email signature solution.
|CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365||Native signature cloud settings in Microsoft Outlook|
|Central email signature management for the entire company or selected groups of users|
Support for all email clients and devices (including mobiles)
Setting up different signatures for internal and external emails
Signatures inserted automatically based on rules
|Email signatures in encrypted messages|
Azure Active Directory synchronization (user info automatically added to signatures)
|Scheduling email signature campaigns|
|Delegation of email signature design and management to specific people or teams|
|Unified visual identity across the entire company|
|Automatic conversion of plain text emails to the HTML format (signatures in emails sent by mobile devices look the same as those sent from PCs)|
|Signature editing blocked for all/selected users|
|One-click customer satisfaction surveys in email signatures|
|Signatures added/removed by specific keywords in the email body|
If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding the new feature and its impact on CodeTwo software that you use, feel free to contact us.