Posted by: kurtsh | October 10, 2016

INFO: Why does Microsoft have an “Outlook app” & an “OWA app” in the mobile app store?

image[a.k.a. What’s the difference between Outlook for iOS/Android & OWA for iOS/Android]

I’ve gotten this question a lot recently so I’m just gonna post my answer here.

“The new Outlook app replaces OWA for iPhone/iPad/Android. We are leaving the OWA for iPhone/iPad/Android apps in market for the time being because there are some advanced Office 365 and Exchange Server features which are not yet available in Outlook. Customers who require these advanced features can continue to use OWA for iPhone/iPad/Android until those features are available in Outlook.”

So to be clear: 
We are phasing out the OWA app for iPhone/iPad/Android.

  • Microsoft is not making any further investments in the OWA app tool.
  • There is no “next version” to my knowledge coming of the OWA app as it is not part of the long term roadmap for mobile clients.
  • Customers should plan to support the new Outlook app in their strategic IT roadmap, not OWA app.
  • The scenarios in which the OWA app still makes sense are when functionality is required from the list of features that OWA app still has that Outlook app does not.  This should be treated as a stop gap solution while these features are added to Outlook app. (I do not have a timeline for availability however all of these as I understand it, are under development)

This is what I’ve gleaned so far, however I may be missing some differences, so don’t consider this definitive:

  • Support for Information Rights Management (IRM) protected email
  • Support for Apps for Outlook
  • Attach hard file from cloud storage
    (i.e. Converting a cloud document to a hard attachment to send in a new mail from OneDrive/OneDrive for Business.)
  • Certain specific Exchange Activesync Policies (Most policies do exist):
          • EAS Policy – Pin lock (app level)
          • EAS Policy – Wipe after N incorrect password attempts
          • EAS Policy – Maximum inactivity time lock
  • Empty Spam/Junk folder
  • Hard delete from Deleted Item


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