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Microsoft Rolling Out Improved Reporting for Office 365 E-Mail Troubles

Microsoft's Office 365 subscribers will soon get enhanced "nondelivery reports" designed to simplify e-mail troubleshooting.

The new feature will start to appear "over the next several months" for Office 365 subscribers, according to Microsoft's announcement on Friday. Instead of just pushing down the usual unhelpful e-mail header code back to the end user when a message can't be successfully sent, the improved nondelivery reports will provide "useful" information about the problem "in everyday language," Microsoft claimed.

Examples of the new nondelivery reports are shown in Microsoft's announcement. The reports highlight the party responsible for fixing the problem in red underscore.

The improved nondelivery reports follow a format that will identify if the sender can fix the problem or if the problem is located on the recipient's side. They also indicate situations when Office 365 is the problem.

Microsoft claims that this new reporting service can detect situations where the sender can't resolve the problem. In such cases, the service provides guidance on how to contact someone.

IT pros will get easier-to-read reports for fixing e-mail problems when the new feature rolls out. The reports will include a section called "More Info for Email Admins" with links to reference materials. This section includes the old message header at the bottom of the page, but Microsoft is also augmenting that information with a "Message Hops" section that will display the troubleshooting information in a cleaner format.  

The new nondelivery reports may not always correctly identify where the responsibility lies for fixing an e-mail problem, "but it'll be right the majority of the time," Microsoft claimed.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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