I once worked with a manager who, as a joke, sent a nasty reply to an email from the training department — the trainer was her friend and would get the joke. The problem was, she accidentally clicked "reply all", sending the message to 5,000 people company-wide. Its an error we make from time to time,and it can be something that makes us wish to crawl beneath the desk and hide.
Microsoft aims to help prevent this embarrassment, but takes a slightly different approach with its new NoReplyAll add-on for Outlook. The twist? The sender has to enable it.
Today, Microsoft Research announces "the primary function of this add-in is to add a few buttons to the Outlook ribbon to prevent people from replying to all the recipients of your message or forwarding it, etc. The add-in uses a facility built into Outlook and Exchange that is more lightweight than information-rights management, but is not exposed in the existing UI. The add-in also includes a check for common email errors, such as omitting attachments or subject lines".
The release is for desktop Outlook, and has some minor bugs, meaning that it comes with two specific warnings. Microsoft points out that in 64 bit Outlook 2013, the Explorer window (the folder view) buttons do not show the correct state for the received messages and also in both 32 and 64 bit Outlook 2013, clicking the add-in buttons in inline responses does not disable the recipient’s ability to reply-all, etc.
Now it is up to you to make the most of this, and not end up hiding beneath your own desk.
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