Microsoft is presenting a new reply-all protection feature for Workplace 365 and Exchange Online. It’s designed to avoid email storms (reply allpocalypse), when hundreds or thousands of people start responding to an email thread after somebody forgot to BCC everybody or a circulation list was misconfigured.
The new block function will mainly benefit large organizations, and is initially being rolled out to discover 10 reply-all emails to over 5,000 recipients within 60 minutes. “Over time, as we gather use telemetry and customer feedback, we expect to fine-tune, fine-tune, and boost the Reply All Storm Defense feature to make it a lot more important to a wider variety of Workplace 365 customers,” discusses Microsoft’s Exchange transportation team.
Reply-all email storms are a problem that affect businesses large and small, and have actually been taking place for decades. Around 25,000 people were on a distribution list and kept replying to the thread, creating 15,000,000 email messages and 195 gigabytes of information.
Microsoft still suffers from reply-all email storms. Back in March, thousands of Microsoft employees were also caught in a reply-all email thread that was quickly shut down within 30 minutes.
The new feature appears to be working for Microsoft’s own employees. “Human beings still act like humans no matter which company they work for,” says the Exchange group.