At Microsoft, we are committed to providing a built-in, intelligent, unified, and extensible solution to safeguard sensitive data across your digital estate – in Microsoft 365 cloud services, on-premises, third-party SaaS applications, and more. With Microsoft Information Protection (MIP), we are building a unified set of capabilities for classification, labeling, and protection not only in Office apps, but also in other popular productivity services where information resides, such as SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and Power BI.
Azure Information Protection (AIP) is part of the Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) solution and extends the labeling and classification functionality provided in Microsoft 365. The AIP unified labeling (UL) client for Windows is a downloadable client for organizations that use sensitivity labels to classify and protect documents and emails. This client is supported to be installed on Windows platforms and using the M365 Compliance Center and was released a few years back and as we continue to invest in MIP, we are also evaluating AIP UL client features that are no longer widely required to make sure we are focusing our efforts on developing the most relevant features while looking into how to improve end-user and admin story and allow our customer to enjoy from a native integration that is better in performance and easier to deploy and maintain.
In this blog, we will outline features that are entering into maintenance mode, cover timelines to sunset the AIP mobile viewer apps for iOS and Android, and also remind you about the upcoming decommissioning of the AIP Portal for labeling management and the AIP classic client.
Azure Information Protection unified labeling client to enter maintenance mode on Jan 1st, 2022
As we progress on our journey to bring our customer labeling and protection experience using native applications such as O365 Office apps we will not be developing the AIP UL client and will be focusing to bring such value In a more natively integrated way. The AIP unified labeling (UL) client is entering “maintenance mode" on Jan 1st, 2022. This means that moving forward, no new features will be added to the UL client.
AIP mobile viewer apps for iOS and Android to be sunset Dec 31, 2022
The AIP mobile viewer apps for iOS and Android are used to view protected emails and protected files such as PDFs, images, and text files that cannot be opened with regular apps for these file types on mobile devices.
After the mobile app sunset date, all relevant supported file types can still be consumed by AIP viewer for windows. We are evaluating alternative options for our customers that are interested in consuming protected PDF files via mobile.
For consuming protected messages, we recommend that you use the Outlook mobile application, which is supported and aligned with built-in labeling and consuming protected messages.
Label management in the Azure portal and AIP classic client will be permanently disabled March 31, 2022
As announced in March 2020, label management in the Azure portal and the AIP classic client will be permanently disabled on March 31, 2022.
After the label management and AIP Classic client sunset date, Azure information protection classic client will stop functioning and will not be able to acquire policy from the Azure Portal. In the Azure Information Protection portal, “Labels” and “Policies” tabs under “Classifications” section will be removed – while keeping everything else as-is. [see screenshot below]
Learn more about AIP classic client sunset in this blog post, and get instructions on how to migrate here.
Once you transition from the Azure portal to the Microsoft 365 compliance center, we recommend that you take advantage of the built-in labeling in the latest Office apps on the web, Mac, iOS, and Android. On the Windows platform, we suggest you use our built-in labeling capabilities in Office ProPlus apps as well. However, if you are not on Office 365 ProPlus fully yet, or need certain advanced capabilities listed here, we recommend using the latest unified labeling client for Windows.
We are continuously expanding the capabilities of Microsoft Information Protection, a ‘Leader’ in The Forrester Wave for Unstructured Data Security Platforms.
We are happy to share that there is now an easier way for you to try Microsoft compliance solutions directly in the Compliance Admin Center with a free trial. By enabling the trial in the Compliance center, you can quickly start using all capabilities of Microsoft Compliance, including Insider Risk Management, Records Management, Advanced Audit, Advanced eDiscovery, Communication Compliance, Microsoft Information Protection, Data Loss Prevention, and Compliance Manager. This trial is currently rolling out to tenants worldwide and you can learn more about it here.