This post is written by Kevin Shaughnessy, senior program manager and Shobhit Sahay, technical product manager for the Office 365 team.
Regardless which email system or service you use, when an email message you send can’t be delivered you’ll receive a non-delivery report (NDR), also known as a bounce message. The NDR will tell you the message wasn’t delivered, but after that it’s mostly technical jargon designed more for computer science professionals than for the typical email user. You’re often left to fend for yourself to try to fix the issue, searching the web and posting questions on forums for clues to what’s going on and, more importantly, how to fix it. While advances in technology over the last 30 years have been immense, the state of the art in NDRs is still just an homage to 1982—overly technical and ill-designed for the modern email user. But that’s about to change.
Over the next several months, NDRs generated by Office 365 will be enhanced to make it easier to understand and fix message delivery problems. To start, the stark and technical appearance of the “classic” NDRs will be replaced with a look that’s more approachable, more visually appealing. They’ll explain the problem and why it’s happening in everyday language, with clear instructions on how to fix the problem. They’ll include an at-a-glance view of the problem and who’s responsible for fixing it (the sending side, the receiving side, or Microsoft). And while a key objective is to make NDRs helpful to those who aren’t computer professionals, even the technically oriented bits, like the error details and message headers, get a makeover to the benefit of email admins and technical support professionals alike.
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