M365 Changelog: Outlook – New Outlook for Windows and web – Reading Pane Background Image

MC554153 – To offer more personalization to end users, Outlook on the web and the new Outlook for Windows will offer the ability to display a background image in the reading pane whenever emails are not selected.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 126221

When this will happen:

Standard Release: Microsoft will begin rolling out early June and expect to complete by late June.

How this will affect your organization:

This feature will be turned off by default. Users will be able to turn on a background image by going to Settings >> General>> Appearance from Outlook on the web or the new Outlook for Windows. 

If you do not want your users to have the ability to use the newest Outlook theme, you can disable access to all themes that are not your organizational theme in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center.

What you need to do to prepare:

If you want your users to have access to our new background image, there is nothing you need to do! If you want to prevent your uses from accessing this theme, make sure that you have the OwaMailboxPolicy, ThemeSelectionEnabled, set to $false