Microsoft Online Single Sign On Oddity

I’ve been working with MS Online (BPOS) for quite some months but it’s only now, with more and more customers looking into it for their environments that we’re seeing the odd little questions etc we didn’t anticipate.

This is one that came up today and, while it might be obvious to some of you, it probably won’t to others 🙂

BPOS provides users with a Single Sign On (SSO) client that logs them into the online services when they log into Windows, thus removing the need for repeated entering of credentials. If you right click the SSO icon in the System tray-it will launch you right into the app…unless it’s Outlook Web Access. When you try and run OWA, it requires you to enter your username and password each time; the reasoning behind it is a lack of pass-through authorization for increased security.

The upshot is…if you use Exchange Online but don’t have Outlook-you can’t use the Single Sign On to access your email. Maybe not the most common request but I’ve already have it once so you  never know 😛

Microsoft BPOS to support Office 2003

Yesterday I was part of a technical roundtable regarding MS Online Services/BPOS and there was a lot of great information revealed, unfortunately I can’t say much as it’s all under NDA…suffice to say it’s a great product that is going to keep on getting better.

There is however, one piece of info I CAN share and that is that BPOS will-from June (next month)-start to fully support Office 2003.

This is brilliant news as the Office 2007 only requirement was preventing a lot of people from being able to seriously consider MS Online Services which was a shame! BPOS is positioned as a great way to reduce the impact on budgets and to help keep costs down but then having to upgrade to the latest version of Office didn’t tend to go down too well…I think a lot of people saw it as “giveth with one hand, taketh with the other”. It is often the smaller companies, who would most benefit from MS Online, that are still on Office 2003 so now a whole new arena is opened up…good skills Microsoft 🙂

Microsoft Online/BPOS Guide

I’ve been working with Microsoft for months on BPOS, their Software Plus Services offering and getting the word out to customers etc…helping them align their business decisions with MS Online and more. I think that MS Online Services are excellent and will be a real game changer-allowing end users to increase profitability while simultaneously reducing costs and streamlining processes…what more could you want?! 🙂

I’ve put together a guide to MS Online Services (collectively called BPOS) over at:

which should answer most questions you might have. I’m constantly updating it as I discover/remember more info but please feel free to leave a comment if you’re question hasn’t been answered.

Microsoft BPOS Trials available

After Monday’s Cebit announcement, the customer trials of MS Online (BPOS) are now available here. You can also see the pricing too…

Here you can choose to trial Exchange Online, Sharepoint Online, Live Meeting Online or the complete BPOS suite (including Office Communications Server Online).

The trial is up to a maximum of 20 users and will run until General Availability (sometime in April) and then a further 30 days. If you choose to turn it live and purchase subscription, the systems will simply carry on working so you won’t have to reconfigure anything 🙂

At £10.04 per user per month for the entire suite, MS Online can really help business increase productivity and cut costs at the same time…go check it out!

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