Microsoft investigating Windows Phone users' Office 365, Exchange 2003 access issues

Microsoft investigating Windows Phone users' Office 365, Exchange 2003 access issues

Summary: Microsoft is looking into reports by some Windows Phone Mango users of problems they're experiencing when accessing Office 365 and Exchange Server 2003.

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Microsoft officials are investigating reports by users who've recently upgraded to the Mango Windows Phone operating-system release who are having problems accessing Office 365 and Exchange Server 2003.

Microsoft is in the midst of rolling out the "Mango" (Windows Phone OS 7.1) update to existing Windows Phone users. Currently about 50 percent of users have obtained the update in what's been an almost entirely problem-free delivery process.

However, some users who have successfully installed Mango on their phones have been reporting various problems when trying to use their phones with Office 365 (and particularly the SharePoint Online component of the suite), as well as with Exchange Server 2003. There are threads on Microsoft support forums with reports from users encountering these problems.

The Exchange 2003-Mango problems include missing original messages, problems when using Reply All, and other irregularities experienced by some Mango users. On October 7, I asked Microsoft whether this is an issue that the company plans to remedy, or if Microsoft’s advice to users is to upgrade to Exchange 2007/2010 to get around the problem. I checked back in with Microsoft earlier this week and was told by a spokesperson "“Microsoft is investigating reports of this issue and will share more information as it becomes available."

The Office 365-Mango access issues have been ongoing since the end of September. Some Mango Windows Phone users are reporting they cannot access Office 365 (especially those with the "P" plan, or small-business plan, it seems) from their Windows Phones once they upgrade to Mango. Others are saying the issue is limited to problems with accessing SharePoint Online from their Windows Phones.

A Microsoft spokesperson said on October 13 that “We’re aware that a small number of customers in a specific configuration are experiencing issues setting up Office Hub on Windows Phone 7 (Mango). We’re actively investigating the issue and will provide updates as they become available.”

I have heard from one of my contacts that Microsoft is about to start its Q4 update to Office 365 and SharePoint Online in a week or so. That update will provide "official" support and HTTP connectivity for enterprise and small-business Office 365 customers enabling them to access SharePoint Online lists and document libraries from their Windows Phones running Mango. So perhaps that will remedy some of the Office 365 Mango access issues....

If and when the Softies share more on either of these matters, I'll update this post.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Mobility

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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17 comments
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  • RE: Microsoft investigating Windows Phone users' Office 365, Exchange 2003 access issues

    I actually told them about this when it was in Beta, and I'm not the only one.
    kathweaver
    • which issue? Exchange 03 or O365?

      And what was the response at that time? Thanks! MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • RE: Microsoft investigating Windows Phone users' Office 365, Exchange 2003 access issues

    Office 365 has a number of absurd limitations with respect to mobile devices. For example: it has support for public websites of organizations. So you can host your company's website on Office 365, something like www.mycompany.com. But, try surfing there with your iPhone, tough look, doesn't work. So Microsoft is offering for month a public website hosting service that can't be accessed by users that have probably the most popular mobile device on the planet. I wonder what company can afford to have a website hosted that is so limited.

    This is in particular absurd because all MS would have to do is just send EXACTLY the same HTML it sends to any browser to the iPhone. The iPhone (unlike old Windows phones) has a modern browser that can deal with that. Instead, Office 365 is detecting "oh, someone is coming with an iPhone" and then is exectuing a special code that prevents viewing the site at all. Users have been complaining about that for months in the forums, with no remedy whatsoever from MS.

    I bet most Office 365 users would prefer if MS first fixed the iPhone problems, and then the Mango stuff, purely from the user base numbers...
    davidacoder
    • Sounds like it could be limitations in the iPhone

      @davidacoder
      William Farrell
      • RE: Microsoft investigating Windows Phone users' Office 365, Exchange 2003 access issues

        @William Farrell

        No, it is a bug in Sharepoint. They've admited that in the forums, they just don't fix it. All they need to do is NOT special case the server behaviour for public websites when someone comes with an iPhone, just treat it as if it was any other browser client and things would be fine.

        It just shows how unresponsive MS is in many cases, and how screwed up their priorties sometimes are. I can not imagine ANYONE who has a public website for a company who wouldn't want it to be viewable from an iPhone, considering how many people have one. So you would think MS would bend over backwards to make their public website offering work with it. But they just don't care and let it sit like that for months.
        davidacoder
      • Sounds like it could be limitations in the iPhone

        @William Farrell

        You wish!
        rahbm
  • RE: Microsoft investigating Windows Phone users' Office 365, Exchange 2003 access issues

    Gee there must be, what, 20 people who actually use Mango AND 365?
    ScottBraden
  • RE: Microsoft investigating Windows Phone users' Office 365, Exchange 2003 access issues

    I was an early adopter of WP7 last year and had these issues with Exchange 2003. I did raise numerous support issues with Microsoft, but these were passed from pillar to post and eventually did not get resolved. Strange how I never had the same problems with iPhone, or since migrating to G-Mail.
    garry@...
  • RE: Microsoft investigating Windows Phone users' Office 365, Exchange 2003 access issues

    I had problems with Windows Phone 7 when it first came out with my client's Exchange 2003. No lost or deleted mail, it would just stop syncing, and require dropping the account on the the phone then adding it back. After a couple months of doing that 1-3 times week, I switch to Android. But I have switched back with Mango, and after 2.5 weeks, have had zero problems with the same Exchange server.
    mharr
  • RE: Microsoft investigating Windows Phone users' Office 365, Exchange 2003 access issues

    I expect their response will be the usual "Upgrade to the next version" at YOUR cost to fix [i]their bugs.[/i] Or are these incompatibilities [i]deliberately[/i] introduced so as to force you to upgrade?

    Just like the old IBM way. Discontinue support for (say) ISAM - even though you are still paying a monthly fee for it! - and force you to PAY to upgrade to VSAM, at an increased price per month, and then find you have to buy more disc drives because it is much less efficient...

    Ah yes; have seen it ALL before!
    rahbm
  • Nice talk!

    Thanks
    heatongg
    • RE: Microsoft investigating Windows Phone users' Office 365, Exchange 2003 access issues

      @heatongg

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  • Any update on this?

    Really need a fix for the problem mango created with Exchange 2003 users.
    libbyubert
  • Any update on this?

    Really need that email bug mango created with Exchange 2003 corrected.
    libbyubert
  • RE: Microsoft investigating Windows Phone users' Office 365, Exchange 2003 access issues

    Any updates on this? In particular the Exchange 2003 issue.
    libbyubert
  • RE: Microsoft investigating Windows Phone users' Office 365, Exchange 2003 access issues

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