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

Microsoft is looking into reports by some Windows Phone Mango users of problems they're experiencing when accessing Office 365 and Exchange Server 2003.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

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.

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