Archive for Office 365 – Page 2

Fix for Windows Server Essentials 2012R2 and Multi-DC released

Microsoft released an update (KB 2974308) today to address the issue where integrating Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2 with Microsoft Office 365 or Windows Azure Active Directory is blocked when you are in a multiple domain controller environment.

Until now, you could only integrate Windows Server Essentials with O365/Azure AD in a single domain controller environment.


Attempting to run the integration in a multiple DC environment would fail:


I’m proud of the work that our MVP group did in identifying this issue soon after the release of Essentials 2012 R2 last year.

SMB Nation 2014 to focus on Office 365

Sig and Ads 220 x 150The 12th annual SMB Nation Fall conference is set for September 26-28, 2014, and will focus entirely on Office 365. The conference will be held at the Microsoft Redmond campus in Redmond, WA.

Harry Brelsford announced today that they are now taking reservations.

I recall the excitement that surrounded his very first SMB Nation conference, which was held in Indianapolis, IN back in 2003.

If you have not attended an SMB Nation conference before, I would highly recommend it.

Free eBook on Migrating and Managing Office 365

imageThe folks at apress have made available as a free download the eBook titled “Office 365: Migrating and Managing Your Business in the Cloud”. The book is jammed-pack with information, including a hands-on tutorial of Office 365, and covers in-depth what you need to do to migrate to Office 365/

This 680 page book is available in EPUB, MOBI and PDF format.

Here is a partial list of chapter titles:


Two Factor Authentication for Office 365

imageMicrosoft announced this week that their “multi-factor” authentication is now available for the majority of Office 365 plans – midsize, enterprise, academic, non-profit and even standalone plans for Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. I guess that just leaves out the “P” plans.

More importantly, there will be no extra charge for this new feature, and it is purely optional whether you implement it at all.

Microsoft is calling it “multi-factor” instead of “two factor” authentication because you have multiple options for getting that second authentication.

Check out the Microsoft Office Blog for details and screen shots!

Upgrading to Office 2013

I’d like to think I’m the type of person who likes to be using the latest technology (hardware or software). The truth of the matter is that I don’t seem to have the time or desire to always jump on the newest thing.

Case in point is Office 2013. It was released for general availability at the end of January 2013. However, here it is in August and I’m just now getting around to installing it on my Windows 7 desktop computer, where I have been using Office 2010.

This upgrade was very simple and painless. So let’s get to it.

Step 1 – Uninstall Office 2010

  1. As always, if you have not already done so, stop and make a full image backup of your workstation before proceeding.
  2. Now the reality is that, except for Outlook, you can indeed run Office 2010 and 2013 side by side on the same computer. But not Outlook. Only one version of Outlook will function on a workstation.
  3. As I was not interested in running both versions, I proceeded to uninstall Office 2010 completely..
  4. Here’s the good news: when you uninstall Office 2010, it leaves intact all your settings, including Outlook.
  5. After uninstalling Microsoft Office, you will be required to reboot your computer.
  6. Please note: there may be several Office-related programs that you may want to uninstall, such as Microsoft Outlook Connector or Microsoft Publisher.

Step 2 – Install Office 2013

  1. After your system has rebooted, insert your Office 2013 DVD and start up your installation.
  2. After accepting the License Terms, take a close look at the next screen where you will select the installation you want.
    – If the top button says ‘Install Now’, go ahead and click it.
    – However, if the top button says ‘Upgrade Now’, you still have some matching Office 2010 programs that need to be uninstalled. If so, cancel out of this installation, and uninstall any remaining Office 2010 related programs. Then repeat this section.
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  3. Installation will take about 15 minutes, and you will be required to reboot your computer.

Step 3 – Activate your Product

  1. This section will vary depending on how you purchased or obtained your copy of Microsoft Office 2013.
  2. By default, they will expect you to enter an email address associated with a Microsoft Live account that was used to order Office 2013.
  3. However, in my case, I was installing a copy from my Microsoft Action Pack, so I clicked on the “enter a product key instead’ option, and typed in my 25 character product key.

That’s it!

Open up Outlook, and there’s nothing you need to do (generally speaking). All of your email accounts – whether Exchange, POP3 or IMAP – will show up automatically. All of your settings, such as your signature file, will load immediately.

By default, any add-ins that are not compatible with Office 2013 will be automatically disabled. You will be informaed as to which add-in modules are causing issues. Here’s an example:


63 Free Microsoft eBooks!

Eric LigmanJust in time for summer … Eric Ligman, Microsoft Sales Excellence Manager, is making available 63 (count ‘em) Microsoft eBooks absolutely free – no strings, no time bombs, no tricks.

These eBooks cover a wide gamut: from Office 365 to Windows Azure, from Windows Server to Visual Studio., from SharePoint to Web Development to programming Windows 8  apps.

Click here to view and select e-Books for downloading!

Eric said that last year, when he made a similar offer, over 1 million eBooks were downloaded.


Creating a Shared Email Alias in Office 365

Most businesses, large or small, use alias emails, such at or If some cases, the alias is only managed by a single person (e.g.

But what if you want to assign the alias email address to a group of users, that is, a distribution group?

The simple answer is ‘Yes, it can be done’. However, there is no wizard to do this from the Office 365 Admin portal page. So, you will be required to define the shared mailbox using PowerShell commands.

There are three basic steps required:

  1. Create a distribution group, and assign users
  2. Create a shared mailbox using PowerShell commands
  3. Have each user add the shared mailbox to their Outlook 2010/OWA app

Rather than describing each of these steps, Microsoft provides a very clear, step by step, set of instructional videos for each of these steps:

Create a public email alias in Office 365

E-mail messages

Office 365 Service Description Documents

Microsoft makes available a list of “service description” documents related to Office 365. The list addresses everything from Exchange Online to Office Web Apps, from Apple Mac/IOS support to SharePoint Online.

Here is the link:


HP Microsoft Windows 2012 Essentials Webcast

Webcast started at 11am EST/July 18, 2012 to review the Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials. Info on logging in can be found here. Speakers include David Fabritius (Microsoft) and Lucy Ellis (HP).


Office 365 First Birthday!


Office 365, Microsoft’s subscription-based solution for hosted email and office productivity tools celebrated it’s official Office 365 First Birthday on June 28, 2012. However, Office 365 is just the latest iteration of hosted services from Microsoft.

As far back as 2003 Microsoft was exploring the opportunities for hosted Exchange. By 2007 they had started rolling out hosted Exchange, and in late 2008 they officially announced BPOS.

I have several customers that have already transitioned to Office 365, or are exploring this as a viable alternative to an on-premise Exchange.

Happy birthday, Office 365!