Password expiration in Office 365

I have been a very happy Office 365 user since day 1, but yesterday suddenly my e-mail stopped working. And it was only when I tried to log on using OWA that I discovered that my password expired and that I needed to enter a new one. It seems that by default your password expires after 90 days.

As I do not want to reconfigure all the devices that use my 365 account every 90 days, I decided to disable password expiration. The only way to do this is via a PowerShell command, explained in every detail in this blog post.

Security is a good thing, but it would have been nice to get a little reminder e-mail that your password is about to expire. I am on the P1 plan, which is the “dummy” plan for individuals and small businesses; if I need to change a setting, I want to do this via the portal, not via PowerShell.

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Office 365 – first impressions

This week, I migrated all of our personal mailboxes to the Office 365 for Professionals and Small Businesses program (also called the “Plan P1”). These are my first impressions:

  • pricing is very good; I already had some Exchange mailboxes, and for about the same price I get more storage (25 GB mailbox!), SharePoint and Lync;
  • there is a one month trial program; however, in the trial, you cannot link your own domain to Office 365;
  • you can add multiple domains to the same account; the fact that you have to point the name servers of your domain to Microsoft was a surprise to me. I expected that it would be enough to point the mx records to Office 365, but apparently in this plan this is not the case. There are some rumours that it works, but it is not supported;
  • you can configure A and CNAME records in the Office 365 DNS manager; it took me a while to figure out that you can use an @ to create a record for your root domain (http://mylearning.be)
  • the Office web apps are included in the package, and are very useful, e.g. if you need to edit Office documents on a mac and have no Office installed;
  • the primary support channel is the Office 365 community; content is relatively good, but sometimes it is difficult to filter issues from the beta program or from the enterprise subscription if you are looking for a specific issue; I filed a service request and got a response within 24 hours.

I’ll post more experiences once I explore the possibilities of the SharePoint part of Office 365, but for the moment I am very happy with it.

More info and trial on http://www.office365.com.

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