Microsoft Preparing BPOS Customers for Office 365 Transition
One of the biggest lingering questions around the launch of the Microsoft Office 365 cloud productivity suite has been when exactly existing Microsoft cloud customers could get in on the new hotness. And now it’s looking like the first round of Microsoft BPOS customers will be able to take the plunge into Office 365 starting in September 2011, as indicated by an updated transition FAQ.
Microsoft’s summary of actions that BPOS administrators should take as September gets closer is largely self-evident. Here’s an overview of Microsoft’s own high-level summary, with details taken from the FAQ:
First, read the transition guide. Second, take note of the system requirements for the new applications, and the following key changes from BPOS to Office 365:
- Outlook 2003/Office 2003 is not supported
- Internet Explorer 6 is not supported
- Office Communicator 2007 R2 must be upgraded to Microsoft Lync
- Office 365 Desktop Setup is required (replaces the Sign-In Application)
Third, make sure that even your current BPOS passwords are compliant with Office 365 passwording policies. Fourth, review the checklist, and fifth, use the following chart to figure out which of the many Office 365 pricing tiers Microsoft will be shunting you to:
|Current Microsoft Online Services Subscription||New Office 365 or Microsoft Online Services subscription|
|BPOS Standard Suite||>||Office 365 (Plan E1)|
|BPOS Deskless Worker Suite||>||Office 365 (Plan K1)|
|Exchange Online||>||Exchange Online (Plan 1)|
|Exchange Online Deskless Worker||>||Exchange Online Kiosk|
|SharePoint Online||>||SharePoint Online (Plan 1)|
|SharePoint Online Deskless Worker||>||SharePoint Kiosk (K1)|
|Live Meeting Standard||>||Lync Online (Plan 2)|
|Office Communications Online||>||Lync Online (Plan 1)|
Otherwise, there’s nothing to do but wait. Microsoft is notifying BPOS customers and partners now if they’re going to be able to make the switch in September or October. But Microsoft is leaving the window wide open until as late as September 2012.
It’s good that Microsoft is starting the switch — BPOS users were getting antsy. But I suspect Microsoft’s policy of only giving two to three months warning before the migration can begin won’t make the company any friends.