Microsoft Online Services Gets Hosted BlackBerry Administration

All eyes may be on the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft Online Services can’t sneak in an announcement that the July 2010 update to their platform is now available. New to this release is enhanced administration for hosted BlackBerry customers. That's an important step in Microsoft's cloud strategy. Here's why.

The biggest new feature in the update is the addition of a Hosted BlackBerry Administration Center, accessed through the Microsoft Online Services Administration Center. The control panel enables service providers to add and delete users from licenses, wipe devices remotely, or activate devices. It’s a major advantage over the former method of contacting Microsoft customer support.

Less significant is the ability to increase or decrease Hosted BlackBerry licenses online, eliminating the need for paper order forms. Unfortunately, that doesn’t apply if you purchased BlackBerry service through Microsoft Volume Licensing.

It’s also worth noting that this update also adds a new lifecycle policy for Microsoft Office Live Meeting: Microsoft will only support each version of the client for 18 months after release. That policy doesn’t apply to the Live Meeting Web Access Console, but Microsoft now recommends updating Live Meeting every 12 months to ensure safety.

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