July 5, 2011
It’s been exactly a week since the launch of Microsoft Office 365, the company’s big play for control of the cloud productivity market, and customer interest seems to be high. The trouble is that existing customers of Microsoft BPOS, the officially obsolete predecessor to Office 365, won’t even have the option of moving to Redmond’s new hotness for another four months – leaving a bad taste in the mouths of long-time administrators.
The relevant thread on the official Microsoft Online Services Transition Forum is full of indignation at the company’s treatment of BPOS customers. As anonymous Microsoft reseller partner ” jmull86″ says in his post:
It’s too bad that Microsoft can’t help out their partners that sell the product. I would love to transition BPOS over so I can give prospective clients a demo of a production Office365 environment. As of now, it looks like my only options are to sign up for a trial each time I want to do a demo or set up a separate company in Office365 and pay for demo licenses.
Other posters report that Microsoft Online Services won’t nail dates down for when the BPOS-to-Office 365 switch will be available, and only says that the company will contact those BPOS customers within 60 to 90 days with a proposed transition date. Some users on the forum threatened to cut off their BPOS subscriptions so they could sign up for Office 365 immediately, while others seemed to be pondering a move to Google Apps. And at least a few expressed their intent to use MigrationWiz’s product line to do the transition themselves.
Of course, the other side of the argument is that Microsoft is simply taking the time to make sure BPOS migrations go smoothly and efficiently for administrators. But its lack of communication isn’t helping Microsoft’s partner PR.
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