The Office 365 K-Plan Gets Even Better
Microsoft Office 365’s primary offering is broken into two licensing trees. The first is kiosk workers, which refers to low information use workers (such as those in retail, manufacturing, or anyone in a largely “desk-less” role). The second is its main offering which targets everyone else: Owners, Managers, Desk workers, On-the-go sales people, etc.
Up till now, the Kiosk licensing plans (known as K1 and K2) have been very highly restricted. No archiving, no ActiveSync Support, POP3 only for Outlook, and a mailbox size of 500 MB. Much of this is about to change.
Microsoft recently announced it is adding a number of new features to these lower cost plans:
- Microsoft is adding Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) support for mobile devices to the current Exchange Online Kiosk plan. As of right now, users with these plans (which start at $2/user) only have POP3 support for mail capabilities. This essentially means that changes made at work aren’t reflected on that users phone or home computer. It also can complicate things when changing users as important changes may be stored locally on the previous employees Outlook profile. Needless to say, adding additional options for robust mail integration is going to be huge for end users of the K1 and K2 plans.
- Microsoft will be offering “Exchange Online Archiving (EOA) including legal hold and unlimited storage, to be offered as an add-on to any Exchange Online plan, including Kiosk and Exchange Plan 1,” according to Microsoft Senior Partner Technology Advisor Jesper Osgaard.
- Microsoft also plans to increase the mailbox size of each end user to 1 GB (from 500 MB previously). This doubles the space available and makes the plan significantly more viable for “modest-to-moderate email users”.
When will it happen?
At this time Microsoft is not officially commenting on exact integration dates for the new features. However, March 2012 is being flagged as a possible goal.
Information on other Recent Updates to Office 365 can be found here