Small Note About Microsoft Online Services Passwords and Administration

I started to work with Microsoft’s Small Business Productivity Online Suite several months ago, but now I have some better reason to be using it. 

I’m still working my way around it, so I may be getting some of the terminology wrong, but basically there are two major interfaces: the administration center and the services themselves.

The system was telling me that I had to change my password, so I went ahead and did that.  That allowed me to proceed and work with the services part (SharePoint, email, and live meeting).  However, when I went to the administration screen, it wouldn’t let me in by telling me that it didn’t believe my password was correct.

The behavior was a little odd.  If I entered the password I *thought* it should be, it would blank out the userid and the password and tell me the password or userid was incorrect.  If I entered a blatantly wrong password, it would tell me the same, but keep the user ID field intact.

I’ve been playing around with this for a little while and finally called (yes, on a Sunday morning).  Incredibly, a fellow, Ben, answered the phone right away.  And, I didn’t have to enter a credit card.

Long story short, the administration center password uses different password rules than the services password.  Admin password must contain alpha, numeric and special characters.  When I changed my admin password the first time, I didn’t follow that rule (nor did it warn me!).  I was able to change it to a valid administration password and got back in.

If you experience that kind of problem in future, you know what worked for me and hopefully it will work for you.

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