Friday, February 8, 2013

Updated external login to SharePoint Online

A couple posts ago I wrote that external user sharing is confusing with the new Office 365 but I’m glad to report that things have changed for the better (not unexpectedly) just recently.

So now when you share a site with the new Office 365 for an external contact they will receive an email like:

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Clicking on the link they will now be taken to:

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which is MUCH clearer that it used to be (see the previous post for what it was like)!

It is still recommended that you have an existing Windows Live Id already created and if so you select the Microsoft Account option at the top.

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You’ll then be taken to the familiar Office 365 login, from which you’ll need to select Sign in with Windows Live ID at the bottom of the page, which I think is still a little confusing to an external (non-Office 365) user.

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However, if you are already signed into the browser with Windows Live ID, you will see the above screen, with most of the details already in place. To me this is much more obvious. So, there’s a tip, before an external user clicks on the sharing link from Office 365 get them login with their Windows Live Id to:

http://login.live.com

just to make things easier. Would of course be nice to not have to do that to keep things simple but I’ll take any change that come.

The great thing overall is that it demonstrates how quickly these things are being improved so I would expect further changes in the very near future. Keep them coming Microsoft.