Earlier this year I transitioned our household email accounts to Office 365 and we continue to enjoy the absolute flexibility we get having our email in the cloud and the benefits of being able to move between different screens without moving PST files, etc.
My most recent efforts have been related to sharing our calendars as my wife has been transitioning between a paper planner and keeping her schedule on Outlook and her Windows Phone. I have been keeping my schedule on those devices for quite a while now.
It is easy enough to share our Exchange based calendars with each other and see them in Outlook on the desktop however, they do not appear on each others Windows Phone calendar displays. After much research I ultimately decided to place each others Office 365 account on the others phone and just sync the calendar items.
This allows us to see each others calendars on our Windows Phone handsets and we use calendar colors to keep our individual entries separated. We also continue to share our Exchange calendars on our desktops in Outlook.
As I was setting up my Office 365 account on my wife’s Windows Phone I kept getting an error. I verified the password and tried again with the same results. I looked up the error code and it was related to the number of mobile connections for my account.
I logged into Outlook Web Access (OWA) for my account and went to the Options menu. On the left hand side navigation bar I selected Phone and was presented with this screen:
As you can see this interface is for managing the connections to my Office 365 account from mobile devices. This list shows 8 entries because I had already deleted two devices but I actually had 10 when I opened it up.
What was occurring as I tried to add my Office 365 account to my wife’s phone was I was hitting that 10 mobile devices limit. I was initially confused as I only had the account on my Windows Phone and my wife’s phone would have been the second location.
Well it turns out that tablets are also counted in the mobile device limit. Actually makes sense now that I think about it however, I only have my Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet with my Office 365 Exchange account on it so shouldn’t that just be three accounts if you include my wife’s and my Windows Phone?
Yes it is only three accounts but as I have tested the Windows 8 Developer, Consumer and Release Previews on that tablet and put my Office 365 account on it with each new install I quickly used up the 10 slots that are available.
Reminds me a lot of authorized devices for MP3 players as they get added but never removed until you find out that a slot is needed.
It was easy enough to remove the older entries by highlighting them and clicking the Delete button. If you want to be 100% sure the device is no longer in use then just double click the entry on the Options>Phones page and it will show you details about the device including its name. I am glad I choose to name my devices based on the OS installed so it easily let me see which were previous test installs of the Windows 8 Previews.
Just a word of caution – do not click on Wipe Device on that Options>Phone page otherwise it will start the process of wiping the data from your mobile device! That can come in handy if the device is ever lost but that is certainly not the case in this situation.
After clearing up the old and unused entries I was able to easily get my account working correctly on my wife’s Windows Phone so now we can see each other’s calendars with ease both on the go and at our desktops.
I will say though that it sure would be nice to just merge a shared calendar into our original calendars so we can see each other’s schedules across all platforms although I have no issue with having my account on her phone and vice versa.