On the client side, the primary face of Exchange Online is a new single sign-on application that offers a common authentication, and a single launching point, for the various Microsoft Online Services to which a user has access. What's more, the application will handle initial setup of a local instance of Outlook 2007 if there's one present on your client system. The application's Outlook setup function worked well enough, but when I fired up Internet Explorer 7 to access OWA, I was prompted for my password, even though I'd already logged on through the single sign-on tool. I'm hoping that Microsoft gets its promised single sign-on support working before it marks this service as RTM.eWEEK Labs' Executive Editor Jason Brooks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I synced one of my Exchange Online accounts up with an iPod Touch running Apple's new 2.0 firmware. Here, the trick was locating the correct URL to use to configure the service from my device. I eventually found the string I needed (red001.mail.microsoftonline.com) on Microsoft's TechNet Web site, but I would have preferred it if the ActiveSync-Exchange combo could have managed to automatically discover the configuration details from my e-mail domain.