Office 365 users on Android reporting mystery email glitch

[Post updated below with Microsoft statement and fix.]

People using Android devices with Microsoft’s Office 365 online service have been lighting up the Office 365 support forums this week with reports of a glitch that’s preventing some users from receiving emails via Microsoft’s ActiveSync on certain Android versions. For all of them, the problems began to surface over the weekend.

Here’s a sampling of the Office support forum threads: Android ActiveSync not working … Galaxy S2 “unable to connect to server” … ActiveSync suddenly stopped working on Android … Droid stopped connecting to server.

The forum threads have generated what appears to be a temporary workaround, configuring the devices with the Outlook Web Access server address associated with their account, but users are concerned about possible negative side effects from that approach, including overzealous file folder syncing.

One GeekWire reader reports that his company’s Samsung Captivate phones, running Android 2.2 Froyo, still sync properly. But their Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 devices, running Android 3.2 Honeycomb, aren’t working properly with ActiveSync to receive email.

In many of the threads, the problem occurs with Android 2.3.6, but devices with Android 2.3.4 work.

We’re in touch with a Microsoft representative who’s checking on the status of the situation inside the company, and we’ll update this post when we hear back.

Update, Jan. 16: Here is Microsoft’s statement on the issue, with a suggested fix.

Microsoft is aware that a very small number of customers are currently impacted by a flaw in their phone or tablet’s implementation of the Exchange ActiveSync protocol.  In December, Microsoft posted an alert about a small change in how Exchange ActiveSync devices are handled in Office 365.  This change improves performance by pointing customers to their closest server.

Phones and tablets that are part of the Exchange ActiveSync Logo Program are not experiencing this issue. Customers experiencing this issue, can use the Mobile Phone Setup Wizard to help configure their phone or tablet for the correct server address and regain Exchange Server connection.

  • http://techmansworld.blogspot.com/ MHazell

    I’m sure Microsoft can fix it soon. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3PEROFW4JMM72AJQKC5KWVLE4Y Nicole

    Great, except it is not a “small number of users”.  Many of us have found that if you have the latest technology or a 4G capable device, it quit.  The workaround only worked for a few days for me and quit again.  “Soon” is not an option for a fix – it needs to be fixed immediately and permanently.  I even tried setting up my account on another phone (one running ice cream sandwich and iOS5 as well as my Stratosphere) and it didn’t work on any of them.  I was unable to leave my computer behind several days due to the issue.  I managed to achieve success with the workaround solution on January 12 (originally stopped on January 7), but some time after 1 AM on January 17 it quit again.  Ridiculous.

    • Nutttyu

      Bought the Samsung galaxy s2 and they said it is not working with the microsoft 365 and to take the phone back because it will be a while before the fix

  • geolemon

    The issue also is that Microsoft has said the workaround is to “point to the OWA server address” – that’s the server that allows online access.

    I (like most people) am not an administrator for my Email account, and I can’t grant myself OWA access.  Our IT guys have tested that as a workaround, but they can’t grant us OWA access, per security policy.  Explicitly no online Email access, secure devices only.  So we can’t access any of those servers.

    This is particularly a challenge to me, as I have a support role in the organization, and need to be able to field Email when not at my laptop.

    They need a solution for those who don’t have OWA access.

    • Cwray_20

      by your comment, one would assume you have an outlook client then. From your outlook client, go to tools, account settings, double click on your email on the email tab, and the exchange server name is there….put everything there MINUS the mailbox. Example: SN2PRD0710outlook.com

  • Brian Yonek

    Small amount my behind.  I found that the server name did nothing for mine.  What I did find as a solution was disabling bluetooth.  So I have this huge phone, Galaxy Note, that I have to use with some other kind fo headset or hold this thing against my head.  I may start storing it in the refrigerator and use it to soothe my headaches when dealing with work calls.  If anyone knows anything newer I’d like to see it.  This is a pain for me as I have all my contacts on Exchange and I had removed the account in testing and was without them until I landed on the bluetooth issue. Good luck.