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Microsoft Australia blows own deadline for online Office 365 sales

Microsoft Online Portal development seems to have gone off the rails

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Microsoft has written to its Australian customers to apologise in advance for failing to meet a self-imposed deadline for the opening of a portal that would let them sell Office 365.

The missed deadline was revealed by Steven Miller, Microsoft Australia's Office division lead, in a Thursday post.

“Earlier this year, we announced additional ways to sell and buy commercial SKUs of Office 365 in Australia, including … availability through the Microsoft Online Portal from 02 April 2014,” Miller wrote.”

“It’s with regret that we are informing our customers and partners today that there will be a delay to availability via the Microsoft Online Portal.” Other channels, including “Open Licensing through distribution and Electronic Software Delivery availability is unaffected by this announcement, in addition to ongoing availability from Telstra via T-Suite.”

The reason for the delay seems to be difficulties building the portal.

Here's Miller's explanation:

“Customer and partner experience is critically important to us. We want the online purchasing experience, via the Portal, to be a great one and we are not currently satisfied that this is the case. We have more work to do and will not be making the Portal available until we are satisfied that the purchasing experience is a seamless and smooth one.”

Whatever's gone awry, this looks like a deadline Microsoft is going to miss by quite a lot as Miller writes “will have more to share in coming weeks”.

“The last thing we want to do is disappoint our customers and partners,” he adds.

With the news of the portal's delay made just six days before it was due to go live, there's a fair chance they're already disappointed. ®

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