A few months ago, I started transitioning from using Google gmail, calendar, etc. to using a purchased Office 365 for small business premium account. I thought that I'd give Windows Phone 8.1 a try and got a cheap one to try out. I'm already a bit annoyed but maybe with some help I'll like it.

Apparently, my Office 365 account is NOT a "Microsoft Account" and my phone won't let me do much of anything unless I give it a "Microsoft Account". That sounds wrong. Is there a way to have an Office 365 account be a valid "Microsoft Account"?

To get around that, I tried creating a "Microsoft Account" with the same email address as my Office 365 account. That was insane... it created an Outlook account for the email address that was already connected to an Office 365 email address. You wouldn't think they'd let that happen, but I'm pretty sure without even supplying my Office 365 password a few test messages showed up in both Inboxes. Sending email from the Outlook account didn't seem to work, which was good... but still, I had 2 accounts with the same email address receiving email, one in Outlook and one in Exchange.

In addition to the email issues, whatever "Microsoft Account" that I configure on the phone is the one that is used as the default calendar, contacts, etc. but I only want to use the Office 365 account. The biggest annoyance I think is that my Office 365 account has a 1TB OneDrive but the OneDrive application on the phone ONLY shows the "Microsoft Account" and I can't seem to get it to show the Office 365 account. If I open up an Office application then I can browse and save to my Office 365 account but again... I don't want to EVER use the other one and don't want it to be the only one I see in the OneDrive application. I haven't even tried to configure instant messaging yet, but I can guess I'm going to see the same things.

These might not be super-annoyances. but honestly if I can't get any better integration with my Office 365 account that I can get and already have installed on my Android phone, then I'm probably going to not make the switch. I was hoping to get awesome integration that would just work and was using this cheap phone to test out if making a move to a new Surface Pro 3 would be good or not.

So... what was the question again? Is there a way to have an Office 365 account ALSO be a valid "Microsoft Account". Also, any help configuring this device the way I want it would be super!


After doing some reading, it looks like this is a common problem and there currently isn't a way to merge the two accounts. The most official Microsoft response I found is on the Azure Feedback Forums. Scroll down and see the comment made by Ariel Gordon (posted just over a month ago):

Thanks for the question and feedback.

Our team owns the Microsoft account and Azure AD sign-in/sign-up experiences. We know that some experiences are confusing for some of you and we’re working hard to simplify them.

More specifically:

1) We know a number of users have multiple accounts with Microsoft, some they created themselves and others they got from their work or school. Today, using multiple accounts in Office 365, Azure.com or VisualStudio.com requires you sign out of one account and sign in to another. To address this we’re building the ability to be signed in with more than one account at the same time, in the same browser. This should start showing up on Microsoft web properties later this year.

2) There’s a small number of Microsoft business services that only support “Live ID” accounts, and not organizational accounts that are used for other business services like Office 365. Examples include MSDN and Volume Licensing. We’re working with these teams to add support for organizational accounts. This will allow everyone who already has an account they use with Office 365 to use the same account to sign in to these services.

3) Some users have two Microsoft-powered accounts with the same sign in string: one they got from their organization (when the organization uses Azure AD account) and one they created themselves (for example to access MSDN or VL). For these users, the sign-in experience to Office and Azure can be confusing. If you’re in this situation, the simplest solution is to rename the account you created yourself. You can use another consumer email address or get a new @outlook.com address. And later his year, you’ll also be able to use your phone number as a sign in string. Longer term, we’re considering different options to remove this overlap.

Keep the great feedback coming and please let us know if you finds other sources of account confusion. We’ll continue to monitor this thread as we refine our plans.


Also, see this blog post for a good breakdown on the difference between a "Microsoft Account" and an "O365 Account".

  • Thank you for taking the time to provide this information! – Dewey Vozel May 18 '15 at 1:49

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