Well, it’s finally here as a native part of Office 365… sort of. Actually, it will cost some money and you’ll have to get familiar with Azure Active Directory account if you’re not already:
Since BPOS, and continuing through the current Office 365 era, administrators have scratched their head as to why Microsoft did not allow non-administrative users to reset their own passwords. After all, it let them start the process only to annoy them and frustrate them with a message that tells them to contact their administrator. Yes it sends an email to the administrators, but still…
Now it seems that the plan all along MAY* have been to hold out and provide it as part of a premium service included for additional cost at a later date… which appears to be now in late 2013. Also, it’s not specifically part of Office 365, it an addon for the “Azure Active Directory” side which comes underneath Office 365 but isn’t necessarily apparent to Office 365 administrators. At the time of this writing, you can visit the link and find a vague description of the newly released “Azure Active Directory Beta” which does not include pricing details. It shows that among a few other extra features namely extra security reports, being able to brand the Office 365 login screen, unlimited AD objects, and Group-based access control.
We followed the instructions to add the premium features to our Azure AD directory and it works. You can enable All users to reset their own passwords and even add a new option to force users to register with an alternate email or mobile phone number (one of which is obviously required to do self-service password reset). Once it comes out of Beta, we’ll post a followup.