Here’s the digest of articles published on my WindowsITPro.com blog in April 2012.
FAST searching coming to Office 15 server applications (April 26) reports that the Office 15 wave of server applications (Exchange 2013, SharePoint 2013, and Lync 2013) will share a common enterprise search capability powered by the FAST technology acquired by Microsoft in 2008. For the first time you’ll be able to search across multiple repositories in one operation, something that will be popular for those responsible for compliance within large enterprises in particular.
Offline access through IE10;maybe an OWA feature in Exchange 2013? (April 23) speculates that Microsoft is about to add the ability to work offline to Outlook Web App in Exchange 2013. Some of this work is tied up with the march to HTML5 and it will be interesting to see just how pervasive Microsoft can make this feature across the browser set (IE, Safari, Chrome, Firefox) that they currently support for “premium” access.
Does Microsoft Explain Cloud Outages Better Than Google? (April 19) considered how Microsoft and Google handle customer communications when things go wrong in their cloud services and concludes that Microsoft probably does a better job of explaining the root cause of Office 365 outages than the somewhat secretive approach taken by Google when failures occur for Gmail or Google Docs.
Exchange’s monopoly and its importance to Microsoft (April 17) considered some of the comments made by a Venture Capitalist about the importance of Exchange to Microsoft and how this might play out over the next few years. Of course, a monopoly is not a good thing to have in place within a market…
Exchange 2013 to RTM in mid-November 2012? (April 13) Possibly one of the worst-kept secrets around the Microsoft campus is that Office 15 is locked and loaded to achieve RTM (Release to Manufacturing) status towards the end of 2012 with general customer availability in early 2013. I don’t see this schedule being compromised unless some horrible bugs come to light. Product schedules have a life of their own and gather momentum as they progress to RTM. We’ll just have to wait and see whether a brand-new version of Exchange is ready for deployment in January 2013 or thereabouts.
Exchange 2003 and Outlook 2003 enter the final two years (April 12) It’s time to put a stake through the heart of Outlook 2003 and Exchange 2003. At least, that’s what you might think if you’re worried about long term support. Seriously though, if you’re running this software, it’s time to make plans to upgrade. Unless of course you like life on the edge and believe that the software will run just fine without Microsoft’s imprimatur.
Dispelling myths and other half truths (April 10) This article got more traffic than any other in April. A blog post written by someone who knew Zimbra’s server (ZCS) well attempted to compare ZCS to Exchange and got so many things wrong that I simply had to say something (not that I patrol the Internet to locate erroneous blogs – that sounds very much like a task similar to cleaning the proverbial Augean stables). In any case, you can read the myths and my responses and see what you think.
The Finer Details of Exchange High Availability (April 5) The documentation available for Exchange has improved dramatically over the past few years and continues to get better all the time. However, so much is published online or available elsewhere that it’s sometimes hard to focus in on what’s important or to understand important details. Everyone knows that Exchange 2010 includes native high availability in the form of the Database Availability Group (DAG), but a number of really interesting details lurk in the undergrowth about what happens when things go wrong and Exchange has to activate a database copy and use transaction logs to make sure that all the data is present.
Immutability, Perry, and Exchange (April 4) This might also have been titled “All about the dumpster”. I took the chance to point people to a set of video interviews given by Perry Clark, a Distinguished Engineer who’s been working in the Exchange development group since the late middle ages and probably now represents the technical conscience of the group. In this case, he’s talking about immutability and how Exchange 2010 protects data that might be needed for compliance purposes. Perry has made videos about other Exchange topics too and the series, all available online, are worth viewing.
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