The last month of 2014 provided the time to look back on what’s happened since Microsoft released Exchange 2000 and how well Exchange 2013 has done in the market (acceptance and in terms of the new features). But we also discussed mobile email strategy, the horrible comparison made by Novell with its products and the competition, how Google keeps on making Chrome less attractive to Exchange users, the resurrection of the Edge, Yammer and Groups, and how Clutter works hard to keep my mailbox in shape. It was an interesting month for my “Exchange Unwashed” blog – and Paul Robichaux and I taped episode 2 of our “Exchange Exposed” podcast to boot! All good, clean, honest fun.
What’s changed in the fifteen years since Exchange 2000 shipped (Dec 30): Fifteen years ago we were all excited because the combination of Windows 2000 (including Active Directory) and Exchange 2000 marked the second generation of Microsoft’s email server and its transition from a product that was really designed for small enterprises to one that could deal with the very largest. What’s happened since? Well, a lot really… But the interesting thing is that the monthly cost point per mailbox predicted by some of Exchange’s competitors in 2000 has actually happened – but in the cloud.
Changing circumstances make it difficult to measure adoption rate for Exchange 2013 (Dec 24): Journalists are often interested in how quickly new software goes into production. I was asked the question about Exchange 2013 and couldn’t come up with a really good answer. The reason is that things are different now and it’s harder in a cloud-influenced world to know how quickly new versions of on-premises products are deployed.
Does anyone care that the Exchange 2013 Edge Transport server role came back? (Dec 23): Some months ago, Microsoft brought the Edge transport server role back to life in Exchange 2013 SP1. The question now is whether the resurrection made any difference to Exchange administrators. I really don’t know, but thought it was a good question to ask.
The Confusion around Yammer and Office 365 Groups (Dec 18): I didn’t like Yammer very much when I first encountered the product. After all, there didn’t seem to be very much new in it – we have been doing threaded discussion forums for years, as those of us who lived with CompuServe forums or even the much-loved VAX Notes know well. But Yammer is more because it’s really enterprise social networking (in other words, you can “like” a contribution). So some work was needed on my part to embrace and understand Yammer and I see some good in the way that Microsoft is using it to connect with customers. But I also see a lot of confusion following the launch of modern Groups in Office 365 and some feature deficiencies that really need to be closed. The debate rages on…
Exchange Online increases eDiscovery mailbox limit and boasts better performance too (Dec 16): When Exchange 2013 was launched, eDiscovery searches were limited to 5,000 mailboxes (where Exchange 2010 will process 25,000 or more). That seemed to be an unfortunate regression due to the use of the Search Foundation. But Microsoft has now increased the limit in Exchange Online to 10,000 mailboxes and made searches run faster, so life is good again, unless you’re an on-premises customer…
Software magic behind Office 365 Groups document libraries (Dec 11): The more I look at the modern Groups now available in Office 365, the more I like the possibilities that exist. Sure, there are lots of deficiencies to discuss, some of which I will probably get to talking about in January 2015, but there’s some software magic too. Like the way that documents are held in OneDrive for Business. Only it’s not OneDrive really. Just it seems like it is.
Exchange 2010 SP3 RU8 withdrawn due to bug in MAPI RPC layer (V2 now available) (Dec 10): Unfortunately the release of Exchange 2010 SP3 RU8 was flawed because someone forgot to test Outlook connectivity with the server. It seems like this is a kind of fundamental thing to have overlooked, which raises the question of software quality once again. Pity…
Exchange 2013 CU7 debuts along with security fixes and updates for Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2007 (Dec 9): Exchange 2013 CU7 was delayed by Microsoft in November because of some problems that could have affected OWA. It seems like that was a very good decision because Exchange 2013 CU7 has not spawned the same number of problem reports after its release as other updates have.
Chrome, iOS mail app, Groups, Clutter, and Novell – a mixed bag of updates (Dec 4): It seemed like a good time to comment on some ongoing problems with the Chrome browser (for OWA, EAC, and CRM Dynamics – some of which have been solved in Office 365) and to discuss new developments in Groups and Clutter – and then to comment on a truly horrible comparison provided by Novell covering the new version of GroupWise (a nice product) and Exchange 2013 and Office 365. The comparison was laughable at times, so it was humorous at least.
Acompli acquisition transforms Microsoft mobile email client strategy (Dec 3): Over the Thanksgiving break, Microsoft completed the purchase of the Bay Area-based Acompli mobile email application (think Outlook for iOS and Android), which then made me think about what this meant to Microsoft’s mobile device strategy for Exchange. ActiveSync will stay as the lowest common denominator for connectivity, but will Acompli take over from OWA for Devices?
Grading Exchange 2013 in the two years since RTM (Dec 2): Two years after its RTM release, it seemed appropriate to comment on how well Exchange 2013 has done in the market. In summary, Exchange 2013 is like a curate’s egg – good in parts. Some new things have worked very well, some less so. It’s always that way with software.
The New Year has started with a lot of things on my desk. I’ll get to some during January but there’s sufficient around for me to know that things will never get slack in 2015…
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