Exchange Unwashed Digest – January 2015

January 2015 proved to be quite a varied month in my Exchange Unwashed blog on  Everything from technology transfer from the cloud, new mobile clients, some issues I had with Delve, the new Office for Windows, and Azure witness servers, all washed down with a good helping of opinion and insight. Here’s what happened during January:

Do the ex-Acompli now Outlook clients really compromise security or is everyone overreacting? (Jan. 30): Lots of fun and games resulted after Microsoft released a rebranded version of the Acompli mail apps that they bought in late November as the new Outlook for iOS and Outlook for Android clients. It’s true that not much had been done to make the clients any different, apart of course from the corporate makeover, so they still store data on Amazon Web Services servers and they still don’t have as much functionality as Outlook Web App for iOS delivers, but that’s not the point. These are just beta versions that Microsoft has released to show their new mobile email client strategy. But that didn’t stop people worrying… a lot.  All overreaction in my book, but you’re entitled to your opinion.

The underappreciated Exchange Replay Lag Manager (Jan. 29): Many complain that Microsoft is totally fixated on the cloud these days and with good reason, if you take their marketing and public statements as the truth. In fact, a lot of good technology is being transferred back to on-premises customers after it is developed and debugged to work at incredible scale within Office 365. The Replay Lag Manager is just one of those features. It’s been available since Exchange 2013 SP1 but hardly anyone knew…

What wasn’t revealed in the next chapter of Office on Windows (Jan. 27): Microsoft did a nice job telling everyone about what was happening with Windows 10 and then followed up by revealing what was going to happen with Office for Windows 10. But what they didn’t cover was Outlook 2016, which I think will be terrifically important because it is still the major client when it comes to enterprise deployments. Maybe Outlook doesn’t quite fit when it comes to major PR bashes. Or something like that.

Compliance iceberg awaits Facebook @Work (Jan. 22): Facebook came out and told the press that they are working on a version that is suitable for use by employees who wish to network (socially) with others in the same company. I’m sure that this will be a real treat for some, but it is also likely to be a compliance nightmare for others. After all, if you’ve invested heavily in software that is capable of protecting and preserving valuable corporate data, you’re absolutely going to rush out to embrace Facebook. Aren’t you?

Reporting Office 365 (Jan. 20): Office 365 is obviously a great success, but it would be nice to know what happens under the covers from time to time, especially in terms of what your users are doing. As it turns out, Microsoft has an Office 365 reporting web service and a data mart where it gathers information that might be of interest to tenants, but the reports provided through the Office 365 portal aren’t great. Which is why you might turn to a third party company that specializes in reporting…

Control needed as Office Delve introduces even more potential for confusion (Jan. 15): I like Office Delve a lot, but the way that Microsoft introduces new features is sometimes pretty scary for administrators. Take “boards”, which seem pretty good from a user perspective. But where’s the control over the terms used? Or the boards themselves?

Good week for Exchange on-premises customers as Microsoft makes some important updates (Jan. 13): A number of interesting changes arrived at much the same time. On-premises customers might have thought they were waiting for a bus. Not much happened for a long time and then… The biggest news was support for a witness server on Azure. Just a witness server. Not a complete production deployment. That would be pretty expensive, don’t you think?

Behind the scenes with the Managed Folder Assistant (Jan. 8): The Managed Folder Assistant (MFA), which runs on Exchange 2010, Exchange 2013, and Exchange Online mailbox servers, is a black box. It runs, it processes mailboxes, items disappear from mailboxes, everyone is happy. But you can find out what MFA is doing if you go looking in the right place.

Exchange administrative tools and Active Directory: Not as close as they once were (Jan. 6): I must be getting old when I start writing about the way things were. At one time Exchange and Active Directory were in each other’s pockets. Not any more…

The World of Exchange in 2014 and What’s Likely in 2015 (Jan. 1): Proving that I was busy on New Year’s Day, I published some reflections on what happened in 2014 and what we might see in 2015. One of these days I shall check the accuracy of the predictions.

That’s all until next month. Stay in touch at the Exchange Unwashed blog or at Twitter (below). All I can guarantee is that February will bring some interesting nuggets to discuss.

Follow Tony @12Knocksinna


About Tony Redmond

Lead author for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook and writer about all aspects of the Office 365 ecosystem.
This entry was posted in Active Directory, Cloud, Email, Exchange, Exchange 2010, Office 365 and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Exchange Unwashed Digest – January 2015

  1. Michael says:

    Dear Tony

    There is an interesting issue with Exchange 2013 CU7. It has broken several features on Windows XP running Outlook 2010.
    1. Public folders are not available for Windows XP clients
    2. Shared mailboxes are not synced automatically.

    No fix is available. Is not it a good topic for a blog post?

    Detailed info:

    • I’m not sure that you will get much sympathy from Microsoft because you’re running an unsupported version of Windows at this point. Windows XP ceased support in April 2014 and CU7 shipped in December 2014, so you can take it as read that Microsoft did not test against Windows XP and also that any features developed now will not be supported against XP. I have no idea why public folders might not be available, but getting an answer or a response out of the development group might be an exercise in futility.

  2. Michael says:

    Thank you very much for the attention. Regardless of the verdict, it is always very helpful to listen to your opinion or conclusion.

    It’s a two-edged sword – on one side there is an unsupported Windows XP, on another – fully supported Outlook 2010. Windows XP was fully functional on RTM product (when the customers had made decision to migrate to new shiny Exchange), and now it’s half-broken.

    People have to be adviced, that end of OS support can cause unexpected problems not even with OS itself, but it looks like now we can run in unsupported state with any server product. If the hotfix for Windows Server 2012 R2 can break SMB compatibility with Windows XP clients, that will be a real nightmare.

  3. Michael says:

    Thank you, the article really helped much. Now it is known and easily “googled” (Binged?) issue.

    Franck Dohin had opened the case couple days ago, but it was closed without resolution:

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  7. Sean Greenlee says:

    Hi Tony,

    We too opened a case, which was closed by MS – I can send you the case number via Email if that would help

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