Exchange and Outlook Blog

technology collage for Microsoft Exchange Server migration
Apr 23, 2013

Binary Tree Acquires Server Migration Vendor ManageRED

Exchange Server migration experts Binary Tree announced the acquisition of ManageRED Software, a company with a range of Active Directory (AD) and Microsoft server migration products....More
Exchange Server email management with PST files: yield sign
Mar 28, 2013

What's to Be Done with PSTs: Capture, Migrate, Eliminate?

Microsoft's free PST Capture tool has been updated to work with Exchange Server 2013, but a tool such as Sherpa Software's Mail Attender provides more features for PST management....More
Mar 7, 2013

The UC Architects: Spreading the News about Lync and Exchange

This independent podcast about Microsoft unified communications (UC) formed with the goal of discussing technology related to Microsoft Exchange Server and Lync largely as a result of social media....More
Feb 28, 2013

Lync 2013 Brings the Human Element to Online Meetings

Here's a technology truism: You can have an absolutely phenomenal technology, but without user adoption, it's still a failure. And I'm not just talking about IT departments implementing a technology; I mean actually getting end users to embrace that technology. At the Microsoft Lync Conference last week in San Diego, one of the big messages was how Lync 2013 was intended to be "people-centric," with much of the focus in keynotes and sessions on the new and enhanced user features for unified communications (UC). It seems Microsoft, or at least the Lync team, has end-user adoption in its sites."Ultimately, it's all about the changing human interaction, the way people communicate, and really being able to provide an environment that makes them comfortable," said Giovanni Mezgec, general manager for Lync product marketing. Mezgec knows that the "bits and bytes" are important for IT pros, but it's equally important to remember the user experience. "They don't want to be constricted. They want to have the flexibility of looking at the information that they want. Bringing that experience in an environment that makes them feel like a natural extension of what they do already is so important to really foster adoption."...More
Feb 7, 2013

Office 365 for Business: What to Expect for 2013

Microsoft continues to plow forward with its cloud strategy and the move to become a devices and services company rather than a simple purveyor of software....More
Jan 18, 2013

IceWarp Provides All-In-One Communications Infrastructure

For many companies, 2013 is likely to be a year of system upgrades, or at least investigating the new versions of software as they become available. In a Microsoft-centric world, businesses have big decisions around nearly every major IT component, from OSs with the releases of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, to office productivity with Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013, to administration with System Center 2012. Unless your Microsoft Exchange Server implementation is seriously ailing, moving to Exchange Server 2013 might be a low priority this year. Even if your business does need a messaging system upgrade, either to get off older, no-longer-supported software or to take advantage of new features, installing the new Exchange still might not be in the budget....More
Jan 17, 2013

Exchange ActiveSync and BYOD

It's pretty well-established by this point that Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) is the standard connection protocol for mobile devices. It's probably the single biggest underlying factor in the rise of mobile computing and the bring your own device (BYOD) movement in business IT. Even BlackeBerry-maker RIM has begun to adopt EAS for some of its products, including BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, to provide compatibility with Microsoft Exchange Server 2013. A couple of infographics about BYOD landed in my Inbox this week. The first, produced by TrackVia from a variety of sources, makes the case that BYOD is already solidly entrenched in most businesses. Although much talk about this trend might see it more as a coming thing, the highlighted stat here is that 80 percent of employees are using personal devices for business purposes, even while only 53 percent of organizations report having an official BYOD policy....More
Jan 10, 2013

Exchange 2013 Has an Image Problem 2

So, what's up with Microsoft Exchange Server 2013? I'm looking around at what the experts are saying, and the problems encountered by those wanting to implement Exchange 2013, and I'm not seeing a ton of love. Of course, keep in mind that Microsoft hasn't released the necessary updates for Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2007 to allow for coexistence with Exchange 2013, so the only actual implementations should be greenfield deployments or lab environments, which means a fairly limited distribution. Nonetheless, it seems to me that Exchange 2013 is getting a bit of an image problem....More
Dec 6, 2012

OWA 2013: Good Enough to Replace Outlook? 3

With the release of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, it's perhaps time again to turn some attention to Outlook Web App (OWA). As usual, the Exchange team devoted some useful development time to providing enhancements to OWA 2013. The new ability for offline mail access has probably received the most attention, but other interesting changes include the dramatically simplified UI and the ability to integrate apps with OWA (which also applies to the Outlook 2013 desktop client). The question naturally arises about whether OWA is good enough to allow companies to abandon Outlook on the desktop in favor of OWA. First, let's examine the new features a little closer to see what benefits they bring. So, offline access. You can use OWA to read and respond to email even when you have no network connection, which could be great. However, this feature is possible only with the very latest browsers -- Internet Explorer 10, Safari 5, and Chrome 18 -- and enabling offline access is sure to require a good deal of end-user training to avoid security problems. Whether this feature is truly a boon remains to be seen, but in the short term, I suspect many organizations would rather avoid u...More
Nov 29, 2012

How Exchange 2013 Gets Social for Collaboration 2

One of the initial messages around the launch of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 was that it would be more collaboration-friendly, or indeed, more sociable. In fact, one story around the whole of Microsoft's Wave 15 products is their increased interconnectedness -- that, and the whole extra reliance on the cloud, of course. But it's this collaboration story with Exchange 2013 I was interested to find out more about. According to Microsoft's website, Exchange 2013 is designed "to support people and organizations as their work habits evolve from a communication focus to a collaboration focus." They also make the point that we're dealing with a "multigenerational workforce," and recognizing that point to me means also recognizing that every technology or every method of collaboration isn't going to succeed with every worker, or every age group. Exchange 2013, in fact, has a number of new or improved methods for enabling collaboration....More
Oct 11, 2012

Problems in iOS 6, Remote Control Provides a Solution

The Internet is rumbling with accounts of Exchange ActiveSync problems when iPhone users upgrade to iOS 6. As you should know, Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) is the communication protocol for push email and calendaring -- it's the clever little bit developed for Exchange Server 2003 that Microsoft has licensed widely, which has allowed mobile devices such as iPhones to become staples in the enterprise because users can easily connect to their work email and calendars anywhere. Which is all great, until there's a problem. Tony Redmond has written a good description of the current problem with iOS 6, along with the news that Microsoft and Apple are working to discover the root cause, in his blog post, "ActiveSync problems with iOS6." However, from other reports, it sounds as if these problems with ActiveSync connections and meeting hijacking stretch back well before the new iOS release....More
Oct 10, 2012

Exchange Server Q&A: Nathan Winters on Exchange 2013, FOPE, and PSTs

The air is getting crisp, the leaves are turning: must be time for this year's fall Microsoft Exchange Connections conference. If you weren't able to attend last month's Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) in Orlando, you still have the chance to get great Exchange Server content from the experts in a warm environment, as Connections takes place in Las Vegas, October 29 through November 1. Plus, spending Halloween in Las Vegas? You know that's got to be fun. One of our long-time Exchange authors, Nathan Winters, will be speaking at Connections for the first time this year. After working for a few difference companies over the years, Nathan is now an Exchange technical specialist with Microsoft UK. He most recently wrote Mastering Lync Server 2010 and is currently working on projects for the 2013 product wave. I asked Nathan a few questions about what attendees at Exchange Connections could expect from his sessions, as well as how a graduate of the Royal College of Music came to work with Exchange Server....More
Oct 5, 2012

Microsoft Exchange Conference: MEC 2012 Wrap-Up in Pictures

The Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) 2012 has been over for a little more than a week. Is that too short a time to feel nostalgic about it? Ah, well. I got missing all the great people and excellent conversation about Exchange Server that took place there. And then I remembered I had a bunch of pictures from the event. So I thought I'd share some of them....More
Oct 4, 2012

Exchange Server 2013 Moves Toward Simplicity 5

With Exchange Server 2013 Preview available for a few months now and the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) last week, we're getting a clearer picture all the time of what the New Exchange has in store. At MEC, the Microsoft message was pretty strong around the security and compliance story for Exchange 2013, which is good news of course. But overall, what impresses me more and more is the general simplification of Exchange -- all while providing improved performance and new or enhanced functionality.Exchange 2013's simplicity appears both in its architecture and management tools. For the architecture, the big news is that the number of server roles has been reduced from five to two. You'll have to deploy only Mailbox servers and Client Access servers; the functions of the Hub Transport and Unified Messaging servers have been rolled into one or the other of the two remaining. As for the Edge Transport, while it won't be present in Exchange Server 2013 at launch, I've heard some rumors that it might be reintroduced in some form perhaps along with service pack 1 (SP1). In the meantime, Exchange 2013 can function with Edge servers from Exchange 2010 or Exchange 2007 if you've deployed them in your environment....More
Sep 27, 2012

What I Learned at MEC: The C is for Community 2

This week in Orlando, Microsoft brought together a mass of Exchange Server engineers, MVPs, and admins, representing businesses of all sizes and with widely varying years of experience in the field. The event, of course, was the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC), making its return after a 10-year absence. And while the C in MEC ostensibly stands for conference, this event made clear that the C also stands for Exchange Server's thriving community.In fact, during the opening keynote, Microsoft's Michael Atalla announced the launch of a new website dedicated to promoting community within the Exchange world, aptly found at This site is all about sharing knowledge among this dynamic group....More
Sep 6, 2012

Microsoft and Binary Tree Partner for Simplified Migrations to Office 365

Migrating to Microsoft Office 365 is about to become a lot easier, at least for a certain segment of migrators. Today, Binary Tree announced that Microsoft will license Binary Tree's migration and coexistence technology to help move users from Lotus Notes/Domino environments to Office 365. Microsoft's intent is to embed the Binary Tree technology into Office 365 to provide a push-button migration solution for Notes users....More
Aug 30, 2012

Common Problems with Exchange 2010 DAGs and High Availability 2

We probably all know that Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 improved the high availability story for messaging environments through the introduction of the database availability group (DAG). This feature provides a simple, out-of-the-box method for Exchange admins to set up multiple copies of Mailbox server databases with replication and automatic failover. Sounds pretty great, and works great, too -- provided you set everything up correctly.Exchange Server MVP Jim McBee presented a web seminar this week on Exchange high availability titled "Exchange 2010—99.999%" in which he discussed many of the common problems and mistakes he's encountered with setting up DAGs in Exchange 2010. I thought it would be useful to take a look at some of these problems and why McBee sees them as major stumbling blocks for high availability in Exchange environments....More
Aug 16, 2012

Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2010 SP2 RU4 Address Compliance Issues

IT pros usually don't enjoy applying updates and fixes to existing software because of the chance that such "fixes" could introduce new problems. (We've all seen it happen.) So when those updates come with welcome new features, it makes the process just a little sweeter, and could even get IT shops to fast-track the implementation. Such is the case with Update Rollup 4 (RU4) for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP2 because of the new support for retention policies on Calendar and Tasks. In versions of Exchange 2010 prior to RU4, you can't apply retention tags or policies either to individual calendar or task items or to the main Calendar folder or Tasks folder. So, businesses with particularly stringent retention needs for compliance might be running into trouble relying only on Exchange's built-in features. Of course, third-party vendors that provide e-discovery or compliance solutions will tell you that Exchange 2010's retention and compliance features are limited even in the best of cases. Nonetheless, the calendar and tasks update in RU4 is certainly being met with approval; many Exchange users have clearly been waiting for this feature....More
Jul 31, 2012

Olympics Raise Mobile Device Security Concerns, MDM Vendors Provide Solutions

The London Summer Olympics have gotten off to a smashing start, but along with the games and spectacle comes a warning about smartphone security. Security experts at Venafi estimate that around 67,000 mobile phones will be lost or stolen during the 2012 London Olympics. Of this number, about 40 percent, or 26,800 devices, are likely to be smartphones, but note that the overall number doesn't take into account other types of mobile devices, such as tablets and laptops. Nonetheless, there's clearly the potential for significant data loss of sensitive information from this level of mobile device loss.Venafi's logic seems fairly sound as far as how they arrived at these numbers, taking into account the typical loss rate of mobile phones and adding a third, which is the expected population increase for London during the 2-week period of the games. I always wonder, however, when I see such reports what percentage of the devices reported "lost or stolen" could actually pose a risk....More
Jul 26, 2012

Microsoft Partnership Brings Focus to Voice Recognition Technology

We probably all remember the humorous scene in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home where Scotty attempts to give voice commands to a twentieth-century computer, even trying to use the mouse as a microphone. Or what about the much creepier human-computer interactions with HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey? Clearly, the dream of voice-operated computer systems has been with us for a long time. With a new partnership announced this week between Microsoft and the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI), that dream is perhaps coming closer to reality.This announcement comes at a time when voice recognition technologies are already becoming more prevalent. Who hasn't dialed into a phone system that asked for voice input rather than (or in addition to) key presses? And I'm sure just about everyone has seen Apple's iPhone commercials with various celebrities putting Siri to the test, if not actually used Siri on an iPhone personally. However, these voice implementations are far from what we see in HAL or the Enterprise.The reason the current implementations fall short comes down to the concept of prosody, and it is in this linguistic area that the ICSI/Microsoft partnership will begin its research efforts....More
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