Buried at the bottom of the list of bug fixes in iOS 6.0.1 released by Apple on November 1 is the bullet saying “fixes a big affecting Exchange meetings”. I take this to mean that Apple has decided that their Mail application can’t hijack meeting requests and update the meeting organizer with the name of a device’s owner. Although I am not an iPhone user, I’m sure this development will be welcome by all and sundry.
I’ve mentioned the hijacking problem before and concluded that, although Apple is obviously to blame because the reason why the problem exists is the way that their Mail application has implemented the ActiveSync protocol, it still seems that Microsoft should take a more active (no pun intended) stance on the many varied ways that ActiveSync licensees use (or abuse) the protocol. There’s no consistency across the range of ActiveSync clients from Windows Phone to Android to iPhone and all points in between. You can accept that the user interfaces will differ – in some cases radically – but it would be nice if consistency existed in actually sending and receiving messages, including calendar meetings.
I’ve been told that Microsoft actively engages with ActiveSync licensees to help them to build better clients. I’m sure that this is the case and that in-depth technical debates rage over the connections between the different companies. It’s just a pity that the outcome has been less than perfect when code reaches the hands of end users, especially when it seems that bugs like the meeting hijack have been around for several versions of a licensee’s operating system. Maybe licensees just don’t listen or perhaps Microsoft is not emphatic enough. In this case, Microsoft did not seem to be aware that Apple was about to release the fix. At least, the silence after 6.0.1 appeared was deafening.
But enough of the doom and gloom. The bug is fixed (perhaps) and meeting organizers can sleep safely in their beds. Better news came when Microsoft released the evaluation edition of Exchange 2013 for download. Even if you’re not a TechNet or MSDN subscriber, you can now download the software for test purposes. Curiously, Bing wasn’t able to locate the page when I attempted to find the evaluation edition by searching on Microsoft’s web site (maybe the ho-hah about Surface on the home page confused Bing) nor could I find it on Office.com, but the evaluation edition is there… I know, because I downloaded it after Microsoft send me email to tell me I could!
For more information, see "Problems in iOS6, Remote Control Provides a Solution" and "ActiveSync problems with iOS6."
Follow Tony @12Knocksinna