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December 11, 2014  6:31 PM

Microsoft pulls buggy Exchange 2010 update

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Exchange 2010, Microsoft Outlook 2010, Microsoft Patch Tuesday

Microsoft has pulled one of the Exchange updates released this week after customers reported connectivity issues.

Exchange Server 2010 SP3 Update Rollup 8, which was one of four Exchange updates released on Tuesday, was pulled because of connectivity issues to Outlook, the company said in a blog post. Customers were having trouble connecting to Outlook 2010 after they installed the update.

Customers who already installed the update should roll it back and wait to install it until a revised version is released, Microsoft said. The company did not give a timeframe for when a fix would be delivered.

Exchange MVP Michael Van Horenbeeck, who wrote about the Exchange updates released on Tuesday, said it was unfortunate that the update had to be withdrawn because of a bug that wasn’t discovered in Microsoft’s testing process. Microsoft does some elaborate testing, but he thinks this pulled update shows that the company struggles to test all customer scenarios.

“On the other hand, this bug affects a pretty common functionality in Exchange 2010: Outlook Connectivity,” Van Horenbeeck said. “I’m not sure why this exception was not caught as I would think that basic Outlook Connectivity testing is one of the first things in a test plan.”

However, Microsoft was right to quickly react to the problem and pull the update in a short time frame, Van Horenbeeck added.

What do you think of the pulled Exchange update? Have you been affected? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

November 11, 2014  8:05 PM

Microsoft rolls out Clutter for Office 365, rebrands Lync

Tayla Holman Tayla Holman Profile: Tayla Holman
Microsoft, Microsoft Lync, Office 365, Skype

Microsoft rolled out a new feature for Office 365 business customers today called Clutter, which helps users focus on the most important messages in their inbox.

Clutter uses Office Graph’s machine learning techniques to determine which messages users are likely to ignore and moves them to the Clutter folder. Though the feature gets smarter the longer it is used, users can also train Clutter to ignore certain emails by tagging messages as clutter or dragging them to the folder. The feature is disabled by default, but can be enabled from the Outlook Web App (OWA) menu, and syncs across OWA, Outlook and mobile devices.

Microsoft first introduced Clutter in a keynote demonstration at its Microsoft Exchange Conference in March. The feature goes into effect today for customers who opted into First Release and will roll out to customers using the English locale first. Other languages will follow as localization is completed. Microsoft has yet to announce when or if Clutter will become available to non-business users.

Microsoft also said that it has rebranded Lync as Skype for Business. The change will go into effect in the first half of 2015. Skype for Business will adopt Skype icons and adds the Skype call monitor, while refining Lync features like telephony and content sharing. Current Lync Server users will simply need to update from Lync Server 2013 to the Skype for Business Server — no new hardware is required.

What do you think of the latest Office 365 developments? How will they affect your organization? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

November 4, 2014  5:45 PM

October in review: the top Exchange Server content

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Exchange Server, Office 365

For our monthly blog feature, we recap our most popular content from the previous month and share it with you.

October was the month of Office 365 on Our readers were interested in learning about some of the particular parts that make up Office 365, including management and migration options.

Message classifications and their role in Office 365

Message classifications, which provide an interface to give users information about their messages, allow Exchange admins to apply business logic. They’re considered to be one of the hidden gems in Office 365.

Options for managing Office 365 user accounts

Before beginning a migration to Office 365, admins will have to decide which way they will establish and manage user accounts. There are three options in the Office 365 management console to pick from, so it’s important to study each option.

Third-party MigrationWiz tool to help with an Office 365 migration

There are lots of questions to answer during mergers and acquisitions, and some of those questions will revolve around Office 365. Native Exchange tools can help with a migration, but a third-party tool may be better for you.

Evaluate how ready you are for an Office 365 migration

Moving from Exchange to Office 365 requires lots of preparation and planning. You can gauge how ready your organization is for the move by answering questions about certain facets of the migration, such as Active Directory and your domain name.

Figure out why your connection is on the fritz

If your Exchange 2010 server keeps disconnecting to Outlook and the network isn’t the cause, you have a few options for determining the cause and coming up with a fix.

What Exchange content was most helpful to you last month? Was it something we didn’t include in our list? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

October 28, 2014  5:01 PM

A recap of Office 365 developments at TechEd Europe

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
DLP, MDM, Office 365, OneDrive, TechEd, windows intune

Three major changes are coming to the Office 365 suite, Microsoft said at TechEd Europe this week.

The first change to the suite is that Office 365 subscribers will have access to unlimited storage in OneDrive and OneDrive for Business. The rollout comes at no additional cost to subscribers and will continue over the next couple of months. Office 365 Home, Personal, and University customers will be the first to receive the unlimited storage, the company said.

The second change coming to Office 365 is built-in mobile device management features in the suite. The change is set to roll out sometime in the first quarter of next year, the company said. Powered by Intune, these MDM capabilities will include selective wipes of Office 365 data and simpler policy management options. This change will also include enhanced Intune capabilities to manage mobile devices and mobile applications.

The third change is the expansion of data loss prevention features in a number of products, including Office 365 and Office 365 applications. Beginning in the first quarter of next year, Microsoft will enable file classification infrastructure detection for Office documents in OneDrive for Business, Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. Office 365 applications will include native DLP, beginning with Excel in early 2015 and continuing with Word and PowerPoint later in the year, the company said.

These moves appear to be part of Microsoft’s continued effort to follow its cloud-first strategy in delivering changes and upgrades, which was first discussed in detail at the Microsoft Exchange Conference earlier this year.

We will continue to follow the developments at TechEd Europe and update the post if more information becomes available.

How will these Office 365 developments affect your organization? What change are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

October 1, 2014  5:22 PM

September in review: the top Exchange Server content

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Exchange Virtualization, Microsoft Exchange 2013, Microsoft Learning, Office 365

In our monthly feature, we round up the most popular content with our readers and share it with you.

For September, Exchange admins were most interested in learning about the state of Microsoft Learning’s certification program, Office 365 migrations and the Role-Based Access Control feature in Exchange 2013.

Microsoft Learning needs a revamp — soon

A year after Microsoft Learning canceled its Masters certification program, one Exchange MVP looked at the effects of the cancelation and spoke with other Exchange experts about its consequences.

Office 365 tenant migration prerequisites

Before undertaking an Office 365 tenant-to-tenant migration following a company merger or acquisition, admins should look into what prerequisites the environment must meet and consider using native tools as one way of doing the migration.

Use hybrid Exchange to migrate Office 365 tenants

Following a merger or an acquisition, Exchange admins also have the option of using hybrid Exchange to migrate Office 365 tenants. This tip includes a step-by-step look at what such a migration would entail.

Control Exchange access with RBAC

The Role-Based Access Control in Exchange 2013 can help organizations looking to control access within Exchange, and one MVP includes an introduction for admins about how the feature works and what its authorization model is built upon.

Exchange Server virtualization benefits and challenges

This e-handbook breaks down some of the most important things admins should know when it comes to virtualizing Exchange, including some of the reasons why some organizations should consider virtualization and why others should look at other options.

What content was most helpful to you last month? Was it something we didn’t include in our list? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

September 16, 2014  4:12 PM

Microsoft takes down buggy Lync update

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Microsoft Lync

Microsoft pulled a bulletin for Lync Server this week after users reported problems installing the update.

In a revised post for MS14-055, users reported that one particular security update does not successfully install. Microsoft took down Update 2982385, which applies to Lync 2010, to investigate the cause of the problem. The change shouldn’t affect other updates in MS14-055 for Lync, the company said.

This is not the first update Microsoft has had to pull in recent months. The company pulled an update for OneDrive for Business earlier this month and had to rerelease an important update for kernel mode drivers last month.

What do you think of Microsoft’s latest pulled update? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

September 9, 2014  2:35 PM

“Oslo” gets a new name and a rollout

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Microsoft Oslo, Office 365

Microsoft’s program previously codenamed Oslo now has an official name: Office Delve.

In a recent blog post, the company said it will roll out Delve to its Office 365 business customers beginning this week, said Julia White, the general manager of Office 365 Technical Product Management.

The program will know what content is relevant for individuals based on the information Office Graph delivers, White said. Office Graph, which received a lot of attention at this year’s Microsoft Exchange Conference, gathers this information by using “content and signals” from Yammer, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for business, she said.

Office 365 business customers can also expect to see changes in Delve as it begins to incorporate other content from Lync, OneNote and email attachments, White added. No timeline for this integration was given.

What do you think about the Office Delve news? Will you be using it? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

September 2, 2014  6:31 PM

August in review: the top Exchange Server content

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Exchange server transaction logs, Office 365

In our monthly feature, we recap the most popular content with our Exchange Server readers from the previous month and share it with you.

Exchange admins were interested in a number of topics for August, included failed server recovery, how Office 365 fits in to mergers and acquisitions and Exchange 2013’s Managed Availability feature.

Your best options to recover after a failed server

It’s possible to use some heavy tools to help you manually remove what little may be left in Active Directory after your Exchange Server fails, but admins should consider other potential alternatives before they do so.

Mergers or acquisitions may require combining Office 365 tenants

If organizations are required to combine their infrastructures after a merger or acquisition occurs, Exchange admins may need to merge Office 365 tenants. Learning what some of the key challenges are in doing so can help admins better prepare for this merge.

What’s new with Exchange Server transaction logs

Knowing how to read and process information from log files is an essential task for Exchange admins to keep their environments up and running. Brushing up on some of the changes to log files in Exchange 2013 can help admins protect their setups from disaster.

Decoding Exchange 2013’s Managed Availability feature

Managed Availability, which is essentially Exchange 2013’s built-in remediation and monitoring platform, has confused some Exchange admins. We have an Exchange MVP break down just how the feature works to maintain a server’s health.

Why it’s time to for Exchange admins to plug in and learn PowerShell

PowerShell has become a cornerstone of Exchange administration since it was first included in Exchange 2007. If admins haven’t yet learned the basics of this scripting language, we offer five of the basics all admins should know to give them a starting point.

What content was most helpful to you last month? Was it something we didn’t include in our list? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

August 4, 2014  4:11 PM

July in review: the top Exchange Server content

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Exchange Server, Microsoft Exchange 2013

Our monthly feature rounds up the content that was most popular with readers in the previous month to share with you.

For July, our readers were most interested in the technical side of the IRS email controversy, getting more in-depth information about Office 365 and how the new Microsoft conference may affect Exchange admins.

IT pros use IRS email scandal as case study for Exchange

Organizations should take the current IRS email disappearance as a reminder to review their backup systems and procedures in place to avoid facing a similar situation.

The Office 365 migration guide for admins

Our essential guide covers the three important areas of migrating to Office 365 – research, making decisions and post-migration management.

What to know before an Exchange 2013 migration

It’s time to look for an upgrade if your organization is still running Exchange 2003. Moving from Exchange 2003 or 2013 can include a lot of extra work, but the work may be worth it if 2013 includes the features and capabilities you need.

Use PowerShell to configure Office 365 MFA

This tip includes a step-by-step guide on how admins can configure Office 365’s Multifactor Authentication using Azure Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell.

An Exchange MVP’s doubts on Microsoft’s conference consolidation

After Microsoft’s announcement that it would combine all of its technological conferences into one event called the Microsoft Unified Technology Event, one Exchange MVP expressed his concern about how attendees’ learning experiences would be affected.

What content was most helpful to you last month? Was it something we didn’t include in this list? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

July 9, 2014  5:50 PM

Microsoft details new Office 365 plans for SMBs

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger

Small and midsized businesses are the targets of new Office 365 plans Microsoft will begin offering later this year.

Just two weeks after Microsoft released a new roadmap with details about its plans for its Office 365 business, the company said it will deliver three new Office 365 plans for SMBs beginning Oct. 1 of this year.

The three new plans are Office 365 Business, Office 365 Business Essentials and Office 365 Business Premium. These plans will gradually replace the current Office 365 plans SMBs use, Microsoft said.

Customers who use one of the existing Office 365 plans won’t have to take any action for their subscriptions until Oct. 1, 2015, one year after the new plans are released. There will be no data loss or downtime during the process as SMBs choose a new plan, Microsoft added.

The company said it would discuss more information about the plans at next week’s Worldwide Partner Conference, the company said. We’ll keep an eye on this story throughout the conference and update if anything new develops.

It’s been a busy week with Microsoft making changes to Office 365; the company also raised prices of Office 365 for enterprises not on Software Assurance earlier this week.

Tell us: How will the new Office 365 plans affect your business? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

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