On the good news front this week, Microsoft released the Visio stencils for Exchange 2013, SharePoint 2013 and Lync 2013 (note that clicking the link starts the download immediately). I’m somewhat amazed how many people use the “official” Exchange stencils with Visio to prepare documentation, but I can certainly understand how useful it is to have a full set of icons to use in diagrams and presentations, especially when you want to capture some of the look and feel of Microsoft’s documentation.
In other not-so-good news, an updated version of Exchange 2010 SP2 RU5 has not appeared after its initial release on November 13 ran into choppy waters when some customers discovered a bug that affected Database Availability Groups after they applied the update. Whereas it’s great that the bug was found, the fact that it existed underlines the recommendation that you should never apply a roll-up update on a production server without testing it thoroughly first.
Apart from acknowledging that a bug is present, there’s no word from Redmond as to what’s being done to fix the problem and get RU5 out the door again. I suspect that all heads are down trying to get Exchange 2010 SP3 released by the committed date of “early 2013” so that customers can begin the process of deploying Exchange 2013 into existing organizations. Then again, it might just be the case that the bug has proved to be trickier to fix and verify than first anticipated and that we’ll see RU5 appear in the near future. Time will tell.
Microsoft is also very quiet on the topic of what they are going to do to heal the self-inflicted wound caused when they switched Exchange 2013 content into prime position on TechNet. The position taken is that they’ve heard the customer reaction and understand the difficulties that the switch has created for bloggers and others who reference TechNet, but haven’t yet said what course they will take. If I was a cynic, I’d say that the Exchange documentation team is sitting tight and waiting for the storm to pass. I hope that I’m wrong.
The final piece of not-so-good news for the week is the feeling that Microsoft is about to raise prices across a range of server and client licenses, including those for Exchange 2013, Lync 2013, and SharePoint 2013. We have to wait until next week to discover what’s happening in Microsoft’s price list, but the signs aren’t great. On the other hand, there’s still a few days left to purchase the last few remaining licenses (if such a thing exists for software) for the late-lamented but still very-much-alive Threat Management Gateway. Buy now and be secure until 2015!
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