It might have escaped your attention or maybe you aren’t concerned, but Microsoft’s formal support for Exchange 2010 SP1 expires today. Ongoing support activities were proceeding until quite recently, with Exchange 2010 SP1 RU8 released on December 11, 2012. But now it’s time to move on and get servers upgraded to Exchange 2010 SP2, preferably applying the latest roll-up update (RU5) for that service pack, making sure that you test everything thoroughly first.
Exchange 2010 SP1 completed the development process for Exchange 2010. I know that’s not the official story because Microsoft always holds that development is complete when they ship the RTM version for a product, but in reality this isn’t so as there’s invariably a rush to get software out the door to meet arbitrary dates and usually there are some gaps remaining that have to be close post-RTM, usually delivered in the first service pack. Exchange 2010 SP1 appeared with a completely rewritten version of Outlook Web App, for instance, and it included lots of new UI in the Exchange Management Console to help administrators cope with retention policies and tags. It also introduced some very interesting technology in the Store, including block-mode replication.
Of course, we’re still waiting for news about Exchange 2010 SP3, a release announced by Microsoft in October 2012 with a delivery date in “early 2013”. This is an important release because SP3 is needed to allow Exchange 2010 to co-exist alongside the brand-new Exchange 2013. The word is that work is progressing and that SP3 will appear soon. I hope so as its lack is preventing any sort of activity around Exchange Server 2013.
Another item that we’re still awaiting news of is what Microsoft intends to do to address the issue that they caused when the decision was made to move Exchange 2013 into prime position for TechNet searches. I don’t think anyone would quibble with the notion that it is a good idea to keep TechNet refreshed in such a way that the latest information is presented as a response to a search request. The problem is that Microsoft make the switch far too early. As noted above, Exchange 2013 is still of academic interest to the vast majority of the Exchange community (although available in Office 365 Preview, Exchange 2013 is not even deployed in full production within Office 365 datacenters yet, maybe because Microsoft’s datacenter team is waiting for Exchange 2013 SP1), so quite why they decided to make the switch is beyond me, as it is for lots of others, at least according to the comments entered on the EHLO blog.
Microsoft have said many times that they’re working on how to address the issue but a fog of deafening silence still envelops the answer. It would be nice to know that Microsoft actually listens sometimes. Or at least just this once.
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