back to article Microsoft's dodgy new Exchange 2010 update breaks Outlook clients

If you were thinking of installing the latest update roll-up for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP3, don't. That's the word from Microsoft, which withdrew the update on Wednesday following reports that customers couldn't connect to the server with their Outlook clients once the patch was applied. Exchange Server 2010 Roll-Up …

That's one way of keeping Outlook secure, alright.

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And nobody at Miscrosoft...

... tested 'getting mail with an Outlook client from Exchange 2010' before releasing the patch?

Or they did - and it failed, but they released it anyway?

Or they did - and they didn't get the error/ see the issue?

Oh, well. Another day, another roll-back. And it's not just a Microsoft issue. I'm seriously considering doing the same thing with this year. Rolling back, I mean. It's demonstrated a number of usage failures, generally involving my lottery tickets and my lack-of-hair line. But I can't find the rollback protocol.... (blush).

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Anonymous Coward

Can't get email, that sounds like the perfect patch for the holidays.

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Really?

Really? They didn't test Outlook connectivity with Exchange 2010 RU8!?

So what did they test?

At least one patch a month is being pulled and re released, or at least has major problems. Come on MS pull it together!

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Coat

Re: Really?

But... but.. the anonymous marketing droids keep posting here to inform us about how Microsoft patches are properly regression tested to prevent this happening!

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Linux

How odd

Bizarrely, if we applied this thing my "full fat" email client (Evolution) would be the only one accessing our Exchange system. It uses Activesync to get there.

Weird.

Jon

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Anonymous Coward

Dumbfounded by this one

I am staggered by this cockup. With some of the recent patches that have had issues, the mitigating circumstances are that they only caused issues in certain circumstances. With the vast array of different combinations of hardware & software out there you can understand how Microsoft would not be able to test all of them and some issues could possibly get through.

The "in certain circumstances" for this one though would seem to be if you want to use Outlook. Fairly fundamental thing that should show up in testing I would think. This on a patch that was already delayed for a month. The Exchange rollups were due for release in November but held back a month due to an issue with the installer package breaking OWA.

Just to put the icing on the cake of this cockup, the rollup is classed as a security update by WSUS rather than as a hotfix rollup. Anyone using the default auto approval rule in WSUS (critical & security) is going to get this pushed out whether they want it or not.

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Exchange IMAP???

Anybody using this ? It is a Windows service that likes crashing a lot, needs to be restarted every other week.

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Re: Exchange IMAP???

I doubt it - the similarities between standard IMAP and Microsoft's IMAP implementation in Exchange are few enough that bugger all works with it. There used to be entire websites dedicated to the topic, but I suspect they gave up as it became more and more obvious that MS didn't give a stuff about IMAP and were only interested in their in-house APIs.

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Re: Exchange IMAP???

"became more and more obvious that MS didn't give a stuff about IMAP and were only interested in their in-house APIs."

Thats always been the way with MS and standards. Look at internet explorers support of HTML. And even back in the day, MS couldn't even write a correct telnet client. AFAIK its still broken, not that it matters much anymore. God knows what lash up they'd come up with if they tried to do ssh.

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Facepalm

Exchange 2013

Guess it's the only way to get folk to upgrade to Exchange 2013 with all its PowerShell nastiness.

Wish I'd stayed on 2010 :(

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Exchange 2013

"Guess it's the only way to get folk to upgrade to Exchange 2013 with all its PowerShell nastiness."

What is nasty about Powershell? It's like a *NIX shell but better in pretty much every way you can think of.

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Something really seems to have gone a little wrong at MS recently when it comes to patches. It's been pretty rare overall considering the length of breath of what it does to have issues, but this is becoming a problem every month - patches released aren't ready for the big time.

It's not just the ones El Reg bothers to comment on either - we've had significant issues with several in the past 3-4 months with considerable effort involved in dealing with the mess it creates.

Did they fire the test and QA team!?

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LDS
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I'm more worried they fired skilled programmers and replaced them with worse (and cheaper) ones...

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"I'm more worried they fired skilled programmers and replaced them with worse (and cheaper) ones..."

Fired them no - made their working conditions more and more miserable until they left yes. Or at least if my experience working at other companies is anything to go by. And then replace them with 3rd world offshorers at 20% of the salary and 1% of the ability.

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> Did they fire the test and QA team!?

Not sure if joking or actually serious. Actually that was my reaction to the news from MS as well... because yes they did. The "thinking" is that their developers are good enough to test their own code so the massive expense of maintaining separate regression testing labs and teams was unwarranted. The role of testing engineer is now undertaken by the product manager.

The last two months have already shown us how well that's working, and by april next year I'm expecting all of the good work achieved by MS since the mid-2000's in getting patching to be a more reliable process to be completely undone.

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Apparently, yes.

I can remember a comment where just this was implied when the layoff rounds went through the media. A lot of them were from QA and testing.

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FAIL

@Vince

Yes - they have actually gutted the test and QA team with additional cuts on the way. It's more than a little bit of a concern. It's causing massive issues. I can see however how they managed to miss this one as it's primarily MAPI - and that is now (believe it or not) a deprecated protocol. Mostly everyone is using Outlook Anywhere (MAPI over HTTPS) as the primary protocol. This still sucks hard. Thank goodness El Reg posts these things as I missed the update on the Exchange team blog. Yikes! I had already started installing this update on a couple systems for testing. Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!

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Linux v Windows updates

Linux:

sudo apt-get install update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Job Done. Estimated time taken: below 5 minutes.

Windows:

Run Windows update

Upgrade ActiveX

Re-run Windows update

Attempt to install

Repeat failed installation

Visit Microsoft's download website, search for KB and manually download it

Run manual installer

Reboot

Try windows update again

Repeat above until no more updates

Lack of faith prompts running MBSA

MBSA fails to update or runs without updating after long wait

Suspect MBSA not working properly and manually download update

Select option to run manual update

True enough - more patches required

Download patches manually

Re-run / re-boot / re-check several times

Software stops running properly

Attempt to diagnose problem

Assume latest updates are problem and isolate the problem

Roll back update causing problem

Re-check other updates not affected

Re-run MBSA and ignore problem update

Pull hair out and wonder how the world hasn't ground to a halt

Time taken: 1 Day

Hmmm, will my next operating system be Windows 10 or Mint 17?

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Re: Linux v Windows updates

Sounds to me like you are comparing upgrading a server with no gui to a full GUI box, updates on Windows core I find quite quick as well. When I have used the Ubuntu graphical update tool it seems to take quite a bit of time.

Also you don't go via a browser anymore for Windows update you know...

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Facepalm

Re: Linux v Windows updates

"sudo apt-get install update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Job Done."

No it isn't :P

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Re: Linux v Windows updates

Hmm, can I run Exchange server on Mint? Oh, no, I can't. DUH.

Windows:

Run Windows update

Upgrade ActiveX

Re-run Windows update

This just shows you haven't used any Windows operating system since XP / 2003

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Re: Linux v Windows updates

Thus speaketh the last Vista user... Never heard of Open Xchange then? Sorry boys but Linux is better at updating than Windoze.

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Facepalm

Re: Linux v Windows updates

"Windows:

Run Windows update

Upgrade ActiveX

Re-run Windows update

Attempt to install

Repeat failed installation"

Hey genius - running Windows Update in Internet Explorer hasn't been a thing since Windows XP.

if you linux evangelists must slag off other operating systems, at least come up with something relevant...

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Re: Linux v Windows updates

Aww, come on. Seriously? You're honestly saying that in the last three months Windows updates have run smoothly for you? Really? Hand on heart really? I didn't think so.

I have yet to come across a single Windows machine that hasn't had a problem with some update from Microsoft. In some cases they haven't been able to start up at all after the updates... I don't get that with Linux!

Whether you like it or not Linux updates are by far a lot easier and quicker. Microsoft are releasing these updates without testing them properly!

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Re: Linux v Windows updates

Thus speaketh the last Vista user... Never heard of Open Xchange then?

Seriously? The best you can come up with is a crappy web-based option?

Go back under your bridge.

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Windows

Re: Linux v Windows updates

Alternate nightmare:

Windows update works, or you think it does ... EVERY DAY, when you turn off your computer, it "installs 3 updates", sort of like "Groundhog Day", every day. At one point, I get miffed and look into it ... not that I really cared, it is a gaming machine ... actually, I do care, coz it also means that no other updates will be installed until these three bastards make it.

Open Windows Update, write down kb's, open event viewer, check for errors, some manifest error, download patches manually, attempt to apply, same issue, Google [...skipping ads], find hack 1, create restore point, apply hack to system, shutdown, restart, no joy, google, google, [...skipping ads], find hack 2, create restore point, apply hack to system ... rince and repeat x times... find a pattern in the 10 applied hacks and in the end, I managed to fix it, but the machine probably spent 6 months re-installing those updates - i do no use that box, kids did not notice problem...

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Re: Linux v Windows updates

Well at least the bridge wouldn't fall down on me the first time someone tries to use it! Come on Alister, lighten up - it's an opinion, just like yours.

You must admit that Microsoft has made some real blunders with their updates over the last few months. This is just but one of many. They need to start testing the updates properly before releasing them. Surely you can agree with that?

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Re: Linux v Windows updates

@arobertson1

I agree, Microsoft Updates are a pain in the ass, and various other orifices of your choice. And, as the story is about one that completely screws Exchange clients, it's yet another triumph for Microsoft...

However, posting sudo apt-get update and should be running Linux is not really helpful.

I administer both Linux and Microsoft servers, and much prefer the Linux ones, I spend a lot less time having to manage them, but for a business use, there is still no realistic open source alternative to Microsoft AD and Exchange which can be deployed without an awful lot of customising and fiddling about - which are just not viable for an SME. Especially since the majority of users want Windows desktops so they can run Project, Visio, and all the other loveliness.

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@ Awil Onmearse

>>"sudo apt-get install update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Job Done."

No it isn't :P

What else is there to be doe? Please, enlighten us.

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Facepalm

Wow.

Too bad Eadon got banned - this is probably the one time he would have posted "EPIC FAIL" and I'd have agreed with him...

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Anonymous Coward

who in their right mind does this

Anyone using the default auto approval rule in WSUS (critical & security) is going to get this pushed out whether they want it or not.

I ALWAYS wait at least a week before updating critical boxes with any form of windows update!

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Re: who in their right mind does this

So is that because of a bad experience with updating too quickly with Microsoft updates then? It sounds to me like you expect them not to work in the first place and then you just wait and see if anyone else has any problems before updating. Kind of like sitting on the fence between security and functionality.

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Ok, I think Mac OS X has become bloated crap, now ... however, updates on OS X just work ... in over 15 years, I have yet to experience a single update that broke the system ... not ONE.

In Linux I have, Suse, automatic updates ... one morning I come in, it tried to update glibc and sort of installed it without all its dependencies ... OS dead - you cannot even access a terminal. However, on Linux, you have Home folder, OS and non-repo apps on separate partitions ... so you just reinstall OS, 30 minutes job and you're done. I had a lot of apps in /opt (DB2, Sybase, vmware ... ). The only thing I backed up was /etc, after reinstall, re-apply /etc, mount partitions as appropriate, system back to where it was the day before.

Time ? 45 minutes (including 15 minutes grinding teeth trying to recover without reinstall) - equivalent on Windows ? 2 days. Why ? Registry ... a registry is for idiots, no ifs, buts or maybes.

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Happy

This is good

If it carries on the open source community will put together a reliable and secure replacement for Outlook and Exchange, then world+dog will finally be able to ditch the Redmond monster.

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WTF is Going On in Redmond

Seriously. I can't help but think this chaos with their horrible patches is by design to push everyone to Office 365 while they still are the dominate enterprise vendor and thus make it harder to leave once in the cloud.

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FAIL

Microsoft and TESTING?

Don't make good bedfellows any more.

TESTING, TESTING, TESTING, 1-2-Oh wait!

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