While Microsoft (News - Alert) does a great job of marketing its new releases as the next best thing in technology, IT professionals are not easily convinced. In fact, the latest Update Rollup 5 v2 for the Exchange 2010 Service Pack 2 is just another testament to the company’s ability to issue releases that fail to address key issues in email hosting.
A RedmondMag report shows skepticism among IT professionals as they’ve lost patience with the continuous back and forth fixes that tend to come along with the software giant’s update rollup releases. The issues appeared to have started when a problem with Update Rollup 4 was released for Exchange 2010 SP1 that wasn’t fixed when a subsequent update was released.
The problem this time is the inclusion of a security fix, as well as a number of functionality fixes. One IT blogger, Paul Bendall, shared in his IT blog that he finds it completely unacceptable that the Microsoft security team elected to fix security vulnerabilities for email hosting only in Update Rollups.
Bendall suggests this move is too broad. He believes the email hosting security vulnerability should be addressed with a small hotfix that pinpoints and fixes the exact vulnerability. Instead, Microsoft opts to include it with a wider rollup that includes added functionality and extensive changes to the base code. For IT professionals in the corporate environment, testing any type of large rollup is contrary to security patching.
The update rollup released last week also addressed other Exchange products in an effort to deliver the MS12-80 security patch. But are these rollups truly addressing the needs of the key customer or instead are they designed around Microsoft key initiatives? IT professionals prefer to separate their monthly security patch efforts from activities surrounding the application of an Update Rollup. Microsoft, in contrast, always tends to add at least one security patch.
Microsoft’s standard technology definition suggests that an update rollup is a cumulative set of security updates, hotfixes, critical updates and other updates that have been tested and then packaged together to ease deployment. A rollup will generally focus on a specific area, product or component. While IT professionals see these rollups as nothing short of challenging, Microsoft takes the stance that its approach is the best way to protect these applications and address functionality problems.
At the same time, Microsoft has to stay on top of problems that arise as a result of applications with which it must integrate. For instance, Apple (News - Alert) issued a release for iOS 6 that addressed the way the mail in the Apple operating system has implemented the ActiveSync protocol. Some suggest that Microsoft bears some of the responsibility to ensure ActiveSync licensees implement and use the protocol correctly given the use of email hosting throughout multiple smartphone platforms.
In reality, Microsoft does work directly with many of these licensees to help them build better clients. Ultimately, however, the company can’t control they way the clients are released or used and the finger pointing may need to be squarely on the licensee as it is their job to ensure the optimal experience for the user.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman