11.10.08

Why Microsoft Doomed Exchange… and E-mail Too

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Mail, Microsoft at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Anti-competitive ‘traits’ of Microsoft Exchange are nothing new to us [1, 2] and I’ve had my share of complaints too.

One reader got in touch with us (privately) after yesterday's post about the White House. He wanted to express and share an opinion: “So the Whitehouse is clubbing Microsoft Exchange into the place where a mail server should be used instead. My first reaction is that is a way of helping to ensure that any subsequent investigations are hampered and that evidence is destroyed.

“At the top levels of politics I can see how the plausible deniability that the catastrophic failure of Microsoft gimmicks bring.”

“Additionally, Microsoft is often blamed for SPAM, which is caused by its many compromised ‘deployments’ (about 320 million zombie PCs).”We thought it would be useful to group together references that show why GNU/Linux and/or Free software servers beat Microsoft Exchange [1-9], as well as bring to light fairly recent incidents (from the past year or two) of Exchange disasters [10, 11]. There are several other important issues, e.g. [12, 13], so people don’t rush to adopt Exchange [14], to say the very least.

Microsoft is, in general, risky to one’s E-mail resilience, as demonstrated in [15-19]. Additionally, Microsoft is often blamed for SPAM [20, 21], which is caused by its many compromised ‘deployments’ (about 320 million zombie PCs). This has a negative effect on ISPs, overall reliability, and cost of services that we all pay for [22].

Large amounts of SPAM render E-mail next to useless [23, 24] and Hotmail — deservedly enough (for its proprietor’s sin) — takes the toll [25, 26].

It’s all a big mess [27] and Microsoft has just rebuilt Hotmail [28] to discriminate against GNU/Linux users and annoy its existing clientèle.

_____
[1] R.I.P. Exchange?

Over the years, many of Microsoft monopolies have been successfully attacked by open source: Linux on the server; Apache for Web servers; Firefox for Web browsers; and so on.

[...]

Cisco is buying PostPath, and that is going to kick Exchange in the head. You see, is an open-source based server program that doesn’t just do e-mail and groupware, it actually has reverse-engineered Microsoft Exchange’s protocols. Result: To someone sitting at a desk looking at your copy of Outlook, you won’t be able to tell the difference.

[2] Open source could doom Exchange, one IT pro believes

The following post is a guest blog from new Google Subnet blogger Garett Kopczynski who this week launched Network World’s Google Watcher blog. Kopczynski is an IT professional for the city of Keene, N.H., and has been involved in the transformation of the IT group as it increasingly explores cloud computing and Google Apps. He writes: I am seeing the evidence of a fundamental shift to open source. The clunkiness of the IT world I have experience with brings to mind the time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and mammals waited in the wings. As people are exposed to the possibilities of server side applications and program alternatives, I think they will feel less obliged to go with the current standard. AOL, for instance, was the easiest option for Internet in the 1990′s, and yet it is no longer an indomitable presence. Open source could spell extinction for the current IT standards.

[3] Microsoft Exchange dumped for Linux-based clone

After conducting an evaluation of alternatives, the hospital decided not to upgrade to a newer version of Exchange. Instead, it went with a Linux-based Exchange clone that it felt could meet the needs of its 700 users without forcing them and IT to learn a whole new system.

[5] Why Exchange could be in trouble

Because Exchange is a whole other world, and, even with the large Exchange community, I find it equally opaque at times.

So, for now at least, we went to the tried and true Postfix+Courier-IMAP solution that is ever so common in UNIX shops, companies that are open to using Linux, and ISPs.

[6] Open source email is the future – Synaq

“We continue to receive very positive feedback from clients that have committed to a migration from traditional email platforms, Exchange and other messaging infrastructure. Clearly, there is an association between Linux-based technology and benefits such as improved operational efficiency, higher levels of infrastructure management and control, as well as lower total cost of ownership,” he adds.

[7] Multifunction Open-Source Solutions

For example, 23% of the nearly 1,000 IT managers and C-level executives who responded to the survey said they planned to migrate from Microsoft’s Exchange Server (www.microsoft.com) and replace it with a Linux (www.linux.org) or open-source messaging platform in the next 12 to 18 months.

[8] Small Player Scores Big Open-Source Win

In the scrappy open-source software world–where software is developed in the open, rather than within the confines of corporate patents–successes are hard-won and often come in small chunks. Typically it’s a few thousand government employees in Munich, Brasilia, or Amsterdam who begin using the Linux operating system or the Open Office suite of business programs, shunning comparable offerings from the likes of Microsoft.

But a deal announced Feb. 26 was on an entirely different scale. 1&1 Internet, the world’s largest Web hosting company, said it will roll out 1 million e-mail accounts this year running on Open-Xchange’s open-source software.

[9] A Hybrid Approach to E-Mail: The Best of Both Worlds

Given corporations’ existing investments and their potential need to support additional Microsoft Exchange-compatible applications in the future, this hybrid open/proprietary approach will only work if it allows users to drop in an e-mail server without making changes to desktops or infrastructure.

[...]

A better approach employs a product that is compatible at the network-protocol level with the existing infrastructure. Outlook on the desktop will “think” it is talking to Exchange when it is really talking to the new Linux e-mail server, and end users do not know they are on a different server. IT professionals get a Linux e-mail server with higher performance, that uses lower-cost storage, and that works with existing datacenter applications such as Active Directory.

[10] Virgin Media taps Microsoft in lengthy email outage

A mysterious configuration problem was identified on one of VM’s eight email server clusters last Wednesday. Microsft engineers have struggled to identify the cause, forcing several reboots.

[11] [Australia:] WA infrastructure dept close to e-mail disaster

Western Australia’s Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DPI) has revealed its Microsoft Exchange-based e-mail system is suffering frequent outages that are creating a risk of embarrassing public data loss.

[12] Read the Exchange 2007 small print

Hmmm. Simplification? Sounds more like a way for Microsoft to wring more dollars from customers, to me.

[13] Exchange 2007 facing integration issues with other Microsoft software

In a nutshell, Exchange 2007 can’t run on Microsoft’s most current virtualization software, Exchange’s management tools won’t run on the just released Vista desktop operating system and the 64-bit messaging server is not compatible with Microsoft’s forthcoming 64-bit server operating system called Longhorn.

[...]

In any case, users are already reacting, especially in regards to virtualization, which has become a hot bed of networking activity, as well as, a major area of competition for Microsoft with VMWare and open source Xen on Linux platforms

[14] Users, analysts: No rush to adopt Exchange 2007

Windows Vista isn’t the only recently released Microsoft software that will give users headaches when they upgrade their systems. Corporate users, partners, and analysts said upgrading to Exchange Server 2007 from previous versions also may be a lengthy and painful process for companies, which may want to take a wait-and-see approach to the new software.

[15] Microsoft shipped OneCare unfinished?

Since shipping in May, OneCare has failed industry tests and exposed users to attack because of a security flaw in the antivirus engine. The application also incorrectly flagged Gmail as a virus and in some cases quarantined or even deleted complete in-boxes when a single e-mail was laden with a virus.

[16] Microsoft quietly patches Windows Live OneCare to fix Outlook problems

As noted by various Microsoft watchers, the OneCare-Outlook problems are not new. A number of customers have been reporting “OneCare ate my e-mail” problems since late January.

[17] Vista: What To Do When You Cannot Delete a Message in Windows Mail

A number of users are experiencing problems with Windows Mail and deleting messages from the Inbox and Outbox. The message will first become unviewable in the reading pane and will then generate an error when you try to delete it.

[18] Microsoft looking into Hotmail, Messenger problems

Microsoft engineers were looking into problems with Windows Live Hotmail and Live Messenger on Thursday after users reported problems getting onto the services.

[19] Vista: What To Do When You Cannot Delete a Message in Windows Mail

A number of users are experiencing problems with Windows Mail and deleting messages from the Inbox and Outbox. The message will first become unviewable in the reading pane and will then generate an error when you try to delete it.

[20] Full circle: How Microsoft is trying to eradicate email

There are millions of these systems out there, according to an article from USA Today. Millions.

The mainstream media consistently use the term “computers” when they make forays into this realm. Yes, they are computers, but they’re not just any computer — they are all running Windows. All of them. Let’s not mince words here: Botnets are comprised of compromised Windows systems. Thus, Microsoft’s massive security failures are at the very core of the spam problem.

[21] Microsoft is the world’s biggest cause of zombie remailers

In China, it would take about one and one-half years wages (for the average Chinese) to buy a legitimate copy of Windows Vista. If you could find it here.

Microsoft is the biggest cause of zombie remailers in the world, because they make noises, but do not do anything to address the real digital inequities in the world.

[22] Comcast starts blocking email willy-nilly

After much shouting Comcast has lifted the block on the IP range. But this seems to be a problem with several US ISPs. For example, one ISP in Florida and another in California are convinced that every email from Bulgaria must be spam and is refusing to receive mail with a .bg ending.

[23] It’s ME vs. MICROSOFT – Who Will Win ?

Now, the only problem with #1 is that IT DOES NOT WORK. When Microsoft blackholes your email, or bounces it with “550 Your e-mail was rejected for policy reasons on this gateway.“, no amount of client whitelisting is going to help (I tried it). This leaves me with option #2 – well I say “F-You Microsoft, I’m not paying for YOUR STUPID MISTAKES!”

[24] If Intent Can Be Proven, Microsoft Could Face Millions Of Mail Fraud Charges

The final results bore out the “conventional wisdom.” If emails were donuts, Hotmail would be HomerSimpsonMail. I don’t need to reiterate the figures, there they are in blue and red. But for a Hotmail account to destroy up to 81% of all emails with attachments prior to their delivery to a “generic” ISP email account is nothing short of absurd, as these Hotmail accounts were not the free variety, but the fully paid ones. Compare those figures to the ones where the generic ISP email accounts exchanged emails with attachments and you will clearly see the difference. The worst performance was in making 2% Vanish.

[25] Hotmail’s antispam measures snuff out legit emails, too

Hotmail users and email server admins, beware: you may be unknowingly caught in the crossfire of Microsoft’s war on spam. Unintended casualties include legitimate emails from domains with well-established reputations, which are systematically blocked with absolutely no notice and little recourse.

[26] Hotmail still riddled with spam

Microsoft has admitted that up to 98 per cent of messages sent to Hotmail addresses are spam.

[...]

The findings will disappoint Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, who predicted at the 2004 Davos World Economic Forum that spam would be “eliminated” within two years.

[27] Botnet army’ behind tenfold rise in ‘attachment’ spam

“No one but the spam group knows how many PCs they can control with this spambot, it is assumed to be a high five figure number. If each of the PCs is instructed to send 200-300 spam messages containing a PDF attachment the spammers can send hundreds or millions of spam messages in a day – equivalent to 25 percent of all spam sent on a given day.”

[28] Hotmail engine overhaul

The redesign effort, even its more ambitious aspects, is not a total wash, however.

[...]

With Hotmail, Microsoft was at the end of its development rope. Every new feature basically had to be “hacked” into the code.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 30/11/2020: GhostBSD 20.11.28, Nitrux 1.3.5, Linux 5.10 RC6, GNOME Circle, Microsoft Collapses Again in Web Server Share

    Links for the day



  2. Alternatives to the World Wide Web, to HTML, to HTTP/S, and to the Internet

    Looking around the Web (yes, the Web) for alternatives to the Web (and the stack underneath the Web), we're finding that IPFS is mature and robust enough for our needs



  3. Management of the EPO Dragged to the International Labour Organisation Over Its Assault on the Right to Strike

    Opinion on strikes challenged by the Central Staff Committee of Europe's second-largest organisation; if strike rights are almost abolished there, what hope is there for the rest of Europe?



  4. [Meme] Management of the EPO Cannot Let the Staff Breathe or Smell Freedom

    Working for the EPO means giving up on one’s human rights; that’s the sort of conclusion many workers have reached



  5. “ViCo” is Nothing New (Not Even the Acronym), Done on 9/11 Last Year, Been Possible as Long as the EPO Has Existed

    Contrary to what many people are led to believe, the EPO isn't embracing innovation, it's just embracing COVID-19 and leveraging lock-downs (de facto house arrest to some) to impose an illegal practice on EPO staff and EPO stakeholders



  6. Release: Early Letters and Documents About Financial Hoax Disguised as EPO 'Study'

    It was over a year ago that staff representation at the EPO expressed concerns about what would later enrage workers — seeing that based on unscientific fabrications the EPO would take away what had been promised to them



  7. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 29, 2020



  8. Managing IP: Puff Pieces Galore for the EPO's Dictatorship (Complete With Buzzwords and PR Stunts)

    By giving a platform to notorious patent trolls and ‘engaging’ with the EPO‘s dictator (whom only 3% of EPO staff trusts) Managing IP is sort of giving away its real agenda, which isn’t journalism but conducting or assisting misinformation campaigns



  9. Links 29/11/2020: Genode OS Framework 20.11, Linux 5.11 Kernel Changes, and Latest in KDE Itinerary

    Links for the day



  10. Sincere Thoughts About Outreachy

    Outreachy's role in the Free software community and inclusion in the FSF's High Priority Projects, as seen from the eyes of a female coder from a minority group; she used to work for the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and she expresses concerns about what Outreachy has become



  11. Free Software Under Tyranny of Codes of Conduct as the Western Equivalent of Blasphemy Law (Corporations as the New Religion/Sponsors as Deities)

    The free speech crisis in Free software communities has enabled expulsion of opinionated people whose opinions truly matter; in their place we now have companies that bomb people, sometimes even kidnapping children and sterilising women because nothing says “Ethics” like naked fascism and corporate domination everywhere



  12. Release: 4 More Documents and Letters About the Financial Siege at Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    Documents disputing the accuracy of the "hoax" from António Campinos and the Mercers



  13. One Year Ago: The Last EPO Demonstration Before COVID-19

    About a year ago staff of the EPO apparently had its last protest (in front of the Isar building) before staff got ‘herded’ into homes, where workers became more isolated and even illegally spied on



  14. [Meme] Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) is an Attack on Europe and the European Businesses That Don't Do Litigation

    Litigation lawyers and patent zealots want to set Europe ablaze with legislation that they themselves crafted; thankfully, however, they face constitutional obstacles, no matter how many politicians they bamboozle and buy



  15. Reasons EPO Staff Decided to Go on Strike This Year (Before or Until Coronavirus Prevented It)

    An year-old letter from the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) to the President of the EPO; 7 reasons for going on strike are enumerated



  16. EPO Can Save Money by “Dropping Events Like the Inventor of the Year, Reducing the Number of Managers, Throwing Less Money at Consultants or Bringing the Boards of Appeal Back into Office Buildings.”

    Constructive suggestions from EPO staff, made just over a year ago and assembled into a letter to their EPO colleagues



  17. The Real Fate of the UPC 'Stunt' in Germany Will be Known Next Month (or Next Year) and There Are Substantial Constitutional Barriers in the Way

    Contrary to what Team UPC wants people to think, UPC(A) isn’t a “done deal” in Germany; they never actually addressed the substance of complaints and with help from Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in the Commission they’re just attempting a blatant coup



  18. Microsoft Removes Free Software From GitHub Again, This Time for Motion Picture Association (MPA)

    GitHub is proving to be more of a censorship site than a code-sharing site; with the GitHub takeover Microsoft became a 'censorship police' or force of occupation against its ideological competition; just weeks after the YouTube-DL debacle and further take-downs seeking to 'protect' broken DRM schemes (by banning code) we can see that Microsoft isn't defending developers at all; it's just protecting the interests of MPA, RIAA and other Biden circles from the interests of the general population, which sometimes circumvents perfectly circumventable 'DRM' schemes



  19. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 28, 2020



  20. Help Make Techrights (and Other Technology-Centric Sites) More Robust to Censorship by Setting Up More IPFS Nodes

    We’re trying to improve the site’s availability (ensuring it can never be offline) and make it more censorship-resistant; people who adopt IPFS can make that happen while tackling the “bloated Web” and “centralised Internet” issues — all at the same time



  21. Microsoft Loves Linux and Android Apps Running on Windows Instead of GNU/Linux and Android Devices

    Microsoft loves Linux, they say; but as Microsoft's former VP James Allchin put it: "If you're going to kill someone there isn't much reason to get all worked up about it and angry -- you just pull the trigger [...] We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger."



  22. Links 28/11/2020: RenderDoc 1.11, GNOME 40 Scrolling Horizontally

    Links for the day



  23. Nine Documents About the Financial Siege Against EPO Staff (Past, Present, and Future)

    Today we release dozens of pages of letters and documents (internal to Europe's second-largest institution); they all focus on the betrayal and skulduggery, crushing staff in spite of what was originally promised (and what workers actually signed up for)



  24. EPO Senior Management (Cabal) “Essentially Deaf to the Proposals From Staff Representatives.”

    Representatives of EPO staff feel like the management of the EPO is "deaf" and uncaring; there's hardly any meaningful progress (or none whatsoever) when it comes to truly honest dialogue with real participation



  25. EPO Management, Led by António Campinos, Attempted to Stifle or Prevent Staff From Being Surveyed

    Battistelli's cabal, which covers up a lot of fraud and corruption, is attempting to prevent the staff from expressing an opinion (for insiders and perhaps outsiders to assess) because things are really bad and autocratic measures are seen as necessary to keep the lid on issues/abuses



  26. The European Patent Office's Central Staff Committee: Office Cannot Recruit Fit-for-Purpose Patent Examiners Anymore

    One third of EPO recruits are 'locals' (Germans), 0.2% are Swiss, 1% Scandinavian; the EPO as an employer became unattractive and it's unable to attract the staff it needs (as was projected and planned when the EPC was agreed upon)



  27. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, November 27, 2020



  28. Links 27/11/2020: Jolla is 7, Diffoscope 162, MNT Reform Production

    Links for the day



  29. The Time Coronavirus Helped EPO Management Prevent Staff From Protesting and Going on Strike (March 26th)

    "In view of the spreading of the New Corona Virus, the planned General Assemblies have to be cancelled," the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) wrote in the wake of the crisis across Europe back in March (weeks ahead of a planned strike)



  30. Guarding Your Privacy With E2EE: Primer

    "As with all security, there is assumed risk no matter how careful you are. There are no security guarantees but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try."


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts