exchange

A recent paper presented at Black hat 2012 by Peter Hannay has demonstrated a vulnerability in how iOS and Android deal with certificates whilst operating with an Exchange Server. The good news in this report is that Peter was unable to trick Windows Phone 7.5 devices using the same methods.

Using a man in the middle attack combined with a generic fake certificate, they were able to gain some traction in sending a command to iOS and Android devices to commence a device wipe. When devices are connected via Active Sync they commit to accepting certain responsibilities, one of the most important and sensitive of which is the wipe command. They tested off two sets of Exchange 2010 servers. One running with a self-signed certificate, a very common configuration for small business and another using a certificate from a trusted certificate signing authority.

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Microsoft has today unveiled the Outlook.com preview to the public, which is essentially a Hotmail upgrade. The successor is completely metrofied, and is feature rich taking elements and functionality from both Hotmail and Exchange. Outlook.com is integrated into Windows and Office, while being able to connect to social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Gmail and LinkedIn for contact synchronisation.

Microsoft is offering 7GB of free storage through SkyDrive for those signing up to the new email service, and is attempting to turn users away from email attachements to cloud storage. Outlook.com will become a supported option when setting up email on Windows 8, Windows Phone (as well as other smartphones that support Exchange ActiveSync). From the video below, we can see Skype integration being present for video calls to be made without launching the app. Exciting stuff.

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Good for Enterprise™ released for Windows Phone

As we reported earlier this morning, Good Technologies was prepping to release their enterprise messaging app for Windows Phone, a big win for those who need security and a strong feature set for their device.

That app has now gone live in the Marketplace ready for download. We must emphasize: you need Good's back-end technology to run this as it is not standalone (think Exchange). From the app description:

"Good for Enterprise™ delivers secure mobile collaboration and device management for Windows Phone devices.  With Good for Enterprise, employees securely access corporate email, contacts, and calendar.  Good for Enterprise provides a unique, secure container that separates personal from business while respecting employees’ privacy – ideal for BYOD devices.  Unlike other solutions, only Good for Enterprise prevents data loss by providing security at the application layer (in addition to device security)."

We listed the full feature set earlier and needless to say, it's fairly comprehensive for a v1.0 release and what's more, Good promises more features in coming updates.

As noted in comments on our previous article, the main benefit for Good users is encryption of messaging, sandboxing of data and better security than Windows Phone or Exchange alone can offer (for now). Plus, with clients on the iPhone, iPad and Android it's nice to see Windows Phone on par with the competition.

Pick up Good for Enterprise™ for Windows Phone here in the Marketplace. Thanks, Munsey S., for the tip

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Windows Phone 7.5 users are reporting some quirks with how it interacts with Exchange 2003 servers.  Firstly, when replying to an email using an Exchange 2003 account on a Windows Phone, the original message does not get included in the reply.  What the recipient sees instead is just the header information from the original message (pictured above). 

Another issue identified by Exchange 2003 users involves forwarded emails.  When forwarding a message to someone, the original content gets sent to the recipient as an attachment (pictured below). 

It's unclear why exactly this is happening, but it's certainly causing people frustration.  It's likely due legacy technology Exchange 2003 , which has since seen two newer iterations, Exchange 2007 and the latest, 2010.  Still, given that Exchange 2003 is clearly outdated and that it behooves companies to upgrade, the fact of the matter is that a brand new Microsoft product should interact flawlessly with another Microsoft product.  To add some fuel to the already justifiable fire, let's consider that Microsoft's competitors, namely Android and iPhone, do not have the same bugs.  Microsoft, you have some explaining to do.

NOTE: One commenter on the user voice page says that they are using Exchange 2003 SP2 and they are not experiencing the issue.  The tests I ran where I did have problems were on the same version of Exchange, so perhaps there is some update out there that fixes this. 

The Exchange ActiveSync Client Comparison Table on Microsoft TechNet does not list anything prior to Exchange 2003 SP2, so if you have WP7 working with anything older, then a hearty congratulations to you.

ANOTHER NOTE: This issue is being reported in some places as an Outlook issue, which is not the case.  The problem here has something to do with how the phone OS itself and the Exchange server communicate, which does not involve an email client like Outlook.  Though to be fair, when setting up an Exchange account in WP7, the option you choose is called "Outlook."

Source: Microsoft (Thanks for the tip, Mike!)

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Get GAL lookup working post-NoDO

One of perks of NoDo that pertains to the enterprise world is the ability to look up contacts on your Exchange server's Global Address List for Exchange 2003.  However, just applying NoDo might not do the trick.  In order to get the GAL look-up option to show up, you might need to do this:

  1. Delete your current Exchange account on the phone
  2. Reboot your device
  3. Set up your Exchange account again

Once this is done, you can then go into the People Hub and search for a contact.  You will then see the option to "search Outlook directory" as well as the other search options available.

Thanks, Amir for the tip!

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Currency Converter Pro - Review

Like to keep track of currency exchange rates? Curious what the latest price of aluminum is? BlackLight Mobile is offering Currency Converter Pro over at the Marketplace that puts a ton of currency exchange information on your Windows Phone.

From simply currency conversion (147 world currencies and 6 metals) to tracking the value of a currency or precious metal Currency Converter Pro is a handy travel application as well a nice travel app.  Currency Converter Pro will even provide you with a sample image of the bank note you are researching. Toss in recent currency news and Currency Converter Pro may be a total package.

Ease on past the break to read more on this Windows Phone travel/financial app.

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My Thoughts on Windows Phone 7 (Tim Ferrill)

Watching the growth of Windows Phone 7 over this past year has been an exercise in patience. Microsoft’s strategy of showing the customers what they were working on months ahead of an actual release is very different that what one would expect from a company like Apple, where they announce a product only after it was already in production. The advantage of Microsoft’s strategy is that they have received feedback from both developers and consumers on the different features and functionality that will be included or (in some cases) left out. I really think Windows Phone 7 will be a better product because of this strategy.

Hit the break for all of my thoughts on Windows Phone 7.

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Just a follow up on that Hotmail with Exchange Activesync support--word is, it is now Active Live err...working.

The settings are pretty straight forward if you are familiar with setting up an Exchange account on your device. Simply enter this info and you should be good to go:

Server / URL: m.hotmail.com

Username: Enter full email address, for example: someone@example.com

Domain: Leave this blank

SSL: Enable this

Certificate: Accept the SSL certificate when prompted

Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Tasks: All can be enabled

[via LiveSide.net]

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It appears that Microsoft will finally flip the switch and enable Exchance Activesync for Windows Live Hotmail. According to a ZDNet UK report, this feature will become active on August 30, 2010 allowing for contacts, calendar and hotmail to be synced with your Windows Live Account (some devices will be compatible with Task sync as well).

This will put Windows Live on an even playing field with Google, who has supported Activesync with Gmail, calendar, and contacts for some time. This will also give the new Windows Phone 7 a more complete connectivity package.

Indications are that in testing, Activesync was fast, simple and glitch free.  It appears the server address for Activesync configuration will be m.hotmail.com but nothing official has been released. 

So with the ability to sync contacts, appointments, and now email with Windows Live I wonder how many will switch over from Google?

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Windows Live Hotmail is slated to officially receive Exchange ActiveSync support sometime this summer. However, while nothing has been announced, it appears this support is already active.

Liveside.net is reporting some users are having success in syncing their Hotmail accounts through ActiveSync. Through trial and error, the server address has been identified as  m.hotmail.com, SSL should be enabled, and you leave the domain blank. Obviously you enter in your username and password accordingly.

If you're feeling adventurous, give it a try but remember, this isn't an official announcement so there may be performance issues present.  Also, with ActiveSync only able to sync with one Exchange Server, you will have to delete your existing data.  Make sure you have things backed up before giving it a whirl.

In reading the Windows Live Hotmail FAQ Sheet, calendar and contact support is also present with Exchange ActiveSync.  There's no mention of task synchronization which may be a downside for some.

It's nice to see ActiveSync support coming to Windows Live and Hotmail.  It may make the choice between Windows Live and Google a little more difficult to make.

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Here's a nice surprise that will make many Windows Mobile folks happy.  It appears Redmond is serious about WM6.5.3, including now adding new features to Outlook (see our previous WM6.5.3 coverage here).

Threaded email has been the holy grail for many and for good reason. Being an "Exchange centric" operating system, Windows Mobile has a lot riding on its image as the premier business (and more and more consumer) email machine.  Seeing as Google has left us high and dry for their Android platform, it only seems fitting that Microsoft fills the gap, as nothing beats native support.

Coming from the WM6.5.3 build 23517 (or 23515, there is some issue there), the Outlook client features a "Conversations" button near the top that gives different options for sorting (From, received, subject, etc.).

Messages act just like in Gmail: they are organized by a single topic, opening up the meta-message will reveal all the email in response.  There is also about three lines of text to preview the message, saving you time from having to open up every message.

Overall the system is very efficient and a huge win for an added feature.  Granted, we would have like to have seen this like yester-year, but we'll take what we can.

Update: to clarify, this is not Exchange 2010 dependent.  It will work with your regular Gmail account or other services.  It is the default sort option in Outlook, built into its core and independent of any Exchange account.

[thanks to A1jatt for the ROM]

   

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Here is a real strange but evidently real issue for Omnia II users: if you  have Exchange + McAfee Anti-Spam E-mail Toolbar working in tandem, it appears that some of your emails won't come through when using the Omnia II with WM6.5.

User UpHillBattle (indeed) writes

I'm experiencing a strange problem with my new Samsung Omnia II (WM 6.5). I have set up ActiveSync (on the cell phone) to sync e-mail, contacts, calendar and tasks with an Exchange Server. I used the same setup on my older HTC Touch Cruise (WM 6.1) and had no problems then.

The sync appears to be successful after setup, but later some e-mails are synced to the Omnia II while others are not. I have reset the device to factory settings and set up the connection again, only to experience the same thing: Success at first, then later some e-mails are received, while others are not.

Upon some diligent testing he later responds

...it's the McAfee Anti-Spam E-mail Toolbar. For those of you that don't know McAfee, it has an optional toolbar that can be enabled in various e-mail clients (Outlook 2007 in my case) and that lets you manually mark (or unmark) e-mail messages as spam. When I disable the toolbar, everything is fine - when I enable it, I get the problems described above.

Both Samsung and McAfee have been made aware of the problem and a fix of some sort is expected in the future (vague, eh?).  Until then, if you have this gruesome-twosome setup, best to follow UpHillBattle's advice.

[via Windows phone Connection forum]

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Microsoft has made the Office 2010 beta available for public consumption, which means you and I can download it for your desktop as well as your phone. The mobile version is available in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and you can get the desktop version here. The beta includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, SharePoint Workspace and OneNote. Exchange 2010 will require your Exchange provider to push it out once it's released.

Do note that the beta will expire on April 5, 2010, so don't be expecting to use this forever. We'll be tinkering with Office 2010 over the next few days. Share your thoughts in the comments, and let us know what you would like to see.

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It should come as no great surprise that Microsoft's upcoming Office 2010 (now in beta) will bring a refresh to Windows Mobile. After all, we've covered it here and here. (And here's the one you really should watch.) But just in case you were worried that Microsoft was holding out until Windows Mobile 7, fear not. Office 2010 will be coming to Windows Mobile 6.5. Some features (such as Sharepoint and Exchange) will be dependent on your Exchange provider having upgraded to 2010. But you've been looking for another reason to bug them, right? [Microsoft via Mobile Tech World]

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Here's a forum post from WMExperts reader Blinocac200sx, who has a problem with his Exchange account.

How do I change my exchange account. It's currently set for a place I no longer work for, and now I want to use it at my current job. I can change the server, but it doesn't want to let me change the domain or user name.

The answer's easy enough, if you know where to look. (Yeah, welcome to Windows Mobile.)

What else is going on in the forums? Simbadogg asks about over-the-air updates with Windows Mobile 6.5. The Celio REDFLY developer's forum is jumping. And Glidersgalore needs some help sending a contact by e-mail. Join the conversations!

 

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We've previously discussed some of the upcoming changes Outlook Mobile may see with the launch of Microsoft Exchange 2010 (we say may because it's up to your IT department to actually implement them). A recap:

  • Threaded e-mail.
  • Voicemail transcription.
  • Sync SMS.
  • Block/quarantine phones.
  • See when messages you've replied to or forwarded.
  • See if a contact has some free time for you.

And, the really cool part: When your business (or Exchange provider, at least) upgrades to Exchange 2010, an upgraded version of Outlook Mobile can be pushed to your Windows Mobile 6.1/6.5 phone.

Now, see a few of those changes in action. Part 1 is above, and the second part of the video is after the break.

Technet [via wmpoweruser]

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Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 (and ActiveSync) is coming, and that means new features for Windows Mobile. Some of them are for IT types, others directly affect you, the end user. Here's what's in store:

On the Server side:

  • Block/allow/quarantine phones: That's one for the IT side.
  • OTA update of Outlook Mobile: That's right, a new version of the app can be pushed to your phone. Wouldn't hold your breath in hopes of seeing this outside of a corporate environment, but you never know.
  • Sync SMS: It'd been rumored for a while. You can send text messages to networked phones from Outlook or OWA access and respond from either, as well as from your phone.

On the phone side:

  • Threaded messages(!): Instead of cluttering your inbox with each and every message, they're threaded by "conversations." Nothing you're not already used to elsewhere, and a welcome addition to Windows Mobile. There also are options to ignore threads or move them to other folders.
  • Reply state: See which messages you've replied to or forwarded.
  • Voice card/transcription: If someone sends you a voicemail through Exchange, it's transcribed(!!!) and you can play it directly in the e-mail. Very cool.
  • Get free/busy: No, not like that. It's just quick way to see if someone on your network is free or busy.

Again, this all involves Microsoft Exchange 2010, through it'd be great to get some of the Outlook Mobile features for people outside a corporate envrionment. For those of you on the inside, start lobbying your IT department now.

Microsoft Technet via wmpoweruser

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Now wait just a gosh-darn cotton-pickin' minute here. Sure, the Palm Pre will sync up with an Exchange account. That's Smartphone 101. But to the best of our knowledge, Windows Mobile phones — and every other phone that licenses Exchange — can only sync to one account at a time. Don't believe us? A quick trip to The Google brings up:

But Palm, apparently, says different. Our friends at PreCentral.net spotted deep inside some recent leaked documents a line or three where it's explicitly mentioned that the Pre will sync to multiple Exchange accounts. The next question, natch, is: How the heck is this being accomplished? Some IMAP trickery? Some heretofore unknown service? Follow-up question: Will this be available on Windows Mobile. And if not, why?!?!?!?

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Ask WME: How to clear company directory history

A couple of weeks ago, WMExperts podcast listener Mark (Hi, Mark!) asked Dieter and Mal if there was a way to clear out the search history from the company directory (Exchange) side of Outlook Mobile. We scratched our heads for a while and then went to the source. Here's what the Outlook Mobile team came up with:

  1. From the file explorer, navigate to Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\
  2. Delete “GalSeachHistory.dat”

There you go. Easy as pie. Once again it proves it's not what you know, but who you know. :)

And if you have a question for Dieter and Malatesta, shoot an e-mail to podcast at wmexperts dot com.

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