SN 810: ProxyLogon

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Steve got me riled up again.

Whilst I don’t want to defend Microsoft directly or say that they were working their butts off since the beginning of January, there is a marked difference between Chrome and Exchange Server.

Chrome is a relatively simple end-user application and can be easily substituted for another browser, if they mess an update up. Exchange, on the other hand is a monstrously complex system with dozens of applications that all have to work seamlessly together.

Google has “one” version of Chrome to worry about. Microsoft had 4 different major versions of Exchange to work on, plus, for each well over a dozen sub-versions still in active use. Often, if you are using Exchange, you have to go through 2 or 3 stages of updates to get to the latest “rollup”. It will often cause the database to mess it pants, if you apply the update directly from MS Update, although it is available through MS Update, serious admins still use Microsoft’s recommended method of downloading the patch manually and installing it per hand.

I’ve just spend a couple of days analysing our Exchange servers. It is no easy job, because Exchange is so complex. The analysis tools that they have written work on the lastest version, 2019, partially on 2013 and not at all on 2010. That should tell you how different the different versions of Exchange are, when even Microsoft’s own analysis tools can’t cope with the older versions, because too many features are missing on those platforms. In the end, I had to manually trawl through folders, log files and the Windows Event Viewer.

Just testing that lot is going to take longer than Google’s fix, test and release cycle for Chrome.

If Chrome breaks, hey, use IE, Safari or Firefox for a couple of days, until it works again (if Chrome breaks at the Blink level, then Edge, Vivaldi, Opera, Brave etc. would all also break). If Exchange breaks, millions of employees around the world would be without any email services, until the mess could be repaired. There is no using a different mail client, if the server is borked.

Yes, I wish Microsoft could have got the patch out quicker, but after a couple of days rumaging through its internals, or half a dozen servers, I’m glad they took the time to get it right first!

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