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First Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update Due in April

A cumulative update designed to support Exchange 2013 coexistence with Exchange 2010 is set for an April 2 release, Microsoft announced this week.

Microsoft released Exchange 2010 Service Pack 3 last month, which includes capabilities that will enable Exchange 2010 to work with Exchange 2013. However, this coexistence capability depended on Microsoft also releasing Cumulative Update 1 (CU1) for Exchange 2013. According to a blog post by Ross Smith IV, a principal program manager for the Exchange customer experience, Microsoft expects to release CU1 for Exchange 2013 on April 2.

The release will be a little late, as Microsoft had promised CU1 for Exchange 2013 for first-quarter delivery. However, Smith explained that Microsoft is delaying this release because it doesn't want to burden its customers with a barrage of configuration changes on Exchange 2010. The company is doing some engineering work to make that circumstance less likely.

Smith's explanation appears to be an oblique recognition of the many update rollups that IT pros have endured of late. Microsoft appears to have taken notice that its frequent update releases have become burdensome. Last month, Microsoft announced a new cumulative update policy for Exchange 2013 that aims for more predictable release cadence.

This new Exchange 2013 policy will separate security updates, in many cases, from cumulative updates. The frequency of the update releases also will be reduced under the new policy, Smith added. Microsoft even will delay the release of an update and work to resolve an issue if it determines that "the vast majority of on-premises customers are affected," Smith explained in the blog post.

Readers of Smith's blog post seemed somewhat relieved. However, a March 25 comment by "Monty" offered a cautious note.

"With all the crummy half-baked RTM and updates released lately, it is certainly refreshing to hear this news," Monty wrote. "I'll gladly wait another week rather than have to go through another twice-recalled rollup fiasco again. So, kudos to the Exchange team for having the big ones to just come right out and tell us the not really so bad news. Hopefully on April 2nd we'll finally (and I do emphasize FINALLY) be able to have a usable and finished Exchange 2013 server we can actually start testing and deploy with our Exchange 2010 setups."

Smith also promised in the blog that Microsoft would be releasing a new Exchange 2013 Role Requirements Calculator. However, he didn't have a date to share.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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