Inside Mac OS X Snow Leopard: Exchange Support



  • Reply 21 of 27
    I continually have issues with the lack of professional tone I encounter in articles that ought to be purely technical, but that deviate from what they ought to be. If you start off with a statement such as, "Windows Enthusiasts like to spin Apple's support for Exchange on the iPhone and in Snow Leopard as endorsement of Microsoft in the server space. From another angle, ...", then your article is inherently lacking in objectivity at the get go. There is just no way that an objective, purely technical article would be concerned at all with what sort of "spin" others may or may not have applied to a topic.

    It concerns me that we have a whole generation of younger professionals who are so accustomed to technical articles that push a particular agenda, that they take for granted that this is the normal way that technical articles should be written. This is very unfortunate.

    For this to have been a good article, it would have needed to start by explaining exactly what MS exchange even is, and would need to have proceeded from there to explain what is required of a client application that interfaces with MS exchange, and from there to explaining how those requirements break down, in a UNIX-based operating system, between operating system functionality and application program functionality. Being of the Old School where we believe that the UNIX operating system was essentially complete back when Berkeley added the socket system call that solved the problem where a process could not block simultaneously on dissimilar I/O calls, I think it is highly unlikely that the operating system per se was lacking anything that was needed to fully support Exchange. That elegant layering model has long since been broken of course by the requirement to write applications in high-level OO languages where the foundation classes force the application to embed method calls that cause the program the block and without most application programmers these days even aware of the fact that their process is blocking within this or that method call. As a consequence of this programming paradigm, a whole generation of programmers does not even understand the difference between the operating system and the application, and this is why we now see all these different articles that espouse all these notions about how certain versions of Apple's OS do not "support" certain networking applications such as MS Exchange.

    My assumption, which I believe is reasonable, is that whatever application-layer protocols are defined in association with MS Exchange, they are layered over the standard layers of the Internet protocol stack. As such, they are fully supported by Apple's OS, and have been since long before Apple even switched over to the UNIX-based OS. It has been more than a decade since I looked into how BSD implemented the IP stack, but off the top of my head it is a pretty good bet that there is more of it implemented within the kernel than is inherently necessary. In any case, there is no way, no how that the operating system itself, being a derivation of Berkeley UNIX, has lacked anything that was needed to fully support whatever application layer protocols MS is using.

    The operating system (OS X) is separate and distinct from the myriad applications that Apple provides. There is a one-way dependence between the operating system and the applications. It is not logically correct to infer, from the fact that Apple bundles some applications along with the operating system and sends updates to some applications along with updates to the operating system, that these applications are part of the operating system and should therefore be placed in the same logical bucket as the operating system per se. Anything that Apple has ever delivered that was specific to a client application of MS Exchange or any other application that defines application protocols that are layered over the standard IP protocol stack, is not now and never has been a feature or attribute of the operating system per se. Let's get that much straight to start with, and then go from there, because if we can't get that much straight, then nothing that we have said amounts to anything more than a pile of jabberwocky. Send the kids back to school so that they can learn how to write to start with, and then send them back to study computer science.
  • Reply 22 of 27
    Originally Posted by asterion View Post

    For some comments on how "competently" Snow Leopard incorporates Exchange Support, see the eleven pages of comments on Apple's discussion forums...!

    Basically, Exchange Support in Mail doesn't work (though, stupidly, it seems to work fine on the iPhone).

    Exchange support works on the iPhone because Apple licensed ActiveSync from Microsoft.
  • Reply 23 of 27
    Originally Posted by Andrew Levi Black View Post

    That's a pretty broad generalization about "all Mac users." Who specifically has said anything along those lines? Even this article only mentions that with Apple owning the client, it will have the possibility of offering alternatives. It does not claim that MobileMe or SL Server offer an identical feature set, nor that the built in support for Exchange is equal to or superior to Microsoft's own Windows Outlook client features. I've never heard anyone suggest anything like that.

    Entourage is certainly third rate compared to Outlook for Windows, and the new 2010 Outlook for Mac will not support all the features of Exchange either. But Apple's delivery of even 80% of the functionality customers are looking for, for FREE, will certainly prevent a large number of Mac Exchange users from going out of their way to use Outlook, and with other options, there will be those who decide to use Google/MobileMe/SL Server.

    What makes you think that sheer numbers of technical features will prevent sales of alternatives, particularly options that are significantly cheaper? The top selling game console is the Wii, not the PS3. There are phones fancier and more featured than the iPhone. There are MP3 players with features the iPod never had. There are IE features that Safari and Firefox don't provide.

    Daniel, I thought you were over sock puppeting? At least invent some new names.
  • Reply 24 of 27
    Is there any ACTUAL review of the matter on topic with SPECIFIC ups and downs, rather than all this DRIVEL?
  • Reply 25 of 27
    Oh look the influx of posts pointing out how the article that was supposed to clear up all the misunderstanding and misrepresentations didn't mention any of the Exchange features that are not supported and the fact that it doesn't offer the same integration that Outlook does.

    What a surprise, shame most people tend to read the comments when there posted...
  • Reply 26 of 27
    "With iWork and the built in Exchange client support in Snow Leopard, many users will have no need to even consider Microsoft's Mac client offerings. It will be very difficult for Microsoft to convince Mac users that they need Office after those users discover suitable alternatives that cost significantly less."

    Unless of course the client support in, iCal and AddressBook (the support is not in the OS but in the apps) does NOT work. I've found quite a number of people (including Exchange 2007 Server admins) for whom iCal simply does not work with Exchange 2007. So .. I'll be back to using Entourage in the meantime while I wait for Outlook for the Mac.
  • Reply 27 of 27
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Wow, these Inside Snow Leopard articles have garnered more criticism about the presentation than about the facts contained in that presentation. I won't generalize and characterize all the criticism either good or bad since there are certainly examples of both.

    My take is that Dilger has an obvious preference for Mac OS but that the bias would be acceptable to most readers if the articles were more factual and technical.

    Not that I could do any better. Nor are these articles unique in how they stray heavily onto the commentary side of the coin. The cable "news" networks have very little actual "news" nowadays either. They're almost complete commentary at this point. They should be called cable commentary channels instead, Fox Commentary and CCN (Cable Commentary Network). This trend toward ubiquitous commentary is visible throughout all forms of media. It seems as though Dilger is bearing the brunt of the backlash in our neck of the woods.
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