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The top Exchange Server news stories of the year

This end-of-the-year feature gives IT admins a recap of the most popular Exchange news stories of 2013.

This was a busy year for Exchange Server, and we reported on the latest happenings with Microsoft's messaging system. Here are 2013's five most popular Exchange Server news stories.

Transition logs hit hard by Apple iOS 6.1 Exchange 2010 bug

End users ran into trouble in February when they tried syncing their Apple devices with their mailboxes through Exchange ActiveSync. The sync created an abnormal amount of transaction logs, which drained memory and degraded performance. Admins used a number of methods to contain the bug for end users. Some admins blocked iOS 6.1 all together, others implemented throttling policies and some isolated 6.1 users until Apple released iOS 6.1.2 to fix the bug.

Exchange admins have mixed feelings about Exchange 2010 SP3 release

Admins were pleased to see the release of Exchange 2010 SP3, but it was missing Exchange 2013 CU1, important for coexistence between Exchange 2010 SP3 and Exchange 2013. Some Exchange experts called the lack of CU1 "frustrating" and "a disappointment." But others said waiting for the update could mean additional fixes for Exchange 2013 bugs later on. Even without CU1, the release of Exchange 2010 SP3 gave admins support for Windows Server 2012.

Cloud subscription model required with Office licensing overhaul

Microsoft's plan included a move to push Office 365 and Office applications together for a cloud-based subscription model. The licensing changes give way to a single license for managing multiple server and Office desktop products, which could simplify the company's licensing terms and conditions. This change may benefit smaller IT shops, but it could be complicated for larger shops with existing Software Assurance plans and Enterprise Agreements.

Microsoft backtracks on Exchange update, puts testing processes in jeopardy

Microsoft pulled an update for Exchange 2013 from August's Patch Tuesday cycle because it didn't test the update before releasing it. Customers saw problems almost immediately after implementing it. One expert called the pulled update "the latest in a long line of cock-ups." The update meant the company would delay the release of Exchange 2013 CU3 and put the quarterly cadence for Exchange updates into question.

Office 365 subscribers can get their hands on OWA for iPad and iPhone

Exchange Online users had a new way to access email on iPads and iPhones when Microsoft delivered OWA for Apple devices in July. Customers could use OWA if they had Office 365 subscriptions and Exchange hosted on the cloud, but Exchange 2013 customers had to wait. Other features in the app included Bing maps, push notifications and voice actions. Analysts said the move was a good way to have end users hook up their mail to their phones.

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In your opinion, what was the biggest Exchange Server news story of 2013?