Following the communities in the Web we found surprising news from Microsoft. In a letter to the achievers of the Microsoft Certified Master Program, Microsoft announced the decision to cancel (“pause”) the Master certification track while leaving the title valid for now. Find more Information on Devin Ganger’s Blog.
The arguments of Microsoft to stop the program include costs of the track, poor contribution of the MCP community and the obvious existence of “non-technical” barriers for many candidates like the extensive costs and the English-only approach.
Microsoft’s Tim Sneath:
“We want it to be an elite community, certainly. But some of the non-technical barriers to entry run the risk of making it elitist for non-technical reasons. Having a program that costs candidates nearly $20,000 creates a non-technical barrier to entry. Having a program that is English-only and only offered in the USA creates a non-technical barrier to entry. Across all products, the Masters program certifies just a couple of hundred people each year, and yet the costs of running this program make it impossible to scale out any further.”
Find the full text here.
Migration Manager for Exchange 8.10 is available for download via the Dell/Quest support website along with CPUU 5.2. Remarkable is the support for single-hop Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2013 migration scenarios and public folder migration coexistence to Exchange 2013 public folder mailbox technology.
Together with Exchange 2013 as target mailbox system, wave 15 of Office 365 is also officially supported.
According to the release notes, QMM Exchange 8.10 provides the following features:
- Migrate Microsoft Exchange 2000–2010 mailboxes to Microsoft Exchange 2013 without locking users out of their mailboxes.
- Benefit from direct one-step migration from legacy Microsoft Exchange 2000–2010 servers to Microsoft Exchange 2013.
- Migrate your public folders from Microsoft Exchange 2000–2010 to Microsoft Exchange 2013 with co-existence enabled.
- Benefit from full two-way calendar (free/busy) synchronization between Microsoft Exchange 2000-2010 and Microsoft Exchange 2013 organizations during the migration.
- Migrate Microsoft Exchange 2000–2010 mailboxes to Microsoft Office 365 Wave 15 without locking users out of their mailboxes and without extra pre-migration steps. Set up full two-way calendar (free/busy) synchronization during the migration process.
- Consolidate your multiple source forests into the single Office 365 cloud.
- Migrate your Microsoft Exchange organization to an existing hybrid environment with single sign-on enabled.
- Use Migration Manager for Active Directory to create mail-enabled user accounts, and benefit from using the native move job for your Microsoft Exchange 2003–2010 to Microsoft Exchange 2003–2010 migrations (an Exchange 2010 CAS server in the source or target organization is required).
Client Profile Updating Utility 5.2 (aka EMWProf):
- Client Profile Updating Utility (CPUU): Support switching Microsoft Outlook 2013 user profiles from source to target Exchange server
- Client Profile Updating Utility (CPUU): Support for Windows 8 as an end-user platform
- Client Profile Updating Utility (CPUU): Support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 as a target.
(Source: “Release Notes for Quest Migration Manager for Exchange, April 30th”)
In these days Microsoft is moving from wave 14 to wave 15 for Office 365 cloud installations. This means a service transition from Exchange 2010 Server backend to Exchange 2013 Server backend, Lync 2010 to Lync 2013 and other cool updates.
However, if you have travelled a long way to get a smooth migration setup (with all the back and forth of finding the right strategy and technical conditions) Microsoft can make you a big surprise by changing your Exchange target infrastructure. You started your migration project with Exchange 2010 in the cloud as target system and you end up with Exchange 2013.
This is “by design” when moving services to the cloud – as MVP Sean McNeill stated in his post [http://office365evangelist.com/?p=938]:
“This is an important questions because with a move to the cloud, the company give up some control on when, and even if, you will go through an upgrade of the service. The company now relies on the Service Provider, Microsoft in this case, to handle the upgrade and the cadence of the upgrades. This needs to be fully understood and accepted by a company moving to the Cloud.”
To mitigate the risk of forcing the customers to update in times where it is just neither “comfortable” nor “amusable” – as it might be in the middle of an Exchange migration project – Microsoft offers to postpone the update one time. The Office 365 admins receive a notification e-mail which announces the update schedule. From that information the customer has 3 weeks to decide that he better postpone or let Microsoft execute. When he decides to postpone, Microsoft will not start the update for the next 2 months. The timespan to complete the wave 15 upgrade is end of 2013 latest, which means your upgrade cannot be later than this deadline.
For more information check the Office 365 Upgrade Center: http://community.office365.com/en-us/wikis/upgrade/office-365-service-upgrade-center-for-enterprise.aspx
Dell/Quest Software seems to recognize first problems in running migration projects and recommends to postpone the Office 365 tenant upgrade by contacting Microsoft.