Category Archives: 17106

New OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad apps released




The Exchange Team released two new apps in the Apple App Store today, the OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad  These apps currently only work for Office 365 customers, but on-prem versions are in the works.



The apps provide a familiar OWA-like GUI for email and calendaring to Office 365.  Personally, I prefer the OWA calendaring experience to Apple’s native calendaring.



Here are a couple more screenshots:













Read more about the new apps on the EHLO blog and the Office 365 Technology Blog.






Fix for Excessive Duplicate Contacts

If you’re running Lync in your environment you may notice that you have multiple duplicate contacts in your contacts list.






This issue also affects your ActiveSync mobile devices, such as the iPhone.






If you open one of these duplicate contacts, you will notice that the Notes field says the contact was added by Lync 2013.






This a caused by a bug in the Lync client, which adds a duplicate contact item every time you have do an IM with this contact.  The bug will be fixed in the next cumulative update (CU) for the Lync 2013 client.  In the meantime, here’s how you can fix it.



The duplicate contacts are stored in a contacts folder called Lync Contacts.  This folder is protected by Outlook so you can’t delete it from there.  You need to delete it from Outlook Web App, which does not treat it as protected.



  • Log into OWA and view your contacts.
  • Right-click the Lync Contacts folder and select Delete.



  • Click Yes to confirm you want to delete the selected folder and move all contents into the Deleted Items folder.  You can then sign out of OWA.
  • From the Outlook client you’ll need to empty your Deleted Items folder to finish getting rid of all the duplicate contacts.  You’ll then be free of them!







New Best Practice for RPC Timeouts in Exchange

Exchange 2010 and 2007 use RPC (Remote Procedure Calls) for all client and RPC proxy calls.  For example, email clients (Outlook, Outlook Anywhere (OA), and ActiveSync) use RPC for MAPI connectivity. 



The default keep alive time for RPC connections uses the IIS idle connection timeout, which is 15 minutes.  This usually doesn’t cause a problem on local LAN or WAN connections, but routers and switches that are used to connect Internet clients to internal Exchange servers often have more aggressive timeouts.  Typically these network devices have a 5 minute timeout which causes problems for external clients, particularly Outlook Anywhere, iPhone, and iPad clients.  Symptoms include messages stuck in the Outbox and poor email performance on the remote clients, and high CPU utilization on the Exchange Client Access Servers (CAS).








The new best practice is to adjust the RPC keep alive timeout value on the Client Access Server from 15 minutes to 2 minutes.  Since RPC is a function of Windows, not Exchange, this value is adjusted under the Windows NT registry key.  The value is located here:



HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\RPC\MinimumConnectionTimeout



Normally the MinimumConnectionTimeout DWORD value does not exist, which means RPC uses the default value of 900 seconds (15 minutes).  To adjust it, create or modify the MinimumConnectionTimeout value and set the value to decimal 120 (seconds, or 2 minutes).  IIS must be restarted on the CAS to affect the change.







The following command will create the appropriate values:



reg add “HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\RPC” -v “MinimumConnectionTimeout” -t REG_DWORD -d 120



The Outlook and ActiveSync clients honor this new timeout during the connection to the CAS, so both client and server now send a Keep-Alive packet after two minutes of inactivity, effectively maintaining both TCP connections needed.



A colleague of mine works for a large global company that was affected by this.  They have several thousand iPads connecting to nine load balanced CAS servers and all the CAS were peaking at 100% CPU utilization.  Once they implemented this change the average load on the CAS is now 20-30% and the iPad performance is much improved.



This is my new best practice and I make this change on every Exchange CAS deployment.  For more information about RPC over HTTP see Configuring Computers for RPC over HTTP on TechNet.

Windows Surface Tablet vs iPad 3 Comparison



On Monday Microsoft announced the new Microsoft Surface tablets to the world.  Click the image above for a video of the event.



There are a number of good articles covering the details and speculation about the price and specifics.  I put together the table below to compare the Microsoft Surface specs to the Apple iPad 3.




Windows Surface vs. Apple iPad 3

The pricing estimates above are based on Microsoft’s statement that the Windows RT version of Surface would cost about the same as comparable slates. Surface Pro would be priced similar to comparable competitive Ultrabook PCs.

Microsoft Surface Microsoft Surface Pro Apple iPad 3 OS Windows RT Windows 8 Pro IOS 5.1.1 Light 1 676 g 903 g 652 g (Wi-Fi) & 662 g (Wi-Fi/3G) Thin 2 9.3 mm 13.5 mm 9.4 mm Processor nVidia Tegra ARM ? Intel Core-i5 ? Dual-core Apple A5X with integrated quad-core graphics Clear 10.6” ClearType HD Display with Gorilla Glass 10.6” ClearType Full HD Display with Gorilla Glass 9.7″ Retina LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch Resolution ≥1280×720 ? ≥1920×1080 ? 2048×1536-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi) Energized 31.5 W-h 42 W-h 42.5 W-h Connected microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae 30-pin dock connector port, Bluetooth 4.0, PiFA integrated antenna Productive Office Home & Student 2013 RT, Touch Cover, Type Cover Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block Smart cover, 3rd party keyboards Practical VaporMg Case & Stand VaporMg Case & Stand n/a Configurable 32 GB, 64 GB 64 GB, 128 GB 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB Cost ~$600-$700 (estimate) 3 ~$1000-$1100 (estimate) 3 $499-$599-$699 (Wi-Fi only) & $629-$729-$829 (Wi-Fi/3G)