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I took a spin through the TechNet Virtual labs for Exchange 2007 and I was very impressed! The experience was smooth and very well organized. I even learned a few interesting things. When running through the installation for a new server, one of the steps is to query you for the versions of Outlook you will be running in your environment. All Outlook 2007 or a mix of previous versions of Outlook? I wondered why you are prompted for this information. I had an inkling as Exchange 2003 is able to restrict which clients can and cannot connect to it - but I wasn't sure. This morning I stumbled across Paul Robichaux's blog and a great explanation! I wont go in to it word-for-word, you can read it at Paul's blog.

The older versions of Outlook depend heavily for their experience of Offline Address Books (OAB) and the gathering of Free\Busy data for creating appointments and meeting requests. "Legacy" versions of Exchange server hold this data in a couple of public folders (Schedule+Free\Busy and Offline Address Book). Outlook 2007 does not have this requirement. So if you choose that you do use earlier versions of Outlook, a public folder database is created for the folders. If you choose an all Outlook 2007 environment though, previous versions of Outlook are prevented from making a MAPI connection. The experience is so poor for earlier versions of Outlook without the public folders they depend on, it blocks the connections altogether.

Posted on Monday, October 30, 2006 6:04 PM Exchange | Back to top

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