E-Commerce Times Talkback
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When it comes to enterprise e-mail, Microsoft Exchange on the back end and Microsoft Outlook on the front end are among the most frequent vectors for viruses and worms. The cost of downtime as a result of this malware plague is measured in dollars, lost productivity, disrupted communications, and massive doses of aspirin to treat IT administrators' headaches. Is the pain harsh enough that IT administrators are ready to dump Outlook and Exchange? And would doing so be a wise move?
The problem I have with this story is the characterization of Outlook as good software. No *good* software would execute code of any kind in a message attachment without express permission by the user. Not even HTML code. At the very least, such 'features' should be turned OFF by default. To have them ON by default is an open invitation to every piece of malicious code in the world. MS has known this for years... still they do nothing about it. Trusted computing? I don't think so.
I agree that those options should be off by default and the settings should be obvious (it isn't obvious where or how to disable these things).
That said, Outlook is great software - the Groupwise client has only at version 6.5 finally implemented something like a semi-decent interface - clearly someone over at Novell finally took a look at Outlook; still a lot of work to do though, especially adding much-needed features like being able to choose to move your mail off the server onto a local machine.
This article implies that Outlook can be successfully used as a client for a Groupwise server - my experience is that this only sort of works. I'm still looking for a good client that will pull the mail off the server so I can replace the idiot Groupwise client.
I along with all my fellow employees used Outlook as our client in conjunction with a POP3 server for over 6 years and we did not suffer a virus/trojan infection even once. And that with Outlook simply installed, no tweaking for security. Now we're stuck with Groupwise which is a pain each and every day.
I am amazed at the lack of research that was put into this article. The #1 mail server as of October 2002 by Gartner standards is SunONE Message server, and it isn't even mentioned. It allows you to use a Lotus, Eudora, Outlook, etc client. Our company switched over two years ago to a SunONE solution after inferior Microsoft products disrupted our business for 5 days. It wasn't the first time; it was the last.
We have run on
a single UNIX server with 100% uptime for over 5000 users. We no longer have 7 people running the mail department. When a new employee is hired the HR department sets up their email account through a delegated administrated window and we are automating that with another new product from Sun. Try and do that with Microsoft. The main problem is that IT departments are still trying to control turfs and won't step out of their comfort zone.
What kind of world is it going to be if Microsoft is the defacto standard; we have no choice and we shouldn't consider switching? We should wait until Microsoft fixes their security? And oh, by the way, it's okay that ATM financial networks were brought down this weekend. Give me a break.
Most of our employees started out using the Outlook client because it was familiar to them and now, 2 years later,
75% of our users just use the webmail interface from Sun because they get their Voice Mail, email, and Faxes in one spot
and can log in from anywhere in the world. Their comments on the features of microsoft are that "they don't need them" and do
not have the time to learn them. Our users do not want continuous upgrades. They want something that they can learn and
stick with. We are finally free from Microsoft.
Large corporations should not trust the kingdom to MS Software! If companies are serious about so-called "24x7" availability, then MS has got to go - across the board!