Security Updates for Exchange 2016, 2013 and 2010

Ex2013 LogoA quick heads-up as during my vacation Microsoft released security updates for supported releases of Exchange Server 2016 and 2013 as well as Exchange Server 2010.

The security updates patch issues as reported in the following Microsoft Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures:

  • CVE-2018-8302 Microsoft Exchange Memory Corruption Vulnerability
  • CVE-2018-8374 Microsoft Exchange Server Tampering Vulnerability (Exchange 2016 only)

You can download the security updates here:

Notes:

  • Be advised that Exchange 2010 SP3 Rollup 23, like recent Cumulative Updates of Exchange 2016 and 2013, requires Visual C++ Redistributable Packages for Visual Studio 2013 (download).
  • KB4340731 supersedes the previous security update KB4092041 for Exchange 2016 and Exchange 2013.

Be advised that for Exchange 2013 and 2016, Security Updates are Cumulative Update level specific. While the downloaded security updates may carry the same name, the files are different and you cannot apply the downloaded security update file for Exchange 2016 CU8 to Exchange 2016 CU9. I suggest adding some form of identification of the Cumulative Update to the file name when you archive it, e.g. Exchange2016-KB4340731-x64-en-CU10.msp.

As with any patch or update, I’d recommend to thoroughly test this in a test and acceptance environment first, prior to implementing it in production.

MVP’s around the World

mvpUpdated July 3rd:  Includes newly registered awardees and awardees who changed category. Added overview of Office Servers and Services numbers over last couple of years.

With the latest annual award cycle, one might be curious which impact it had on the MVP population. I performed a similar exercise last year to compare the impact of the start of the new award cycle. This year, all the MVP’s previously on the January and October cycles were also included in the reviews, making this year the first one where MVP leads and others had to perform the dauntless task of reviewing community contributions of over 3,500 people.

For comparison, I had a look at the public MVP statistics of July 1st against those of June 26th, to exclude significant noise from the monthly awardees. To start, let us first have a look at the total population of MVP’s. From the numbers, it is clear some type of correction took place, as the total number of MVP’s went down from 3,815 last month to 3,025 now (-21%).

As big changes might be a result of change of focus, the following table contains the changes per award category from June 2018 to July 2018. Note that the total number of MVP’s doesn’t equal the total number of awardees, as people can be awarded in more than one category; there are 50 MVP’s with multiple award categories.

Competence Jun2018 July2018 Change
Access 39 29 -26%
AI 28 58 107%
Business Solutions 221 184 -17%
Cloud and Datacenter Management 410 302 -26%
Data Platform 442 366 -17%
Enterprise Mobility 159 122 -23%
Excel 103 84 -18%
Microsoft Azure 370 368 -1%
Office Development 44 33 -25%
Office Servers and Services 490 383 -22%
OneNote 15 12 -20%
Outlook 14 11 -21%
PowerPoint 40 34 -15%
Visio 15 10 -33%
Visual Studio and Development
Technologies
1043 780 -25%
Windows and Devices for IT 136 87 -36%
Windows Development 273 186 -32%
Word 23 19 -17%
Total 3865 3066 -21%

Except for the AI MVP’s, all the numbers are down. Way down. Word is quite a number of long-standing MVP’s have not been re-awarded this cycle. One could only guess for the motivation (only Microsoft knows), but it could be due to the ongoing shift from on-premises technology to cloud-based technology.

When zooming in on the Office Servers and Services MVP’s category, the awards per country is shown in the following heath map and table. Be advised that MVP’s that are anonymous or have profiles without location (~23 for Office Servers and Services), are not taken into account since their location is unknown.

image

Country Number Country Number Country Number
Argentina 0 (-100%) Ireland 1 (0%) Saudi Arabia 1 (0%)
Australia 17 (-40%) Israel 0 (-100%) Serbia 1 (0%)
Austria 2 (0%) Italy 8 (-20%) Singapore 3 (-25%)
Belgium 8 (0%) Japan 11 (-45%) Slovakia 1 (0%)
Bosnia-Herzegovina 2 (0%) Jordan 1 (0%) Slovenia 1 (-50%)
Brazil 2 (-34%) Korea 6 (-15%) South Africa 4 (-20%)
Bulgaria 1 (0%) Latvia 1 (0%) Spain 5 (-17%)
Canada 29 (-24%) Macedonia F.Y.R.O 2 (0%) Sri Lanka 4 (-43%)
Chile 1 (0%) Malaysia 1 (-50%) Sweden 6 (-25%)
China 14 (-13%) Mexico 2 (-50%) Switzerland 5 (0%)
Colombia 2 (0%) Nepal 1 (0%) Thailand 1 (0%)
Croatia 5 (-17%) New Zealand 4 (-20%) The Netherlands 13 (-8%)
Czech Republic 3 (-25%) Norway 5 (-17%) Turkey 4 (-20%)
Denmark 2 (-50%) Pakistan 2 (0%) Ukraine 1 (-50%)
Egypt 1 (-50%) Peru 1 (-50%) United Arab Emirates 1 (-50%)
Finland 2 (0%) Poland 2 (0%) United Kingdom 23 (-15%)
France 15 (-12%) Portugal 3 (-25%) United States 90 (-19%)
Germany 16 (-20%) Romania 1 (-50%) Uruguay 1 (0%)
Greece 1 (0%) Russia 5 (-50%) Vietnam 0 (-100%)
Hungary 2 (-50%) TOTAL 383 (-22%)
India 12 (-8%)

As shown, some countries have lost their Office Servers and Service MVP’s completely. Looking at the total number of Office Servers and Services MVP’s over the year, the number went a little up again due to monthly awardees, but with the July cycle, the number of Office Servers and Services MVP’s went from 490 to 383 (-22%).

The number of Office Servers and Services and total number of MVP’s over the last years (since award restructuring).

Month oct2016 jan2017 jun2017 jul2017 jan2018 jun2018 jul2018
OSS 538 505 (-7%) 532 (+5%) 449 (-16%) 480 (+6%) 490 (+2%) 383 (-21%)
Total N/A N/A 4134 3490 (-16%) 3747 (+7%) 3815 (+2%) 3030  (-21%)

Unfortunately, I have no data on the other categories from before june 2017.

If you have questions or comments, please discuss in the comments.

2018-2019 Microsoft MVP Award

With great joy and honor I can announce that I have been awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award in the category Office Servers and Services (localized e-mail):

image

MVP awards are given to individuals by Microsoft in recognition of their contributions to the community, such as:

  • Writing blogs, articles, books.
  • Speaking engagements or podcasts.
  • Supporting others, e.g. forum or TechCommunity contributions.
  • Code contributions.
  • Product feedback.

This is my 5th consecutive year as an MVP. I used to be an “October MVP”, which meant my award was up in October every year. After the award cycle changed to a yearly one for everyone, this year was the first time all MVP’s who fell under the old quarterly cycles, were being up for renewal. It also meant, contributions of a longer period of time were being evaluated. So lots of kudos to the MVP leads and other folks that had to go through the monstrous task of reviewing thousands of contributions for this cycle.

Many thanks to the community, readers, followers, fellow MVP’s and friends, peers, product groups and other Microsoft employees for their encouragement, inspiration and support over all those years.

My MVP profile can be found here.

Exchange Updates – June 2018

Ex2013 LogoThe Exchange Team released the June updates for Exchange Server 2013 and 2016, and an additional Rollup 22 for Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 3.

Apart from fixes and time zone changes, these updates contain the following important changes and notes:

  • As announced earlier, Exchange 2013 CU21 and Exchange 2016 CU10 require .NET Framework 4.7.1.
  • All three updates require the VC++ 2013 runtime library, because it is needed by a 3rd component in WebReady Document Viewing in Exchange 2010/2013 and Data Loss Prevention in Exchange 2013/2016. Exchange 2010 SP3 RU22 will force installation of this VC++ runtime.
  • Updates include a critical security patch for Oracle Outside In libraries. More about the issue in MSRC advisory ADV180010.
  • Exchange 2013 CU21 and Exchange 2016 CU10 introduce support for directly creating and enabling remote shared mailboxes, e.g.
    New-RemoteMailbox [-Shared] [-Name remoteMailboxName]
    Enable-RemoteMailbox [-Identity user] [-Shared] [-RemoteRoutingAddress user@domain]
    Set-RemoteMailbox [-Name user] [-Type Shared]

    You need to run setup /PrepareAD to see these changes. More information in KB4133605.

  • This is the last planned Cumulative Update for Exchange 2013 as it enters Extended Support.
  • Exchange 2010 SP3 RU22 adds support for Windows Server 2016 Domain Controllers.

 

Version Build KB Article Download UMLP Schema Changes
Exchange 2016 CU10 15.1.1531.3 KB4099852 Download UMLP No
Exchange 2013 CU21 15.0.1395.4 KB4099855 Download UMLP No
Exchange 2010 SP3 RU22 14.3.411.0 KB4295699 Download

Exchange 2016 CU10 fixes:

  • 4056609 Event ID 4999 and mailbox transport delivery service won’t start with Exchange Server 2016 CU7 installed
  • 4133605 Cmdlets to create or modify a remote shared mailbox in an on-premises Exchange environment
  • 4133620 “HTTP 500 due to ADReferralException” error when a user tries to view detail properties of mailboxes in a child domain in Exchange Server
  • 4095974 “System.InvalidOperationException” occurs when the “Enable-MailPublicFolder” cmdlet is run against a public folder in Exchange Server
  • 4095973 Set-ServerComponentState cmdlet does not honor the write scope defined in the RBAC management scope in Exchange Server
  • 4095993 HTTP 500 error when an administrator tries to manage regional settings in ECP on Windows Server 2016
  • 4294209 Cannot clear the “Maximum message size” check box for Send messages or Receive messages in EAC in Exchange Server 2016
  • 4294208 “TooManyObjectsOpenedException” error when you run the “Get-PublicFolderMailboxDiagnostics” cmdlet in Exchange Server
  • 4294212 Cannot send VBScript-created messages in the Outlook 2016 client
  • 4294211 Cannot run “Set-CalendarProcessing” cmdlets after you apply CU8 or CU9 for Exchange Server 2016
  • 4294210 Cannot edit an email attachment in OWA in an Exchange Server 2016 environment
  • 4294204 Changing “IsOutOfService” to “False” in an earlier Exchange Server version does not immediately update in a later Exchange Server environment
  • 4092041 Description of the security update for Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 and 2016: May 8, 2018

Exchange 2013 CU20 fixes:

  • 4133605 Cmdlets to create or modify a remote shared mailbox in an on-premises Exchange environment
  • 4133604 User can’t log on to a POP/IMAP account by using NTLM authentication in Exchange Server 2013
  • 4133618 Unexpected error occurs when running the Get-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupNetwork cmdlet in Exchange Server 2013
  • 4133620 “HTTP 500 due to ADReferralException” when a user tries to view detail properties of mailboxes in a child domain in Exchange Server
  • 4058473 An Office 365 primary mailbox user cannot be assigned full access permissions for an on-premises mailbox in Exchange Server
  • 4094167 The MSExchangeRPC service crashes with a System.NullReferenceException exception in Exchange Server 2013
  • 4095974 “System.InvalidOperationException” occurs when the “Enable-MailPublicFolder” cmdlet is run against a public folder in Exchange Server
  • 4092041 Description of the security update for Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 and 2016: May 8, 2018
  • 4294205 POP3 services intermittently stop in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • 4294204 Changing “IsOutOfService” to “False” in an earlier Exchange Server version does not immediately update in a later Exchange Server environment

Exchange 2010 Rollup 22 fixes:

  • 4295751 EWS impersonation not working when accessing resource mailboxes in a different site in Exchange Server 2010 SP3

Notes:

  • Exchange 2016 CU8 and Exchange 2013 CU18 do not contain schema changes compared to their previous Cumulative Update. However, they introduce RBAC changes in your environment. Use setup /PrepareAD to apply RBAC changes, before deploying or updating Exchange servers.
  • When upgrading from an n-2 or earlier version of Exchange, or an early version of the .NET Framework, consult Upgrade Paths for CU’s & .NET.
  • When upgrading your Exchange 2013 or 2016 installation, don’t forget to put the server in maintenance mode when required. Regardless, setup will put the server in server-wide offline mode post-analysis, before making actual changes.
  • When using Exchange hybrid deployments or Exchange Online Archiving (EOA), you are required to stay at most one version behind (n-1).
  • If you want to speed up the update process for systems without internet access, you can follow the procedure described here to disable publisher’s certificate revocation checking.
  • Cumulative Updates can be installed directly, i.e. no need to install RTM prior to installing Cumulative Updates.
  • Once installed, you can’t uninstall a Cumulative Update nor any of the installed Exchange server roles.
  • The order in which you upgrade servers with Cumulative Updates is irrelevant.

Caution:

As for any update, I recommend to thoroughly test updates in a test environment prior to implementing them in production. When you lack such facilities, hold out a few days and monitor the comments on the original publication or forums for any issues.

Automation, DevOps and the Evolution of the IT Pro

iTunes-Podcast-logo[1]Recently, Simon Waight and I were invited by fellow MVP Chris Goosen from Cloud Architects to come chat a little on Automation, DevOps and the evolution of the IT Professional.

With the bridge narrowing between development and infrastructure on a daily basis, and infrastructure becoming code, the DevOps culture is becoming more and more important to be knowledgeable about for IT Professionals with a background in infrastructure.

You can listen to the podcast recording here, or you can subscribe to the Cloud Architects podcast.

 

MVP’s around the world

image.pngMid-2017, I  had a look at the publicly available statistics on MVP’s around the world after Microsoft changed their MVP award renewal regime. This was to check if there was any impact noticeable. With the regime change, also came a change that MVP’s can be awarded on a monthly basis. This means people can be awarded every month; maybe not in every category, but overall yes.

For the start of 2018, let’s first have a look at the total population of MVP’s. The total number of MVP’s went down from 3410 in July last year, to 3695 now (-15%). The table below contains the number of awards per category, and the change from July 2017 to January 2018:

Competence Jul2017 Jan2018 Change
Access 37 39 +5%
AI 1 20 +1900%
Business Solutions 193 214 +11%
Cloud and Datacenter Management 392 412 +5%
Data Platform 399 422 +6%
Enterprise Mobility 148 157 +6%
Excel 94 104 +11%
Microsoft Azure 311 350 +13%
Office Development 38 42 +11%
Office Servers and Services 449 480 +7%
OneNote 15 15 0%
Outlook 14 14 0%
PowerPoint 36 37 +3%
Visio 14 14 0%
Visual Studio and Development Technologies 901 1002 +11%
Windows and Devices for IT 148 136 -8%
Windows Development 277 266 -4%
Word 23 23 0%
Total 3490 3747 +7%

Note: The total number of MVP’s doesn’t equal the total number of competences, as people can be awarded in more than one category.

Overall, the numbers are up in most categories. However, as stated before, a big sanitation round is expected for Q3’2018, as this year the former October and January awardees will be up for the new yearly renewal cycle, which takes place mid-2018. The new category introduced last year, Artificial Intelligence, saw a significant number of folks being added.

When zooming in on the Office Servers and Services MVP’s category, the awards per country is shown in the following heath map and table. Note that anonymous MVP’s are not taken into account:

image

Country Number Country Number Country Number
Argentina 2 (0%) India 12 (0%) Russia 9 (12%)
Australia 23 (-18%) Ireland 1 (-50%) Saudi Arabia 1 (100%)
Austria 2 (100%) Israel 1 (0%) Serbia 1 (0%)
Belarus 1 (100%) Italy 10 (-10%) Singapore 4 (0%)
Belgium 7 (0%) Japan 18 (-6%) Slovakia 1 (0%)
Bosnia-Herzegovina 2 (-34%) Jordan 1 (100%) Slovenia 2 (0%)
Brazil 4 (-56%) Korea 7 (-37%) South Africa 5 (0%)
Brunei Darussalam 1 (0%) Kuwait 1 (0%) Spain 6 (0%)
Bulgaria 1 (-50%) Latvia 1 (0%) Sri Lanka 5 (-38%)
Canada 38 (-14%) Macedonia F.Y.R.O 1 (-50%) Sweden 8 (-12%)
Chile 1 (-50%) Malaysia 2 (-34%) Switzerland 5 (-29%)
China 15 (-22%) Mexico 4 (0%) Thailand 1 (0%)
Colombia 2 (-34%) Nepal 1 (100%) The Netherlands 15 (25%)
Croatia 6 (20%) New Caledonia 1 (100%) Turkey 5 (25%)
Czech Republic 4 (100%) New Zealand 5 (0%) Ukraine 2 (0%)
Denmark 4 (0%) Norway 6 (20%) United Arab Emirates 3 (-40%)
Egypt 2 (0%) Pakistan 2 (0%) United Kingdom 25 (0%)
Finland 2 (0%) Palestine 1 (0%) United States 111 (5%)
France 16 (0%) Peru 2 (100%) Uruguay 1 (0%)
Germany 19 (26%) Poland 3 (0%) Vietnam 2 (-50%)
Greece 1 (0%) Portugal 4 (-20%) TOTAL 480 (-5%)
Hungary 4 (33%) Romania 2 (0%)
When looking at the changes over the last year (January 2017 – January 2018), the total number went down from 505 to 480 (-5%). As the Office Servers and Services category contains quite a few long-standing, former October or January MVP awardees, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this year’s renewal cycle.


Security Updates for Exchange 2013 & 2016

Despite the quarterly wave of Cumulative Updates being imminent, CVE-2017-11932 and ADV170023 warranted a quick release of Security Update KB4045655 for current versions of Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2016.

This security update fixes a vulnerability in OWA, which could allow elevation of privilege or spoofing if an attacker sends an email that has a specially crafted attachment to a vulnerable Exchange server.

You can download the security updates here:

Be advised the update may leave your Exchange services in a disabled state, despite installing correctly. In those cases, reconfigure those services to Automatic and start them manually.

Also note that this security update overrides an earlier update, KB4036108, which might cause Calendar Sharing issues when split DNS is used.

Security updates are Cumulative Update level specific. Be advised that updates may carry the same name, e.g. the update for CU7 and the one for CU6 are both Exchange2016-KB4045655-x64-en.msp. I suggest adding some form of Cumulative Update identification to the file name when archiving it, e.g. Exchange2016-KB4045655-x64-en-CU7.msp.

As with any patch or update, I’d recommend to thoroughly test this in a test and acceptance environment first, prior to implementing it in production.

 

Exchange Updates – September 2017

Ex2013 LogoHoneymoon caused some backlog, and one of the things to post was that the Exchange Team released the September updates for Exchange Server 2013 and 2016. Like the previous Cumulative Updates for these Exchange versions, Exchange 2013 CU18 and Exchange 2016 CU7 require .NET Framework 4.6.2; NET Framework 4.7.1 is currently being tested (4.7 will be skipped), and support for 4.7.1 is expected for the December updates.

Version Build KB Article Download UMLP Schema Changes
Exchange 2016 CU7 15.1.1261.35 KB4018115 Download UMLP Yes
Exchange 2013 CU18 15.0.1347.2 KB4022631 Download UMLP No
  • KB 4040754 “Update UseDatabaseQuotaDefaults to false” error occurs when you change settings of user mailbox in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB 4040121 You receive a corrupted attachment if email is sent from Outlook that connects to Exchange Server in cache mode
  • KB4036108 Security update for Microsoft Exchange: September 12, 2017

Exchange 2013 CU18 fixes:

  • KB4040755 New health monitoring mailbox for databases is created when Health Manager Service is restarted in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB4040121 You receive a corrupted attachment if email is sent from Outlook that connects to Exchange Server in cache mode
  • KB4040120 Synchronization may fail when you use the OAuth protocol for authorization through EAS in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB4036108 Security update for Microsoft Exchange: September 12, 2017

Notes:

  • Exchange 2016 CU7 requires Forest Functionality Level 2008R2 or later.
  • Exchange 2016 CU7 includes schema changes, but Exchange 2013 CU18 does not. However, Exchange 2013 CU17 may introduce RBAC changes in your environment. Where applicable, use setup /PrepareSchema to update the schema or /PrepareAD to apply RBAC changes, before deploying or updating Exchange servers. To verify this step has been performed, consult the Exchange schema overview.
  • When upgrading your Exchange 2013 or 2016 installation, don’t forget to put the server in maintenance mode when required. Regardless, setup will put the server in server-wide offline mode post-analysis, before making actual changes.
  • Using Windows Management Framework (WMF)/PowerShell version 5 or later on anything earlier than Windows Server 2016 is not supported. Don’t install WMF5 on your Exchange servers running on Windows Server 2012 R2 or earlier.
  • NET Framework 4.7.1 is being tested by the Exchange Team, but .NET Framework 4.7.1 nor .NET Framework 4.7 are supported.
  • When using Exchange hybrid deployments or Exchange Online Archiving (EOA), you are required to stay at most one version behind (n-1).
  • If you want to speed up the update process for systems without internet access, you can follow the procedure described here to disable publisher’s certificate revocation checking.
  • Cumulative Updates can be installed directly, i.e. no need to install RTM prior to installing Cumulative Updates.
  • Once installed, you can’t uninstall a Cumulative Update nor any of the installed Exchange server roles.
  • The order in which you upgrade servers with Cumulative Updates is irrelevant.

Caution: As for any update, I recommend to thoroughly test updates in a test environment prior to implementing them in production. When you lack such facilities, hold out a few days and monitor the comments on the original publication or forums for any issues.

Ignite 2017 Sessions

In about a month’s time, Microsoft Ignite 2017 – North America will kick off in the city of Orlando, Florida. Currently, the session catalog contains an amazing number of 1139 1161 sessions. With such a number, it can be hard to pick sessions depending on your areas of interest or expertise; the Ignite Session Scheduler can be a helpful tool to assist in this noble task.

However, when you want to perform more complex queries something more low-level might be appropriate. For this purpose I took my existing script IgniteDownloader.ps1, which could already be used to download Ignite contents such as videos and slide decks, and enhanced it so it can also be used to retrieve session information as PowerShell objects, allowing you to perform queries, reports etc. Because the script now suits more purposes, I renamed it to Get-IgniteSession.ps1 in the process.

Note that Get-IgniteSession leverages the online Microsoft Ignite session catalog, which is currently in the process of being finalized. You might find therefor the schedule is subject to change over the coming weeks, but also that you can no longer download contents from previous Ignite editions.

You can download the script from the TechNet Gallery here.

If you are attending Ignite, unlike me, some of the potential interesting sessions to look out for are (list subject to change):

Session Title Speaker(s)
BRK1005 Learn about the Microsoft global network and best practices for optimizing Office 365 connectivity Paul Collinge, Paul Andrew
BRK1053 Microsoft Office 365 adoption user group meetup Michael Blumenthal
BRK2195 Create engaging workflows inside Outlook and Microsoft Teams conversations with Actionable Messages David Claux, Shivakumar Seetharaman
BRK2203 Send secure email to anyone with Office 365 and Microsoft Azure Information Protection Praveen Vijayaraghavan
BRK2248 Microsoft Exchange: Through the eyes of MVPs (Panel discussion) Brian Reid, Michael Van Horenbeeck, Ingo Gegenwarth, Steve Goodman, Nicolas Blank, Tony Redmond
BRK2251 What’s new and what’s coming in the Microsoft Outlook family of apps JJ Cadiz, Alessio Roic
BRK2252 Group collaboration in Microsoft Outlook Krish Gali
BRK2374 Stop data exfiltration and advanced threats in Microsoft Office 365 and Azure
BRK2378 Understanding Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365 Sesha Mani, Sameer Sitaram
BRK2399 Delivering the modern workplace
BRK2401 Customer story: How to protect against security breaches and insider threats Edward Panzeter, Ian Lindsay
BRK2420 The road to hybrid cloud: Customer case studies optimizing Hyper-V, SQL Server, and Microsoft Azure
BRK3041 Key elements of Office 365 connectivity strategy base on real-life examples Paul Andrew, Jeff Mealiffe, Konstantin Ryvkin
BRK3051 Get your enterprise network ready for Office 365 Paul Andrew, Paul Collinge, Jeff Mealiffe
BRK3053 Troubleshooting Office 365 identity: How modern authentication works and what to do when it doesn’t Jonas Gunnemo
BRK3080 Build smarter apps with Office using the Microsoft Graph Yina Arenas
BRK3082 Anti-phishing with Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection Abhishek Agarwal
BRK3154 The epic Exchange preferred architecture debate Ross Smith IV, Lin Chen, Mike Cooper
BRK3155 Thrive as an enterprise organization in Microsoft Exchange Online Jeff Kizner
BRK3157 Exchange and Outlook mega “ask the experts” Brain Day, Greg Taylor, Jeff Mealiffe, Allen Filush, Scott Schnoll, Ross Smith IV, Julia Foran, JJ Cadiz, Alessio Roic, Meg Quintero, James Colgan, Steve Conn, Wey Love
BRK3158 Design your Exchange infrastructure right (or consider moving to Office 365) Boris Lokhvitsky, Robert Gillies
BRK3184 Deploying and using Outlook mobile in the Enterprise Ross Smith IV
BRK3185 Improvements and innovations in calendaring with Microsoft Outlook and Exchange Julia Foran
BRK3186 Running Exchange hybrid over the long term Michael Van Horenbeeck
BRK3222 Scott Schnoll’s Exchange tips and tricks Scott Schnoll
BRK3248 Exchange Online – spanning data center regions Brain Day
BRK3249 Modern authentication for Exchange Server on-premises Greg Taylor
BRK3259 Transitioning from distribution lists to Office 365 Groups in Outlook Shilpa Ranganathan
BRK3262 Implementing Exchange Online Protection for on-premises Exchange Brian Reid
BRK3263 Secure Exchange on-premises as well as Microsoft secures Exchange Online Andrew Higginbotham, Raji Dani
BRK3264 Troubleshooting complex Exchange operational issues Ingo Gegenwarth, Andrew Higginbotham
BRK3332 Ten critical areas for those moving from Exchange on-premises to Office 365 Tony Redmond
BRK3340 Use Microsoft Graph to reach on-premises users of Exchange 2016 deployments Deepak Singh
BRK3382 Securing, governing, and protecting your Office 365 investments Chris Bortlik
BRK3382R Securing, governing, and protecting your Office 365 investments (repeat) Chris Bortlik
BRK4021 Investigate tools and techniques for Exchange performance troubleshooting Nasir Ali, Jeff Mealiffe, Bob Samer, Justin Turner
BRK4022 Insights on Exchange storage, high availability, and data protection Lin Chen
BRK4029 Inside Exchange Online Matt Gossage
THR1014 What can you do with Office 365 Groups in Outlook?
THR1020 Tackling adoption as a service with Office 365 Richard Harbridge
THR1022 Bring your sales team together: Office 365 Groups, Teams & Microsoft Dynamics 365 in the real world Chris Johnson
THR1029 Spend less time managing data and more time with customers: Quick tour of Outlook Customer Manager
THR1035 Prevent costly data leaks from Microsoft Office 365
THR1046 Using Digital Experience Management to Validate the Impact of IT Change
THR1068 Online virtual labs: The hidden gem for free hands-on learning, practice, and exploration CA Callahan
THR2026 Set up secure and efficient collaboration for your organization with Microsoft Office 365 Joe Davies, Brenda Carter
THR2041 Using groups in Outlook for education Krish Gali
THR2042 Collaborate with people outside your company with Office 365 Groups in Outlook
THR2043 Dive deeper into what’s new and what’s coming for Outlook for Windows JJ Cadiz, Jason Creighton
THR2044 Dive deeper into what’s new and what’s coming for Outlook for Mac James Colgan
THR2045 Dive deeper into what’s new and what’s coming for Outlook on the web Allen Filush
THR2046 Dive deeper into what’s new and what’s coming for Outlook for iOS and Android Meg Quintero
THR2062 Real-world advanced threat protection Brian Reid
THR2063 What is DMARC Brian Reid
THR2065 Groups and Teams: Friend or foe? Loryan Strant
THR2080 Tackling cross-tenant Office 365 integration and migrations: Three things you need to know
THR2086 What’s new with Microsoft Exchange Online Public Folders
THR2088 The top five PowerShell commands for Exchange Steve Goodman
THR2097 Developing a blueprint for your data in Microsoft Azure
THR2153 Improving calendaring in Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook
THR2173 Microsoft Office 365: Avoid the Icarus effect J. Peter Bruzzese
THR2181 The impact of digital literacy on Office 365 user adoption Tracy Van der Schyff
THR2203 Put your enterprise applications in the fast lane
THR2205 Delivering the borderless workplace
THR2214 Hybrid cloud activated: A customer case study optimizing on-premises and Azure performance and cost Mor Cohen
THR2229 Get the most from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Mobile App
THR3022 Troubleshooting Exchange ActiveSync devices Ingo Gegenwarth
THR3023 PowerShell Desired State Configuration: Keep your service stable and stay on top of your config Ingo Gegenwarth
THR3034 Complete your collaboration practice: Voice & video solutions for Office 365 and Skype for Business
THR4000 Edge Transport servers and Hybrid: Why, or why not? Michael Van Horenbeeck

MVP’s around the World

imageIn July 2017 the new annual award cycle regime was put into effect for Microsoft MVP’s around the world. Earlier this year, to simplify the process and introduce new talent in the program more quickly, Microsoft switched to a monthly cycle for recognizing MVP’s, and changed the award review from a quarterly to an annual cycle. This meant MVP’s from April and July were going to be the first ones the be reviewed for June 2017; the January and October awardees got their review shifted to July 2018. That might look like dispensation, but it isn’t as their contributions will be evaluated over a longer period of time.

Looking at the publicly available statistics on MVP’s around the world could provide some insight in what the program – and thus Microsoft – has set their sights on. So with the introduction of the new cycle, I did a quick comparison of this and last month’s numbers. But first a small disclaimer: below numbers are taken from a public source, the Microsoft Valuable Professional portal. Also, there are a small number of anonymous MVP’s, which always puzzles me as being an MVP usually means that this person is visible online. And finally, note that MVP’s can be awarded in more than one category, which is the reason some numbers won’t add up.

To start with the total number of MVP’s, that went down from 4017 in June to 3410 (-15%). It also saw a new category being added to the program: Artificial Intelligence, or AI. The table below contains the number of awards per category, and the change from June to July:

Competence June-2017 July-2017 Change
Access 41 37 -10%
AI 0 1 100%
Business Solutions 236 193 -18%
Cloud and Datacenter Management 455 392 -14%
Data Platform 445 399 -10%
Enterprise Mobility 170 148 -13%
Excel 116 94 -19%
Microsoft Azure 342 311 -9%
Office Development 39 38 -3%
Office Servers and Services 532 449 -16%
OneNote 16 15 -6%
Outlook 14 14 0%
PowerPoint 36 36 0%
Visio 15 14 -7%
Visual Studio and Development Technologies 1100 901 -18%
Windows and Devices for IT 201 148 -26%
Windows Development 351 277 -21%
Word 25 23 -8%
Total 4134 3490 -16%

Overall, the numbers are down except for the new AI category and the number of Outlook and PowerPoint MVP’s.

Regarding the Office Servers and Services MVP’s, the number of awards per country is depicted in the following heath map and table. Note that anonymous MVP’s are not taken into account:

image

Country Number Country Count Country Count
Argentina 2 (0%) Hungary 4 (0%) Russia 8 (-12%)
Australia 21 (-25%) India 12 (-8%) Serbia 1 (0%)
Austria 1 (0%) Ireland 1 (-50%) Singapore 4 (0%)
Belarus 1 (0%) Israel 1 (-50%) Slovakia 1 (0%)
Belgium 7 (-13%) Italy 10 (-10%) Slovenia 2 (0%)
Bosnia-Herzegovina 3 (0%) Japan 18 (-10%) South Africa 4 (-20%)
Brazil 4 (-50%) Korea 9 (-25%) Spain 6 (-15%)
Brunei Darussalam 1 (0%) Kuwait 1 (0%) Sri Lanka 6 (-15%)
Bulgaria 2 (0%) Latvia 1 (0%) Sweden 8 (-20%)
Canada 38 (-18%) Macedonia F.Y.R.O 1 (-50%) Switzerland 5 (-29%)
Chile 1 (-50%) Malaysia 2 (-34%) Taiwan 0 (-100%)
China 15 (-25%) Mexico 3 (-25%) Thailand 1 (0%)
Colombia 2 (-34%) Myanmar 0 (-100%) The Netherlands 13 (0%)
Croatia 5 (0%) Nepal 1 (0%) Turkey 4 (0%)
Czech Republic 2 (0%) New Zealand 5 (-17%) Ukraine 2 (0%)
Denmark 4 (0%) Norway 5 (0%) United Arab Emirates 3 (-40%)
Egypt 2 (0%) Pakistan 1 (-50%) United Kingdom 21 (-20%)
Finland 2 (0%) Palestine 1 (0%) United States 103 (-11%)
France 16 (-16%) Peru 2 (0%) Uruguay 1 (0%)
Germany 17 (-6%) Poland 3 (0%) Vietnam 2 (-34%)
Greece 1 (0%) Portugal 4 (-20%) Total 429 (-16%)
Guatemala 0 (-100%) Romania 2 (0%)

Looking at the names that were not on the MVP portal per July, one may notice there are quite a number of long-standing MVP’s that were not re-awarded. Apart from being a big loss for the community, it is also an indication Microsoft is further looking ahead to the Cloud First, Mobile First, On First™ world, indiscriminately coming clean with the MVP population in the process.

For those that were not re-awarded, thank you for all your past contribution, some for being an inspiration long before I became one, your honest feedback to the program and other MVP’s. Don’t forget: Once an MVP, always an MVP!