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Microsoft to release Outlook 2007 fix today

Troublesome 2010 update needs yet another fix

Microsoft is to take yet another crack at fixing a December update for Outlook 2007.

The same update has already been removed from Microsoft's update services, then subsequently reissued.

Just days after its Dec. 14, 2010, release, Microsoft pulled the update after customers complained they were unable to retrieve their email or experienced long delays when switching folders.

The company reissued the update on Jan. 11, claiming it had solved the problems.

"We've found an issue ... which may result in users being unable to access their archive mailbox," said Bharat Suneja, a senior technical writer with the Exchange team, in a post to the email server software group's blog .

According to Suneja, the archiving bug involves Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1), which shipped in August 2010. Microsoft extended support for Exchange 2010 SP1's "Personal Archives" feature to Outlook 2007 last December as part of the same cumulative update that the company withdrew from circulation, then reissued.

The Personal Archives feature let corporate IT personnel set up archive folders for workers to give them access to older emails.

One Computerworld reader reported another problem with the Outlook update's January reissue.

"After applying the patches in January, we are experiencing the issue with messages hanging in the Outbox even though they have actually sent," said Pam O'Dell, the computer support manager of Lozier Corp., a maker of store fixtures. "This problem is typically happening when we use a macro to send mail from Excel or Access."

Suneja said that the fix for the Exchange 2010 SP1 archiving problem would be part of another cumulative patch for Outlook 2007 that was slated to ship this month, but did not specify a date.

Microsoft typically delivers Outlook cumulative updates alongside its security updates, which are scheduled to be released on Feb 8.

Suneja apologised for the newest problems with Outlook 2007, repeating a mea culpa that Microsoft made in December when it yanked the original update. At that time, the company's Outlook team admitted that, "We failed to meet our own and our customers' expectation for quality with this update release."

Microsoft has pulled the plug on updates or reissued fixes for earlier patches before, but it's rare that the company need multiple attempts to put things right. One of the few times was in 2006, when Microsoft shipped a third fix for an Internet Explorer bug that had already been twice-patched.


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