Giving Up On Linux?

 
 
By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2007-02-01
 
 
 

This morning I came across a Linux-supporting sysadmin's tale of woe entitled: Ten years of pushing for Linux adoption in the workplace (and why I gave up.) To sum it up, the writer of the piece, Jim Sampson, has been trying to get Linux working with Microsoft Exchange since the mid-nineties, and he's had nothing but trouble accessing public folders. Therefore, for him, Linux can't cut it in the workplace. As a long time Linux user with a company-issued Exchange mailbox of his own, I feel Jim's pain--somewhat. I access Exchange from whatever Linux desktop I'm using at the time via IMAP, and our public folders are accessible via IMAP. I think that Jim's trouble probably stems from the Exchange Connector for Evolution, a plugin initially developed by Ximian, which uncharacteristically guarded the source for the plugin. I believe that the Connector's proprietary license retarded the development of code. That all changed when Novell purchased Ximian and, after some prompting, released the Exchange plugin under the GPL. That was in 2004--it's now 2007, and, unfortunately, the Exchange Connector remains an incomplete solution for accessing Exchange mailboxes. I believe that the Connector will continue to be an incomplete solution until Microsoft offers up a specification for the MAPI interface across which Outlook and Exchange talk. Until then, if IMAP doesn't do it for you, and you want to run Outlook on Linux, try CrossOver 6.0. Finally, if your definition of an acceptable workplace platform is an OS that works exactly like Windows, by all means, use Windows. However, if you're interested in broadening your platform horizons, you needn't give up so easily.

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