An offer for Tim Cook

[note to readers: I encourage you to repost, retweet, and otherwise spread this offer. It’s legit; I am happy to help Apple in any way that I can. Since I don’t have any Apple execs on speed dial, perhaps social media will get this to the right folks. ]

Dear Mr. Cook:

We’ve never met. You’ve almost certainly never heard of me. But I’m going to make you an offer that I hope you’ll accept: I want to help you quit making such a mess of the world’s Exchange servers. More to the point, I want to help the iOS Exchange ActiveSync team clean up their act so we don’t have any more serious EAS bugs in iOS. The meeting hijacking bug was bad enough, but the latest bug? the one that results in Exchange servers running out of transaction log space? That’s bad for everyone. It makes your engineers look sloppy. It makes Exchange administrators into the bad guys because they have to block their users’ iOS devices.

These bugs make everyone lose: you, Microsoft, and your mutual users. They’re bad for business. Let’s fix them.

You might wonder why some dude you’ve never heard of is making you this offer. It’s because I’m a long-time Apple customer (got my first Mac in 1984 and first iPhone on launch day) and I’ve been working with Exchange for more than 15 years. As a stockholder, and fan, of both companies, I want to see you both succeed. Before there was any official announcement about the iOS SDK, I was bugging John Geleynse to let 3Sharp, my former company, help implement Exchange ActiveSync on the phone. He was a sly devil and wouldn’t even confirm that there would be an EAS client for the phone, but the writing was on the wall– the market power of Exchange Server, and the overwhelming prevalence of EAS, made that a foregone conclusion.

I’m an experienced developer and a ten-time Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Exchange Server. I have experience training developers in Exchange Web Services, and I know EAS well; in fact, I was an expert source of evidence in the recent Google/Motorola vs Microsoft case in the UK. As a long-time member of the Exchange community, I can help your developers get in touch with experts in every aspect of Exchange they might want to know about, too.

It’s pretty clear that your EAS client team doesn’t know how Exchange client throttling works, how to retry EAS errors gently, or all the intricacies of recurring meeting management (and how the server’s business logic works). If they did, the client wouldn’t behave the way it has. They could learn it by trial and error… but look where that’s gotten us.

I’m in Mountain View, right up the road. Seriously. Have your people call my people.

Peace and Exchange 4eva,


Filed under Security, UC&C

11 responses to “An offer for Tim Cook

  1. Pat Jensen

    While you are fixing core EAS functionality, please get serious about implementing the rest of the calendaring functions on Exchange in iOS.

    Such monumentally useful features like being able to reply while declining a meeting, or suggesting an alternate meeting time would be helpful. Also not truncating the contents of a calendar invite so you end up showing up to a call 5 minutes late because you had to open your laptop.

    Not all of us are art house latte sipping hippies and are trying to get some real work done.

    Good luck Paul and happy hacking.

  2. They would be luck to have you helping them Paul.


  3. I really hope they take you up on their offer Paul.
    Bad news is I really doubt they will.

    Pat – you can leave a reply on a decline, it’s just not very intuitive at all. Go in to the event details and you’ll see ‘leave comment.’ Then decline.

  4. Patrick Salmon

    2 thoughts:
    1st. This is a DoS by Apple. Absolutely no question about it.

    2nd. While Apple are yet again wildly wrong in esteeming themselves as enterprise aware, they same cannot be said of MS who most emphatically ARE enterprise aware. Why are they getting no heat for the fact that a 3rd party using their api’s, their tools and their rules was able to bring their product to its knees? Sure, all the fingers are pointed at Apple – and you’re 100% right in everything you stated in this article, but the problem with finger-pointing is that 3 fingers are pointing backwards….

    • Andrew Mazurek


      How refreshing to see that common sense is still around.
      It must be just you and me left on this planet.
      For others if you use toys (apple) and broken products (Exchange) well … good luck.

  5. Hope they get back with you! Also have them add better recurring meeting support. Another bonuses would be category support w/ filter.

  6. Reblogged this on Jason (Izzy) Sherry's Blog and commented:
    Will Apple take Paul up on this offer to help make iOS better with assistance from Exchange experts? I sure hope they do, the iPhone is not an enterprise friendly device currently given Apple’s VERY poor track record on Calendar and ActiveSync support. Exchange is used by the VAST majority of organizations out there and Apple’s poor EAS code continues to make Apple, IT staff, and Microsoft look bad.

    • Andrew Mazurek

      The only administrators that look bad are the ones who recommended Exchange in first place.
      Exchange is a great invention, so is nitroglycerin – handle with care !

  7. @patrick
    It’s the EAS licensing $$. Follow the money!

  8. Andrew Mazurek


    While you are at this could you also help Microsoft?
    Allowing ActiveSync devices to manipulate meeting owner? Seriously you blame Apple?
    Or how about his? An iPhone could take the Almighty Exchange and Office 365 to its knees?
    Time to get serious – migrate to Domino and sleep at night.

  9. Andrew Mazurek

    Probably you are busy with fixing another Exchange problem as it seems that my reply is Paul
    Probably you are busy with fixing another Exchange problem, as it seems that my reply is still waiting for moderator approval. Well I have a design challenge for you and other Exchange lovers …
    Simple email system for a hypothetical firm one office in Edmonton Canada (yes we have computers here) and one office in Sydney Australia. Both offices have 100 employees and there is an existing WAN using VPN over Internet, let us say 10Mbits on both ends.
    Few minor requirements:
    1. One server dedicated to email handling in both locations.
    2. No additions to WAN infrastructure.
    3. Access to email should be localized (users in Canada access Canadian server users in Australia access their local one).
    4. WAN outages are not frequent but may last for more than an hour or so and should not impact email access for users in the office.
    5. In case of catastrophic failure of one data center automatic failover let us say within 5 minutes (this maybe to aggressive I will give you 10 minutes) all users still have access to email (half of them will have slower access).
    May the Exchange be with You !
    still waiting for moderator approval. Well I have a

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