EHLO Blog: Released: March 2016 Quarterly Exchange Updates

The Exchange team is happy to announce our spring quarterly updates for Exchange Server are now available on the Microsoft Download Center. Exchange Server 2016 receives its first Cumulative Update, and Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 12 is also released. Exchange Server 2007 and Exchange Server 2010 Update Rollups provide an updated OWA S/MIME control signed with a SHA-2 certificate. More information and highlights of all these releases can be found below.

Updated OWA S/MIME control

All of the packages released today include an update to the OWA S/MIME control. The control itself has not changed, but has now been signed with a SHA-2 compliant certificate. All of the updates released will install the updated control onto the Exchange Server. Users who have installed the control into their browser will need to re-install this onto devices where the previous version was installed. Installing the control is straight forward and can be done quickly using OWA Options, Exchange Control Panel or Exchange Admin Center depending upon the release of Exchange you are using.

New distribution package for Exchange Server 2016 updates

With the introduction of Cumulative Updates for Exchange Server 2016, we are making a change to the update package type for this product version. Previous versions of Exchange used self-extracting packages to deliver service packs and cumulative updates. We have heard requests to release these updates as .ISO’s. With the capability to mount .ISO’s directly in Windows Server 2012 and later, we think it makes sense to ship Cumulative Updates as .ISO’s. At this time, we are not planning to do this for Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Updates but could be persuaded to do so if enough people ask for it. One down side to this approach is that the package is much larger. However, copying a single .ISO vs. the ever growing number of files and folders over the network is much more efficient and faster. We hope you like this change.

Change to Mailbox Anchoring for Remote PowerShell

We heard your feedback on the changes to load balancing Remote PowerShell introduced into Exchange Server 2013 and 2016. As announced by Ross here, we have reverted this behavior in the Cumulative Updates being released today.

Additional languages for Outlook on the Web

Exchange Server 2016 Cumulative Update 1 adds support for 17 additional languages in Outlook on the Web. These languages will appear automatically in the language selection drop down after a server is updated to Cumulative Update 1.

.Net 4.6.1 Support

We know that many of you have been asking about .Net 4.6.1 and Exchange. Rest assured we are working closely with the .Net Framework team to resolve issues preventing us from supporting .Net 4.6.1 with Exchange Server. While we are not there yet, we hope to be very soon. Support for .Net 4.6.1 is planned for future Cumulative Updates for Exchange Server 2013 and 2016.

Slow installations on Windows Server 2012 R2

For customers who are running Exchange on Windows Server 2012 R2, we want to make certain you are aware of a condition which can substantially increase the amount of time it takes to install Exchange Updates on this OS. Working with the .Net team, we have discovered that systems which have applied Windows Update KB3097966 can take 50% more time to install Exchange. The .Net team is working on a resolution to this and will include a fix in a future product update. In the meantime, customers who have deployed this Windows update can take a one-time action on their server before installing Exchange or a Cumulative Update to bring installation time back to normal. This procedure needs to be done once on every Exchange server running Windows Server 2012 R2. The command to execute is:

“%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\ngen.exe update”

Errors and warnings encountered running this command can be safely ignored provided the final exit status code of 0 is reported in the output.

Support for Standalone Hybrid Configuration Wizard in Exchange Server 2010

Customers using Exchange Server 2010 in Hybrid mode with Office 365 will notice a new link in the EMC to use the Updated Standalone Hybrid Configuration Wizard. We encourage all customers to use this updated version of the Hybrid Configuration Wizard.

Release Details

KB articles which contain greater depth on what each release includes are available as follows:

Note: Documentation may not be fully available at the time this post was published.

Exchange Server 2016 Cumulative Update 1 does include updates to Active Directory Schema. These updates will apply automatically during setup if the permissions and AD requirements are met during installation. If the Exchange Administrator lacks permissions to update Active Directory Schema, a Schema Admin should execute SETUP /PrepareSchema before installing Cumulative Update 1 on your first server. The Exchange Administrator should also execute SETUP /PrepareAD to ensure RBAC roles are updated correctly.

Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 12 does not include updates to Active Directory, but may add additional RBAC definitions to your existing configuration. PrepareAD should be executed prior to upgrading any servers to CU12. PrepareAD will run automatically during the first server upgrade if Setup detects this is required and the logged on user has sufficient permission.

Additional Information

Microsoft recommends all customers test the deployment of any update in their lab environment to determine the proper installation process for your production environment. For information on extending the schema and configuring Active Directory, please review the appropriate TechNet documentation.

Also, to prevent installation issues you should ensure that the Windows PowerShell Script Execution Policy is set to “Unrestricted” on the server being upgraded or installed. To verify the policy settings, run the Get-ExecutionPolicy cmdlet from PowerShell on the machine being upgraded. If the policies are NOT set to Unrestricted you should use the resolution steps in KB981474 to adjust the settings.

Reminder: Customers in hybrid deployments where Exchange is deployed on-premises and in the cloud, or who are using Exchange Online Archiving (EOA) with their on-premises Exchange deployment are required to deploy the most current (e.g., CU12) or the prior (e.g., CU11) Cumulative Update release.

For the latest information on Exchange Server and product announcements please see What’s New in Exchange Server 2016 and Exchange Server 2016 Release Notes. You can also find updated information on Exchange Server 2013 in What’s New in Exchange Server 2013, Release Notes and product documentation available on TechNet.


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