In our Microsoft migration a couple of months ago, we moved from Novell's Groupwise for email to Microsoft Exchange 2003, using Outlook 2007 as a client.Â I knew things would be different, but some things just make me shake my head.
My boss just took a week off, and set up an "Out of Office" reply using Outlook's Out of Office assistant.Â He then sent an email to himself from home... and no reply.Â Strange...
So I ask my tech consultant to look into it, thinking that something must not be configured correctly on the server.Â In the mean time, I forward my boss an email from my work address... and get a reply saying he's on vacation.Â What the heck?Â Now I'm thinking... "Did it fix itself overnight?"Â So I send an email to him from one of my many external email addresses, but no luck.Â Still broken.
I'll admit that this seemed pretty strange.Â It works internally, but not externally.
Then my tech comes back to me with this Microsoft KB entry, which says:
"By default in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, the sending of out-of-office reply messages to the Internet is disabled. Many administrators do not allow out-of-office reply messages to be sent outside the Exchange organization to prevent unauthorized people from learning when users are out of the office."
What the hell?
Privacy is great, really.Â But for crying out loud, this is overboard.Â Turning off replies to the internet is the default?Â Come on!
Give the paranoid system admins a way to turn the feature off if they're that concerned.Â But there is no reason in the world that you should force 90% of users to turn on the feature to protect the 10% of users that deliberately neglected to tell their wife they were taking the day off! Honestly, all the people in the office already know he's gone, responding to them is ridiculous.Â It's the ones emailing him from elsewhere that need to know!