Update to live@edu on its way in February

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Microsoft are making some improvements to their current live@edu services in the new year around the Outlook Web App, Exchange Management Console and spam/anti virus protection.

Notification: February 2011 Service Update

We are pleased to announce the upcoming deployment of the February 2011 Service Update. This service update will include the addition of several features including those to assist deployment of new users, enhancements to the Exchange Control Panel, updates to Outlook Web App (OWA), new capabilities for compliance, policy, SPAM and anti-virus management.
We want to provide all tenant administrators with advanced notification of this upcoming change, as well as share several changes to the deployment process in order to provide greater customer flexibility and awareness of the deployment. Deployment of this service update will begin in January 2011 and is expected to last at least until April 2011. We do not anticipate any impact to service availability or reliability but if we feel that these measures are at risk, we will take corrective action which could extend the deployment window.

Deployment of the Service Update

The deployment of the service update will be tenant or domain based, meaning that all users for a given tenant or domain will be upgraded during the same limited period of time. We expect that it will take less than one week to deploy the update to a given tenant. During this period of time, no interruption of service is expected. Once a user’s mailbox has been updated, the user will see some minor enhancements to the Outlook Web App interface.
In addition to this notification, one week prior to the update beginning for a tenant, we will send out notification to the appropriate administrator(s) alerting them that the update is about to start. Once the update begins we will not be able to suspend the process. Upon completion of the update, we will send notification to the administrator(s) that the process has been completed.
By default, we assume that we can deploy the service update to all tenants, beginning on 21 January 2011. Our current estimate is that it will take approximately four months to update all tenants. We will provide administrators with two ways to influence scheduling the start of the deployment of the service update:

First, until 14 January, a tenant administrator may request that we delay their deployment of the service update until after a specific date or prior to a specific date. Acceptable dates range from 14 January 2011 to 8 April 2011. To request this, the tenant administrator would open a support ticket with Microsoft providing information on their primary domain, all accepted domains and the requested date to have the update completed prior to or the date until which the start of the update is to be delayed. Requests are considered pending until they are reviewed and confirmed by Microsoft.
Secondly, when we send out the one week notification to the administrator(s), the administrator will have three days to request to delay the update via a support ticket. This request will need to include the primary domain, all accepted domains and the date that the update is to be delayed until. It is not possible to delay later than 8 April 2011. Requests are considered pending until they are reviewed and confirmed by Microsoft.

Finally, we will not be able to provide an actual start date or estimated start date until one week prior to the start of the update for a given tenant.
Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns about this particular service update by contacting support. As the deployment of the service update progresses, we will provide additional updates via the administrator forum on www.outlookliveanswers.com.

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