Snow Leopard Blues - Users of Exchange 2003 should avoid this update

I've read a great deal about Apple's update to Mac OS X called Snow Leopard.  It seemed very attractive and the addition of Exchange compatibility was the clincher.

I've read a great deal about Apple's update to Mac OS X called Snow Leopard.  It seemed very attractive and the addition of Exchange compatibility was the clincher. So, I order the release and installed it this morning.

The update was very easy to do.  I backed up my system, loaded the CD, clicked on install, clicked on the accept license button and then watched it do its stuff.  The upgrade took just over an hour.

After the system became available once again, I ran through all of the applications that are part of my daily regimen.  I found that the version of Cyberduck, an application that supports the file transfer protocol,  that I use no longer works.  I'll hunt for an upgrade.

Everything else I use Adium, FireFox, NeoOffice, Skype, Mac utilities and applications all appeared to work. Everything seemed faster and more responsive.  iCal appears to be the fly in the ointment, however. Although the connection seemed to work just fine the first time I accessed my company calendar, when I restarted iCal later, I got a strange error. The 451 Group, by the way currently uses a Zimbra server (this server emulates Exchange 2003.)

After trying everything I could think of to get iCal and Zimbra on speaking terms, I finally gave up and called Apple's support line.  I spoke to Lino who did his best to help.  When it appeared that it was beyond his level of experience, he passed me on to Kevin.  Wow, does Kevin know his stuff.  Unfortunately, the story doesn't have a happy ending.

Apple, in its infinite wisdom, chose to implement Exchange 2007 support in Snow Leopard even though the iPhone supports both Exchange 2003 and 2007.  So, my desktop system can not access the calendar even though my iPhone has no problem accessing my calendar.  I find it hard to believe that they did this when Exchange 2003 still has more installations than does Exchange 2007.

My advice to Mac users needing to access Exchange 2003 servers is to don't upgrade to Snow Leopard now.  Apple may come to its collective senses and provide an update that allows interoperability with Exchange 2003 as well as Exchange 2007, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it.

I only have a short while to worry about this.  Zimbra is on its way out the door an into history at the 451 Group.  It is being replaced some time mid September.