I call bullshit on everything else you said concerning it getting something right.
Why? It does.
Again and again you state about the horrible pieces, and the reasons you would never go back to dealing with it.
Yes, because things are never all perfect or all crap.
Yet you also state a particular piece simply works, and it is the fault of the people who installed it, the way it was installed, etc.
WHICH IS THE STANDARD EXCUSE OF ANYONE DEFENDING A BIT OF MS CRAP!
Whatever. Show me an alternative to Exchange that has a client that isn't Groupwise. I worked with an Exchange setup for 5 years that worked as advertised. It was a horrible thing to manage, and if it broke it was hell on earth to fix, but when it was up and running, it was working. Properly.
You adminned something for years, you got to know its ins and outs. It was your baby. Of course it worked, you spent blood sweat and tears on it.
Not really; We followed the instructions; when installed properly, it works. *surprise*
And it was hardly my "baby". Remember, for most people, work is just that; work. I wouldn't do Exchange if I wasn't paid for it.
BUT YOU NEVER WOULD WANT TO DO IT AGAIN!
I would never want to do that, or any other sysadmin task again. It's a crappy job with little to no reward, it earns the derision and ire of your colleagues, and there's no end product to show for it. My current role is only about a hundred times more rewarding than that, if only a little more lucrative.
Which means, there was a time in your life that it was worth it to suffer, and as far as you are concerned, anyone who has a mis-behaving calendar simply hasn't suffered enough.
And that's just nonsense, Barry. I connect to an Exchange server every day, at work; dozens of meetings a day are scheduled with it; it doesn't foul up. That doesn't make it perfect, and I've been at pains in this thread to point that out. However, the rotten, stinking, awful, horrible truth is that there is no real alternative in that space to Exchange. Well, there is; it's Groupwise, which is just as horrible but in different ways. Both are lock-in closed-source payware EVUL.
Which in turn tells me you fell into a bit of Stockholm Syndrome with this particular package.
No, it means I don't have the "OMFG MICRO$HAFT SUXXORS" attitude that some people seem to have.
Exchange is a dreadful thing; it uses a variant of the MS-SQL engine to store the mail and as a result ends up (as at 5.5) implementing a subset of AD to do the security, it's horrible to manage (one edits a string registry key to add a disclaimer to outgoing mail. In RTF. Not fun), it's slow, it's fragile, it's non-standards-compliant, it's a resource hog.
All that, and it works, too.