Tuesday, Apr 16th 2013
Here in Los Angeles we support thousands of computers running every version of Internet Explorer, FireFox or Chrome to access Outlook Web Access on Exchange Server 2003. Starting with Exchange 2008 Microsoft starting calling it Outlook Web Apps (because "apps" (short for application, of course) is the new buzzword. Fortunately the abbreviation remains the same: OWA.
Each new version creates little problems accessing older websites that, for whatever reason, aren't keeping up with the latest and greatest web browsers. Exchange 2003's Outlook Web Access (OWA) is one such site - the first thing you'll notice when accesing it with IE 10 is a big chunk of computer gibberish at the top and the message Loading... where your email should be, but it never really loads your mailbox.
What once worked just fine in IE 7, 8 and 9 suddenly stopped working in 10. Youy don't have to have Windows 8 feel this frustration. If you have Windows 7 and updated Internet Explorer with Windows Updates, you might not have relized you upgraded to 10 and, as far as you are concerened, OWA just stopped working out of the blue. Hate that. Thankfully, Microsoft does include ways to make their old stuff work with their new stuff.
One way to get them to play nicely together is to click the little Compatability View button to the right of the address field - it looks like a little piece of paper torn in half. When you click it you will be immediately kicked out of OWA and get an error that reads The webpage could not be found. Not to fear, just click the back arrow. You'll see your OWA sign-on page again. Log in and your problem should be solved. If not try this althernative path to peaceful co-existence:
With the OWA sign-on page loaded, hit the F12 button on your keyboard and you'll see a new pane pop up at the bottom of the IE window. You can do all kinds of crazy stuff here, including fixing your OWA problem. Click Browser Mode: IE 10 and from the options that drop down, choose IE 9.
Click the little X on the right side of that box to close it. If you were signed into OWA you will be immediately kicked out and returned to the sign on page or The webpage could not be found message. Either way, sign back into OWA and your mailbox will be back to normal.
Try this for any web sites that don't seem to work properly any more. Maybe a button doesn't seem to click, or you can't quite get thorugh an online web form. You should also keep in mind that some sites work best in other browsers This blog, for example, requires Chrome for editing whereas my email newsletter tool, Vertical Response, only works in Firefox.