961112 ADM and forcing Outlook 2010’s Outlook Anywhere settings via Group Policy

Just a brief note about something that tripped me up on a recent installation.  Outlook 2010 is running in an environment where workstations are domain-joined, but have no direct tcp access to the Exchange server.  Default behavior of course is for Outlook to attempt tcp connections, and then after roughly 25-30 seconds it will give up and switch to http and successfully connect.  Of course, this is annoying to users who may or may not have had their coffee in the morning but expect Outlook to connect more or less immediately.

There is a KB article (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/961112) which provides the ability to force the various Outlook Anywhere check box values, but it is hard coded to work with Outlook 2007 – our 2010 clients were not seeing any change.

After much head-scratching I finally remembered having dealt with the exact same issue roughly 10 months ago at another installation (my memory isn’t what it used to be).  The trick is to open up the ADM file from the KB article in a text editor such as notepad and adjust all the 12.0 values (which is Office 2007’s version) to 14.0 (Office 2010’s version – they skipped ver. 13 due to superstition).  Making this change and reimporting the modified ADM into a fresh GPO did the trick.

Hope that helps anyone looking to adjust Outlook Anywhere settings via GPO!