Latest version of ‘eMarq’ provides myriad options

Shock, awe and general indifference greeted Marquette’s new Microsoft Exchange 2010 e-mail system this weekend after it received numerous upgrades and formatting changes.

Changes to eMarq included an increase in the memory capacity of each user’s mailbox. The old system had about 48 MB of space, while the new system has 1 GB of space.

With roughly 1,000 MB in 1 GB, students now have an additional 952 MB of storage space.

An instant messaging system is also among the additions to Exchange 2010. Users can now write to each other through eMarq, similar to AOL Instant Messaging and Facebook chat.

According to Kathy Lang, chief information officer of technology at Marquette, the IT services policy is to upgrade the e-mail systems as they are available.

Lang said Marquette has been testing Exchange 2010 for months — first with a pilot group and then with all faculty and staff.

“We thought the added functionality of broader browser support, larger mailboxes and instant messaging would be beneficial to students,” Lang said in an e-mail.

She said the upgrade gives students the ability to use eMarq and all its features in three major browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.

Before, users displaying eMarq in Firefox or Safari were forced to use the light version of Microsoft Exchange. Lang said the light version includes far fewer features.

Microsoft Exchange 2010 also automatically sorts e-mail by subject, Lang said.

“By default, messages are displayed in threads so that all the messages on a particular topic are grouped,” Lang said.

When a new e-mail comes into an eMarq account, all other messages with the same subject line get grouped with the most recent e-mail, Lang said.

Marquette students’ opinions of eMarq vary, and many simply choose to have their e-mail forwarded to their pre-existing Gmail or AOL accounts.

“I originally forwarded my messages to Gmail because of the lack of memory space on eMarq,” said Gretchen Mitchell, a junior in the College of Nursing. “Maybe I will switch it back now.”

Ed Haberkorn, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said he was annoyed by the old eMarq because of the constant need to delete old e-mails.

“The memory upgrade was definitely needed,” Haberkorn said. “I do think that eMarq can become more user friendly, but other than that it’s a pretty good system.”

Anne Richmond, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, said she doesn’t like that the new eMarq sorts e-mail by subject. She said the old e-mail system was acceptable for her needs.

“The only plus (of the new eMarq) is the chat option,” Richmond said. “It feels like I’m in middle school again.”