URL Rewriting in Exchange

It’s been months — months!! — since I’ve said anything bad about Outlook. Since that seems like a tremendous oversight on my part, I’m moved to make this observation. When people send me links in Outlook, the exchange web mail client re-writes those URLs like this:

https://webmail.example.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.example.com/my/interesting/url/

Why does it do that? What information is the exchange server gathering? Is this a part of a tool to give Exchange administrators metrics on how many Facebook invites are being sent around?

Mostly, I find myself gritting my teeth at the annoying sloooooooowness of the exchange server. Any time I click a link, I feel like I wait forever and a day for the redirect to happen. So I’m not really content to just ignore the redirect phase.

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