Microsoft Exchange 2010 buzz grows louder…

Oleh: saksher
August 15, 2009

The release-to-manufacturing (RTM) buzz around Microsoft Exchange 2010 is starting to grow louder from various partners and customers it could be finalized any time now, maybe even before this month is up.

Exchange Server is directly and indirectly at the crux of a number of new and recently announced products from Microsoft. The company’s Mac Business Unit announced on August 13 that the 2010 version of Mac Office will include Outlook, rather than Entourage, as its new e-mail client. The next Mac Office release also will feature improved Exchange and Exchange Online connectivity, the Softies said. (Microsoft Mac Office customers who need better Exchange connectivity now can use the just-finalized Entourage Web Services, Microsoft officials said.)

Additionally, Exchange ActiveSync licensees Nokia and Apple are both expected to tout the ability of users to sync with their corporate mail systems as part of their forthcoming Nokia Mobile Office and Apple Snow Leopard releases.

As many as 1 million testers have been test-driving the public beta version of Microsoft’s on-premise Exchange Server 2010 product since April of this year. Another 5 million or so testers have been working with the cloud-based complement in the form of Outlook Live, which is a slightly modified version of the Exchange Online product.

The Exchange team has said to expect the product to RTM before the end of 2009. More recently, company officials said to expect Microsoft to “launch” Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7 and Exchange 2010 together via a series of “business launch” events, which kick off in the U.S. on November 9.

The Exchange 2010 release includes new, integrated e-mail archive functionality; the ability to see text previews of voice mail; a new “Conversation View” feature; customizable call-routing menus; and a “MailTips” feature designed to help stamp out e-mail “faux pas.”

More than a few testers report having been impressed with the Outlook Web Access (OWA) improvements that Microsoft has made as part of the 2010 release. The new and more robust OWA supports Firefox and Safari.

Exchange 2010 is a 64-bit-only release. Other caveats: Users who want to run Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 together must upgrade to Exchange 2007 Service Pack (SP) 2. And Exchange 2007 also won’t work at all on Windows Server 2008 R2, so users who want to run Exchange on the latest and greatest Windows Server release have no choice but to upgrade to Exchange 2010. In-place upgrades from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010 seemingly are prohibited.

When asked Microsoft officials whether Exchange 2010 is ready to get the RTM designation real soon now. A corporate spokesperson replied: “We have said that Exchange 2010 will become available in the second half of 2009. There’s nothing additional to share at this point.”

Note: Source taken from ZDNet blog.

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