REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 6, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate availability of
“Titanium” beta 2, the next edition of its Microsoft®
Exchange Server messaging and personal information management software, and unveiled the official product name: Exchange Server 2003. Customers can download the test code or order CD kits at http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/evaluation/ti/. Beta 2 is being made available to the general public following rigorous testing and evaluation by key customers and partners that are part of the Exchange Joint Development Program (JDP), and following the production deployment of
to more than half of Microsoft’s employees.
“Our customers expect their communications infrastructure to do more than just reliably provide e-mail,”
said Mohsen Al-Ghosein, vice president of the Exchange Server business unit at Microsoft.
“They expect it to be a consistent enabler of business value. That means increasing the productivity of information workers and IT staff, while reducing ongoing operational costs, and doing it with rock-solid dependability and enhanced security. The combination of Exchange Server 2003, the Outlook® 11 client, and Windows® .NET Server 2003 represents the most important and exciting end-to-end messaging solution yet for business customers.”
Exchange Server 2003 and Outlook 11 are scheduled to be released in mid-2003, following the scheduled spring release of Windows .NET Server 2003.
IDC predicts that the number of e-mail messages sent daily in 2003 will approach 40 billion worldwide. That volume of e-mail, along with rising instant messaging use by businesses, threatens productivity as information workers and IT administrators struggle to manage the flood of messages.
For Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000 customers, upgrading to Exchange Server 2003 and Outlook 11 will mean greater flexibility and significant enhancements that save time and ease management for information workers and IT professionals.
Several enhancements in Exchange Server 2003 and Outlook 11 are focused on improving productivity and the user experience for information workers. The new cached mode of operation saves time by transparently and consistently synchronizing user information in the background, enabling users to work from a consistently up-to-date local copy of their mailbox, regardless of the presence or quality of network connectivity. The enhanced user interface in Outlook 11, with search folders and an improved reader pane that provides 40 percent more information on screen than the preview pane in earlier versions of Outlook, enables users to be more productive in managing their personal information.
MAPI, the protocol used for native communication between Outlook and Exchange, has also been enhanced. Users will immediately notice significant improvements in their e-mail performance, due to a reduction in the amount of network traffic between the client and the server, and compression of data on the wire. And because they can connect directly to their Exchange server with MAPI over secured HTTP, users no longer need to deal with the complexity and cost of a VPN connection to their corporate network when working remotely.
Exchange Server 2003 gives end users a consistent experience across a wide range of clients with stronger, integrated support for mobility. Enhanced Outlook Web Access functionality offers users most of the capabilities of a full desktop client from a browser, along with an updated user interface that matches many of the enhancements in Outlook 11. The new version of Exchange builds in native support for wireless access with Outlook Mobile Access and provides support for mobile devices with iMode, cHTML and WAP 2.0 microbrowsers, as well as Windows Powered Pocket PC and SmartPhone devices.
“In the pharmaceutical industry we need to stay in constant contact with our global sales force. Microsoft’s focus in Exchange Server 2003 and Outlook 11 on providing a premier mobile experience provides exactly the capabilities we’re looking for,”
said Rolf Hansmann, head of global e-mail and collaboration services at Aventis Pharma.
“We are especially impressed with the performance improvements Microsoft has achieved by reducing the amount of information that has to travel over the wire between Outlook and Exchange. According to our tests, we’re seeing the greatest benefit for our remote users who work in low-bandwidth environments.”
Deep integration of Exchange Server 2003 with Windows .NET Server 2003 provides several capabilities that enhance the dependability of the IT environment. Integration with the Volume Shadow Copy services of Windows .NET Server 2003 enables virtually instantaneous backup and restore of Exchange servers, making it possible for Exchange administrators to support greater numbers of users on a single server. Support of Windows .NET Server 2003 for up to eight-node clusters enables Exchange administrators to provide highly available messaging environments for their users. And overall performance of the system is improved through the enhancements in MAPI with Outlook 11 and Exchange Server 2003. Overall, these features make it possible to centralize servers into regional datacenters and support more users in remote offices without the need for a dedicated server on site.
IT administrators will realize productivity enhancements with Exchange Server 2003 and Windows .NET Server 2003 through easier deployment and manageability. With deployment validation tools for the Active Directory®
directory service and the Active Directory Connector Wizard, Exchange customers can analyze their existing infrastructure, and automatically prepare their environment for the upgrade to Exchange Server 2003. The inclusion of the Exchange Management Pack for Microsoft Operations Manager automates system monitoring, providing more than 1,700 rules to allow administrators much more granular control over their communications infrastructure. Exchange Server 2003 also eases provisioning of Outlook, Outlook Web Access and Outlook Mobile Access with a single point of administration. These strong tools will enable administrators to upgrade their environments much more quickly, limiting downtime during an upgrade and minimizing disruption to users.
Jerry Cochran, group program manager in the Operations and Technology Group at Microsoft, is one of those responsible for Microsoft’s companywide migration to Exchange Server 2003. He said the migration to date has gone smoothly.
“The upgrade was no different from applying a service pack,”
“We stopped the services, applied the upgrade and restarted the services. Upgrades took an average of 30 minutes per night. That’s all. Ironically, the most important thing to say about the migration is that there’s not much to say. It just works. We didn’t encounter any significant problems.”
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Windows .NET Server 2003 embrace Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing initiative and are architected with the goal to be secure by design, secure by default and secure in deployment. This enhanced security frees administrators from having to worry about locking down their systems, enabling them to install and run only those features that they require for their environments. In addition, Outlook Web Access now supports the S/MIME security protocol for signing and encrypting messages and provides administrators with the capability to time out connections, greatly reducing the likelihood of security breaches potentially created by unattended browser sessions.
Exchange Server 2003 offers new junk e-mail message protection capabilities, including support for connection filtering based on real-time black-hole lists and dial-up user lists, inbound recipient filtering and Spam Beacon Blocking. Improvements to VSAPI, the virus scanning API in Exchange Server 2003, allow third-party antivirus vendor products to run on Exchange servers that do not have resident Exchange mailboxes (such as gateway servers or bridgehead servers). This will enable the scanning of incoming messages for potentially harmful code as soon as they enter a customer’s environment, and will reduce the operational impact on Exchange mailbox servers.
More information on Exchange Server 2003 features and functionality can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/. Details on Microsoft’s Operations Technology Group’s internal deployment of Exchange Server 2003 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2003/jan03/01-06titanium.asp .
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