Exchange Server 2003 Release Candidate 1 Is Now Available

DALLAS, June 2, 2003 — Today at Microsoft®
TechEd 2003, Microsoft Corp. announced the broad availability of release candidate 1 (RC1) of Exchange Server 2003, the next edition of its messaging server. RC1 includes a comprehensive set of new and enhanced deployment tools to help Exchange 5.5 customers more easily upgrade while maintaining high availability. More than 200 industry partners are preparing to deliver solutions, giving Exchange customers the infrastructure they need to deploy and run Exchange 2003.

“RC1 marks a major milestone in the development of Exchange 2003, the most rigorously tested version of Exchange ever,”
said Mohsen al-Ghosein, vice president of Exchange Server at Microsoft.
“In addition to 100 percent internal deployment at Microsoft, Exchange 2003 has been running in production for select customers and partners in our Joint Development Program (JDP) for over a year. RC1 is a call to action for customers to start testing and planning their deployment of Exchange 2003.”

Starting with RC1, Exchange 2003 will be available in two editions: Standard and Enterprise. Standard Edition is an optimal solution for small to medium-sized organizations as well as branch offices of larger enterprises, while Enterprise Edition meets the needs of larger organizations with more-complex deployments and scalability requirements. For the first time, Standard Edition also can be used in a front-end scenario, allowing customers to deploy Outlook®
Web Access without the expense of purchasing Enterprise Edition.

Exchange Server 2003 significantly boosts information worker productivity with an integrated set of server and client capabilities that make it easier to create and manage business communications in the office and on the road. For information technology (IT) professionals, the investments in Exchange 2003 will deliver enhanced security, availability and reliability while also lowering total cost of ownership (TCO) through server and site consolidation. RC1 is optimized for Windows Server (TM) 2003 and also compatible with Windows®
2000 Server. It also is directly upgradeable to the final version of Exchange 2003, assuring customers of a smooth transition to the final version and providing them with the stability and quality needed to start planning their Exchange 2003 deployments now.

Customers can evaluate the potential benefit of Exchange 2003 to their organization with a return on investment (ROI) calculator developed by Nucleus Research Inc. Customers can calculate the ROI, TCO, payback period and net present value by completing the Nucleus Research Microsoft Excel-based worksheets for Exchange 2003. The tool and report will be downloadable from .

“We have been impressed with the reliability and mobility features of Exchange 2003,”
said Kelvin McGrath the CIO at Boral Ltd.
“We are targeting a 50 percent reduction in Exchange servers, which we believe will provide significant savings in administration costs.”

Boral, Australia’s largest building and construction materials company, with 12,000 employees, worked with Avanade, a global technology integrator for Microsoft solutions, to deploy Exchange 2003 and Windows Server 2003.

New Deployment Tools

Exchange 2003 delivers new and improved deployment tools that help customers of Exchange 5.5 plan and execute a smooth upgrade while maintaining the availability of their messaging infrastructures. Based on customer feedback, Microsoft is providing new tools and prescriptive guidance to help walk customers through the entire deployment process — from planning the deployment to moving the last mailbox — with easy-to-follow, logical steps designed to reduce common errors and give customers confidence that their deployment is moving along smoothly.

For the first time, Microsoft is providing a comprehensive set of analysis and reporting tools to help customers obtain an accurate picture of their existing networks and Exchange 5.5 environment before they start their Exchange 2003 deployment. Active Directory®
is easier to deploy and operate than ever before thanks to a number of enhancements, including the availability of the Active Directory Migration Tool (ADMT) 2.0 and the Exchange Active Directory Connector (ADC). ADMT 2.0 helps users, computers and groups migrate to the Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Service. The ADC allows a smoother upgrade by enabling coexistence and replication between the Exchange 5.5 directory and Active Directory. A new ADC wizard simplifies the setup of the connection agreements necessary between these directories.

As the Exchange upgrade progresses, tools verify that each step of the installation process has been successfully completed before advancing to the next one. The process of moving Exchange 5.5 mailboxes to Exchange 2003 now is faster and easier to plan, with the option to perform multiple, simultaneous scheduled moves. In addition, a new public and system folder migration tool offers an easy way to move folders to Exchange Server 2003.

The Exchange 2003 deployment process is designed to be flexible in meeting customer upgrade schedules and budgets. Exchange 2003 can be deployed in phases and can coexist with other messaging servers running Exchange 2000 and/or Exchange 5.5. On the desktop, Outlook 2003, Outlook 2002 (in Office XP) and Outlook 2000 can work with Exchange 2003, and the new Outlook Web Access can be quickly deployed to make the latest e-mail management functionality available to users from almost any desktop.

Industry Partner Support

Customers can have further confidence in Exchange 2003 with more than 200 partners preparing to deliver solutions for Exchange 2003. Microsoft is working with these partners to gather feedback on Exchange 2003 and to assist them in developing and testing their products. As part of the Exchange Partner Developer Beta Program, Microsoft has been making early builds of Exchange Server 2003 available to these independent software vendors, solution providers and systems integrators to ensure that they deliver the best possible solutions for customers as they plan, evaluate and deploy Exchange 2003.

With the updated virus-scanning API (VSAPI) 2.5 and a new antispam tool enabling vendors to build better, more closely integrated security solutions, antivirus and antispam industry partners such as Brightmail Inc., Computer Associates International Inc., GFI Software Ltd., Network Associates Technology Inc., Panda Software, Sybari Software Inc., Symantec Corp. and Trend Micro Inc. have pledged their support for the highly anticipated release.

In addition, partners such as CommVault Systems Inc., Computer Associates, Dell Computer Corp., EMC Corp., HP, IBM Corp., Legato Systems Inc. and VERITAS Software Corp. have committed to delivering solutions for enhanced backup and restore operations based on the new Volume Shadow Copy Services supported in Exchange 2003 and Windows 2003.

About Exchange 2003

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 works with Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Office 2003 to deliver best-in-class e-mail-based collaboration services that are highly secure, reliable and easy to access, enabling businesses to make decisions efficiently and compete more effectively. Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 is part of the Windows Server System (TM) , Microsoft’s comprehensive, integrated and interoperable server infrastructure that simplifies the development, deployment and operation of agile business solutions.

About Microsoft TechEd 2003

TechEd, one of Microsoft’s premier developer training events, which reaches more than 75,000 people worldwide annually, provides attendees with access to technical experts, the latest technical information, and hands-on labs to learn the skills they need to build state-of-the-art solutions. Sponsors of TechEd 2003 include Dell Computer Corp., HP, IBM Corp. and VERITAS Software Corp.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Outlook, Windows Server, Windows, Active Directory and Windows Server System are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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