Microsoft today (15/04/09) made the beta of Exchange 2010 available to the public-this can be downloaded here:
There are numerous new features in the latest incarnation of the world’s most popular email platform (I think that’s a safe statement to make?!) including:
· OWA (Outlook Web Access) support for Internet Explorer (IE) 7 and 8, Firefox 3, and Safari 3.
· MailTips. Are you about to accidentally send a personal e-mail to the whole company? A a time-sensitive e-mail to someone who is on maternity leave for six months? A 30MB attachment to people who have 20MB attachment size limits on their mailboxes? MailTips tells you before you send the message.
· Conversation view. Have the arrangements for a company party Friday night cluttered up your mailbox to the point where you can’t find the approval e-mail for the urgent customer visit that you need to book today? Switch to conversation view, and collapse those 50 party discussions into one expandable node.
· Calendar sharing extended to OWA
· Automatically transcribed text-based preview of voice mail messages
· Federation – Trust Exchange servers of partner organizations, share calendars, presence. You can schedule meetings with your business partners as easily as you can schedule meetings within the company.
· Mailboxes can be moved during normal business hours with user online!
· The Exchange 2010 version of OWA will have full parity with Outlook 2010 by the time they both ship; & the Windows Mobile client will come close.
One thing that might surprise some and will probably cause issues for others is that Exchange 2010 will require Windows Server 2008 minimum-so NO Windows Server 2003 support. I’m sure this won’t sit well with everyone but Windows Server 2008 is such a great product, and a huge leap forward from Server 2003, that I’m sure it will only benefit people to adopt it.
I’ve just seen a tweet from @Pbarone that Exchange 2010 will have a “mute” button which will allow you to remove yourself from email threads…that is seriously cool! At least a couple of times a week I find myself caught up in a “reply all/forward” whirlwind where I’m one of say, 6 people that all receive an email and then each of then “reply all” and then that receives multiple replies and so on. It’s very rare that I actually need to see these responses but once one person hits “reply all”, it seems to be the custom for everyone else involved to follow suit…and it can be really annoying so this mute button is a great new feature!