A look at Exchange 2010


I’ve been looking around the Microsoft New Efficiency site (blog post here) today and there are a number of great videos giving an overview and introduction to the new features of Exchange 2010. One of the key ideologies behind the new version of Exchange has been that it will behave the same whether it’s on-site or hosted in the cloud. The slide below shows the main pillars of Exchange 2010:

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The following screenshots go into more detail on the features behind the above:

 

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You’ll see here that Exchange 2010 now has integrated archiving capabilities. As you can see below, it gives users a 2nd mailbox which can be used to store archived data with all the familiarity and ease of Outlook.

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It also has a new “Legal Hold” feature which tracks all edits etc on a user’s email-even those that are deleted.

Other features/news:

I saw this week that Exchange 2010 has the ability to migrate users during an upgrade (from 2007) without any downtime! A huge bonus to System Admins everywhere 🙂

Outlook Web Access is now called Outlook Web App, so still the same initials but it shows a different approach. Rather than it simply being a way to get your emails when you’re without Outlook…it is now a proper, defined entity in it’s own right. That is also shown by the fact that OWA 2010 will have around 95% feature parity with the full Outlook client. I don’t know what the percentage is currently but certainly in my opinion OWA 2007 is lacking a lot; so roll on OWA 2010! This will be of big interest to people looking at Exchange Online aswell…

Microsoft: The New Efficiency


At today’s “New Efficiency” launch event, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke about Windows 7 deployments and how customers can save money with the latest OS. He particularly mentioned that Windows 7 “will bring $90-$160 saving per pc per year”.

He also discussed the “Consumerisation of IT”, where users bring/force change in Corporate IT via their expectations from using software at home. He said that it isn’t a new phenomenon (it just has a new name) and that it will continue to be a huge driving force in the way that software is designed and used-such as the extra social networking features being added into Office, Exchange & Sharepoint.

This all led to the launch of a new website:

http://vepexp.microsoft.com/thenewefficiency

which contains dozens of videos from MS execs covering topics such as:

  • Discover Windows Optimized Desktop
  • Learn about Optimized Server
  • Experience Unified Communications
  • Explore Business Ready Security

There are a bunch of videos on Exchange 2010 such as:

  • Upgrade & Deployment
  • High Availability
  • Mobility & Active Sync
  • Email Archiving

and more. These are a great source of information on Exchange 2010, some of which I’ve collected here.

The banner below is a great representation of the products & ideas behind the New Efficiency.

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There are way too many sessions to list here but MS have put together some suggested sessions listings for:

  • Enterprises
  • Mid-Size
  • SMB’s

They contain links to the videos on the New Efficiency site and can be downloaded from my SkyDrive here.

Exchange 2010 Public Beta Released


Microsoft today (15/04/09) made the beta of Exchange 2010 available to the public-this can be downloaded here:

Get Exchange 2010 Beta

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!