Microsoft today released a public beta of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, part of Microsoft's unified communications family (http://www.microsoft.com/uc). Here is more info:
Exchange 2010 is part of the next wave of Microsoft Office-related products and is the first server in a new generation of Microsoft server technology built from the ground up to work on-premises and as an online service. This release of Exchange 2010 introduces a new integrated e-mail archive and features to help reduce costs and improve the user experience. A public beta of the server is available for download starting today at http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/2010
Exchange Server 2010 will become available in the second half of 2009. Microsoft Office 2010 and related products will enter technical preview in the third quarter of 2009 and become available in the first half of 2010.
Exchange 2010 will help organizations reduce costs, protect communications and delight e-mail users with capabilities to do the following:
-Lower costs with more flexible deployment and management options. Exchange 2010 provides organizations with the same enterprise-grade capabilities whether deployed on-premises or as a service from Microsoft or partners ? or as a mix of both. Further, for customers deploying the server, the new release simplifies the way organizations provide always-on communications and disaster recovery, meaning administrators spend less time managing their e-mail system. Exchange 2010 further improves performance running on lower-cost direct-attached storage, enabling organizations to dramatically reduce storage costs by up to 85 percent without sacrificing performance or reliability.
-Protect information and meet compliance requirements with the new e-mail archive. As e-mail volume grows, companies must address increasing compliance, legal and e-discovery concerns, but today, according to Osterman Research, only 28 percent of organizations currently archive their e-mail content (Osterman Research, 2008). Exchange 2010 introduces an integrated e-mail archive. The new solution makes it easier to store and query e-mail across the organization using the Exchange software that organizations already know and use.
-Improve user productivity with the ultimate inbox experience. Basex Inc. recently estimated that the average number of corporate e-mail messages received per person per day is expected to reach more than 93 by 2010. In addition, businesses lose $650 billion annually in productivity due to unnecessary interruptions including those from e-mail (Basex, 2008). Exchange 2010, together with Microsoft Outlook 2010, will give people more control over their communications with features such as these:
--MailTips. Warn users before they commit an e-mail faux pas such as sending mail to large distribution groups, to recipients who are out of the office or to recipients outside the organization, helping protect against information leaks and reduce unnecessary e-mail messages.
--Voice Mail Preview. See text previews of voice mail directly in Outlook.
--Ignore Conversation. This e-mail ?mute button? allows people to remove themselves from an irrelevant e-mail string, reducing unwanted e-mail and runaway reply-all threads.
--Conversation View. Combine related e-mail messages in a single conversation to reduce inbox clutter.
--Call Answering Rules. Create customized ?Press 1 for ?? call-routing menus with Exchange voice mail.
--Consistent Experience. Use Outlook on the PC, a mobile phone or a browser for the same experience with enhancements in Outlook Mobile and Outlook Web Access.
First in a Wave
Exchange 2010 is the first product to be introduced as part of the next wave of Microsoft Office-related products. The next wave, which includes Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft Visio 2010 and Microsoft Project 2010, is designed to give people a consistent experience across devices, making it easier to create and edit documents and collaborate from any location. In addition, to help businesses reduce costs, the next wave will introduce new delivery and licensing models, improve deployment and management options for IT professionals, and provide developers with an expanded platform on which to create applications.
Exchange Server 2010 will become available in the second half of 2009. Additional Office products including Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft Visio 2010 and Microsoft Project 2010 are scheduled to enter technical preview in the third quarter of 2009 and release to manufacturing in the first half of 2010.