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Microsoft Revving Up for Exchange 12

Alexander Zammit

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Alexander Zammit has been developing server applications for over 15 years. Most of his works involve Exchange integrated applications, including a FAX server, a mail security product and anti-spam products.

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Despite Exchange 12 Betas are not freely available yet, Microsoft is preparing to get the community ready. Exchange 12 will bring more and more functionality. Indeed with a formidable competitor like Exchange 2003 it cannot be otherwise.

This year is expected to be an eventful one for the Exchange community. The new Exchange version is scheduled for release late this year or early 2007.

The first beta has been made available last year to a close group of organizations. Now the audience is being broadened making the Beta open to all TechNet subscribers. The first open release is expected to be Beta 2 and should be available around mid this year.

Exchange 12 will bring more and more functionality. Indeed with a formidable competitor like Exchange 2003 it cannot be otherwise. Organizations are no longer ready to jump on new versions unless there is a clear business advantage in doing so. We have already seen the struggle in convincing Exchange 5.5 organizations to upgrade. A sequel might be in the horizon.

64-bit is one area where Exchange 12 has no fear of Exchange 2003. The more 64-bit catches up the more 32-bit will start to appear obsolete giving an important push to Exchange 12. Apart for 64-bit, the list of new features is quite rich. Some of the features that are likely to have a clear effect on the bottom line include improved disaster recovery support, improved anti-spam and support for fax and voice services.

Many of the new Exchange 12 features are today already available from third party vendors. This fact will certainly render the landscape more interesting. Organizations adopting Exchange 12 will require less third party add-ons cutting on costs. Still organisations already running Exchange with third party add-ons will see less value in an upgrade. Thus Exchange 12 will be more attractive to new Exchange adopters than to those upgrading.

Despite Exchange 12 Betas are not freely available yet, Microsoft is preparing to get the community ready. A series of webcasts are being aired these days covering many aspects of Exchange 12. Have a look at the titles and pick your time to learn more on what's new:

An Overview of Exchange "12" (Level 200)
On-Demand

Giving the Administrator More Control in Exchange "12" (Level 200)
On-Demand

Client Access and Web Services in Exchange "12" (Level 200)
Thursday, March 16, 2006, 11:30 A.M.-1:00 P.M. Pacific Time

Message Security and Active Protection in Exchange "12" (Level 200)
Friday, March 17, 2006, 9:30 A.M.-11:00 A.M. Pacific Time

Improvements to Calendaring in Exchange "12" (Level 300)
Tuesday, April 18, 2006, 11:30 A.M.-12:30 P.M. Pacific Time

Recipient Management, Permissions, and Policies in Exchange "12" (Level 300)
Tuesday, April 25, 2006, 11:30 A.M.-12:30 P.M. Pacific Time

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