Big Changes in Exchange Server 2007

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 is a far cry from Exchange Server 2003, based on eWEEK Labs’ tests of the first public beta of the new messaging platform.

Administrators thinking of moving to Exchange Server 2007 should take a hard look at this beta to understand the impact of the platform’s many new features.

Exchange 2007 Beta 2 became widely available on July 24 and is expected to ship in its final form at the end of 2006 or the beginning of 2007.

There’s no huge rush to evaluate the beta, but don’t wait too long-our tests show that getting a full sense of the capabilities and requirements will take time and training.

Exchange Server includes a number of architectural changes. The product will be available for production deployment using only the 64-bit version of the software, so 64-bit capable servers are a must. (A 32-bit version of Exchange Server 2007 Beta 2 is available for companies that want to test the software without tying up a 64-bit system.)

This beta also includes unified messaging capabilities with an embedded version of Microsoft’s Speech Server, allowing users to access their mailboxes and calendars from a phone as well as their voice mail from their e-mail client (provided the company has an IP PBX or VOIP gateway).

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