Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 24th Jul 2006 20:26 UTC
Microsoft 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.
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There are good things with this, but...
by mbpark on Tue 25th Jul 2006 06:30 UTC
mbpark
Member since:
2005-11-17

Microsoft finally realized that the Exchange sysadmins wanted a better interface than VBScript for automating tasks ;) . PowerShell will really be a big help to those many admins who have to use a half-baked workaround to administer multiple Exchange servers.

However, the Remote Wipe feature is a feature that the Blackberry Enterprise Servers have, as well as the ability to use SSL to communicate back with the home Exchange servers. If they change this version to allow user-installed CAs, then we'll know that they're really aiming for the government market.

In other words...they're aiming squarely for RIM with these features.

OWA needs a revamp. There's a major security hole which 2007 fixes, because MS thought it was too much work to backport to 2003. I certainly hope this version fixes it without introducing too many new bugs.

What they're trying to push here to their enterprise customers is that they can put in these new Exchange servers on their enterprise licensing agreements, buy Windows Mobile products, and have them work with what they have instead of having to license Blackberry Enterprise Server.

Nevermind that BES allows full remote configurability besides Remote Wipe. Microsoft makes their money betting that people won't use 90% of the features that the competition has, and that they've addressed the one or two most critical issues that C-level execs care about which the competition does have. Windows Mobile doesn't allow for anything equivalent to a Group Policy Object for mobile devices, or remote configurability currently.

After that, the Voicemail interface to Exchange will be kludgy at best. People can already use their mobile phones to check email. The only thing I can think of here is that they want to use Exchange to also store voice mail and faxes, and get rid of the aftermarket products which expand Exchange to handle unified messaging, like Fax Sr.. Embrace and Extend at its finest here. I could also see a Voicemail to Text interface being brought out soon as well, so you can get transcriptions of your voice mail.

Expect their VOIP announcements to revolve around their own extensions to Exchange 2007 for voicemail, their own Asterisk-like product (or one from a partner of theirs) which interfaces with Exchange, and major changes on the Fax server front.

I'd also expect more news on the Anti-Virus front now that they've bought Sybari, and was surprised not to read more about this in the review. They're also going to offer their own AV for Exchange, and cut out Symantec, Trend Micro, and the other vendors. Heck, I'm even expecting an integrated version of Windows Defender for this and their ISA Server product line.

Again, they're doing right by their enterprise customers, and the admins who have to administer Exchange, but at the expense of their business partners as they slowly build their own products to replace their competitors. These products, while inferior in total features, address the main bullet points the C-level execs care about at a lower price.

Ballmer at his finest.

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