Exchange 2010: Sneak Peek

In this sneak peek at the newly released beta code for Microsoft's next Exchange upgrade, due in 2010, we found end user-friendly advancements in the Webmail interface and self-service management options. For administrators, there are usable scalability and reliability measures, more CLI support and role-based access controls.

Microsoft has made a big effort to extend a full set of features to its Outlook Web Access users with support for other browsers and improved views of messages.

Exchange 2010 also includes a helpful new feature called MailTips, which pops up information messages about email you’re composing.

Exchange 2010 gives users the ability to control their own environments. Exchange managers can now allow end users to update their address information, search for delivery reports on messages they've sent or received, and manage and moderate distribution lists.

We found that the message tracking available to end users could use some work -- it provides little detail other than times that messages were submitted and then delivered. But given that end users had none of this information in the past, this is a step forward.

If you've chosen to integrate Exchange into your IP-based telephony system, end users will likely fall in love with another new feature: voice mail preview. When voice mail messages are received in Exchange, it attempts to create a text preview of the voice mail.

There are many improvements geared toward administrators including:

  • The ability to distribute different user mailboxes across different servers, and keep those servers highly available;
  • The ability to move a mailbox between databases without shutting it down.
  • The ability to automatically route around and retransmit messages lost by a malfunctioning transport hub.
  • Better CLI support
  • Integrated archiving
  • Role-based access controls
Meet the tester: Joel Snyder

Meet the tester: Joel Snyder is a senior partner at Opus One, a consulting firm in Tucson, Ariz. He can be reached at Joel.Snyder@opus1.com .