For Microsoft, Improvement is in the Exchange

Microsoft has released the first beta of Microsoft Exchange 12, the forthcoming
version
of the company’s messaging software designed to give corporate
IT staffs greater control over data transfer.


The Redmond, Wash., software giant has fashioned Exchange 12, which fuels
tasks like e-mail and calendar planning in corporations, with greater in-box
access for employees on the move and greater security to stymie spam and
viruses.


The improvements come at a time when more companies are watching data
volumes balloon thanks to the growing glut of e-mail. Administrators need to
be able to increase the scale of data company servers can handle, so
Microsoft has improved Exchange 12 by designing it to run on 64-bit server
systems.


In other new features, Exchange System Manager offers easier navigation and
new filtering capabilities through a new graphical user interface (GUI).


The new Windows command line shell, code-named “Monad,” automates routine
tasks to save administrators time, while automatic client detection and
configuration simplifies the setup of the Outlook e-mail client to save
time.


To serve employees who need to access their inbox regardless of where they
may be, Exchange 12 will include a speech-enabled messaging platform that
integrates e-mail, fax and voice mail in the user’s inbox.


Thanks to Outlook Web Access, the software will allows users to access their
inboxes from mobile devices and any phone with a Web browser from anywhere
without a special network connection.


With spam accounting for nearly 40 percent of the e-mail sent in North
America on an average day, and worms and virus threats mounting, Microsoft
wants to boost the security in Exchange 12.


After all, customers need to be able to trust the data traveling across
corporate messaging systems is preserved. The idea is to save data at a time
when compliance regulations such as HIPAA and SEC 17a-4 require records be
retained without alteration.


Exchange 12 will boast advanced anti-spam protection; automatic updates for
anti-spam filters, block lists and reputation
services to ensure that the Exchange environment is protected without
requiring administrator intervention.


Also, messages will be scanned in transport as well as in the mailbox store
by one or more anti-virus engines. Lastly, new attachment filters help
administrators stop inbound and outbound attachments based on file
extension, file name or content
type.


Delivered to a select group of testers that include customers and original
equipment manufacturers, Beta 1 of Exchange 12 gives users the chance to
preview and provide feedback on the software, which Microsoft plans to begin
selling in late 2006 or early 2007.

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