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Exchange Server 2007 Beta 2 Is 'Feature Complete'

Microsoft also issued a beta of its Forefront Security for Exchange Server, the first in its new line of security software. Both products are slated for official release by early 2007.

Microsoft released its second beta of Exchange Server 2007 on Monday, a version that the development team said sports all of the features that will be in the finished product.

In addition, Microsoft released a beta version of Forefront Security for Exchange Server, the first product in its new Forefront line of enterprise security software. Forefront Security for Exchange Server, the next generation of Microsoft Antigen for Exchange, integrates with Exchange to provide protection against viruses, worms and spam.

Both products are scheduled for general availability toward the end of this year or in early 2007.

The new version of Microsoft's Exchange messaging and collaboration server software includes security, performance, data protection and manageability updates. Performance optimization changes can trim storage costs by more than 60 percent, Terry Myerson, Exchange Server group general manager at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post announcing the new beta.

Other new features focus on mobile users, allowing them to search e-mail plus handle documents and meeting requests more effectively. New compliance features help organizations automatically enforce e-mail retention rules and other regulatory policies, and new continuous replication tools aim to reduce the time and cost of recovering from a data loss.

All of Exchange Server 2007's new features are in this beta, and future development work will focus solely on bug fixes and quality improvements, Myerson said.

The new beta is licensed for lab use only and can't be run in production without Microsoft's approval. The Redmond, Wash., company is fielding an early adoption program that has 30 customers already running in production, according to Myerson. Microsoft plans to expand its internal deployment of Exchange Server 2007 to 8,000 company users.

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