Microsoft Releases Exchange 2010

The e-mail server includes better storage optimization, voicemail integration, archiving, and potentially big cost savings, says the software giant.
In terms of storage, under-the-hood changes mean that Exchange 2010 optimizes storage IO, using as much as 90% less disk IO than Exchange 2003 and 70% less than Exchange 2007, which significantly lowers the minimum disk performance requirement and opens up new, cheaper storage options like desktop-class direct attached storage. Other features make Exchange more resilient to storage problems.

“We have increased storage eightfold at 25% of the cost with Exchange Server 2010 and our employees are seeing a reduction of unwanted e-mail by more than 70%, freeing us up to focus on more important client issues,” Steve Derbyshire, operations director at NEC Philips, said in a statement. In addition to NEC Philips, other early Exchange 2010 customers include Bank of America, Global Crossing, Lifetime Products and Subaru Canada.

Other new features in Exchange 2010 include a feature called Mail Tips that informs users when they might be about to commit an e-mail faux pas like sending an e-mail to the entire company or sending proprietary information to a third party, the ability to ignore an e-mail thread, and the ability to clean up a thread to appear in "conversation view" rather than as a series of individual e-mails.

Last week, Microsoft cut the price of its Business Productivity Online Suite, which includes software-as-a-service versions of Exchange, SharePoint, and Office Communications Server, from $15 to $10 per user. Elop said this price cut came about because an influx of new customers had enabled new economies of scale, not because of competitive pressures.

Microsoft expects half of all Exchange mailboxes will be online within five years, Elop said. However, Microsoft also expects many customers will continue to have a mixed environment. For example, McDonalds is using Exchange at its central office and Exchange Online for other locations.

Microsoft on Monday also released Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server, which detects and blocks malware and spam.

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