Microsoft Business Customers Get Peek At Exchange Server SP1 - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

Microsoft Business Customers Get Peek At Exchange Server SP1

The SP1 gives users access to new, preconfigured Exchange ActiveSync policies to automate synchronization, authentication, and encryption.

Microsoft is giving business customers a glimpse at its latest update for Exchange Server 2007 -- a pack of enhancements that features support for Windows Server 2008 and other additions.

Exchange Server 2007 SP1 is expected to be available in the fourth quarter, but Microsoft is already letting some users preview the technology, company officials said Wednesday.

In addition to Windows Server 2008 support, SP1 for Exchange Server features enhanced integration with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, improved mobile device management features, and new, advanced security technologies.

As part of the technology preview, nearly 1 million Microsoft Developer Network and TechNet subscribers can download the service pack beta immediately, Microsoft said.

Among the organizations that are already testing out the new software is the Army's Advanced Technologies group. In a statement, Army officials said that more than 7,500 soldiers and civilians are trying out the technology. The officials said the Army is using the security features in Exchange Server SP1 to allow users to access their mailboxes using Department of Defense Smart Cards, among other things.

The service pack also gives users access to new, preconfigured Exchange ActiveSync policies that businesses can employ to automate synchronization, authentication, and encryption.

Also included is a feature called Standby Continuous Replication, which helps organizations recover more quickly from failures that affect an entire data center. The feature constantly replicates mailbox data to a standby server using Exchange's built-in log-file shipping technology.

Microsoft has said it expects Windows Server 2008 to be available early next year.

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