Microsoft Exchange 12 goes beta

Microsoft has released the first beta of Exchange 12, the next-generation of its messaging and collaboration server.

Beta 1 is a closed release in that a pre-selected group of testers – picked from Microsoft partners – will have access to the code.

Features of the system include a rewritten graphical management console, built-in anti-spam protection, improved Outlook Web Access, a unified messaging system and a scriptable, command-line shell based on the powerful Monad technology (which supports Unix-like piping of commands only incorporating data objects).

As we reported at the IT Forum 2005 in November, Exchange 12 is to be 64-bit only. The final release of code is expected for late 2006 or early 2007.

Exchange Server is an important element of Microsoft’s server eco-system for a number of reasons. As well as its support for email and messaging functionality, there is the increasingly important support for group collaboration functionality. Additionally, it can play an important role in the interface between the Windows server family and handheld devices, for example with the licensing of Exchange Server protocols to Symbian in the heartland of non-Windows Mobile devices.

‘Today, end users are demanding 24×7 global access to their inboxes from a broader range of devices,’ said Microsoft’s corporate VP of Exchange Server, David Thompson. ‘At the same time, organizations are faced with spam and virus threats, and the demands of maintaining compliance with emerging regulatory requirements. Exchange “12” is a highly available messaging solution that allows IT administrators to address these challenges.’

More information about Exchange 12 can be found at

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