Microsoft adds Server 2008 support to Exchange Server

Microsoft has announced that Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1) will be released in the fourth quarter of this year. The update will include support for Windows Server 2008, better integration with Office Communications Server 2007, improved mobile device management and enhanced security.

Exchange Server 2007 will now be on Microsoft server platforms ranging from Windows Server 2003 SP2 to Windows Server 2008. The update also enables Exchange Server 2007 management tools to run on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

And with Windows Server 2008 clustering, organisations can more easily deploy geographically dispersed Exchange Server clusters, Microsoft explains.

Integration with Office Communications Server 2007 means that users can now retrieve voice mail messages from Office Communicator 2007 with a single click. The update will also provide additional functionality for devices qualified for use with Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communicator 2007. This includes a new message indicator that shows when a user has a new voice mail message.

ActiveSync has also been addressed, with new security and management policies authentication and encryption when syncing data with mobile devices. SP1 also provides new device, network and application controls to help network administrators manage and secure ActiveSync mobile devices.

It will also includes features an enhanced UI for Outlook Web Access and the developers have also worked to improve the functionality of the Exchange Server 2007 Management Console and provide better disaster recovery capabilities through Standby Continuous Replication (SCR).

SCR continuously replicated mailbox data to a standby server that can be quickly activated if the primary server or data centre goes offline.

Terry Myerson, general manager for Exchange Server at Microsoft said that SP1 aims to address businesses’ overall communications and collaboration requirements.

“Microsoft continues to see increased growth and adoption of Exchange Server with approximately three million people representing 1,000 companies switching to Exchange Server and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server from Lotus Notes in the past year,” says Myerson. “With the new service pack, we have zeroed in on several areas of investment that are important to our customers, including support for Microsoft’s next-generation platforms and improved mobile device management. SP1 will drive added value for our customers, further establishing Exchange Server as the foundation of a unified communications platform.”

A complete description of the features in Exchange Server 2007 SP1 can be found in the Exchange Server 2007 SP1 fact sheet. Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and TechNet subscribers can download the service pack beta.

Microsoft has also announced Forefront Security for Exchange Server SP1, an email scanning system which integrates with Exchange Server. Forefront includes multiple engines from several industry-leading security firms that scan emails to identify viruses, worms, other malware and spam. The service pack improves content filtering and adds support for Windows Server 2008.

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