In addition to this swanky new logo, the Microsoft Exchange team has announced information about the new product. Exchange 2010 will help organizations reduce costs, protect communications and delight e-mail users with capabilities to do the following:
Lower costs with more flexible deployment and management options. Exchange 2010 provides organizations with the same enterprise-grade capabilities whether deployed on-premises or as a service from Microsoft or partners — or as a mix of both. Further, for customers deploying the server, the new release simplifies the way organizations provide always-on communications and disaster recovery, meaning administrators spend less time managing their e-mail system. Exchange 2010 further improves performance running on lower-cost direct-attached storage, enabling organizations to dramatically reduce storage costs by up to 85 percent without sacrificing performance or reliability.
Protect information and meet compliance requirements with the new e-mail archive. As e-mail volume grows, companies must address increasing compliance, legal and e-discovery concerns, but today, according to Osterman Research, only 28 percent of organizations currently archive their e-mail content (Osterman Research, 2008). Exchange 2010 introduces an integrated e-mail archive. The new solution makes it easier to store and query e-mail across the organization using the Exchange software that organizations already know and use.
Improve user productivity with the ultimate inbox experience. Basex Inc. recently estimated that the average number of corporate e-mail messages received per person per day is expected to reach more than 93 by 2010. In addition, businesses lose $650 billion annually in productivity due to unnecessary interruptions including those from e-mail (Basex, 2008). Exchange 2010, together with Microsoft Outlook 2010, will give people more control over their communications with features such as these:
Exchange 2010 Beta Announcement
There’s a ton more information on Exchange 2010. I am particularly interested in the new voicemail and unified communications features that are coming. In fact, I am already starting to use some of them with my Exchange 2010 mailbox. Here’s a nice list of Vmail and UC goodies coming:
Voice Mail Preview: Exchange Server 2010 will facilitate the cumbersome task of navigating through voice messages. With Exchange Server 2010 speech-to-text translation, the user can read the contents of the audio recording in the same fashion they would read an e-mail. Furthermore, if the resulting voice messages are opened using Microsoft Office Outlook 2010, the text of the voice mail preview will become "actionable". Recognized names, contacts, and phone numbers will all be identified with icons that the user can select to add contacts, call using Office Communicator, or send e-mail. To facilitate navigation of the audio, clicking in the text will cause the voice mail to jump to that word and continue playing.
Protected Voice Mail: Exchange Server 2010 solves the problem of unauthorized distribution of the messages by securing the message content, specifying the users who may access that content, and the operations that they may perform on it. It uses Active Directory Rights Management Services to apply Do Not Forward permissions to voice messages that are designated either by the sender (by marking the message as private) or by administrative policy. This prevents the forwarding of protected voice mails in a playable form to unauthorized persons, whatever the mail client used.
Message Waiting Indicator (MWI): Now with Unified Messaging, users are notified of the presence of new/unread voice mail by lighting the lamp and providing a count on their supported desk phone. Additionally, users can configure their text messaging notification account to receive the beginning content of the voice mail preview in the SMS.
Auto Attendant: Users are often looking for a person in an organization, but are unsure of the extension or exact phone information. Exchange Unified Messaging's Auto Attendant enables users to easily navigate to the person they are trying to reach when calling an organization with either the telephone keypad or speech inputs to navigate the menu structure, place a call to a user, or locate a user and then place a call to that user. An auto attendant gives you the ability to:
Create a customizable set of menus for callers
Define informational greetings, business hours greetings, non-business hours greetings, and holiday schedules
Describe how to search the organization's directory and connect to a user's extension
Enable external users to call the operator
Call Answering Rules: Unified Messaging enables users to have more control over their call flows. For a salesman, this could mean the difference between sending an important sales lead to his voice mail instead of finding him on his cell phone or home phone. Call Answering Rules present callers with custom greetings, Find-Me, and call transfer options, in addition to leaving a voice mail. Moreover, these rules can be preceded by conditions (such as caller-IDs, time-of -day and Exchange free/busy status), giving end-users greater control over how they can be reached over the phone.
Outlook Voice Access: Users now have control over their Inbox with Outlook Voice Access via a telephone keypad or voice inputs. This enables anywhere access to their mailbox when a user is away from a computer or Internet-connected device. Now users no longer have need to worry about being late for appointments or being disconnected when traveling, as they can instantly call into their mailbox to manage their calendar, contacts, and e-mail.
Enhanced Caller ID: Users can get more context and information about their callers with Enhanced Caller ID. Callers are often not a part of a user contact list or organization's directory. For these cases, Windows Live Search will be used to try and determine the calling party. If a match is found, the result will be placed on the calling line of the message to better inform the user where the call came from.
Language Support: More users can now listen to and interact with their e-mail and voice mail in their native language or dialect. Exchange Server 2010 offers a broad range of language support with support for 16 languages including three varieties of English, plus Mandarin, Cantonese, European and North American versions of Spanish and French, and several other European languages.
Exchange 2010 Beta Download
Go get it @ http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd185495.aspx. TechNet subscribers can of course get the beta in the subscriber download area.