Exchange 2007 SP1 Moves
a Step Closer">Microsoft has opened up the second beta for Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 to more than a million Microsoft Developer Network and TechNet subscribers under a new technology preview program. More than 150,000 technical adoption customers have been testing the first private beta of the service pack, but this second beta is feature-complete and contains new technologies not found in that first beta, Ray Mohrman, the group product manager of Microsofts Unified Communications Group, told eWEEK.Read more about how an Exchange update fixed potential iPhone issues here. "We have seen over 1,000 customers dropping off Lotus Notes and coming to Exchange in the past year alone. That represents about three million PCs and more than three million people, which shows that Exchange has quite a bit of traction in the marketplace," he said. When asked how many customers were moving off Notes to Exchange 2003 rather than 2007, Mohrman said he did not have those numbers at hand. "But a lot of this depends on where they were in the cycle of switching over. Obviously 2007 with SP1 has a great set of features and is a very solid, quality product and moving onto Exchange 2007 gets them onto the Unified Communications platform. Adoption for 2007 has been great," he said. With regard to Linux and open source as a competitor on this front, Mohrman said that Notes was its largest competitor and therefore popped up more frequently, particularly in the enterprise space. "I dont remember hearing about any Exchange customers lost to Lotus Notes," he said when asked this. Microsoft COO Kevin Turner recently took aim at Lotus Notes. Click here to read more. But Keith McCall, previously a Microsoft executive and now CTO at Azaleos, which offers on-premises, managed services for Exchange, points out that many customers traditionally wait for the release of Service Pack 1 before adopting a release of Microsoft software into production. He expects the "big bang wave" of Exchange 2007 adoption will crest on the release of SP1. "The fact is that Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1 will be later to release than for any other version of Exchange. This has caused delay in customer adoption of Exchange 2007, which has likely impacted Exchange revenues for Microsoft," McCall told eWEEK. Some 20 percent of Azaleos customers have already moved to Exchange 2007, and are upbeat about the advanced Outlook Web Access and, in some cases, the new Unified Messaging capabilities. Azaleos expects 50 percent of its customers to have made the move to Exchange 2007 by the release of Service Pack 1 in the expected November timeframe, he said. Mohrman said Microsoft had started working on the Exchange SP1 shortly after Exchange 2007 shipped, and the service pack is based on customer requests, particularly for features like Standby Continuous Replication and Active Sync policies, both of which were requested by enterprise customers. Next Page: Exchange 2007 SP1 Moves a Step Closer
The Forefront Security for Exchange Server SP1 beta will also be made available Aug. 14, and both service packs are expected to be generally available in the last quarter of 2007, he said.