Exchange 12 Offers Unified
E-Mail, Fax and Voice Mail Management"> With regard to the benefits that Outlook 12 will bring for users, the goal was to give users more value from Outlook while making them more productive, he said; to achieve this goal, Exchange 12 will bring a unified messaging feature that will deliver not just e-mail but also fax and voice mail. Essentially, users will be able to send and receive messages with a fax or voice mail attachment that can be played or opened from any client, be it Outlook, Outlook Web access or a mobile device, Ressler said."In addition, they will be able to use any regular telephone to call into the Exchange environment and check their messages, which will be read to them."They will also be able to respond with a voice mail attachment, look at their calendar, speak to the system, as it includes speech recognition capabilities, and have it transcribe a message telling, for example, all those attending a meeting that you will be late," Ressler said. Users will also get a color-coded view of specific days on their calendars to indicate how many times are available for group meetings. Then, when a day is clicked, a detailed list will be generated of the time slots that are available and how many potential meeting attendees could attend at that particular time, he said. Protecting users and their environment from threats like viruses and spam was also a priority, Ressler said. Thus, there were a number of technologies in Beta One that addressed this, he said, including a new anti-virus API that Microsofts anti-virus partners could use to do a deeper and more efficient inspection of messages as they flow through the system. "This is our preferred way to scan messages. We introduced what is called Transport Scanning in Exchange 2003, which essentially means that as a message flows into and through the environment, it is scanned for viruses before being stored in a database. We dont want to store a message that has a virus in it that can propagate through other mechanisms, which is not good. So were really beefing up the transport scanning in Exchange 12," Ressler said. Read more here about Microsofts road map for Exchange. Exchange 12 will also bring a range of new anti-spam capabilities. Enhanced filtering has been added, as along with the ability for users to subscribe to Web-based services through automatic updates. While Exchange Server 2003 SP2 brought the ability to get updates for the Intelligent Message Filter, these are delivered via Windows Update and have to be installed manually. "The Exchange 12 time frame will ensure that no manual intervention is required, where an administrator will be able to make an explicit decision one-time to have this and they are then delivered on a rolling basis at the frequency the administrator chooses," Ressler said. He added that administrators "will also be able to roll back the previous signature files and can reset the threshold. Automatic updates and subscriptions will also apply to things like block lists and allow lists and the Internet-based reputation services, which rate mail-servicing IP addresses as to their likelihood of being spammers." Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.