Microsoft announces during the TechEd Europe conference in Berlin that Exchange Server 2010 is now in general release. The latest version of Microsoft's messaging and collaboration platform for business includes multiple features designed to reduce costs, including low-cost storage, integrated archives and speech-to-text previews for voice mail. During the conference, Microsoft executives continue to focus on efficiency as an enterprise IT model.
announced the worldwide launch of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, the next
version of its messaging and collaboration platform for businesses, on Nov. 9 at
the opening day of the TechEd Europe conference in Berlin.
Attempting to address businesses' concerns over slashed IT budgets, Microsoft
is emphasizing the cost savings and increased efficiency of the updated
platform, specifically its lower-cost storage model and enhanced productivity
Microsoft also announced the general release of Forefront Protection 2010
for Exchange Server, designed to protect against malware and decrease spam.
In conversations with eWEEK, Microsoft executives have touted the benefits
of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 for end users, such as an increase in
individual mailbox capacity from several hundred megabytes to between 2GB and 10GB.
Other features include an integrated archive and unified approach to data
backup-the latter of which potentially allows companies to save money by
bringing functions like disaster recovery backup in-house.
Time-saving features of Exchange Server include speech-to-text preview, which
transcribes the first part of a voice mail and e-mails it to the user's inbox,
allowing the user to discern rapidly which messages are important. On the
administrative side, a simple wizard can be used to create complex message
rules and retention policies.
All that is why, Microsoft claimed, companies can save about 70 percent in TCO
with Exchange Server 2010, at least over the previous iterations of the
The announcement comes as Microsoft faces a new challenge in the e-mail
arena from Cisco Systems,
which announced Nov. 9 a
hosted e-mail application, Cisco WebEx Mail,
which allows customers to move
from Microsoft Exchange yet continue to access e-mail through an Outlook
client. Cisco WebEx Mail follows the earlier release of Google Apps Sync for
Microsoft Outlook, which allows Google Apps users to access their e-mail via
the Outlook interface.
The 64-bit Exchange Server 2010, along with Windows 7 and Windows Server
2008 R2, are part of Microsoft's push to persuade businesses into a tech
refresh that will boost declining revenue trends. To that end, Microsoft has
spent the past several months promoting the three flagship products as integral
parts of what CEO Steve Ballmer termed
"the new efficiency" during a company event in San
Francisco in September.
In a Sept. 29 letter titled, again, "The
Ballmer outlined an argument that more efficient and
cost-effective IT will "not only help companies respond to today's
economic reality, it will lay the foundation for systems and solutions that
connect people to information, applications and ... other people in new
Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop continued on the
"new efficiency" theme during the keynote address at TechEd
saying, "Sustainable growth is not going to come from cutting
costs" but from "improvements in productivity and new
earnings call on Oct. 23 tied the company's fortunes to hardware sales
the immediate future, perhaps increasing the pressure on Microsoft to push rapid
adoption of the new versions of its flagship products. A number of analyst
reports and surveys released over the summer indicated that CIOs and other IT
pros, while interested in upgrading their IT infrastructure to run on Windows
7, may wait to begin the process until the end of 2010 thanks to slashed