Exchange Joins Battle in TCO War With Domino

Days after IBM released the Notes and Domino 6 platform, Microsoft will unveil more about its forthcoming Titanium.

Following the release this week of IBMs Lotus Software divisions Notes and Domino 6 platform, Microsoft Corp. next week will unveil more of its forthcoming Titanium release at its Microsoft Exchange Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

And as Lotus did with Notes and Domino 6, Microsoft officials will tout reductions in the total ownership cost of corporate messaging systems as the primary benefit for upgrading to Titanium, expected to be generally available about the middle of next year.

But despite the hype coming from both of these vendors, customers and industry analysts arent expecting either product to spur a wave of migrations or cross-migrations to other platforms.

Titanium will feature support for shadow backups—keeping messages, calendar items and other Exchange data stored locally with periodic server synchronizations—and improved MAPI support for better data compression and fewer bytes of data exchanged between the Outlook client and Exchange Server. Both of these improvements will boost server consolidation, Microsoft officials said. The company expects its own Titanium deployment to reduce the number of Exchange mailbox servers it uses from 110 to around 20.

Microsoft is also adding security improvements, such as SMIME signing and encrypting for Outlook, and anti-spam capabilities.

Keith Glass, an IT consultant in Manassas, Va., who recently upgraded a client site to Exchange 2000, was skeptical of Microsofts claims of future security improvements.

"Considering that its been MS code at the core of the vast majority of security incidents, any improvement is welcome," said Glass. "Question is, will it be sufficient? As for Outlook, the less said of the premier virus vector on the Net, the better.