Microsoft Previews Exchange Server 2010 SP1

Microsoft Previews Exchange Server 2010 SP1

In a blog post entitled “Yes Virginia, there is an Exchange Server 2010 SP1,” the Microsoft Exchange team previewed the new features coming later this year, including enhancements to archiving and discovery and an improved Outlook Web App. Interested?

The archiving enhancements the new service pack will bring are numerous, but the highlights include the ability to provision a user’s Personal Archive to a different mailbox database from their primary mailbox, as well as the ability to delegate access to a user’s Personal Archive.

For those who use (or administrate) multiple mailboxes, Microsoft is making it easier to conduct e-discovery of messages for legal or regulatory reasons. The new functionality includes search previews and search deduplication that, when active, will only copy one instance of each message to the discovery mailbox.

The other major upgrades include a faster, stronger, message pre-fetching Outlook Web App (OWA) -- and comes with the very good news that long-running tasks like attaching a large file will no longer stop you from doing other things within OWA. All that, and the ability to add themes to OWA has been re-added along with support for moving the reading pane around the screen.

Otherwise, the new service pack comes with more features for Outlook Mobile including conversation view and a bunch of UI improvements all around that are too numerous to name here. I strongly urge you take a look at the Exchange Team’s blog if you want the full skinny.

Microsoft claims a broad “later this year” release date for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1, but they promise more features, along with a beta release, will be available in June, so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has also clarified how it intends to deliver future Exchange Server releases in the cloud. At present, Microsoft promotes Exchange 2007 as part of its BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) platform. But Exchange Online will gradually shift to Exchange 2010 later this year, according to Microsoft. Eventually, Microsoft hopes to deliver Exchange upgrade releases simultaneously for on-premises and SaaS customers.

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