Exchange Connections Spring 2006

I'm writing to you this week from the lovely Wisconsin Dells, which I'd never even heard of until last summer. My family and I are taking a short vacation before I hit the road for the two upcoming Exchange Connections shows: April 9-12 in Orlando, Florida, and April 25-28 in Nice, France. As is my custom before one of these events, I thought I'd write about a few things I expect to see, then follow up after the shows to highlight what's actually there.

First, like most of you, I'm interested to see what Microsoft presents about Exchange 12. There are several interesting-looking Exchange 12-related sessions on the bill for both conferences and because they're presented by Microsoft people, I'm hoping to see more details about some of the features Microsoft hasn't said much about publicly. (In addition, Morgan McGraw from Microsoft is doing a presentation on Exchange Hosted Services, which I wrote about last week--come prepared with questions!) Tony Redmond is delivering a keynote in Orlando focused on Exchange 12; I suggest you attend it to get the lowdown on what to expect--and when--from the new release.

Of course, there's a full roster of sessions pertaining to Exchange Server 2003, too. My coworker and co-author Devin Ganger is giving two presentations that I expect will draw good audiences: one on implementing Sender ID in Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) and how to use it to best effect, and one on DCAR: discovery, compliance, archival, and retention. These are both hot topics, as is disaster recovery--another area in which we have good content to look forward to from Jim McBee.

Sue Mosher has three interesting Microsoft Outlook-related sessions, including one on security (always of interest) and one that will unveil some of the key new Office Outlook 2007 features that make things easier for Exchange administrators. As always, we also have a strong contingent of HP presenters, including conference co-chair Kieran McCorry and Mike Ireland.

In addition to these speakers (and others, including fellow Exchange MVP Missy Koslosky), we also have a bonus track focused on SharePoint. Because Microsoft is de-emphasizing public folders in Exchange 12 in favor of SharePoint, it's a good idea for you to start familiarizing yourself with the SharePoint world if you haven't already done so, and this track is a good way to get started.

I don't have an up-to-date list of exhibitors on the show floor, but based on what I saw at the fall show last year, I expect a strong presence from firms that offer disaster recovery solutions (including Cemaphore, MessageOne, Mimosa, Neverfail, and XOSoft) and message hygiene tools (too many to list!) Wandering the show floor and talking to people to get their impressions of the products on display is always one of the highlights of the show for me. You never can tell when a new vendor will show up and show off something really noteworthy.

I'll be presenting three sessions in Orlando (one on messaging security, one on Monad scripting, and one on continuous backup) and four in Nice (those three, plus Devin's Sender ID session). If you're there, drop by and say hello! If you're not, start making your plans for the fall conference (November 6-9 in Las Vegas).

Editor's Note: We have a special deal for those of you who might want to attend Devconnections Europe, which will be held in Nice, France,.on April 25-28. When you buy your first conference registration at 1100 euros, you can get additional passes at half off--so partner up with your friends and take advantage of this great rate. The regular price is 1450 euros, so this is a great bargain, especially when you consider that there are four conferences located together for one rate: ASP.NET, Visual Studio, SQL Server, and Exchange plus bonus sessions on SharePoint and Windows. To get this special rate, go to to register and enter promocode: EXCENL. Hope to see you in Nice!

Also, please join your peers in taking Windows IT Pro's brief messaging survey. Your input is vital so that we can deliver the content that best suits the needs of you, the audience. You'll find the survey at . Thanks in advance for participating.

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