Exchange and Outlook UPDATE, Outlook Edition—brought to you by Exchange & Outlook Administrator, the print newsletter with practical advice, how-to articles, tips, and techniques to help you do your job today.
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June 4, 2002—In this issue:
- First Look at Office 11.0?
- Get Valuable Info for Free with IT Consultant Newsletter
- Raising Windows 2000 Availability—Free Webinar
- Tip: Changing the Frequency of the Mailbox-Limit Message
4. NEW AND IMPROVED
- GFI Releases Email Security Product
5. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Sue Mosher, News Editor, [email protected])
Product cycles seem to be getting shorter and shorter. Even though Microsoft Office XP became available in stores just a year ago, Microsoft is already starting to provide clues to the next version of Office. (I'll call it Office 11.0 because Microsoft has been consistent with the actual version numbers: Office XP applications are at version 10.0; Office 2000 is 9.0; Outlook 98 is 8.5; and Office 97 is 8.0.)
Earlier this spring, a Macromedia Flash presentation surfaced that reportedly came from a survey conducted on Microsoft's behalf. The presentation showed browser application windows for a product labeled Office .NET and said the product was code-named Office NGO (which possibly stands for Next Generation Office). These windows showed online team workspaces built with Microsoft SharePoint Team Services, inbound and outbound fax capability, scheduling and meeting tools, and an email Inbox for consolidating messages from multiple accounts. The presentation explained that these subscription-based services would work with the Office NGO software installed on the user's computer and that the desktop software might be available on a subscription basis as well as through standard licensing. (To see the presentation screen shots, go to http://www.itprotoday.com/showcase/office_ngo_preview.asp .)
My favorite feature is the meeting workspace, which uses one screen to maintain the agenda, documents to be discussed, a list of attendees, and a list of action items. I know of only two similar tools that integrate with Outlook today: M-Path from SMART Technologies ( http://www.smarttech.com ) and Meeting 2000 from RoweBots ( http://www.rowebots.com ). "Meetingware" could be a logical area for Microsoft to expand into, especially if the Office team recognizes that this software category's potential goes way beyond what might be possible just in an Exchange environment.
I don't know how close the Flash presentation comes to what Microsoft is actually considering, but the emphasis on online collaboration seems right on target. However, Heikki Kanerva, director of Office program management, said in an online chat last month that there is "no product that some folks refer to as Office .NET." Kanerva did confirm that team collaboration is one of two major themes for the next version of Office.
To expand on the idea of the second theme, individual empowerment, Kanerva said, "Making it possible and easy for people to find the right data, to connect to it, and then analyze and make the right decision based on it on a timely basis is making individuals more efficient and empowered." Kanerva didn't talk about any specific features in Outlook or other Office products.
Office 11.0 will focus on XML, SharePoint Portal Server, and SharePoint Team Services, Kanerva said, and will make communicating through email, Instant Messaging (IM), phones, PDAs, Tablet PCs, and other devices easier and more efficient. Although Kanerva said that the Office team is concerned about security, document corruption, and crash recovery, he made no promises to fix any specific bugs that exist in current Office versions.
Continued support for Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) apparently is also part of the plan for Office 11.0 and beyond. Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's senior vice president for Office, recently reassured Office developers who've been concerned that future Office versions will have a programming language as different from VBA as Visual Basic .NET is from Visual Basic (VB). Sinofsky said that Microsoft is committed to full support for VBA for at least two full product cycles (i.e., for Office 11.0 and the version after that).
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(contributed by Sue Mosher, [email protected])
Q: When a mailbox has exceeded its limit, the user receives multiple messages from the systems administrator. Can I change this process so that the user receives only one message?
A: Exchange Server will keep sending mailbox-size warnings until the user reduces the size of the mailbox. However, you can fine-tune Exchange to send a warning once a day, once a week, or at some other interval. In Exchange Server 5.5, the appropriate options are on the Storage Warnings tab of the Information Store Site Configuration Properties dialog box. In Exchange 2000 Server, switch to the Limits tab of the Store's Properties dialog box to see the options.
See the Exchange & Outlook Administrator Web site for more great tips from Sue Mosher.
4. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Bob Kretschman, [email protected])
GFI released GFI MailSecurity for Exchange/SMTP, an email security product that uses multiple antivirus engines, exploit detection, an email-threats engine, and content and attachment checking to screen incoming and outgoing email messages for dangerous payloads. The product is available in both a virus-scanning API edition that integrates with Exchange 2000 Server and as a gateway that you can use on your network perimeter. MailSecurity pricing begins at $295 for 10 users. For more information, email [email protected] or visit GFI's Web site.
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