Microsoft begins push for Exchange Server 2000

Microsoft Corporation quietly updated its Web site this weekend with information about its upcoming BackOffice 2000 suite, especially Exchange Server 2000, which will be showcased this week at the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) it Atlanta, Georgia. Exchange Server 2000 builds on the existing Exchange 5.x platform, but integrates with Windows 2000 and Active Directory in ways that are simply amazing.

When Microsoft designed Exchange Server 2000, it identified the following three major customer requests:

  • Increased reliability, scalability, and performance. This apparently included "further utilization of the capabilities of Windows 2000 to reduce the cost of system ownership, though I tend to think that Microsoft added that feature on its own.

  • New forms of collaboration for users, including a new way to work with messages, documents, and applications.

  • Access to information at any time, from anywhere, through technologies such as wireless communication, unified messaging, hand-held devices, and teleconferencing.
Exchange Server 2000 also increases the performance of Internet-only email, ending the emphasis on Microsoft's MAPI system. Total Windows 2000 integration runs from Active Directory through Windows 2000 security and the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). And like other members of the BackOffice 2000 family, such as SQL Server 7.5 (code-named "Shiloh"), Exchange Server 2000 features are accessible through Internet-standard URL addresses that can be accessed from any Web browser. Microsoft's incredible range of Web features also extends to new integration with its own IIS Web server and Active Server Pages (ASP) Web application engine.

There's a lot of new information to digest here, but fortunately Microsoft is being pretty open about it. You can even download a free copy of Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 Beta 3 and evaluate it on your own.

And Microsoft is offering a Corporate Preview Program (CPP) for Exchange Server 2000 so that corporations can get involved with early deployment and get feedback directly from company representatives. Information about Exchange Server 2000 and the Exchange Server 2000 Corporate Preview Program can be found on the Exchange Server 2000 Web site.

With the Microsoft Exchange Conference 99 underway this week, there will probably be more information about this exciting new product forthcoming. And I've heard a bit about some of the scalability demonstrations that the company is planning, so expect to be amazed

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