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Exchange 2007 Service Pack Beta in April

Microsoft says it is wrapping up the beta test code for its first service pack for Exchange Server 2007, and plans to begin testing the update in April.

Final release of Service Pack 1, or SP1, is currently timed to coincide with the release of Windows Server “Longhorn” in the second half of the year, according to a posting on the Microsoft Exchange Team Blog.

Many customers typically wait until a software vendor ships the first service pack of a key enterprise product before rolling a new version out to their users. And with what Gartner says is 125 million registered users around the world, Exchange Server certainly qualifies.

Besides the usual round of bug fixes, SP1 will include a few new features, including what Microsoft calls Standby Continuous Replication (SCR). Exchange 2007 introduces Clustered Continuous Replication for replicating data between two servers in a cluster inside the same datacenter. SP1 adds SCR, which replicates data to a non-clustered server in a remote datacenter. If the primary datacenter becomes unavailable, the standby replica in the second datacenter can be activated.

In the area of mobility enhancements, SP1 will enforce encryption of main memory contents on devices, as well as enforcing which applications are allowed or blocked from running on the device. It will also provide capabilities to disable WiFi, Bluetooth, infrared, external storage, SMS, MMS, POP/IMAP and cameras.

On Longhorn Server, SP1 will add support for running Exchange 2007 on native IPv6 networks.

When the beta test begins, SP1 will be available to TechNet Plus subscribers.

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