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Exchange 2010 Licensing, Features Unveiled

Microsoft on Tuesday provided a few more details about Exchange 2010, the company's newest e-mail server, which is fast approaching final product release.

The server was released to manufacturing earlier this month and Microsoft is expected to announce general product availability of Exchange 2010 around Nov. 9, which is the start of Microsoft's Tech-Ed Europe 2009 event.

Microsoft is now describing Exchange 2010 as a "multi-workload communications backbone," according to a blog post by Julia White, Microsoft's director of Exchange marketing. It's also sometimes lumped into the unified communications category by Microsoft's marketing.

"With Exchange 2010, you've got a full e-mail, calendar and contacts solution, built-in information protection, built-in mobile e-mail and mobile device management, a full voicemail replacement, and a brand-new archiving, retention and discovery solution," White explained in the blog.

Mobile access will be enabled through Outlook Mobile as well as the Outlook Web App, which will integrate with instant messaging and presence functionalities. White suggested that mobile e-mail access with Exchange 2010 won't cost extra.

"You don't have to pay anything more since it's all 'in the box,'" she wrote.

Exchange 2010 will also support voicemail through Outlook. It will have a new text preview feature that lets users quickly check the importance of voicemails. However, it appears that enterprise licensing will be required to get the integrated voicemail in Outlook feature.

White said that licensing for Exchange 2010 will be similar to that of Exchange Server 2007, with a Standard Client Access License (CAL) and an Exchange Enterprise CAL.

"Standard CAL [for Exchange 2010] includes all e-mail, calendar and contacts capabilities, mobile messaging with Exchange ActiveSync, plus the new over-the-air updates of Outlook Mobile on Windows Mobile 6.1+, and Outlook Web App," White wrote. "The Exchange Enterprise CAL adds e-mail archiving, discovery and retention functionality, integrated voicemail (i.e., unified messaging) and Forefront Protection for Exchange."

In addition, the Exchange Enterprise CAL will support "up to 100 databases per server," White wrote.

The licensing cost for the Exchange Standard CAL will be about $55; Exchange Enterprise CAL will cost about $35. Servers will cost $550 for the Standard Server and $3,200 for the Enterprise Server.

The blog cautions that the costs ultimately depend on the licensing types subscribed to, and whether the Software Assurance option was selected beforehand. The Exchange Enterprise CAL may be a so-called "additive CAL." For instance, under the current Exchange Server 2007 licensing, purchasers of the Enterprise CAL also have to purchase the Standard CAL, according to this Microsoft description.

Microsoft also announced this week that it plans to open up the documentation of its .PST file format for developers. This file format is used by Outlook and Exchange Server for storage. The move will let developers interoperate with the data using the "programming language and platform of their choice," according to a Microsoft blog.

Oddly, Microsoft is opening up the .PST documentation even as the company moves away from that document format in Exchange 2010. Microsoft will have a new storage feature in Exchange 2010 called the "Exchange archive" that supposedly will replace .PST storage.

The new archive plus input/output improvements in Exchange 2010 may help support mailboxes with large storage sizes. White suggested in the blog that "even 10 gigs+ becomes very affordable and supportable."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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