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Exchange 2000 SP2 Close to Release

Microsoft Corp. is preparing the second service pack for Exchange 2000 for a release sometime this month.

The company hosted a support Webcast Thursday for customers interested in the new features in SP2, which include enhancements to Outlook Web Access, the Active Directory migration tool, the Exchange Management Service, SMTP reinstalls, full text indexing and message tracking.

The service pack includes fixes, although Microsoft's Exchange group has historically introduced more features in their service packs than the development teams behind other Back Office service packs and Windows NT service packs.

Exchange 2000 SP1, for example, included the then-brand-new Outlook 2002 client.

The service pack does not appear to address any major security issues. Microsoft support professionals on the Webcast indicated that customers would need to evaluate the features and decide on that basis whether to install the service pack or not.

Some of the enhancements to Outlook Web Access (OWA) include support in the browser e-mail client for Contact Distribution Lists, unread message counts, new mail notification, segmentation to allow the disabling of portions of OWA and a log off page for kiosk use.

Another Exchange 2000 feature in SP2, automatic error reporting, disabled by default, sends Microsoft system information from crashes.

Exchange 2000 runs only on Windows 2000, and Exchange 2000's second service pack will also require that SP2 for Windows 2000 is installed.

Knowledge Base articles for the service pack are not yet posted. The service pack is currently in the quality testing phasing.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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