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Momentum Building for Exchange 2003

Microsoft claims to have distributed 45,000 Beta 2 copies of Exchange Server 2003, the incremental release of Exchange 2000 Server that is expected to ship at about the same time as Microsoft Office 2003.

By comparison, Microsoft expects the number of beta copy requests for its new Greenwich real-time collaboration server to be less than 10,000, and the company distributed more than 350,000 copies of the Windows Server 2003 Release Candidate 1 to customers and partners.

The changes to Exchange Server 2003 are moderate after the complete overhaul Microsoft gave to the Exchange platform in the jump from Exchange Server 5.5 to Exchange 2000. Exchange 2003 features TCO improvements to management, scalability and availability that make server consolidation more realistic in the enterprise. Some of the availability improvements, such as eight-node clustering support, depend on Windows Server 2003 as the underlying operating system.

Outlook Web Access is more robust under Exchange 2003, and some features formerly included in Mobile Information Server for wireless e-mail access have been moved into the messaging server.

Exchange Server 2003 will be the only version of Microsoft's messaging server line that will run on Windows Server 2003, which ships in late April. Microsoft made clear a few months ago that it will not support Exchange 2000 Server on Windows Server 2003 for security reasons. Exchange Server 2003 will be supported on Windows 2000.

About the Author

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

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