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As with Exchange 2007, Exchange 2010 is a 64-bit only offering, although this time around both the Standard and Enterprise editions are combined in the one build, on the one disc.
Exchange 2010 follows the recent release of Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 operating systems, and is the first in a line up of “2010”-labelled products to come out over the following twelve months. This includes flagship product Office 2010 with all new versions of mainstays like Word and Excel, as well as SharePoint 2010.
Exchange 2010 has been awaited by systems administrators keen to upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2 which does not support Exchange 2007. This meant that Exchange 2007 servers could not be upgraded to 2008 R2. Such an upgrade is only now realistic, with both the operating system and communications server being updated simultaneously.
Exchange has outgrown the label of mere mail server and Microsoft believes 2010 will further entrench the product as unifying messaging and communication across mail, voice and online conferencing.
Additionally, one of the primary inclusions in Exchange Server 2010 that sets it apart from predecessors is built-in support for cloud computing, or hosted services, from the beginning, giving new options to organisations as to just where e-mail is housed.
Other new features are more efficient use of network attached storage (NAS) devices, e-mail archiving enhancements to meet compliance standards and a range of features that Microsoft claim give users the “ultimate inbox experience.”
Users will find they can preview voicemail from within the Outlook client, group related e-mails into threads, an option to then opt-out of irrelevant threads as well as a raft of other improvements.