Boasting unified messaging features such as speech-to-text transcription of voice mails, the production version of Exchange Server 2010 is due in the second half of this year.
The company plans to release Exchange Server 2010 in the second half of this year. The rest of Office is due in the first half of 2010, with limited test releases beginning the third quarter of this year. Outlook 2010 will come as part of the rest of the Office suite, though it's unclear when the next version of Outlook Mobile will be available.Until this version of Exchange, companies seeking to archive their e-mail centrally have had to rely on third-party software. That costly proposition has hurt adoption, and according to Osterman Research, only 28% of companies currently have central e-mail archives. Exchange 2010 will include integrated archiving and multi-mailbox search capabilities at no extra cost, making it easier for companies to, for example, comply with e-discovery requirements. But Microsoft will have to be careful not to alienate third-party archiving vendors such as Symantec and Quest.
Exchange 2010 will power a number of new features, including the ability to view e-mail conversations in threaded form a la Gmail, and a button to ignore e-mail threads. Exchange 2007 introduced some unified messaging features, and Exchange 2010 will build on that with speech-to-text transcription of voice mails as well as customized voice-mail menus.
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By: J. Nicholas Hoover