Exchange 2007 Service Pack Preview Ships

Microsoft readies the first service pack for the latest iteration of its corporate e-mail server.
Microsoft announced Tuesday that it is shipping Beta 2 of the first service pack for Exchange Server 2007. With this beta, which is also being called a community technology preview or CTP, Service Pack 1 (SP1) is now feature complete, according to company officials.

Exchange Server 2007 shipped last December.

Among the new capabilities coming in SP1 is support for Windows Server 2008 -- which is set for official launch on February 27, 2008 -- as well as support for Windows Vista. That means Exchange Server 2007 SP1 will be able to take advantage of Windows Server 2008's support for geographically-dispersed clusters. SP1 will also run Exchange Server 2007's management tools on both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

The service pack will also feature increased support for the company's unified communications initiative, including the ability to retrieve voice mails from Microsoft Office Communicator.

New high-availability features include "standby continuous replication," wherein mailbox data is constantly replicated to a standby server. If the main server or the data center it resides in goes offline, the standby server is automatically started, according to Microsoft (Quote) statements.

"[That will provide] a hot standby server that's always up to date," Ray Mohrman, group product manager in Microsoft's Unified Communications group, told

On the security front, SP1 adds support for new ActiveSync policies for synchronization, authentication, and encryption to let administrators better manage Exchange ActiveSync-enabled devices.

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