Microsoft promises Exchange 2010 SP1 this year

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Microsoft promises Exchange 2010 SP1 this year

Update will add archive and retention features, improve web Access.

Microsoft has spilt the beans on the upcoming service pack for Exchange Server 2010, which will include a roll-up of all fixes already issued plus enhancements for mobile access, and archiving and discovery functions.

Exchange Server 2010 shipped in November, but the Service Pack 1 update is set for release before the end of this year, according to a posting on the Microsoft Exchange Team blog. A beta will be available for customers to download in June.

Among the promised new features are improvements to the archiving capability introduced with Exchange Server 2010, a better experience for users accessing their account via Outlook Web Access, and an overhaul of the management user interface.

One archiving enhancement will allow customers to provision a user's personal archive to a different mailbox database from their primary mailbox, making it easier to implement a tiered storage strategy for mailboxes, according to Microsoft.

Users will also be able to import email data directly from .PST files, and delegate access to a user's personal archive.

Service Pack 1 will also support Retention Policy Tags, which will allow customers to automate the deletion and archiving of emails and other Exchange content.

Improvements to speed the user experience in Outlook Web Access include new features to pre-fetch message content, while lengthy operations such as attaching a very large file will no longer tie up a user until they are complete, according to Microsoft.

Users will also be able to access their personal archive and share their calendar with anyone via the web.

Extensions to the Information Rights Management (IRM) introduced in Exchange Server 2010 will enable users to view and create messages protected by IRM in Outlook Web Access, and send and receive such messages from Windows smartphones without the need to provision IRM first via Windows Mobile Device Center.

Other improvements will add support for new management tasks in the Exchange Management Console and Exchange Control Panel, including the ability to configure Retention Policy Tags.

A full list of the changes coming in Exchange Server 2010 SP1 will be available at a later date on Microsoft TechNet.

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