Hi,

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Beta has now been released.  Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 helps you achieve new levels of reliability and performance by delivering features that help to simplify your administration, protect your communications, and delight your users by meeting their demands for greater business mobility.  For detailed information and to download, please visit the main site at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/2010/default.aspx.  See below for highlights of what new features are available as part of Exchange 2010.

What’s New in Exchange Server 2010 Beta?

New Rights-Protected E-Mail Functionality with Active Directory RMS

· Transport rules to apply AD RMS protection to messages based on conditions

· Persistent protection of attachments in rights-protected messages

· Support for AD RMS templates

· An Internet confidential AD RMS template for protection over the Internet

· AD RMS protection for Unified Messaging voice mail messages

New Transport and Routing Functionality

· Cross-premises mail routing  - An organization can choose to outsource some of their mailboxes to a hosted solution while maintaining their on-premises deployment. Exchange 2010 allows routing of messages between the on-premises and hosted mailboxes.

· Enhanced disclaimers - Exchange 2010 lets you add disclaimers that can include hyperlinks, images, and HTML-formatted text. You can also insert Active Directory attributes that are substituted for the sender's attributes when a disclaimer rule is triggered.

· Transport rules integration with AD RMS - Exchange 2010 gives you the ability to create rules that require AD RMS protection based on keywords or patterns.

· Moderated Transport - Exchange 2010 provides an approval workflow for sending messages to recipients. When you configure a recipient for moderation, all messages sent to that recipient must go through an approval process.

· Shadow redundancy - Messages that are submitted to an Exchange 2010 Hub Transport server are stored in the transport database until the next hop reports successful delivery of the message. If the next hop doesn't report successful delivery and it fails, the message is resubmitted for delivery.

· Transport dumpster truncation based on log copy status - When messages that are in the dumpster are replicated to all mailbox databases, they're removed from the dumpster.

· Latency SLA management - Exchange 2010 Transport lets you measure service levels delivered relative to your service level agreement (SLA) goals. Exchange 2010 gives you the ability to measure latencies for each hop, as well as end-to-end latency.

· Transport database improvements - Performance improvements in the Transport database result in reduced database I/O per second (IOPS) per message, which increases message throughput.

New Permissions Functionality

In Exchange 2010, Role Based Access Control (RBAC) has replaced the permissions model that was used in Exchange 2007. RBAC lets you define extremely broad or extremely precise roles and assignments based on the roles of your administrators and users, and the tasks they perform. Access to the cmdlets and parameters required to perform a task is granted by assigning the related RBAC management role to a user or universal security group. If you want to grant an administrator or user the ability to perform tasks in Exchange 2010, you must either add the administrator or user to a universal security group that already has been assigned a specific RBAC role, or you must assign the role directly to the administrator or user.

New High Availability Functionality

Exchange 2010 combines the key availability and resilience features of cluster continuous replication (CCR) and standby continuous replication (SCR) into a single high availability solution that handles both on-site data replication and off-site data replication. Mailbox servers can be defined as part of a Database Availability Group to provide automatic recovery at the individual mailbox database level instead of at the server level. Each mailbox database can have up to 16 copies.

The following features in Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1) no longer exist in Exchange 2010:

· Local continuous replication (LCR)

· Single copy clusters (SCC)

New Messaging Policy and Compliance Features

· Exchange 2010 compliance features make retention independent of users' mailbox management and filing habits, and these features ensure retention policies are applied continuously

· interface for applying retention policies

· Auto tagging for retention policies

· Mailbox search features for cross-mailbox search with Advanced Query Syntax (AQS) support

· New transport rules predicates and actions

New Outlook Web Access Features

· Favorites in the Navigation Pane

· Search folders

· Message filtering

· The ability to set categories in the message list

· Options in the Web management interface for Outlook Web Access

· A side-by-side view for calendars

· Multi-client language support

· The ability to attach messages to messages

· Expanded right-click capabilities

· Integration with Office Communicator, including presence, chat, and a contact list

· Conversation view

· The ability to send and receive text (SMS) messages from Outlook Web Access

· Outlook Web Access mailbox policies

New Unified Messaging Features

· Personal auto attendants (call answering rules)

· Additional language support including in Outlook Voice Access and Voice Mail Preview

· Enhancements to name lookup from caller ID

· Voice Mail Preview

· Messaging Waiting Indicator

· Missed call and voice mail notifications using text messaging (SMS)

· Protected Voice Mail

· Built-in Unified Messaging administrative roles

Web Management Interface

· Text messaging (SMS) integration

· Voice messaging integration

· Mailbox Search

· Distribution list creation and management

· Moderation and approval for distribution list submission

New Exchange Core Store Functionality

· Storage groups are deprecated

· Mailbox databases are no longer connected to the server object

· Extensible Storage Engine (ESE) has many improvements for high availability, performance, and database mobility

· The Store schema has been flattened

New Administration Functionality in the Exchange Management Console

The core EMC refers to new functionality that affects how you use the Exchange Management Console that includes:

· Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP)

· Organizational Health

· Community and Resources

· Command logging

· Property dialog command exposure

New Administration Functionality in the Exchange Management Shell

· Remote administration - With the new Shell, you can connect to remote Exchange 2010 servers across the network with only Windows PowerShell V2 CTP3 and Windows Remote Management 2.0 CTP installed.

· Administrator audit logging - Actions that result in the modification of Exchange organization configuration and other object properties in the Exchange Management Console, the Web management interface, and the Shell can now be logged for later review.

FAQ

What is the release schedule for Exchange 2010?  That information will be published very soon – stay tuned!

How long does the beta last? This time-limited, free beta version of Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010 will end 360 days after installation.

Can I upgrade from Exchange 2003 directly to Exchange Server 2010? http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998604(EXCHG.140).aspx

Where can I find more about Exchange Server 2010? http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124558(EXCHG.140).aspx

Is there a forum where I can ask questions? Yes - http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/exchange2010/threads

Nick.