Microsoft on Thursday said it has released Exchange 2010 to manufacturing and plans to launch it next month at the Tech-Ed conference in Berlin, Germany.
Exchange 2010 is part of the next wave of Microsoft Office products and is also the first Microsoft server technology to work on-premises and as an online service. Exchange 2010 improvements include integrated e-mail archiving, enhanced unified messaging support, expanded search capability, and the ability to transcribe voice mails into text messages.
Exchange 2010 combines on-site and off-site data replication into a single framework called a database availability group. With Exchange 2003 and 2007, each mailbox was tied to a specific server, but Exchange 2010 allows mailboxes to reside on any server, which cushions the impact of network outages, according to solution providers.
Microsoft is also working on a hosted version of Exchange 2010, but that won't launch until the second half of next year. That release will add full support for multi-tenant Exchange infrastructure and replace the current purpose-built version of Exchange that Microsoft offers hosters.
Microsoft's hosting partners are also anxious about getting their hands on Exchange 2010 because of its many performance improvements. For example, Exchange 2010 runs with 70 percent less I/O operations per second (IOPS) than Exchange 2007 and 90 percent less than Exchange 2003.
In August, Microsoft launched the Exchange 2010 Release Candidate and said testers would be able to migrate to the RTM version through an in-place upgrade.