Microsoft previews Exchange 2010 SP1

Microsoft Exchange 2010 will feature enhanced archiving and an improved Web client

In a blog entry posted Wednesday, Microsoft offered a glimpse of what will be in the first major update of Exchange Server 2010, due later this year.

Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) will bring a range of new features and capabilities to the back office mail server software, including improvements to the software's archiving functionality and to its Web client, according to the blog entry posted by Exchange developer Michael Atalla.

The update will allow users to set up an archive folder that could be located in a mailbox separate from the primary mailbox, which could better help administrators keep their main e-mail databases at manageable sizes.

The browser client, called Outlook Web Access (OWA), will get some significant new features with this release as well. The client may seem faster to end-users, thanks to its ability to "pre-fetch" messages and run multiple operations simultaneously, according to the blog post.

The OWA user interface has been reordered for greater readability as well. And, for the first time, OWA users can read and compose messages protected by Microsoft's information rights management (IRM) technology, a feature previously available only in the regular Outlook client.

The release will also bring enhancements in the administrative interfaces and searching capabilities. It will also roll up all the features and bug fixes since the first release of Exchange 2010.

A beta of SP1 will be made available in June, during the company's TechEd conference.

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