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I'm very happy to share that Exchange Server 2007 Beta 2 is now available for everyone to download.  Visit the preview site to find links to all Beta 2-related documentation.

 

Whereas Beta 1 was an engineering milestone of a work in progress, with Beta 2 we are feature complete. From here to RTM (Release to Manufacturing), our focus is on quality. Some of the high level areas we're focusing on delivering to you include:

 

1. IO performance - Save $$ on storage. In production we are seeing random IO reduced more than 66% on comparably loaded Exchange Server 2003 vs. Exchange Server 2007 production mailbox servers here in MSIT (even though the Exchange Server 2007 servers are doing so much more, including search, enforcing retention policies, processing meeting requests, etc). Check out this perfmon screenshot of 2 comparably equipped and loaded servers here at Microsoft (Exchange Server 2003 in red, Exchange Server 2007 in green):

 

 

2. Replication - Built-in protection from data loss with replication.

 

3. Compliance - Built-in enforcement of email retention and regulatory policies.

 

4. Security - Built-in protection from malware with Forefront anti-virus and enterprise anti-spam.

 

5. Unified messaging - Use Outlook Voice Access to triage your mail while commuting and save $$ on legacy voice mail maintenance.

 

6. Calendar concierge - Reliable end-user calendars, efficiently manage resources, and more productively book meetings.

 

7. Refreshed mobility - New end-user and admin experiences.

 

8. Refreshed Outlook Web Access - it just keeps getting better.

 

9. New web services and web parts - no more confusion on which API to use when.

 

10. Admin - with Exchange Management Shell, a refreshed console, and a series of troubleshooters built on ExBPA (for performance, mail-flow, and database recovery), administering Exchange will never be the same. With Beta 1, our GUI was incomplete - with Beta 2, I hope you will find all of the GUIs you require to productively manage Exchange.

 

With Beta 1, our testing in global environments was incomplete. With Beta 2, we not only have tested in diverse locales, but we have fully localized the Outlook Web Access experience in 47 languages!  Our Outlook Web Access language support has nearly doubled over previous versions of Exchange, and you will have the opportunity to check all of them out with Beta 2.

 

1. Arabic

17. Italian

33. Croatian

2. Basque

18. Japanese

34. Indonesian

3. Catalan

19. Korean

35. Slovenian

4. Chinese - Simplified

20. Norwegian

36. Bulgarian

5. Chinese - Traditional

21. Polish

37. Icelandic

6. Chinese - Hong Kong

22. Portuguese - Brazil

38. Serbian (Latin)

7. Czech

23. Portuguese

39. Serbian (Cyrillic)

8. Danish

24. Russian

40. Ukrainian

9. Dutch

25. Spanish

41. Kazakh

10. English

26. Swedish

42. Estonian

11. Finnish

27. Turkish

43. Latvian

12. French

28. Hindi

44. Lithuanian

13. German

29. Malay

45. Vietnamese

14. Greek

30. Romanian

46. Urdu

15. Hebrew

31. Thai

47. Persian

16. Hungarian

32. Slovak

 

 

 

For those of you interested in Unified Messaging in Exchange Server 2007, note that we will also be providing Unified Messaging Language Packs in 15 languages for Beta 2.  So not only can you test out the Outlook Voice Access experience, you can do so in many different languages.

 

With Beta 2, we've begun to publish our documentation and will continue to update it on an ongoing basis. 

 

When we released Beta 1, we had 3,000 users at Microsoft with their primary/only mailboxes on Exchange Server 2007. With Beta 2, we will be at 8,000 users by end of this week. In addition to Microsoft, we are working with 30 TAPs (customers on our Technology Adoption Program) who are already running Exchange Server 2007 in production, with more to come very soon.

 

As always with Beta releases, Exchange Server 2007 Beta 2 is for LAB USE ONLY; DO NOT INSTALL INTO PRODUCTION UNLESS APPROVED BY MICROSOFT.

 

Our goal is to finish this release between the end of year 2006 and early 2007. I, and the rest of our team, look forward to discussing your feedback with you in our Exchange forums. Your feedback so far has had a dramatic impact on the product.

 

Thank you for choosing Microsoft Exchange.

 

EDIT: As we did with Beta 1, we wanted to give you a chance to see how our Exchange 2007 "Dogfood" environment looks like at this point. Please click on the following thumbnail to see it:

 

- Terry Myerson

33 Comments
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Yes, but are the disk IO performance gains not achieved by adding 10's of GB of RAM?? Which could be as (or more) expensive as disk!
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The link doesn't seem to be working for me I get a "download not found message"
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me too :(
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I get "Download not found" error as well. The link to order the DVD is working though.

Ordered my copy whilst waiting for the download to be published!
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me too :( and i have problems with the link to order the DVD. When I try this i will redirected to the Microsoft Mainpage
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I am having the same issues.  I'm sure it will be resolved sooner rather than later...
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Great! You guys rock!
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Bink.nu states 12.01am pdt as lanuch so prehaps we just need to learn a bit of patience.
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BigFish: it's true that adding, say, 10GB of RAM to your server is more expensive than buying a small quantity of disks. However, for servers that are currently using SANs (and there are a lot of them! especially as iSCSI is more widely adopted), it's no contest: buying RAM is almost always *much* cheaper than buying more SAN disks, and enclosures, and storage shelves, and maintenance agreements, and, and, and...
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This is the English link, I found it in the download search (go figure!).

http://tinyurl.com/f4skz
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Was able to download both x68 and x86 English versions so I believe it may be up and running now...

As for the RAM issue, one thing to keep in mind is that with the typical 2-4 gig of RAM, one should still see some performance gains.  However for those with much larger environments and/or the ability to swing the cost, it is nice to have the option of adding large amounts of memory to realize substantial performance improvements rather than having to invest in the cost of additional servers (and licenses) to realize the same improvement.

- MEK
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I'd much rather buy more RAM and reduce the number of spindles I need to support the same (or higher) IOPS load *and still have my users get a better experience that feels faster*.
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Does anyone know what "additional resources" are in the DVD-ordered version of Beta 2, compared to just downloading the Beta directly?
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Kudos to Microsoft .. really needed this local and remote replication technology years ago. Better late than never though.

Now to see how easy it is to flip from the live to the DR server over the weekend to validate DR tests..
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Paul, thanks for your comments. Would be interesting to see some ROI figures which compares. But as ever it's hard to quantify these things as hardware vendors vary so much...and depending on who pays for  the study...I guess Benjamin Disraeli expressed it beautifully... http://tinyurl.com/ob8bv

Time to invest my portfolio in RAM companies ;)
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Stonerware,

There are two additional discs that ship in the DVD Kit:
- Video Demos CD
- Hands-On Labs DVD

Here’s the list of the labs that are on the DVD:

- Installing a New Exchange Server 2007 Exchange Server
- Using the Exchange Server 2007 Management Console and Shell
- Administering Exchange Server 2007 Roles and Mailboxes
- Exchange Server 2007 Compliance and Retention
- Remote Client Access with Exchange Server 2007
- Using Exchange Server 2007 Local Continuous Replication
- Using Exchange Server 2007 Cluster Continuous Replication
- Configuring an Exchange Server 2007 Edge Server
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Now that Beta 2 is out, does anyone know if there's been any talk of RC1 ship dates ?
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Carl - give the team a break, they just got Beta 2 out on schedule and I am sure RC1 depends on the bugs that are reported from Beta 2 and subsequent builds.  The listed ship dates should suffice for now of late 2006 / early 2007.
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Now that Beta 2 is out, does anyone know how it will be able to use the beta version of Exchange 2007?
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Is there a list of changes/what's new in this version of PowerShell for Exchange 2007 beta 2?
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Yeah...still can't download Exchange Beta 2
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Nevermind.  I got it.
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The beta 2 SDK documentation is a little vague when it comes to the new web services API.  This is my main reason for downloading and testing exchange 2007.  Are there any simple demos or code examples anywhere??  Say, just connecting to the webservice and retrieving a list of items in a folder or something like that?
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I might be missing something obvious, but how do I submit a bug report?

I've been to Connect, but the Feedback link in the Exchange 2007 Beta 2 connection just loops back to the main Exchange 2007 Beta 2 connection page...
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Anthony Copson,

Thanks - I have pinged people that run Connect for Exchange 2007 B2 to look into this!
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OK, the authentication problem on the Connect site should be resolved now. Please try again to file a bug and post back here if it still does not work. Thanks!
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Bug reporting is working like a dream now.

Thanks for the quick response!
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In Organization Configuration->Hub Transport->Send Connectors->Network->Smart Host, the ability to forward to a smart host on a specific port appears to have been removed (it was present in Exchange 2000 and 2003).

There are quite a few installations of 2000/2003 that forward to a smart host running on the local machine, and thus require the ability to forward to a port other than 25.  Requiring that the smart host be installed on a different machine will mean that these installations will not be upgraded to Exchange 2007.
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Excuse me, Exchange 2007 does have the above functionality, it is just not in the MMC interface as of beta 2:

Set-SendConnector "local" -Port 97


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Exchange 2007 gets stuck at 70% during the 'preparing organization' phase.

Error in setup logs:
[ERROR] Microsoft Exchange can't connect to the Queue Viewer server on computer "localhost". Verify if the Microsoft Exchange Transport Service is started.

Any clues whats going on?
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Mayur,

Please head over to our forums for stuff like this:

http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/default.aspx?ForumGroupID=235&SiteID=17
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I'm an MCSE, supported and installed smaller and larger Exchange 5.5/2000/2003 Exchange server environments, and I got to say it...
I don't like where Exchange 2007 is going.

Microsoft products got to be where they are not because they are bug free and secure. They got there because of the friendly GUI, user and administrator expiriance and relative simplicity.
With Exchange 2007 those factors are going away, and the only reasons that corporations will consider to upgrade is the support lifecycle of Exchange 2003. I don't think that the new Exchange features are going to have such a large factors on the decission makers when it comes to spend a lot of money for new 64bit servers and new 64bit Windows server software and of course client access licenses.
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Heard of the term "calendar concierge"? Look up http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2006/07/24