Exchange Server 2003

Exchange 2000 was supposed to be the killer app for the Windows 2000 Active Directory. Only it didn't work out that way. Instead, the Active Directory clobbered Exchange 2000.

Nearly three years after Exchange 2000 Server came out, analyst estimates for the number of Exchange users still on Exchange 5.5 range as high as 60 percent. Microsoft is having another go at its Exchange 5.5 user base with Exchange Server 2003. This time, Microsoft has tried to make Active Directory easier to use through Windows Server 2003 and has tried to make it easier to get Exchange users to AD with tools built for Exchange Server 2003.

That's the pull side -- new tools and features to get users to Exchange Server 2003. There's also a push. Remember, this is Microsoft we're talking about. In addition to putting whiz-bang new features into the server, Microsoft is also scheduled to yank Exchange 5.5 mainstream support at the end of this year.

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There's certainly an element of natural momentum involved, as well. The Active Directory rollout is complex, and it's taken a number of organizations this long to get all the pieces in place. So as Microsoft gets ready to deliver Exchange Server 2003, many users are faced with a mid-rollout dilemma -- go with Exchange Server 2003 or Exchange 2000 Server?

The stories below detail the changes coming in Exchange Server 2003 to help you figure out your own answer to that question. We've also gone into some depth on the pressing question of spam, one of the most difficult issues affecting messaging infrastructures right now. Exchange Server 2003 has some tools to help, and Microsoft is reaching out to third-parties vendors to enhance the platform's antispamminess.

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  • As for timetables -- Exchange Server 2003 is currently in the Release Candidate stage. Company officials expect to deliver the server sometime in late July or August.

    Scott Bekker