Exchange 2003 SP2 Preview Code to Post Friday

Microsoft plans to release a Community Technology Preview of Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 on Friday.

CTPs are replacing beta releases for many Microsoft products. They've been used especially heavily in the SQL Server 2005 pre-release testing process.

In addition to security and stability fixes, changes in Exchange Server 2003 SP2 will include new functionality for e-mail mobility, spam protection and mailboxes.

Mobility enhancements will include additional data compression and Outlook properties, greater control over security and new optional support for certificate-based authentication. Changes intended to improve Exchange's anti-spam capabilities involve an overhaul of the Exchange Intelligent Message Filter and new support for the Sender ID e-mail authentication protocol. In the area of mailboxes, storage size limits are increased to 75 GB and there's a new offline address book format, enforcement of cached mode to improve performance and more granular control of public folder management.

Some of the functionality in the Exchange service pack won't be testable in the CTP. Mobility features dependent on Windows Mobile 5.0 devices can't be tried until those devices start shipping later this year and next year. There are also security features that will rely on changes to be made in Outlook 2003 Service Pack 2, which won't be released until later this year.

The service pack CTP is supposed to be available here sometime Friday.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.