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October 10, 1999

Exchange 2000 Platinum Sent Out for Beta Testing

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft Corp began shipments of the Exchange 2000 Server beta 3 last week, to coincide with its annual Exchange conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Beta 3, previously known under the Platinum codename, adds messaging and collaboration features, including integration with Windows 2000’s Active Directory and the Web Store document management file system and collaboration tools, which competes directly with Lotus Development Corp’s Notes. Also included is the Digital Dashboard Starter kit, for building customized web portal-style interfaces.

Reliability has been improved through support for four-way clustering with Windows 2000 load balancing and failover services and fault-tolerant SMTP routing. The product has been integrated with Office 2000 and Outlook 2000. Scalability has been improved to support tens of millions of users. Microsoft is expected to send the Beta out to over 40,000 users worldwide. The CD includes Windows 2000 Release Candidate 2, Outlook 2000 and technical documentation. A final version is expected to ship during the first half of next year. Microsoft also launched the Exchange Application Server for Lotus Notes, designed to help users convert from Notes to Exchange.

Meanwhile, a study by the Radicati Group Inc claims that Exchange Server 5.5 is the leading messaging server among Fortune 1000 companies. The survey says that 44% of companies that responded have standardized on Exchange for messaging. Lotus Notes and Novell Inc’s Groupwise were selected by less than 30% of companies that responded. Since 1996, Exchange Server has been licensed by up to 34 million users. There are 30 deployments of Exchange with over 50,000 seats, and 12 over 100,000 seats. The largest has over 200,000 seats, says Microsoft. IDC Corp figures for the first two quarters of 1999 show Exchange adding 8.1 million new users, compared to 7.4 million for Lotus Notes.

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