Microsoft Shows Off Exchange 2010 SP1

In a blog post penned by Michael Atalla, director of product management for Exchange Server and Exchange Online, Microsoft revealed just a few of the changes users can look forward to with the release of Exchange Server SP1. Atalla writes that as well as "fixes and tweaks" based on user feedback, SP1 will include archiving and discovery enhancements and Outlook Web App (OWA) improvements.

Archiving and discovery enhancements include:

… adding the flexibility to provision a user's Personal Archive to a different mailbox database from their primary mailbox. … We've also added new server side capabilities so you can import historical e-mail data from .PST files, directly into Exchange, as well as IT pro controls to enable delegate access to a user's Personal Archive. … SP1 also updates the Exchange Management Console with new tools to create Retention Policy Tags, so you can automate the deletion and archiving of e-mail and other Exchange items."

Microsoft has also made some big changes to Outlook Web App:

… OWA gets a significant facelift with SP1 as well. With new work to pre-fetch message content, the OWA reading experience becomes faster. With delete, mark as read, and categorize operations running asynchronously, these actions feel instantaneous to the user. We've also made sure that certain long running operations, such as attaching a very large file, will not block the rest of the OWA experience, protecting the user from irritating web UI hang-ups. You'll see a number of other UI improvements as well to de-clutter a bit; helping make it easier to find common tasks with updated action icons and menus."

Microsoft is also bringing back themes, so users can change the look and feel of OWA and in RTM, they've delivered Information Rights Management (IRM) capabilities in OWA, allowing users to read and compose IRM-protected messages just like they've been able to do with Outlook in the past.

Stay tuned for a full list of the tweaks and additional features coming in SP1. A beta of SP1 will be available in June. For now, you can read all about it here.

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