Microsoft is offering upgrades to Exchange Server 2003 with a new software pack that stresses better mobile messaging, improved spam blockers, and increased e-mail and mailbox storage capacity.
New mobile messaging tools in the Exchange Server Service Pack 2 (SP2) will help hardware partners and content providers deliver a device that "meets the demands of the end user for a rich mobile messaging experience."
For example, new direct push technology eliminates the need for SMS to notify and ensure a mobile device automatically retrieves new e-mail from an Exchange server. SP2 uses an HTTP connection to push new e-mail messages to the device.
The new version also provides greater control over mobile device security, including policy settings that let a user unlock a device with a password; local wipe, which dictates how many incorrect log-on attempts are permitted before your data might be at risk; and remote wipe, which allows administrators to remotely delete information from lost or stolen mobile devices.
Such features are big because research firms say business users are increasingly taking their work with them on the road in the form of handheld computers and smartphones. Such policies help to ensure that corporate data and applications are not compromised when devices are lost or get into the wrong hands.
Some partners have already announced plans to deliver devices that support SP2. Palm's Treo and Motorola's Q Windows Mobile 5.0 devices will be available in early 2006 and will include the MS Windows 5.0 Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP) and support for SP2. Also, DataViz' mobile Microsoft Exchange Server ActiveSync-enabled client, RoadSync, will offer support for key mobility features of SP2, including Direct Push and Remote Wipe on Symbian OS.
Customers are hip to the benefits of the new mobile technologies in SP2, too. HP is planing a companywide rollout of SP2 in the near future, Microsoft said.
On the security front, Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 adds Sender ID support and updates the Exchange Instant Message Filter to help businesses thwart spam, spoofing schemes and phishing.
Sender ID helps prevent unwanted mailbox phishing and spoofing schemes by verifying the IP address of the e-mail sender against the purported owner of the sending domain.
The result of the Sender ID check is used as input to the Exchange Intelligent Message Filter, which is based on the same SmartScreen filtering technology now used in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, MSN Internet Software and Services, and Hotmail.
To fortify the Exchange mailbox in the face of the growing glut of data that users are creating, Exchange Server 2003 SP2 Standard Edition will increase the mailbox storage size limit to 75 gigabytes.
A new offline address book offers significantly improved performance when Outlook clients are operating in cached mode. Users can also now force clients into cached mode to help improve performance and increase the number of active users per server.
Customers who already have Exchange Server 2003 can download SP2 for free.
The release comes as Microsoft is prepping for its largest launch of the year: the Nov. 7 release of SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006.
This article was originally published on internetnews.com.