Announcing Service Pack 1 Beta 2 for Exchange Server 2007

As announced on the MSExchange Team blog, today, Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 Beta 2 has been released as a community technology preview (CTP). This is a great milestone for the product and the team and builds on the great work they did in Exchange 2007. They are distributing the release through MSDN and TechNet Plus subscriptions.
Microsoft has added many enhancements to SP1 Beta 2, including:

  • Standby Continuous Replication – Now Exchange’s built-in log file shipping can be used to keep a standby server up-to-date. This is great for organizations who need to quickly recover from datacenter-level failures, such as those caused by power failures or natural disasters.
  • Office Communications Server 2007 integration – Certain OCS 2007 and Office Communicator 2007 qualified devices will work with Exchange Server 2007 for added functionality like a new message indicator that shows when a user has new voice mail messages waiting in their inbox. Now you can also use your Office Communicator 2007 client to call Outlook Voice Access directly without the need to enter an access number, extension, or pin as it uses your Communicator credentials to authenticate.
  • Windows Server 2008 support – Finally, Exchange now runs on Windows Server 2003 SP2 and Windows Server 2008. The update also allows Exchange Server 2007 management tools to run on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Among other benefits, Windows Server 2008 clustering will make it easier for companies to deploy geographically dispersed Exchange Server clusters.
  • Exchange ActiveSync Policies – New policies in SP1 build on Exchange Server 2007’s security and management features with new policies for synchronization, authentication, and encryption. For more advanced data protection needs, Exchange Server 2007 SP1 also offers device, network, and application controls. These new features allow network administrators to help manage and secure Exchange ActiveSync enabled mobile devices.

Furthermore, and probably most importantly (LOL), 2 new OWA themes have been added: XBOX and Zune. Check out the previews:
     zune theme 1 small
Overall, these features should add up to greater security, easier management, and advanced mobility tools for our customers. You can check out a full list of the features included in SP1 Beta 2 here.
Microsoft is now running Exchange Server 2007 SP1 Beta 2 with over 60,000 users. However, as always, note that running beta software on production servers is not recommended and not supported by Microsoft.
Note: Currently, SP1 is slated for release in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1: Fact Sheet
You Had Me At EHLO… : Announcing Service Pack 1 Beta 2 for Exchange Server 2007