One Piece Falls into Place for Microsofts Office 2010 - InformationWeek

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4/15/2009
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One Piece Falls into Place for Microsofts Office 2010

Microsoft Office suite has been a popular productivity tool in small and medium businesses. The company plans to enhance the product with a broad suite of new features. The company began to roll out the various enhanced components and focused on one problem area, which will be changed in a dramatic fashion.

Microsoft Office suite has been a popular productivity tool in small and medium businesses. The company plans to enhance the product with a broad suite of new features. The company began to roll out the various enhanced components and focused on one problem area, which will be changed in a dramatic fashion.The first component in the new Office product line is a revamped version of Exchange, the companys email system. The new version includes better management tools, such as a simpler way to distribute different user mailboxes across various servers, replication of message stores on multiple servers, better tools for cluster management, and the ability to move mailboxes across databases without having to turn them off. One area where the product will still be lacking is email archiving, a feature that the industry Goliath has been slow to understand and deliver to customers.

The product is the first of many in the Office line. Exchange 2010 is slated to ship before the end of this year. Office 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010 will be ready for beta testing in the fall and are slated to ship in the first half of 2010. Dates for the delivery of the next release of Office Communications Server R2 have not been set.

Exchange is a key component in Microsofts collaboration push, a market where it is battling with Cisco as well as Google for market share. Exchange 2010 is being positioned as either the foundation for a hosted email service or its traditional use as a corporate messaging system. The product features Powershell support, which it will enable administrators to manage internal users as well as employees who rely on a hosted approach. This feature is important because competitors, such as Google, have been trying to use their cloud based applications to take business away from Microsoft.

The vendor has been the industrys most dominant business software supplier. The advent of cloud computing has opened the door to competitors interested in loosening the companys tight grip. Small and medium businesses have been very interested in cloud services. They soon will need to determine if Offices features, such as its cloud support, are strong enough to stick with the product or if the time has come to look seriously at alternatives.

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