Exchange + RTC = UCG

Microsoft announced yesterday that the Exchange and the Real-Time Collaboration (RTC) teams will be merged and form the Unified Communications Group (UCG). According to the software giant, this decision will not have any impact on the release schedule of the products currently being developed, such as Exchange “12”.

Related links:

The "Dirty Dozen" 2005

SOPHOS published a report with the top span-relaying countries in the world. United States tops stats again, just like last year, although they have decreased in percentage.

  1. United States
  2. China (incl Hong Kong)
  3. South Korea
  4. France
  5. Canada
  6. Brazil
  7. Spain
  8. Austria
  9. Taiwan
  10. Poland
  11. Japan
  12. Germany


Others 20.3%

Messaging and collaboration Webcasts – February

Here is a repost from Eileen Brown‘s blog:

TechNet Webcast: Planning a Migration from Lotus Domino to the Microsoft Collaboration Platform (Level 300)
Thursday, February 16, 2006 – 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Pacific Time
Edward Wu, Product Manager, Microsoft Corporation
This webcast presents a technical strategy for planning a migration from the IBM Lotus Domino application to the Microsoft collaboration platform. We present the latest information and demonstrate the new Microsoft Application Analyzer 2006 for Lotus Domino. Join us to get new guidance, including information about application categorization, migration and coexistence options, and pre-migration steps that can help your migration go more smoothly.

TechNet Webcast: Exchange 2003 Disaster Recovery Processes: Strategies and Considerations (Level 200)
Tuesday, February 21, 2006 – 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM Pacific Time

Brett Johnson, Technical Specialist, Messaging, Microsoft Corporation
What would happen if a hardware failure destroyed all of your vital data? Is your current recovery plan and knowledge of disaster recovery processes strong enough to recover the lost data? To make sure you are ready, join this webcast to review or establish a disaster recovery strategy for your Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 organization. Learn about ideal server configuration and best management practices. We also take a close look at disaster recovery for Microsoft Active Directory.

TechNet Webcast: Using InfoPath with Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino (Level 200)
Thursday, February 23, 2006 – 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Pacific Time
Gary Devendorf, Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Corporation
Using Microsoft Office InfoPath, information workers can collect, present, edit, and publish data. XML is at the heart of InfoPath and gives it versatility. What you may not know is that many of the features of InfoPath enable it to work with IBM Lotus Notes and IBM Lotus Domino interfaces. Some methods for getting InfoPath to work with these Lotus products require no code, while others require a little. Join this webcast to learn how InfoPath works with Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino.

MSDN Webcast: Get Started with Visual Studio 2005 for the Lotus Notes Developer (Level 200)
Thursday, February 02, 2006 – 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Pacific Time
Gary Devendorf, Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Corporation
Join this webcast to learn how to perform basic tasks in Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2005, the newest version of the Microsoft .NET development system. Like IBM Lotus Domino Designer, Visual Studio .NET 2005 is a development system for IBM Lotus Notes and IBM Lotus Domino. We will compare how to perform basic tasks in each product. If you have ever written LotusScript, then you will be ready to write Microsoft Visual Basic .NET by the end of this webcast.

MSDN Webcast: Using ADO.NET with Your Lotus Notes Applications (Level 400)
Tuesday, February 21, 2006 – 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Pacific Time
Gary Devendorf, Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Corporation
ADO.NET is the standard method for Microsoft Visual Studio .NET applications to interact with data sources such as Microsoft SQL Server, the IBM DB2 Universal Database, and Oracle. Did you know that you can use the same standard method to access IBM Lotus Notes data? By separating the data interface from the data, you can change your data source without rewriting your client applications. In this webcast, we demonstrate this technique using a code example of ADO.NET and Lotus Notes.

Momentum Webcast: Secure Messaging: Defense in Depth (Level 100)
Thursday, February 16, 2006 – 11:00 AM-12:00 PM Pacific Time
Forrest Hobbs, Director of Sales & Market Development, Microsoft Corporation
Join this webcast to learn about the new Microsoft multilayered strategy for secure e-mail. The recent acquisition of both Sybari and FrontBridge demonstrate the Microsoft commitment to bringing greater security to your e-mail environment and ensuring that you have a choice in how these solutions are delivered. By using the managed services of FrontBridge with Sybari and Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server, you can have multilayered, secure e-mail, protecting inboxes from spam and viruses. This webcast covers three main topics: network edge protection, firewall protection, and internal antivirus protection against both external and internal threats.

Momentum Webcast: Information Management Features in Office Professional 2003 (Level 100)
Monday, February 20, 2006 – 9:00:00 AM-10:00:00 AM Pacific Time
Matt Berg, solutions specialist, Microsoft Corporation
Companies often collect a huge amount of potentially useful data, but without effective tools and processes, it can be tough to capitalize on the information buried deep within documents and databases. In this webcast, we explore the information management tools built into Microsoft Office 2003, including Microsoft Office InfoPath, XML, and information rights management (IRM). Tune in to find out how these tools and technologies can help improve the way your organization gathers, organizes, re-uses and protects its critical business information.

Push email with SP2? Not yet…

When Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 became available, Microsoft hurried to announce the new direct push email feature, a method by which one can keep their mobile device always synchronized with the email server. This kind of functionality is not exactly new, since Exchange Server 2003 already had a mechanism to do that, Always-Up-To-Date (AUTD). But AUTD is not very efficient since it uses SMS messages.

Blackberry already had this kind of mobile messaging solution, which became very popular in some countries like the United States. This was probably one of the reasons for Microsoft include direct push email and to announce it so effusively. But for this feature to work, it still lacks one piece of the puzzle: Messaging & Security Feature Pack. The complete requirements are:

  • Exchange Server 2003 SP2
  • Devices with Windows Mobile 5.0
  • Devices with Messaging & Security Feature Pack

The main problem is that this Feature Pack is not yet available and it will be distributed exclusively through OEMs and Operators. It is scheduled to be available from Q1 2006, but till then, Microsoft’s direct push email is nothing but a mirage (but believe me, when it’ll arrive, it’ll make the waiting worth while)

Related links:

New Application and Messaging Migration Tools for Lotus Notes/Domino

As part of its broader strategy to make it easier for Lotus Notes/Domino organizations to move to the Microsoft collaboration platform, Microsoft Corp. today announced a suite of new and updated tools to help organizations analyze their Notes/Domino application environment and move important application data to Microsoft’s collaboration platform. These tools, which will be available for free download, include:

  • Microsoft Application Analyzer 2006 for Lotus Domino

  • Microsoft Data Migrator 2006 for Lotus Domino

  • New Windows SharePoint Services Application Templates.

  • Updated Messaging and Coexistence Tools

Related links:

It’s Here: System Center Capacity Planner 2006

System Center Capacity Planner 2006 is a great tool that will help you create a system architecture model for deploying a Microsoft server application, such as Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 or MOM 2005 and it’s finally available to TechNet subscribers.

System Center Capacity Planner 2006 employs state of the art modeling technology to bring unprecedented functionality and flexibility to the process of performance analysis and planning of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 deployments.

 I mentioned this tool in a recent article published on the site:

"Monad" Shell Beta 3

Microsoft released today the Beta 3 of Microsoft Shell, also known as Monad or MSH, Microsoft’s next-generation command-line and scripting environment. This version is available for the x86 and x64 architectures and requires the corresponding installation of the Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 (x86, x64). Monad will ship as a feature of Exchange 12 in 2H06 (target) and in Windows after that.

Here are some links about the subject:

Security updates for Exchange and Outlook

 Microsoft released today several security updates, among which some for Exchange (5.0, 5.5 e 2000) and Outlook (2000, 2002 e 2003). These patches are supposed to correct vulnerabilities described in the bulletin MS06-003: Vulnerability in TNEF Decoding in Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Exchange Could Allow Remote Code Execution (902412). Here are the links:

Live Mail Beta: the invitation, finally

As I mentioned on a previous post, the beta tests for the next version of the Hotmail service, Windows Live Mail, started some months ago.

I finally received the invitation to join the program and, so far, my evaluation is quite positive. The new look & feel is very similar to Microsoft Outlook, so the regular users of this email client will have no trouble adapting to the new interface.

I wonder what is the server software behind the service… Who bets in Exchange Server?