Resist the temptation to dump your skimpy work Outlook mailbox for Gmail -- Microsoft is promising multi-gig mailboxes in Exchange 2007.
|In an Exchange Server, far, far away: Microsoft Product Marketing Manager Martha DeAmicis demonstrates how Exchange 2007 can cope with 1GB and larger mailboxes at the launch of Vista, Office and Exchange in Singapore
Microsoft is fighting the trend for corporate employees to duck IT policies and auto-forward all their work email to Gmail.
The software giant is urging employers to increase mailbox sizes to 2GB or more.
IT departments have traditionally applied such restrictive limits to Exchange Server mailboxes -as low as 25MB per staff member - that users have become frustrated with repeated "your mailbox is full" errors.
Meanwhile, only senior execs have been granted access to work email from home, or via a Blackberry.
As a result, more and more users are auto-forwarding all their email to Gmail, where they have a 2.7GB mailbox capacity and can access it wherever they are - even via a mobile phone.
While the slumbering giant in corporate IT may not yet have woken up to the data security risks associated with this practice, Microsoft presumably realises that if it goes on unchecked, Exchange Server will eventually become expendable.
As a result, Exchange 2007 includes a number of features that Microsoft says makes the 2GB corporate mailbox not only completely viable, but desirable.
Speaking at the launch of Vista, Office and Exchange in Singapore, Exchange Product Marketing Manager Martha DeAmicis said clustered replication capability means one exchange server (not necessarily in the same location) can back up another exchange server automatically.
As a result, companies don't have the burden of backing up to tape every night - a slow and expensive process that means mailbox size has to be kept to a minimum.
Exchange Server 2007 includes a server-equivalent of Windows Desktop Search that pre-indexes all mailboxes 35 times faster than Exchange 2003, so that searches in Outlook are dramatically faster than before.
And the kicker is in the yet-to-be-released Windows Mobile 6.0 - codenamed Crossbow (taking aim at Blackberry perhaps?) - which allows users to search their entire 2GB+ Outlook mailbox via their mobile. They can then draw down any message instantly even if it's not stored on the mobile.
DeAmicis said Microsoft had raised the capacity for each Exchange server from 3,500 to 5,000 users and because it was now 64-bit only, all Exchange servers could access 32GB of RAM, improving caching of very large mailboxes.