Microsoft is to formally unveil the latest version of its Exchange messaging product at the Comdex show in Las Vegas this week. Exchange 5.5 will be available in the UK from the first week of December, said Phil Cross, group marketing manager for Microsoft UK. This is the first upgrade since Exchange 5.0 was released in April. The product will include key products from the software giant's acquisition of Linkage Software in June. These include connectivity with Lotus Notes servers, IBM Office Vision, plus SNAD-compliant messaging systems. Microsoft has also worked on its much-criticised scalability limitations. Each server will support a maximum of 50,000 POP3 users compared to 15,000 in version 5.0, and 8,000 MAPI users, up from 2,000. The latest release also includes support for networking standards such as IMAP4, LDAP, and Mime. Exchange 5.5 will be able to support up to 15,000 IMAP4 clients. Backup and restore times have also been boosted: they are now up to four and three times faster respectively. Microsoft also claims version 5.5 will have an "unlimited" data store facility of 16Tb, backing up at 25Gb an hour. The product will be available as a standard and enterprise edition with the latter supporting clustered NT servers. Exchange 5.5 will be available as a server but not as a client upgrade to existing users. Microsoft refused to provide pricing. Microsoft: 0345 002000.
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