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IT Bulletins
For Northern California Small Businesses

Microsoft Launches Windows Server 2003


Microsoft Launches Exchange Server 2003
On October 21 Microsoft Corp. launched Exchange Server 2003, the next edition of its messaging and collaboration server, as part of the Microsoft® Office System. Exchange Server 2003 delivers pervasive productivity to information workers through security-enhanced, ubiquitous access to business-critical communications and scheduling.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 offers improvements in functionality over Exchange 2000 Server in key areas including disaster recovery, performance, security, mobility, collaboration, and manageability.

  • The 2003 version of Microsoft Exchange Server features improved disaster recovery by adding support for eight-node clustering, cluster fallover time improvements, support for mount points which overcome the 24-drive letter limitation, standard storage area network (SAN) connectivity, Volume Shadow Copy service for database backup, a Mailbox Recovery Center tool, and a Restore Storage group.
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 enhances performance via features such as a /USERVA memory switch, public folder store replication improvements, distribution list caching improvements, and suppression of Out of Office messages.
  • Security enhancements offered by Exchange Server 2003 include Internet Protocol security (IPsec) support for front-end and back-end clusters, signed Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) requests to Active Directory, front-end and back-end Kerberos authentication, Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 security and dedicated application mode, restriction of distribution lists to authenticated users, real-time Safe and Block lists, inbound recipient filtering, attachment blocking in Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access, public folders permissions improvements for unknown users, and restricted submissions improvements.
  • Microsoft Exchange 2003 Server includes better support for mobile workers by adding an Outlook Web Access user interface (UI) and a broader Web Outlook feature set, Outlook 2003 performance improvements via MAPI compression, HTTP access from Outlook 2003, cHTML, xHTML and HTML mobile phone browser support, plus up-to-date notifications synchronization for Pocket PCs.
  • An advanced managed, remote accessible application programming interface (API) enhances collaborative development.
  • Manageability and serviceability are improved by centralizing queues on a per-server basis, improving the User Interface, exposing all system queues, enabling cookie authorization, using Exchange System Manager to move log files and queue data, including a multi-user Move Mailbox function, and adding dynamic distribution lists, public folder Send hierarchy, public folder Search capabilities, public folder Send Contents, and public folder affinity to control referrals.

To find out how Progent can help you benefit from this exciting new operating system, visit Windows Server 2003.


Microsoft Office 2003 Evaluation Kit
Office 2003 Editions can help organizations and their employees transform information into impact. New and familiar products, features, and functionality improve how people and organizations connect to coworkers, information, and business processes.

Here are some of the many new features of Office 2003:

  • Document Workspaces simplify the process of working with others to co-author, modify, and review files. Document Workspaces are centralized web-based repositories that provide files, tasks, and lists of links and team members and are accessible through the Shared Workspace task pane.
  • The Shared Workplace Task Pane lets you check for updated versions of files, see if team members are online, see related links and files, and view file properties. You can receive an e-mail alert when any of the items in the shared workspace change.
  • Information Rights Management (IRM) functionality in Word 2003, Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, Excel 2003, and PowerPoint 2003 allows you to keep information private by helping protect your e-mail messages and files from unauthorized copying, forwarding, or printing.
  • The new Reading Layout View in Word makes it easier to read documents. It optimizes the document for reading on the screen, including larger text, shorter lines, and pages that exactly fit your screen.
  • New features in Outlook 2003 include the ability to arrange your Inbox by conversation or thread to see all messages on a particular topic conveniently grouped together. You can easily move or delete entire threads. In addition, you can flag messages by priority or time sensitivity, and then find them in whatever folder they reside. You no longer have to keep e-mail messages in your Inbox to remind you of action items.

You can now order a 30-day evaluation copy of Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 trial software and learn how it can help you connect people, information, and business processes. To get your trial version, visit Office Professional Edition 2003 Trial Software.


Microsoft Releases Small Business Server 2003

Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 (SBS 2003) is designed for organizations with up to 50 computers who need high-level dependability and functionality but don't have the economy of scale that allows large corporations to absorb the cost and complexity of licensing best-of-breed enterprise software. SBS 2003 is an inexpensive and easy way to build a solid foundation for an information network with enterprise-level security, performance, connectivity, and reliability.

Windows Small Business Server 2003 will be available in standard and premium editions. The standard edition includes Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. Small Business Server 2000 included earlier versions of these products. The premium edition adds Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA Server).

Benefits of Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 include:

  • Windows 2003 Server's management and security tools reduce the cost and improve the reliability of desktop computers by using centralized user policies, rights, and configurations.
  • Windows 2003 Server maximizes server uptime and user availability by incorporating powerful fault tolerance features, including disk mirroring, distributed file system, and cluster configurations.
  • Exchange Server 2003 improves remote and mobile access by supporting a web client that offers a nearly complete implementation of the familiar Outlook interface, including calendaring and tools. This means that mobile workers can have full, secure access to email from any Internet-connected computer with a standard web browser.
  • Exchange Server 2003 uses Active Directory, providing a greatly simplified administration and security model. This makes Exchange Server easy to manage and support and also offers tight security. Security improvements include enhanced Safe and Block lists and junk email filtering, public folder permissions improvements, and attachment blocking in Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access.
  • ISA Server features comprehensive support for protecting IIS servers behind the firewall, which has been one of the largest areas of hacker exploits for Windows 2000 environments.

To find out how Progent can help you benefit from Microsoft Small Business Server 2003, visit Windows Server 2003.


Microsoft's Security Resourcess
For the latest security patches and antivirus software, and for useful information about firewalls, visit the Security and Privacy page on Microsoft's web site.

For in-depth information about Microsoft's security tools and technologies and to access Microsoft's security guides, visit Strategies for Reducing Security Risks on Microsoft's web site.

Microsoft has also announced new initiatives to improve seciruty resources for IT professionals. These include improving the patching experience, providing security guidance, and developing innovative safety technologies for more resilient computers, even without patches. For Microsoft's overview of these recently announced security initaiatives, visit Microsoft Outlines Ongoing Security Efforts.

To find out how Progent can help you design security into your business processes and network architecture, visit Network Security and Virus Defense.


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IT Bulletins<br>For Northern California Small Businesses

ISA Server 2000 Price Promotion ISA Server 2000 Price Promotion

Save a Bundle on Microsoft CRM Save a Bundle on Microsoft CRM

Microsoft Launches Exchange Server 2003 Microsoft Launches Exchange Server 2003

Microsoft Office Evaluation Kit Sign up for the Microsoft Office Evaluation Kit

Microsoft Releases Small Business Server 2003 Microsoft Releases Small Business Server 2003

Microsoft's Security Resources Microsoft's Security Resources