For those of you waiting to try the next version of Exchange Server, the wait is over. Beta 2 of Exchange Server 2007 is now available for download. You can get it by registering on the BetaCentral web site (http://www.microsoft.ca/technet/betacentral in English or http://www.microsoft.ca/technet/centrebeta in French) where you will also get additional support that you won’t be eligible for if you simply download it from the main Microsoft web site. You can download Exchange Server 2007 Beta from the Canadian TechNet Site or from this link.
The nice thing about Beta 2 of Exchange Server 2007 is that even though the final product will only be available in a 64-bit version for production environments, the beta bits are available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. This means that you can download Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 or Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 SP1 (for free) and create a virtual lab to test how Exchange works. Or, if you have some physical hardware around, install it on a 32-bit box for testing. If you have a 64-bit machine, you will get the most realistic production experience, so give it and try and let me know how it works for you.
We also announced today the release of a beta version of Forefront Security for Exchange Server, our anti-virus product for Exchange Server 2007. This is the next version of our Antigen product line and provides multiple scanning engines to check for viruses in emails coming into or leaving the Exchange server. If you are going to test Beta 2 of Exchange Server 2007, you should definitely also include the Forefront Security for Exchange beta in that mix.
Happy testing!! I will give both products a try when I get back from Seattle next week.