E12 Beta 1

Last week, we signed off on E12 Beta 1. This is a great milestone for the product and the team. We've delivered SP1, SP2, ExBPA, and many other great tools along the way - but E12 has always been our primary goal in the 2 years since Exchange 2003 shipped. 

Right from the beginning, our high level goals for E12 were pretty simple:

- Control: A new admin experience, enable low cost storage
Access: A unified communications inbox, accessible all of the ways end-users want it
Protection: Enable compliance, encrypt and clean the message stream

The team will be blogging about various aspects of these 3 themes over the coming months. I am very pleased with our team's progress towards these goals. Many of our customers will see storage costs reduced 80%. Monad changes everything when it comes to systems management. My calendar experience with E12 is something I cannot give up. I am personally addicted to my E12 mobile device experience. I think the speech recognition built into E12 unified messaging is the coolest thing ever. The server is keeping my email usage totally compliant with our company's records management policies. There is so much more...

Our immediate plans are to distribute this release to a group of 1400 customers and partners that have expressed explicit interest in testing this release. Unfortunately, we don't have room to support more right now - but early next year, we plan to distribute the release through MSDN and TechNet subscribers. I hope most of you get an opportunity to try out the release, and give us feedback. We're eager to hear from you. 

Here at Microsoft, we are now running E12 Beta 1 for 3,000 users (including the entire Exchange team, the entire Office team, the MOM team, the SBS team, the Speech technologies team, the Windows Mobile team, and many other lucky folks). I always think it's cool to check out our latest "dogfood" topology (which is intentionally over-complex to test a variety of configurations).

On to Beta 2 mid next year...

Happy Holidays to everyone from the entire Exchange team!

- Terry Myerson

Comments (24)
  1. Dear Terry!

    Is there any way for us (MAPILab) to be included in this beta-testing program? We are very VERY interested in it.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. Rick says:

    Can you provide a larger (clearer) picture of your dogfood topology?

  3. Rich says:

    Indeed, dogfood topology is unreadable. Also any more spippets of info on the complicance features of E12? Is this goign to be pitched against archiving products like AfterMail and Symantec Enterprise Vault?

  4. AG says:

    • Control: A new admin experience, enable low cost storage

    First – What was wrong with the old admin experience? Granted the old admin experience probably is not perfect, but will this new admin experience be perfect?

    Also on adding admin features – From my experience every time MS introduces ONE new way to admin machines they introduce ONE HUNDRED new bugs in that feature admin that can compromise my system. Just lookup WMI bugs or Windows management bugs and see what you get.

    CONTROL – Your control goal should be this

    "The ability to"… lol I almost gave yall a great idea for free. Good luck with taking on Google…

  5. AG says:

    • Access: A unified communications inbox, accessible all of the ways end-users want it

    Great work here! Keep it up!

    • Protection: Enable compliance, encrypt and clean the message stream

    Can you explain what you mean by Protection?

  6. Exchange says:

    The link to the dogfood topology is fixed. MSN Groups insists on scaling it down for some reason.

    – KC Lemson

  7. MarkS says:

    Will E12 storage be based on SQL Server instead of a Jet database?

  8. Ponch says:

    ONE HUNDRED New Bugs? Please name those 100 bugs that are introduced for every ONE new way to admin something, or can you only speak in hyperbole?

  9. AG says:

    "Just lookup WMI bugs or Windows management bugs and see what you get."

    There are too many bugs to list but here is a start;
    Windows 2000 Sp4 fixes:http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=327194

    Goto the Management and Administration section

    Windows XP Sp2 fixes:

    Again goto the Management and Administration section

    Anyone have a link for the bug fix article for Windows 2003 Sp1?

  10. Stewart says:

    I received an invitation for the E12 Beta. I have worked on Exchange since 5.0 and am very interested in testing the new product. Is there anyway to know if and when I will have access to the Beta? I have written reviews on the product in the past and am anxious to get a head start on its features…



  11. Alexander Zammit says:

    Is there any reason why this is a closed beta. I think it’s a pity.

    Many organizations are investing a lot in MS technologies. Giving them access to betas doesn’t sound like asking too much.

  12. adam says:


    I second that.

  13. Sven Marxen says:

    Happy Holidays, you made a great job this year.

    This site is the source of information I always searched for.

    Kind regards from Germany

  14. DanielP says:

    MarkS – no, SQL-driven DB is not a part of E12. *Maybe* on E13…

    Happy new year all!

  15. Brian says:

    Will the new version of ESM address the lack of Organizational Forms management? With E2K3 you can’t rely on ESM to find and/or count how many forms you have. Also having to use Outlook to backup your forms is a pity.

    There are also some tools out there that MS has made that I think should be merged as features into ESM. Those would be PFDavAdmin and ModifyItems (Used to ‘touch’ items to force replication).

    Keep up the great work!

  16. Riccardo Moretti says:

    Will E12 allow administrators to delegate a mailbox move role, without having to give that user Full rights to exchange?

  17. roland says:

    I attended the IT-Forum last november in Barcelona and was quite astonished by all the things demonstrated by the Exchange team about E12. So I was anxiously waiting for the conference DVD so I could show all these beautifull things to my colleagues. But much to my suprise the DVD contained material from all sessions but nothing about E12, why is that?

  18. GaryDSmith says:

    I agree. An open beta would help all developers make important decisions on what can or cannot be used in forthcoming projects. I need to know about the Workflow Integration but cannot find any info on this subject.

  19. Brian says:

    Have there been any major changes to Outlook Web Access? Any new/improved features?

  20. Eric McWhorter says:

    Please tell us if we will see the ability to choose the SMTP proxy address which will appear as the FROM address for outbound SMTP email.  This is a severe inconvenience for those of us out there managing multiple SMTP domains for distinct DBAs in a small company.


    – Eric

  21. Exchange says:

    Thanks Eric,

    I have forwarded your comments to appropriate people! This is still a subject to discussion at this time :)

  22. Eric McWhorter says:

    Thanks, Exchange!  I hope we can see that functionality.  I’ve tried the 3rd party stuff out there and it just doesn’t do what I need it to.

    – Eric

  23. Anonymous says:

    When we released Beta 1, we promised the release would be available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers early…

  24. John says:

    I have allways been dissapointed in the recovery of Exchange (more than 6 stores and 200GB) and was looking forward to it being released on SQL.  Is it not moving to that because of cost? If so then the Enterprise edition should seperate that limitation.  Also has there been improvments on the "dial up recovery" model?

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