Microsoft has announced the release of Exchange Server 2000. Exchange Server
2000 will be the first major application taking advantage of Active Directory,
the new enterprise directory service included as a major feature of Windows
Exchange Server 2000 in fact requires Active Directory, so it can be deployed only on a network that is running Windows 2000 server with Active Directory fully deployed, and with all Active Directory enabled clients.
Microsoft Exchange shares the corporate messaging and colaboration market with Lotus Notes and Novell Groupwise. Notes and Exchange split most of the market about evenly.
AnalysisWhile Windows 2000 Professional, the desktop version, is fairly popular, it appears only a few companies, mostly Microsoft's "Rapid Deployment Partners", have migrated to Windows 2000 Server or deployed Active directory. Figures are not available, which is in itself telling - Microsoft is quick to release figures that are in it's favor.
To "correct" this "problem", expect Microsoft to start applying upgrade pressure to users of Exchange 5.x. If they can convince Exchange users to upgrade, those users will also have to move to Windows 2000 Server, upgrade all their client PCs and fully implement Active Directory.
There are very good reasons for slow Win2K Server adoption. The complexity of Active Directory and the extensive planning needed to even start deploying it are daunting even for companies with skilled IS departments. There are also persistent reports that AD doesn't work right yet.
Other very good reasons why Windows 2000 server / Active Directory deployments are few and far between are explained in our article Adopting Windows 2000.
A reminder: Hewlett Packard's Open Mail is a Microsoft Exchange compatible system fully supporting Microsoft Outlook clients. It runs on economical Unix and Linux servers. If you just want e-mail and don't need calendar and other colaborative features, the new commercial version of Sendmail would be a good choice.
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