Microsoft offers Exchange 2010 beta, Office 2010 timeline

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Microsoft has started giving more details on the next version of its productivity line of products. The suite will debut next year as Office 2010, shipping in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors, and will include browser-based versions of its main applications that can run on Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari as well. Exchange Server 2010 will be released a bit earlier however, in the second half of this year, and it is actually available now as a public beta download in what Microsoft describes as the “next wave of Office-related products.”

The updated software will bring a number of enhancements over its predecessor, Exchange 2007. These will include a consistent Outlook experience across PC, mobile phone and browser as well as a new email archiving functionality, a MailTips feature to prevent sending erroneous email, text-based voicemail previews and more.

The rest of its Office related applications, including Office 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, Visio 2010, and Project 2010, are due for a technical preview in the third quarter of 2009 and release in the first half of 2010. A pretty vague timeframe, for sure, but that’s what Microsoft is willing to share for now.

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