December 9, 1996 6:35 PM ET

Microsoft announces final beta of Exchange 5.0
By Paula Rooney

  Microsoft Corp. announced today at the outset of Internet World the availability of a release candidate and new version number for its forthcoming upgrade of Exchange. A release candidate is generally viewed as the last beta release.

Exchange 5.0, which is slated to ship in the first quarter of 1997, is Microsoft's first Internet/intranet version of the groupware. The upgrade will support ActiveX at both the client and server level as well as a host of Internet protocols including POP3, HTTP, LDAP, HTML, NNTP and SSL. The current version, 4.0, supports SMTP and MIME only, said officials of the Redmond, Wash., company.

Exchange 5.0 also will enable users to develop Web-based groupware applications and to access E-mail, individual and group calendars, discussions and other collaborative information via their browsers, officials said. Exchange 5.0 will feature a person-to-person Key Exchange, allowing E-mail to be encrypted and sent over the Internet, as well as a connector for Lotus Development Corp.'s cc:Mail and an improved user interface for administration. In addition, Version 5.0 will feature migration utilities for Collabra Share and Novell GroupWise groupware.

The upgrade, the first major release since Exchange 4.0 shipped last spring, was originally expected to be released by the end of this year.

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