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R2 users will have to wait for Exchange 2007 support

UPDATE! (6/22/2010)

The wait is over. Exchange Server 2007 SP3 is now available.

ORIGINAL POST (12/3/2009)

Well I guess we know what Microsoft was thinking when it originally decided not to include Exchange Server 2007 support with Windows Server 2008 R2.

The company had initially said that its focus was on Exchange 2010, and taking the time to allow Exchange 2007 to run on R2 would only delay its other upcoming releases. Obviously, Microsoft did an about-face a few months later after customer outcry reached a fever pitch on the Web.

While the timeline for Exchange 2007 on R2 was hazy, it was expected at some point in 2010, with the hope that it would be ready in the early part of the year. Unfortunately, it looks like Microsoft was telling the truth when it said that adding Exchange 2007 support would be a timely process.

A post on the company’s Exchange Team Blog earlier this week announced the sad news that the update won’t be ready until the release of Service Pack 3, which could be as late as December 2010. The post cited extensive code changes as the reason for the delay (RE: we told you this would be a pain to do!) Still, it should be worth the wait for organizations seriously interested in leveraging Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7 in the coming year.

One thing users won’t have to wait for, however, is Exchange 2003 SP2 support against writeable Server 2008 R2 Active Directory servers. This should be a relief for those hoping to take advantage of R2’s AD enhancements with Exchange Server. As Kevin Allison, general manager for Microsoft’s Exchange Customer Experience wrote:

“Exchange 2003 SP2 will now be supported against writeable Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory Servers. Additionally, with the General Availability of Exchange Server 2010, and those looking to standardize on Windows Server 2008 R2 we have enhanced the supportability of forest and domain functional levels up to Windows Server 2008 R2. This change is effective immediately on Exchange 2003 SP2.”

So some good news, some not so good news, but all in all, it could be worse.

For more on news and advice on Microsoft Exchange Server, visit

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