As the code in Exchange 2010 keeps maturing it will be time for me to start publishing a lot of new articles.
Exchange 2010 builds upon Exchange 2007 yet has made significant changes to the product that I believe makes this the best version of Exchange that has been built to date. Now that Microsoft and many other organiztions have moved to the cloude concept I believe this to be one of the large drivers for many changes to the web interface for Exchange 2010. As the overall look an feel is similar to previous version of OWA the features and fucntioanlity that can be presented to the user has increased expodentialy with some saying you could use OWA as a full time mail client. I am not quite sure of that statment however I will let each user make that determination for themself.
One feature that I love is that you can now get premium OWA with more browsers than just IE, the minimum version of IE has increased to 7 however with the addition of Safria on Mac and Firefox 3.X achieving 99% feature partity with only the exception of S/MIME this opens up to multiple platforms. If you are a chrome fan you will still be forced into OWA light. You would not believe how many companies are still using IE6 as a baseline browser which will force you to OWA Light.
Premium OWA with Firefox 3.X
One of my favorite items is that you now have the option to use IE7 or Firefox to view OWA premium. In Exchange 2007 you only receieve the light version of OWA when using firefox but now you can see from the image below that is not the case.
As you can see I am running Firefox 3.5 and I receieve OWA premium
The new default view in OWA 2010 is converstion view, this view groups messages togethor in an attemp to provide an easier message grouping. One of the nice features of this the view will expose the entire flow of the conversation, as user s will be able to see messages in their sents items as part of that conversation.
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In the current Beta builds and RTM plans the bottom preview window view will not be available, you will only see a right preview window or none. Since I typically only use the right reading pane this is ok for me but have found a number of users prefer the bottom reading pane.
Persistant inbox opening
This feature is similar to Outlook in which you can right click the mailbox and choose to open another users inbox. Even after logging of OWA the next logon this connected inbox will stay resident. I would say the only limitation here is you can only see the inbox at this time so if there are any subfolder you will not be able to see them in this view and will need to use the open other users mailbox feature.
As you can see in the image below I have opend an additional inbox called support
When using the right reading pane a new button will appear called the action menu, when selecting this menu item a user will be presented with a number of actions they can perfrom on the message
The actions presented are 1. Reply 2. Reply All 3. Forward 4. Chat 5. Forward as Attachment 6. mark as read 7. create rule 8. junk email 9. delet 10. ignore conversation 11. move to folder 12. copy to folder 13. open delivery report.
As you can see there are a number of new features on the action menu that was not available in Exchange 2007 : 1. Chat 2. Forward as Attachment 3. Ignore Conversation and 4. Delivery Report
I will talk about those features later in this article.
If you have ever been apart of the a large distrobution list or email chain that you did not need to be apart of this feature can be one of your favorites. If you select the ignore conversation a rule is created in your mailbox to automatically delete any message related to this conversation.
Forward as attachment
You can finaly choose to forward a message as an attachment with OWA 2010
Open Delivery report
One of the newer features that can assist users is the delivery report. This feature can allow users to validate that an email they sent or received has actually left the system, been delivered, or the message has been read. http://www.exchange-genie.com/2009/06/user-delivery-reports-and-exchange-2010/
Exchange 2010 has been designed to work with a number of IM products and to intergrate with them allow for third parties to hook into OWA. If you are running Microsoft OCS 2007 R2 you will be able to take advantage of the IM and prescence in OWA.
If you have federations with your IM system your OWA users will be able to chat with those users as well.
Exchange 2010 has introduced an archive mailbox feature, at this time I am not going to speak to much detail to this but to let you know that if an archive is created users will be able to access that data in the OWA expierence
This item may be one of the most under under used and some time conterversial. In the top right on the inbox there is a question mark icon with a drop down menu. When the drop down is selected if a users chooses about a window will open and display all the users connction options. This feature is built to assist Admins with knowing what systems the user is connected too