Antispam/Client. Whether you work on a laptop, home-office PC, or corporate workstation, you're constantly fending off spam. And, as in last year's Readers' Choice awards, our readers' favorite client-based antispam product is Sunbelt Software's iHateSpam. iHateSpam filters incoming email on most Outlook clients and lets users create "friends" and "enemies" mail lists. The ability to retrieve quarantined messages rounds out the tool's functionality. At $19.95, the product is priced right for small business and home-office users looking for a straightforward way to fight spam on the desktop.
Antispam/Mail Server. For the second year in a row, readers voted iHateSpam for Exchange their number-one server-based antispam product. iHateSpam for Exchange—which Sunbelt Software replaced with the product's successor, Sunbelt Messaging Ninja, in May during Readers' Choice voting—provides two engines for blocking spam. Windows IT Pro reviewer John Green said that iHateSpam for Exchange "provides basic server-based spam filtering at a reasonable price" and is "a good value for server-based spam filtering" (see "Server-Based Spam Control" January 2005, InstantDoc ID 44695). Our readers apparently agree.
Honorable Mention. Many readers chose Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) as their favorite server-based antispam product. Exchange 2003 SP2 isn't an antispam product per se, so we excluded it from consideration for an award. However, we want to acknowledge the powerful antispam capabilities in Exchange 2003 SP2, such as message-and connection-filtering, that many readers find useful.
Collaboration. If you had a hunch that SharePoint would place in the collaboration category, you were right: Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services outstripped the competition and took first place for Collaboration solution (as it did for Document Management/Imaging Software in the Business Applications category). Windows SharePoint Services is included in Windows Server 2003 R2 and provides basic Web-portal, intranet, and database services for creating collaborative Web sites. Does the award confirm that Windows IT pros' interest in collaboration is spreading like wildfire—or just that IT folks can't resist a free product? We'll let you decide. What's certain, though, is that Microsoft is bent on making collaboration technology a core Windows application.
Exchange Backup/Disaster Recovery. Virtually no amount of downtime is acceptable for your organization's email users. Readers who count on Neverfail Group's Neverfail for Exchange to keep downtime in check chose the product as the number-one Exchange backup/disaster recovery solution, as they did in 2005. The company's Neverfail for Windows product suite also took first place for Backup/Recovery/Archive Service in the Disaster Prevention and Recovery category this year. Neverfail for Exchange users praise the product for providing an affordable business continuity solution for small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) and for its switchback feature, which seamlessly syncs primary and failover servers when the primary returns online.
Exchange Migration. As the release of next-generation versions of Exchange and Outlook looms, migration is on most Exchange administrators' minds. The results of this year's Exchange Migration Solution vote were close, with Desktop Standard ProfileMaker Outlook Edition emerging as our readers' first choice. Although Desktop Standard doesn't bill ProfileMaker Outlook Edition as a migration product, it's clear that readers find the product's ability to automate Outlook user-profile configuration an indispensable part of their Exchange migrations.
Honorable Mention. Microsoft Solution Accelerator for Exchange Consolidation and Migration isn't really a product—it's actually a set of online guides to aid in planning and implementing a migration to Exchange 2003. Product or not, many readers voted for the Solution Accelerator as their favorite Exchange migration solution, enough to earn it recognition as an honorable mention.
IM Solution. Most companies have gotten a handle on email security by using firewalls, antispam and antivirus products, and security policies. Far fewer, though, take similarly stringent precautions against IM threats. As IT pros become aware of the IM problem, they're turning to appliances such as Barracuda Networks Barracuda IM Firewall, this year's IM Solution Readers' Choice Awards winner, to minimize IM security risks. Barracuda Networks combines an IM server, IM client, and gateway to provide a secure, monitored, private IM network. As IM threats continue to multiply and grow more complex and insidious, it's a good bet that more IT pros will consider implementing IM security solutions.
Mail Archiving. Facing competition from a growing number of third-party mail-archiving solutions, Exchange Server 2003 took top honors for Mail Archiving. Although Exchange 2003 has limited archiving capabilities, the vote might reflect the fact that mail-archiving technology is still relatively new and unproven and that many readers aren't yet familiar with such products. Rather than build archiving into Exchange, Microsoft's strategy has been to acquire archiving technology (as part of its purchase of FrontBridge Technologies earlier this year) and offer it as a separately purchased service—Microsoft Exchange Hosted Archive, which is part of the Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services portfolio.
Mail Server. No stunning upsets here: Readers overwhelmingly named Exchange Server 2003 the best mail server, as they did last year. The choice might have been influenced by last year's release of Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2), which Paul Thurrott called "a major step forward" for Exchange customers (see "Exchange Server 2003 SP2 Delivers New Features Without the Cost," InstantDoc ID 48244). Exchange 2003 SP2 includes significant improvements, especially in mobility, spam filtering, and security. The Exchange Intelligent Message Filter (IMF) and Exchange Server Best Practices Analyzer contribute to a well-rounded product.
Exchange Backup/ Disaster Recovery