Exchange Connections started with a keynote by Kevin Allison, General Manager of the Exchange development group who has responsibility for both on-premises and cloud versions of the product. The conversation, which is what Kevin essentially had with the audience of several hundred people, ranged across many topics but perhaps the titbit that was of most interest was that Exchange 2010 SP2 will be available in about four weeks.
Kevin reported that the Exchange team is paying very close attention to the quality of SP2, largely to address the hit that Exchange took to its credibility when two roll-up updates (RU3 and RU4) had to be withdrawn and subsequently reissued due to bugs that crept through Microsoft’s automated testing suite. However, quality looks good and the bug count is reducing so if progress is maintained we should see SP2 available for download by the end of November or early December.
Of course, no one wants to plan an upgrade around Thanksgiving and you shouldn’t rush into deployment. Remember that Exchange 2010 SP2 requires an Active Directory schema extension and that usually takes time to schedule in any large organization. You also need to test SP2 in your environment to make sure that it doesn’t break anything that is specific to your deployment. Aside from that, all looks well for SP2 deployments in early 2012.