The retail build of Exchange Server 2007 has been available for almost two months as an evaluation version (which you can download here), and a few enterprising IT pros are already talking about their Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange 2007 migrations. Mike Dragone, who wrote about his experiences testing the Exchange 2007 beta in "Run Exchange 2007 Under Virtual Server 2005", is undertaking a small-scale migration from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007 on his home-office Exchange server and has budgeted for a larger-scale Exchange 2007 migration at his company later this year, with an eventual move to Exchange 2007's Unified Messaging. I've heard from another Exchange admin who just completed a 2003 to 2007 migration; he'll tell that story in an upcoming article on Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP. And our regular contributors, such as Paul Robichaux, Tony Redmond, and David Sengupta, have been working with Exchange 2007 for months and will continue to share their insights into the product's new features.

Slow, Steady Migration Path
Early adopters notwithstanding, I expect that far greater numbers of organizations will pursue a more gradual Exchange 2007 upgrade path. In a nonscientific December 2006 Instant Poll on the Exchange Hot Topic site, 50 percent of those who responded said they'd either migrate to Exchange 2007 this year or would plan that migration, whereas the other half said they'll stay on Exchange 2003 (or earlier) as long as they can. Some of you can probably relate to the reader who's evaluating whether to move directly to Exchange 2007 from a legacy Exchange version or migrate to Exchange 2003 first. He asked me to recommend some Exchange 2003 migration articles; you can find that list of articles in "Tap into the Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Knowledge Base".

Some vendors I've spoken with recently also foresee an unhurried migration to Exchange 2007. For instance, Randy DeMeno, CommVault's director of Advanced Applications and Microsoft Relationship, says that according to what he's heard from CommVault customers, he expects a faster migration to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 than Exchange 2007 this year. "Customers are more thoughtful about migrating to Exchange, they're doing more planning, because there's more riding on the upgrade," DeMeno said.

Keeping an Eye on 2003 and 2007
I want to make sure that Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP covers all the bases and provides a balance of coverage between the 2007 and 2003 versions of Exchange and Outlook. If you'll be moving to Exchange 2007 this year, we'll help you get up to speed with that product. If you plan to stay on Exchange 2003 a while longer, we'll continue to help you solve your day-to-day messaging problems while looking toward the future. I welcome your Exchange- or Outlook-related questions, article ideas and tips, news, and suggestions for ways that Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP can better serve you. You can send them to me at agrubb@windowsitpro.com, or submit them via the Ask the Editor box on the Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP home page. Have a great month!