Microsoft Corp. will offer a premium license for the upcoming version of its Exchange e-mail server that will let users do things like retrieve voice mails from their e-mail inboxes or give their computer a voice command to check their calendar or alert co-workers they're going to be late for a meeting.
The "enterprise" version of the licenses a company buys for each user on its system will cost extra, but Dave Thompson, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Exchange group, said Thursday that the company is not yet saying how much.
The current version, Exchange 2003, comes with either a standard or enterprise server license, and only one type of client-access license, which companies buy for every user on their systems.
With Exchange 2007, companies will choose from a standard or enterprise server license, and either standard or enterprise client-access licenses.
Other features that that will be included with the enterprise client-access license will be more options for managing e-mail folders. Users will be able to tell one folder to delete e-mails after a certain number of days, while instructing another to archive everything automatically, for example.
All versions of Exchange Server 2007 will include improved antivirus and spam-blocking technology and features that will make it easier for companies to comply with increasingly strict regulations on storing and tracking e-mail, Thompson said.
About 7,000 employees at the Redmond-based software maker are currently testing Exchange Server 2007. Microsoft plans to make a second test version more widely available this summer, and release it to consumers late this year or early in 2007.