Supporting Exchange 2007 on Windows Server 2008 R2

EDIT 2/15/2010: Please see this post for updates on this subject.

We always talk about listening to customers and sometimes this is written off by many as 'marketing speak'.  In fact, we do take feedback seriously and no input is more important to our engineering processes than your voice.

Earlier this year we made a decision in one direction, and due to the feedback we have received on this blog and elsewhere, we have reconsidered.  In the coming calendar year we will issue an update for Exchange 2007 enabling full support of Windows Server 2008 R2.  We heard from many customers that this was important for streamlining their operations and reducing administrative challenges, so we have changed course and will add R2 support.  We are still working through the specifics and will let you know once we have more to share on the timing of this update.

So, keep the feedback coming.  We are listening.

Kevin Allison
GM Exchange Customer Experience

Comments (52)
  1. bday says:

    An impressive turn of events!

  2. rshapi says:

    Awesome news and about time :)

  3. MadsD says:

    Magnificent! Very happy to hear about this :)

    When you first decided on not supporting Exch2007 on Server2008 R2 I was disappointed, but accepted the fact that it apparently wasn’t going to happen. And now you’ve reconsidered and turned the tides to actually support it. That’s lovely!

  4. Calidco says:

    Considering there are still a lot of people out there running Exchange 5.5. & 2000 this news is a blessing and it is going to make it lot easier for the partners to promote the products

  5. TKS for the good news..!

    Please, always keep on mind your customers opinion

  6. Lukas Beeler says:

    While we’re planning to move to Exchange 2010 as soon as it is GA, this is still good news.

    Thanks for listening to those who need this.

  7. dmstork says:

    Very good news to hear!

  8. Jason says:

    Can you add support for Exchange 2003 with AD 2008 R2 as well?

  9. dmstork says:

    Oh, will it also be possible to inplace upgrade Windows 2008 RTM to 2008 R2 when Exchange 2007 is already installed? (This would probably be a specific you are working through ;-) )

  10. Rich says:

    Great news! This will make things much easier for partners in discussions with customers :-)



  11. tom says:

    I’m very glad to hear this.

    Good to know that once enough complaints – I mean feedback – is received, that Microsoft are willing to adapt.

    To be honest, the decision to not support Ex2007 on Win2008 R2 sounded like bully tactics trying to force people to deploy Ex2010.

    Ex2010 is a great product on it’s own.

    No bully tactics needed !

  12. V-juan says:

    Thanks Paul for change this

  13. Chris Lehr says:

    Great news..   but its filed under Exchange 2010 instead of 2007  :)

  14. Matias says:

    We’re still going to move to 2010 on a fresh R2 machine, but it’s really great to see MS making the right decision for the sake of their well paying custemers.


  15. JHT says:

    Like dmstork I would also like to know if an in-place upgrade from 2008 to 2008 R2 will be supported once the newer Exchange 2007 bits are available and installed on the server.

  16. Shaun Croucher says:

    This is really good news, look forward to the update release.


  17. Shaun Croucher says:

    This is really good news, look forward to the update release.


  18. Garry Trinder says:

    I agree with Jason(above).  We need the ability to be able to Upgrade AD to 2008 R2 and still use Exchange 2003.  First choice is to do 2008 R2 Funcional level, but i guess we could live with 2003 functional mode using the new 2008 R2 servers.  Exchange migrations take longer in a multinational company than AD uplifts, and that is why we need to move forward with AD before Exchange is migrated.

  19. dr00 says:

    Thank you for this. I felt sure that a change of heart would be made soon. Since MS is promising a fix in the coming year I can complete my E2k7 implementation that I was ready to scrap as we would be in a support box. Ultimately there will be some infrastructure piece or some major software deployment that will spring forth in the coming year that requires R2 and I would likely be hung in effigy. Thanks for listening.

  20. Exchange says:

    Hi JHT and DMSTORK –

    Great question on inplace upgrade. In order to address information like this, we have our software update forum which has staffing to answer questions related to this. Please go ask this question in the forum and we can make sure to have someone address this there! Here’s the link:

  21. Ilantz says:

    sure hope inplace will be possible. lots of customers want that.

    Great news.

  22. Sam Tudorov says:

    2008-R2 support for Exchange 2007 is much appreciated but I don’t think that the lack of R2 support would have prevented anyone from deploying Exchange 2007 servers.

    What is more serious is no support for 2008-R2 DC’s and 2008-R2 domain functional levels when an Exchange 2003 server is present.  In our case the public folder management tools in 2007 lack some of the basic functionality of the 2003 GUI.  So we are stuck with 2003 public folder servers until we can find a suitable replacement. You really cannot expect help desk and admin users to use the 2007 command line to set a wide variety of MAPI folder permissions on 10’s of thousands of public folders for thousands of users on a day to day basis.

    No Exchange 2003 support with the aforementioned R2 scenarios means that R2 domain controllers cannot be deployed and you cannot get the benefits that would be realized by raising the domain functional level to 2008 or 2008-R2.  Thats a big deal.

    Any thoughts to reconsidering Exchange 2003 support when 2008-R2 DC’s are present or the domain functional level is raised to 2008-R2 ?

  23. Doug says:

    About time, but would have been more useful ABOUT FOUR MONTHS AGO…now I’ve done about six Exchange 2007-Server 2008 migrations that would have been better-suited with R2.  Can we upgrade in-place with Exchange 2007 installed from Server 2008 to Server 2008 R2? Please??

  24. GoodThings2Life says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this great news!! :)

    Although I am committed to deploying Exchange 2010 as quickly as possible, this will certainly smooth over the transition process.

    But I’ll add my voice in for the whole in-place upgrade!

  25. says:

    Russian version of this post is here:

    Русская версия поста здесь:

  26. David Wilhoit says:

    I’ve already installed 2007 on 2008 R2, and it works just fine. I was rather surprised that its not supported.

  27. jens says:

    Good news thanks!

  28. ML49448 says:

    Oh my goodness….this is good news. This was making consulting on Exchange 2007 kind of difficult….thanks MS for making this decision!!!!

  29. Crand says:

    Why is everybody thanking Microsoft for fixing something they NEVER should have done in the first place?

  30. Michael H says:

    Crand I don’t think the main reason everyone is thanking MS is because they have fixed something, rather that once again the Exchange team have shown their willingness to listen to their customers and act on it.  Although I have no intention of deploying Exchange 2007 on R2, I appreciate the fact that my opinion actually counts for something in a company like Microsoft.  Now maybe if some of the Exchange guys could transfer over to the IPv6 group and share some of these customer service skills you have?

  31. Crand says:

    They SHOULD listen and your opinion SHOULD count!  That is why the product isn’t free.  My point was that they made a bad decision and peoples’ response should be more "damn straight!" instead of "thank you kindly!".  I just hope somebody earning a paycheck has learned a lesson from all this.  You should never have to beg for a product to be the way you want it, the features should be there simply because you asked because you are the customer.  

    Let’s suppose a company like Pontiac made a car nobody asked for and made bad decisions in it’s design.  Let’s call this car the Aztek.  Would anybody buy it until they redesigned it?  No.  Seems every new product MS makes these days loses a little piece of what it was for no particular reason.  For example:  no preview pane on bottom for OWA 2010.  Why?  What possible reason could they have for losing that feature?  What possible cost could it create to put it back in?  I feel like bashing effing my head against the effing desk.

  32. BIG DOG says:

    I have 2003 exchange with 2008r2 servers cant demote old 2003 dc’s sucks to be me, I hope my carmaker doesnt decide my model of car doesnt work with tyres anymore.

  33. Oooooh! says:

    I just commented on the other thread about it not being compatible, now only to find this! lol…..well done microsoft for listening to your customers :)

  34. Padds says:

    I agree with Crand – not supporting 2007 on 2008 R2 was something of a slap in the face.  

    Also – something that no-one else seems to have picked up on – is the lack of any specifics regarding dates.  If you read between the lines, we could be waiting until December 2010 for this configuration to be supported!  Not cool Kevin, not cool.  

  35. Robert-C says:

    I’m going back to straight Server 2008 Standard. Maybe Exchange and Sharepoint (current versions) will run on it.

    It’s not just Exchange that R2 appears to be having issues with, it’s Sharepoint Server as well.

    Someone else gags when they see an Aztek? Too funny…

  36. Andrew says:

    Come on atleast tell us a sort of timeline for this update? We talking days, weeks, months??

  37. walt says:

    David, how did you get Exch 2007 SP2 to install on Server 2008 R2–did you edit the .msi tables with Orca, or use other magic?

  38. andreas says:

    i already installed 2008 R2 Std. DC and a Ex2k7 SP1 on one Server.

    Just run the Exchange-Setup in compatible-Mode Vista or 2008 Std.   It works fine since 1 week.

    Little Problems with Backup Exec 12.5. The Agent could not finish the GRT-Backup of the mailbox-store… Trying Symantec support next week ;-)

  39. nick says:


    What happens when you need to uninstall the installation in the future? The uninstaller will verify OS compatibility. And I’m not sure you can run the uninstaller in compatibility mode?

  40. idiegoit says:

    I need to install tomorrow the Exchange Server 2007 SP1 or SP2 in my Domain Controller Server 2008 R2 Standard. Actually I have two option: Install the Trial of 2010 Exchange Server, and then, when the patch of 2007 will be available, remouve the 2010 an install the 2007. Better for me is to find a procedure to install the 2007 now, or a patch. I have already bought the 2007 license with 5 cal, so for me is not planned to buy the 2010 Exhange Server, also if I not really necessity to the new features of this version. Please help me to find the way to install the 2007 now.

  41. Dan_IT says:


    If you can’t possibly find another server somewhere to install Exchange on, then I would recommend then installing a Hyper-V guest OS VM on your DC, and installing Windows 2008 SP2 (not R2) in that VM with Exchange 2007 SP2. This will allow you to run on the same hardware with out running into conflicts between Exchange 2007 and Windows 2008 R2.

    A few words of caution with this design though, you need to make sure you have enough processing power to do both, and enough RAM to split between the VM and the host. Disk speed should be the same regardless as you would have been using the same disks either way. This does add the complexity of understanding and managing a Hyper-V installation though.

    Meanwhile a reminder to everyone – it is not supported to install Exchange 2007 on a DC that isn’t also a GC:

    Generally though it is not recommended to install both roles on the same server.

  42. Cindy says:

    Have being working with Microsoft Windows, Exchange and many other products for almost 15 years.  The first time hearing about Windows 2008 R2 not supporting Exchange 2007 was a shocking news.  It is not like the Microsoft way of paving the path for its user to migrate to a newer system.  Backward compatible used to be a big market slang for its product.  Well, at least back to 2 to 3 "generations".  For its product not supporting the very first generation is the first time.  

    It is great to hear about the change.  It might take a while for it to happen, but at least the direction is right!

  43. Chris says:

    Next year? When? December?

    Microsoft, what are you doing? Do you want to loose customers? Are you trying to push IT managers to the Linux world?

    First no inplace upgrade of W2K3 to W2K8, when Ex2K7 is installed and now this R2 disaster.

    Please hurry up!

  44. Chris says:

    Sorry, I didn’t see, that SP3 for Exchange 2007 will bring Windows 2008 R2 compatibility:

    Please Microsoft, what do you think my boss will tell me, when I tell him this?

  45. David Wilhoit says:

    Installing Exchange 2007 w/sp1 on Windows 2008 R2 works very well. Compatibility mode for the install.

  46. Mike Surrett says:

    OK I am confused, will someone give me a simple yes or no answers?

    Will Exchange 2007 Enterprise (SP1, SP2, or SP3) work when installed on a Windows Enterprise 2008 R2 Server?

    With Server2008 R2 domain controllers?

    Is this combination supported by Microsoft?

  47. bday says:


    1. You can’t install 2007 on 2008 R2 until SP3 for 2007 is released.

    2. Yes, 2008 R2 DCs in the domain/forest are fine. The updated setup XML file is necessary for labs w/o internet access, but it is supported.

  48. Trapper says:

    Where do I sign up for the 2007 SP3 Beta?  

  49. Adnan-Vohra says:

    when it is expected? I’m about to deploy but waiting for the SP3

  50. Esssy writers says:

    We have once transfer our server to another version. To my surprise, the transfer of data is so fast that it did not cause any problems with our site visitors

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