Exchange Online will be migrating to Exchange 2010 code after we RTM Exchange 2010.
Exchange 2010 in the cloud will address some limitations we currently have with Exchange 2007 Online. Frankly, there are some features of an Exchange 2007 on-premises deployment that you just can’t get in the cloud. With Exchange 2010, the full features of the server are available in the cloud as well.
Second, there will be improved coexistence between hosted and on-premises Exchange deployments. Many schools are considering a hybrid model for e-mail, where they move some e-mail services to the cloud and keep some on-premises. Recognizing this, we’ve designed Exchange 2010 on-premises deployments so that they are easy to extend to the cloud.
Third, a new level of management and control will become available for the administrator with hosted Exchange environments. New web-based management capabilities will be added, and familiar Exchange administration tools, like the Exchange Management Console and PowerShell, will be able to connect to Exchange Online for the first time.
The bottom line here is that because the capabilities of Exchange 2010 are provided as a service as well as a server, you have the freedom to choose the right deployment option for your school without sacrificing functionality. Whether you deploy Exchange Server 2010 on-premises, host your mailboxes with Exchange Online, or combine these two options in a hybrid deployment, your users get business-class messaging and collaboration tools that they need to be productive.
I mentioned that Exchange 2010 brings new features to Online for the first time. There are some Exchange Server features that are not available with today’s Exchange Online Standard offering. They range from relatively minor features, such as customizing the OWA login page, to marquee Exchange 2007 features like Transport Rules, Managed Folders, and Unified Messaging. These features light up in Exchange Online when the service is upgraded to Exchange 2010. Other features, like IMAP access, POP access, SMTP relay, mail forwarding (server-side), “send as” capabilities for shared mailboxes, journaling to on-premises archive, footers, and disclaimers, are scheduled to be implemented in the Exchange Online service even before the Exchange Server 2010 update. Naturally, these will be carried forward when the service is upgraded to Exchange 2010. Contact your sales team for details on today’s deployment of Exchange Online and features.
In addition to eliminating old feature gaps, Exchange Online adds new features from Exchange Server 2010. Because Exchange 2010 was built with services in mind, these new features available in the service right from the start. I don’t have time all the new features for users and service administrators that come in Exchange 2010, but I’ve highlighted a few of them here:
• E-Discovery capabilities across mailboxes
• MailTips to help users prevent email mistakes
• Archiving capabilities to eliminate the need for PSTs
• Transport rules that can apply RMS policies to prevent valuable or sensitive data from leaking out of the organization
One of the great things about having an online deployment, is that you get new features like this much faster and with less effort. The datacenter staff does the heavy lifting of migration and upgrade tasks, leaving you with the ability to roll out up new features that will move your business forward and delight end users. And, it allows you to focus your time and attention on academic priorities.
Here are some of the other features: Conversation view, ignore/move conversation, POP account aggregation, server-side RSS feeds, IM and presence in OWA, SMS in OWA, Firefox and Safari support for OWA premium, OWA side-by-side calendars, shared nickname cache across OWA/Outlook, federated calendar sharing, federated contact sharing, mobile free/busy status, mobile read/reply state, mobile SMS sync, over the air update for Outlook Mobile, mobile device block/allow list, UM message waiting indicator, voicemail preview, call answering rules, protected voice mail, journal decryption, Messaging Records Management 2.0, litigation hold, moderated DLs, self-service distribution groups, self-service message tracking.
In my next blog I’ll discuss management, coexistence and migration to Exchange Online in Exchange 2010.