Microsoft: The next version of Exchange Server isn’t until 2025

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Credit: Microsoft

Two years ago, Microsoft officials announced the following versions of on-premises Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Skype for Business Server, and Project Server It will be available in the second half of 2021. Target: Everyone will require a subscription to get support, product updates, and security updates.

SharePoint Server and Project Server subscription versions It was launched as planned. But the other two new inner servants didn’t. Microsoft officials have repeatedly refused to provide it Status update Until today, June 2nd (and so far, they’re only talking about Exchange Server’s next step).

Microsoft announced today, rather than rolling it out in 2021 or 2022, that the next on-premises version of Exchange Server will now come in 2025. Meanwhile, Microsoft plans to introduce more new features for Exchange Server 2019 “over the coming months and years.” Microsoft is also recommending customers who rely on the on-premises version of Exchange to move to the 2019 version as soon as possible. Microsoft Exchange Server will be supported until October 14, 2025.

Modernization: A Microsoft spokesperson asked me to rephrase the last sentence as follows: “Microsoft will support Exchange 2016 and 2019 until October 14, 2025. After October 14, 2025, only the next version of Exchange Server will be supported.” The officials said that due to the upcoming migration improvements to Exchange Server 2019 (which I explain below), the narrow support outage period between the end of support date and the release of the new version will be enforceable, in their view.

Microsoft is promoting Exchange Server 2019 as including many features not available in previous versions, including new and improved Outlook on the web, improved security, better performance and scalability, updated architecture, integration with SharePoint Server and OneDrive, and new and updated message and policy features and compliance.

Why didn’t the updated Exchange Server debut in 2021 as planned? Microsoft explained in today’s blog post: Security, safety and security.

“Unfortunately, 2021 had other plans for Exchange Server. In March 2021, we faced a serious reality: State-sponsored threats were targeting local Exchange servers.” Microsoft responded by releasing a number of out-of-band security updates, cumulative updates, and security updates, officials said.

Microsoft officials said today that the upcoming Exchange Server release in 2025 will require Server and CAL licenses and will only be available to customers with Software Assurance, similar to the SharePoint Server and Project Server Subscription release. Officials said they will provide more details about the naming, features, requirements and pricing in the first half of 2024.

We are moving the next version of Exchange Server to modern life cycle approach, that do not have end of support dates. “We plan to continue supporting Exchange Server as long as there is significant market demand,” officials said today.

Administrators also said that they will add the ability to perform an in-place upgrade from Exchange Server 2019. “This means that you may not have to get new hardware or move mailboxes and that upgrading to the next version will be much easier to design from than previous upgrades,” said today’s post on Blog.

For more details on what Microsoft is doing to try to ease migrations to Exchange Server 2019 and an early look at some of the planned functional changes, check out Today’s blog post. And for those of you wondering about the next local release of Skype for Business Server, a spokesperson told me, “We’ll be revealing an update for Skype for Business Server soon.”