Microsoft has announced that they will extend their support deadline for their popular Exchange email platform.

Countless organisations and individual users are still using Exchange as their primary method of email communication, with high uptimes and reliability being a core reason for its popularity. However nothing in IT lasts forever, as demonstrated by Microsoft’s gradual phasing out of support for older products in their software line. Exchange Server 2010 users have been granted an extra 9 months of support by Microsoft in order to ensure that their vast user base is kept secure for longer, and in the hope that more people will start to make the switch to a new platform

In a recent blog on the Microsoft website, Greg Taylor, the Director of Product Marketing for Exchange Server/Online, said: 

"After investigating and analyzing the deployment state of an extensive number of Exchange customers, we have decided to move the end of Extended Support for Exchange Server 2010 from January 14, 2020, to October 13, 2020”

“After October 13th 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide technical support for problems that may occur including: bug fixes for issues that are discovered and that may impact the stability and usability of the server, security fixes for vulnerabilities that are discovered and that may make the server vulnerable to security breaches, and time zone updates. Your installation of Exchange 2010 will, of course, continue to run after this date; however, due to the changes and potential end of support risks, we strongly recommend you migrate from Exchange 2010 as soon as possible”.

Initially, support for Exchange Server 2010 was due to cease in January 2020, at the same time as support for Windows 7 ends, however Exchange users will now have longer to give them more time to migrate to a new platform.

Can I Still Use Exchange Server 2010 After The Deadline?

Users will still be able to access Exchange after this deadline, however Microsoft will no longer be releasing important security updates, putting the server and your emails at risk. It is therefore highly recommended that users still on the Exchange platform make the switch to Office 365 as soon as possible.

You can read more about Office 365 and how to use it here.

How Do I Upgrade To A New Service?

There are a couple of options for upgrading your email service; on-site (as Exchange Server 2010 is), or in the cloud (Exchange Online as part of Office 365). The on-site options include Exchange 2013 (which exits support April 11, 2023) and Exchange 2016 (Oct. 14, 2025). If you choose to take this route, it’s worth bearing in mind that you will have to go through this process again in a few years. The best option for many enterprises is to manage emails in the cloud with Office 365. Microsoft are clearly moving towards the cloud-based subscription model, which will be a much more sustainable option (especially for business users) in the long term. There are some organisations for which an on-site server would be a better option, or even a combination of both on-site and cloud, but broadly speaking, Office 365 is an excellent offering.

What Are The Benefits Of Office 365 Exchange Online?

Not only does Exchange Online remove on-site server costs, but the storage capacity for emails scales up and down depending on how many users you have subscribed to the service. Microsoft also guarantees an uptime of 99.9%, making it just as, if not, more reliable than Exchange Server 2010. With automatic patching and built in anti-malware detection, Exchange Online is the most secure and dependable email system available.

If you would like more information on taking your email system online and integrating Office 365 into your workplace, please get in touch. BirchenallHowden are licenced resellers of Office 365 products and would be happy to help you select the right solution for your organisation.