September 2020, Microsoft announced that the next versions of on-premises Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Skype for Business Server, and Project Server would be released in the second half of 2021, but only with subscription-based support and updates. SharePoint and Project Server launched as expected, but the others did not.
Microsoft has remained silent on the issue until June of this year. Exchange Server won’t be released until 2025. In the meantime, Microsoft is advising customers to upgrade to 2019 as soon as possible.
Also, it’s important to note that Microsoft will only support Exchange 2016 and 2019 until October 14, 2025.
Officials stated the delay was because 2021 saw state-sponsored threats targeting Exchange, and fixing those vulnerabilities took priority. As a result, several out-of-band updates and patches were released to mitigate the problem.
Exchange 2019 will receive several features not available in previous versions. These include:
Exchange 2025 will require Server and CAL (Client Access License) licensing. It will only be available to customers with Software Assurance, which provides licenses for version upgrades.
More details regarding features, requirements, and pricing will be announced in the first half of 2024.
When the new version is released, users may not have to acquire new hardware or move mailboxes, as an in-place upgrade is in the works. The migration should be much easier than in previous versions.
The next version is moving to the Modern Lifecycle Policy, which has no end of support dates. Microsoft plans to support Exchange Server as long as there is a demand for it. News regarding Skype for Business Server will be released soon.
Many organizations require a hybrid environment. We see this with manufacturing and distribution organization, firms with certain compliance criteria that prevents a cloud-only infrastructure, and those businesses that deal in large data sets such as creative agencies.
Regardless, it is worth considering the benefits of moving from Exchange to Microsoft 365 and:
We can help. If you’d like a free consultation on migrating to Microsoft 365. Just give us a holler 866.680.3388.
We’re here to help.