Microsoft will be retiring Exchange Server 5.5 and support for the product at the end of the year and is recommending users upgrade to the latest version, the company said Wednesday.
Microsoft is urging customers who are still running Exchange 5.5 to upgrade to Exchange Server 2003, a more secure version of the company's messaging and collaboration server product. Information about upgrading to Exchange Server 2003 can be found at: www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2003/upgrade.mspx
According to Microsoft, the number of Exchange Server 5.5 users dropped by about 40 percent over the past year, evidence that customers have been upgrading in anticipation of the product phase-out.
Microsoft also reminded customers Wednesday that Exchange Server 2000 will move out of mainstream support into extended support at the end of 2005. Mainstream support includes free incident support, security updates and nonsecurity hotfixes. Once Exchange Server 2000 moves into extended support, customers will have to pay for support and nonsecurity related hot fixes, according to Microsoft.
The software vendor also will not accept requests for warranty support, design changes or new features during a product's extended support phase. Extended support only applies to business and development software products; it does not apply to consumer, hardware or multimedia products.
More information about Microsoft's product support policies can be found at: http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle
Microsoft recently released a second service pack for Exchange Server 2003 that has improvements for mobile e-mail -- including new technology that pushes e-mail from Exchange directly onto mobile devices -- as well as new features to better protect users against spam and other mailbox enhancements.
The company plans to release to manufacturing the next version of Exchange, code-named Exchange 12, sometime at the end of 2006 or early 2007, according to Microsoft.