Microsoft Exchange Dead at Last?
There is an interessting article in msdn labeled „Sorting Out Microsoft’s Collaboration Technologies”. It starts with:
To be honest, it takes me time and constant vigilance to stay on top of how the collaboration-oriented technologies at Microsoft fit together. Microsoft adds new ones at a regular pace while dramatically improving others.
The only thing they left out in these two sentences is the part about stripping server-functionality from one release to the next. ;) And if you need a lengthy article like that to explain your collaboration strategy, there is something going wrong. But I disgress.
Later in this text John Durant writes (notice how important Exchange is):
You can build many types of collaborative applications on the Exchange store …
Using Exchange Server 2003, you can create workflow applications. …
But not much has changed since John Fontanas NetworkWorld Article from 2003:
The only thing clear about Microsoft’s ongoing remake of its collaborative software strategy is that large corporations can expect it to require yet another round of expensive infrastructure upgrades.
Only two years ago, Microsoft’s collaboration platform and development environment was based on Exchange Server 2000, its Web Store back end and a Web conferencing add-on server. Since then, a series of shifts have made that Exchange-based platform obsolete, even before some 70% of Exchange customers had found a reason to upgrade to it.
Today’s collaboration strategy shifts toward Microsoft’s historic strengths: the operating system and Office. However, that change requires a major shuffling of the company’s products. Parts of Exchange are being moved to Windows Server 2003, Office System 2003 has become the focal client interface for collaboration, Web conferencing support remains unsettled, a new universal data store is in the works, and Exchange now is slated to be an e-mail engine and mobile device gateway.
Steve Ballers (Microsofts Chief Executive Officer) presentation at the Financial Analyst Meeting 2007 emphasized on irrelevance of the Microsoft Exchange plattform:
Can you spot Exchange somewhere? I can’t. There are only some references to Forefront for Exchange 14. But the product itself is not mentioned. And I can still remember all the talks on how Exchange is the future of collaboration jada, jada, jada. Doesn’t seem to be that way any more.
I hope you did not bet on Exchange as a strategic plattform or as the underpinnings of your application.