You may have seen some of the press coverage today on Office 365, which brings all of Microsoft's business productivity software together into one cloud service. Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) will be the engine that powers Exchange Online in Office 365, lighting up slick new features such as:
Voice mail with Unified Messaging: Integrate your on-premises PBX with hosted voicemail provided by Exchange Online, to replace your on-premises voicemail system.
Rich cross-premises coexistence (hybrid or split domain scenario): Drop an Exchange 2010 SP1 CAS/Hub Transport server into your Exchange 2003/2007 environment to enable advanced coexistence with Exchange Online, including the following capabilities:
Cross-premises management: Use the Exchange Management Console to manage mailboxes for both your hosted and on-premises Exchange deployments.
Calendar sharing: Enable free/busy sharing between hosted and on-premises users using the calendar federation capabilities of Exchange 2010.
Smooth migration: Move users to Exchange Online in just a few clicks using the Exchange Management Console or PowerShell. And, if the need arises, move them back on-premises just as easily.
No OST resync: The same Mailbox Replication Service used in on-premises mailbox moves also powers migrations to Exchange Online. It performs a mailbox move, not a mailbox copy, so mailbox GUIDs are preserved and Outlook doesn't waste network bandwidth by rebuilding users' OST files.
Advanced mail routing options: Route outbound e-mail through your on-premises infrastructure or other hosted services. This lets you integrate data loss prevention (DLP) appliances, perform custom post-processing of outbound e-mail, and deliver e-mail to business partners via private networks.
The service will also have all of the newest Exchange 2010 features that you'd expect, including good stuff for end users (MailTips, Conversation View, instant messaging in OWA, Personal Archive...) and administrators (Remote PowerShell, RBAC, retention policies, auditing reports, multi-mailbox search...).
Live@edu customers have been enjoying Exchange 2010 as a cloud service since October 2007 via the Outlook Live offering, and have been providing important feedback to the Exchange team all along the way. We look forward to providing these new capabilities to the rest of you when Office 365 launches.