Exchange News and Announcements – Microsoft Ignite 2020 Edition

Published Sep 22 2020 08:01 AM 141K Views

Today we are announcing that the next versions of Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Skype for Business Server and Project Server will be available in the second half of 2021, and are only available with the purchase of a subscription license. Subscription entitles access to support, product updates, security and time zone patches.

Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021.

We will share additional details around the official names, pricing and availability of all these products later.

The Next Version of Exchange Server

The next version of Exchange Server will support in-place upgrades from Exchange Server 2019 for a period of approximately two years following release. This feature will allow the admin to easily upgrade existing servers running Exchange Server 2019 to the subscription-based codebase without needing to add servers or move mailboxes.

The next version of Exchange Server will continue to support side by side deployment and migration from earlier versions of Exchange as has been the case over the last few releases but we have increased the number of versions it can be installed alongside. Customers with Exchange Server 2013, 2016 or 2019 can install the next version of Exchange Server into their existing Exchange Organization.

We highly recommended that customers with existing Exchange Server 2013 or 2016 deployments and who expect to keep on-premises servers in the future should start planning and installing Exchange Server 2019 today. Once the next version of Exchange is released, they will then be able to perform an in-place upgrade to that version, making the move to 2019 the last major upgrade they will ever need to do.  

You can get more information on this announcement by watching the Exchange – Here, There and Everywhere on-demand session here. We will have more details on this change over the coming months.

The Exchange Server Mailbox Role Calculator

To assist in planning Exchange Server 2019 deployments, we have decided to once again make the Exchange Server Mailbox Role calculator available to download separately from the server code.

This is effective today, and the calculator is available to download here. We will continue to update the calculator as needed, and the timing of updates are not tied to Cumulative Update cycles.

The Hybrid Configuration Wizard and Multiple Tenants

It was announced today that the Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW) will now support and enable admins to configure multiple on-premises to cloud tenant configurations.

You can hear more about this in the Exchange, Here There and Everywhere session, and read more about this change in our dedicated Exchange Admin News blog post here.   

Opt-in to the New Modern Exchange Admin Center Experience

Exchange admins can now opt-in to the new and modern Exchange admin center simply by using a new toggle switch control in the top right corner of the legacy Exchange admin center. The new admin center will then appear within the same browser tab.

Ignite 2020 Main News Post 1.png


The modern Exchange admin center (EAC) has been in Public Preview since July 2020. We built the new modern experience to fit right in with the other Microsoft 365 admin portals. We’ve recently reached parity with the legacy admin interface and are now adding new features such as personalized dashboards, cross tenant migration and providing actionable insights. We have also invested in a better mobile experience for admins on the go. Try it today either by visiting or by opting-into it from the legacy portal.

Certificate-based Authentication for Exchange Online PowerShell V2

We are also announcing today the general availability of certificate-based authentication for the Exchange online PowerShell V2 module. This feature enables running unattended scripts without using resorting to Basic Authentication. Certificate based authentication provides admins the ability to run scripts without the need to create service-accounts or store credentials locally.

More details on the feature are available here.

Linux and PowerShell Core support for v2 PowerShell Module Preview

To help our admins we’re adding support for Linux and PowerShell Core to the Exchange Online v2 PowerShell module. You can also get more information about this change in our dedicated Exchange Admin News blog post here.

Cross-tenant mailbox migrations in Public Preview

Historically, when an Exchange Online admin needed to move mailboxes from one tenant to another, the typical way to do that was to offboard the mailbox from the source tenant and import it into the target tenant.

During Microsoft Ignite, we announced the Public Preview of a built-in tenant-to-tenant mailbox migration service that enables you to move mailboxes between tenants with minimal on-premises infrastructure dependencies (the new service eliminates some but not all on-premises components). The new cross-tenant mailbox migration service eliminates the need to offboard and onboard the mailbox, resulting in a faster and lower-cost migration. This is particularly beneficial for organizations undergoing mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, or splits.

Check out all the details in this blog post.

Plus Addressing in Exchange Online

Last year at Microsoft Ignite 2019 we announced we had plans to add Plus Addressing to Exchange Online, and today we confirmed it is now available worldwide.

The feature makes it easy for end-users to sign up for email lists using unique email address. This then makes it easy to create rules and spot where addresses have been leaked and are being mis-used.

This feature must be enabled by a tenant admin, and you can read more about it in our dedicated Exchange Transport blog post here.


It wouldn't be Ignite without some swag or give-aways would it.

We can’t give out stickers in-person at Ignite this year but feel free to download our free digital give-aways from here! Who doesn't want to have an Exchange painting on their wall, or hang out with Exchange and its closest friends at your kitchen table? Grab these downloads, use them as your desktop wallpaper, your Teams background, or just print them up real big and apply them as actual wallpaper in your home - it's your choice! We have a few downloads to choose from. Download them all and pick your favorite.

Exchange Masterpiece.png Exchange and Friends in the Kitchen.png


We hope you find this summary of changes informative and follow the links to find more information.We recommend you visit the Exchange Virtual Hub to get easy access to all the recordings we have available, and make a note to attend a post-event Ask Me Anything session so you can ask us questions. The AMA will take place on October 8th from 9:00 – 10:00am PST in the Exchange AMA  space in the Exchange Community.

We also want to point you to the Office Community AMA on October 14 at 9 AM PT for a live Ask Microsoft Anything session. You can get answers to your Microsoft 365 Apps and Office questions there.

Greg Taylor

Director of Product Marketing - Exchange Server and Online

Regular Contributor

Is there any information about upgrade paths for Exchange Hybrid customers who use Exchange on-premises for management only? At the moment only Exchange Server 2016 is supported, and we're still waiting for you to announce wether or not you will provide an Exchange license for 2019 or the next version, so we can upgrade.

Occasional Contributor

Any plans to refresh the exchange admin center UI for on-premise Exchange 2019 or the next version? Even as an add-in to Windows Admin Center would be nice.

Senior Member

any additional info for the SFB vNext ? Cant find anything in the Book of News ) ?

Occasional Visitor

The link for Certificate-based Authentication for Exchange Online PowerShell V2 doesn't work. Could you please update it? Thanks :)

@Daniel Niccoli  - recent blog post -

@Mirza Dedic  - not currently, but thanks for the feedback. 

@Thomas Juhl Olesen  - It's in a session - 

@KristyC3  - fixed. Thanks for catching that. 

Regular Contributor

We want to assure you that we are still committed to delivering a solution that will allow these lingering servers to be removed, but it will not arrive before Exchange Server 2016 enters Extended Support.

@Greg Taylor - EXCHANGE  So am I correctly assuming that there is no info about the solution? Mainstream support end date is in three weeks :) I know that we'll be able to use EX2016 until extended support ends, but I can't know soon enough :)

New Contributor

Hi @Greg Taylor - EXCHANGE  hmm vant seen to find that session. Aka link is not working. Do you have the session title.

Thanks a bunch 

@Thomas Juhl Olesen  - the link got messed up in pasting. Try this. Or type out this URL clean into a browser. 

@Daniel Niccoli - the article answers your question, no matter how many times you ask it :)  

Regular Contributor

@Greg Taylor - EXCHANGE  It doesn't, but since you decided to evade I won't bother with asking again.

@Daniel Niccoli  - We will not be providing a free license for 2019, we've said that multiple times in multiple places. Did you listen to the recorded session linked to above? If so, and you still aren't sure: If you only need 2016 for recipient management - keep using it. Until we release a solution for removing it. That's it. 

"For this reason, we want to make our recommendation for this scenario clear. Our broad recommendation is to keep Exchange Server 2016 in production use until such point as we release a solution that allows those servers to be removed. "

During the recorded session I clearly stated we did not have an update on when you would be able to remove that last server, though I did say we continue working on it. 


Any ideas how customers utilising On Premise Exchange with current Software Assurance will they be entitled to or transitioned to the Subscription based new Exchange Server? Or is this a totally different product pathway now?

@Maz124s - we'll talk about licensing at another time. As the article says "We will share additional details around the official names, pricing and availability of all these products later.

Established Member
What about hosting providers. Can we use the vNext Exchange version, when we have multi tenancy?

@MichaelBo81 - no plans to change how it works with 2019 today. Meaning, when you configure ABP's etc on-prem, vNext will work just the same. 

Frequent Visitor



what about multiple tenant (Exchange online) with single on premise Exchange ?

I have Exchange 2013 and office 365 in hybrid, some mailboxes are on Exchange online and rest are on On premise exchange, we have a office in China, and we are going for 21vianet, I have tested that it is possible to sync on premise AD wit two tenants (Azure AD), but no idea for mailbox migration from Exchange 2013 to 21vianet office 365 ?

@Greg Taylor - EXCHANGE 

Senior Member

Staying On-Premises for ever, why updating to Exchange Server vNext and paying a monthly suscription when there are no any updates, new features or improvements to On-Premises Exchange for years?

All updates, new features or improvements in last years are for Exchange Online only. I'm reclaiming more features, like DKIM support and more for On-Premises Exchange Server, but nothing.

Also, in all posts in blogs, tells about that improvements and new features goes only to Exchange Online. The Exchange Team are only focusing on Exchange Online and only little improvements or bug fixes goes to On-Premises Exchange Server. Seems to be deprecating On-Premises Exchange Server.

The Exchange Team told in a blog post in 2019:

Office 365 is our focus for features. We ship features to Office 365 first and may deliver a sub-set of those features that make sense for on-premises. We look at the capabilities individually to determine how readily they can be deployed and sustained in on-premises landscapes, but the maximum value and feature set will always be in Exchange Online. 

There is no roadmap for the DKIM and DMARC features to be included with Exchange on-premises.

Regular Visitor

In terms of the licensing, obviously its more if users are looking to purchase On Premise Exchange 2019 now to move from Excange 2010 is that investment possible now with these new announcements, ie will SA ensure still going to new version or with buying Exchange 2019 is that investment still tied to that product end of life in 2025 

Occasional Visitor

Is UM still being deprecated in these new versions following Exchange 2016?


@brianrmoy Yes.

Regular Visitor

any additional info for the SFB vNext? the video posted above doesnt provide info for SFB vNext

Senior Member

On a hybrid environment, a user with mailboxes on-prem can't send messages to a cloud user mailbox with a "+Plus Address" if you have the Domain as "Accepted".

Workaround is set the Domain as "Internal Relay", but not ideal...

It would be nice to bring some support on this feature to Exchange on-prem.

Senior Member

HI all,

For Cross-forest t2t is it mandatory to have azure subscription in target tenant or we can use any other azure subscription? 

@Kiran2150  - adding @Scott Schnoll to see if he can help answer. 


@Greg Taylor - EXCHANGE  Thanks!


@Kiran2150, yes an Azure subscription is required in the target tenant. Azure Key Vault is used to securely store and access the certificate/secret used to authorize and authenticate mailbox migration. For this reason, an Azure Key Vault subscription is required on the target tenant to perform cross-tenant mailbox migrations. 

Occasional Visitor

Will the new Exchange vNext subscription model work in disconnected environments?  Networks that have zero Internet connectivity?

@ChuckMurison - Yes. 

Occasional Visitor

Is there any plan for upgrade license from Office 2019 to 2021?

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Last update:
‎Sep 22 2020 06:56 PM