What is Microsoft Exchange Server? – A Brief Introduction

Anuraag Singh | Modified: July 28, 2016 | Uncategorized | 4 Minutes Reading


Microsoft Exchange Server is a well-known mail server developed by Microsoft in 1993. This server allows user to handle the emails as well as to provide calendar services. MS Exchange has been designed to run exclusively on Microsoft Windows Server product line. Many organizations use Exchange Server to centrally manage, distribute and store emails in a secured way. Moreover, it can be easily configured with email client like MS Outlook that will enhance its functionality.

Key Features of MS Exchange Server

  • Business Class Messaging- It offers to manage email accounts along with other additional features such as contact management, event management, resource scheduling, and task management.
  • Data Security- MS Exchange Server possesses in-built features, which helps to protect the data from virus, spams. So, it can be considered as a secure medium to save organizations data.
  • Access through any device- Users can access the Exchange Server from multiple devices such as Outlook App for android and iOS, Outlook Web App. It allows easy handling of emails, contacts, appointments from anywhere.
  • Out Of Office Scheduling – This feature allows user to schedule the message for a given recipient. Exchange Server will automatically send the scheduled message even when the user is out of office.
  • Multiple Extension Support – Apart from its primary file extension EDB, it supports other file extensions such as STM, PST, BAD, PAB, etc.

Versions of Microsoft Exchange Server

Over the years, Microsoft has come up with many new versions having exclusive and interesting features, which have attracted several users. Different versions of Exchange Server include:

  1. Microsoft Exchange Server 4.0
    It was the first edition of Exchange Server, which includes the basic functionality to manage the emails from any location or device. It makes the use of global address list and distribution list for establishing communication.
  2. Microsoft Exchange Server 5.0
    This version upgraded the Exchange services by addition some additional features such as:

    1. Mail communication could directly take place through SMTP
    2. Introduced Exchange Web Access, which allows web based email service
  3. Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5
    This version provided two editions: Standard and Enterprise. The difference between these two editions lies in database store size and clustering capabilities.
  4. Microsoft Exchange Server 2000
    This edition was supplied with additional features, which allows user to increase the database size and the number of servers connected. Instant Messaging service was a major attraction of MS Exchange Server 2000.
  5. Microsoft Exchange Server 2003
    Disaster Recovery feature was added to Exchange Server 2003 which allows administrators to bring the server online quickly. Message filtering feature also improved the working of this feature as it allows users to filter messages.
  6. Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
    The improved features of Exchange Server 2007 include:

    • Protection against virus, spywares
    • Improved calendaring and web access
    • 64-bit performance scalability
    • More storage utility
  7. Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
    The additional features supported by Exchange Server 2010 include:

    • RPC Client Access: Outlook clients can access the account from a remote location.
    • Personal Archive: Users can simply archive the unwanted emails from the inbox.
    • Web app improvement: The sent emails can be easily tracked by the sender.
  8. Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
    The updated features of Exchange server 2013 are stated below:

    • offline support with Outlook
    • Data loss prevention method
    • support for up to 8TB disks
    • easily connected to Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, etc.
  9. Microsoft Exchange Server 2016
    The latest Exchange server 2016 supports following additional features:

    • Outlook is available on the web
    • New improved archiving and retention features
    • Office 365 hybrid supports


It can be concluded that MS Exchange Server utility has improved over years, thereby providing many additional features, which helps users to manage their accounts in an easy manner. The organizations completely rely upon Microsoft Exchange Server for the management of their emails, contacts as well as for sharing the documents among users.