Microsoft Exchange alternatives

Microsoft Exchange
Microsoft Exchange Server is the server side of a client–server, collaborative application product developed by Microsoft. Exchange's major features consist of electronic mail, calendaring, contacts and tasks; support for mobile and web-based access to information; and support for data storage.
Microsoft Exchange alternatives are:
Google Apps, GMail, MS Outlook, Zimbra, Kerio Connect, Rackspace Email
Here are the latest news about Microsoft Exchange:

2013 Microsoft launched Outlook for iPhone and iPad


Until now, iPhone and iPad users in companies that use Exchange mail server had two options - to set up access to the mail server in built-in iOS mail client (via Exchange ActiveSync), or open the web-interface Outlook Web App in browser. Of course, both options had a lot of restrictions for working with Outlook, and Microsoft has finally decided to release the native apps OWA for iPhone and iPad. Why only now? In order to give advantage to Windows Phones and Surface tablets. Why they ventured to take this step now? Because there is a catch. Although Outlook for iOS is free, it can be only used by Office 365 subscribers, who pay $100/year. So it's the same story as with MS Office for iPhone. What advantages will get the users and companies who are authorized to use Outlook for iOS?

At first, the opportunity to separate corporate mail from the personal and separately receive push-notifications of new messages and calendar reminders, to see the number of new messages on the iPhone/iPad start screen. Admins will get the ability to remotely wipe data from user email, contacts and calendars in case if the device is lost or employee is fired. In addition, the app features voice command input, integration with Bing maps and auto-responders. Besides, maybe you like to use email in Metro interface.



2013 Office 365 for Business: new pricing quest from Microsoft


A month after the release of Office 365 home version, Microsoft is launching the updated version of Office 365 for Business. Just like in its previous incarnation, the business version besides the office editors (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, InfoPath) contains the email server Exchange, SharePoint portal and communications system Lync. Plus all sorts of IT-friendly things like Active Directory integration and the Admin Console. And as usual, Microsoft comes up with confusing variety of subscription plans. For example, some editions don't include desktop Office apps and some - include. Some editions can be installed on 5 computers, some - just on one. Some prices are per month, some - per year. And of course, every edition has different limit in the number of users. The price of Office 365 Small Business Premium, which provides the same functionality as Google Apps, is $150/year per user (Google Apps costs $50).

Recall the main functional features of the new version - are the new touch-friendly interface, cloud sync (via SkyDrive Pro), Sharepoint online platform, online Office Store. By July 2013 Microsoft promises bring Yammer and Skype to Office 365.



2010 Microsoft Office 365 = BPOS + Office Web Apps


Today, Microsoft has rolled out a new service Office 365, which is a reincarnation of the SaaS package BPOS. The name change was expected, since Microsoft critics have referred BPOS as "Big Piece of Shit" instead of "Business Productivity Online Services". But not only name is to be changed. The new service except SaaS versions Exchange Online, Sharepoint Online and Lync Online, will include the online office tools Office Web Apps. I.e. Office 365 can now be considered as a full-fledged alternative to Google Apps. The service will be available in 2 editions. Small Business Edition for companies with less than 25 users costs $6/user/month and includes the basic functions. Enterprise edition provides additional customization and administration features, full functionality and provides users with desktop suite Office Office Professional Plus with pay-as-you-go licensing. This edition costs from $2 to $ 27/user/month depending on configuration. Recall, Microsoft also plans to include its CRM and ERP to the SaaS suite. At the moment, Office 365 is in beta stage and will be available worldwide next year.



2010 iPhone becomes more ready for business. But not for Adobe's business

iPhone
Steve Jobs introduced the new iPhone OS 4.0 and it brings a lot of features for using iPhone in the enterprise environment. First, is multi-tasking (with some restrictions). For example, this allows to use of VoIP and security applications in the background, but not only when the user switches on them. Secondly, iPhone OS 4.0 adds important features to the mail client: the ability to create multiple email accounts, view attachments, email encryption and Exchange 2010 support. In addition, it allows IT-admins to install and update mobile applications via Wi-Fi or 3G and wipe data remotely. It also supports VPN SSL, so users can safely use enterprise web applications.

All these innovations will be highly appreciated by IT administrators and will the iPhone on real competition with Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile, which dominate the enterprise market. However, not all companies will find iPhone OS 4.0 useful.

Apple Adobe
Because Apple updated the iPhone SDK and in fact blocked the mobile applications that were created on Adobe Flash platform. As we know, iPhone doesn't support flash-player, so Adobe created the technology that allows developers to convert flash-application to iPhone-apps. This technology was promoted as one of the main features in the new version of the Adobe CS5 suite, which will be released on April 12. And now, a couple of days before the release, it appears that it will not work.

Lead Adobe developer, Lee Brimelow, in his blog formulated the (un)official position of Adobe on this issue: "Go Screw Yourself, Apple!". There are even rumors that Adobe may discontinue support of CS5 for Mac.

Interestingly, the Apple banned flash on the iPhone just after recent announcement by Google that flash will be bundled with Chrome browser. So even Google (the leading evangelist of open technologies) recognizes the need in flash (at least the temporary need).

Let's see whether Steve Jobs can win over the whole-rest-market with the niche product. History has already punished him for this once.



2010 Google Apps making Microsoft nervous

Google Apps
Recently, Google released the next anti-microsoft tool - Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange, the plugin which allows you to easily move mail, calendars and contacts from Exchange to Google Apps. Last year they released the utility that syncs Outlook with Google Apps, but now you can import data directly from the Exchange server. Previously, Microsoft just ignored such events, or commented that Google Apps - is just a toy that no serious company will use. But Google's constant pressure is making them nervous. Microsoft recently launched the channel on Youtube, which contains videos explaining why MS Office products are better than Google's. For example, here's the video Exchange vs GMail:


But Microsoft did not take into account the fact that Google updates its services faster than they create videos. Therefore, some features such as remote data wipe, the office reservation issue, clipboard, offline file access in Google Docs - were already implemented in Google Apps. Other issues can be implemented in the near future. As a result, this marketing campaign only shows that Microsoft is really afraid of Google Apps.