Top 6 Microsoft Exchange alternatives

Last updated: October 24, 2018
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 free open-source alternatives are Open-Xchange, Zimbra, SOGo, Zarafa.

The best Microsoft Exchange alternatives:

Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 is commercial software plus services offering a set of products from Microsoft. Office 365 includes the Microsoft Office suite of desktop applications and hosted versions of Microsoft's Server products (including Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Lync Server), delivered and accessed over the Internet, in effect, the next version of Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). Office 365 free alternatives are Zoho, Google Apps.


Gmail is a free, advertising-supported email service provided by Google. Users may access Gmail as secure webmail, as well via POP3 or IMAP protocols. Gmail's spam filtering features a community-driven system: when any user marks an email as spam, this provides information to help the system identify similar future messages for all Gmail users. Google also provides GMail alternative for business - G Suite Mail.

MS Outlook

Microsoft Outlook is a personal information manager from Microsoft. It can be used as a stand-alone application, or can work with Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SharePoint Server for multiple users in an organization, such as shared mailboxes and calendars, Exchange public folders, SharePoint lists and meeting schedules. MS Outlook free alternatives are Mozilla Thunderbird, Opera Mail, EssentialPIM.


Zimbra Collaboration Server is an email and calendar server plus much more; think about it like a next-generation Microsoft Exchange server. In addition to email and calendar, it provides file sharing, tasks, contacts, social media, document management and simplified administrative controls all in an award winning webmail user interface built with the latest AJAX web technology. ZCS also provides mobility and syncs to desktop client applications; the server is deployed on commodity Linux and Mac server hardware.

Kerio Connect

Kerio Connect is a commercial mail and groupware server developed by Kerio Technologies. It runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Its features include encrypted access using SSL, anti-virus and anti-spam protection, native over-the-air handheld synchronization, webmail interface, connector for Microsoft Outlook and groupware features.

Rackspace Email

Rackspace Email hosting gives you the power to securely manage email from any web browser on the device of your choice - no licenses to keep track of or software to download. Microsoft Outlook compatible

Latest news about Microsoft Exchange

2018. Microsoft released Exchange 2019, but no way to deploy it

Microsoft has released a new version of its e-mail and collaboration server Exchange 2019. And companies can already download the update, but there is one problem - there is no way to install it. Because it works only on the server operating system Windows Server 2019 which hasn't been released yet. As for the innovations in Exchange 2019, they mainly improve system performance. The new version can use up to 48 processor cores and 256GB of RAM and is optimized for SSD-drives. In general, it is obvious (and the company does not hide this) that Microsoft is developing Exchange with a focus only on large and very large companies. And they want to transfer all small and medium businesses to the cloud-based Microsoft Office 365, which provides the email server as a service.

2010. Google Apps making Microsoft nervous

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.

2009. Exchange 2010 - unified messaging in the Cloud

Microsoft officially released the new version of its enterprise email server Exchange Server 2010. It's desktop client Outlook 2010 will appear only next year together with other Office 2010 applications. What is the most interesting about Exchange 2010? First, thanks to Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 (details here), and some new features in the new version, Exchange 2010 is now completely adopted for the cloud deployment. Of course, Hosted Exchange 2007 has been already provided for some years, but the latest version is much more secure, reliable and suitable for administration, when installed on the remote server (or in data-center). Second, the Exchange web client (Outlook Web Access) was fully revamped. BTW it's now called Outlook Web App. We already mentioned about its new GMail-like features, but the most interesting that it's positioned now not just as email client, but as unified messaging client. It can support not just emails, but also sms, IM messages and voicemail (if Office Communications Server 2007 R2 is installed). Outlook Web App optimized for all browsers (except Chrome) and works on mobile devices. Other important updates include enhanced spam protection (beta users report of fantastic 70% spam reduction in Inbox), inbuilt email archiving system and enhanced database. Exchange 2010 works only on 64-bit platforms. Together with Exchange 2010, its security infrastructure Forefront Protection 2010 has been released.

2006. Microsoft Exchange 2007 bets on unified messaging

Today Microsoft has officially announced the new version of its Email collaboration solution Exchange Server 2007. The main concept of the new Exchange version is unified messaging. It means that employees can work with e-mail, voice mail and faxes in a single interface. And thanks to the integration with MS Office Communications Server, text-to-speech and voice recognition technologies now you can dial to your mailbox and listen to the new email-messages. But these features are available only in more expensive edition Exchange Enterprise. In addition, the new Exchange version includes antivirus and antispam protection, tools for backup and data replication (that significantly increase the mailbox size), the new feature Outlook Anywhere, that lets you connect Outlook to the Exchange server via the Internet. Besides, Exchange 2007 only runs on 64-bit architecture .

2003. Exchange Server 2003 becomes more specialized and mobile

Microsoft has released the new version of its e-mail server Exchange Server 2003. Now, this system can be really called "e-mail server", because Microsoft has decided to divide some of its functions between other products. The built-in Exchange messenger has migrated to Microsoft Office Live Communications Server, and the web-conferencing server - to Live Meeting. In addition, Microsoft now recommends to share files not with Exchange, but on the intranet portal Sharepoint (although the Exchange public folders are still included). Thus, Exchange Server will be used just to manage e-mail, contacts, calendars and tasks. From the other hand Exchange Server 2003 got the new functions from the mobile server Microsoft Mobile Information Server and using a mobile the web client Outlook Mobile Access and server-side Exchange ActiveSync (to sync mobile email-client with server) allows users to work with e-mail, calendars and tasks on their mobile devices.