On the absence of an Exchange Roadmap

Ed Brill’s comment to Richi’s post yesterday prompted me to post my own view on the "scorn" over the lack of an Exchange roadmap.

I don’t believe for a second that there is no Exchange roadmap in Redmond, it’s simply that they have not gone public with it.  I think there is a very sound reason for that – they don’t want customers on older releases who still have not upgraded to Exchange 2003 to start thinking "Well, maybe I should wait until the next release.."

I can’t say that I blame them…

With a significant part of their base still on older releases – particularly a large number of customers that remain on Exchange 5.5 – the last thing they need is the promises of a future release to defer upgrades.

I firmly believe that to do anything really interesting – really cool – that both Outlook and Exchange "next" will have to be post-Longhorn.  Releasing Post Longhorn client and post Longhorn server, would put general availability of upgrades to Exchange and Outlook at early 2007 if I’m not mistaken.

If all my assumptions (and I emphasize that’s all they are…) are correct, Microsoft is probably over-reacting to the negative impact of going public with the Exchange roadmap.  Once their customers heard the magic words "post-Longhorn" I think they would realize that Exchange 2003 is it for the reasonable future and they should just get themselves in gear and upgrade already.  Few people understand better than I do just how much work upgrades and migrations are, but when you’re talking about a messaging infrastructure that was designed around 1996 – isn’t it about time to get current?

One Comment

  1. Posted December 22, 2004 at 5:53 AM | Permalink

    Exactly, E2003 is “it”, with the exception of… well, actually I think Chris is planning to blog about this soon, so I won’t steal his thunder. Once he’s added his two penn’orth, I’ll add some more thoughts about “scorn.”

  2. Posted December 22, 2004 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    I don’t see how they come back to those same customers and justify Software Assurance dollars given the zigs, zags, changes, and false starts in that “roadmap”. I would think protecting the almighty subscription revenue would be as important as getting customers to upgrade? Also, why upgrade to a product if it is a dead-end? Perhaps without announcing a next version, MS gets the benefit of the doubt that there will in fact be a next version of Exchange as we know it.

One Trackback

  1. By Richi'Blog on December 23, 2004 at 2:39 AM

    Embargos and tongue biting

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