A Slow Death For Exchange Public Folders

At Microsoft's TechEd Conference in Orlando in June 2005, and at TechEd Europe in July, Microsoft declared the beginning of the end for Exchange's Public Folders. While they will remain a feature of the next version of Exchange called E12 due in early 2007, they will not be a part of E13 (whenever that is).

It will take multiple years for customers to accomplish this migration. Some customers will take comfort in the fact that they can use Public Folders until perhaps 2020 (guessing that E13 might ship in 2010 and Microsoft's standard support  policy of five years mainstream, and an additional five years extended).

This is a good announcement and one that customers appreciate the long lead time for. While few customers actually built collaborative applications in Public Folders, many customers have hundreds if not thousands of Public Folders holding messages, shared calendars and contacts, and documents of every type.

Microsoft says that the preferred target for data in Public Folders is SharePoint and recognizes that tools will have to be developed to help customers migrate (some basic tools already exist). The interesting question for the 2007 wave of products from Microsoft is what the new version of SharePoint will offer, what features it pick's up from Groove, if it offers offline support, and how qood the migration tools are.

Author: Lee Benjamin

One Comment

  1. Posted August 1, 2005 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

    “Microsoft says that the preferred target for data in Public Folders is SharePoint”… I say the preferred target is Lotus Notes/Domino!

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