Exchange 2010 - Launch details starting to emerge, ballpark pricing - Exchange Server Standard will support HA DAG!!!

Thanks to Julie White for confirming some really GREAT early Exchange 2010 launch info:

Exchange 2010 – Revving the Engines for Launch

Two weeks ago we announced that Exchange 2010 was code complete and, as we get ready for launch, we’re seeing some amazing results from our early adopter customers. They are so good, that I can’t help sharing some of these early highlights – just a sneak peek of what is to come.

One server, many solutions

One of the things I’m most excited to see is the evolution of Exchange from an e-mail server to a multi-workload communications backbone. Some organizations are now bringing in Exchange to do the job once managed by four or five different systems, and the results are really impressive. With Exchange 2010, you’ve got a full e-mail, calendar and contacts solution, built-in information protection, built-in mobile e-mail and mobile device management, a full voice mail replacement, and a brand new archiving, retention and discovery solution. Exchange administrators have seen their roles grow from simply providing great e-mail to providing an end-to-end communications solutions. Customers are seeing impressive results in each of these workloads.

It does e-mail

It always has, but in 2010, it does it better. With the new high availability, disaster recovery and back up capabilities combined with the significant IO reduction a few very cool things become possible. First, what used to take multiple applications to achieve mailbox resiliency becomes possible using just Exchange. Second, a very large mailbox – even 10 gigs+ becomes very affordable and supportable. With Exchange 2010, a major government agency increased mailbox sizes by 10x, reduced failover times by four hours, decreased IT admin and storage costs and expects cost savings of up to $1 million per year with Exchange 2010.

It makes everyone mobile

Let’s face it – people want access to e-mail, calendar and contact information from everywhere. Outlook Web App, Outlook Mobile and Exchange Active Sync have long been the leading solutions for web e-mail and mobile phone access for businesses. But, we didn’t rest on our laurels with 2010, and it shows in the positive user feedback– from the improved OWA UI with integrated IM/presence, to conversation view in mobile, to EAS device management – every user can now have a rich mobile experience, while you don’t have to pay anything more since it’s all ‘in the box’.

It replaces voice mail (and gives a text preview!)

A mid-size innovative manufacturing company deployed Exchange 2010 voice mail avoiding a $43,000 annual maintenance contract for their legacy voice mail and reduced IT support required by more than 1000 hours – providing an additional $28,000 savings. And, with the new text preview, a national auto dealer has improved their sales rep response time to voice mails by 50%, which means a better sales experience for customers.

It archives and discovers

At a regional healthcare group, they are able to use the integrated archiving, retention and discovery capabilities of 2010 saving them the cost and maintenance of using third party solutions that resulted in $250,000 they didn’t have to spend – and that was just the first year savings.

It protects people

Using the combination of Exchange 2010 and Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server, a global electronics firm has seen a 90% reduction in unwanted e-mail, meaning less time deleting and more time making new gadgets for you and me. And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg -- there’s a lot more around information protection we’ll showcase at launch.

When you think about the full value of Exchange together it’s an impressive package! And, I’m really pleased that many of you clearly agree -- a recent customer survey we did showed that 40% of Exchange customers are planning to move to 2010 within the next 6 months. This certainly validates the feedback I’ve gotten from our customers and partners about the value delivered by Exchange 2010.

Since I know many of you are underway with deployment planning, I wanted to take this opportunity to make sure everyone knows the licensing options, so you can plan accordingly. Just like 2007, Exchange 2010 will offer a Standard CAL and an Enterprise CAL. Standard CAL includes all e-mail, calendar and contacts capabilities, mobile messaging with Exchange ActiveSync, plus the new over-the-air updates of Outlook Mobile on Windows Mobile 6.1+, and Outlook Web App. The Exchange Enterprise CAL adds e-mail archiving, discovery and retention functionality, integrated voice mail (i.e. unified messaging) and Forefront Protection for Exchange.

On the server side, Exchange Server Standard will now support high availability, so all customers can take full advantage of the new database availability group capabilities. Exchange Server Enterprise enables configurations with up to 100 databases per server.

All of the specifics around pricing and licensing will be available when we launch, but just to give you an idea, a customer buying a new license will pay about $55 for Standard CAL and about $35 for Enterprise CAL. Existing customers with Software Assurance, of course, only pay for the renewal of Software Assurance, so this price is much lower. And for the servers, a typical customer can expect to pay about $550 for Standard Server and $3200 for Enterprise Server. As you know, pricing depends on the license type you choose, and if you buy via one of the CAL suites further discounts apply, so definitely take this as a ballpark vs absolute. As always, your reseller partner or Microsoft rep can get you the specifics on pricing once Exchange 2010 is available.

I can’t wait to share more of the incredible results our Exchange 2010 customers are seeing and talk with you about your Exchange 2010 plans. I hope you can join us at TechEd Europe in Berlin, Exchange Connections in Las Vegas or online at as we launch Exchange 2010. It’s going to be a great time!

Julia White
Director of Exchange Marketing