This is a repost from the Office 365 blog from Jon Orton, product manager for Exchange Online.

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I'm Jon Orton, product manager on the Exchange team here at Microsoft. Welcome to our product insight series on Exchange Online. For our first post, I want to cover two things: an overview of Exchange Online and a look at some of the cool features coming to Exchange Online with Office 365.

Quick Overview of Exchange Online

You've probably heard of Exchange Server, and with Exchange Online, we've taken the capabilities of Exchange Server and offered them as a service hosted by Microsoft. With Exchange Online, you run your email on Microsoft's geo-redundant servers, protected by built-in antivirus and anti-spam filters and a 99.9%, financially-backed uptime guarantee. You get enterprise-grade reliability and high availability with IT-level phone support in your native language. 

With Exchange Online, users can access their mailboxes from wherever they go, with full support for Outlook, a premium web browser experience, and access from a wide range of mobile phones. Users get 25 gigabyte mailboxes and enjoy familiar Exchange capabilities, including robust calendaring, conference rooms, and shared contacts.

Exchange Online in Office 365

In Office 365, Exchange Online adds the capabilities of Exchange Server 2010 to the benefits described above. Here's just a few of the new features to look forward to:

* Compliance and archiving: Exchange Online provides the robust archiving and eDiscovery capabilities of Exchange Server 2010, with built-in personal e-mail archives, multi-mailbox search, retention policies, transport rules, and optional legal hold to preserve email.

* Management Tools: The Web-based Exchange Control Panel from Exchange Server 2010 is available in the cloud, so you can manage policies, security, user accounts. You can also use PowerShell to manage all aspects of your hosted Exchange environment remotely across the Internet.

* Role-based access control: You can delegate permissions to responsible users based on job function, without giving them access to the entire management interface. This means tasks such as performing multi-mailbox searches no longer have to be the sole responsibility of IT.

* Enhanced web experience: The premium Outlook Web App experience is available in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari. Instant messaging integration allows users to chat from right within OWA.

* Coexistence/migration: You can move users to Exchange Online over a weekend with new lightweight, cloud-based migration tools. Or, you can connect your Exchange 2003/2007/2010 environment to the cloud and enjoy rich coexistence, which lets you share calendar free/busy data between cloud and on-premises users, and migrate at whatever pace you want.

These are just a few of the exciting features that are coming to Exchange Online with Office 365.

 

In upcoming posts, we'll talk about:

- How to choose between on-premises, online, or hybrid deployment options

- Migration from various Microsoft and non-Microsoft email solutions to Exchange Online

- Mobility, web access, hosted voicemail with Unified Messaging, ....and much more!

 

Let us know what you'd like to cover by leaving a comment or joining us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

-Jon, Exchange Online Product Manager