Exchange at Ignite 2020 : The next version of Exchange

Announced at Ignite 2020 – the next version of Exchange Server.  This will be released in the second half of 2021. 

The focus of most development is towards Exchange Online, but there are organisations who need to maintain mailboxes on-premises.  To that end Microsoft are looking towards making the move to the next version of Exchange as easy as possible for those people already running Exchange 2019.   

In-Place Upgrade

Instead of running co-existence and moving all services over to the latest Exchange version, an in-place upgrade will be supported. This is limited to a period of 2 years.

I know a lot of people (myself included) normally run a mile when someone says you can perform an in-place upgrade of anything.  It really does look like the in-place upgrade from Exchange 2019 to the next version of Exchange will be the same as upgrading from Exchange 2019 CU7 to Exchange 2019 CU8. 


It will still be possible to run the next version of Exchange in co-existence with Exchange 2019, and migrate mailboxes, client access and transport over to those servers. Co-existence will be extended to include Exchange 2013, 2016 and 2019.  This allows one more Exchange version to co-exist than currently – Exchange 2019 can only co-exist with Exchange 2016 and Exchange 2013

The Future

Microsoft is suggesting that Exchange 2019 maybe the last major version of Exchange. Future updates will be effectively the same as cumulative updates. If you need to maintain Exchange on-premises, then plan to move to Exchange 2019 now, and this will make any future updates much easier.

This is part 1 of a series of blogs regarding Exchange at Ignite 2020. Look out for more news to come in the future.

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