Hints at Office 15 Features in Exchange Server 2010 Multi-Mailbox Search Licensing Changes?Two announcements from Microsoft have appeared online in the last 24 hours or so:

Could they be related?

If the Office 15 public launch is next week it would make sense for the Exchange team to also modify their licensing requirements for a feature to align with what may be coming in Exchange 15.

And that might be the FAST Search technology rumoured to be integrated with the Office 15 servers. Tony Redmond writes:

One of the details that slipped out last week was the fact that Office 15 marks the introduction of FAST-based search technology into the Office 15 server products to provide a single, consistent, enterprise-class search capability across repositories managed by Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync.

The combination of Outlook client-side search and Exchange server-side search works well as long as you’re only interested in tracking down a mail message. Things get more complicated when you’re not quite sure whether a document that you’re looking for is an attachment to a message or stored in a SharePoint site. Two separate searches are now required. And if the desired information is connected to a Lync conversation, the search process is even more complex.

This brings to my mind the possibility that the integrated FAST Search in Office 15 will require an Enterprise CAL, and so the Exchange 2010 CAL requirement is being lowered because its own Multi-Mailbox Search can only search within Exchange.

Which just leaves the question, what about existing Exchange 2010 customers who bought Enterprise CALs for Multi-Mailbox Search? Perhaps the FAST Search integration will also come to Exchange Server 2010 in the next service pack release with an Enterprise CAL requirement. We’ll have to wait and see on that one.

About the Author

Paul Cunningham

Paul is a former Microsoft MVP for Office Apps and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul no longer writes for Practical365.com.

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