Microsoft today announced the new Office 365 cloud service, which is the next evolution of the current BPOS service.

Powering the Exchange side of Office 365 will be Exchange Server 2010 SP1, and the features available to Office 365 customers are a laundry list of instant wins for many businesses.

From the Microsoft Exchange Team blog:

  • Voice mail with Unified Messaging: Integrate your on-premises PBX with hosted voicemail provided by Exchange Online, to replace your on-premises voicemail system.
  • Rich cross-premises coexistence (hybrid or split domain scenario): Drop an Exchange 2010 SP1 CAS/Hub Transport server into your Exchange 2003/2007 environment to enable advanced coexistence with Exchange Online, including the following capabilities:
    • Cross-premises management: Use the Exchange Management Console to manage mailboxes for both your hosted and on-premises Exchange deployments.
    • Calendar sharing: Enable free/busy sharing between hosted and on-premises users using the calendar federation capabilities of Exchange 2010.
    • Smooth migration: Move users to Exchange Online in just a few clicks using the Exchange Management Console or PowerShell. And, if the need arises, move them back on-premises just as easily.
    • No OST resync: The same Mailbox Replication Service used in on-premises mailbox moves also powers migrations to Exchange Online. It performs a mailbox move, not a mailbox copy, so mailbox GUIDs are preserved and Outlook doesn’t waste network bandwidth by rebuilding users’ OST files.
  • Advanced mail routing options: Route outbound e-mail through your on-premises infrastructure or other hosted services. This lets you integrate data loss prevention (DLP) appliances, perform custom post-processing of outbound e-mail, and deliver e-mail to business partners via private networks.

The new service is launching in beta and you can find out more at the Office 365 website.

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

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