Microsoft has issued a support reprieve to Exchange Server 2010, saying it would continue to service the on-premises enterprise software for an extra nine months.
"After investigating and analysing the deployment state of an extensive number of Exchange customers, we have decided to move the end of Extended Support for Exchange Server 2010 from January 14, 2020, to October 13, 2020," wrote Greg Taylor, director of product marketing for the Exchange team, in a Monday post to the group's blog.
Extended Support is the label Microsoft uses for the second half of its traditional decade of support for commercial products.
Although the company declines to address non-security flaws (at least, without a paid support plan in place) or add new features during Extended Support, it does still service the software with security updates.
Microsoft launched Exchange Server 2010 in November 2009.
"Your installation of Exchange 2010 will, of course, continue to run after [Oct. 13, 2020]; however, due to the changes and potential end-of-support risks, we strongly recommend you migrate from Exchange 2010 as soon as possible," Taylor said.
Taylor implied that Microsoft had extended support because customers were having trouble meeting the original January deadline.
"We recognise discontinuing support for a product that has been as popular and reliable as Exchange Server 2010 can be an adjustment," he said. "We also know that some of you are in the midst of upgrades to a newer version of Exchange Server on-premises, or more transformative migrations to the cloud with Office 365 and Exchange Online."
Exchange Server 2010 was initially slated to leave support alongside Windows 7. With the extension, it will instead accompany Office 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010 into retirement.
Upgrade options range from keeping email on-premises to shunting everything to the cloud with Exchange Online, the Microsoft-hosted service typically obtained as a part of an Office 365 (or Microsoft 365) subscription.
Alternately, enterprises can do a bit of both, ending with a hybrid solution where parts of Exchange are in-house, parts run on Microsoft's servers.
On-premises options include Exchange 2013 (which exits support April 11, 2023) and Exchange 2016 (Oct. 14, 2025); direct upgrades from Exchange Server 2010 to the latest, Exchange Server 2019 (also Oct. 14, 2025), are not possible. Microsoft's Taylor, not surprisingly, touted Exchange Online.
"Clearly, we think moving to Exchange Online and Office 365 is a good idea," Taylor wrote. "It gets you out of the upgrade business."
FastTrack, a Microsoft assistance program designed to help large customers manage upgrades or on-premises to cloud migrations, may be available to those doing the latter, Taylor noted. Microsoft 365, a costly subscription package that bundles Windows 10 with Office 365, offers FastTrack, although caveats apply.
More information about Exchange Server 2010's support roadmap can be found in a series of just-updated documents on Microsoft's website.