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Microsoft Claims 94 Million Exchange Seats

A year after the launch of Exchange 2000, Microsoft Corp. claims its total number of licensed seats across all versions of its Exchange Server has reached 94 million.

Paul Flessner, senior vice president of the Microsoft .NET Enterprise Server Division, disclosed the figure during the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) 2001 Monday in Orlando, Fla.

The number is a significant jump over the approximately 75 million Exchange seats Flessner claimed in his keynote at TechEd in June.

Nonetheless, Microsoft has not provided hard numbers for seats deployed with Exchange 2000 as opposed to all other versions of the mail server since Exchange 2000 launched on Sept. 26, 2000 with about 250,000 seats deployed.

"I would probably say in the neighborhood of 15 percent to 20 percent," Chris Baker, lead product manager for Microsoft Exchange, offers an estimate for the percentage of those Exchange seats deployed under Exchange 2000 Servers. Baker notes that it's difficult for Microsoft to distinguish how many of its licenses are being used with Exchange 5.5/5.0 versus Exchange 2000.

Industry observers note that a major impediment to Exchange deployments has been its dependency on the Active Directory. Enterprises must roll out an entire Windows 2000 infrastructure, complete with an Active Directory before Exchange 2000 can be installed.

Baker says Microsoft remains committed to Active Directory for Exchange and confirms the company is confident that widespread Exchange 2000 rollouts are coming soon.

"We think this is going to be a blockbuster 12 months as people go to the Active Directory," Baker says.

"Our message to customers is, 'If you've moved to Exchange 2000, great, thank you. We're continuing to make investments to improve the platform for you. If you haven't moved over to Exchange 2000 yet, get there,'" Baker says.

Microsoft also unveiled an Exchange 2000 Competitive Migration Kit on Monday. The kit contains Webcasts, white papers and other technical materials to complement the connectors and migration utilities included with Exchange 2000. The kit also includes an updated migration tool for moving to Exchange 2000 from Lotus cc:Mail.

Exchange Deployment Timeline

  • 1996 -- Exchange Server launched
  • Nov. 1997 -- 7.2 million seats
  • Jan. 1999 -- 14.4 million seats
  • May 1999 -- 29 million seats
  • Aug. 1999 -- 34 million seats
  • June 2001 -- ~75 million seats
  • Oct. 2001 -- 94 million seats

    Source: Microsoft press release archive

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  • About the Author

    Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.