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Exchange Server 2003


Welcome to the Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Technical Documentation Library, your source for guidelines and information from the Microsoft Exchange Server team, including technical reference material, case studies, security guides, developer resources, and performance tuning recommendations. Updated versions of documents are periodically added to this library, ensuring that you have the most up-to-date Exchange Server 2003 documentation.

The technical documentation for Exchange Server 2003 consists of the following categories:

For a complete list of topics that changed, see Exchange Server Documentation Updates.

Exchange Server 2003 End-of-life

After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, offer free or paid support options, or update online content such as KB articles for Exchange Server 2003. Online content may remain available as long as Exchange 2003 remains in the Self-Help online support phase.

Companies running Exchange 2003 after April 8, 2014 will be responsible for their own for support. More importantly, because Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, companies that choose to continue running Exchange 2003 accept the risk associated with that.

For more information about Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle, please visit the Microsoft Support Lifecycle page.

Forward migration options

Exchange 2003 was a leader in the messaging space, however, its capabilities do not meet the needs of the modern business.  Exchange Online or Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 provide solutions that address common modern business concerns such as data security, compliance, eDiscovery, mobile device / bring-your-own-device, and IT management, as well as provide additional capabilities to meet your business needs. Compare versions of Exchange Server and you will quickly see all of the benefits of moving to the current version of the platform. 

For customers who do not want to invest in new server hardware or software, Exchange Online is an excellent solution to take advantage of what the new version of Microsoft Exchange has to offer. For customers who also run legacy email clients such as Outlook 2003 or Office 2003, Office 365 may be an even better solution because it provides options that allow you to enable the most current releases of our email server and client technologies. FastTrack is a program that allows you to have Office 365 up and running in as little as an hour, deploying to the rest of your organization within days, and solving additional business scenarios as well. 

For those customers who desire to maintain the hardware and software on-premises, the best place to start is with the Microsoft Exchange Server Deployment Assistant, which is a web-based tool that asks you a few questions about your current environment and then generates a custom step-by-step checklist that will help you deploy Exchange. In addition, many TechNet articles describe the process of migrating from Exchange Server 2003 to a current, supported version of Exchange. For example, see Time to upgrade from Exchange 2003.