Microsoft’s popular collaborative and messaging software, Exchange 2003, long ago replaced its predecessor Exchange 2000. Now its time has come when Microsoft officially ended its support for Exchange 2003 just a few days ago.
Over the years many SMB's have upgraded to newer versions of Exchange, however many have not. A few of the most common reasons SMB's have put off upgrading their Exchange software include; cost, time, not understanding why to do so, and the occasional necessity of a full server upgrade. Now, with the the end of Microsoft support for 2003, the day has come when putting off the upgrade any longer is clearly done at one's own risk.
But for those who have not upgraded you do still have options. Before you rush into anything, like after 11 years that's really about to happen, there are a few questions you should ask yourself about your specific IT environment:
1 - Can your server handle it? This question is really important and will help you understand the scope of the project. Click here to see a list of requirements to make the jump to Exchange 2013
2 - Can your workstations handle the Microsoft Outlook upgrade? If your workstations are running Outlook 2007-2013 then you will be able to connect seamlessly with the new Exchange software. If your workstations have older Outlook software, you will find it difficult if not impossible to install the new version of Exchange.
3 - Could your SMB use an offsite e-mail solution? Though this is not a fit for everyone, with affordable options from giants like Google, it is becoming more and more main stream.
For more help with this decision see the below infographic entitled "Excchange 2003 end of support; what's your next move?"
Rackspace® — Support Is Ending For Microsoft Exchange 2003. Are You Ready? [Infographic]