Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Skype for Business Server will become subscription licenses after Version 2019. That announcement was made by Microsoft last year, with the timeframe of announcing the details after Windows Server 2022 was released. Windows Server 2022 was released on September 6, 2021, but, as of this writing, details remain undisclosed.
What we do know is this:
- The next version of Exchange Server will support in-place upgrades from Exchange Server 2019 for a period of approximately two (2) years following release.
- Microsoft is encouraging its customer to upgrade to Version 2019 because the migration to the new version is an in-place upgrade. However, Microsoft will support upgrades from the prior two (2) Versions: 2013 and 2016. By doing this, Microsoft believes that this is the last forklift upgrade that ever needs to be done.
- As of today, the following lifecycle dates are in place:
|Exchange Server 2019||10/22/2018||1/9/2024||10/14/2025|
|SharePoint Server 2019||10/22/2018||1/9/2024||7/14/2026|
|Skype for Business Server 2019||10/22/2018||1/9/2024||10/14/2025|
- The ongoing subscription entitles the customer to updates and support.
Read that last bullet again. And focus in on the word “ongoing”. This means that the customer will have to remit subscription fees forever. Without doing that, not only updates and support end, so does the customer’s right-to-use the product (unless Microsoft changes the rules around subscriptions). This would cause a reversion back to pre-vNext convention days. And if some time has passed, these products could be well beyond their support dates.
Miro’s suggestion is two-fold:
- Watch this space for more to come on the subscription agreements that will govern Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Skype for Business Server; and,
- Engage a trusted provider to help you work through the details.