Microsoft has rebranded its hosted offerings and unveiled a revised licensing model for the products which form a key element of its software-as-a-service strategy.
The software giant also unveiled a per-user licensing model for all the services, as well as roadmap details including information about the upcoming EHS 5.3 release and the 6.x series of releases that it aims to align with Exchange "12" availability.
Steve Ballmer, chief executive at Microsoft, said: "EHS will give customers more flexibility in how they deploy, manage and maintain technology."
According to the Redmond firm, EHS can help reduce large upfront capital investment and free up IT resources.
EHS operates over the internet as a service without any on-premises hardware or software to install.
It is touted as a way of allowing organisations to better protect against email-borne malware, satisfy retention requirements for compliance, encrypt data to preserve confidentiality, and help preserve access to email during and after emergencies.
Looking to the future Microsoft added that it is already working on the next release, EHS 5.3, scheduled for April.
Key features in this upgrade will include the continued optimisation of filtering effectiveness, improvements to real-time recognition and the alerting of spam bursts to improve the ability to block new spam attacks.
The forthcoming version boasts faster full-text archive indexing, and provides an improved indexing process that allows users to search email based on keywords.
It will also feature Directory Services usability enhancements centring on a new process for moving and managing directory information.
Microsoft said that it will deliver the 6.x release series to coincide with Exchange "12" availability, and will include support for calendar and contacts in the Hosted Continuity and Archive services, along with better directory integration and broader support for languages in Spam Quarantine and the Admin Center.
Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services is available now in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The services will become available in the Asia Pacific region later this year.
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