I'm going to get a Windows 2008 dedicated server sometime soon. I'm going to have my website hosted on it, so, I also want to run a mail server on the same machine to receive any mail sent to the website (I use the SMTP Server in IIS for sending mail, but this about receiving not sending)

Does Windows 2008 have a built-in POP3 OR IMAP server? If so, can it be accessed through a webmail interface? I mean does it also have a webmail interface similar to OWA for example? If not, do you have suggestions for a good mail server with a webmail interface, preferably free or open source? MS Exchange is above my budget and my needs are so simple anyway. I heard good things about hMailServer but I checked and it doesn't have a webmail interface.

I know I can outsource this to a third party for a little monthly fee, but I prefer to host my own server.

Thanks for any suggestions

  • 1
    I'm adding this as a comment since it's not a complete answer. Server 2003 had a simple POP3 server but this was discontinued as of Server 2008. Jul 5, 2009 at 14:58
  • hmm, so that ppl have to pay for MS Exchange
    – Mee
    Jul 5, 2009 at 15:04
  • 1
    If you only want to use it as a simple mail server, MS Exchange Server is an overkill solution IMHO. I would go with a simple POP3/IMAP software mentioned in some answers.
    – splattne
    Jul 5, 2009 at 15:27

4 Answers 4


I'm currently using the free hMailServer for SMTP, POP3, and IMAP. It has been pretty solid in the couple years that I've been using it. I've run it on Windows 2003 R2 and Windows 2008 Standard and Enterprise. I'm using SquirrelMail for webmail. This is PHP, but it wasn't that hard to setup. This is free as well.

The best commercial experience that I had with a non-Exchange server was MDaemon from Alt-N Technologies. It has the best OWA like UI, and it has a connector for Outlook, so that it thinks it is an Exchange server. The price for this server is not as much as others, but still too much for me.

There are several other email servers:

Open Source/Free


There are many more servers out there. The ones I listed here are the ones I had tried at one point in the past.

  • Zimbra does not run on windows
    – Sam Cogan
    Jul 5, 2009 at 15:20
  • D'OH! You're right. I was thinking of SmarterMail. Dunno why I put Zimbra instead. Jul 5, 2009 at 15:29
  • 5
    +1 for hMailserver. I currently use it on Server 2003 R2 with SQL Server 2008 Express Edition as the data source.
    – Lazlow
    Jul 5, 2009 at 22:09
  • 1
    And another +1 for hMailServer. Same deal, running on Server 2003. In my case I have squirrelmail on a Linux box, as that was running Apache anyway. Jul 6, 2009 at 4:38
  • 1
    hMailServer is great. Jul 6, 2009 at 11:14

Server 2008 does not include any built in features for POP or IMAP, the only mail component you get is the SMTP server available for IIS.

There are a number of mail servers available for server 2008, unfortunately there aren't many that are open source.


  • hMailServer - as you already said it does not offer a web mail interface, but you could use something like Horde or Roundcube, which are open source, to give you your web mail interface.

  • SmarterMail - this offers a fully functional free version for less than 10 user.

  • Mailenable - Free standard edition, paid for enterprise edition

Paid For


there is another tool that replaces the missing Microsoft POP3 Server in Windows 2008. Visendo SMTP Extender is available as a free community edition and a plus edition, which you can use for free for a demo period of 30 days.


The price difference from a Server 2008 Standard and SBS 2008 Standard (which includes Exchange and 5 user licenses) is tiny in my opinion ^^

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