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With Office 365, can small companies avoid purchasing the mail server and the expensive Microsoft Exchange license? Will speed between the two solutions be comparable?

Thanks.

EDIT: I changed the Office product name from 2013 to 365.

closed as not a real question by MikeyB, HopelessN00b, Chris S Mar 12 '13 at 14:10

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    You can avoid it in the sense that you can use a different mail server, but you've always been able to do that - Office 2013, by which I guess you mean outlook, is only an email client. You still need to connect it to an email server/service of some kind, whether it's office 365, your own exchange server, or a 3rd party email server. Not sure what you mean about speed. The slow part of email is usually sending and receiving messages over the Internet, not manipulating them once they're in your mailbox. And this doesn't change for different email server choices. – Rob Moir Mar 12 '13 at 13:58
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    You have a major knowledge gap in the things you're asking about it. MS Office 2013 is just the latest version of Microsoft Office and works in much the same way as all of it's predecessors. It has nothing to do with your e-mail infrastructure. You may be thinking about Office 365 which is a completely separate product – Dan Mar 12 '13 at 13:58
  • Yes Dan, I edited my question. Please vote reopening so we can discuss this. – abenci Mar 12 '13 at 14:14
  • Alberto you will still need to buy Office 365 licences instead of exchange licences + cals and obviously only you know the prices being quoted to you for each product. But yes, you're buying a cloud service from Microsoft instead of using on-site h/w and s/w. In this case, the speed is as good as your internet connection; twenty or thirty users going over a 50mb connection will have a different user experience with Office 365 than will two or three hundred users on the same size pipeline. If the majority of your emails are to people outside the business, it's worth thinking about. – Rob Moir Mar 12 '13 at 14:58
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Sure, just configure a single instance of Outlook to hold everyone's mail. Use it to download from the account/accounts and then sort everyone's mail into their respective mailboxes (folders) within Outlook.

(no, don't do this, this is a really bad idea)


If you're looking to avoid the cost of Exchange, I suggest looking into OSS solutions. There are free products out there (Postfix, cyrus-imap, free version of Zimbra) that may provide what you need. Remember, Outlook is just the client.

  • I edited my question, please reopen it. – abenci Mar 12 '13 at 14:15
  • Just open a new, correct question. – MikeyB Apr 22 '14 at 14:23

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