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Microsoft reorg aligns Exchange with Outlook

Exchange Server and Outlook are finally together under one management umbrella over at Microsoft.

Microsoft's Exchange Server has a new home within Microsoft's management structure.

The company is merging its Exchange team with the Real-Time Collaboration (RTC) Group into the newly created Unified Communications Group. The Unified Communications Group will be led by Anoop Gupta, currently corporate vice president of the RTC group.

The reorganization will likely benefit the Exchange platform team and its customers by being more closely aligned with other collaborative product teams working on technologies such as IM and VoIP.

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Previously, the Exchange Server team was managed out of the Server and Tools division at Microsoft. And the client, Outlook, was managed from within Microsoft's Information Worker unit under the leadership of Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft's Business Division.

Customers won't see changes anytime soon, but it could help to coordinate efforts to bring together technologies in the future. To cite some examples, the next release of Exchange, dubbed Exchange 12, will include unified messaging, which involves connecting Exchange Server to some kind of PBX hardware. The RTC group has similar efforts underway with VoIP and its Office Live Meeting and Office Live Communication Server software.

"[This unified organization] can help tie them all together better under a common architecture with common management tools," said Peter Pawlak, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, a Kirkland, Wash., consulting firm. "A reorganization would bring this all about faster and make it consistent."

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