Because people use many different terms to refer to Microsoft Exchange: Exchange Server, mail Exchange Server, Outlook server, Microsoft Outlook—it’s easy to see why this product can be confusing. So, let’s break it down into simpler terms by defining Outlook and Exchange.
When a business needs a central location for managing email, as well as shared calendars, contact lists, tasks, folders, and files, they usually turn to Microsoft Exchange—the industry leader in business email and information management. Microsoft Exchange is designed for businesses and includes advanced email and collaboration tools that meet the needs of even the largest, most demanding organizations. Exchange is installed on a server, or multiple servers, and requires a skilled IT person who can install, manage, and upgrade the system - unless you've decided to host Exchange.
When a business uses Exchange, most employees never deal directly with Exchange itself. Exchange is the backbone of the system, where data is stored, and it’s best left to the techies. Instead, employees use Outlook, a friendly, familiar app built for end users, to access data on the mail Exchange Server. Outlook is the favorite and most widely used email and data management app for businesses. Even though Outlook can be used with any POP/IMAP email system, like Rackspace Email, Outlook was designed to work with the mail Exchange Server. They're a perfect match.
A business’ email, calendars, contact lists, etc. are stored on the Exchange server. But the users access that data via Outlook. The mail Exchange Server is where the data is stored; Outlook is the “window” through which users can view and manage that data.
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