Microsoft's email system. As I understand it, the basis is a centralised (read bad bottleneck hot spot single point of failure insecure) mail store with an X.400 addressing system that can only be accessed through Microsoft Outlook. How can any self-respecting mail software omit the unifying features of Gnus (an Emacs mail and news reader), or the time-saving features of Supercite?

(in addendum to what is listed above):

More accurately Exchange is a collaboration system, since it handles more than mail. It also deals with calendaring, notes, journals, server-side rules, etc. Lotus Notes shares similar features and a similar internal setup.

Exchange is different from many other email systems in that it has a "store", or binary database where email, contacts, and files are stored. The largest theoretical advantage over a flat mailer is this: Let's say you have a company with 3,000 employees, and you want to send them a piece of mail. Then with this setup, for 3,000 employees under sendmail (no gripes against sendmail, it's really a nice piece of software) you have 3,000 copies of this message. That could be quite taxing for the server to replicate. Now with exchange, you have 1 message, and a reference count of 3000. Much smaller, more efficient, and more scalable (in theory). Once someone's MAPI client removes the message, or deletes it via IMAP or POP, then the ref. count is taken down one. A more dramatic example is mailing a huge movie to 50 people. That would be orders of magnitude more horrible.

Exchange can connect to a variety of clients including IMAP and POP (not just Outlook, which does exist for PC and Mac), but you do not get the collaboration features with that type of connection.

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