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Kerio MailServer 6.6 takes another swing at Exchange


Kerio has released version 6.6 of Kerio MailServer, another push forward in their campaign to take a bite out of the Microsoft Exchange market. We mentioned the ActiveSync capabilities of Kerio MailServer in July, and have noted the expanding capabilities of the 6.x releases as an increasingly viable alternative to Exchange. Version 6.6 encompasses a variety of improvements, including expanded features for mobile and iPhone users. Two items which stand out prominently are the addition of resource scheduling and the Exchange Migration Tool.

Resource scheduling allows shared company resources -- anything from conference rooms and projectors to company cars -- to be scheduled and reserved using MailServer's shared calendars. Access controls can be specified by administrators for each resource, and a "Reservation Manager" can be assigned with add/edit/delete priveleges. Mac users can access the resource schedules through Entourage or iCal (although Kerio is less thrilled with the inelegance of the iCal solution and its LDAP dependencies). PC users have access through Outlook, and everyone can schedule resources through Kerio Webmail, which is fully compatible with Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

The Kerio Exchange Migration Tool is provided free of charge to Kerio 6.6 users, and is designed to take a lot of the fear out of making a transition from Exchange to Kerio. It runs on a Windows box (works fine with virtualization) between the Exchange and Kerio servers and, in about 4 clicks, transfers all of the existing Exchange data, users, etc. to Kerio MailServer.

Additional features in 6.6 include improved iPhone support (with HTML email and attachment viewing), and an iCal auto-configuration script which is generated by the server for each Mac user. The auto-configuration sets up CalDAV and LDAP to work with Kerio, handling all of the details without requiring the user to know anything more than their own machine's administrative password and their Kerio MailServer login information.

The new version maintains the same prices, starting at $499 for 10 users ($599 with McAfee Anti-Virus) and add-on packages for additional users starting at $120 (+5 users). Current users with a subscription can, as far as I can tell, upgrade for free.

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