A primary concern for small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) regarding on-premises email servers is black lists. SMBs are frequently put on black lists because the company's Internet connection is typically ADSL or a similar technology, and the majority of service providers place these addresses on the blocked servers list. As a result, SMBs have trouble sending email outside the organization.

Another problem for SMBs is antivirus and anti-spam programs for the organization's email servers. These programs are expensive and are difficult to configure and maintain. To resolve these problems, Microsoft should create smart host servers. These smart host servers would include clean IP addresses that would prevent them from being blocked. With smart host servers, Microsoft's antivirus and anti-spam programs could be run and SMBs would reap the benefit of not having to maintain these programs. In addition, smart host servers would help decrease the amount of spam and malicious email messages.

I recommend that Microsoft should invest in such value-added services for its customers if the company wants Exchange Server to be the number one product offering again.