Microsoft Exchange Server is a mail server and calendaring server developed by Microsoft. It runs exclusively on Windows Server operating systems.
The first version was called Exchange Server 4.0, to position it as the successor to the unrelated Microsoft Mail 3.5. Exchange initially used the X.400 directory service but switched to Active Directory later. Until version 5.0 it came bundled with an email client called Microsoft Exchange Client. This was discontinued in favor of Microsoft Outlook.
Exchange Server primarily uses a proprietary protocol called MAPI to talk to email clients, but subsequently added support for POP3, IMAP, and EAS. The standard SMTP protocol is used to communicate to other Internet mail servers.