Mimosa Systems released last week software that lets users archive all their Exchange 5.5 e-mail data and start fresh with new mailboxes on a more recent version of Microsoft's e-mail server.With an upgrade to NearPoint for Microsoft Exchange Server, Mimosa has added Exchange 5.5 migration capabilities. The software lets users move e-mail, attachments, calendar contacts and other data to the NearPoint archiving system. Users are left with empty Exchange mailboxes, which are more easily migrated to a new version of Exchange, most likely Exchange 2003. Users start with a blank in-box but have full access to their Exchange 5.5 data via the NearPoint server.Exchange 5.5 reached its end of life three months ago after numerous extensions. Nearly 15% of all Exchange users, however, still run Version 5.5, which first shipped in February 1998. Since then, Exchange 2000 and 2003 have been released, and Exchange 12 is due next year."One of the reasons some users are still on 5.5 is because they have very complex environments, and it is difficult to move in the traditional way of migrating mailboxes and upgrading to Active Directory," says Masha Khmartseva, a senior analyst with the Radicati Group. She says users don't have a choice in Active Directory migrations, but Mimosa is now offering an alternative to moving mailboxes stuffed with data since 1998."Moving this data is very complicated; it takes a lot of time and a lot of manpower. For some companies it takes months for them to do that correctly," Khmartseva says. NearPoint presents an option that could be less expensive, faster, more efficient and more secure, she says. "Right now any company can benefit from archiving, and the faster they do it the better," she says.Mimosa officials say the Exchange 5.5 capabilities mean users now migrate in days rather than weeks or months. NearPoint's Version 5.5 migration capabilities, which don't require installing software on the Exchange Server or the Outlook client, include tools to verify that all Exchange 5.5 data was saved to the archive before clearing out user mailboxes.Once the mailboxes are transferred to the new Exchange platform, users see a Folder Homepage as part of their folder tree in Outlook. The archive of the Version 5.5 data is displayed as a Web page to eliminate the need to install any Mimosa software on the desktop.Administrators fine-tune the rights that dictate what Version 5.5 information users replicate, down to their new in-boxes. It includes controls that will keep attachments in the archive while letting the e-mail text be replicated to the Outlook in-box. Mimosa allows for a desktop cache, which supports offline access to those attachments.NearPoint is similar to XOsoft's Enterprise Rewinder software for Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server and Oracle. Pricing for NearPoint starts at $10,000 for 100 users.