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Amazon is taking on Microsoft Exchange with its own enterprise email service

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Amazon wants to bump Microsoft's Exchange out of its cozy position in the enterprise world. To do that, the company has announced WorkMail, a secure email and calendar platform aimed squarely at businesses. This isn't some alternative to Gmail or Outlook that's meant for everyday consumers. Quite the opposite. With WorkMail, Amazon is trying its hand at the backend services that Microsoft has built a strong reputation around. In that world, guaranteeing yourself good, reliable email service can prove complicated and costly. "Customers are not happy with their current email solution," the company told The Wall Street Journal.

Microsoft is deeply entrenched in the corporate world

WorkMail includes many of the perks that are musts if Amazon hopes to find any success competing against Microsoft. And you can use it with existing email clients like Outlook. According to Forbes, it will offer shared inboxes, shared calendars, and a global, company-wide address book, among other features. Security is also paramount in the enterprise world, and Amazon — bolstered by years of experience running its massive AWS cloud infrastructure — thinks it can give businesses what they need there, as well.

WorkMail data is deeply encrypted with private keys, and the company is letting enterprise clients pick a geographic region where their emails will be stored. That could help employees access messages faster, but more importantly means that privacy-minded businesses can pick a region with favorable laws designed to keep prying eyes away from their data. WorkMail will cost $4 per inbox, a rate that's largely in line with what Microsoft and Google charge for their enterprise offerings. It'll launch in the second quarter of this year, so Amazon still has time to show businesses exactly how WorkMail can surpass Exchange.