Microsoft has been very busy in the past few months readying their Windows 8 release, and updating their existing products to work with their new OS. Microsoft has also gone above and beyond with some of their updates, such as the new Hotmail and @Outlook.com accounts. Microsoft is also busy updating their business suite of products, from their server OS to Office 365. One of the few services that hasn’t got much attention has been Microsoft Exchange, But that may be a good thing.
Exchange is Microsoft’s hosted email for business users. It provides the feature set that most people are used to such as calendar, contacts along with email, but with added security giving users a peace of mind. Exchange also allows employees to access their exchange account from almost any mobile device from anywhere in the world without the employer having to run onsite software.
Exchange server has become the go-to service for collaborative communication needs in the business world. Now with Exchange server 2013 inbound, many people are wondering what Microsoft is changing with the refresh.
First up, aside from matching Exchange’s interface with Windows Metro UI is offline support for exchange when using the Outlook web app ( OWA). This means actions are automatically synced when a connection is restored. This feature has been around for the average gmail account for a while, though you had to be running Google Chrome as the web browser. The Next change is site mailboxes, what this feature does is that it will bring together all Exchange Emails and SharePoint documents associated with each other. Exchange 2013 will also provide support for 8TB disk drives, and offer new Data Loss Prevention Capabilities (DLP). The DLP capabilities are generally associated with new policies that administers can set up. Along the lines of security, Microsoft has also integrated basic Malware protection that works with EAC. Fast Search is also one of the major feature’s added to Exchange 2012 and it works with “Managed Store” , and if the name didn’t give it away, Fast Search allows for a much quicker search function thanks to the way files are now indexed in Exchange 2013.
Microsoft has added many other features to Exchange 2013, such as the ability to customize outlook and OWA- a feature most will overlook, and the inclusion of three different UI’s for outlook and OWA. These UI’s are ment to be used across different devices and provide for a better experience across tablets and desktops, and everything in between.
Compared to other products coming from Microsoft in the past few moths, Exchange hasn’t change all that drastically. It remains solid to its roots, and wont intimidate businesses when it comes time to upgrade to Exchange 2013. Microsoft knows that this is one of the biggest issues it faces when pushing a new product hand have limited their overhaul as a result. This dosen’t mean that the new server is any less desirable though, as it is still packed with improvements and new features. But why fix something that isn’t broken? In our opinion that seems to be Microsofts philosophy for Exchange 2013’s update.