Exchange Server 2013
Along with the rest of Microsoft’s 2013 line-up (office, server, and windows 8) they also released Exchange Server 2013.
In case you’re not familiar with Exchange Server its basically a messaging platform that provides email, calendar, scheduling, and other tools designed for collaboration. The 2013 iteration retains most of the familiar features found in previous versions of Exchange Server but the newest entry puts greater focus on social media applications, and creating an overall simpler interface. Microsoft has been highlighting their new design which better reflects the design strategies used in windows 8 and other applications such as office and outlook. This new design packs both form and function, as it is easy on the eyes but at its core is also meant to make set up and navigation a very easy task. This change is first noticed in the new “Admin Centre’, a unified management console replacing the EMC found in Exchange 2010. Also, Focusing on larger organizations, the new exchange understands how difficult it can be to find data within a many user eco-system, and has added the functionality to search for data not only within the server, but within the entire organization.
Other features include:
Brings Exchange emails and SharePoint documents together.
Can be run across Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync from a single interface.
New Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
Capabilities for identifying and protecting “sensitive data.” DLP policies are based on regulatory standards, including PII and PCI. Also: new policy tips in Outlook 2013 can be set to inform users about potential policy violations.
Ability to customize
Outlook and OWA by integrating apps from the Office marketplace. (Yes, this is a reference to the Agaves add-ins that Microsoft and partners will be making available via the new Office Store.) The new “Napa” tools and/or HTML5 are Microsoft’s preferred ways to developers to build these.
Offline support in OWA
Emails and actions are automatically synced the next time connectivity is restored.
Along with the new design and data management add ons, the new Exchange server’s existing features have also been strengthened. Microsoft has improved security measures by adding in anti-malware protection which actively goes through incoming messages to eliminate potential threats. Under the hood, Microsoft has made significant changes to the architecture of the server. Microsoft claims in 2007 the servers were limited due to CPU performance available at the time, fragmenting server roles, in the 2013 iteration this is no longer an issue and Exchange has reduced the number of server roles to 2; client access role and the mailbox role. Microsoft has also completely rewritten the setup process for installing and deploying the 2013 server. The new setup process uses a simple install wizard ( Similar to windows 8) and the install goes through several checks to make sure your organization is ready for Exchange 2013. Also like windows, the install gives the option to check for the latest update to exchange and installs the most current version.
Along with their push on Exchange 2013 Microsoft also took the opportunity to update Exchange Online, the feature set remains the same, but again the design has been updated to reflect Microsoft’s new design standards, and Microsoft also updated the outlook web app ( which has been carried over to their Hotmail web app). The new web app contains 3 different interfaces designed to accommodate different sized screens. The three sizes can be used across all major internet connected devices, from phones and tablets to desktop browsers. Exchange 2013 is a huge step up from exchange 2007 and 2010 both in user experience and functionality, but more greatly so in design and the overall package. Microsoft is really tying in all of their products into a unified design queue in 2013, much more so than previous iterations of their software- exchange 2007 was in line with windows 98!