About a week ago Microsoft conducted the launch event for new Microsoft Office suite. This is the exact same case that we saw when Windows 8 was released, at that time, Windows Server 2012 was sidelined. Hence it is quite visible that currently Microsoft has opted for a more consumer focused approach. On the launch event, no claims were made about Exchange 2013 but that fact shouldn’t let you undermine the importance of Exchange 2013; maybe Microsoft is saving all the excitement for the upcoming MEC in September this year. Although the consumer preview for Exchange 2013 is available publically for downloads.
Like all new versions and releases of Microsoft products, the Exchange 2013 has incorporated new features and architectural changes. Talking about the improvements, in my opinion the first and foremost important in this regard is the revitalization of the public folders. Most of the firms were afraid to turnover because Microsoft kept threatening in the past few releases that it would finish public folders as a whole. Although there has been a slight change in the concept and architecture of the public folders, unlike before now they would be implemented in a special mailbox but not to worry since it would be given complete availability and security afforded by Database access groups.
The most important thing in this regard is that Microsoft has ensured that complete support and installation guide is available for the deployment and migration of old public folders into this new mailbox driven public folder concept. Not only this, but it also be available in Exchange online through the preview version of Office 365. Like many other recent releases from Microsoft, primarily the focus seems to be on the cloud based services, Exchange 2013 is no different from them but what one can hope for with these changes is an increased social incorporation as far as businesses are concerned. A little heads up at this point would be of much importance and that is related to the IT staff. They are expected to be on their toes and up to date with these new releases if they want a smooth and trouble free migration to these new releases.
All things said, the thing that bothers me a little is the fact that these versions are previews and which more or less can be considered as beta version and as we all know beta versions are non complete versions of the product under development. So it is important to be aware of the fact that no matter how well the development team at Microsoft have anticipated the user scenarios and test cases, there will always be cases that would only be visible once the product is used by the actual clients and hence bugs are inevitable and one should be prepared when deploying and using these preview versions of the upcoming cloud centered products of Microsoft.