As part of Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) week, Microsoft officials are sharing advance information on what's coming in Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack (SP) 3.
SP3, a "first half of calendar 2013" deliverable, will include new features in addition to the usual fixes. Among them, according to a September 25 Exchange Team blog post:
- Coexistence with Exchange 2013: Users will be able to add Exchange Server 2013 into their existing Exchange 2010 infrastructure by adding certain "coexistence changes" shipping in SP3.
- Support for Windows Server 2012: Users will be able to install and deploy Exchange Server 2010 on machines running Windows Server 2012.
- Customer Requested Fixes: All fixes contained within update rollups released prior to Service Pack 3 will also be part of SP3.
In order to add these new features, customers will have to update their Active Directory schema, according to the post.
"We are communicating the required changes ahead of the release date in order to assist our customers with planning their upgrade path ahead of time," officials said.
Microsoft is in the midst of publicly testing Exchange Server 2013, the next version of its on-premises Exchange Server product, as well as its online complement, Exchange Online, which is one piece of Office 365. Microsoft officials are continuing to decline to say when these next versions of Exchange will be declared RTM/RTW (released to manufacturing/released to the Web). My sources say RTM for all of the Office 2013/Office Next client, servers and services will be in November 2012, with general availability and launch slated for early 2013 (around February).