Microsoft's Exchange Server 2013: What's new

Microsoft's Exchange Server 2013: What's new

Summary: Here's a list of new features and related resources for those interested in testing Microsoft's next-generation Exchange Server 2013.


It's been a week since Microsoft rolled out its public beta, known officially as the "Customer Preview," of Office 2013, along with its next generation Office servers and new Office 365 services. Almost all of Microsoft's official communication about the coming suite of products has been about the client and the cloud services.


What about the servers? Microsoft shared a bit of information last week on what's new in SharePoint Server 2013. On July 23, Microsoft did a similar blog post on the Exchange side of the house, calling out some of the new features in Exchange Server 2013.

A technical preview of Exchange Server 2013 has been available to select testers since early this year. I previously blogged about what some of those testers said would be part of the new Exchange: offline Outlook Web App (OWA) access; greater extensibility; team mailbox support allowing SharePoint integration. And, lo and behold, all of those features -- and more -- are in the new release.

Here's a list from Microsoft of some of the new Exchange Server 2013 features:

Offline support in OWA: Emails and actions are automatically synced the next time connectivity is restored.

Site Mailboxes bring Exchange emails and SharePoint documents together

Outlook Web App offers three different UI layouts optimized for desktop, slate, and phone browsers

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.

Replacement of the Exchange Management Console by a Web-based Exchange Administrative Center (EAC)

Support for up to 8 TB disks and multiple databases per disk via Data Availability Group (DAG) management

Built in basic anti-malware protection, with ability for administrators to configure and manage settings from inside EAC. (Note: this feature can be turned off, replaced or "paired with premium services such as Exchange Online Protection for layered protection.")

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.

In-Place eDiscovery can be run across Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync from a single interface

Here are some more new Exchange 2013 features, courtesy of Michael Van Horenbeeck, a member of the Pro-Exchange community and consultant/trainer with Xylos:

A reduction in the number of available roles to two: a Client Access Server and a Mailbox Server role. The result: These two roles are now "loosely coupled," as Microsoft explains it. More from the Softies on this architectural change:

"The Mailbox server includes all the traditional server components found in Exchange 2010: the Client Access protocols, Hub Transport service, Mailbox databases, and Unified Messaging. The Mailbox server handles all activity for a given mailbox. The Client Access server provides authentication, redirection, and proxy services. The Client Access server itself doesn't do any data rendering. The Client Access server is a thin and stateless server. There is never anything queued or stored on the Client Access server. The Client Access server offers all the usual client access protocols: HTTP, POP and IMAP, and SMTP."

FAST Search now integrated into Exchange 2013 managed store to provide a more consistent (across Microsoft servers) indexing and searching experience

Inclusion of a "Managed Store," with is the name of the rewritten information store processes, which are now written in C#

Van Horenbeeck blogged last week that he considered Exchange Server 2013 more of an evolutionary than a revolutionary release.

"To me, Exchange Server 2013 feels like a natural evolution of its predecessor Exchange Server 2010: there are no groundbreaking features, at least none that you couldn’t expect," he said.

"However, if there were a single item I had to choose from that I welcome the most, then I would most probably not be something in the Exchange Server’s architecture, but rather the unified end-user experience. I think this feature will be one of the key reasons that will drive the deployment of Exchange Server 2013 along with it’s deep(er) integration with products like SharePoint and Lync," Van Horenbeeck added.

Van Horenbeeck has a good post with information on prerequisites and deployment for those interested in downloading and testing the Exchange Server 2013 customer preview. Microsoft has all the gory details on the full set of Exchange Server 2013 features in a new library post on MSDN.

Topics: Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Gee, looks kinda like a Twitter blog

    What's next, Micro$oft? Dumbed-down thumb texting?

    • Translation, SB

      Damm! Why can't anybody else make something this good! (as you wipe the tears from you eyes) :)
      William Farrel
      • Well Wilie

        It's not my fault you're as dumbed down as a Twitter blog, either....

        • ...

          Twitter isn't "dumbed down" you idiot. It serves a very specific role. You laugh at Twitter but it's sad because you haven't accomplished anything even remotely as significant as a "dumbed down Twitter blog". Also since when is simplifying a UI a bad thing. Apple has been doing it for years with great success. Over-complicated UI is a sign of bad design. Software shouldn't be difficult to use or have a large learning curve. While you are posting dumb comments degrading Twitter the creators are enjoying the millions they are making from a "dumbed down" interface. Who looks like the idiot here... you or them? I wonder... lol
          • Twitter is for idiots...

            ...who can't hold a conversation face-to-face in real life so they hide behind it and play thumb games all day.

            In fact, i'll bet you're one of those idiots that texts the guy that's sitting right next to you, don't you?

          • I would rather be social on Twitter than spending my life on articles trolling. I love your baseless facts like "who can't hold a conversation face-to-face in real life so they hide behind it". That is why tons of celebrities and other important people use Twitter... I guess though that someone of your intelligence level cannot comprehend what a fact actually is, so you just make things up in your head to validate your idiotic opinion.

            "In fact, i'll bet you're one of those idiots that texts the guy that's sitting right next to you, don't you?"

            Ahh, an Ad Hom attack. This is what I expected from someone of your intelligence level. You are obviously out classed so you need to resort to trolling attempts. Pathetic.

            Here is a little advice:

            "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt" - Abe Lincoln
          • Translation:

            @ThatGuy707 is exactly one of those idiots I was talking about.

            Your reaction belies your guilt.

            I could care less about what "celebrities and other important people" do because as far as I'm concerned, they're not important. Unless you're one of those lemmings that has to follow every hollow trend out there because you don't have a mind of your own and your latest movie star tells you how to live and what to wear.

            The fact is, you are one of those jerks who probably texts the guy sitting next to you instead of turning your head and having a face-to-face conversation with him. Whatsa matter? Afraid?

            Utterly pathetic. Dumb. Cowardly. Lazy. Good words to describe it.
          • I can see you lack reading comprehension... I will slow down for you. I never said I cared what celebrities/CEOs/Politicians/etc. do on Twitter. I am simply countering your ignorant assumption that "Twitter is for Idiots". Obviously, there are multitudes of people on Twitter that are more intellectual than you could ever dream to be.

            "The fact is, you are one of those jerks who probably texts the guy sitting next to you instead of turning your head and having a face-to-face conversation with him. Whatsa matter? Afraid? "

            Your limited intelligence obviously doesn't allow you the capacity to understand what constitutes a fact. I feel sorry for you. If you knew what a fact is than you wouldn't make such idiotic and unprovable statements. Then again it seems like a trend that the only way for you to ever be right or feel good about yourself is to ignore the truth.

            "Utterly pathetic. Dumb. Cowardly. Lazy. Good words to describe it."

            Please don't talk about yourself like that it is degrading! I would stop embarrassing yourself. It is obvious you need to post dumb jokes that no one thinks are comical because you lack the ability to write an intellectual comment. Look at all your previous comments:

            "What's next, Micro$oft? Dumbed-down thumb texting?"

            "It's not my fault you're as dumbed down as a Twitter blog, either...."

            "who can't hold a conversation face-to-face in real life so they hide behind it and play thumb games all day.

            In fact, i'll bet you're one of those idiots that texts the guy that's sitting right next to you, don't you?"

            All of them are based on groundless assumptions but again that is all that you can muster with your limited intelligence.
  • ...

    LOL .. keep going guys .. your cracking me up!
  • Join the Conversation

    Wow, its a really good news for internet users, specially professional who are regular Email users. Fantastic Idea let's see what will happen on this new exchange server. I would specially like to see how effectively call center Outsourcing companies like:Phone Answering Call Center, Telemarketing Call Center use it in their services.
    Austin Thomos
  • Exchange 2013

    On the face of it Exchange 2013 is an improvement for Hosting providers more than for users, with the notable exceptions of the increased online useability and improved collaboration integration between other products such as SharePoint and Lync 2013.

    I've been using it for a while now and it is definitely a step forward from the last version of 2010, although this previous version is now more stable than ever, and you always have to ask yourself do you role out any new Microsoft product to your clients before the first service pack is released. I guess it depends how much testing you do?

    PD Hostedexchange247
  • Exchange 2013

    Well. this version is having lot of improvements.