I don’t have time to write a full summary of all the changes, but a few highlights:
- One big piece of news: there are now only two server roles: client access and mailbox. (Raise your hand if that reminds you of the Exchange 2000/2003 front-end/back-end split.) CAS now has a new service, Front-End Transport, that doesn’t do what you probably think. In addition, the RPC Client Access service (RCA) is now gone.
- MAPI may not officially be dead, but the fact that Outlook 2013 can use Exchange ActiveSync sure makes it look that way.
- The new Exchange Administration Center (EAC) is going to be polarizing; some admins will love it, while others will hate it.
- No more multi-master replication for public folders. You should read this FAQ if you’re a public folder aficionado.
- This is the first release of Exchange or SharePoint that really enables the “better together” story. In-place discovery searches and site mailboxes (about which, more later) will really make a huge difference in how SharePoint and Exchange are used for data management.
- “By default, malware filtering is enabled in Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Preview.” Yay!
- Not a ton of unified messaging changes, but a few welcome ones, including better Voice Mail Preview accuracy and some UI improvements.
There’s a list of “what’s new in this release” items, of course. Keep in mind, though, that Microsoft frequently adds features between preview releases and RTM, so there may well be additional features, or changes to existing features, between this release and the final release later this year.
Download and enjoy!