Exchange Server 2013: Not quite ready for the data center

Microsoft's update has some worthwhile features, but the holes make some wonder if the software's really finished.

By Jonathan Hassell, Computerworld |  Software, exchange server

Last fall, Microsoft released a wave of products, including Windows 8, a complete Office client refresh and a server-side update to both SharePoint and Exchange.

[To learn more about using Office 2010, or to pass along tips and tricks about it and SharePoint 2010, check out our Cheat Sheet series.]

I have been playing with builds of Exchange Server 2013 since it was in preview, and I have been using a Release to Manufacturing (RTM) copy of Exchange Server 2013 in my lab for a couple of months. I've found some areas of concern, but also areas of welcome improvement.

Let's take a look at some of the new features and capabilities of Exchange Server 2013 as well as some of the gotchas and disadvantages of the new release, at least in its current state.

As with any new software, the IT department needs to consider the update, evaluate it, develop a plan to deploy it if it makes sense and, above all, understand both the product's capabilities as well as the context around the software itself.

Features and capabilities

What does the new version of Exchange buy you? There have been improvements made to several areas, including those for end users, administrators and security personnel. Here are a few of the major reasons why Exchange Server 2013 warrants a look.

Outlook Web App, or OWA, is completely revamped, with a new look and the ability to access it offline as a real mail client.Outlook is the rich desktop client; OWA is also a client but runs over the Web.

(Story continues below screen shot.)

The Metro-style interface of Office 2013 has shown up in the Outlook Web App, or OWA, piece of Outlook 2013.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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