OK this is exciting for me – I’ve been waiting a couple years to post something…anything…on the next version of Exchange. Finally I can :)
KC Lemson and Jim Lucey from the Exchange team provided an introductory look at “Exchange 14” (E14) today in a post and video on the Exchange Team blog. This is the first look at E14 that we’ve provided to the public. E14 is the first release of the product that embraces not only on-premises, which are the traditional deployments that Exchange is known for – physical deployments of Exchange servers in organizations, but also embraces services - which offers Exchange over the internet as a web application. The post talks a bit about our Exchange Labs service that we’re currently testing with our Live@EDU customers.
In the video, Jim walks you through the new web interface that allows you to access everything you’d expect – e-mail, calendar, and so on. While it’s commonplace in the enterprise now, the collaborative features of Exchange becoming available to educational institutions is significant. KC is right – why sit outside the prof’s office for hours for a few minutes of face time when you can schedule an appointment over e-mail? Obviously that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Jim then gives you a peek at the new web options and administration interface for users and administrators. Individual users can perform self management of their own account (want to create your own distribution group or update your personal info? Go for it!) while administrators can manage mailboxes, contacts, etc. Of course, Outlook is there as is Windows Mobile and ActiveSync. And Windows PowerShell will naturally be part of the administration model too.
We have a lot more in store for you in this release of Exchange. More videos will be posted over time giving you more peeks at what’s coming. Watch the videos as they come out and be sure to send in feedback on the Exchange Team blog with what you think of this new version.