Today on the Office blog we announced that service pack 1 for the 2013 set of products including Office, SharePoint and Exchange will be released early next year. We know our Exchange customers have been looking for confirmation of the release but also have a desire for an early look at what's coming with Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1). So let's have a first look a few things you can expect to see in SP1. But wait… we haven’t released CU3 – well, news about CU3 is imminent - stay tuned for more information about CU3 coming very soon.

In this post we are highlighting a few of the notable improvements to be included in SP1. This isn't an all-inclusive list, so stay tuned for additional details as we approach release.

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Support First answering one the most common questions since the release of Windows Server 2012 R2. Exchange 2013 SP1 will add Windows Server 2012 R2 as a supported operating system for Exchange Server 2013 with SP1. Let your planning begin.
  • S/MIME support for OWA Support for S/MIME in OWA will be brought back in SP1. With SP1 customers will have S/MIME support across Outlook, Exchange ActiveSync clients, and OWA.
  • Edge Transport Server Role The Edge Transport server role for Exchange Server 2013 will be available with SP1.
  • Fixes and Improvements Of course, SP1 will include fixes and improvements in areas you've helped us identity. SP1 is the first service pack issued in the new Exchange Server cumulative update release model - thus SP1 is essentially CU4. The installation of SP1 will follow the same process as the prior Exchange 2013 CU releases. SP1 will include all fixes included in previously released cumulative updates for Exchange 2013.

SP1 will require customers to update their Active Directory schema - customers should assume this requirement for all Exchange Server 2013 updates. Plan for this required update to quickly take advantage SP1 updates. Active Directory Schema updates for Exchange are additive and always backwards compatible with previous releases and versions.

On behalf of the Exchange Product Group, thanks again for your continued support. As always, let us know what you think!

Brian Shiers
Exchange Technical Product Manager