Greetings from downtown Austin, where Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) 2014 is now underway. Since attendees started rolling into town on Saturday, local bars and restaurants have been full of the sounds of Exchange: conversations about load balancing, debates about EAC vs. PowerShell, and tales of MEC legends and lore.

This year’s MEC follows our tried and true recipe: find a great host city, bring tons of people from the product team, and add customers, partners, and MVPs. Mix them all together, add beverage and music, and all involved can savor the strange concoction that results.

This morning Julia White hosted our keynote session, which featured top engineering leaders discussing the future of Exchange. Jeff Teper explained how we are transforming Office and Exchangeby leveraging the power of the cloud, enterprise social, mobile and big data. Kristian Andaker talked about how we are extending compliance and security capabilities across the Office suite. Harv Bhela showed off the ways that email is becoming more social, intelligent, and mobile-focused. Perry Clarke wrapped things up by answering questions about our new software release process and giving us his predictions for the future.

During the keynote we announced and demonstrated several new features including codename "Clutter," new methods of document collaboration, and OWA for Android phone. You can read all about the features we unveiled in this blog post about the evolution of email.

If you couldn’t make it to MEC in person this time, you haven’t completely missed out. We’ll post recordings of the keynote and breakout sessions for public viewing in about a month. In the meantime, you can follow the action on Twitter at #iammec, and enjoy these short video clips from today’s keynote:

Innovation Lab - Greg Taylor and David Espinoza show us the research facility where the Exchange team cooks up new features:

 

Ex Ed - As social concepts come to email, some users may have questions. This educational film is designed to help them understand their changing world:

 

Secret Switch - When an Exchange admin moves his company’s email servers to Office 365, will end users notice?

 

Jon Orton