An aspect of Exchange 15 that’s expected to change from previous versions of the software is a greater emphasis on collaboration and less on communication. For example, Microsoft will be bringing a “next generation” mailbox experience to the product. That includes the ability to create team mailboxes that can be integrated with the company’s sharing and collaboration offering Sharepoint.
Another intriguing report claims Exchange 15 will give Outlook Web App (OWA), which allows users to view their email via a web browser, offline capabilities. That will be done through HTML5, which is the way Google gave its web apps offline capabilities. However, Microsoft’s HTML5 offline feature may only be available in the latest version of its web browser, Internet Explorer 10.
While the next version of Exchange is being referred to as Exchange 15, it’s not expected to be called that when it’s officially released. According to Paul Cunningham, publisher of ExchangeServerPro.com, the stars are aligned for the version of the email server software to be called Microsoft Exchange 2013.
“Previous versions of Exchange Server (2007 and 2010) have been named for the fiscal year in which they were released, not the calendar year,” he explained. “So this time frame does give a strong indicator that Exchange Server 2013 will be the final name. The ‘historical release cadence’ of three years also supports that theory (2007 -> 2010 -> 2013).”
Indeed, some segments of the Exchange community, namely training outfits, have already started referring to the next version of the software by 2013 rather than 15.
As little as is known publicly about Exchange 15 or 2013 now, that hasn’t stopped the training industry from launching its education efforts for when the software is finally released.
Countrywide Training, for example, has begun promoting its onsite training for groups of six or more in Exchange 2013 subjects such as installation and management, security, database and mailbox recovery, troubleshooting and messaging design.
Countrywide will also be offering “boot camps” on Exchange 13, which it describes as “intense, accelerated training courses” aimed at training employees to take the certification exam for Exchange 2013 in days, rather than weeks or months.
Another training company, CBT Planet, has begun promoting a line of self-study videos on Exchange 2013 that can be delivered online or on DVD.
“Although professionals from a number of different disciplines will find the wide-ranging content of Exchange 2013 training videos extremely useful, the primary target is technicians, administrators and managers responsible for specifying, installing and day-to-day operation in enterprise environments,” the company noted.