We were joined by thousands of Exchange and Office 365 customers at Microsoft Ignite in Chicago last week. It was full of announcements, new content, and opportunities for the Exchange community to reconnect. For those who were on site we thank you for your enthusiastic participation and engaging questions. We spent time geeking out on everything from architecture designs to mobile clients, and everything in between. It was enough to drive creativity to new levels – in fact, in one discussion Tim McMichael broke out in singing “Everything is awesome... Everything is cool when you deploy a DAG…” Sounds like a new Exchange hit in the making to me!
If you weren’t able to join us, no worries–every session at Ignite was recorded and published to Channel 9. Here’s a recap of the top Exchange-related news of the week, and links to session recordings where you can get all the details.
EXCHANGE SERVER 2016
We introduced Exchange Server 2016, our next on-premises Exchange Server release. Exchange Server 2016 includes exciting new features for on-premises customers, including a new approach to document collaboration, enhanced search, and a modern Outlook Web App experience to name a few. The server also has a robust architecture that is cloud-inspired and proven. We demoed elements of Exchange Server 2016 for the first time ever in the Meet Exchange Server 2016 session. It is on track to be released later this calendar year following a public beta during the summer.
The Office 2016 public preview was made available last week, allowing everyone to gain access to the new version of desktop Outlook. Outlook 2016 complements many of the features in Exchange Server 2016, but of course it is also unlocks new capabilities in Office 365. We also provided a close look at the new Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar apps on Windows 10 mobile devices. Outlook for Mac 2016 was also demoed and discussed in detail at Ignite. Check out these sessions to get caught up on all of the Outlook news.
We also made two announcements that provide new deployment options for Exchange Server 2013. First we announced support for deploying Exchange Server 2013 on Azure IaaS VMs for production use with Azure Premium storage. We have added this option to provide customers deployment flexibility, but we continue to recommend deploying Exchange server on physical hardware as the best and most cost effective way to run Exchange outside of Office 365. We also announced that Exchange 2013 will support use of Hyper-V dynamic VHDX (not VHD) disks. Previous guidance required use of fixed virtual disks for support. Refer to these sessions for more details on these topics.
Ignite included a dizzying number of sessions which are all published on Channel 9. To help you find the most relevant content for Exchange–both on-premises and online–we have complied this table of quick links. You can view session recordings over the web, download them to your phone or tablet, and access PowerPoint decks used in the sessions. Happy learning.