8 great new features in Exchange 2013

Exchange 2013 brings a new admin UI, big architecture changes, and a better Webmail experience, among other updates

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DLP (data loss prevention): DLP is new in Exchange 2013's transport rules, but it's also a continuation of Mail Tips in that it warns users when they may be violating policies meant to prevent disclosure of sensitive data. Such disclosures are usually inadvertent, so the use of DLP-fired reminders lets users be aware when they are putting something like a credit card number or Social Security number in an email. The built-in DLP policies are based on regulatory standards like PCI.

Outlook Web App enhancements: The whole of OWA is redesigned -- yay! One awesome feature is support for offline access, which lets users write messages in their browser when offline, then have the messages delivered when they connect to the Internet. OWA supports this feature in Microsoft's Internet Explorer 10, Apple's Safari 5, and Google's Chrome 16 (or later), all of which support the HTML5 local data storage feature. There's also a new set of UI layouts that users can choose from for desktop, tablet, and smartphone use -- a smart approach.

Built-in antimalware: Exchange has had antispam capabilities for quite some time; as of Exchange 2007 you could even choose whether to turn on antispam in the Edge role or in the Hub Transport role. Exchange 2013 extends antispam to a broader set of antimalware capabilities, such as to block phishing attempts.

In addition to these highly visible changes, Exchange 2013 will also show improvements in high availability and site resilience with DAG, as well as in its unified messaging capabilities, but no large overhauls are expected in those areas.

For Exchange admins who work with the GUI management console daily, the biggest challenge will be the new Web-based UI. But whatever your feelings are about Web-based consoles, I believe you'll like the overall changes in Exchange 2013, especially with enhanced integration with SharePoint and Lync 2013.

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