As you'd expect, there are enhancements to all the business intelligence (BI) tools, as well as to the standard Office-related features such as Excel Services, PerformancePoint, and Visio Services. The addition of team folder integration between Exchange and SharePoint will let users access team folders from their choice of SharePoint, Outlook Web Access, or the Outlook client. Users can also access the new SkyDrive Pro cloud storage and data-sharing service.
Fast Search is no longer a stand-alone product; it's now built into SharePoint 2013 as the default search tool. The new continuous-crawl feature keeps a constant eye on new content, letting you remove the gaps in what users see compared to the traditional scheduled-crawl approach.
SharePoint 2013's social networking enhancements provide more interaction options for people in a company, such as via community sites and portals that offer a forum-style experience within SharePoint. The My Sites user interface -- overwhelming and unintuitive in previous versions of SharePoint -- has has been streamlined. New microblog and newsfeed features allow for shorter conversations and quick updates, similar to what Yammer provides.
The bottom line: SharePoint 2013 is better than the last version -- which I loved. I only wish that SharePoint was released more frequently, not tied to the three-year cycles of the Office and server lines, so it could better keep up with the rapid changes in social networking, mobile, and other user technology spaces.
This story, "SharePoint 2013: A low-key update you'll love," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.