Back in May, Microsoft announced that a preview of Exchange Server 2016 would arrive later in the year - and today, it has. The new preview is available to download now, and unsurprisingly, the company is touting it as the best thing since... well, since Exchange 2013.
Microsoft says that "this version of Exchange is special because it was born in the cloud", adding that it's "excited to include the worldwide Exchange community" in the development of the new product.
Key improvements in Exchange 2016 include:
- Simplified architecture
- Improved reliability
- New Outlook web experience
- Greater extensibility
- Faster and more intuitive search
- Enhanced Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
- Faster and more scalable eDiscovery
- Auto-expanding archives
- Hybrid improvements
You can find out more details on each of these areas of improvement on Microsoft's Exchange Team Blog, but it's worth highlighting the changes to Outlook in particular. In addition to "numerous performance improvements" and a better mobile experience, the Outlook Web App will now be known as 'Outlook on the web', and comes with a ton of new features including:
- Inline reply
- Ability to propose new time for meeting invites
- A new single-line inbox view
- Improved HTML rendering
- Better formatting controls
- Ability to paste inline images
- New themes
- Emoji support
...and more. Further info on Exchange Server 2016 is available in Microsoft's Office Mechanics video below:
Microsoft says that "between preview and final release, we'll add additional features, such as updates to auditing architecture and audit log search" to the Exchange Server 2016 Preview. Further document collaboration features will also be enabled once betas of SharePoint Server 2016 and Office Web App Server are shipped.