In what can be termed to as an attempt to reposition Microsoft (News - Alert) higher up in a variety of software solution fields, IT professionals, Exchange administrators and Microsoft employees gathered in a newly revived Microsoft Exchange Conference with the intent of learning more about the upcoming version of the robust Exchange Server, Office 365 and an agglomeration of other topics.
Even though Exchange 2013 was the major theme of the MEC, loads and loads of intriguing information regarding Office 365, Exchange migrations, Outlook 2013, email hosting and much more also shared the much-deserved limelight. During the elite member meeting, some remarkable and interesting quotes traded the floor, emerging from either the presenters or those in attendance.
While responding to an attendee’s question, Perry Clarke, a distinguished engineer at Microsoft, assured the audience that although recent solution releases suggest that Microsoft is moving into the cloud, it will still be involved with on-premise Exchange Servers.
Clarke's response cccame while answering a question raised by an attendee that seemed to suggest that the technology giant was shifting to the cloud and neglecting on-premise software development and support, with Exchange Server 2013’s Web-based Exchange Administration Center, the recent termination of several Forefront products and the obvious push towards PowerShell which works remarkably well in cloud settings being good examples.
Companies thinking of Office 365 as an option in future company investment when it comes to email hosting were encouraged to consider the decision both operationally and financially. An attendee emphasized on the extra expenditures incurred while trying to complete the Office 365 migration, either as third party purchases or as direct dealings with Microsoft. The attendee said, "From a pure cost-perspective, it makes no sense for me to go Office 365."
One of the shortest, yet most controversial comments came from Ross Smith IV, the principal program manager for the Exchange team. It read, “Small mailboxes need to die." His tweeted quote came while explaining the 99-percent reduction in IOPs in the upcoming Exchange 2013 when compared to its predecessor Exchange 2003. The bare truth from this fact is that organizations will be in a position to use less costly disks and mailboxes to as large as 100GB.
Another Microsoft move that caused some controversy is the struggle to make the Outlook Web App (OWA) client reflect the exact look and experience of the Outlook experience. Andaker, senior program manager at Microsoft, stated that the company no longer wants users to remember if they are in Outlook or in Outlook Web. He crowned his impressive presentation by presenting some screenshots and demos that not only showed how both interfaces take after each other, but also how much the overall OWA tablet experience would improve.
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