Peter notes many of the features coming – and yes there are likely to be AD Schema changes too. One key feature of Exchange 2013 SP1 is the re-introduction of the Edge server role. This role was, for some reason, omitted from Exchange 2013 RTM, but is now brought back, although it’s unlikely, the article suggests, to have much in the way of major feature enhancements. Sounds a bit like Public Folders.
One thing missing from all this is SP1 for Lync. I am guessing that there is a good reason for this – there won’t be a SP for Lync 2013. Traditionally, the Lync team have eschewed Service Packs, relying instead on Cumulative Updates on a fairly frequent schedule. So is there going to be a new version of Lync? Well, probably - but the real question is when.
My guess is that any new version will not be disclosed until the Lync Conference in February 2014 in Las Vegas. If it is announced then, we’d likely see a preview late Spring to early Summer and then see RTM in the autumn. Of course, this is only just a huge guess – if it’s correct you heard it here first, but if not, then it’s just another uninformed rumour. Having said that, we’re sort of due for a new version in the coming 18 months at least. We’ll see.
But in the mean time, get planning on the updates to Office, SharePoint and Exchange 2013.