Over on Microsoft’s Office blog, Microsoft announced that a full service pack, SP1, for Exchange 2013 will be coming in the new year. That Service pack is, in effect, a single rollup patch that incorporates all the current cumulative updates.
For me, the most important feature of this upcoming SP is Exchange 2013 Support on Server 2012 R2. This means that I can build out my Lync 2013 farm using the latest version of the OS for both the Lync and the Exchange VMs. Yeah!
Both Exchange and Lync use a CU scheme to roll out updates for on-prem customers. These are regular updates and each one is cumulative. An SP then is sort of an uber-rollup. This is a really nice approach, IMHO. Hopefully, this will allow MSDN and TechNet to offer an SP1 included version of Exchange for building VM test farms.
Lync uses a similar cumulative update model, but thus far has not incorporated them into a formal Service Pack. I can understand it, but at the same time, it would be nice to be able to get ahold of a fully patched version of Lync – downloading all the patches from the Internet just takes time, especially for test labs. Mind you, the Lync team work on a different release rhythm and have been able to do updated versions faster than the Exchange team. We’ll see what happens in the spring!