In addition to the Office 2013 Home Premium Preview, Office 365 ProPlus Preview, the Office 365 and Enterprise Small Business Preview, which was released on Junly 17th, previews of other Microsoft individual products are now available as well.
Exchange 2013 Preview– The newest Exchange enables you to increase user productivity and keep your organization safe, while maintaining the control you need.
You can read full rundown of the new features here.
Lync 2013 Preview– The newest Lync is an enterprise-ready, unified communications platform that connects people everywhere on Windows 8 and other devices. The third of Microsoft’s new Office servers available in public beta (Customer Preview) form is its next-generation unified-communications product, Lync Server 2013.
Here are the new Lync 2013 features:
- Full IPv6 support
- VDI plugin, allowing full A/V support in virtual desktop environments
- H.264 SVC codec support
- Skype federation support
- Roles has been consolidated in Lync 2013. You can no longer install the A/V conferencing server role separately. It is now always co-located with the front-end role. Directors are now an optional role, which is kind of funny because I’ve always treated them as optional myself.
- DR/High Availability Options – In Lync 2013, users will maintain nearly all functionality in the event of a failed pool. “This is made possible because all user data is now replicated between all Lync servers in the enterprise. Every server maintains multiple copies of the user database, so there is almost no reduction in service availability.”
Each front-end server stores a complete copy of all the databases stored in the SQL back-end, so if the back-end SQL database server is unavailable, the front-end will still function.
Also, Lync 2013 supports SQL mirroring on the back-end databases. This can reduce hardware costs typically associated with the older clustering options in SQL (separate shared storage).
- Enterprise Voice – Lync 2013 now supports M-N trunk routing. This allows you to have multiple trunks to different gateways, and a gateway to have multiple trunks to different Mediation Servers.
Lync 2013 includes support for inter-trunk routing that allows Lync to act as an intermediary between two or more different phone systems.
Lync 2013 now allows you to make changes to both the called and calling number. This is very useful when the PSTN provider does not accept E.164 formatted phone numbers. In the past, an external gateway would have to do the necessary manipulation, but with Lync 2013, all the number manipulation can be done in Lync.
There are also several other new Enterprise Voice related enhancements. Delegates can setup simultaneous ringing to their mobile devices for incoming calls to their manager. When a user has setup simultaneous ringing to a mobile phone, and the device is turned off or out of range, Lync 2013 can determine that an incoming call was immediately routed to voicemail, and disconnect that endpoint so the call can continue to ring other endpoints. Caller ID presentation allows administrators to modify the Caller ID format in a much more scalable way than in Lync 2010, which only allowed Caller ID changes based on the route.
- Response Groups – Can now configure Response Group Managers and Administrators, allowing you to delegate Response Group tasks to other users.
- Integration with Lync Online – You can now create hybrid deployments with a mix of on-premises and Lync Online servers (similar to Exchange 2010). This means that you can have some users running “in the cloud” and some users on traditional on-premises servers. Microsoft calls this “hybrid voice”. You can also have all your users running in Lync Online and make calls via an on-premises PSTN gateway. This means you can allow Lync Online users to dial legacy PBX extensions, or make calls via a traditional PSTN connection (T1/E1 or similar) in situations where SIP trunking isn’t desirable or an option. Media bypass will work in this situation, so a user’s media stream won’t be hairpinned through the Lync Online service when making phone calls from an office running a local PSTN gateway.
- Mobility – “A choice of ways to make audio/video calls using Lync from their mobile devices”. Ken Lasko explains the feature saying, “Mobile clients will finally get the featureset people have been asking for. Now, mobile clients will be able to make audio and video calls from their mobile device using either a mobile data connection or wi-fi. Not sure if this will be available at launch or sometime after. I saw an early demo of Lync 2013 on a tablet running Windows 8, and it pretty much guaranteed I’ll be buying a Windows 8 tablet when it comes out.”
- Persistent Chat (or group chat), is now a full-fledged Lync service, unlike older versions which was really just tacked on (and quite poorly, in my opinion). You now define servers in the Topology Builder as with other roles, and the persistent chat features are included in the base Lync 2013 client (no separate client required). Persistent chat (or group chat) becomes a “full-fledged” Lync service, not just a bolted-on add-on
- Audio and video added to Lync Web App
- Hybrid deployments of on-premises and Lync Online cloud servers now supported (this capability is called “hybrid voice”)
- Support for M-N trunk routing, plus support for inter-trunk routing. Ken Lasko explains: “This feature allows Lync to act as an intermediary between two or more different phone systems. For example, Lync can accept calls from one PBX, and pass the call through to another PBX. This can be very useful in larger environments and allows Lync to be the backbone of a corporate telephone network.”
- Support for a unified contact store, with information maintained in MIcrosoft Exchange Server 2013, enabling users to access/manage contacts from Lync 2013 Preview, Outlook or Outlook Web App
You can download, Lync 2013 Preveiw here. Try the Lync Server 2013 Preview.
Office Web Apps Server – With Office Web Apps Server, your users get browser-based productivity from nearly any device on your terms and within your own private network.
It Pros, interested can try the Web Apps Server Preview here.
Project 2013 Preview– The new Project offers flexible service or on-premises solutions for project portfolio management (PPM) and everyday work. Try it in these three versions: Project Online Preview, Project Server 2013 Preview, Project Professional 2013 Preview.
The new Wave 5 of Project announced
Project Online is an integral part of the Office 365 family of services, providing the same class of reliability, scalability and availability.
Fully integrated with New SharePoint Project Online offers all its benefits, including a clean user experience, pervasive social networking, simple task management capabilities on any team site and a personal view of all your SharePoint and Outlook tasks in one place.
Project Web App (PWA), is a web-based Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) solution that helps you select the right projects that align to your business goals, manage your team’s workload, track time spent on projects and get insights through powerful business intelligence tools.
Project Pro for Office 365 – Project Online offers anytime, anywhere access to Project Professional via application streaming.
Here are the top ten benefits:
- Online PPM: All the rich PPM capabilities including Portfolio Management, Resource Management, Time Tracking and Business Intelligence are available in the cloud, in a secure and scalable multi-tenant environment, with enterprise-grade reliability.
- Get started quickly: Built on SharePoint Online and designed to work with Office 365, Project Online offers a familiar experience that improves participation and helps people get more done. An intuitive interface along with visual cues helps you begin (or hone) PPM capabilities.
- Take action: Stay up-to-date in more places and on more devices. You can effortlessly pick up from wherever you leave off with Project Online.
- Improve governance and control: Project Online enables you to define and select optimal project portfolios that align with your business strategy. Effectively evaluate ideas or measure the strategic contribution of competing requests to determine alignment and streamline project initiation. You can easily create workflows with Visio in SharePoint Designer to model proposal approval processes.
Project Workflow Status
- Effectively manage resources: See what your teams are doing–even when they’re managing everyday work or ad hoc projects in SharePoint Online. Now you can capture all demand, accurately measure utilization and manage allocation to make objective decisions that align with your strategy.
- Strengthen everyday collaboration: Share documents, follow people and sites, or keep track of things people are working on. You can bind together the social experiences of SharePoint Online and Project Online to facilitate discussion and information sharing to help people get work done.
- Seamlessly communicate: Share urgent schedule changes or remedy potential concerns with real-time communications plus instant messaging that’s enabled right within your project. And, in the project site, you can illustrate dates and deliverables on a visual timeline to keep everyone informed and organized at-a-glance.
- Make data-driven decisions: In PWA, you can see summary dashboards, rich reports, project timelines or entire project plans, to help you manage your projects or a group of programs. Self-service access enables people to quickly mine and aggregate data on many dimensions–to understand risk and align long-term planning with short-term execution needs.
- Improve IT management: Project Online simplifies IT management, integrating the administration experience with SharePoint Online so you can easily get set up, add resources, and adjust permissions. And because Project Online separates IT and business settings, your Project Management Office (PMO) or business sponsor are empowered to manage business-specific PPM settings independently.
- Quickly innovate: Quickly act on new challenges or respond to big opportunities. Shave time off discreet processes. With Project Online, you can choose apps from the SharePoint Store to meet the unique needs of your business.
Visio 2013 Preview– The new Visio lets you easily create professional, versatile diagrams that help you organize and make sense of complex information.
Office Professional Plus 2013 Preview– For IT pros, you can also try the Office Professional Plus 2013 MSI-based installation, which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, and Lync.
Note that this is not the Click-to-Run installation used by Office 365 ProPlus and does not support fast streaming installation or side-by-side operation with older versions of Office.
In addition, you must uninstall the existing version of Office on your PC to try Office Professional Plus 2013.
For IT pros, try the MSI-based Office Professional Plus 2013 here.
SharePoint 2013 Preview – The newest SharePoint is designed to help everyone in your organization share content and ideas, organize teams and projects, and discover connections to get work done.
You can read more about SharePoint 2013 and SkyDrive Pro here.