Exchange 2013 anyone?

Exchange 2013 anyone?

Now that Mary Jo Foley has published some information about the next major release of SharePoint that reveals the use of the product name “SharePoint 2013”, can we conclude that the next major release of Exchange will be “Exchange 2013”? After all, both products are part of the “Office 15 wave” (Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, etc…) whose concurrent arrival as a public beta is expected sometime later this year.

The answer is “who knows”? The screenshot published in the report might have come from some trial software used by Microsoft to experiment with branding. On the other hand, it might be true and result from an inadvertent disclosure on the part of a Microsoft representative, in which case Exchange 2013 will have the same three-year gap as its predecessor had from Exchange 2007, which kind of makes sense and is in line with the expectations set by Microsoft Vice President Rajesh Jha when he explained the cadence of Exchange development last year.

Another trend backing an assumption that Exchange 2013 will be the name for the new release is the way that Microsoft released Exchange 2007 in late 2006 and Exchange 2010 in late 2009. It’s therefore logical to assume that Exchange 2013 might appear in late 2012.

And then you’ve got to assume that Microsoft will pull out all the stops to release new versions of applications to coincide with Windows 8 when it makes its expected debut in time for the 2012 holiday season. Office 15 is a key factor here as I assume that Microsoft will want a Metro-themed version of Office to go along with Metro-everywhere Windows.

Of course, there are many slips between start and finish, especially in the software game. Bugs, customer feedback from Microsoft’s Technology Adoption Program (TAP), poor performance, and a myriad collection of other problems can get in the way of shipping a product and who knows what will happen between now and the end of the year. But maybe, just maybe, if things do go well, Microsoft will have something major to talk about at the relaunch of the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) in Orlando next September. It would be nice if this were so.

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