Microsoft has released Exchange 2019, which has been praised to lower the total cost of ownership, whether deployed as Exchange 2019 on-premises or provisioned mailboxes in the cloud.
It is important to note with the issues surrounding Windows Server 2019, Exchange may not be fully functional without it. Microsoft states, “We’re aware all media for Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server, version 1809 has been temporarily removed. Microsoft will provide an update when refreshed media is available. Exchange Server 2019 will be fully compatible with version 1809, and the refreshed version.” The release of Windows Server 2019 is unknown at this time.
What we do know are the upcoming features and upgrade features to expect from Microsoft Exchange 2019.
New 2019 Features
- Platform-specific experiences for phones for both iOS and Android.
- Premium Android experience using Chrome on devices running Android version 4.2 or later.
- Email improvements, including a new single-line view of the Inbox with an optimized reading pane, archiving, emojis, and the ability to undo mailbox actions like deleting a message or moving a message.
- Contact linking the ability for users to add contacts from their LinkedIn accounts.
- Calendar has an updated look and new features, including email reminders for Calendar events, ability to propose a new time in meeting invitations, improved search, and birthday calendars.
- Search suggestions and refiners for an improved search experience that helps users find the information they want, faster. Search suggestions try to anticipate what the user’s looking for and returns results that might be what the user is looking for. Search refiners will help a user more easily find the information they’re looking for by providing contextually-aware filters. Filters might include date ranges, related senders, and so on.
- Thirteen new themes with graphic designs.
- Options for individual mailboxes have been overhauled.
- Link preview which enables users to paste a link into messages, and Outlook on the web automatically generates a rich preview to give recipients a peek into the contents of the destination. This works with video links as well.
- Inline video player saves the user time by keeping them in the context of their conversations. An inline preview of a video automatically appears after inserting a video URL.
- Pins and Flags which allow users to keep essential emails at the top of their inbox (Pins) and mark others for follow-up (Flags). Pins are now folder specific, great for anyone who uses folders to organize their email. Quickly find and manage flagged items with inbox filters or the new Task module, accessible from the app launcher.
- Performance improvements in a number of areas across Outlook on the web, including creating calendar events, composing, loading messages in the reading pane, popouts, search, startup, and switching folders.
- New Outlook on the web action pane that allows you to quickly click those actions you most commonly use such as New, Reply all, and Delete. A few new actions have been added as well including Archive, Sweep, and Undo.
Take a look the Microsoft blog to find out what has been discontinued in Exchange 2019.
What to Expect When Upgrading to Exchange Server 2019
- Windows Server Core support: Running Exchange on a Windows deployment with less surface area means less attack surface area and fewer components to service.
- Block external access to Exchange admin center (EAC) and the Exchange Management Shell: You can use Client Access Rules to only allow administration of Exchange from the internal network instead of using complex network and firewall rules.
- Improved search infrastructure: The completely rebuilt search infrastructure for cloud scale and reliability in Exchange Online is now available in Exchange 2019. This new search infrastructure allows for indexing of bigger files, simpler management, and better search performance.
- Faster, more reliable failovers: The changes to the search architecture result in significantly faster and more reliable failover over between servers.
- Metacache database: Improvements at the core of Exchange’s database engine enable better overall performance and take advantage of the latest storage hardware, including larger disks and SSDs.
- Modern hardware support: Exchange now supports up to 256 GB of memory and 48 CPU cores.
- Dynamic database cache: The information store process employs dynamic memory cache allocation optimizing memory usage to active database usage.
- Calendar – Do Not Forward: This is similar to Information Rights Management (IRM) for calendar items without the IRM deployment requirements. Attendees can’t forward the invitation to other people, and only the organizer can invite additional attendees.
- Calendar – Better Out of Office: Additional options when you won’t be in the office. Key options include: add an event to your calendar that shows you as Away/Out of Office, and a quick option to cancel/decline meetings that will happen while you’re away.
- Calendar – Remove-CalendarEvents cmdlet: Enables administrators to cancel meetings that were organized by a user that has left the company. Previously, conference rooms or meeting attendees would have these defunct meetings permanently on their calendars.
- Assign delegate permission via PowerShell: Updates to the Add-FolderPermissions cmdlet so administrators can assign delegate permissions.
- Email address internationalization (EAI): Email addresses that contain non-English characters can now be routed and delivered natively.