As we can all attest, one surety in the technology field is that Microsoft will continue developing software, whether we need it or not. Although, Microsoft’s target release date have been anything but accurate.
As new technologies are introduced, the need to enhance and update software does seem appropriate. From desktop to server, nearly every major software component of Microsoft’s IT portfolio will receive a major upgrade
Here is a look at the software that Microsoft intends to release this year.
Microsoft System Center 2012
Microsoft System Center 2012 may be the first official release we see this year, possibly in Q2. System Center is not a single solution but a suite of server management solutions, including App Controller, Configuration Manager, Data Protection Manager, Endpoint Protection, Operations Manager, Orchestrator, Service Manager, Unified Installer, and Virtual Machine Manager. More than ever, the suite works together to provide a unified control experience within an organization. For a deeper look, check out “Microsoft System Center 2012.”
Microsoft SQL Server 2012
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 is estimated for Q2 of 2012 as well. With its always-on focus, SQL Server 2012 will feature high availability (HA) as a key aspect. Considering the HA focus we’ve seen with Microsoft server offerings like Exchange in the past five years, it will be interesting to learn how SQL Server can have passive copies of data or even functional secondary copies of data. SQL Server 2012 will also include BI enhancements, support for 64 resource pools, greater CPU usage control, an expanded Power View feature set, and much more.
Microsoft Windows 8
Microsoft Windows 8 should arrive between Q3 2012 and early 2013, although some predict late summer before the kids go back to school. This latest flavor of Windows is designed to run on tablets (with support for ARM processors), mobile devices, and PCs. The new interface removes the Start button in favor of a whole new Start pane with a touch-oriented interface and the much-discussed Metro UI. Building on the successful features of Windows 7, which are still there in Windows 8, this OS is still in Consumer Preview, and we have yet to see a beta.
Microsoft Windows Server 8
Microsoft Windows Server 8 is estimated to arrive between Q3 2012 and early 2013, and it has already impressed IT admins who’ve worked with it. Enhancements include multiserver management, Hyper-V (v3) improvements, live migration of virtual hard disks, new Remote Desktop Services features, File Server Resource Management, a GUI option for Server Core, an explosion of PowerShell cmdlets, an improved AD Recycle Bin, better password policy controls, and more.
Microsoft Exchange 15
Microsoft Exchange 15 is estimated to be released Q4 of 2012, potentially in tandem with other products Microsoft touts as working “better together,” such as SharePoint 15, Lync, and Office 15. Pay special attention to what changes may be in store for Exchange’s storage architecture and its high-availability feature set, though it’s hard to imagine much improvement over the current Exchange 2010. Also of note will be improved integration between Exchange and SharePoint, Lync, and Office, and potentially better hybrid deployments that the company has encouraged with Office 365-hosted Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync.
(No Preview Yet)
Microsoft SharePoint 15
SharePoint 15 is estimated to be released Q4 2012 in conjunction with other communication- and collaboration-oriented products, such as Exchange, Lync, and Office 15. Details aren’t yet clear in terms of features to expect, although there has been talk of a SharePoint Apps Marketplace that will allow you to buy rather than build aspects of your SharePoint environment. There’s also talk of an education app: Office for Education 15. We’ll have to wait and see as more info comes to light.
Microsoft Office 15
Microsoft Office 15 is estimated to be released Q4 of 2012, and while it may not blow the doors off the existing Office 2010, it will be designed to work more closely with newer versions of Exchange and SharePoint for better communication and collaboration. Why deploy a new messaging server and/or collaboration solution if you don’t plan on deploying the client applications that have to go along with it? Office 15 sports a new look and feel with Metro as the focus.
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