See if any of the new or improved features listed below for SharePoint 2013 catch your eye. Then head over to Microsoft's SharePoint site for a deeper dive.

 SP 2013 Search Arch 2
SharePoint 2013's Search Architecture Partial View

1. Authentication

  • OAuth support. This web authorization protocol means that a user or web app can request authorization to get temporary access to specific network resources.
  • Default claims-based authentication for new web apps. A new Windows PowerShell cmdlet, Convert-SPWebApplication, helps you migrate from Windows classic-mode authentication to claims-based authentication.
  • Distributed Cache Service for login tokens. A dedicated cache helps avoid the need for additional configuration and makes for less memory utilization in the web front-ends.
  • Enhanced logging.

2. Business Connectivity Services (BCS)

  • OData support. With this web protocol, you can now connect to an external data source.
  • Event listener. This includes an event subscriber, enabling SharePoint users and custom code to receive notifications of events that occur in the external system.
  • Support for apps for SharePoint. Lets you add self-contained apps for SharePoint that don't make any changes to the underlying code on the computer running SharePoint Server, enhancing safety and easing installation and removal.
  • External list enhancements. Users can now filter, sort, or export external lists that display content from BCS content types; performance improvements reduce the load on SharePoint farm database servers.

3. eDiscovery

  • SharePoint eDiscovery Center. Site template creates a new portal for managing holds and cases, including abilities to search, place holds, and export content.
  • Improvements to in-place holds. Includes site-level preservation, Exchange mailbox preservation, ability to set permissions for users to access original versions of preserved content.
  • eDiscovery export. Ability to export the results of an eDiscovery search for later import into a review tool.
  • Enterprise-wide eDiscovery. Ability to manage eDiscovery across multiple SharePoint farms, Exchange servers, and file shares.

4. Mobile

  • Optimized viewing across different mobile platforms.
  • One site, multiple renderings. Ability to render a single published SharePoint site in multiple designs to accommodate different devices.
  • Push notifications. Works for Windows Phones.
  • Geolocation field type. For mobile app development.
  • Ability to view business intelligence content.
  • Office Web Apps. Ability to view Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents.

5. Records Management


Site-level retention policies. Ability to create and manage retention policies in SharePoint Server 2013 that apply to SharePoint sites and any associated Exchange Server 2013 team mailboxes.
 

6. Business Intelligence

  • In-Memory BI Engine (IMBI) or Vertipaq engine. Near instant analysis of millions of rows.
  • Power View Add-in for Excel. Visualize and interact with modeled data via visualizations, animations, and smart querying.
  • PivotChart reports. Create them without having to include a PivotTable report on the same page.
  • Ability to explore and analyze data in Excel Services reports. For reports that use SQL Server Analysis Services data or PowerPivot data models.
  • View and display items in PivotChart and PivotTable reports. Support for users in Excel Services to view and change display of items in Excel Services-published PivotChart reports and PivotTable reports.
  • Calculate measures and members. Support for Excel-created calculated measures and members in Excel Services.
  • Timeline controls. Improved Excel Services timeline controls.
  • Dashboard migration. PerformancePoint Services dashboard migration.
  • PerformancePoint Services filters. Enhanced PerformancePoint Services filter UI and filter search.
  • Cleaner BI Center.
  • Support for Analysis Services Effective User.
  • PerformancePoint support on Apple iPad.
  • Visio Services Maximum Cache Size.
  • Updated Visio Health Analyzer rules.
  • Windows PowerShell cmdlets. Updated PowerShell cmdlets for Visio.
  • Visio commenting. Ability to add comments to a Visio drawing on the web in full page rendering mode.

7. Social Computing

  • New and updated policy settings. For the User Profile service application and My Sites in Central Administration.
  • Privacy and people. New privacy settings and updated people settings.
  • Microblogging. New microblogging ability on Newsfeed page in My Site.
  • My Sites. Improved My Sites saving, synchronization, sharing, and moving of content.
  • New site templates. Community Site and Community Portal. Community Site offers a forum-like experience. Community Portal is a page that surfaces SharePoint site collections and sites.

8. Web Content Management

  • Word to HTML. Ability to copy content from Word, paste it into a Web Part, and obtain an HTML-correct display.
  • Drag and drop. Ability to drag and drop menu items directly to a page.
  • Video upload. Improved video upload process.
  • Dynamic content. Ability to insert an iframe element to embed dynamic content from other sites.
  • Support for image renditions. Allows display of different-sized versions of an image on different pages.
  • Integrated translation service.
  • Language detection. Ability to redirect visitors to a site in an appropriate language based on the language setting of their web browser.
  • Cross-site publishing. When you make changes to content, those changes are displayed on all site collections that are reusing this content.
  • Catalog. Designate any library or list as a catalog. Enables content to be reused on publishing site collections.
  • Managed navigation. Ability to define and maintain navigation on a site by using term sets, in addition to site structure-based navigation.
  • Category pages. Page layouts that are used for displaying structured content such as catalog data.
  • User-friendly URLs.
  • New Web Part. Content Search Web Part displays crawled and indexed content.
  • Refiners and faceted navigation. Enables users to refine and narrow searches while browsing different pages.
  • New analytics processing component. Ability to analyze user actions for content managers. Ability to make recommendations and offer choices to users.
  • Branding changes. SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio knowledge no longer necessary. Can design a site by using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, in tools such as Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft Expression Web, or other HTML editors.
  • Device-specific publishing. Ability to create channels that allow a single publishing site to be rendered in multiple ways on multiple devices.

9. Workflow

New SharePoint Designer 2013 workflow functionality includes the following:

  • Visual workflow. Develop workflow visually using Visio 2013 add-in.
  • No-code web service calls. New action enables no-code web service calls from within a workflow.
  • Task actions. New actions for creating a task and starting a task process
  • Coordination actions. New coordination actions between workflows built on SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013
  • New dictionary type.
  • Stage, Loop, and App Step workflow building blocks.
  • New enterprise features in Workflow Manager.
  • New PowerShell cmdlets.  Cmdlets that manage workflow via Workflow Manager service.

10. Search

  • Search UI improvements.
  • Search result relevancy improvements.
  • Continuous crawl.
  • Improved flexibility of search schema.
  • New search architecture.

For more information on SharePoint 2013, see Asif Rehmani's article " Installing SharePoint 2013."