Last week, Microsoft released the first Beta of Exchange 2010 and in the InfoWorld Test Center's first look at Exchange 2010, Martin Heller wrote that it marked a "major step up from Exchange Server 2007." This week, let's dig a bit deeper into this beta release and see what true enhancements are coming our way with Exchange 2010.
You install the Exchange 2010 beta and have jumped through all the hoops of installing PowerShell 2 and .Net Framework 3.5, as well as Windows Remote Management 2.0 (all part of the prerequisites to installing the beta) on a server running Windows Server 2008. You open the Exchange Management Console and ... and ... it looks pretty much the same.
What do you do next? Where are the exciting changes you were hoping for?
It's true that people often associate a change in the interface with a change in the architecture, but there's no reason for the UI to change simply because the architecture has. It is not wise for Microsoft to constantly move things on us. Even legitimate UI changes -- to my mind, these include the ribbons in Office 2007 and, in Exchange 2007, the shift from the System Manager to the Exchange Management Console (EMC) UI -- frustrate users, so they should not be done casually. Another huge move with Exchange 2007 was the Exchange Management Shell (EMD), which was built on PowerShell, for administration. Those two UI changes in Exchange 2007 were enough to keep us reeling for a while, so Microsoft has not introduced any crazy changes for EMC and EMS in Exchange 2010.
But there are plenty of new features in Exchange 2010. You just need to know where to look.
Here are the important changes you should know about: