On the bleeding edge of Enterprise email server UI…


We wanted to let you know of some exciting changes that we have decided to act on in Exchange future...


Since the release of Exchange 2007, there was a lot of discussion about user interface options. GUI vs. Command Shell and all that. We looked closely at all of this feedback, and this very morning, finally came up with the solution that will catapult Exchange Server even further as the next gen Enterprise messaging system!


Here is a short breakdown. We would love to hear your feedback:



  • Exchange Server will not be manageable from local machine anymore. Our support case research indicates that majority of configuration mistakes are done by Administrators that are logged on locally, through the server console. Because of that - installation of Exchange will disable the Windows OS ability to log on locally, except using the Guest computer account. Which will not let you do any damage to the server. Which will solve the problem.
  • In order to make administration easier as well as more pleasant, each purchase of Exchange Server will come with Microsoft Surface product in the box (we had to increase the size of the box; actually it's more like a pallet now but we figure people like to open big boxes.) In fact - Microsoft Surface is the primary administration interface for Exchange of the future.
  • In order to facilitate the use of Microsoft Surface to administer Exchange, we have worked with Microsoft Research who came up with a nice and friendly child-drawn animated UI that will guide you through administrative tasks. Clippy, is in fact one of options of the "guide" that can be chosen, as we wanted a friendly face to guide you through the tasks that you need to do. Other options include a fluffy kitten, a puppy and a big-eyed deer - all in the effort to calm the overworked Administrator. Administrators can also upload their own photos (like photos of family members) which will help with their work-life balance.





  • Along the same lines, we have decided that future management tools will not run on desktop computers at all. We will be however shipping the version of management tools that run on Windows Mobile devices. Touch screen is not required but is recommended for best experience. Because you might need to enter Command Shell CMDlets through the phone, a physical keyboard is recommended as well, so some... you know, "other" phones will just not do. Our customers will also have an option of hooking up one of these to their Windows Mobile phones to help with data input. Seriously - they are not really that big!

We are very excited about taking the leap into next generation of enterprise software! Tell us what you think!


- Nino Bilic
























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Comments (29)
  1. zooyko says:

    Not falling for this one today :-)

  2. Andre Luis says:

    April’s Fool!!!

    Everybody LOVES Clippy… :)

  3. Nick M says:

    You made my stomach turn at the first bullet point!  And then I remembered the date.

  4. Aran van der Pijl says:

    Just in case; If you disable the above clippy help (don’t show this tip again) could you ever create a maibox again? … just worried about this one .. ;-)

  5. Mike K says:

    The first bullet point got me as well.   What the…  then oh, I get it.

  6. Tim Orange says:

    It would be great if disabling the local logon was an option instead of standard.  I am thinking change will be for RDP and console logins.  Our team only manages servers by logging into the server (usually RDP).  Maybe we will have to change our ways. :-)  We don’t have the problem of making mistakes on the local server, and it would be great to be able to opt out of the "disable local logon" feature that was mentioned.

    By the way, I love this site!  Keep up the good work!!

  7. nikoskar says:

    excellent idea….innovation is always our top priority!! another good idea to input data and administer exchange server is the following http://www.cabq.gov/museum/history/images/300ErniePyleTypewriter.jpg

    think about it :-)

  8. Dean Steadman says:

    Great to see you guys moving the right direction here. Few suggestions:

    1. Please make the puppy the default guide and please name him "Piddles." Clippy has a name and he’s not even real. I’m also looking forward to using the phrase "Don’t blame me, I’m not the one who just piddled all over your mailbox."

    2. Please ask the Surface team to incorporate some form of hot, caffeinated beverage dispenser into the hardware to increase admin efficiency. That or a kegerator.

    Thanks!

  9. Tim Orange says:

    I was thinking April Fools….but I fell for it.

  10. Mitch says:

    Couldn’t you just bring back Bob?

  11. Mike Crowley says:

    HAHA man i was getting upset until I read #2!!

  12. Will I be able to manage it from my CPM machine?

  13. DReller says:

    What’s wrong with item #1?

    ;)

  14. Leo Jacob says:

    I refuse to upgrade to this new version unless I can manage Exchange from my iPhone.  Because I would LOVE to be able to type Exchange shell cmdlets from my iPhone’s keyboard.

  15. Adam G says:

    first bullet point x3 got me too

  16. Laura Lewis says:

    Nino, you funny guy! Saw it coming.

  17. Austin Pittsburgh says:

    That was great. I fell for it. I even saw Clippy, but I believed because I’ve endured the writing that passes for whimsy.

    Excellent.

  18. mike b says:

    As I read on, i though you were gonna say we’ve borrowed Lotus Domino technology from 10 years ago and your now going to replicate mailboxes between servers and suck up international bandwidth.

  19. Oliness says:

    I wish this wasn’t an April Fool’s Joke. I love Clippit and think he’s the best thing MS has ever produced! Bring him back!!!

  20. MaximumExchange.ru says:

    …each purchase of Exchange Server will come with Microsoft Surface product in the box

    Yeehaa!!!

    Nice joke, Nino!  Bravo MSExchangeTeam!!  :))

  21. tom says:

    Nice !

    Someone should write a PowerShell Script to make the little guy dance !

    It won’t be me though, I can barely create a mailbox using PS. :-)

  22. MattShadbolt says:

    ha, so can’t manage the server locally and no desktop management tools – suppose we all would get used to managing out exch org on a win moble device!

    great work!

  23. You know… as someone who does all my system administration via Tablet PC, I really like the thought of getting a Surface…… lol.

  24. Jack says:

    hehe clippy rocks !

    but, i’d like to point that as much as I love powershell for bulk operations & such .. I did got my help desk some GUI help with exchange tasks 2007 from u-btech.com

    …well until we get a Surface ! :)

  25. oneill3 says:

    What a great idea…I was waiting for the part where we hand over the keys to the users and get them to create their own mailboxes ;)

    Then us admins don’t have to do anything.

  26. filipp says:

    Exchange GUI Usabilty isn’t something to make jokes about. It’s _really_ bad, it was a horrible decision to disintegrate from ADUC. Since neither EMC nor ADUC is complete, you know need two consoles for several Tasks. Beside this, EMC is really slow.

    Filipp

  27. Jack says:

    Fillipp , get exchange tasks 2007 , it rocks.

  28. Milind Naphade says:

    Microsoft Surface and Exchange UI. That looks a great combination.

    1st April is known as fool’s day though. :-)

    It will be great to have a Surface to administrator Exchange. Cool idea. Afterall Exch@nge Adminstrators are always distinct than others ;)

  29. Menko says:

    I want Earl the cat!

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