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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Agile and innovative Microsoft at Gartner ITxpo

Steve Ballmer was interviewed this Wednesday at Gartner's Symposium/ITxpo 2005 in Orlando, for those who could not assist there is blog coverage and a copy of the interview and a transcript, here are some things to point out about this re-organized Microsoft.

Strategy in the changing world

Windows brings massive community of developers with users together, similar to what eBay does with buyers/sellers and what online advertising does with advertisers, content producers and end users, there are a lot of opportunities to deliver new value on the client, server and the internet cloud.

Innovation is a top priority

There are 3 scenarios to innovate, short-term (MSN), mid-term (Office) and long-term (Windows). The "greatest innovation pipeline" includes:

Agility in the engineering system

To enhance integration and detect possible issues earlier - like security - Microsoft changed its development methodology to write agile software and reuse components, focusing in customer interaction through betas with huge-impact products like WinFS

The web as the end-user environment

MSN is globally the leader in time spent online thanks to the number of subscribers of MSN Messenger, Hotmail and MSN Spaces and to enhance web services experiences some things to work with are security in the browser, search integration and extending local desktop components

Innovation in search as the strategy

There are plenty of opportunities to innovate and compete in the search market, specially for the business end-user. Relevance will be enhanced when the search engine remembers the things I do respecting my privacy using technologies like natural language.

On Virtualization

Virtual Server 2005 R2's features are able to compete with upcoming open source competitors until the release of the hypervisor in 2008.

A better Unix than Linux

There are more migrations from Unix to Linux and Microsoft wants to be more competitive with the Compute Cluster Edition of Windows Server High-Performance Computing, lightweight windows-based hosting and security in appliances.

Ajax convergence with the rich client

Storage, processing and visualization are powerful in a rich local environment and will converge with technologies oriented to services like Atlas in applications like the new Hotmail Kahuna

Service Oriented Architecture Interoperability

Microsoft's focus is to bring the interoperability standards for Web Services in Windows products like ASP.NET and Biztalk towards better use of RSS-like protocols.

Management tools and Total Cost of Ownership

TCO is a high priority and tools like the System Center Capacity Planner are part of the Dynamic Systems and Infrastructure Optimization initiatives.

Simplifying licenses

Microsoft's simplest license available is the Enterprise Agreement and there have been announcements of licensing in virtualization scenarios, multicore processors and shared source.

Watch this in the future

This is where Microsoft is heading but I did not get the tip I was looking for, there was some hype before Web 2.0 conference about what company Scoble wanted Microsoft to acquire, and he is still expecting the check. Now I agree it could be Newsgator but Sphere looks interesting too, for sure I'll get back to this.


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