Monday, June 12, 2006

This is a little late, but better late than never. I tried posting this last night on my Jasjar, but wasn't able to keep a connection going.

The keynote this year featured Ray Ozzie, Bob Muglia, and Chris Capossela. Micrsoft introduced the "four promises":

1. Manage Complexity, Achieve Agility
2. Protect Information, Control Access
3. Advance the Business with IT Solutions
4. Amplify the Impact of Your People

This is the year of what Microsoft is calling "people ready" software. People ready software sounds like the service oriented programming model rebranded to a catchier title. People ready software is the logical conclusion of the consumer market moving towards a more service oriented architecture with the introduction of the Microsoft Live brand of products. Microsoft feels that this is only the beginning and that the industry is moving towards a "services disruption", a phrase coined by Ray Ozzie. This services disruption is fueled by the Grove technology that Microsoft is incorporating in to the Microsoft Office family of products and is positioned as a middle ground for business to adopt the software as a service model without completely decentralizing their network.

There are lots of new products looming on the horizon, least of which is Vista. Bob Muglia hailed Vista as the most secure operating system Microsoft has created and perhaps the most secure in the industry. Very bold words for a company that has traditionally been riddled with security flaws in their operating systems and other operating system core components (namely Internet Explorer).

Microsoft is investing heavily in the server virtualization market as well. There are updates to Virtual Server 2003 that are coming in the next few weeks to help ease the transition to the next generation of virtual servers. Microsoft is rumoring that by the end of next year they will have not only full support for hardware virtualization, but also support in Longhorn for operating system virtualization (this is where the core operating system services are virtualized) and support for application virtualization (which would allow incompatible versions of the software (either the same or different) to run at the same time). In order to further their goals of application virtualization, Microsoft has bought Softricity.

In the arena of security, Microsoft announced a new security product called Forefront that promises to ease the adoption of better security models when using Vista and XP. Forefront also has Antigen components not only for Exchange but also now for SharePoint and Live Communication Server.

All in all, it promises to be an interesting year for Microsoft and the industry as a whole. We'll have to wait and see if Microsoft follows through on their promises.


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