Day 1 at WPC is officially in the books and I’ll save you some time if you don’t feel like reading a lot: meh.
The downside: Windows 7, Office 10
The announcement was pretty much as expected. Unfortunately, it is the same old story: unfinished, unreleased, peak at the future. One that the small and medium markets are going to look at seriously.
Virtual XP Mode is cool to me as a geek. But as a business owner and a developer it just gives me the safety net not to look at newer Microsoft technologies, consider or recommend upgrades. So if the line of business stuff can run on the same Windows and .NET environment from 6 years ago (assuming they actually release it this year) then there is no incentive to develop for (and for many of you) incentive to upgrade to the latest.
Obviously Microsoft sales pitch is different to the partners, focusing on how moving to Windows 7 will not impact your workplace or disable current LOBs, but it’s sort of a tombstone to the purchase/install/upgrade/migrate era. Frankly, glad to see that one come to an end.
The Upside (for us): Office Web Apps
Nothing new here, though they spun it rather well. It’s great news for the technology support and business technology companies. Microsoft is stepping up it’s fight with Google and the more they focus on trying to take Google out of the picture, the less time they will have to screw their partner base.
Check out this blog post from Mini-Microsoft from a few days ago:
This is happening, too, while the shine on Google is dulling. Rather than pulling an Apple on us anymore, Google has picked up the nasty habit of pre-announcing technology. Guys, you stole the wrong playbook. And, uh, we don’t want it back.
Microsoft and Google are convinced that the future of the Internet is on the cloud, in the ability to quickly locate information and have the minimalist OS that quickly responds to those searches.
Google makes money on search. Everything else they give away.
Microsoft makes money on Windows and Office and loses money on everything else it does.
As I wrote last week, Microsoft and Google are fighting tooth and nail to become more cloud/consumer-centric companies and get the next generation to base their solutions on their frameworks / virtualization / APIs and services.
Meanwhile in the real world, people still want an SLA and affordability. With Microsoft and Google, it’s either or none 😉 And I can’t be happier about that.
I also think the more serious Microsoft gets about their fight with Google, the more time they give all of us to become more formidable companies focused on the clients and cutting their IT costs.
My personal vision and what we’re working on at OWN and ExchangeDefender is a technology services business void of technology people. The technology people are going to be inside IT providers house, not out on the road, under the desk, in the ceiling or the roof. Microsoft is further cementing this.
Give huge credit to Google, Yahoo, Amazon and all of Microsoft’s competitors here. If Microsoft existed without big competition, they would never be as open or as free in terms of adapting (not adopting) their software to open standards that are making customization possible and going further from the “Microsoft on every desk” world.
Awesome reception at the expo, got a chance to talk to a bunch of people during just the first few hours and compare notes with my existing partner base. It’s interesting to watch – people that saw the presentations in person seem to be far more realistic about what this is and what the direction is. The guys watching WPC online seem to be more excited about it – might just be a different kind of a partner that attends WPC vs. one that stays at home, might be that Microsoft Silverlight is laced with crack 😉 But it’s clear that Microsoft is putting the infrastructure partners 6 feet under unless they are about to build a data center. Again, good news for me 😉
New Orleans is fantastic. Don’t listen to the wusses about it being too hot and humid, it’s not. It’s awesome.
Day 2. Microsoft bashing Vmware, Amazon ECS… they just announced Azure’s pricing and nobody clapped. After the “infomercial” reinforcement “It’s available today!!!” about quarter of the room clapped. Ouch. “Microsoft is your partner in moving to the cloud.” Tough audience. But more on this tomorrow.