Microsoft Takes Launch on the Road

Microsoft's 'Heroes Happen Here' launch events encourage IT pros to test the company's new 2008 offerings.

Now that Microsoft has taken the wraps off the 2008 versions of Windows Server, Visual Studio and SQL Server, the company's hitting the road with a series of "Heroes Happen Here" launch events to ramp up the ecosystem for its new enterprise wares.

Steve BallmerAt the debut late last month in Los Angeles, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer described the three products as the most significant in the company's history.

"All three of these products do a lot to enhance Web and developer productivity, and make it very much easier to develop rich Internet and rich application experiences faster and with more scalability," Ballmer said at the launch event.

Awaiting Service Packs
While enterprise customers are clearly eager to test Microsoft's next-generation development and IT platforms -- and the advances they bring in developer productivity, system performance, security and virtualization, among other things -- there was general consensus that most will wait for the first service packs to deploy them, consistent with the launch of any new technology.

"Microsoft being Microsoft, people will be kind of cautious," says Harry Corcell, an account manager at Idera, a Houston-based provider of data management tools. "We're just starting to get people migrating to 2005 and it's been out for a couple of years."

Citigroup Inc. IT architect Jim Payne is interested in Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, which could help ease the development process of distributed development teams. Payne joined Microsoft Technical Fellow David Campbell on stage during a keynote address at the New York launch earlier this month.

While Payne told the audience his goal is to migrate to .NET Framework 3.5, his organization for now maintains a mixture of Visual Basic 6.0 and various earlier iterations of .NET, including some COM and MSMQ.

With the Citi Apply and Buy system, which processes 3 million transactions per day valued at an average of $4,000 per second, the risks of any migration are high. "Obviously when you have a system like this, you can't radically make changes," said Payne, who is vice president and senior lead analyst/architect of Integrated Partner Solutions at Citigroup's Citi Cards unit.

Microsoft has stated that its intent with the multi-city launch events is to get developers and IT pros to test the new offerings.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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