{ ready.for.take.off.here} Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 & SQL Server 2008 Launch Wave

October 19, 2007

Get the Vista Launch Countdown Gadget

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 12:33 pm

Wow – 180 days to go I learned today by installing the Vista Countdown Gadget:

image

Why not install yourself ? 

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Welcome to the 2008 Wave Partner Launch

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 12:26 pm

[This is the first post for our brand new blog aimed at helping Aussie partners get ready for the 2008 Wave Launch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and the next version of Visual Studio. Who better to give us the first post than our server & tools business group director, Martin Gregory, who is overall responsible for the success of these awesome products, including the launch]

From Martin

“What a day..!  Today at Hamilton Island we talked with over 600 MS Partners on the 2008 WAVE Launch…

As I said on stage at the keynote this will be:

“The BIGGEST IT Pro and Developer Outreach in the History of the Company”

and then I said that I want this to be:

“the BEST ever through Partner, Community and Online launch”.

I had conversations all day after the keynote and in the sessions with different partners thinking through how they will talk to customers about the “perfect storm” and the opportunity:

  • Hardware Issues – 64 bit, Multi Core, Virtualisation, Power Consumption
  • IT Pro Challenge – 70% of time in break/fix/maintain loop and only 30% doing the kind of thinking and work they want to do to extend the business or enable new capabilities.

We talked through Windows Server 2008 in some detail and looked at the 4 pillars:  Solid Foundation, Security, Virtualisation and Next Generation Web.

We ran out of Beta 3 CDs by morning coffee break and will make sure that we get Beta 3 CDs to all partners who left a business card at the 2008 Server stand in the exhibition area to save the download.

I took a turn helping partners on the FACES booth in the exhibition during the day, helping Partners meet their customers online and be a part of the FACE of Windows Server 2008…

My link for the day today would be to the FACES web site  http://www.microsoft.com/servers/faces

My thought for the day would be Terminal Services – the new Terminal Services in Windows Server 2008 enables “presentation virtualisation” and delivers enhanced functionality and a much better user experience – for more, see http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/terminal-services/default.mspx

With Terminal Services you can:

  • Deploy applications that integrate with the user’s local desktop.
  • Provide access to centrally managed Windows desktops.
  • Enable remote access for existing “WAN-unfriendly” applications.
  • Secure applications and data within the data center—no need to worry about lost laptops.

More details on terminal services here…. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/terminal-services/default.mspx

We will only succeed in our launch goals if we get the partner launch to rock – please subscribe to this blog as a important communication vehicle for you to stay informed on the launch wave. Here you will find all the main announcements and more detail – a one stop shop for launch wave information for partners in Australia.

THANK YOU !!

Martin Gregory. Server and Tools, Business Group Director. Microsoft Australia.

October 18, 2007

A New Way to Communicate Starts Today

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 2:08 pm

In the large tent outside the venue this morning, I had the chance to eat breakfast with several of our customers.  We talked all about the current state of communications.  They described how the communications world is split in two — they communicate on the telephone and they communicate on the computer.  They emphasized that both are essential, but the split between the two forms of communications oftentimes causes challenges, from communications overload to increasing costs to manage separate networks.

This short conversation mirrored what we have been hearing from many of our customers.  I was tempted to tell them all about unified communications at that moment, but then decided it would be best to leave it to Bill Gates and Jeff Raikes.

In the main auditorium, the lights dimmed promptly at 9:15 AM, indicating the start of the keynote.  The lights suddenly started flashing, music blared, and smoke appeared near the stage.  A musician appeared on stage playing a Gibson guitar (signed by both Bill Gates and Jeff Raikes) with Microsoft unified communications imagery plastered on it.  A video started playing on the center and side screens displaying images of strands.  The launching products (Office Communications Server 2007, Office Communicator 2007, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, Office Live Meeting, and RoundTable) were interspersed throughout the video.  As the video ended, the strands came together, signifying that the time to unify your communications is now.

Bill Gates then took the stage to share his thoughts on the future of communications and to usher in a new wave of enterprise VoIP and unified communications software and services.  Bill started by describing how the power of software would transform communications.  In the past, when you picked a PBX vendor, that was it.  If you wanted to move a single phone, it would cost $700 and require at least a week worth of lead-time.  Bill said, “People just accepted this as the way it was.”

Bill continued by saying we are starting to see a revolutionary change from the vertical to the horizontal.  You can now take a digital service and put it next to a PBX to take advantage of presence and other benefits of your PBX.  In the longer term, though, Bill envisions that the PBX will eventually disappear, and we will have 100% of our communications based on software.  Bill aptly stated that, “This is as profound as the shift from the typewriter to the PC.”

Jeff Raikes came on stage next and started by stating that users waste 37 minutes a day making calls to people who are not there.  Jeff said that this “adds up to 30 hours a year.”  Additionally, the average information worker receives almost 100 messages per day in up to seven different places.  This inundation of messages is overwhelming for the end users and costly for the IT departments to manage.

With innovations in networks and software, it is possible to reduce these issues by unifying the ways people communicate into a consistent software-based experience.  That is what we are delivering with Office Communications Server 2007, Office Communicator 2007, Office Live Meeting, Microsoft Roundtable, and a service pack update to Exchange Server 2007.

A few other points stuck out from Jeff’s speech:

  • More than 200,000 people are already using the new products we’re launching
  • Forrester Research recently completed a study on our early adopters, which concludes that the average company can realize a 500% ROI in three years.
  • Global Crossing found that systems with embedded UC improved employee response times by 80%.
  • More than 50 partners are announcing new products and services that build on our unified communications products

Eric Swift really brought home what both Bill and Jeff said by demonstrating the launching products.  I participated in the demo as one of the meeting participants.  It was great to be a part of one of Bill’s last Microsoft speeches.

If you were unable to attend the keynote, you can view the streaming video: 100K | 300K | 750K.  I would also encourage you to read Bill Gates’ executive email to customers, which outlines his vision for software-powered communications technologies.

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Releases to Manufacturing

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 1:59 pm

Some great news today from the Communications Server and Communicator Product Groups that OCS 2007 and OC 2007 have released to manufacturing (RTM).

More information on this release will follow, but we wanted to let you know that we have reached this milestone.

Getting Ready for Kick Off for the Unified Communications Launch Event

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 1:58 pm

I am here at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium right across the street from the San Francisco City Hall.  This location, which has a eclectic history of once being the home of the NBA’s San Francisco Warriors, the site of the 1920 Democratic National Convention, and numerous concerts by artists such as the Grateful Dead, Elvis Presley, Snoop Dogg, and others, will be the site tomorrow of Microsoft’s launch of the next generation of unified communications products and services. Everyone tells me it’s going to rain, so the huge white tent in front of the building will make for a great welcome to guests.

Event preparations have been underway all weekend.  The setup crews have been working hard to ensure everything is ready for the arrival of thousands of attendees.  The session speakers have been diligently rehearsing their material, and we wrapped up the night with Bill Gates and Jeff Raikes running through their material. They look like they’ve done it a few times before and are ready to get things going in style J It’s strange to think this might be the last time Jeff and Bill present together like this before Bill retires next summer. Most of the team is now at a reception for our partners, who share the stage with us tomorrow in so many ways and are a huge part of the story.

This event is the culmination of well over a year’s work at Microsoft. Back in June 2006, we first put a stake in the ground by announcing that Microsoft would be betting in a big way on unified communications. Since then we have developed, tested and deployed products in over a hundred customer accounts, we have lined up a fantastic partner ecosystem and we have ignited the thought leadership and energy in the industry. Tomorrows event is the culmination of all that. Office Communications Server 2007, Office Communicator 2007, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, Office Live Meeting, and RoundTable will be showcased to the world.

You can already sense a high level of excitement and anticipation, especially for the keynote.  Tomorrow morning at 9:15 AM Pacific Time, Bill Gates and Jeff Raikes will deliver a joint keynote address to thousands of onsite attendees along with viewers around the globe via simulcast.

Everything is looking good to go. If you are fortunate enough to attend, you are in for a treat.  If not, I would highly recommend watching the simulcast.

Microsoft launched the next wave of Microsoft Unified Communications AND services

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 1:55 pm

Yesterday 16th of October 2007, Microsoft launched the next wave of Microsoft Unified Communications products AND services, including Office Communications Server 2007, Office Communicator 2007, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, and Office Live Meeting 2007, as Bill Gates and Jeff Raikes took the stage to keynote the Worldwide Kickoff Event in San Francisco.

MAY I INVITE you to Watch the Keynote RECORDING from the Worldwide Kickoff Event

We encourage you to view the keynote recording (1h 22 min) internally as soon as you can and tell our value story

From Microsoft PressPass you find

GARTNER’S MAGIC QUADRANT FOR UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS

Muglia on Opportunities: Enterprise CIO Conference 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 1:52 pm

Opportunities

a. Virtualization
b. Model Driven IT
c. Software as Service
d. Federation and Interoperability
e. Rich Internet Application

muglia CIO conference on opportunities

Virtualization

100% of audience does it .. Ranges from 50% – 70% in the audience of enterprise CIOs. National average is 10% of all servers and probably 5% in the small business arena.

Microsoft moving to 100% virtualization over 2 – 3 years, and Muglia believes that he is the most virtualized company in the world.

MS is growing 100,000 servers this year. The real constraint is power. Starting to measure computing power in Megawatts. Having better hardware utilization rates means this is an imperative.

Quincy, Washington — cheapest power in the United States .. They just built 2 x 12 Megawatts and it each 12 megawatt center holds 35,000 servers. They filled it in a year. Search alone will approach 100,000 servers within two years.

Model Driven IT

Today’s management model is after the deployment .. Microsoft is working to create SML and create management policy and drive into production. It will simplify the amount of procedural code that is written.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service_Modeling_Language

Software + Services

How do you focus on areas that allow you to generate Business Advantage?

The theory is that horizontal commodity services can aggregate demand, perform cheaper due to scale, and aggregate expertise and best process disciplines. Thus, an organization is free to apply resources on innovation and delivery closer to the core of the business mission.

The future data center: application have built in redundancy even if there environment fails, it does not impact the continuity. Must eliminate all points of failure within an application, and this creates huge skill demands. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft can do it, but they have major labor pull.

Show projections for internal Microsoft servers as bigger than the internet is today. Bandwidth consumption is going to be toned down with the right application design.

Federation and Interoperability

Extension of identity management. You have to manage your own proprietary directories and integrate with partners and external organizations.

What happens to identity if business units start to outsource to outside firms.

Over the next five years this will come to pass.

October 12, 2007

Zune: Connected Music and Entertainment announcement

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 12:19 pm

 

We’re expanding our family of devices with the addition of three new digital media players: Zune 4GB, Zune 8GB and Zune 80GB. The sleek, black Zune 80GB hard-drive model has a bright 3.2-inch screen and comes with new Zune Premium Headphones; the ultraportable Zune 4GB and Zune 8GB flash models are both available in pink, green, black and glossy red.

All new media players feature:

  • Wireless sync
  • Extended wireless sharing
  • New innovative touch controls
  • A built-in FM tuner
  • Recorded television content to go
  • And more…

The Zune Social
Launching this November, Zune Social is a beta online community that’ll give members a place to share their music tastes with others.
Zune Marketplace
Zune software and Zune Marketplace get a dramatically different new look and feel this November, too.
New Accessories
Zune will be offering a new line of accessories to help consumers get the most from their Zune. Original Zune accessories will work with new Zune devices and new accessories will also work with the Zune 30GB. View new accessories.

Unfortunately, no announcements on availability in Europe  *I hear sighs* 😦

October 7, 2007

SQL Server 2008 overview video (built entirely in Silverlight!)

Filed under: Microsoft,Silverlight,SQL Server 2008 — stefangeorgescu @ 6:55 pm

Check out http://www.microsoft.com/sql/2008/overviewdemo/ for a new video that provides a high level overview of what’s in SQL Server 2008. Quite an easy way to learn about the platform for the next generation of data-driven applications!

Want to see the .NET Framework source code?

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefangeorgescu @ 6:37 pm

Microsoft today announced that coinciding with the final release of Visual Studio 2008 we will release much of the source code to the .NET Framework Libraries under the Microsoft Reference License (http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sharedsource/licensingbasics/referencelicense.mspx) This means that anyone who accepts the license will be able to browse and view source code.  The set of libraries initially includes  the Base Class Libraries (System namespace, IO, Text, Collections, CodeDom, Regular Expressions, etc), ASP.NET, WinForms, and WPF .  Microsoft will add to this list as time goes on.  There are two ways people will access the source code:1)      They will download a package with all the source, and then they will be able to install and browse locally2)      VS 2008 integration will enable developers to debug from their own source code into the .NET Framework source code.  We’ll provide symbols for our source on an internet-accessible source-server; to enable this experience, the developer needs to set up the URI for the server.  When developers are stepping through code, if they wish, they will be able to step into the source code for the .NET base class libraries.   For more information check out this podcast interview with Shawn Burke at http://www.hanselminutes.com/default.aspx?showID=101 

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