Microsoft Hosts Strategic Architect Forum

Microsoft kicked off its fourth Strategic Architect Forum -- a gathering of 250 of the most influential software architects among the largest of its worldwide customers -- on the company’s sprawling Redmond campus on Wednesday.

Also attending the two and a half day event will be 100 of Microsoft’s most senior field architects.

The invitation-only event, which is fully attended despite a snow storm Monday that brought the Seattle area to an unseasonably icy halt, is meant to be “a dialog between Microsoft and our customers on architectural topics that allows them to make the best technology decisions and helps us to deliver the best technology choices,” a company spokesperson said in an e-mail.

This year’s theme is a predictable one -- though it clearly illustrates that Microsoft chief software architect Ray Ozzie is sincere in his push towards software as a service while trying not to undermine the company’s traditional rich client emphasis -- “software + services.” The agenda includes roundtable discussions, informational presentations, and keynotes.

Among this year’s attendees are CIOs and chief architects from Wal-Mart, Safeway, MySpace, Sandia Labs, Johnson & Johnson, the Environmental Protection Agency, Honda, Nokia, Coca-cola, BP, Commerzbank AG, Dell, the US Army Material Command, and even the city government of Moscow, according to a Microsoft blog post regarding the event.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.