Happy 2006! Hope You're Well Rested
Happy New Year! Had a good few days off? Let's hope, because the
life of a Microsoft partner is going to be insanely busy in 2006.
To be successful with Microsoft, partners need to be attuned to
what Microsoft is focused on: products. The partners that Microsoft
rewards are the ones who are talking up -- and more importantly,
selling -- Microsoft's latest technologies.
Barring catastrophic developments, 2006 is going to be Microsoft's
busiest shipping year in a while. Opportunities already abound in
several new products just barely out the door: SQL
Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and Windows Server 2003 R2.
Even so, the product pipeline is full. Dominating Microsoft's schedule
for 2006 are updates to the company's most important products from
a revenue standpoint. The Windows client will get an update late
in the second half with Windows Vista, and a near simultaneous update
is coming for Office in Office 12. These are the huge updates that
will require monumental preparations from ISVs, resellers and service
Meanwhile, those of you focusing on small business have an R2 version
of Windows Small Business Server coming out in a few months. The
integration-focused among you can look forward to a new version
of Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006, code-named "Pathfinder."
More Microsoft Dynamics products are on tap, including a new version
of Axapta, now dubbed Microsoft Dynamics AX. Even a new version
of Internet Explorer 7.0 for Windows XP Service Pack 2 is coming,
supposedly months ahead of Vista, which will have its own overhaul
In the meantime, new betas should shed light on changes coming
in Windows Longhorn Server, planned for a 2007 release. Meanwhile,
aspects of the Microsoft software value proposition will change
dramatically in March when most of the changes in Software Assurance
2.0 kick in.
We'll be around all year to help you stay on top of the technologies
that Microsoft will ship in 2006, and the opportunities those products
column was originally published in our weekly
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More Serious Security Issues
Even as Microsoft gets ready to roll out sparkling new products
in 2006, the year is starting out with a focus on security problems
in the current products. Yet another of the frightening zero-day
exploits emerged over the holidays. This one affected even versions
of Windows XP loaded with Service Pack 2 and fully patched. Microsoft
is furiously testing a patch, which could come out ahead of the
next monthly Patch Tuesday, which arrives next week.
Every time we ask, you cite security as one of the top complaints
you hear back from your customers about Microsoft products. We've
written about how, in many cases, those concerns are outdated. Flaws
like this, where even the most fully patched system is open to a
vulnerability that's already being exploited by malware, certainly
won't help. Let's hope this isn't a harbinger of the way 2006 is
going to turn out.
Check out Mike Desmond's coverage of the flaw here.
Python for .NET Takes Shape
A beta is out for Microsoft's open source release of a version of
the Python scripting language that works inside .NET. Called IronPython,
Microsoft acquired the project when it hired Jim Hugunin in 2005.
Find out if you should be playing with this beta here.
Posted by Scott Bekker on January 04, 2006 at 11:53 AM