Microsoft on the Attack in Virtualization
Look out, VMware. Microsoft is making
very real moves
in the virtualization market.
Microsoft has made Virtual Server 2005 Release 2 (R2) Enterprise
Edition available as a no-charge download. It also released plug-ins
to let customers run leading Linux distributions on Virtual Server
2005, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and Novell SuSE Linux
Enterprise Server 9.
Microsoft -- in what has all the earmarks of an old-school, one-up
move -- made its Virtual Server announcement on the same day that
VMware announced the free, public availability of its Open Virtual
Machine Disk Format (OVMDK). VMware had made its own VMware Server
free back in February.
VMware officials played down the Microsoft move, saying that a
lot of partners and customers were already getting Virtual Server
for free from MSDN and other Microsoft programs. They also said
that VMware's embracing of ubiquitous standards and the cross-platform
nature of its products would be competitive advantages over Microsoft.
That may be true, as VMware is the runaway market leader in virtualization.
But, even runaway leaders shake in their boots when they hear Microsoft
make noise in their markets. Get ready for a heated battle.
And in Business Intelligence, Too
BI remains one of the hottest technologies in the industry, and
Microsoft is quietly building it into its core desktop and ERP applications.
This week, Microsoft
acquired ProClarity Corp., of Boise, Idaho, a small BI vendor
that develops products that work with Microsoft Office Business
Scorecard Manager, Microsoft Office Excel and Microsoft SharePoint
Portal Server. The Redmond giant is also building BI into its Dynamics
ERP application set.
Thus far, Microsoft's BI efforts, like the Dynamics products
themselves, have been mainly aimed at making BI available to mid-size
companies and bringing it down from the ivory tower of massively
expensive, time-consuming implementations. Look out, though. By
integrating BI into everyday applications, Microsoft might quietly
be building a challenge to market giants such as Business Objects
and Cognos. We might go so far as to wonder -- just wonder -- whether
Microsoft is eyeing one of those big players.
And, there's no doubt that BI is the hot technology of the
moment. At last week's Convergence conference, BI was buzzing
among partners, customers and even Microsoft folks themselves. After
all, what good is it having loads of metrics if non-technical people
can't make any sense of them?
column was originally published in our weekly
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Read more about Solutions Finder and last week's Convergence
Blastoff for Simonyi
Perhaps overly fascinated by the "Starfield" screensaver
in Windows, International Software founder and former Microsoft
developer Charles Simonyi is exchanging the frustration of the blue
screen for a view of the blue planet. He's signed a contract to
blast off into space.
Read more about Simonyi's adventure in the final frontier here.
Posted by Lee Pender on April 05, 2006 at 11:53 AM