Microsoft Readies IT Customers for Windows Vista, the 2007 Office System, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007

BARCELONA, Spain — Nov. 14, 2006 —Today at Microsoft®Tech•Ed: IT Forum, Microsoft Corp.’s foremost technology show in Europe for IT professionals, Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft, emphasized the increased value that Windows Vista™, the 2007 Microsoft Office system, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and Windows Server® “Longhorn” will bring to customers’ IT environments. Speaking to a sold-out show with more than 4,750 IT professionals from around the world, Muglia articulated the role of these next-generation products in supporting Microsoft’s vision of the infrastructure for the People-Ready Business. Muglia detailed a variety of new IT offerings, including updates to the Forefront™ and Microsoft System Center product lines, to help businesses prepare to take advantage of the new wave of products, which are designed to simplify how people work together, protect and manage content, find information, improve business insight, increase security, and ultimately reduce IT costs.

“As we look ahead to the release of new versions of our flagship products, our focus is to help our customers evaluate how the new wave of innovation can help them drive new levels of business success,” Muglia said. “We have worked with partners in Europe and across the globe to create a vast ecosystem that gives our customers a rich set of solutions for Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system and Exchange Server 2007. In fact, a recent IDC study of 28 European countries forecasted that Windows Vista will support more than 1 million IT jobs in this region and encourage the creation of up to 55 percent new IT jobs.”

Microsoft also announced names of European customers that are evaluating versions of Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system and Exchange Server 2007 and are seeing increased efficiencies in simplifying, managing and securing their IT environments.

“Keeping our infrastructure safe from the ever-evolving threat of spam and viruses is of utmost importance to our organization, and we are excited to leverage new innovations from this next-generation product portfolio to better secure our IT assets,” said Andreas Zit, senior consultant in the Business Infrastructure Department at T-Systems Austria. “Based on our early evaluation of Exchange Server 2007 and Forefront Security for Exchange Server, we are confident that the combination of these two products will help ensure we have a secure and resilient messaging environment.”

Other European customers that have begun evaluating one or more of these products are Blackwell Publishing, BMW, BT Global Services, The Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, France Telecom Group and Rijksmuseum.

Muglia also offered a look at Windows Server “Longhorn,” the next version of Microsoft’s server operating system, highlighted Microsoft’s increased commitment to interoperability, and reiterated the company’s comprehensive set of long-term customer promises to IT professionals and developers.

Looking Ahead: Windows Server “Longhorn”

With new features that support enhanced control, protection and flexibility, Windows Server “Longhorn” will be a great help in meeting the increasing demands of today’s business. Organizations that deploy it will have improved productivity and a reliable platform for powering applications, controlling network access, managing workloads and delivering critical services to the infrastructure. Several customers, including MySpace, have already begun to test Windows Server “Longhorn” and associated technologies, such as Internet Information Services (IIS) 7 and Windows PowerShell™, and are already seeing significant benefits.

“The benefit of adopting Windows PowerShell is that ad-hoc tasks that used to take upwards of 10 minutes can now run in five seconds or less, all the while providing better reporting, greatly increased accuracy and much less manual labor,” said Allen Huff, vice president of engineering at MySpace. “MySpace has also already begun to test production loads on Windows Server ‘Longhorn.’ We’ve already seen a significant reduction in CPU usage and an increase in requests per second from the new IIS 7 pipeline.”

Improving Interoperability

Demonstrating Microsoft’s commitment to working with the industry to enhance interoperability between Microsoft and other IT systems, Muglia announced the formation of the Interoperability Vendor Alliance, a cross-industry group of global software and hardware vendors and other organizations that will work together to enhance interoperability with Microsoft systems on behalf of their customers. Formed in large part due to customer demand for interoperability to be addressed with the same urgency as security and reliability, the alliance will proactively work with the community to help mitigate the risk, and reduce the cost, of integrating diverse systems. More information and a list of founding members can be found at http://www.interopvendoralliance.org.

Promise to Customers: Manage Complexity, Achieve Agility

A large portion of Muglia’s keynote address was devoted to Microsoft’s promise to customers for reducing the complexity and total cost of ownership of developing, deploying and managing solutions so an IT organization can focus on delivering new business value. The following are products introduced today that help manage complexity and achieve agility:

  • The release to the Web of Windows PowerShell, the new command-line shell and scripting language that helps IT professionals achieve greater productivity, more easily control system administration and accelerate automation. Exchange Server 2007, System Center Operations Manager 2007, System Center Data Protection Manager V2 and System Center Virtual Machine Manager leverage Windows PowerShell to improve user control and productivity. FullArmor, /n Software, Quest Software and PowerGadgets have also announced Windows PowerShell-based products that improve Windows® manageability, especially on Windows Vista and Windows Server “Longhorn.” Download is available at http://www.microsoft.com/powershell.

  • A Release Candidate of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2 and Windows XP Professional x64 Editions will be available this week at http://www.microsoft.com/technet through the Customer Preview Program. In addition to packaging critical, noncritical and customer-requested updates into one easily installed package, SP2 provides a range of enhancements designed to heighten security, reliability and performance in Windows Server 2003. SP2 also simplifies deployment of Windows Vista and Windows Server “Longhorn.” The final release of SP2 is targeted for the first quarter of 2007

  • New developments from Microsoft System Center include Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 R2 updated to provide a zero-touch deployment experience for Windows Vista. SMS 2003 customers can accelerate deployments and reduce complexity by using Microsoft SoftGrid via the SoftGrid SMS connector to eliminate application-to-application compatibility problems through virtualization. In addition, in the first quarter of 2007 with SMS 2003 SP3, customers will be able to better plan their Windows Vista migrations through identification of systems incompliant with the Windows Vista and Office Systems 2007 operating requirements, reconcile software purchased versus software installed, and categorize applications for consolidation during migration.

  • The upcoming release of System Center Operations Manager 2007, available in the first quarter of 2007, will enable large-scale health monitoring of Windows Vista environments and will provide new service-oriented monitoring functionality of the deployments of the 2007 Office system and Exchange Server 2007 as well. Microsoft recently announced the availability of System Center Operations Manager 2007 Release Candidate (RC) 1. Customers can download RC1 from the Microsoft Connect site at http://connect.microsoft.com.

Promise to Customers: Protect Information, Control Access

Muglia outlined the company’s promise to help protect business customers against the latest threats and enable secure access to IT infrastructure. Muglia announced new Forefront security products and features that will provide an additional layer of security for the upcoming wave of platform and application products:

  • Public beta for Microsoft Forefront Client Security, a new security product that helps protect business desktops, laptops and server operating systems. The solution delivers unified protection against emerging threats such as spyware and rootkits, as well as traditional threats such as viruses, worms and Trojan horses. Forefront Client Security is designed to make system protection easier by providing simplified administration through central management and critical visibility, so customers can stay in control and protect company systems efficiently. Customers can download the Forefront Client Security public beta at http://www.microsoft.com/clientsecurity.

  • Forefront Security for Exchange Server and Forefront Security for SharePoint® will be available in December to volume license customers to help businesses protect Exchange Server 2007 and 2007 versions of SharePoint products and technologies against malware, spam, inappropriate content and unwanted files. Based on the Sybari Antigen products acquired last year, both products ship with nine scan engines from leading security vendors, which are integrated and managed in a single solution to provide comprehensive layered protection against the latest threats. More details are available at http://www.microsoft.com/forefront.

  • Availability of an updated SharePoint Portal Optimizer and a new Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM Application Optimizer for the Intelligent Application Gateway, a product obtained with the acquisition of Whale Communications earlier this year. These new optimizers provide customized, policy-based access, content inspection and optimized application publishing of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SharePoint products and technologies.

Promise to Customers: Advance the Business With IT Solutions

On the heels of releasing, at Tech•Ed: Developers several technologies designed to help developers build next-generation applications for Windows Vista, the 2007 Office release and the Web at large, Muglia outlined the company’s promise to customers to deliver a trusted and scalable application platform foundation that empowers development teams and IT professionals to drive efficiencies, customer connections and value-added services for business growth.

Microsoft’s application platform is a portfolio of core products, best practice guidance and technology capability investments for the development, deployment and management of rich, interactive, data-intensive and process-driven applications. At the show Microsoft announced key updates in the areas of data management and development:

  • The release to manufacture for Visual Studio® Team Edition for Database Professionals, scheduled for Nov. 30, 2006. Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals provides a foundation for change management, development, testing and deployment of databases through integrated functionality designed to help database developers and administrators be more productive, reduce risk and drive quality. More information is available at http://www.msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/teamsystem/products/dbpro/default.aspx.

  • Process guidance for database professionals included in the Microsoft Solutions Framework. This process guidance is the first of its kind in the industry and demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to making the database professional a full-fledged participant in the application life cycle.

  • Availability of the Community Technology Preview (CTP of SP2 for Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005, which delivers key updates including data compression, increased business intelligence functionality, security updates relating to Common Criteria, manageability enhancements, support for Windows Vista and optimization for the 2007 Office system environment. More details about SP2 are available at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=71711. The SP2 November CTP can be downloaded immediately at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/ctp.mspx.

Promise to Customers: Amplify the Impact of Your People

Finally, Muglia reiterated Microsoft’s promise to customers to deliver the tools, technologies and training that enable IT professionals and developers to meet and support the maturing demands of today’s mobile and collaborative work force. As part of the Microsoft Learning Customer Readiness Promise, the company expects to train more than 1 million customers on Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system and Exchange Server 2007 within the first six months of product availability.

Other offerings announced today include the availability of Microsoft Official Distance Learning, which will enable IT professionals and developers to access anytime, anyplace technical training that provides a “day in the life” experience specific to IT job roles. The availability of virtual labs enables IT professionals and developers to immediately apply what they learn to real-world scenarios.

Further information on speaker sessions, technical workshops, partner information and announcements is available on the Tech•Ed: IT Forum virtual pressroom at http://www.mseventseurope.com/TechEd/06/pre.

About Microsoft Tech•Ed: IT Forum

In its fifth year in Europe, Tech•Ed: IT Forum is Microsoft’s premier EMEA conference, designed to provide IT professionals with technical training, information and community resources to build, plan, deploy and manage the secure connected enterprise. Tech•Ed: IT Forum Europe runs from Nov. 14–17 at the Centre Convencions Internacional in Barcelona, Spain.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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