Microsoft Executives Detail Vision, Promises for Enabling the Infrastructure for the People-Ready Business

Editor’s Note, July 19, 2006 –
The name of SQL Server 2005 Everywhere Edition has been corrected to accurately reflect branding.

BOSTON — June 11, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. senior executives today kicked off the 14th annual Microsoft® Tech•Ed 2006 conference by detailing Microsoft’s commitment to helping IT professionals and developers design, deploy and operate an infrastructure for the “People-Ready” Business, and by introducing investment areas in which Microsoft focuses on ensuring that people can unlock the power of information technology and drive new levels of business success.

Speaking to a sold-out show with more than 11,000 attendees, Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business; Chris Capossela, corporate vice president, Information Worker Product Management Group; and Ray Ozzie, chief technical officer, together articulated Microsoft’s vision of the infrastructure for the People-Ready Business — an end-to-end portfolio of IT products, technologies, services and resources designed to empower IT professionals and development teams across the IT life cycle, from the development of powerful and secure solutions through the deployment, management and maintenance stages.

To make the vision a reality, the executives introduced a comprehensive set of long-term customer promises to IT professionals and developers that align the company’s efforts to meet key customer needs. The customer promises are these:

  • Manage complexity, achieve agility

  • Protect information, control access

  • Advance the business with IT solutions

  • Amplify the impact of people

“IT professionals are increasingly focused on reducing costs and gaining business advantage through strategic use of IT,” Muglia said. “The customer promises we’re outlining today are a simple way to spell out what we’re committed to on behalf of IT pros and developers, and the organizations they serve. We believe that these investment areas, coupled with our rich partner ecosystem, our wide-ranging community programs and knowledge resources, ultimately empower IT pros and developers to deliver measurable value to their organizations.”

You can read more about Microsoft’s customer promises to IT pros and developers.

Muglia said the infrastructure for the People-Ready Business is designed to empower IT professionals and development teams to deliver a new breed of IT solutions that can meet the fast-changing and dynamic needs of business today and in the future. The result for customers is that IT can fundamentally drive business success, Muglia said.

A recent multicountry research study by Harvard Business School affiliate Keystone Strategy supports this assertion, finding that well-optimized IT directly affects business performance: Companies in the top 25 percent of IT capability grew revenue 6.8 percent faster per year than their peers in the bottom 25 percent of IT capability between 2002 and 2005.

Forefront Security Brand, New Business Security Solutions Unveiled

To help businesses deal more effectively with increasingly advanced, fast-moving and diversely motivated threats to security, Muglia spelled out a new and higher level of commitment to providing business customers with a comprehensive set of security and access solutions:

  • Following last week’s release of the Microsoft Antigen e-mail security products, Microsoft today launched Internet Security & Acceleration Server 2006, an integrated edge security gateway that helps protect IT environments from Internet-based threats while providing users with fast and security-enhanced remote access.

  • Muglia also announced Microsoft Forefront, a new brand for the next wave of security and secure access products. The Forefront brand values reflect Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to providing a comprehensive set of security products across client, server and edge that integrate with existing infrastructure and simplify the task of managing and controlling IT security and access.

  • The Forefront line will include Forefront Client Security (formerly called Microsoft Client Protection), a solution delivering unified malware protection for business desktops, laptops and server operating systems. An early beta version has been made available to select customers, and a public beta is planned for the fourth quarter of 2006.

Momentum for the Microsoft Application Platform

Emphasizing the importance of IT responsiveness to business needs, Muglia discussed core application platform investments designed to better position IT as a driver of business opportunity and 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 applications. At the show Microsoft announced key updates in the areas of data management, development and business process management, including these:

  • Partner support for SQL Server™ Always On Technologies. HP, IBM Corp., Fujitsu, EMC Corp., Network Appliance Inc., 3PAR, Hitachi Ltd. and NEC Corp. have pledged to help customers build a line of minimum-downtime business systems that achieve and maintain appropriate levels of application availability.

  • The availability of a Community Technology Preview (CTP) of SQL Server 2005 Everywhere Edition, a new offering for storage on clients of all types that will provide a lightweight, compact but rich subset of capabilities found in other SQL Server editions. Customers can download the CTP at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/ctp_sqlserver2005everywhereedition.mspx.

  • The Community Technology Preview of Visual Studio® Team Edition for Database Professionals, which expands Visual Studio 2005 Team System to include tools that enable software development organizations to collaborate more effectively and better manage risk and change when creating reliable, data-driven applications. Customers can download the CTP at http://www.msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/teamsystem/products/dbpro/default.aspx.

  • BizTalk® Server 2006 R2, announced last week and scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2007, will extend core business processes beyond corporate boundaries and into supply chain and trading partner scenarios through the management of radio frequency identification (RFID) devices, and events and electronic data interchange (EDI) messages.

  • The BizTalk Adapter Pack, a set of application adapters to enable customers to surface line-of-business data directly into familiar interfaces such as Microsoft Office or any client using Web services.

Exchange Server 2007 Beta 2 Announced

As the leader of Microsoft’s Information Worker Product Management Group, Capossela discussed the changing nature of work and announced that Exchange Server 2007 Beta 2, the industry-leading server for e-mail, calendaring and unified messaging, will be publicly available to customers and partners worldwide by end of July.

Microsoft also disclosed new mobile features and functionality in Exchange Server 2007, including support for search on a device, improved meeting request handling, support for HTML e-mail, message flagging and self-service remote device wipe. The upcoming availability of Exchange Server 2007 Beta 2 is a key step forward to general availability for late 2006 or early 2007.

Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 Released

Windows® Compute Cluster Server 2003, Microsoft’s first software offering designed specifically to run parallel, high-performance computing (HPC) applications, has been released to manufacturing and will be generally available in August. The new product accelerates time to insight by providing a reliable HPC platform that is simple to deploy, operate and integrate with existing infrastructure and tools.

“We’re committed to developing a world-class drug discovery platform here at the institute, and an important step in doing so is the need to dock drug candidates against proteins for in-depth analysis,” said Matt Wortman, Ph.D. and director of computational biology and IT at the Genome Research Institute, University of Cincinnati. “This application is appropriate for parallelization, which has traditionally represented a complex and costly IT project. However, now with Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, we’re able to leverage our existing Microsoft infrastructure and skills to reduce costs and improve security via identity management. And because Windows has broad support from application vendors, we’re able to partner with BioTeam to quickly build and deploy the drug discovery application.”

System Center Operations Manager Beta Now Available

Highlighting a key deliverable on the Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI) road map, Muglia announced the public availability of System Center Operations Manager 2007 beta, the next version of Microsoft Operations Manager 2005. Operations Manager 2007 is the first System Center product to leverage the System Definition Model (SDM) to deliver powerful new service-oriented management for business critical services such as Exchange, SharePoint®, and Active Directory® and line-of-business (LOB) applications built on SQL Server 2005. In addition, the product moves beyond servers to provide proactive monitoring of Windows Vista™ and Windows XP client environments.

Customers interested in downloading beta 2 of System Center Operations Manager 2007 should go to http://www.microsoft.com/mom/evaluation/beta/opsmgroverview.mspx.

Develop Without Borders Contest

Also announced is a new contest co-sponsored by HP that encourages solution architects and developers to submit a design for an Office Business Application that benefits a charity of their choice. Winners can receive proof-of-concept funding up to $150,000 in cash and prizes to help make their ideas real, as well as individual prizes. For further details are available at http://www.developwithoutborders.com.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 Previewed

Exemplifying how Microsoft’s current products are evolving to incorporate services, Ozzie highlighted Microsoft Dynamics™ AX version 4.0, a leading enterprise resource planning solution that will be launched at the show this week.

“Using the Web service functionality within Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0, users can now create ‘business mashups’ — weaving Web-based services into rapid custom solutions to focus on solving a business problem across disparate systems and information silos,” Ozzie said. “Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 server and service capabilities are also made available directly in Outlook®, or through remixable technologies such as RSS, allowing users to work in systems that are familiar to them and providing greater visibility across their organization. Our approach to other forms of enterprise IT infrastructure will be similarly flexible — in areas such as e-mail-related services, collaboration services or communications services.”

About Microsoft TechEd 2006

Tech•Ed, one of Microsoft’s premier developer and IT professional training events, reaches more than 75,000 people worldwide annually, providing attendees with access to technical experts, the latest technical information and hands-on labs to learn the skills they need to build state-of-the-art solutions. Sponsors of Tech•Ed 2006 in Boston include Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), EMC Corp., HP and Intel Corporation.

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.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.

Related Posts

Executive Q&A: What Is a “People-Ready” Business?

Microsoft Business Division President Jeff Raikes discusses the company’s focus on people as the core driver of business outcomes, and how that means helping businesses bridge the gap between their people and the technology required to realize better business performance.