Microsofts Raikes Touts Office 2003; Takes Swing at Linux

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-10-10 Print this article Print

Office 2003 shows the new potential of information worker productivity, the Microsoft exec told attendees at this week's Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans.

NEW ORLEANS—Information worker productivity is at a tipping point, becoming a workspace for innovation, integration and teams, with Microsoft itself making a major transition and working with its partners to make this happen, Jeff Raikes, Microsofts group vice president on productivity and business solutions, said Friday.

Addressing several thousand attendees at the Worldwide Partner Conference, he took a swipe at Linux, open source and StarOffice, saying, "they simply accept the view that what they have is good enough. That view does not foster innovation. Being where we were with Office 1997 is not good enough for us," he said.

Microsoft Office 2003 shows the new potential of information worker productivity, where services come together to dramatically enhance what people can do together, said Raikes. Microsoft will release more products around information worker productivity this year than it has ever released before, with nearly 50,000 Microsoft employees already using Office 2003 internally, Raikes said.
Randy Schilling, president of Microsoft partner Quilogy Inc., took the stage to share his experience with Office System so far, saying it has fundamentally changed his business and the way it went to market. Quilogys customers wanted a simpler solution, and Office System offered them that, he said.
The company is already implementing solutions on top of Office System; for example, at Seattles Childrens Hospital it has simplified and reduced the number of applications used by nurses, doctors and staff from 60 to 10, Schilling said. Microsofts Raikes said research showed that desktop upgrades were a priority for CIOs in 2003, which provided a $2 billion opportunity for partners. Microsoft will invest $500 million globally to reach out to customers through advertising and to establish a brand concept that shows the connection between using Office and success in the job. Pieter Knook, senior vice president of the mobile and embedded devices division, told the crowd here that Microsoft is focused on making the PDA and the phone a bigger part of the solution. "Our job is to make sure that our portable mobile devices fit into the larger office productivity and client vision," he said, demonstrating the latest Motorola MPx 200 Smart phone, which will start shipping in two weeks and be available on the AT&T wireless network in the United States. These devices will also fit far better with Office System 2003 and Exchange System 2003, being integrated into a single server rather than several servers, which has been the case until now. Exchange 2003 will also be accessible from PDAs and phones with browsers, Knook said.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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