The Tech-Ed Curriculum
Microsoft is even more than before in the position of needing to ante upAs developers converge in Atlanta for this weeks Microsoft TechEd conference, Microsoft should seize the opportunity to set an agenda thats good for the future of enterprise IT. The following are our suggestions. First, Microsoft must condense some reality from the vapor of its .Net marketecture by moving decisively toward the long-awaited release of a developer tool suite, Visual Studio.Net, that is expected to deliver on the admirable potential of .Nets new programming model. With Suns surprising declarations at the recent JavaOne conference of its new service-oriented features and developer productivity enhancements for the Java platform, Microsoft needs to ante up. Second, Microsoft should commit clearly to the services-oriented shift of its software focus: a shift that Microsoft itself has long been urging on smaller developers. Microsoft officials have been talking for more than a year about a services-based, programmable Web, but at the same time, the company has been practicing business-as-usual packaging of CDsnot to mention selling software upgrades that seem more aimed at meeting Microsoft revenue goals than at solving any actual enterprise problems.
Microsofts acquisition of Great Plains may give Redmond an opportunity to demonstrate in a few years the sale-of-services model for enterprise software, but it appears that in Great Plains, Microsoft had to buy a commitment that it was unable to attract on the merits of its technology and vision. Unless independent developers start betting with their own money, IT buyers are unlikely to believe in what theyre being promised.