Microsoft's cloud initiatives range from a new Dynamics CRM Online in the fourth quarter of 2011, to the upcoming Windows Server 8, as announced at this week's WPC.
using its Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles to push the cloud as an
ideal solution for businesses looking to boost their productivity and
during the company's July 12 keynotes included the upcoming release of a System
Center 2012 beta, which lets IT administrators manage machines and applications
across a system of public and private clouds. An App Controller feature gives
those pros an aggregated understanding of all their private clouds, along with
services deployed on Windows Azure.
executives also mentioned the next version of Windows Server, code-named
Windows Server 8, which will apparently boost the ability to manage private-cloud
infrastructure. However, the company is keeping a somewhat tight lid on details
until September's Build conference, where Windows 8 will make a fresh
with the conference, Microsoft is also offering up SQL Server Code Name
"Denali" Community Technology Preview 3 (or CTP3) and SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1,
both of which are available via the Microsoft SQL Server Team Blog
plans to make the next Dynamics CRM Online update available in the fourth
quarter of 2011. In keeping with Microsoft's increased focus on the cloud, data
within the new offering can be ported across devices, including Windows Phones
and Windows-powered tablets. In addition, enterprise customers will have the
ability to bundle the platform along with Office 365, the company's new
interoperability between Microsoft Dynamics and cloud services, such as Windows
Azure and Office 365, presents an enormous opportunity for partners to deliver
a complete business productivity experience to customers and to grow their
businesses," Kirill Tatarinov, president of Microsoft Business Solutions, wrote
in a July 12 statement ahead of his keynote address at Los Angeles' Staples
aforementioned speech, he took a more philosophical bent toward Microsoft's
business software. "The only constant in the world is change," he told the
audience. "We're setting up a future where every business can be dynamic ... we
build tools, systems and methodologies that empower and enable business."
But make no
mistake: Microsoft is very much concerned with blunting competitive forays by
the likes of Salesforce.com and Google into the areas of CRM and online productivity.
have become increasingly intense. In December 2010, for example, Microsoft took
a hard swipe at Salesforce, posting "An Open Letter to Salesforce.com
Customers" in which it dangled a $200-per-user rebate for any organization that
switched from its upstart cloud-computing rival. That followed on the heels of
tit-for-tat lawsuits over intellectual property, a situation resolved in August
when Salesforce agreed to compensate Microsoft for its patents.
Microsoft has announced all these updated products, of course, the next big
question is how its rivals will respond.
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