The Aim of Centro

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-09-07 Print this article Print

is to Keep it Simple"> "We believe the automation of these mundane tasks will greatly improve our customers lives, give them back that lost time and help them move from being reactive to more proactive and help them push IT forward," he said.

The Centro code name is Spanish for center, and reflects the square in the middle of the town around which the whole village revolves.
"We believe that with Centro in their core infrastructure, customers are planting the foundation in their company to enable the business benefits of IT far beyond where they are today," VanRoekel said.
Microsoft is also currently talking to OEMs and evaluating the various hardware platforms on which Centro will run, especially around where hardware is likely to be in the 2007 timeframe. "We are looking at both 32-bit and 64-bit as well as the hardware we have today. Some of the prototyping we are doing inside the company is on todays hardware and things are going pretty well," VanRoekel said. Asked by if Centro would be 64-bit only if a decision was made to make Windows Longhorn Server 64-bit only, VanRoekel said that Microsoft was still evaluating whether Longhorn Server should be just 64-bit and if it were "that would not necessarily be the case for us." Microsoft is also looking at a range of licensing and pricing options for Centro, based on its goal of making it "easy to consume," but no decisions have been made. "We will do a model probably pretty similar to Small Business Server(SBS), which we consider part of the family. The solutions team also owns SBS and so you can think of this offering as a SBS, but for the midmarket," he said. Earlier this year, Microsoft offered customers a new bundle for the midsize market at 20 percent less than the open pricing for the products. Click here to read more on Microsofts midmarket bundle. VanRoekel said this pricing continuum would continue, "but we are still very much deciding on price and there are lots of considerations relative to price, all of which are being evaluated," he said. VanRoekel also confirmed that Microsoft was looking at offering Software Assurance-type solutions for Centro. The team was also working with Microsoft Capital, which allows customers to finance the purchase of hardware, software and finances. The Redmond software giant will also, in October, announce the launch of Open Licensing Value 2.0 for the midmarket segment, which will give those customers more of the benefits of Software Assurance, including spreading payments across three years and better support, Van Roekel said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.

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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