: Microsofts Next Move: A Virtual Datacenter "> Microsoft also believes it has built the richest identity store with Active Directory, and has upped the bar with Windows Server 2003, not just for customers but for developers as well. "We support LDAP in Active Directory and are delivering a meta directory so identity objects and data can be moved back and forth between those identity stores," he said. But there are also things Microsoft can learn from the community model around open source, he admitted. "The transparency of the development model, the tools they have to debug using source, these are things we need to learn.Microsoft also recognized that it needs to be more transparent in its development process. "We need to do a better job of supporting our Most Valued Professional (MVP) partners . "We also need to use source as a tool. Customers want to use it as an insurance policy and for debugging purposes. We are supplying tools and interfaces around this, and will be doing more going forward. Our ambition is to combine the best of the commercial software model with the best of the community," he said. Steering pretty much clear of the controversy surrounding the potential threat to its business from Linux, Veghte simply cited the recent Microsoft-sponsored IDC study, which showed that Windows offers a better total cost of ownership proposition than Linux. Microsoft is also aware that information technology has to be a strategic asset to companies and not a cost center, which means that cutting costs is not enoughthere has to be business value as well, Veghte told the audience. Server software has to offer a business advantage, where the company can connect with its customers, integrate with partners, and empower employees. It also has to offer a safer investment by reducing expensive downtime, leveraging existing assets and planning for the future. Server software also has to offer greater choice, greater accountability and lower costs, creating more value for customers money, he said. The Windows Server platform delivers business advantage on the basis of an integrated platform model; safer investment comes from the best of community and commercial development models; and more value is delivered by providing a thriving global ecosystem, he said.
"We need to relearn in our development process how to participate with the broader community. I dont know what the right model is for each group, but we need to be out there interacting far more," Veghte said.