Microsoft's approach to virtualization and the virtualization business was changed by the recent introduction of Windows Server 2008. . That none to gentle dig came from Microsoft COO Kevin Turner as Microsoft kept up the pace of news introductions and executive appearances at the 2008 CeBIT show in Germany.
Turned contended with a pricing structure of "two-third the price of the nearest competitor" and cross platform capabilities, the Microsoft product outpaces its competition. While it is not unusual for tech execs to champion their own products, the noise from Microsoft at this year's big technology show in Hannover, Germany has been exceptional. The Microsoft surge here has included coming up with a "green" product announcement to match the show's main theme, a keynote by Steve Ballmer, the appearance by Turner and a sprawling booth. If the thought was that Microsoft might be somewhat reluctant to make a lot of public relations noise following a $1.4 billion fine from the European Union related to monopoly practices, that thought would be really, really wrong.
Turner, the former CIO of WalMart was effusive in his praise of virtualization and in Microsoft's approach. Microsoft's Hyper-V is the name given to the company's hypervisor approach that formerly went under the code name of Viridian. Virtualization will "have a significant impact" on the value IT delivers to business, Turner noted. Part of that impact will be the ability for the CIO to "save a lot of money," he said.
Virtualization, along with mobility, collaboration and knowledge management represents four of the most rapidly advancing technologies said Turner. Those four technologies were also the ones championed by Ballmer a day earlier at CeBIT.
He also mentioned Microsoft's recent announcements regarding interoperabilityas a significant and "important strategic shift" for the company. He also championed the idea of software plus services as more flexible for the corporate IT executive as opposed to vendors solely offering software as a service . In response to audience questions about pricing Microsoft products at a lower rate for developing countries, he said the company has recently made pricing moves that address that issue.
One continuing concern for the company is piracy of its products. Price cutting, "does not fix piracy," said Turner who added that the piracy issue has been a "real learning curve to me." He said the company continues to investigate new methods for combating piracy.