Windows Server 2008: Ready for Action?
The VAR Guy has made harsh comments about Windows Vista over the past year. But he has a far higher opinion of Microsoft’s server strategy. In fact, the imminent release of Windows Server 2008 is good news for just about everyone in the channel — even open source application developers. Here are five ways partners will likely cash in on Windows Server 2008 .
5. Triple Play: Windows Server 2008, which Microsoft has released to manufacturing, wasn’t written in a bubble. Microsoft also is close to launching SQL Server 2008 (although it has been delayed until Q3) and Visual Studio 2008.
Translation: Thousands of independent software developers (ISVs) will be mastering new development tools at both the application and database levels. Say what you want about Microsoft’s “old” model of engaging ISVs, but it’s still a massive ecosystem that most rivals continue to envy.
4. Open Alternatives: The traditional press and some trade press hacks think open source databases and applications are written exclusively for Linux. In many cases, that’s not true.
One prime example: SugarCRM, the open source CRM system, is wildly popular on Windows servers. And you can safely assume, The VAR Guy hears, that SugarCRM will firmly embrace Windows Server 2008 (formerly code-named Longhorn) as a new platform opportunity.
3. Software as a Service: Plenty of Microsoft partners are rolling out SaaS applications on top of Windows Server. One prime example: Sunrise Technologies and SolidSpace are partnering to offer Microsoft Dynamics AX (the ERP platform) as a hosted per-user/per-month service, notes MSPmentor.
2. Oracle, SAP Weigh In: As Windows Server 2008 gains momentum, you can bet that big, established ISVs will put marketing and R&D dollars into the market to (A) drive application upgrades and (B) compete effectively against Microsoft’s own server suites.
1. Big Iron Balancing Act: Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and other server vendors maintain a balancing act between Linux and Windows Server. Linux allowed them to keep Microsoft’s server power in check. Now, Windows Server 2008 will ensure that Red Hat doesn’t gain too much leverage in the server space. These days, even Sun plans to support Windows Server 2008 on its hardware.
For Microsoft, Windows Server 2008 represents an opportunity to solidify its position in fast-growing markets (SaaS, virtualization) while leveraging its strong legacy with ISVs.
Initial reviews of Windows Server 2008 appear promising (here’s the spin from ComputerWorld). But keep the positive early press in perspective. The early trade press buzz on Windows Vista was quite upbeat as well.