[clug] Microsoft's (new) PDC - "Professional Development Conference"

Stephen Jenkin sjenkin at pcug.org.au
Sun Oct 12 13:04:34 EST 2003


Saw these links come by.  
Micro$oft, putting the Dollars back into Software. 
"Where do you want to go today? We know - THE BANK!"

US$2,000 for 5 days - paying to listen to MS!!

a) MS _has_ to falter on the backend in the next 3-5 yrs
b) MS is doomed to fail with security - because it doesn't have 'packages'
c) MS seem to have NO focus on performance - data collection,
display/reporting, analysis & prediction

a) MS on the server:  
What is the MS 'value proposition' when you can get cheaper/better/faster
tools [and 'free'/'open'] that perform identical functions on the same
A couple of years ago Gartner or IDG rated 'SAMBA' as having 30% of the
'server' [file+print] market.  In 5 years it had grown from 7.5% - that's
a 2.5yr doubling time.
Since SAMBA is _not_ marketed, these installations come by word-of-mouth.
Even the CIO's of big orgs can fend it off by saying "Show me it's safe"
Getting Free*NIX into the server room is provides great leverage.
Why we got PC's was because of Word Processing.  Once the gear+support is
there, the _marginal_ cost is very low.

Whether MS leave the server market is dependant on how they react:
- Will they be happy with 15% of the market and thinner margins?
  [Their corp. philosophy has been to dominate & anhilate the oppositon]
- If they attempt complete 'lock-in' or 'embrace & extend', at some point
there will be a massive customer backlash - even from 'blue-eyed devotees'.
Witness IBM's mainframes & their $16Bn losses 90/91.
Lou Gertsner saved IBM by not screwing over their clients so
comprehensively.  Microsoft show no history like this.

b) MS don't have 'packages'.
Like version control, 'packages' are axiomatic for configuration
management. They are simple, easy and necessary for keeping systems
sanely configured and patched.  Every *NIX variant does it for good 

You can't do Security without config. mgt.
MS can't successfully address Security just by sending out 'tarball'
hotfixes.  'DLL Hell' ain't nothing compared to what's evolving out there.

c) Performance Measurement & Capacity Planing.
I.T. is done commercially for a single simple reason:
It provides a business benefit.  This benefit may be intangible.

Sooner or later managers are going to cotton onto this and start asking
for utilisation and performance measure of their 'I.T. plant & assetts',
just like they do for all the other incoming producing plant under their
control...  The post-Y2K/dot.com backlash has seen managers [and
shareholders] become much more hard-nosed & sceptical about I.T. claims
and benefits.

"What you can't measure you can't manage/control".

A quick inspection of MS's 'PDC' agenda mentioned and Performance is
notabe by its absence.  They _are_ selling Security & Services.

Hope this is of interest...

Steve Jenkin, Unix Sys Admin
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

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