Redmond View

Microsoft's Ready To Play Ball

This spring will be a busy one for Microsoft, as the company tries to convince enterprises to jump onboard its upcoming products and services.

After what seemed like a never-ending winter as record temperatures and snowfalls besieged much of the country, spring has finally arrived. This is my favorite time of year as the trees bloom, the weather becomes warmer, days get longer and baseball season kicks off, when every team has a chance to be a surprise contender. Last year at this time, who thought the Kansas City Royals would make it to the World Series?

Microsoft is also getting ready throw out its first pitch to IT pros and developers later this month as it gets ready to hold its Build 2015 conference in San Francisco. The company will make its case for Universal Apps running on the new Windows 10 platform, due out in the second half of this year. The goal is to provide a more common Windows Runtime, shared APIs and a single Windows Store that will make it appealing for developers to build applications that can run across PCs, tablets, Xbox and phones and for individuals to procure them with a similar mindset.

When Windows 10 arrives, it'll come at a time when many workers are no longer tied to one device or even one platform, which is why the datacenter, application and cloud infrastructure users rely on is integral. At Build, and subsequently a week later at the Microsoft Ignite conference in Chicago, the company is also expected to address the future of Windows Server, System Center, Microsoft Azure and the next on-premises version of SharePoint.

Meanwhile, the lineup has some important new players -- support for software containers, micro services and deeper open source integration. As Microsoft outlines its game plan in the coming month, developers and IT pros -- and, ultimately, consumers -- will determine if it's indeed a winner.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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