Dynamics Experiences Mini-Name Explosion

Microsoft is the master of marketing and branding. Instead of coming up with a new, lame metaphor to describe this, I Googled myself (by the way, I know the company sees this as a violation of its trademark -- MS Word agrees and flagged "Googled" as a typo. It wants me to say "Goggled"!) and found an old, lame metaphor that fits the bill: "I love the way vendors talk. No matter what happens, it's always good news. If their mother died, the press release would talk about her expanding her presence in heaven and taking on new challenges in the other world." I found it here.

Anyway, Microsoft has a brand-new line of business apps based upon an old line of business apps. MS Dynamics is the new name for Solomon, Great Plains, Axapta and Navision. Oh, I think the CRM has been renamed, too.

The folks behind Retail Management Systems didn't want to be left out of all the excitement, so the product is now Dynamics RMS. My heart is racing already.

Dynamics Loses Its Leader
Dang. We were all set to interview Doug Burgum, the man running Microsoft Business Solutions, when Microsoft tells us Burgum is leaving.

The new chief is Satya Nadella, who has been running Dynamics development groups for some time. Now we're pushing for some face time with Nadella.

If you are a Dynamics customer, I want to talk to you! E-mail me at dbarney@redmondmag.com, and help me with my story. Deadline's approaching!

School Futures: Is Tech Enough?
Microsoft is deservedly proud of a new school that just opened in Philadelphia -- a so-called school of the future. This thing is packed full of tablet PCs, software, smart cards and Net access. It also includes major changes to the curriculum.

This is all great stuff, but I learned the most from great teachers, not a bunch of doohickeys. And that, along with too many useless homework assignments that make kids hate school, are the real problems. Tell me where I'm wrong at dbarney@redmondmag.com or write a comment below.

Life Beyond Exchange and Notes
In the middle of my career there were lots of messaging choices: cc:Mail, Notes, MS Mail, PROFS mail and GroupWise, to name a few. After Exchange came out, the field quickly narrowed.

But you don't have to get your mail from Microsoft or IBM. There are cool open source tools and longtime vendors like Ipswitch that keep on polishing their products.

In Ipswitch's case, the company has a new mail server aimed at small and medium-size businesses. IMail Server Plus 2006, which just shipped, includes anti-spam and anti-phishing, supports AD and sports better performance.

Watch Out, Google (Yeah, Right!)
Microsoft's new search tool is out of beta and is now in service. Live Search is supposed to make it easier to search for, say, the New England Patriots versus the Patriot Act (which do you like better?). My guess is that Google is safe for now.

Still, I took Live Search for a whirl, and queried "Windows Live." I got 56 million results, while Google only gave me 33 million -- don't know what I'd do without those extra 23 million pages.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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