Say Goodbye to MOM, Hello to SCOM

MOM, Microsoft's way of watching over Windows networks and correcting them when they go wrong, is passing its apron over to the new boss -- System Center Operations Manager, one in a new line of forthcoming System Center management tools.

Microsoft, though, seems confused as to what to call this thing. Ordinarily, we'd just use the acronym -- Microsoft loves acronyms and even uses them to refer to beta software (CTP, RC) and licensing (SA, EA).

But as fellow newsletter writer Lee Pender of Redmond Channel Partner points out, Microsoft is steering clear of "SCOM" and calling it just "Operations Manager." That's a fine name, so why does "System Center" have to precede it?

The tool was announced this week at the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS, an acronym Microsoft isn't shy about using), but there are already 20,000 customers. Is it really a new product if it's already in such widespread use?

Visual Studio Gains a Teammate
Visual Studio Team System is an important development tool for Microsoft, partly because it truly offers deep collaboration, but also because it has a high-end price tag and presumably large profit margins.

But not all are willing to pay big bucks to access Team System, which is where devBiz, just acquired by Microsoft, fits in. This company, now part of Microsoft, offers Web access to many of Team System's collaboration features. This could improve your development project and save a few bucks in the process!

One of the coolest aspects is that it was announced at VSLive!, a show the Redmond Media Group now owns.

Feds Clamp Down on Vista
The U.S. Department of Transportation just says no to Vista. Actually, the agency is simply saying that users cannot upgrade existing machines to the new OS.

If I was smart enough to be in IT, I'd order the same thing.

Installing Vista on any computer that didn't come with it is a waste of time -- probably a lot of time. The way to move to Vista is to do so with new machines so you know it'll work out of the box.

On a related note, I laugh when people ask how Vista is doing, or when the press and analysts talk about Vista pickup. Vista will take over the world as people buy new PCs, no slower or faster. Of course, this is coming from a man not smart enough to actually be in IT.

How will your shop move to Vista? Are you demanding that new machines run XP, or letting Vista in as machines are replaced? Let me know at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Is Schmidt or Ballmer Running Redmond?
Google often seems like its strategy is driven by what Microsoft is doing (a mistake Novell and WordPerfect made years ago). Just as frequently Microsoft makes plans, products and pronouncements based on Google's latest plans, products and pronouncements.

Don't believe me? A week or so ago, Viacom sued YouTube (owned by Google) for copyright infringement. Faster than you can say "Ask a Ninja," Microsoft struck a deal with NBC and Fox to legitimately distribute video over MSN.

At nearly the same time Microsoft put one of its rising stars, Satya Nadella, on the Google case. Nadella, who was driving the fast-growing Dynamics ERP business, is now in charge of Live Search and Microsoft's efforts to sell ad-subsidized software services.

Exchange Without Outlook?
I once tried to become a Microsoft licensing guru. I read a book by Scott Braden and a report by Directions on Microsoft.

Struggle as I might, I finally realized that becoming an expert meant total immersion in a complex, often arbitrary, artificial construct designed to prop up Microsoft's stock price (and how well is that working out?).

I learned enough to write two cover stories -- "SA Exposed" and "7 Steps to a Better Bargain" -- but still feel inadequate compared to Mr. Braden and longtime reader Travis Parrent, who wrote a sidebar for me based upon his mathematical licensing analysis.

Travis last week sent me a link to a blog complaining that Exchange 2007 customers do not get licenses to Outlook 2007 -- unless they've ponied up the truly big bucks for Software Assurance.

The issue is that the new Outlook unlocks some of the coolest Exchange 2007 features. Of course, Microsoft has an easy answer: Just buy Office 2007!

Thanks, Travis.

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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