Microsoft Offers Vision for Virtualization

Today, Microsoft laid out a comprehensive vision for virtualization across the enterprise, including server, desktop and application virtualization. The comprehensive announcement includes favorable pricing for Windows Vista in a virtualization environment, a partnership with Citrix on working with XenSource and the ability to deliver Office applications virtually to the desktop on demand.

The company also announced the acquisition of Calista Technologies, which makes data compression software that, when integrated with Microsoft's virtualization and streaming technology, will enable users to get a full Vista Aero experience via a virtual desktop.

While there's little here that's groundbreaking, it marks Microsoft's first broadside in a market battle for enterprise virtualization that will continue for the next several years.

Does your organization have a virtualization strategy? How do Microsoft products play into that strategy? Tell me what you're up to at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Microsoft Lays Down the Law?
If you've ever signed up for one of those social networking Web applications, you may have discovered that many of them let you search for connections based on your IM friends, colleagues and business associates.

Now, the word is out that Microsoft is taking a hard-nosed approach with those seeking to connect through Windows Messenger contacts. Specifically, Microsoft has demanded payment, top billing or exclusive use of Windows Messenger in exchange for the use of Messenger contacts.

Microsoft claims that its concerns are based on the security of the names of the contacts that have signed up for Windows Messenger, and that its requirement for top billing for Messenger is merely its negotiating position. While there may be some validity to those arguments, I think I'd pass on using Windows Messenger under these circumstances.

How about you? Would you give top billing to Windows Messenger? Tell me what you think at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Mainsoft Ties SharePoint with Lotus Notes
With the increasing popularity of SharePoint and its growth as a departmental portal and document management system, software provider Mainsoft provides an integration link between this portal and Lotus Notes. You can now develop applications using SharePoint and ASP.NET with Visual Studio and make the content and applications available to Notes users.

I spoke to a developer in a Notes organization who said that Notes remains common with large enterprises that made the investment a decade or more ago. Yet most also agree that SharePoint delivers a significantly better end user experience for document access and sharing. This makes the combination of SharePoint and Notes significant in those enterprises.

Are you using Notes? Would you like to integrate SharePoint into your Notes environment? Let me know at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

ILOG Delivers Rules for .NET
Delivering on a comprehensive services-oriented architecture just got easier with the release of ILOG Rules for .NET 3.0. Announced and available today, Rules for .NET provides a full business rules management solution that integrates into the .NET environment for use in a Windows server environment.

You can create and edit rules from within Office 2007, and also work to develop rules-based applications from within Visual Studio. In particular, Rules for .NET works with Windows Workflow Foundation, Microsoft's workflow portion of the .NET 3.0 Framework. Rules can be used to define the flow and execution of a series of Web services based on business circumstances.

Are you using Windows Workflow Foundation in any applications? Tell me how at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Mailbag: Mulling over Multicore, What Price Stability?
Doug asked readers yesterday about their experiences with multicore desktops. Here are some of your responses:

I've largely been disappointed with the multicore processors. The concept is great but it does not appear that Windows -- or applications in general -- are exploiting the architecture. Not even Wintel can coordinate their efforts so that the end user can reap the benefits of the latest hardware and software simultaneously.
-Michael

I'm running an Intel quad-core CPU on a developer machine. It's the best bang for the buck in a long time. I can run many Visual Studio instances, compile them and open others where in the past, I would have to wait to 'manually' single thread them. Definitely a productivity boost.
-Dean

And are Apple PCs "overpriced"? Compared to Windows PCs, Steve thinks the price is just right:

I was somewhat shocked when you mentioned that Apple's PCs are "overpriced." While I will admit that these devices are expensive, overpriced might be a bit of an overstatement. If you were to consider price in terms of the value of your time, as opposed to the value of money, then you would realize that Windows PCs are, in fact, overpriced.

Case in point: As mentioned in your article, Apple PCs "never crash or get fatally infected with viruses." The time spent just trying to make a Windows PC operate properly (much less efficiently) makes a Mac appear to be more of a bargain, now that I think of it. For the record, this is coming from a Windows system administrator, not some Apple fanboy.
-Steve

Tell us what you think! Send an e-mail to pvarhol@redmondmag.com or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Peter Varhol is the executive editor, reviews of Redmond magazine and has more than 20 years of experience as a software developer, software product manager and technology writer. He has graduate degrees in computer science and mathematics, and has taught both subjects at the university level.

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