Microsoft Cloud Covers World

Microsoft is confident enough in its online services that it's offering them in nearly 20 different countries.

For international markets, Microsoft is bundling a bunch of existing Office-compatible services such as IM and presence and selling it as Office Communications Online (guess it's ditching the Live name overseas). The more expensive Business Productivity Online includes Office Live Meeting, as well as cloud SharePoint and Exchange services.

Seeding a Greener Cloud
The cloud promises to be the ultimate in green computing. Instead of server rooms running expensive A/C around the clock, the apps rest in huge, hopefully efficient, centralized datacenters.

Microsoft is hoping to make the efficient part ring true with new ways of building server farms. The idea is to use low-power chips such as those that power today's $300 netbooks to drive servers. These little chips use one-tenth to one-twentieth of the watts of a typical processor. If it works for Microsoft hosting centers -- and it's still just a research project -- the same approach may save you dough in your own datacenter.

Do you care about green technology? Is there pressure to save energy? Have you pushed any green initiatives, such as virtualization? Are there ways to use Microsoft software more efficiently and has Microsoft told you about them? Help me spread the green word by writing dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Lucid8
I'm always excited when a Windows guru builds a new product. What's a Windows guru? It's just an idea of mine where I chose 12 technical leaders from Microsoft third parties and tried to figure out what made them tick.

One guru is Troy Werelius, CEO of Lucid8. Troy's latest baby is Recovery Advantage. When e-mail crashes, it usually falls to IT to make it all right. With Recovery Advantage, end users themselves can recover lost or accidently deleted mail and related attachments. That way IT can spend more time on strategic work rather than on recovering a deleted e-mail with a Pam Anderson attachment!

Your Turn: IT Gone Good
Two-and-a-half years ago, I wrote a story about IT abusing its power -- blackmailing executives, spying, stealing and sexually harassing.

I'd love to do the opposite, to show where IT uses its power for good. Do you volunteer and use your skills for good? Does your organization itself do good and have IT systems to support those efforts? If so, tell me your tale at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Mailbag: Server Sales Slow, Vista Fax App
Bruce thinks he knows the reason why server sales are slumping:

I'll tell you what the issue is: Companies are FINALLY realizing you don't have to buy new servers again and again and again, and are also starting to reuse licenses. Wait until people start seriously buying machines made with AMD chips where you can get better performance just by swapping CPU chips. Then there won't be a need to buy a new machine for some time.
-Bruce

And, because we haven't had one in a while, here's another Vista rant:

My beef is with Microsoft's take on faxing. With DOS 5 and 6, every fax modem came bundled with fax software. For Win 3.1, Microsoft provided a fax application with Windows. For Win 95, 98, ME, NT 3.5, NT 4, 2000 and XP -- Microsoft included a fax app with even the lowliest version of each of these.

Now, with Vista Home Premium, the fax app is GONE. Want it back? Shell out for Vista Ultimate or Vista Business. I protest! What will be the fax story for Windows 7? A fax app with even the lowliest version once again? Or no fax app at any price?
-Fred

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

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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