Interesting post about Microsoft backing off on their statements that they are releasing Windows Longhorn Server and Windows Vista SP1 at the same time. In November of last year, Bob Muglia, a senior vice president for server and tools at Microsoft, said that Windows Server Longhorn and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 would ship “simultaneously.” This would make lots of sense because it is one source code base for both products. But, when asked, Microsoft has backed away from this statement.
Windows Server is the nucleus of Microsoft’s enterprise strategy, around which all other products?even Windows client?revolve. Longhorn’s eventual release, which Microsoft claims will be later this year, will likely set off major software upgrades, including Office 2007 and Windows Vista.
The release date of either or both products is important to Microsoft and its customers. There is a huge opportunity for Microsoft if the Big Bang theory proves to be true. If there is a delay in the offing, Microsoft wouldn’t want to say. Businesses testing for Vista deployments might forestall the process.
Then there is the enormous impact on other products. Many IT organizations will choose to take one bitter pill, coordinated Exchange Server 2007, Longhorn Server, Office 2007 and Vista deployments around the same time, rather than many pills over time. Hence, the Big Bang, and all contingent on answering the question “When?” Source: Microsoft’s ‘Big Bang’ Is When?
Now they say it is too early to really give a release date for Vista’s service pack 1, etc, etc, I figure, if it is going to be later than that, they won’t tell until the last moment anyway, they don’t want those shops that are testing Windows Vista to stop what they are doing. I never really did agree with doing a bunch of critical apps all at once, they only upside is you aren’t constantly updating everyone’s computer with software rollouts of the new stuff, but it just seems crazy to do Exchange, the Domain servers, the clients at the same time, sounds like you are asking for trouble.
This only means something if you are a volume customer with Microsoft, if you buy licenses in bulk, you can start to get Windows Vista today. For the rest of us, January 30th 2007 is the date. May as well be the date for businesses too I would say, Windows XP has been the best operating system to ever come from Microsoft and few, if any will adopt it in bulk, but there will probably be some testers, like the IT guys who will want a copy to play with and get used to before they have to start supporting it, or maybe some of the upper level guys who want to test stuff before deploying, but for the most part, I would say most businesses will upgrade when they replace their pc’s. At least, that is how I would do it, small groups to start, hopefully some of your more “techie” employees.
Microsoft and computer vendors contend that Vista will make Windows machines more secure, powerful and graphically dynamic, especially when combined with other products Microsoft is releasing simultaneously. Those include new back-end server software for businesses, as well as Office 2007, which brings sweeping changes to widely used programs such as Word, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint.
But even with all the touted improvements, analysts expect Vista to only gradually emerge, especially in big organizations where upgrading can be a costly, complicated affair. Gartner Dataquest predicts that it will be 2010 before Vista outnumbers the previous operating system, Windows XP, on business computers. Source: AP on Yahoo
In the article, Lenovo says Vista will help their data backup tools, and the article sites the availability of many open source replacements for Vista and Office, but I don’t think any of those tools are ready to put much of a dent among anyone other than highly technical users. A USAToday article on Yahoo says,
The dual launch of Windows Vista and Office is among the most significant by Microsoft in years. The Windows and Office product lines are the software maker’s most profitable, accounting for about half of its $10.8 billion in first-quarter revenue. But neither has had a major upgrade in years. For Microsoft to maintain its cash cows, it is imperative that it persuade a large swath of the hundreds of millions of current Windows and Office users worldwide to shift to the new versions, software analysts say.
“For a fat man, Vista is pretty light on its feet,” says Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, a market research firm that tested Vista. “Even though it is larger and more powerful than XP, it runs better.”
“Most consumers follow the same path: They buy computers when old ones break, when prices come down, or when a lifestyle event triggers the purchase,” Schadler says. Source: USAToday on Yahoo
That’s a good quote, and while Vista may be a lot better than XP, the old saying, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it comes to mind. Microsoft still predicts that this OS will be adapted faster than any other they have had and they expect to sell 2 million copies in the first two years. But, like we’ve said, XP is it’s biggest block to upgrading. Maybe Microsoft should make an interim version of Vista that sucks, like ME did, so it will be easier to get users to upgrade from, hehe, talk about reversal of what you are doing. Who would’ve thought that making better software would make it harder to sell your new stuff.
According to PCWorld, Japan is high on upgrading and may be some of the earliest adopters,
Microsoft Japan has 57 companies that have said they’ll roll out at least one of the three products. The list includes Sharp, Sanyo Electric, McDonalds Holdings Company (Japan), Nikon, Chubu Electric Power, computer game maker Capcom, and trading company Itochu.
Interest from potential users in Japan has been high, according to Huston. Of 5 million downloads and 1 billion user sessions conducted as part of the beta testing for Windows Vista, about 20 percent have been by users in Japan. The country accounts for about 10 percent of the global IT market.
Speaking in Tokyo, Jay Jamison, leader of Microsoft’s Windows business group in Japan, said, “We are hopeful and optimistic that in Japan Windows Vista will be the most successful business OS release of Windows ever.” Source: PCWorld on Yahoo
Later on today, Microsoft will be holding launch events in Munich, London, Paris, Toronto, and New York, to name a few. Hope I can get my free copy of Windows Vista ordered today.
Microsoft has released a press release on their detailing when and how you can watch replays of the webcast of the news conference. News conference at NASDAQ also marks Microsoft?s 20th year as a publicly traded company.
What: Microsoft Corp. will host a news conference and live webcast to announce the availability of the Windows Vista operating system, the 2007 Microsoft? Office system and Exchange Server 2007 for business customers with volume license agreements. Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer will celebrate this historic product launch, which coincides with Microsoft?s 20th year as a publicly traded company, by ringing the bell to open the NASDAQ market.
Who: Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, Chris Liddell, CFO of Microsoft, and executives from Microsoft customer and industry partner companies
Where: NASDAQ MarketSite event at Times Square in New York, 43rd St. and Broadway; a live webcast of the news conference will be available. Source: Microsoft CEO to Kick Off Launch of New Windows, Office, Exchange Products
According to a post on the Windows Vista Team Blog, they have created a virtual launch site, MSnewday, this site has links to the launch keynote, videos of the Microsoft executives, a Partner Showcase illustrating how other companies are preparing for deployment, live footage from the event being held at NASDAQ in NYC, and a forum for discussing business value. Check it out.
If you hate or have had trouble with WGA, or Windows Genuine Advantage, their tool that checks to see if your Windows is pirated or not, then you are going to love this. Today, Microsoft has launched Office Genuine Advantage, or OGA, which will require mandatory validation of Office software starting October 27, 2006. Any Office Online templates downloaded from the Office 2007 Microsoft Office System will require validation. Starting in January, Office Update will require validation as well before you can download updates. What will this mean for Office 2007 users? Many people have had trouble with WGA, can similar troubles be expected from OGA?
Users absolutely hated the first iteration of the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program, and their protests pressured the company into revising it about a year after it launched in July 2005.
Microsoft said in a press statement that the validation process will be “quick and simple” for users. The OGA program, currently in the testing phase, is now available in 26 languages worldwide.
Microsoft has integrated this check directly into the next version of its OS, Windows Vista, as part of what it is calling a “Software Protection Platform.” Through that automatic validation system, a Vista user must activate his or her copy of the software with a valid activation key within 30 days after purchase of the software, or see the OS enter a reduced functionality mode. In that mode, users can browse the Web for an hour but then the system will log them out, and they will have to log in again if they want to browse more. Source: PC World
One would expect similar troubles with OGA, I expect more users to stick with 2003 instead of upgrading, and I know some business owners will probably look long and hard at what they plan on doing concerning Office from now on.
In a blog called Mini-Microsoft a Microsoft employee calls for the current leadership to be fired for missing another fourth quarter with the recent delay of Windows Vista and Office 2007.
I was upset at missing the back-to-school market. Now we’re missing the holiday sales market. All of those laptops and PCs are going to have XP on it. What percentage will upgrade to Vista? Well, I guess that’s the little dream that I need to give up on. Vista’s deployment is going to come from people buying CPUs with the OS pre-installed, not dancing down the CompUSA aisle as they clutch that boxed version of Vista to their loving chest. So not only did we miss last year’s opportunity, we’re missing this year’s opportunity, too. With the convergence of high-tech media, this holiday season would have been an explosive nodal point to get Vista out for a compounded effect.
Yes it would have, and Microsoft is missing the boat with Vista, but, each of the machines they do sale, will still have Windows XP on them, or atleast, most will. The post said he had been waiting until it was released to get his new mega-big-iron PC. Saying, “I’m super-excited to get Vista Ultimate on that new PC and be able to hook Media Center up to my Xbox 360. And now I’ll wait.” See, I don’t understand this point, most people just buy a new pc when they need one, in the workplace, most businesses should have a policy set on how often they replace their pc’s, people like me who are geeks, look forward to playing with the new stuff, but most people don’t care. I don’t need Vista, my mom doesn’t need Vista, so, I won’t see Vista in final release form until I buy a new PC, or until Microsoft sends me a copy, hehe. I haven’t even played with any of the beta’s, XP has been great for me. So, delay Vista all you want, I won’t be buying a new PC for atleast another year anyway, and I certainly won’t be buying a copy of Vista off of the shelf.
Microsoft just announced that they are delaying Office 2007 as well as Windows Vista, they will still offer it to volume license customers in October, and to retail and OEM manufacturers in January.
“We believe this will provide an easier experience for consumers and retailers alike,” a Microsoft representative said in an e-mail to CNET News.com.
Microsoft announced the Vista delay Tuesday. With the twin postponements, the PC industry’s holiday season is shaping up to be quite different than the one originally expected. Microsoft has said it doesn’t expect the Vista delay to dent PC sales in the fourth quarter, but analysts have largely disagreed.
Microsoft is making major changes to Office, which will feature all-new XML-based file formats, as well as a completely overhauled user interface, among other changes.
By pushing out the Office launch date, however, Microsoft will regain the ability to launch the two products in tandem. Microsoft had been planning a massive fourth-quarter launch for the products. Source: News.com
Not surprising, it seems most products from Microsoft are delayed atleast once. Doesn’t matter to me, I’ll check it out whenever it comes out.
The software maker said they were loads of new features and no price increases.
Microsoft on Wednesday offered further details on the next version of Office, announcing plans for a new home version as well as new server-based products and a new high-end enterprise edition of the desktop suite.
The software maker also offered pricing details for some, though not all, of the new products. In general, Microsoft said both businesses and consumers should expect to pay about the same for the new Office as they have paid for past versions.
“We do not expect our customers to notice any significant change in our pricing,” said Parri Munsell, a group program manager in Microsoft’s information worker unit. Office Standard, for example, will sell for $399, while Office Professional will sell for $499. Also, as widely expected, the version formerly code-named “Office 12″ will be known as Office 2007 when it ships in the second half of this year. Source: News.com.
The biggest change is they are replacing the Student and Teacher edition with a $149 Home and Student edition, and that it is removing outlook from this version.