Monday, March 03, 2008

Rumor: Microsoft set for vast data-center push

"I've also heard that people may be 'stunned' about the extent to which Microsoft will embrace open-source software and interoperability in its plan. We shall see."

The only thing that will "stun" people is if they populate these data centers with Linux servers.

I don't think it beyond the realm of possibility either. Consider the alternative. Last time I worked with Microsoft servers it was still a royal pain in the backside to configure them remotely. Microsoft was just getting around to vending a tool (name of which I've forgotten) to allow for such things, but it worked poorly. No doubt it has improved, but my guess is that it takes more flunkies per gigahertz to run a Windows server farm than any other variety, and that doesn't count all the flunkies that have to go around repairing and re-installing software on end-user's desks. All well and good when it is an invisibly small part of your product line. But imagine all the companies that will line up to get rid of their own computer rooms and have Microsoft provide that service to them. These companies, some of which may remember that they actually spent less when they were dependent on the big bad mainframe, won't mind paying a premium to get themselves out of the computer maintenance business again.

Timesharing2.0 here we come!

But when it gets rolling, it will no longer matter to Microsoft that they set an example, "eating their own dog food" so to speak with Windows server, which has eaten (no pun intended) about as far into the Unix and Mainframe server markets as it is going to. Microsoft is going to be focused on saving Kilowatts, efficient and transparent virtualization, and most of all, centers that can run with almost no personnel on hand, be administered from Redmond, or India, or anywhere, including a web page at the customer site. They may, in the long run, even see some advantages in vending cheap thin clients to their customers, because, after all, they will be responsible for keeping these machines up to date and virus free and we all know that's almost impossible with Windows. Deals they have with Novell and Citrix may well grease the skids for this thing being an almost totally transparent switch from the hokey mostly client paradigm we suffer under now to something that resembles the true client/server model we talked about in the 90s.

I promise not to be stunned.

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