Microsoft is in a state of transition in many ways right now, from its new client operating system to its huge emphasis on pumping up its Windows Azure cloud services. Disarray always creates some dirty laundry, however. Here are five things Microsoft wouldn't want you or your CIO to know about what's going on in Redmond.
1. If you're not moving to the cloud, you're not getting a first-class release experience.
Sure, Microsoft tout its ability to deliver both world-class products designed for on-premises datacenters as well as services that integrate those same products, along with their expertise in running huge, scaled-up datacenters-but the truth is that the company is cloud first now. Large product releases, such as the next version of SharePoint, will be cloud-first and premises-second. Features will be available only on the service version of the software and won't make it into the first release of the installable product. They may be added later via a service pack or an update rollup-or, then again, they may not.
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At the other end of the spectrum is the cloud-based Office 365. Interesting features and capabilities are being rolled out across that suite of subscription services, and recently prices were even cut by about 20 percent on most of the service levels, including the level that gets you the most current Office license available. This would include the new version, Office 15, releasing later this year, too. When was the last time you saw your Software Assurance on-premises licensing bill go down when the level of service stayed the same?
2. Microsoft wishes it were a consumer-centric business.
To understand this point, consider the brouhaha around Windows RT. More popularly known as Windows on ARM, or WoA, Windows RT is the company's attempt to have its client Windows system on system-on-a-chip devices such as tablets. Microsoft has stated publicly, "[A]lthough the ARM-based version of Windows does not include the same manageability features that are in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, businesses can use these power-saving devices in unmanaged environments."