Microsoft technology No. 3: Windows Server 8
I've written several articles outlining all the great features (there are hundreds of them) coming with Windows Server 8, including Hyper-V enhancements, Active Directory changes, and PowerShell updates. It's probably the most exciting release of Windows Server since the 2000 edition, where we first saw Active Directory. Don't get me wrong, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2008 are both excellent, but there's something special about the enterprise-oriented features promised for Windows Server 8 that has me giggly.
Microsoft technology No. 4: Windows Azure updates
Microsoft has been enhancing its Azure cloud-based offering with lower prices and new features like an SDK. The big thing to look for is the connection via Hortonworks with Apache Hadoop. I'll be honest -- none of this was interesting to me until I read Mary Jo Foley's review, then checked out Microsoft's 10-minute Channel 9 video. The latter explains a bit more on how the integration will provide impressive access to both on-premise Windows Servers and Azure through tools with which admins are already familiar.
Wishful thinking: Office 2012 servers
I'll be honest -- though I hear buzz on the wire about Exchange 2012, SharePoint 2012, and Lync 2012, I don't think we'll see any of these this year. The 2010 flavor of each is still being deployed, and releasing new versions so soon could saturate the market for no reason. Based on Microsoft's history of server releases, three- or four-year gaps are the norm. But one can dream, and if 2012 versions of the Office servers appear, that'll be exciting.
More to anticipate from Redmond
I'm also looking forward to Windows 8, although I don't know how relevant it will be or how much of a dent it will make in enterprise deployments of Windows 7, which are doing well. (We'll finally be rid of XP soon, I hope.) The 2012 revamp of System Center should also be interesting. Rest assured that 2012 will be anything but a dry year for new Microsoft technology.
This article, "4 hot Microsoft technologies coming in 2012," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.