Road map 2012: Microsoft's big bang of new releases

From desktop to server, almost every major software component is getting revved. Get ready to kick off your upgrade strategy

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I realize the prospect of upgrading all your Microsoft software at once is daunting, both logistically and financially. Rest assured that you can deploy some of the new Microsoft products without the others. For example, you can run Windows 8 clients in a Windows Server 2008 organization. You can also install Office 15 on PCs running Windows 7.

With the road map clear, businesses should start asking the hard questions of what new Microsoft products to deploy and on what schedule. Now that's a minefield!

I've worked with some of the new products in beta form, such as Windows 8. Some upgrades are obviously worthwhile to me, whereas I'm still waiting for more compelling features and functionality to greenlight a full-on deployment with others.

Right now, the only two I'm ready to commit to based on their betas are Windows Server 8 and System Center Configuration Manager 2012. These two upgrades are worth adopting immediately. Windows Server 8 has a ton of great new features, and I'm already impressed in the beta -- despite the fact it's difficult to take a product like Windows Server and impress a guy like me. Based on what I'm hearing from admins who are deploying it in release-candidate form, SCCM 2012 is absolutely amazing.

If those two are any indication as to the rest of the server lineup coming, it will be a great year for the Microsoft server teams. As for the client side with Windows 8 and Office 15, my initial reactions are not so positive. But there is still time to wow me, and I really want to be wowed.

This article, "Road map 2012: Microsoft's big bang of new releases," was originally published at Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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