Microsoft In the Next Decade

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Right about now, you have probably heard Microsoft is shedding a bit of overhead, by saying goodbye to a not small number of employees. And your thinking, "I have to learn a new Operating System!"

From here, it looks like pretty good news from Microsoft, overall. Sure, I'm a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT). That doesn't mean I actually get paid by Microsoft, so I have no fear of being laid off.

And you may wonder what sounds like ‘pretty good news' when many thousands of folks are getting walking papers with a pretty week severance package?

The good news I see is not so much about lay offs (although reducing cash burn is typically not a bad idea at a company). What have my attention is all the new announcements Redmond has made. Let's start with Windows 7, Beta 1.

Microsoft is giving 2.5 million people the chance to test drive the successor to Vista. The amazing thing is, even with the debugging code still in the product, Windows 7 is running on Net Books with 1 GB of RAM. Clearly the developers did some fancy memory reclaiming here.

And even most of the ‘fussy' programs are running just fine, thank you, on Windows 7. Even the folks that love to hate Microsoft are giving Windows 7 high marks. Only some Anti-Virus software products are not playing well with the beta of Windows 7.

Beyond the client side, Windows Server 2008 gets R2 as a beta. And yes, you can download it now. It has a long list of impressive features. For some, a very compelling feature is called DirectAccess. The idea is to create a new Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) that eliminates the need for a Virtual Private Network (VPN), using Hyper-V.

They catch up (well) in supporting Multi-Core Processors, support the .Net Framework from Versions 2 through 4. And this is just a glance at the highlights from their 89 page briefing.

Perhaps the most exciting part is it is clear Microsoft "gets" cloud computing is going to be part of the future. Skydrive.live.com gives you 25 GB of private or shared storage, without requiring a Microsoft Passport account.

While Skydrive has some really new and cool software, right now it either is stuck with Vista only, or doesn't have 64-bit versions. Hey, what do you want when it is free software? I'll bet they update to allow stuff to run on the beta of Windows 7, pronto.

Even if you are dyed in the wool Google or Apple fan, you have reasons to be delighted too. An even race for features at a price point that works for us keeps all the players from getting lazy.

I've been thrilled enough on my research to start the 3 GB download of Windows 7 Beta 1. If you want to see the Microsoft of tomorrow, today; Look at Windows 7, or Windows 2008 R2 Beta. If you are geared towards on-line apps, give skydrive.live.com a spin.

All these new options are free to see what you think. A little playing will reveal what Microsoft, after Bill Gates, looks like.

Gudrun Funk is a SME for TRCB.com

Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)

Certified Technical Trainer (CTT)

Co-Author of Certification Success ISBN-13: 978-0977094974

Co-Author A+ 4 Real ISBN-13: 978-0976799283

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