NET(net), Inc.


What’s In Store For Microsoft, And How Does It Affect You? by scottbraden

Microsoft is entering a period of new product releases; Windows 7 is widely expected to ship in time for Christmas 2009, and Office “14” along with refreshed versions of key products, such as SharePoint, are expected as well in late 2009 or early 2010.

Since many Microsoft customers are evaluating their Microsoft agreements in the next few months, as many Microsoft deals come due at the end of the calendar year, customers are again being asked to pre-pay Microsoft for planned innovations that may or may not ever reach a product release, and when or if they do, may or may not be of interest to customers, who may or may not be able to effect meaningful ROI by upgrading.

Which key product upgrades should customers expect in the next few years? How can customers best optimize Microsoft investments in light of the coming planned upgrade cycles?

NET(net) has researched and summarized the key upcoming product releases so you can effectively plan your organization’s IT rodamap.

The following  are “best guess” regarding upcoming product releases, based upon Microsoft’s public statements, indpendent research by NET(net), and review of industry analysis.

Several platforms are set for release near the end of 2009 or early 2010:

Windows 7 – code final, available to volume license customers now, formal RTM date not yet announced but presumed to be on/before October 22 2009.

Windows Server 2008 R2 – released August 2009, available now to volume license customers

Exchange 2010 – public beta is currently available.  Release expected late 1Q2010

Microsoft Code-named ‘Stirling’ –  beta 2 version is publicly available. Expect RTM late 2009 / early 2010

Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 – Beta 1 release will be available 3Q2009, RTM expected late 1Q2010.

Microsoft Hyper-V™ Server 2008 R2 is publicly available as a release candidate. Will continue to be free.  Expect formal release late 2009.

Early 2010:

Office 2010 — including Office Web applications, SharePoint Server 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010 — availabel as technical preview now, RTm in 1H2010.

First half of 2010:

SQL Server 2008 R2 community preview is due by the end of 2009.  Expect RTM late 2Q2010

When assessing Microsoft’s roadmap, many clients are using this information to make decisions regarding Enterprise Agreement purchase / renewals, or in some cases Software Assurance purchase / renewal.  NET(net) emphasizes that Microsfot prefers to talk about the features and benefits of prodcuts that are not yet released, yet asks customers for payment in advance for prospective future versions of these products. 

In our experience, a thorough analysis of your current state, your ability to deploy /use new technology, and the cost / ROI are all critical factors in this decision.

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