TechEd 2008 Day 3. Or is it 2? I lost count.

I've been meaning to keep this more up to date, but the fact that I am this disorganised is the main reason that I haven't been too active as a blogger before.

So, I've been wandering around TechEd, going to sessions on the relevant topic, and sitting through talks that are more about selling products than solving problems. Throughout the whole thing, I have been encountering what I see as being Microsoft's problem since the early 90s, if not the mid 80s.

Microsoft don't actually seem to get on board to anything until they see where it's going. This gives them the appearance of following rather than leading. They used to lead, once, some might say they still lead today, but really, they're following other companies, and also the open-source and online communities.

For instance, I sat through a presentation in the keynote, where they went on about a new asset management and workflow tool. It looks really impressive, except that I've seen more or less the same thing from 3 other vendors in the last year. And some of them are much more mature. Of course, as per usual with Microsoft, theirs offers "seamless" integration with Exchange, Office, etc... but they give no clear idea how it might integrate with other extant systems, such as those in use at my organisation. We already have substantial investment in HP and Symantec products, and we've started looking at their offerings, so Microsoft are a bit late to the party, but they are going to tell us how we it is part of Windows Server.

Of course, this brings up the touchy subject of anti-trust, which I'll go into somewhere else, but that's not really the point. The point is there's no real innovation here. Or if there is, they've kept it secret too long. Of course, many people will see this for the first time here, and assume they're ahead of the curve, and Microsoft will be safely ensconced in organisations around the world. (Remind me later to go on about Monocultures as well.)

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