Microsoft today made an omnibus executive rearrangement announcement covering a variety of Corporate and Senior Vice Presidents. Here are the novel aspects from my perspective:
Microsoft’s announcement this week that “Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 will launch together at an event in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, 2008″ has led to a dust-up over whether Windows Server 2008 (formerly Longhorn) is late or not. Joe Wilcox says “I told ya so” and that it’s late because the launch isn’t in 2007. Microsoft’s Windows Server Division Weblog responds that there’s no delay since ”Windows Server 2008 is still scheduled to be released by the end of 2007.” Tom Sanders suggests that Microsoft is in denial.
On the flip side of the coin, Mary Jo Foley reports that despite the big launch in February, SQL Server 2008 (formerly Katmai) won’t be released to manufacturing until 2Q08. That’s in line with Microsoft’s past promises which were suitably vague. The third amigo, Visual Studio 2008 (formerly Orcas) had no promised date and we have no inkling of the date for actual code release.
I don’t know about you, but all of this leaves me feeling a bit grumpy. I don’t much care about the exact definition of “late,” but find the launch event singularly useless since it has minimal connection with the actual availability of product. That’s not a new phenomena, but Microsoft seems to be stretching it quite a bit in order to hold a big hootenanny in February. Everybody likes a party and full employment for the marketing team, but seriously, why bother? Even worse, it makes it appear that Microsoft has no conception of their actual ship dates so they are just arbitrarily declaring a celebration and roping in any product in the vicinity.
Update: S. “Soma” Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division weighs in on Visual Studio 2008 via his weblog:
While we will be launching our products together in February, we are still aiming to release Visual Studio 2008 and .NET FX 3.5 by the end of this year based on your feedback so far. … We will start the ball rolling with the release of VS2008 and .NET FX 3.5 beta 2 later this summer, and expect more exciting news, reviews, training and resources following this.
“The February launch event is more of an opportunity to show customers, partners, and the community the wave of innovation Microsoft is delivering with all three products represented (i.e. Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, and Visual Studio 2008).”
Yep, it’s a marketing hootenanny. Microsoft presumably won’t delay any form of availability of Windows Server 2008 or Visual Studio 2008 just for this.
Microsoft today announced that they will be opening a new software development center in Canada:
Microsoft Corp. today announced that it intends to expand its presence in Canada by opening a new software development center in the greater Vancouver, British Columbia, area. The Microsoft Canada Development Centre will open in the fall of 2007 and will be home to software developers from around the world.
“Microsoft is a global company, and our greatest asset is smart, talented, highly skilled people,” said S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. “Our goal as a company is to attract the next generation of leading software developers from all parts of the world, and this center will be a beacon for some of that talent.”
The Vancouver area is a global gateway with a diverse population, is close to Microsoft’s corporate offices in Redmond and allows the company to recruit and retain highly skilled people affected by immigration issues in the U.S.
Since S. “Soma” Somasegar is providing the quote, one suspects it will be a developer tools oriented center. I hope they have their real estate lined up already – otherwise, the price just went up. Update: Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos is downplaying the immigration angle and says the center will initially have 200 employees.
Meanwhile, back in Redmond, Microsoft bought an unused 28 acre parcel from Nintendo of America:
Nintendo Co. said Tuesday that it reached a deal to sell Microsoft a vacant 28-acre parcel across from Nintendo’s North American headquarters. The agreement confirms widespread assumptions that Microsoft would buy the land.
Microsoft will keep the land in reserve for possible development in the future and use it to help alleviate a parking shortage in the meantime, said Lou Gellos, a company spokesman. The parking garages at the company’s adjacent RedWest campus are often filled to capacity.
The deal will close in mid-July at which point the price will be known.
Today, Microsoft introduced Popfly, a simplified programming language based on Silverlight for the kind of social network mashup programming so beloved by the Web 2.0 crowd. Microsoft development tools CVP S. “Soma” Somasegar explains on his blog: