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In Microsoft's Orbit

What major trends in the Microsoft ecosystem will provide opportunities and obstacles for ISVs in 2008?

Windows Unix server Linux

> Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization technology, slated for launch later this year, will open up huge opportunities for ISVs that build IT management and infrastructure optimization tools, predicts Steve Dixon, vice president and general manager of Quest's Windows management business unit.

> The feeling among the ranks of Microsoft ISVs is that the vendor is taking steps to identify more partners it deems "high potential" because of a solution provider's strategic technology and market position or its ability to influence customer buying decisions, said Chris Will, CTO of Apriso.

> It's no secret that Microsoft will launch Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 next month. ISVs are already hard at work developing their software products for the new platforms and look forward to riding the wave of publicity that's sure to follow the Feb. 27 gala.

> The debut of Dynamics CRM Live, a Microsoft-hosted version of its CRM application, has somewhat overshadowed the fact that Microsoft channel partners are already hosting an increasing range of Microsoft products. That's making Microsoft Dynamics apps available to small businesses that couldn't otherwise afford to purchase them. RMI is providing its Dynamics NAV-based applications for equipment rental and service companies through a third-party hosting company. "From my perspective, I think it's a home run," said President Paul Chapdelaine.

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