Microsoft's Turner: Our Virtualization Is More Versatile

2008 is a year that will go down in history as having had a major impact in the green IT revolution, said Turner, who proceeded to outline several trends that serve as a foundation for a new set of technologies that solve challenges for COOs.

Virtualization is squarely in Microsoft's crosshairs, and the release of the Hyper-V component in Windows Server 2008 later this year will symbolize Microsoft 'loosing the hounds' on virtualization rivals VMware and Citrix XenSource. "Virtualization will be a key technology that saves data centers and CIOs a tremendous amount of money and resources," Turner said.

Microsoft COO Kevin Turner says Microsoft will not only offer virtualization at a lower price than competitors, but will also be able to manage other vendors' virtualization solutions

Microsoft will offer virtualization at two-thirds the cost of its competitors, but the real differentiator, according to Turner, is that Microsoft is taking a cross platform approach. "We're going to be the first virtualization technology that allows you to manage other vendors' virtualization solutions," said Turner.

Collaboration within companies is another example of a game changing technology that Microsoft is already taking advantage of with its wildly popular Office Sharepoint Server offering.

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"The hottest single product in Microsoft history is Sharepoint: It's the fastest product to reach a billion dollars in sales," said Turner.

Complexity in communications continues to mar the experience for many users, who must deal with a confusing array of different phone numbers, passwords, and email accounts. Turner said. But unified identity and "new software innovations will eliminate the boundaries between the different forms of communication we have today," Turner said.

Knowledge management is another information overload challenge that companies face, said Turner, and once again, Microsoft is confident in its strategy of sending the software cavalry to the rescue. This software "will make it easier to find information quickly and be used in intelligent decision making," said Turner.

In mobility, increases in processing power have enabled workers to access resource-intensive database and spreadsheet applications outside of the office, noted Turner. As bandwidth increases, "Now we expect more, not only from email, but to share documents wherever we are. It means we'll have the capability to work with the same level of productivity as we have in the office," Turner said.

The rise of social networking has seen it emerge as a viable business tool, and that creates opportunities, as well as pain, for IT departments, Turner noted. To take advantage of what social networking brings to businesses, companies will need to change the way they store information. "Companies must balance openness and easy access with the need to protect information," Turner said.