5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

Microsoft Goes After Google In Cloud

Microsoft says it's "all-in" with cloud computing, and implicit in this message is that Google and other cloud rivals should watch their backs. Microsoft ain't messing around, and when its fiscal 2010 year begins on July 1, the company will add 300 to 500 direct salespeople to work with partners and customers to sell cloud solutions.

Microsoft is acknowledging that the cloud is changing its business model, processes, and product portfolio. "We are incrementing our sales force to go after the cloud. We are changing up our message to customers," said Vince Menzione, Microsoft general manager, partner strategy for US Public Sector, at the Everything Channel XChange Public Sector conference in Jacksonville, Fla.

Microsoft knows it's in danger of losing control of the conversation about the next generation architecture for enterprise applications, so it's diving headfirst into the cloud. And, as has always been the case in technology shifts, Microsoft is going to offer partners a chance to make more money than they ever would with Google.

Enterasys Sings Virtues Of Heterogeneous Data Center

At a time when companies are trying to corral customers into vendor-exclusive data center deals, Enterasys is offering a path to heterogeneous, multi-vendor data centers. Enterasys says the notion that single-vendor infrastructure offers tighter integration is just a ploy companies use to justify their domineering tactics. In fact, tight integration can be achieved by working with open partners, Enterasys says.

Enterasys is the underdog in this fight, where giants like Cisco and HP are each trying to wrestle control of the data center from the other, but it's fearlessly wading in with a message of harmony. Business battles are usually won with brute force, but you have to give credit to Enterasys for trying a different tactic.

SeaMicro Thinks Big With Smaller Processors

Seattle-based startup SeaMicro made waves this week with its unveiling of a new server architecture that shoehorns up to 512 Intel Atom processors into a 10U rack mount space. The idea is to tap into Atom's power consumption efficiency when it comes to smaller types of calculations that the Internet requires. Xeon and Opteron processors are more powerful, but they're also hungrier.

SeaMicro says its new architecture can cut data center power and space requirements by up to 75 percent. Given the attention companies are paying to these issues, SeaMicro's message stands a very good chance of being noticed.

Acer Says It's Going To Be No. 1 In Notebooks

In 2008, Acer President and CEO Gianfranco Lanci said Acer could be the world's largest notebook vendor in 2011, but it looks like that prediction may have been conservative. This week, Acer Chairman J.T. Wang told The Wall Street Journalthat Acer could take over the top spot in notebook sales this year.

Acer's notebook business is thriving in spite of European economic uncertainty and component shortages that have hit the PC industry. Acer also has big plans in the mobile space and is embracing Android at the same time it's reducing its focus on Windows. Making money in the PC industry these days isn't easy, but Acer seems to have figured out a way to do it, and it's confidence is showing.

Stratus Offers $50,000 Guarantee Against vSphere Downtime

Stratus Technologies, in a bid to raise awareness of the reliability of its servers' ability to run in virtualized environments, this week launched a program that pays customers $50,000 for any incidences of unplanned downtime while running VMware vSphere 4 within six months after deployment.

Stratus has offered the $50,000 guarantee in the past for its fault-tolerant servers, and now it's extending that to virtualized environments. It's a reflection of the exploding deployment of virtualization and is intended to build customers' confidence in the technology.

Stratus is also planning to improve its channel program and offer deal registration for the first time. These are the kind of bold moves that can cause customers to jump on board.

Check out our roundup of vendors that dropped the ball for a look at the companies that were asleep at the wheel this week.