Skip to main content
One Legged Man on a Bicycle

It must have been late last summer, at an event I was chairing for customers, at the Microsoft Campus on future Operating Systems, that I asked how many people in the audience were respectively using Windows NT, Windows 2000 and of course Windows XP?

It came as no great surprise that people were still quite happily using Windows NT but it was rather more than I expected. Windows 2000 migration was still very much ‘work-in-progress’ and in between, were those organisations in both the private and the public sector who couldn’t decide whether they should jump straight to Windows XP on the desktop; missing-out Windows 2000 completely or wait and see what kind of rabbit Microsoft pulls out of the hat next, on the long and winding road that leads to ‘Longhorn’.

Fiddling with the Server names hasn’t helped much either. After all, is a Server a .Net Server or .Not anymore?

Server software accounts for about 20% of Microsoft's sales, or $3.4 billion of the $16.3 billion in sales reported in the six months before Christmas. Even in the middle of an IT recession, Microsoft saw its server sales grow 13% during the period.. Convincing its customers to upgrade or buy new Servers is important in a flat market and to remind you of some of the recent Windows Server releases, between April of 2001 and this month we have had:

1. Windows 2002 Server
2. Windows .NET Server
3. Windows .NET Server 2003
4. Windows Server 2003

Microsoft claims Windows Server 2003 includes the latest .NET components built-in, is less expensive to manage, more secure and easier to install than its predecessors. Of equal importance in the eyes of many, is that it is also the first server built with ‘Trustworthy Computing’ as its priority and is defensively priced against ‘Penguin-creep’, as Microsoft frets over about the appearance of cheap Linux applications servers.

I’m sure that Windows Server 2003 sounds very attractive if you happen to be starting your business from a blank sheet of paper but for the great majority of IT Managers, changing Servers more than once every three to five years is not attractive as this involves both cost and business interruption. Microsoft, as does every company, needs a predictable revenue stream to satisfy its shareholders but the interests of business and the software industry are opposed where new Server releases are concerned.

In order to make its Trustworthy Computing strategy viable, Microsoft needs to have all its customers singing from the same hymn sheet and that involves ditching anything, which isn’t up-to-date. The trouble is that several million Servers aren’t easily swapped-out overnight and it’s going to take another three years before the new and improved Windows 2003 occupies the same dominant space in the Enterprise that Windows 2000 and Windows NT do today.

This Server cycle is an expensive and time-consuming merry-go-round with no solution in sight and no way for any of us to get off without the unacceptable risk of business interruption in the process. Meanwhile, Microsoft resembles a one-legged man on a bicycle, who has to keep pedalling new Server releases or risk falling off.


Popular posts from this blog

Civilisational Data Mining

It’s a new expression I haven’t heard before. ‘Civilisational data mining.’

Let me start by putting it in some context. Every character, you or I have typed into the Google search engine or Facebook over the last decade, means something, to someone or perhaps ‘something,’ if it’s an algorithm.

In May 2014, journalists revealed that the United States National Security Agency, the NSA, was recording and archiving every single cell-phone conversation that took place in the Bahamas. In the process they managed to transform a significant proportion of a society’s day to day interactions into unstructured data; valuable information which can of course be analysed, correlated and transformed for whatever purpose the intelligence agency deems fit.

And today, I read that a GOP-hired data company in the United States has ‘leaked’ personal information, preferences and voting intentions on… wait for it… 198 million US citizens.

Within another decade or so, the cost of sequencing the human genome …

The Nature of Nurture?

Recently, I found myself in a fascinating four-way Twitter exchange, with Professor Adam Rutherford and two other science-minded friends The subject, frequently regarded as a delicate one, genetics and whether there could exist an unknown but contributory genetic factor(s) or influences in determining what we broadly understand or misunderstand as human intelligence.

I won’t discuss this subject in any great detail here, being completely unqualified to do so, but I’ll point you at the document we were discussing, and Rutherford’s excellent new book, ‘A Brief History of Everyone.”

What had sparked my own interest was the story of my own grandfather, Edmond Greville; unless you are an expert on the history of French cinema, you are unlikely to have ever hear of him but he still enjoys an almost cult-like following for his work, half a century after his death.

I've been enjoying the series "Genius" on National Geographic about the life of Albert Einstein. The four of us ha…
The Mandate of Heaven

eGov Monitor Version

“Parliament”, said my distinguished friend “has always leaked like a sieve”.

I’m researching the thorny issue of ‘Confidence in Public Sector Computing’ and we were discussing the dangers presented by the Internet. In his opinion, information security is an oxymoron, which has no place being discussed in a Parliament built upon the uninterrupted flow of information of every kind, from the politically sensitive to the most salacious and mundane.

With the threat of war hanging over us, I asked if MPs should be more aware of the risks that surround this new communications medium? More importantly, shouldn’t the same policies and precautions that any business might use to protect itself and its staff, be available to MPs?

What concerns me is that my well-respected friend mostly considers security in terms of guns, gates and guards. He now uses the Internet almost as much as he uses the telephone and the Fax machine and yet the growing collective t…