Microsoft WPC: Host of new products unveiled

Microsoft WPC: Host of new products unveiled

MS does Dallas and the Windows Azure Platform Appliance

  • IN DEPTH: Full wrap of Microsoft World Partner Conference 2010 - news, interviews, slideshows

Microsoft has announced a number of major new product releases in the opening keynote for its Worldwide Partner Conference 2010.

The first of these is the Windows Azure Platform Appliance. Essentially, the release will allow Microsoft partners and end customers to run Azure within their own datacentres for building internal clouds for internal use or hire.

Microsoft claims the new release will address end-user concerns around physical control, geographic proximity, regulatory compliance and data sovereignty that the might have when accessing public clouds.

The vendor plans on having the product available to the broader community this calendar year. Currently, it is working with key partners to trial and refine the solution.

At the WPC10 keynote, Dell, eBay, Fujitsu and HP were partners and customers announced as participating in the trial.

The other major product announcement is a data marketplace that is codenamed 'Dallas'. Making use of both premium and public data, and leveraging off Microsoft’s Azure cloud, Dallas will be a godsend for Business Intelligence application partners – amongst others.

Partners will be able to develop analysis and subscription applications to run on Dallas, allowing material to be published, then charged for – partners can provision data as a service, and help customers properly understand that data.

Also set for release this year, Microsoft already has 30 content partners that build applications for Dallas.

Microsoft president of its server and tools business, Bob Muglia, said these tools would allow the ability to create solutions that were impossible before.

“When people talk about cloud computing they’re talking about Infrastructure-as-a-Service [IaaS], Platform-as-a-Service [PaaS] and Software-as-a-Service [SaaS],” Muglia said. “We’re taking this to head, and pulling together both PaaS and IaaS as one offering called Azure.”

Microsoft has also announced a number of new releases around its Windows operating system platform.

Most are relatively minor – the release of the test drive for Internet Explorer 9 –, enhanced virtualisation capabilities with the release of Windows Server R2, and minor updates to Windows 7.

One significant release is Windows Intune public Beta 2, however. Built on feedback from the sold-out Beta 1, Windows Intune allows customers or partners to remote manage PCs and remote devices – especially useful for organisations with remote workers.

“Mobile workers are a key trend that customers need to address – you can do that easily here, and give that PC or user some assistance with no server or VPN connection needed,” Microsoft corporate vice-president, Windows and Windows Live, Tami Reller, said.

One key new feature to Intune Beta 2 is the ability for users with multiple customers to be more agile and quickly switch between customers.

The morning’s keynote finished off with the promise that customers and partners can also look forward to new Sharepoint and Dynamics releases this year, as well as Outlook updates that will take integrate with consumer social networking tools, and introduce a number of additional enterprise-friendly tools.

Matthew Sainsbury attended the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 201O as a guest of Microsoft

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