Microsoft's coming-out party for virtualization

The software giant's virtualization launch on September 8 is one big shindig that no one but Redmond could pull off.

OK, it's September which means that summer is over and the industry will soon face a barrage of new announcements and events. That said, regardless of what happens between now and the new year, nothing will have the visibility, scale, and scope of Microsoft's upcoming virtualization launch on September 8. This event will:

1. Talk about all things Microsoft and all things virtualization. Microsoft will create a tapestry that weaves application, desktop, and server virtualization with Windows, Microsoft System Center, Active Directory, etc.
2. Bring in partners. Microsoft's partners for the event include a who's who in the technology industry. In fact, many vendors have put the kibosh on other fall marketing programs in favor of supporting Microsoft's virtualization extravaganza.
3. Kick off additional events. September 8 is just the start. Microsoft will continue with regional, business, and industry-specific events throughout 2008.

Yup, this is one big virtualization event that no one but Microsoft could pull off. I was at the Windows '95 shindig and this promises to be even more eventful. Even with all the hype, the Windows '95 launch was brought to earth by the excitement around the Internet and companies like Netscape. In spite of VMware's success, this event shouldn't have any type of similar buzz-kill.

The naysayers and Microsoft bashers will no doubt cry foul and squawk about inferior technology and proprietary agendas. OK, Microsoft isn't likely to change these people's minds no matter what it does. For the rest of the IT industry, however, Microsoft is about to create a flurry of buzz in a well-orchestrated series of marketing events. No other vendor could even come close to this.

Jon Oltsik is a senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group.


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