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Wave of New Microsoft Enterprise Products Bring Big Benefits to IT Professionals and Developers

28 February, 2008 | Archived Post

Largest enterprise launch in company history includes Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2008; focuses on security, Web, virtualisation and better business intelligence.

Sydney - Feb.28,2008 - At one of more than 225 events around the world and joined by more than 1,000 customers and partners, Microsoft Corp.'s Senior Vice President of Infrastructure Management, Bob Kelly, and Microsoft Australia's Director of Server and Tools, Martin Gregory, today showcased the next generation of infrastructure and application platform products, including Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008.

The launch represents a major milestone to help customers on the road to Dynamic IT, Microsoft's initiative to help customers optimise their people, processes and technology, and in turn, position IT as a strategic asset for their business. These new enterprise products help customers more efficiently and securely manage their entire infrastructure and move to a virtualised environment while also delivering business intelligence and next-generation Web experiences to boost business results. The theme of the events, "Heroes Happen Here," highlights the outstanding work that IT professionals, developers and partners do every day to create solutions and cutting-edge applications that keep global commerce and industry running.

"IT professionals and developers tell us they spend too much time and money managing existing systems and not enough investing in new capabilities that create strategic advantage," said Microsoft's Chief Executive Officer, Steve Ballmer, at the Los Angeles launch event. "That feedback is at the core of the innovations in this new wave of products. Already, the overwhelming response from thousands of IT professionals and developers around the world is that this is the most secure enterprise platform we have ever delivered, and that it will simplify management and enable them to focus more on driving their businesses forward."

Big Benefits for Early Adopters

Researchers at consulting agency Capgemini looked at companies and institutions in the financial services, education, retail and high-technology industries using Windows Server 2008 in a mix of geographic regions. They found that the new operating system quickly adds value to IT operations through enhancements to management, security and reliability. On average, deployment duration was reduced by up to 60 percent. In addition, cost reductions resulted from a wide range of areas, including the recovery of five IT staff hours per server and 91 percent less downtime. A white paper detailing usage scenarios and providing more data on the impact of deploying Windows Server 2008 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/product-information.aspx.

Already IT professionals and developers around the world are using Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and test versions of SQL Server 2008 to implement more secure platforms and Web applications while reducing costs and speeding development.

Geographic dispersal of branch offices and employees across Australia often slowed the deployment of software applications out to the National Australia Bank's (NAB) branches. The bank sought to simplify remote deployment processes so employees had access to the most current applications and information when they needed them, while maximising the efficiency of its low-bandwidth wide area network.

"By becoming an early adopter of Windows Server 2008, we can put our organisation ahead of the curve," said Geoff Wenborn, General Manager, Strategy and Transformation at NAB. "Now we can build an infrastructure that is not only more stable, but more agile as well. As a result, we can significantly improve the user experience, both for our employees and our customers."

For Lion Nathan, becoming an early adopter of Windows Server 2008 meant taking advantage of the new and enhanced Terminal Services features that the software provides. The company worked with Microsoft Services and Hewlett Packard Consulting to deploy the platform, and expects key benefits to be a reduction in cost for terminal services and significant improvement in the performance that users experience when remotely accessing applications over the network.

"By using Terminal Services in Windows Server 2008, we can provide a thin-client scenario for employees who are telecommuting," said Brett Watkins, System Manager for the Lion Nathan IT department. "Windows Server 2008 provides our employees with better performance when they are working with applications, and provides our company with a way to protect our network from viruses and other threats that could be posed by unknown computers logging on to the network. Using Windows Server 2008 will help us to achieve a more flexible computing environment for remote workers, a safer system for our network, and a more fluid experience for end users."

For University of Canberra, enhancements to the Active Directory domain services in Windows Server 2008 will mean the University can achieve performance and management benefits in diverse areas including desktop authentication, firewall configuration, group policy preference settings and task scheduling. The University has also tested Hyper-V running up to 11 virtual servers on a physical 1U server with no performance degradation.

"We believe that, in order to provide a cutting edge learning environment, the University needs to be on the cutting edge of technology, said Tom Townsend, Window Systems Team Leader, ICT Services at University of Canberra. "We're impressed with the enhancements to Active Directory that increase network security and simplify IT administration, and the new TCP/IP stack improvements which enable us to move files, such as VHDs, in half the time. We're also very excited with the early results from the new Hyper-V virtualisation technology which we used to test all our Domain upgrades. For the University, upgrading to Windows Server 2008 is about providing tools that make the techies' jobs easier, giving us more time to focus on improving other services, from which staff and students will ultimately see the benefits."

Mincom, a leading global provider of software solutions for asset-intensive industries, such as mining, utilities, transportation, defence, and government, cut the code base of its flagship MineScape solution by moving across to a state-of-the-art programming environment using the Microsoft® Visual Studio® Team System and .NET 3.5. This simplified collaboration between development teams located throughout Australia and Indonesia, and provided developers with powerful features that enabled the size of the code base to be significantly reduced.

"With a global development team, the ability to interface with one another is key to the success of the project," said Brad Moore, Development Manager for Mincom MineScape, Mincom. "Adopting Microsoft Visual Studio Team System has allowed us to significantly improve our ability to collaborate between geographies and time zones. The offshore team connects with our repository in Brisbane, and they work with us as easily as if they were in the same building."

CargoWise edi, an Australian logistics and freight software company who sells its solutions to high-profile global supply chain service providers, has developed an integrated logistics solution built on the new Microsoft technologies. Virtualisation capabilities and enhanced Terminal Services were the key drivers for CargoWise transitioning to Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008, which has enabled the organisation to achieve improved system performance and efficiency.

"We have thousands of customers around the globe, many of whom have large Microsoft data centres, so it's critical that we deploy products such as Windows Server 2008 early to understand how they affect our environment," said CargoWise edi Chief Executive Officer Richard White. "The in-built virtualisation capabilities mean that customers can stretch their existing hardware investments further, thereby lowering costs and increasing productivity. We're excited about our early results with Hyper-V, which makes maintaining our Web servers notably easier."

At Elcom, a Microsoft Gold Partner specialising in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems integrated with custom development, intranet and business applications, the progressive release of beta code in the Microsoft 2008 product stack provided an opportunity to test the performance of the new platform. The tests included a side-by-side comparison of Elcom’s web site running on Windows Server 2008 RC0, SQL Server 2008 CTP5 and .NET 3.5, and an identical server running the Elcom web site on Windows Server 2003, SQL Server 2005 and .NET 2.0.

"Browsing the Elcom site and managing the content through web-based administration tools were both noticeably faster, and initial tests indicated a five-times increase in performance using the Microsoft 2008 stack,” said Craig Bailey, Technical Director at Elcom. “We’ve since conducted more detailed testing with the Windows Server 2008 RTM code in a bid to isolate exactly which components of the 2008 stack were contributing the most to the performance improvement. This resulted in a larger 16-times performance increase compared to the older 2003/2005 stack, with Windows Server 2008 and IIS7.0 primarily responsible for the increased performance -- although adding components of the 2008 stack, such as SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008, also resulted in incremental performance improvements."

These companies are just a sampling of the more than 3 million customers that participated in early feedback programs or as beta testers during product development.

The performance improvements and enterprise-class features of SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 have resulted in record-breaking results. Today Microsoft disclosed new world-record performance results on TPC-E and SAP Sales and Distribution (SD) Standard Application 3-tier benchmarks running on four-socket industry-standard blade servers.** Microsoft also published breakthrough performance benchmarks for several customer scenarios, including leading results on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Siemens Teamcenter and Camstar Manufacturing Execution Systems.

Microsoft also announced that Microsoft Windows Server 2008 with .NET Framework 3.5 delivers faster throughput than IBM WebSphere 6.1 on Red Hat Linux as shown through two new benchmark tests measuring scalability and performance in mission-critical enterprise scenarios. The sample application shows 117 percent better throughput of Windows Server using the IBM-designed Trade 6.1 benchmark; and Sun Microsystems’ WSTest Web services benchmark demonstrates 94 percent better throughput on Windows Server when processing Web Service requests. More information on the results is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/HHHlaunch/docs/BenchmarkFS.doc

Partners See Opportunity

Microsoft has worked with more than 1,000 industry partners to help plan, build, test and deploy leading-edge solutions by providing early access to code, training and testing, and certification support. Hundreds of independent software vendors have demonstrated their support with the development of a wide variety of business applications for industries that include retail, accounting, commerce, engineering, financial services, healthcare, supply chain and more. In a related announcement, Microsoft detailed extensive investments in programs and tools for software and hardware partners. More information on the announcement is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-27ISVWS08PR.mspx. A full list of vendors offering applications certified for Windows Server 2008 or pledging to provide support for their applications on Windows Server 2008 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/hhhlaunch/docs/PartnerWS08FS.doc

Further demonstrating support for the new products, more than 40 companies are making announcements today and more than 80 partners are participating in launch events around the world, including platinum sponsors Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), CA, Cisco Systems Inc., Citrix Systems Inc., Dell Inc., Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, Intel Corporation, Quest Software Inc., SAP AG and Unisys Corp. Highlighting the opportunity for industry partners, a 2007 IDC study* predicts that for every $1 Microsoft earns from Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 this year in the U.S., the ecosystem beyond Microsoft — software and hardware vendors that support or incorporate the products - will reap about $18 in revenue. In 2008, this ecosystem is predicted to sell more than $120 billion in products and services revolving around Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

Product Availability and Information

Windows Server 2008, including a beta version of the Hyper-V virtualisation technology, and Visual Studio 2008 are available today. The feature-complete, February community technology preview of SQL Server 2008 is also available, with general availability expected in the third quarter of 2008.

Later this year Microsoft will release the Windows Essential Server Solutions family of products for small and midsize companies built on Windows Server 2008 and the newest Microsoft server technologies and services: Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008. Windows HPC Server 2008, the successor to Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, is on track for availability in the second half of 2008 and is designed to increase productivity, scalability and manageability for high-performance computing scenarios. In addition, Windows Storage Server 2008, the next-generation storage solution based on Windows Server 2008, will be available by the end of the year.

Additional information on the launch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 is available in the virtual pressroom at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/HHHlaunch/default.mspx.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.


* IDC white paper sponsored by Microsoft, "The Economic Impact of Microsoft’s Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 in the U.S.," Doc. 5052007, May 2007.

** Certification Number 2008003: SAP SD standard SAP ERP 6.0 (2005) application benchmark in 3-Tier configuration certified on 02/26/08 with Number of benchmark users & comp.: 34,000 SD (Sales & Distribution) with an average dialog response time: 1.99 seconds running Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition (64-Bit) and SQL Server 2008 (64-bit) on RDBMS database server. Hardware configuration of RDBMS server: HP ProLiant BL680c G5, 4 socket/16 core/16 thread Quad-Core Intel Xeon E7340 / 2.40GHz, 64GB RAM. For more details, see http://www.sap.com/benchmark.

For more information, press only:
Microsoft Australia
Cara Leggett
Ph : (02) 9870 2220
i-carale@microsoft.com

Howorth Communications
Alex Murphy / Ry Crozier or Microsoft Hotline
Ph : (02) 8281 3801 / (02) 8281 3832 or (02)8281 3830
alex@howorth.com.au / ry@howorth.com.au

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft's corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft's Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.

Microsoft Australia Heroes Happen Here Quote Sheet

"Because we’re a university, we’re actually the worst case for a NAP [network access protection] deployment, as we have the most diverse set of computers and people. If we can do it, then any company can do it. I actually think NAP is one of the best tools to help us keep our system safe."
-- Michael Piko, Systems Manager, La Trobe University

"Server Core is a build of Windows Server that has been stripped bare of all features that are not critical to the base functionality of the server. The reduced core makes troubleshooting easier because when things go wrong, there is a lot less that we have to look at. The result is a more simplified environment, which saves us time."
-- David Hewitt, Desktop Manager, McGrathNicol

"We can offer the Windows Server 2008 version of the minfos software at one-third the price of the previous version. That is going to be a huge factor in increasing the uptake of the minfos system by pharmacists. In addition, the centralised management and remote access features of Windows Server 2008 practically eliminate the cost of having to send technicians onsite, which will save hundreds of hours of staff time and travel every year."
-- Simon Pearce, Manager of minfos Operations, Symbion Pharmacy Services.

"Microsoft and HP have relied on each other’s technologies for more than 20 years to deliver industry-standard information technology and solutions. HP has the most rigorously tested and certified industry standard servers and is the leading development platform for Windows Server 2008, as we were for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2000. Australian businesses can benefit from the strength and efficiency of this partnership as they transition to Windows Server 2008."
-- Deke Rayner-Harvey, Product Marketing Manager for HP ProLiant servers in Australia

"As a world leader in desktop management, we have invested heavily in building dynamic highly available desktop services for our clients. Windows Server 2008, Forefront and System Centre Configuration Manager platforms further enable us to reduce operational costs, improve service levels and reduce complexity for our customers. We have found that our customers appreciate a drive towards reducing infrastructure complexity and the number of individual vendors involved. The latest release of the Microsoft solution set gives us the ability to provide the service that would historically have required half a dozen platforms - on a single platform."
-- Brett Lightfoot, National Microsoft Solutions and Alliance Manager, Getronics Australia

"Every year brings new challenges and 2008 is no exception. Client and user expectations continue to increase, while inflexible applications constrain activities and fail to deliver the expected outcomes. The new Microsoft Windows Server 2008 platform will allow organisations to build, deploy and integrate end user services independent of applications and the computing platforms on which they run. Dynamic Virtualisation enables computing components to be added or subtracted systematically, ensuring an environmentally responsible solution for the delivery of cost-effective and user-friendly business systems."
-- Sheryle Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Information Industry Association

"We are seeing more interest in our two new Masters Degrees that incorporate Windows Server 2008 certifications than we have ever had in the past. The compelling feature of Windows Server 2008 that prospective students say is driving this interest is the ability of the new Virtualisation features to reduce costs and improve the agility of their IT organisations."
-- Martin Hale, Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Charles Sturt University

"Emantra has been using Microsoft Windows Server 2008 since the early stages of beta and we believe it’s a true advance on Microsoft’s reliable and secure server technology. It has demonstrated benefits to us internally in terms of our server management, virtualisation and deployment of software-as-a-service, as well as directly to customers in terms of performance, security and ease of configuration. Emantra is proud to be offering a commercially available managed service - Hosted Windows Server 2008 – as well as services based on Windows Server 2008, immediately upon its launch by Microsoft, adding to one of the most advanced ranges of Microsoft based software-as-a-service available in Australia."
-- Ross Dewar, Managing Director, Emantra

"Australians are always relatively early adopters of new technology. We anticipate that we will see this trend once again with the release of Microsoft's Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008. End users are crying out for greater control, higher availability, flexibility, security and reliability, which makes these products key to productivity and efficiency gains. Over the next 12 months we expect to see solid and consistent growth across these product lines."
-- Clint Musgrave, Software Division Manager, Express Data

"Just as Microsoft seeks to service the growing needs of organisations through the release of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008, Ingram Micro seeks to cater for the increasingly sophisticated needs of IT resellers through our Solutions Group. These three products are set to form an integral part of the Solutions product portfolio, as they address the most prevalent IT pain points facing end-users today. With enhanced security, support for virtualised environments, greater Vista compatibility and more intuitive web tools and management utilities, these products will form a natural complement to the extensive range of products from leading server, storage and networking vendors that we distribute."
-- Stuart Ellis, General Manager, Solutions Group, Ingram Micro

"We expect new features like Terminal Services, Hyper-V, NAP and IIS7.0 will have a major impact in IT infrastructures around Australia. Virtualisation, in particular, has experienced huge growth in the last year and we expect that boom to continue in the next 18 months. The question is whether or not IT professionals will have the skills and know-how to facilitate deployments and to take advantage of this new technology."
-- Roland Leggat, Microsoft Product Manager, Dimension Data Learning Solutions

"Enterprises can now reap the twin benefits of running Windows Server 2008 on the latest Intel Xeon quad core processors and Intel Itanium dual core processor platforms. The performance headroom and innovative technologies of Intel Xeon processor-based servers will enhance the power of Windows Server 2008 for Web, virtualisation and enterprise solutions, while on dual core Itanium platforms, it offers highly reliable systems to drive the most compute-intensive and mission critical business analytics and enterprise applications. Together, Windows Server 2008 and Intel-processor based servers enable businesses to grow their computing solutions more efficiently while helping to keep data centres cool with improved agility and TCO."
-- Corey Loehr, Enterprise Solutions Sales Manager ANZ, Intel

"We believe that virtualisation is a transformational technology where the winners have an end-to-end virtualisation strategy that reduces costs and adds flexibility to the total IT environment. With support for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and Hyper V the Citrix Delivery Centre solution will enable a dynamic data centre where applications are delivered and desktops are a service."
-- Rob Willis, area vice president of Australia and New Zealand, Citrix

"We are seeing Windows Server 2008 as the cornerstone of an organisations Managed Operating Environment. With a solid server foundation, coupled with the right management technologies, and the right processes, organisations can benefit significantly from productivity improvements. It’s all about enabling your people to achieve. Windows Server 2008 plays a pivotal part in that story."
--Laurence Baynham, Group General Manager, Data#3

"Dimension Data clients are already taking advantage of the new workloads that are shipping with Server 2008 – such as Network Access Protection (NAP) and the enhanced Terminal Services – to ensure that the network is able to securely and transparently handle connections from any client, anywhere. Successful deployments for universities in both Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory are already proving that Windows Server 2008 is enterprise-ready, and we are seeing strong demand for information and pilot deployments across multiple market segments. We expect that demand for Windows Server 2008 will continue to grow significantly over the coming months as more clients look to take advantage of other key features such as Read-Only Domain Controllers, failover clustering, the secure Server Core, and hypervisor virtualisation."
-- David Hanrahan, General Manager, Microsoft Solutions Infrastructure, Dimension Data

"The number one issue facing business is sustainability and in particular greenhouse gas emissions reporting. The key challenge for business in the next 12 months is not just to report but to effectively manage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by planning, monitoring and analysing emissions so that reduction targets can be set and met, and financial impacts of reduction initiatives can be understood. Prima Consulting has developed the sustainability reporting and performance management solution, SCO2recard, using Visual Studio 2008 with Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Performance Point 2007 and Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007, so our customers can easily meet the regulatory and management requirements of sustainability using best of breed Microsoft products."
-- Robert Riegert, Managing Director, Prima Consulting

"We have a high level of confidence in the security and high availability features of Microsoft Windows Server 2008, so much so that we host our own website and client collaboration extranet on Microsoft Windows Server 2008, utilising this technology in conjunction with Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007. The platform also offers a virtualisation capacity that, in a number of areas, now exceeds the offerings of other virtualisation vendors. From a cost and complexity perspective, the Microsoft solution is now far more compelling than attempting to integrate disparate vendor systems, while the total system management capabilities of the Microsoft System Centre 2007 Virtual Machine Manager means current virtualised environments can be further integrated and simplified."
-- Mark O’Malley, Managing Director, DSC-IT

"We are very pleased to announce two significant milestones during February 2008. The first is that the Quest Development Studio for SharePoint, one of our core offerings, now supports Windows Server 2008 and SQL 2008 environments. The second is the release of the Development Studio for SharePoint version 4.0. This includes new development capabilities for the access and unification of external data directly into SharePoint based applications. Free workshops are available to see the full power of unifying data in SharePoint and the Development Studio running WS 2008. Booking can be made through our website at: www.devworkz.net."
-- John Ackery, CEO, Devworkz Pty Ltd

"We’ve recently launched a new capability for our customers called "dynamic computing" based on the new Microsoft Windows Server 2008 platform. Dynamic computing combines a series of best practices with smart technology, enabling organisations to become more agile in order to meet the real-time needs of the business. We believe that this capability meets the current needs of CIO's looking to transform their IT departments into business enablers and strategic assets that provide effective growth and innovation support to their organisations."
-- Olivier Jeanson, Solutions Marketing Director, Avanade Australia Pty Ltd

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